REMAINS >> Goods joined to Truths stored up within man by the Lord

P1728_500_606 To put for you remains in the land. That this signifies the midst and inmost of the church, is evident from the signification of "remains," as being goods joined to truths  stored up within man by the Lord (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 1050, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5342), here in the midst and inmost of the church. It is said "the midst and inmost," because what is inmost with man does occupy the midst in the natural where inmost and interior things are together. In general, those things which are inmost in those which follow one another in succession, the same are also in the midst or center in those which, from these, are simultaneous, as is the case in the natural; thus do inmost things arrange themselves in the exterior ones. "To put for you remains in the land" implies that the inmost of the church must be with the sons of Jacob; not that they would be in the inmost, but that the representative of the church in all its form might be instituted with them, and that the Word might be there. These things are signified by the "remains" relatively to the church, abstractedly from the nation.

[2] "Remains," and also "residue," are occasionally mentioned in the Word, but by both these expressions there have been understood merely the remains and residue of a people or a nation according to the letter; while it has been heretofore quite unknown that in the spiritual sense they signify the goods and truths stored up in the interior man by the Lord; as in the following passages. In Isaiah:

In that day shall the shoot of Jehovah be for honor and for glory, and the fruit of the earth for magnificence and adornment to them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass that he that remaineth in Zion, and he that is left [residuus] in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, everyone that is written unto life in Jerusalem (Isa. 4:2, 3);

"they that remained in Zion, and they that were left in Jerusalem" were in no wise made holy nor more than others written unto life; whence it is clear that by "those who remained and who were left" are meant the things that are holy and that are written unto life. These are goods conjoined with truths and stored up in the interior man by the Lord.

[3] In the same:

In that day the remains of Israel, and they that are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more lean on their smiter, but shall lean on Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remains shall return, the remains of Jacob, unto the mighty God (Isa. 10:20, 21);

that the "remains" are not the remains of any people or nation may be seen from the fact that in the Word, especially the prophetic Word, by "Israel" was not meant Israel, nor by "Jacob" Jacob, but by both the church and what is of the church. And this being the case, by the "remains" are not meant the remains of Israel and Jacob, but the truths and goods which belong to the church. Yea, neither do the "remains of a people," and the "residue of a nation" (when it is so said), signify the remains of any people or the residue of any nation, because by "people" in the internal sense are signified truths (n. 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581), and by "nation" goods (n. 1259, 1260, 1416). That it has been unknown, and appears strange, that by "remains" are signified truths and goods, is because the literal sense, especially where it is historical, withdraws and forcibly withholds from thinking things like these.

[4] In the same:

Then there shall be a path for the remains of the people, which shall be left [residuae] from Asshur; as there was for Israel through the sea, when he came up out of the land of Egypt (Isa. 11:16);

where the meaning is similar; "they that are left from Asshur" being those who have not been destroyed through perverse reasonings (that "Asshur" is such reasonings, see n. 1186).


In that day shall Jehovah Zebaoth be for a crown of ornament, and for a diadem of comeliness, to the remains of His people (Isa. 28:5).


Moreover the escape of the house of Judah which is left [residua], shall again take root downward, and yield fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth remains, and out of Mount Zion they that escape (Isa. 36:31, 32).


Butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left [residuus] in the midst of the land (Isa. 7:22).

In Jeremiah:

I will gather together the remains of My flock out of all the lands whither I have scattered them, and I will bring them back to their fold, that they may bring forth and be multiplied (Jer. 23:3).


The people of those left [residuorum] by the sword found grace in the wilderness in going to give rest to him, to Israel (Jer. 31:2);

"the people of those left by the sword in the wilderness" were they who were called "infants," who the rest being dead, were brought into the land of Canaan. These "infants" were the residue, and by them were signified the goods of innocence, and by their introduction into the land of Canaan was represented admission into the Lord's kingdom.

[5] In Ezekiel:

I will make a residue, when ye shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered in the earth. Then they that escape of you shall remember Me among the nations where they shall be captives (Ezek. 6:8, 9).

The reason why the goods and truths stored up by the Lord in man's interiors were represented by the "residue and the remains among the nations whither they were scattered and where they were made captives," is that man is continually among evils and falsities, and is held in captivity by them. Evils and falsities are what are signified by the "nations." The external man, when separated from the internal, is altogether in these, and therefore unless the Lord were to gather up the goods and truths which as occasion offers are insinuated into a man during the progress of life, the man could not possibly be saved, for without remains there is salvation for none.

