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True Christian Religion, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771], tr. by John C. Ager [1906] at

True Christian Religion


When all had assembled, the priest ascended the pulpit and preached a sermon full of the spirit of wisdom. It was a sermon about the holiness of the Sacred Scripture, and about the conjunction of the Lord thereby with both the spiritual world and the natural world. In the state of enlightenment in which he was, he fully proved that that Holy Book was dictated by the Lord Jehovah, and that therefore He is in it, even so that He is the wisdom in it; but the wisdom which is Himself in the Word lies concealed under the sense of the letter, and is disclosed to those only who are both in the truths of doctrine and in goods of life; and who are thus in the Lord and the Lord in them. To the sermon he added an earnest prayer, and descended from the pulpit. As the audience was leaving, the angel asked the priest to speak some words of peace to his ten companions; so he went to them, and they talked together for half an hour. He spoke of the Divine trinity as being in Jesus Christ in whom dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity bodily, according to the saying of the Apostle Paul; and he afterward spoke of the union of charity and faith, but he said the union of charity and truth because faith is truth.


After expressing their thanks, they went home. And the angel said to them, "This is the third day since you came up to this heavenly society, and you were prepared by the Lord to remain here three days; so the time has come for us to part; you will therefore put off the clothes sent you by the prince, and put on your own." And as soon as they had put on their own clothes they were inspired with a desire to depart; so they departed and descended, the angel accompanying them all the way to the place of the assembly; and there they gave thanks to the Lord for having vouchsafed to bless them with knowledge and consequent intelligence respecting heavenly joys and eternal happiness.


CHAPTER 14 THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, THE COMING OF THE LORD, AND THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW CHURCH. I. THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE IS THE LAST TIME OF THE CHURCH OR ITS END. There have been several churches on this earth, and in the course of time they have all been consummated, and after their consummation new churches have arisen, and so on to the present time. The consummation of the church takes place when there is no Divine truth left except what has been falsified or set aside; and when there is no genuine truth no genuine good is possible, since every quality of good is formed by means of truths; for good is the essence of truth, and truth is the form of good, and without form there can be no quality. Good and truth can no more be separated than will and understanding, or what is the same thing, than love's affection and the thought therefrom. Consequently when truth is consummated in a church, good is also consummated there; and when this takes place, the church comes to an end, that is, is consummated.


The church is consummated by various means, especially by such things as cause falsity to appear to be truth; and when falsity appears to be truth, good that is essentially good, such as is called spiritual good, is no longer possible. The good that is then believed to be good is merely natural good, such as is brought forth by a moral life. The chief cause of the consummation of truth and of good along with it, is the two natural loves that are diametrically opposed to the two spiritual loves, and that are called love of self and love of the world. Love of self when it is predominant is the opposite of love to God, and love of the world when it is predominant is the opposite of love to the neighbor. Love of self is a wishing well to oneself alone, and not to any other except for the sake of self; and the same is true of love of the world; and these loves when they are fostered spread like gangrene through the body, gradually destroying every part of it. That such love has invaded the churches is manifest from Babylon and the way it is described (Gen. 11:1-9; Isa. 13; 14; 47; Jer. 50; Dan. 2:31-47; 3:1-7 seq.; 5; 6:8-28; 7:1-14; and Rev. 17 and 18 from beginning to end of both). Babylon has finally exalted itself to such a degree as not only to transfer the Lord's Divine power to itself, but also to strive with the utmost energy to grasp all the riches of the world. That like loves would break forth from many of the leaders of the churches outside the pale of Babylon, if their power were not restricted and thus curbed, may be deduced from certain signs and appearances not altogether without meaning. What then follows but that such a man will regard himself as God and the world as heaven, and will pervert all the truth of the church? For it is impossible for the merely natural man to recognize and acknowledge real truth, which is truth in itself, nor can such truth be given him by God, because it falls into what is inverse to it and becomes falsity. Besides these two loves there are still other causes of the consummation of truth and good, and consequently of the church; but those causes are secondary and subordinate to these two.


