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not distinguishable from the former, especially if he hath acquired by practice the habit of hypocrisy; but by the angels in heaven they are distinguished as clearly as doves from owls, and as sheep from tigers. The merely natural man can see what is evil and good in others, and also reprove them, but as he never looked into and examined himself, he sees not any evil in himself, and in case any is pointed out to him by another, he masks it over by means of his rational faculty, as a serpent hides its head in the dust, and he immerseth himself in it as a hornet buries itself in dung. This is occasioned by the delight of evil, which envelopes him, as a thick mist doth a bog, and absorbs and suffocates the rays of light : this, and nothing but this constitutes the delight of hell, which exhaling thence, enters by influx into every man, but only by the soles of the feet, the back, and the hinder part of the head; if it be received by the head in the fore-part, and by the body in the breast, the man is then enslaved to hell; the reason is, because that part of the human brain called the cerebrum is allotted to the understanding and its wisdom, but that part called the cerebellum to the will and to its love; and hence it is that the brain is divided into two spheres. This infernal delight can only be amended, reformed, and inverted, by means of a spiritual-rational and moral principle.
565. We shall close what has been said with some description of the rational and moral man who 'is merely natural, who, regarded in himself, is a sensual man, and who becomes.corporeal or carnal : this description will be but a sketch, digested under particular heads. The sensual principle is the last and lowest sphere of the life of the human mind, adhering to, and cohering with the five bodily
He is called a sensual man, whose judgment on all occasions is determined by the senses of the body, who believes only what he can see with his eyes, and touch with his hands, allowing such things to be something real, and rejecting all others. The interiors of his mind, which see by the light of heaven, are closed, so that he hath no discernment of any truth relating to heaven or the church. Such a person thinks in extremes, that is, his thought is confined to the last and lowest sphere of things; for he doth not think interiorly from any spiritual light, but rests in gross natural light only: hence it is that he is inwardly opposed to the things of heaven and the church, although he can outwardly speak in their favour, and that with a degree of zeal proportioned to the hope of obtaining authority and opulence by their means. Men of learning and erudition, who have confirmed themselves deeply in falses, especially those who have confirmed themselves against the truths of the Word, are more sensual than the rest of mankind. Sensual men reason with shrewdness and dexterity, because their thoughts are so near their speech as to be almost in it, being, as it were, in their lips; and because they make all intelligence to consist in speaking merely from the memory: they are also expert in confirming falses, and after confirmation believe them to be true; and yet their reasonings and confirmations are grounded in the fallacies of the senses, by which the vulgar are ensnared and persuaded. Sensual men are cunning and malicious above all others. The covetous, the adulterous, and the deceitful, are particularly sensual, though they may appear men of talent in the eyes of the world. The interiors of their minds are foul and filthy, in consequence of their communication with the hells; and in the Word they are said to be dead. All who inhabit the hells are sensual, and the more so as they are more deeply immersed : the sphere of infernal spirits conjoins itself with the sensual principle of man in the back; and in the light of heaven the hinder part of their heads appear hollow. They who reasoned merely from sensual things, were by the ancients called serpents of the tree of knowledge. Sensual things ought to possess the last place, and not the first, and with every wise and intelligent man it is so, and they are kept in subjection to interior things; whereas with an unwise man they have the first place, and bear rule. Where sensual things are in the lowest place, a passage is opened by them to the understanding, and truths are eliminated by the mode of extraction. Such sensual things border most closely on the world; they admit whatsoever flows from the world, and as it were sift it. Man by means of sensual things communicates with the world, and by means of rational things with heaven. Sensual things form a basis which is subservient to the interiors of the mind, some sensual things being subservient to the intellectual part, and some to the voluntary part. Where the thought is not elevated above sensual things, man attains but to small degrees of wisdom; but where it is, he enters into a clearer light (lumen), and at length into heavenly light (lu.); and then he has perception of those things which flow from heaven. Natural science is the ultimate of the understanding, and sensual delight the ultimate of the will.