[6] In Joel:

It shall come to pass that everyone who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall escape; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the residue whom Jehovah doth call (Joel 2:32).

In Micah:

There shall be remains of Jacob among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forest (Mic. 5:8).
In Zephaniah:

The remains of Israel shall not do perversity, nor speak a lie; neither shall a tongue of deceit be found in their mouth: they shall feed and be at rest, none making afraid (Zeph. 3:13);

in this passage are described remains in respect to their quality, and it is known that this quality never belonged to the people called "Israel." From this also it is manifest that by "remains" are meant other things; and that these are goods and truths is clear, because these are what do no perversity, nor speak a lie, neither is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth.

[7] In Zechariah:

The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof; which shall be marvelous in the eyes of the remains of My people: now, not as in former days, am I to the remains of this people, for it is a seed of peace; the vine will yield its fruit, and the earth will yield its increase, and the heavens will yield their dew; and I will make the remains of this people heirs of all these things (Zech. 8:5, 6, 11, 12);

the remains are here called a "seed of peace," but it is they who are in truths of good whose fruitfulness is described by "the vine shall yield its fruit, the earth its increase, and the heavens their dew."

[8] The remains which are meant in the spiritual sense, are closed up by evils of life and by persuasions of falsity, so as no longer to appear; and by the denial of truth which had previously been acknowledged (both of these acts being from affection), they are consumed, for this is the commingling of truth and falsity which is called profanation. Of these things we read in the Word, in Isaiah:

He shall remove man, and the deserts shall be multiplied in the midst of the land: scarcely any longer is there in it a tenth part, and yet it shall be for exterminating (Isa. 6:12, 13);

that "ten" denotes remains, see n. 276, 1906, 2284. Again:

I will kill thy root, and he shall kill them that are left of thee (Isa. 14:30);

speaking of the Philistines, who are those in the mere knowledge of knowledges, and not in life (n. 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413); those who are left are called a "root," because from them, as from a root, grow forth goods and truths, which make man to be man. Wherefore "he shall remove man" (as just above in Isaiah) denotes to destroy remains.

[9] In Jeremiah:

The young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; and there shall be no remains unto them (Jer. 11:22, 23);
speaking of the men of Anathoth. Again:

I will take the remains of Judah, who have set their faces to come into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, that they be all consumed; and there shall not be an escaper, or one left to the remains of Judah, who have come to dwell in the land of Egypt (Jer. 44:12, 14, 28);
the reason why they who were of Judah should not sojourn in Egypt, nor dwell there, and that this was so severely forbidden them, was that the tribe of Judah represented the Lord's celestial church, and the celestial are utterly unwilling to know about the memory-knowledges which are signified by "Egypt;" for they know all things from the celestial good in which they are, which good would perish if they were to betake themselves to memory-knowledges. Nay, they who are of the Lord's celestial kingdom, being in celestial good (and celestial truth being charity, while spiritual truth is faith), are not willing even to mention faith, lest they should "go down" from good and "look backward" (see n. 202, 337, 2715, 3246, 4448). This also is what is meant by the words:
He that is upon the house, let him not go down to take anything out of the house; and he that is in the field, let him not return back to take his garments (Matt. 24:17, 18);

see just above (n. 5895); and also by these words:

Remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32);

who looked back and became a pillar of salt. (In regard to looking and returning back, see n. 2454, 3652.)

[10] By the nations which were so accursed that there was not even any residue left, was represented that iniquity was so consummated with them that nothing of good and truth survived, thus that there were no remains; as in Moses:

They smote Og the king of Bashan, and all his sons, and all his people, until they left no residue (Num. 21:35; Deut. 3:3).


They took all the cities of Sihon, and gave to the curse every city of man, and the women, and the little child; they left no residue (Deut. 2:34).
So in other passages where it is written that they were "given to the curse."

[11] In regard to remains, or the goods and truths stored up in man's interiors by the Lord, the case is this. When a man is in good and truth from affection, thus from freedom, then good and truth are implanted. And when this takes place, the angels from heaven approach nearer and conjoin themselves with the man. It is this conjunction which causes the goods with truths to come forth in the man's interiors. But when a man is in things external, as when he is in worldly and bodily things, then the angels are removed, and when they are removed, then nothing at all of these goods and truths appears. Nevertheless as conjunction has once been effected, the man is in the capacity for conjunction with the angels, thus with the good and truth appertaining to them; but this conjunction does not take place oftener and further than is well-pleasing to the Lord, who disposes these things according to every use of the man's life. [AC 5897]