That the consummation of the age is the last time of the church, can be seen from those passages in the Word where it is spoken of, as in the following: A consummation and decision I have heard from Jehovah upon the whole land (Isa. 28:22). A consummation is determined, righteousness has overflowed, for the Lord Jehovah of Hosts is making a consummation and a decision in the whole land (Isa. 10:22, 23). The whole land shall be devoured in the fire of Jehovah's jealousy for He shall make a speedy consummation of all them that dwell in the land (Zeph. 1:18). In these passages "the land" signifies the church, because the land of Canaan is meant, where the church was. That "the land" signifies the church may be seen proven by many passages from the Word in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 285, 902). At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27). That these words were spoken by Daniel respecting the end of the present Christian church may be seen in Matt. 24:15: The whole earth shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation (Jer. 4:27). The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated (Gen. 15:16). Jehovah said, I will go down and see whether they have made a consummation according to the cry that is come unto Me (Gen. 18:21). This was said of Sodom. The last period of the present Christian church is also meant by the Lord by the consummation of the age in the following passages: The disciples asked Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3). In the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn. So shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:30, 39, 40). In the consummation of the age the angels shall go forth and separate the wicked from the midst of the righteous (Matt. 13:49). Jesus said to His disciples, lo, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20). It must be known that the meaning of "devastation," "desolation," and "decision" is similar to the meaning of "consummation;" but "desolation" signifies the consummation of truth, "devastation" the consummation of good, and "decision" the full consummation of both; also that "the fullness of time" in which the Lord came and is to come into the world means consummation.


The consummation of the age can be illustrated by various things in the natural world, for here each and all things on the earth grow old and decay, but by alternate changes which are called the circles of things. Times in general and in particular pass through these circles. In general, the year passes from spring to summer, through this to autumn, then ends in winter, and from this returns to spring; this is the circle of heat. In particular, the day passes from morning to noon, through this to evening, and ends in night, and from this returns again to morning; this is the circle of light. Again, every man runs through the circle of nature, beginning life in infancy, advancing therefrom to youth and manhood, from this to old age, and dies. So likewise every bird of the air and every beast of the earth. Also, every tree begins with a germ, goes on to its full stature, and gradually declines until it falls. The same is true of every bush and every shrub, and even of every leaf and flower, also of the soil itself, which in time becomes barren; and of all still water which gradually becomes foul. All these are alternative consummations, which are natural and temporal, and yet periodical; because when one has passed from its origin to its end, another like it arises; thus everything is born and dies and is born again, in order that creation may be continued. This is like what takes place in the church because man is a church and in general constitutes the church, and one generation follows another with a constant variation of disposition; and iniquity once enrooted, that is, an inclination to it, is transmitted to posterity, and is extirpated by regeneration only, which is wrought by the Lord alone.


II. THE PRESENT IS THE LAST TIME OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, WHICH WAS FORETOLD AND DESCRIBED BY THE LORD IN THE GOSPELS AND IN THE APOCALYPSE. It has been shown in the preceding article that the consummation of the age signifies the last time of the church, and this makes clear what is meant by "the consummation of the age" of which the Lord speaks in the Gospels (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). For it is written: As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples drew near unto Him privately, saying, What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3). Then the Lord began and foretold and described this consummation, what it was to be step by step, until His coming; and that He was then to come in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, and was to gather His elect (verses 30, 31), and other events which in no wise took place at the destruction of Jerusalem. These things the Lord there described in prophetic discourse, in which every single word has weight. What these particular things involve has been explained in the Arcana Celestia (n. 3353-3356, 3486-3489, 3650-3655, 3751-3757, 3897-3901, 4056-4060, 4229-4231, 4332-4335, 4422-4424).