566. Man, as to his natural principle, is like a beast, and acquires by a natural life the image of a beast; hence natural men in the spiritual world appear surrounded by beasts of all kinds, which are correspondences. For the natural principle of man, considered in itself, is a mere animal, but in consequence of a spiritual principle being super-added to it, its possessor hath a capacity of becoming a man, and although he use not the faculty for the purposes intended by it, still he can counterfeit the man, when yet he is but a talking beast; for he talks from a natural-rational principle, but thinks from spiritual infatuation ; he acts from a natural-moral principle, but loves from a spiritual principle similar to the lust of a satyr; thus his actions, in the eye of the spiritual-rational man, differ but little from the dancing of a person bit by a ta
rantula, or labouring under the disease called St. Vitus's dance. Who is not aware that a hypocrite can talk about God, a thief about honesty, an adulterer about chastity, &c. ? But unless man had the power of shutting and opening the door between his thoughts and words, and between his intentions and actions, according to the direction of prudence or cunning, as the door-keeper, he would rush more furiously than any wild beast to the perpetration of every wicked and barbarous outrage: that door however is opened in every person after death, when his true nature and quality appears; but still the wicked are kept under restraint by punishment and imprisonment in hell. Wherefore, kind reader, look into thyself, and search out one or other of the evils that are in thee, and remove it from a principle of religion ; for if thou remove them with any other view or purpose, thou wilt only succeed so far as to conceal them from the world.
567. To the above I shall subjoin the following MemoRABLE RELATIONS.
First. I was once seized suddenly with a disease that seemed to threaten my life : my whole head was oppressed with pain : a pestilential smoke was let in upon me from the great city called Sodom and Egypt, Rev. xi. 8: half dead with intolerable agonies, I expected every moment to be my last. Thus I lay in my bed three days and a half. My spirit was reduced to this state, and in consequence of it my body. Then I heard about me the voices of persons saying, “Lo! he who preached repentance for the remission of sins, and exhorted us to look to the man Christ only, lies dead in the streets of our city.” And they asked several of the clergy, whether he was worthy of burial; who answered, “No, let him lie to be looked at.” And they passed to and fro, and mocked. All this befel me, of a truth, when I wrote the explication of the eleventh chapter of the Revelation. Then were heard many shocking
speeches of scoffers, who said, “How can repentance be performed without faith? And how can the man Christ be adored as God? Since we are saved of free grace without any merit of our own, what need have we for any thing else but this faith, that God the Father sent the Son to take away the curse of the law, to impute His merit to us, and so to justify us in Ilis sight, and absolve us from our sins by the declaration of a priest, and then give the Holy Ghost to operate all good in us? Are not these doctrines agreeable to Scripture, and to reason also ?” All this the crowd who stood by agreed to and applauded. I heard what passed without the power of replying, being almost dead. But after three days and a half my spirit recovered : and being in the spirit, I left the street and went into the city, and said again, “Do the work of repentance, and believe in Christ, and your sins will be remitted, and ye will be saved, but otherwise ye will perish. Did not the Lord Himself preach repentance for the remission of sins, and that men should believe in Him? Did He not enjoin his disciples to preach the same Is not a full and fatal security of life the sure consequence of your faith ?” But they replied, 16 What idle talk! Hath not the Son made satisfaction ? And doth not the Father impute it to us, and justify us who have believed in it? Thus are we led by the spirit of grace; how then can sin have place in us, and what power hath death to hurt us? Dost thou comprehend this Gospel, thou preacher of sin and repentance?” At that instant a voice was heard from heaven, saying, “ What is the faith of an impenitent man, but a dead faith? The end is come, the end is come upon you that are secure, unblameable in your own eyes, justified in your own faith, ye satans.” And suddenly a gulph was opened in the midst of the city, which spread itself far and wide, and the houses fell one after another, and were swallowed up: and presently water began to bubble up from the wide whirlpool, and overflowed the waste.