“Peace has in it confidence in the Lord: that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.” - Arcana Caelestia §8455
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 2

    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.

Parents’ part in how remnants are stored up

I Samuel 2:18-19. But Samuel ministered before Jehovah, a lad girt with a linen ephod. And his mother made for him a little mantle, and brought it up to him from year to year….

CL 396. That [innocence] also inflows into the souls of parents, and conjoins itself with the same sphere with the infants, and that it is insinuated especially by touch. The Lord’s innocence inflows into the angels of the third heaven, where all are in the innocence of wisdom, and passes through the lower heavens, but only through the innocent [states] of the angels there, and so into infants, directly and indirectly. Infants are scarcely other than as sculptured forms, yet still they are receptive of life from the Lord through the heavens.

But unless the parents also received that influx in their souls and in the inmosts of their minds, they would be affected in vain by the innocence of infants….

CL 396:2. That this conjunction takes place by means of the bodily senses, but especially through the touch, with parents, experience may teach. As for example, that the sight is inmostly charmed by observing them, the hearing by their speech, the smell by their fragrance.

That the communication and thence the joining of innocent [states] takes place especially through touch is manifestly perceived from the pleasantness of carrying them in the arms, from embracing and kissing them, above all with mothers, who are delighted with their pressing the mouth and face against their bosoms, and then at the same time by the touch of their palms there, and in general from the sucking of the breasts and lactation, and also from stroking their naked body, and from the unwearied labor of swaddling and cleansing them upon their knees…. From this it is clear that the innocence of parents and the innocence of infants meet each other through touch, especially of the hands, and so conjoin themselves as if by kisses.

AC 3690:2. All the stories of the Word are truths rather remote from essential Divine teachings, but still they are of service to little children and older children, in order that by them they may be, in stages, introduced into the interior teachings of truth and good, and at last to Divine things themselves; for within these [stories], in their inmost, is the Divine. While children are reading them and are affected by them from innocence, the angels who are with them are in a happy celestial state, being affected from the Lord with the internal sense, consequently with those things which the historical facts represent and signify. And it is the celestial happiness of the angels that flows in and causes the delight with the children. In order that this first state may exist, that is, the first state of infancy and childhood of those to be regenerated, the stories of the Word were given, and were so written that all things in them, both in general and in particular, contain within them things Divine.

AC 2280:2. Goods of three kinds are signified by remnants, namely, the goods of infancy, the goods of ignorance, and the goods of intelligence. The goods of infancy are those which are insinuated into man from his very birth up to the age in which he is beginning to be instructed and to know something. The goods of ignorance are what are insinuated when he is being instructed and is beginning to know something. The goods of intelligence are what are insinuated when he is able to reflect upon what is good and what is true. The good of infancy exists from the man’s infancy up to the tenth year of his age; the good of ignorance, from this age up to his twentieth year. From this year the man begins to become rational, and to have the faculty of reflecting upon good and truth, and to procure for himself the good of intelligence.

Questions and Comments
  1. Samuel’s mother made him a little mantle and brought it up to him year by year. As clothing corresponds to truths, what might this story represent?
  2. Caring for infants provides an opportunity for the Lord to renew states of innocence with parents and others around them. What would society be like without infants?
  3. Science has shown that infants who are not held and touched do not thrive. Would you guess that this is primarily due to spiritual or physical causes, or both? How does a lack of being touched and held affect adults?
  4. What benefits accrue from family worship, that is, reading the Word and praying with your children, and as they grow up, encouraging them (and yourself) to read the Word?
  5. How should AC 2280:2 affect the ways we work with children at home and at school up to age 10 and then from 10 to 20? In what state are freshmen and sophomores at college?
  6. AC 2280:5 (not quoted) says that the goods of intelligence are the best. Why might that be? What does it tell us about young and later adulthood?
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