And he gave him tithes of all. That this signifies remains derived from victory, is evident from the signification of "tithes" as being remains (spoken of before, n. 576). But what remains are may be seen above (n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 661, 1050), namely, that they are all the states of love and charity, and consequently all the states of innocence and peace, with which a man is gifted. These states are given to man from infancy, but less by degrees as the man advances into adult age. But when a man is being regenerated, he then receives new remains also, besides the former, thus new life. For it is from remains, or by remains, that a man is a man; for without the state of love and charity, and without the state of innocence-which states insinuate themselves into the other states of his life-a man is not a man, but is worse than any wild beast. The remains acquired in the combats of temptations are those which are here meant. These remains are what are signified by the tithes given to Melchizedek by Abram; and they are all the celestial things of love which the Lord procured to Himself by the continual combats and victories by which He was continually being united to His Divine Essence, until His Human Essence in like manner became Love, or the Being of life, that is, Jehovah. [AC 1738]

Peradventure ten shall be found there. That this signifies if there should still be remains, is evident from the signification of the number "ten," as being remains (explained in volume 1, n. 576, 1738). What remains are has been stated and shown before in various places (as in n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661, 1050, 1738, 1906), namely, that they are all the good and all the truth with man which lie stored up in his memories and in his life.

[2] It is well known that there is nothing good and nothing true, except from the Lord; and also that what is good and true is continually inflowing from the Lord into man, but that it is received in various ways, and in fact in accordance with the life of evil, and in accordance with the principles of falsity in which the man has confirmed himself. These are what either quench, or stifle, or pervert the goods and truths that are continually flowing in from the Lord. Lest therefore goods should be commingled with evils, and truths with falsities (for if they were commingled the man would perish eternally), the Lord separates them, and stores up in his interior man the goods and truths which the man receives; whence He will never permit them to come forth so long as the man is in evil and falsity, but only at such a time as he is in a holy state, or in some anxiety, sickness, or other trouble. These things which the Lord has thus stored up with man are what are called "remains," of which very much mention is made in the Word; but it has not yet been known to anyone that this is what they signify.

[3] According to the quality and quantity of the remains-that is, of the good and truth with a man-does he enjoy bliss and happiness in the other life; for, as has been said, these remains are stored up in his interior man, and they are opened at the time when the man has left corporeal and worldly things behind. The Lord alone knows the quality and extent of the remains in a man; the man himself cannot possibly know this, for at the present day man is of such a character that he is able to counterfeit what is good, while within there is nothing but evil; and a man may also appear to be evil and yet have good within. On this account no man is ever allowed to judge concerning the quality of the spiritual life of another, for the Lord alone, as before said, knows this; but everyone may judge of another in regard to the quality of his moral and civil life, for this concerns society.

[4] It is very common for those who have taken up an opinion respecting any truth of faith, to judge of others that they cannot be saved, unless they believe as they do-a judgment which the Lord has forbidden (Matt. 7:1-2). On the other hand, I have learned from much experience that men of every religion are saved, provided that by a life of charity they have received remains of good and of apparent truth. This is what is meant by its being said that if ten were found, they should not be destroyed for the ten's sake; by which is signified that they would be saved if there were remains.

[5] The life of charity consists in thinking kindly of another, and in wishing him well; and in perceiving joy in oneself from the fact that others also are saved. But those have not the life of charity who desire that none should be saved except those who believe as they do; and especially is this the case with those who are indignant that it is otherwise. This may be seen from the mere fact that more from the Gentiles are saved than from Christians; for those Gentiles who have thought kindly of their neighbor and have wished well to him, receive the truths of faith in the other life better than those who are called Christians, and acknowledge the Lord more than Christians do. For nothing is more delightful and blessed to the angels than to instruct those who come from the earth into the other life. [AC 2284]

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)


Swedenborg and the Doctrine of Remains

by Frank Sewall

WE have traced in the theories and methods of education, from that of the youthful monk and knight to that of the citizen, a progress from external to internal means, from imparting from without to developing from within.

The old idea was to ignore the man within in the effort to put upon him an artificial or second nature arbitrarily, and even by discipline and force.

The other, the modern, idea is that of leading forth (e-ducere) those principles of the angel-man concealed in every human being born into the world, into conscious activity and permanent individual character. The means by which this is accomplished become plainly intelligible by the psychological law: the affections of good flowing in from the Divine into the human soul, seek truths as the forms of their own activity; that is, as forms of use , since the Divine love or affection is itself in ultimates, the affection of use.

