Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/255

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lest the Lord should be angry and punish, but lest they should act against Good itself, because this will torment the conscience. . . . The reason why clemency and mercy are meant by anger is this: All the punishments of the evil arise out of the Lord's mercy to the good, lest they should be injured by the evil. But the Lord does not inflict punishments upon them, but they inflict them upon themselves; for evils and punishments are connected in the other life. The evil inflict punishments on themselves especially when the Lord does mercy to the good; for then their evils increase, and therefore their punishments. Hence it is that for the anger of Jehovah, by which the punishments of the evil are signified, mercy is understood by the angels. From all this it is evident what the quality of the Word is in the sense of the letter, and what truth Divine is in its most general sense; namely, that it is according to appearances, for the reason that man is such that when he sees and apprehends from his sensual he believes, and what he does not see nor apprehend from his sensual he does not believe, and therefore does not receive. Hence it is that the Word in the sense of the letter is according to the things which appear; yet in its interior bosom it contains a store of genuine truths, and in its inmost bosom the very truth Divine which proceeds immediately from the Lord, and therefore also Divine Good, that is, the Lord Himself. (A. C. n. 6997.)

"Cursed he Canaan." To be cursed is to avert one's-self from the Lord. The Lord is as far from cursing and being angry as heaven is from earth. Who can believe that the Lord, who is omniscient and omnipotent, and by His wisdom governs the universe and thus is infinitely above all infirmities, can be angry with dust so miserable, that is, with men, who scarcely know anything that they do, and can do nothing of themselves but what is evil? It is therefore not in the Lord to be angry, but to be merciful. (A C. n. 1093.)


The Frogs of Egypt.

Frogs signify reasonings from falsities. This is not from their croaking only, but also from their abiding in marshy and putrid lakes, by which infernal falsities are signified; for they who reason from falsities against Divine truths have their abode in hells which appear like marshes, and stagnant, fœtid waters; and those who are there when seen in the light of heaven appear like frogs, some in larger and some in smaller form, according to their elation of mind from reasonings more or less acute; they are also more and less unclean, according as their reasonings against Divine truth are more or less interior and dignified.