Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 976

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976. And thou hast given them blood to drink, signifies that consequently such are in the falsities of evil. This is evident from the signification of "drinking blood," as being to imbibe falsities, for "blood" signifies truth falsified, and "to drink" signifies to imbibe. And as falsified truth is the falsity of evil, therefore here "to drink blood" signifies to be in the falsities of evil. Falsified truth is the falsity of evil, because evil falsifies truth. That such are in falsities of evil is here attributed to the Lord; for it is said, "Thou hast given them blood to drink," as if the Lord had done it in the way of vengeance, although the Lord never avenges the evil done to Him by man. This makes clear that an interior sense lies hidden in these same words, and that this sense appears when the sense of the letter, which is that of apparent truth, is put off. When that sense is put off the spiritual sense comes forth, which is, that the Lord did not give them blood to drink, but that man gives himself blood to drink; in other words, that from the evil in which he is man has falsified the Word, and consequently is in the falsities of evil.

(Continuation respecting the Fifth Commandment)

[2] Take judges for an example: All who make justice venal by loving the function of judging for the sake of gain from judgments, and not for the sake of uses to their country, are thieves, and their judgments are thefts. It is similar if they judge according to friendships and favors, for friendships and favors are also profits and gains. When these are the end and judgments are the means, all things that they do are evil, and are what are meant in the Word by "evil works" and "not doing judgment and justice, perverting the right of the poor; of the needy, of the fatherless, of the widow, and of the innocent." Yea, even if they do justice, and yet regard profit as the end they indeed do a good work, but to them it is not good; for justice, which is Divine, is to them a means, and such gain is the end; and that which is made the end is everything, while that which is made the means is nothing except so far as it is serviceable to the end. Consequently after death such judges continue to love what is unjust as well as what is just, and are condemned to hell as thieves. I speak this from what I have seen. These are such as do not abstain from evils because they are sins, but only because they fear the punishments of the civil law and the loss of reputation, honor, and office, and thus of gain. [3] It is otherwise with judges who abstain from evils as sins and shun them because they are contrary to the Divine laws, and thus contrary to God. These have justice for their end, and they venerate, cherish, and love it as Divine. In justice they see God, as it were, because everything just, like everything good and true, is from God. They always join justice with equity and equity with justice, knowing that justice must be of equity in order to be justice, and that equity must be of justice in order to be equity, the same as truth is of good and good is of truth. As such make justice their end, their giving judgments is doing good works; yet these works, which are judgments, are to them more or less good as there is in their judgments more or less of regard for friendship, favor or gain; also as there is more or less in them of a love of what is just for the sake of the public good, which is that justice may reign among their fellow-citizens, and that those who live according to the laws may have security. Such judges have eternal life in a degree that accords with their works; for they are judged as they themselves have judged.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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