But there still remains to be told wherein lies the mightiest of all the forces of the kindergarten, and the weightiest of all reasons for its adoption as a vital feature in our educational system, whether in church or day-school. This is its essentially religious mission.

By the religious mission of the kindergarten, I do not mean the teaching of formal doctrine, religious or otherwise, but rather as the nourishing of those universal religious impressions and affections which lie at the base of all unifying knowledge and so of true human society.

This is truly the mother's duty; but it comes, in the disordered state of our civilization, to repair the loss, which so many children and so many homes must suffer, of the true function of motherhood, whether this privation comes through the stress of poverty that drives mothers from their homes to work outside, or from the more cruel stress of worldliness that, like thorns in the field, kills out the instincts and the

conscience of mothers, or, finally, from such mistaken notions of woman's vocation as would leave little children orphans and involuntary martyrs to the cause of some so-called higher culture or larger public sphere.

The religious function of the kindergarten is explained in the doctrine of “remains," which is, in brief, as follows: —

1 . Man is not life, but is a recipient of life; and all life is according to reception,

2. Man's life is not imparted once for all at the single instant of conception or birth, but is being constantly received by him from the One Infinite Source.

3. The forms into which this life is received are mental as well as corporeal.

4. The forms earliest receptive of the inflowing life control and modify all subsequent reception.

5. The forms earliest receptive of life, while characterized by the least hereditary selfhood, afford the least opposition to the affections of the good and the true — flowing in from the Divine.

6. The prolonged infancy and adolescence of the human child afford a period of elasticity, in the receptive forms, which may be availed of in determining the fixed forms and so the fixed character of the adult.

All life is from God, the only Good and Wise; but according to the forms into which life flows and the manner in which it is exercised or put forth into use in man's self-activity, does it become good or bad, happy or unhappy, heavenly or infernal, in the individual, and through him in others. The forming of these inmost vessels for the reception of life begins even before birth, in what is called the heredity or inherited dispositions of the child. These are both good and evil. After birth and in the early years of infancy, especially during the first seven years — which are the limits of the kindergarten age — the vessels are constantly forming for the reception and moulding of the inflowing life. Forms of truth and of use and of beauty will offer themselves to the good heavenly affections of life from the Lord, and while unobstructed by false reasonings or by confirmed evil disposition, these will take permanent shape in the spiritual nature of the growing child. From the earliest age the angel-man will be growing into life and activity, and will be preparing to become truly a heavenly force, or, as Swedenborg terms it, "a charity in form,'' in the society of which he is to become a part in the world.

The importance of this earliest stage of education lies in the nearness of heaven and the unobstructed flow of angelic influences into the as yet innocent and unresisting soul. Here is the opportunity for the gardener or "the sower" to sow now, early in the morning, the good seed in the field; for the days will soon enough come — "after the wheat is sprung up then will appear the tares also" — when all the instincts of inherited evil from an untold line of ancestors will also awake and present their forms of the false, the selfish, the cruel, the deformed and vile, to be quickened by exercise into evil delight. With this accumulation of inherited evil instincts or predispositions, what would man become if left to himself, or, as the Buddhist would say, to Karma, the merciless law according to which man is the doomed creature of the past and can only effect his escape from the fetters of inherited character through the path of suffering, annihilation, and death? To oppose this strong tendency of inherited evil into which every one is born, the divine Creator, both before and after the child's birth, stores up affections of good and of truth — the elements of the heavenly or truly human life, and that which we may call the angel-child born within. These stores of divine affection thus laid up in the new-born human mind are to remain through life; that is, after the mature life is developed and all the evil dispositions and their alluring falsities come into play. This heavenly nature stored up in infancy by the Creator is called therefore the “remains" in man of a divine likeness ever being restored to each new-born soul, which shall be present to overcome the inherited evil nature, so far as man in his free will and rationality, that is, from his individual self-activity, shall in later life summon these forces into action.

These “remains " are the corn laid up by Joseph in Egypt to meet the years of famine which are coming to every growing child in the maturer life. They consist, strictly speaking, of those affections for the good which belong to the love, or the divine life itself, which flows into the inmost soul of every man; but they are preserved in consciousness and in the memory in the degree that they take on some forms of truth, of beauty, and use, in the self-activity of the child’ s mind. It is by appropriation that these affections, pure from their divine source, become a part of the child's moral life; and appropriation is by the child's self-activity in observation, exercise, use, and the accompanying delight.

