“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 1

    Listen:

The Education of Children

Genesis 41:49: And Joseph piled up grain as the sand of the sea, multiplying it exceedingly, until he stopped numbering, for it had no number.

States of good and truth stored up in childhood

Genesis 41:35-36. And let them bring together all the food of those good years that come, and pile up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them guard it. And the food shall be for a deposit for the land for the seven years of famine that shall be in the land of Egypt; and the land shall not be cut off in the famine.

AC 5342. That truths joined to good are stored up in the interiors of the natural mind, and there they are preserved for use in later life, especially for use in temptations during man’s regeneration, is a secret known to few at this day; and therefore something must be said about this. For by the “seven years of abundance of produce” are signified the truths first multiplied, and by the grain being “put in the cities” and “in the midst” is signified that these truths joined to good are stored up in man’s interiors. And by the “seven years of famine,” and by their being sustained at that time from the gatherings, is signified a state of regeneration through truths joined to good, stored up in the interiors.

AC 5342:2. The secret is this. From earliest infancy even to the first of childhood, man is being introduced by the Lord into heaven, and indeed among celestial angels, by whom he is kept in a state of innocence, a state in which (as is known) infants are up to the first of childhood.

When the age of childhood begins, the child gradually puts off the state of innocence, though he is still kept in a state of charity by means of the affection of mutual charity toward those like himself. This state with many continues up to youth, and meanwhile he is among spiritual angels.

Then, because he begins to think from himself and to act accordingly, he can no longer be kept in charity as before. For he then calls forth inherited evils, by which he suffers himself to be led. When this state comes, the goods of charity and innocence that he had previously received are banished according to the degree in which he thinks evils and confirms them by act. And yet they are not banished, but are withdrawn by the Lord toward the interiors and there stored up.

AC 561. But what are remnants? They are not only the goods and truths that a man has learned from the Lord’s Word from infancy, and has thus impressed on his memory, but they are also all the states derived from them, such as states of innocence from infancy; states of love toward parents, brothers, teachers, friends; states of charity toward the neighbor, and also of pity for the poor and needy; in a word, all states of good and truth.

These states together with the goods and truths impressed on the memory, are called remnants, which are preserved in man by the Lord and are stored up, entirely without his knowledge, in his internal man, and are completely separated from the things that are proper to man, that is, from evils and falsities. All these states are so preserved in man by the Lord that not the least of them is lost, as I have been given to know from the fact that every state of a man, from his infancy to extreme old age, not only remains in the other life, but also returns. In fact, his states return exactly as they were while he lived in this world. Not only do the goods and truths of memory thus remain and return, but also all states of innocence and charity. And when states of evil and falsity recur—for each and all of these, even the smallest, also remain and return—then these states are tempered by the Lord by means of the good states.

Questions and Comments
  1. What are some “truths joined to good” that you hope the Lord will store up, or has stored up, with the children in your care, or with the children in the congregation, and with yourself?
  2. What things can we do or be careful not to do to preserve a state of innocence as long as possible? For example, should we limit or eliminate time watching TV or other screen-time? Till what age?
  3. Is there a danger of trying to appeal to innocent states when it may appear that those states have now been withdrawn and stored away, and inherited evils are being called forth?
  4. How do we appeal to states of mutual charity toward peers and on the other hand steer children away from bullying, etc.?
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