Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/460

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364 THE ISRAELITISH CHURCH. •urim and tlniinmira, and afterwards the temple. By means of such things at that time there was granted, of the Lord's Provi- dence, a communication of the angels of heaven with man; for there must somewhere be a church, or the representative of a church, in order that there may be communication of heaven with the human race. And because they above every other nation could place Divine worship in external things, and thus act as the representative of a church, that nation was adopted. (A. C. n. 8588.)

 

Why it is believed that the Jews were chosen above others FOR THEIR Goodness. They that know nothing of the internal sense of the Word cannot believe otherwise than that the Israelitish and Jewish nation was elected above every other nation, and therefore that they were more excellent, — as tliey themselves also believed. And what is extraordinary, not only that nation itself believes this, but Christians also believe it; although they know that nation is in lilthy loves, in sordid avarice, in hatred, and in arrogance ; and besides, that they make light of and even hold in aversion the internal things which relate to charity and faith, and which relate to the Lord. That even Christians believe that nation was elected above others is because they believe that the election and salvation of man is of mercy, however a man lives, and thus that the wicked can be received into heaven equally with the pious and the good, — not considering that election is universal, namely, of all who live in good ; and that the mercy of the Lord is towards every man who abstains from evil, and wills to live in good, and thus who suffers himself to be led of the Lord, and to be regenerated, — which is effected by the continu- ance of his life. Hence it is that very many even in the Christian world too believe that that nation will be again elected, and will then be brought back again into the land of Canaan ; and this also according to the sense of the letter. (A. C. n. 7051.) The children of Israel are called the people of Jehovah, not because they were better than other nations, but because they represented the people of Jehovah, that is, those w^ho are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom. That they were not better than other nations is evident from their life in the wilderness, in that they did not believe at all in Jehovah, but in heart believed in the gods of the Egyptians ; which is manifest from the golden calf that they made for themselves, and which they called their gods that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt (Exod. xxxii. 8). It is evident also from their life afterwards in the land of