These forms of truth, beauty, and use by which the pure affections are to enter into the child's self-activity, are therefore of the highest necessity to every human being. They are afforded to all children, even to those born amid the most wretched surroundings, by the divine provisions for the child in nature itself, — in the mother's love and nourishment; in the fondling and petting and all the tender communications by which the storge, or parental love, finds its high expression; but especially are they fostered and preserved through the near presence and constant guardianship of celestial angels, who during these innocent years of undeveloped evil can be very close to little children (See Matthew xviii. 10 : “In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father in Heaven.” ). But besides this common heritage of all children, secured by nature itself and protected by heaven, much may be done by human instrumentality, especially in supplying the normal mother-nurture where this is defective or wholly wanting. These ''remains,'' or stores of angelic life, in the little child may be increased, and to an indefinite extent, by the provisions made for the child's education; and it is here that the great and solemn function of the kindergarten comes in. Here its true character and mission appears as the guardian angel of society.

This guardian angel, I repeat, should be and is, primarily, the mother of the child, herself, so far as she is a true mother, and so far as she can perform all her motherly duties; but there are many things that can be done by art, by a careful kindergarten method of "mother-play" and “mother- songs," and yet that can be enjoyed by children in comparatively few homes, even where the mothers are most devoted. The society of other children is needed. Little mutual acts of service and of kindness can be done in a company of children which the solitary child would miss. The senses of the child can be appealed to and exercised in a healthy and orderly course of development about which many loving mothers are wholly ignorant, not to speak of the violation often done to nature's laws through mistaken indulgence or misplaced attention. In a word, a love for the good, the true, and the beautiful — all united in a love of doing good and of being kind and giving delight to others because God is doing this always for us — can be awakened by the methods of the kindergarten in all children, and so the needs which all children alike feel can be supplied with a certainty impossible where all is left to the accident of family circumstances in the several homes.

Meanwhile, the minds of the children are developing, freely and happily, because all the forms given to them — the “gifts," so called, and plays and songs — all are exercises of their affections and not of their memory alone. All appeal to affection in them, and the affections called forth by these forms, are all good, wholesome, and human.

One need only think, by way of contrast, of the affections that are stimulated and fostered by the appeals from bad, unsightly, and vicious surroundings, the spheres of worldly selfishness, greed, pride, and deceit, and of the character that will be formed accordingly in the child which is left mainly to these during the critical formative years, and the importance of the kindergarten as a means of social reform becomes apparent.

Some of Swedenborg's definitions of “remains" are as follows: —

By “remains," generally speaking, is to be understood whatever is of the Lord in man. They are knowledges of truth and good, upon which the mercy of the Lord operates. They are all that man possesses of innocence, of charity, of mercy, and of the truths of faith, with which he has been imbued from his infancy. They are affections of good and truth in the internal man by which the Divine flows in and operates against lusts and falsities in the external man; and hence arise temptations.

The first “remains" are states of innocence and the good of love given in infancy; the second state is that of introduction by knowledges. (AC 8,19,661,1050,1548,2290)

Finally, it should be understood that “remains " are not the child's regeneration. The kindergarten is no system of religious forcing or of premature spiritual culture. It is the very reverse of this. It recognizes

the true conversion or spiritual change in man's life as that which must come from his own rational and free action; but in order that man may possess the ability to choose, he must have that to choose from, or choose between. Herein is the great distinction between the Christian doctrine of freedom and the Hindu Karma, Life is more than the mere punishment of past sins by the inevitable law of reaction. Man is always divinely provided anew with a store of good and of truth to choose from whenever he wills; and the laying up of this store, this outfit for the future exercise of freedom, and so for the future regeneration in freedom, is provided in infancy, because then is the child's mind as yet unoccupied by voluntary and confirmed evil.

Hence we are instructed: —

By '' remains " is meant all that man receives from the Lord before regeneration in order to prepare him; hence all by which he is regenerated. (AC 2636.)

It is thus that Swedenborg explains the true relation of the state of infancy to the states of mature life: it is the state of a divine outfitting or equipment of man for the future warfare of the church militant and the future citizenship in the kingdom of heaven. He reveals herein the real value of the kindergarten as an instrumentality providentially established for the implanting and the increase of the stores of “remains " on which man may draw in time of need.

At the very time that a distracting and multifold life of the world is depriving so many children of the motherly training a more normal state of society would afford them, and that the secularizing of the public schools has left children largely without any religious culture through those channels, the kindergarten is coming in to supply the great need of the hour — to preserve with a mother's tenderness and care that '' heaven that lies about us in our infancy," and to lay the principles of a heavenly manhood at the basis of all our civil and moral culture.

Author: Frank Sewall from The Angel of the State (1896)

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