That all these things which the Lord spoke about with His disciples were said of the last time of the Christian church, is very evident from the Apocalypse, where there are like predictions respecting the consummation of the age and the coming of the Lord, all of which are explained in detail in the Apocalypse Revealed, published in 1766. Because, then, what the Lord said in the presence of His disciples respecting the consummation of the age and His coming, coincides with what was afterward revealed by John in the Apocalypse respecting the same subjects, it is clearly evident that He meant no other consummation than that of the present Christian church. Moreover, there is a further prophecy in Daniel respecting the end of this church; therefore the Lord says: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, predicted by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth note it well (Matt. 24:15; Dan. 9:27). There are like things in the other prophets. That such an abomination of desolation exists today in the Christian church will be made still more clear in an Appendix, in which it will be seen that there is not a single genuine truth remaining in the church, and also that unless a new church shall be raised up in the place of the present one, "no flesh can be saved," according to the Lord's words in Matthew (24:22). That the Christian church, as it is today, is consummated and devastated to such an extent, those on the earth who have confirmed themselves in its falsity are unable to see, for the reason that the confirmation of falsity is the denial of truth; and this imposes a veil as it were upon the understanding, whereby it is protected from the entrance of anything that might pull up the ropes and stakes, by which its system, like a strong tent, has been built and shaped. To this may be added that the natural rational faculty is able to confirm whatever it pleases, thus falsity and truth equally; and when confirmed, they both appear in a similar light, and it is not known whether the light is illusive like that in a dream, or true like that of day. But the spiritual rational faculty, which those possess who look to the Lord, and from Him are in the love of truth, is wholly different.


For this reason every church made up of those who see by confirmations seems to itself to be the only church that is in the light, and all others which dissent from it appear to be in darkness. For those who see by confirmations are not unlike owls, which see light in the obscurity of night, and in the daytime see the sun and its rays as thick darkness. Such has been and such is every church that is in falsities, when it has become fixed in falsities by leaders who seem to themselves, to be lynx-eyed, and who have made for themselves a morning light out of their own intelligence and evening light out of the Word. Did not the Jewish church when it was wholly devastated (which it was when our Lord came into the world), loudly declare through its scribes and those skilled in the law, that because it had the Word it alone was in heavenly light, and yet they crucified the Messiah or the Christ who was the Word itself and the All in all things of it? What is the cry of that church which is meant by "Babylon" in the Prophets and in the Apocalypse, but that she is the queen, and mother of all churches, and that those which withdraw from her are spurious offspring that must be excommunicated? And this, even when she has thrust the Lord the Savior from the throne and altar and placed herself thereon. [2] Does not every church, even the most heretical, when once accepted, fill country and city with the cry that it alone is orthodox and ecumenical, and that it possesses the gospel which the angel flying in the midst of heaven announced (Apoc. 14:6)? And who does not hear the crowd echoing that it is so? Did not the whole Synod of Dort look upon predestination as a star coming down above their heads out of heaven, and did they not kiss that dogma as the Philistines kissed the image of Dagon in the temple of Ebenezer at Ashdod, and as the Greeks kissed the Palladium in the temple of Minerva? For they called that dogma the palladium of religion; and they did not know that a falling star is a meteor formed of illusive light, and when such light falls upon the brain it enables it to confirm every falsity (which is done by fallacies), until it is believed to be the true light, and is decreed to be a fixed star, and is finally sworn to be the star of stars. [3] Who speaks with fuller persuasion of the certitude of his delusion than the atheistic naturalist? Does he not laugh with the fullest assurance at the Divine things of God, the heavenly things of heaven, and the spiritual things of the church? Does not every lunatic believe his foolishness to be wisdom, and wisdom to be foolishness? Who by the sight of the eye can distinguish the illusive light of rotten wood from the light of the moon? Does not anyone who is averse to balsamic odors, as those who are affected with uterine diseases, repel those odors from the nostrils and choose ill-smelling odors in preference? And so on. All these things have been presented for the sake of illustration, to make clear that by natural light alone, or until truth from heaven beams forth in its own light, the fact that the church is consummated, that is, that it is in mere falsities, cannot be recognized. For falsity does not see truth, but truth sees falsity; and every man is such that he can see and comprehend truth when he hears it; but a man confirmed in falsities cannot so introduce truth into his understanding that it will remain, since it finds no place there; and if it happens to enter, the assembled horde of falsities casts it out as heterogeneous.


III. THIS LAST TIME OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS THE VERY NIGHT IN WHICH FORMER CHURCHES HAVE COME TO AN END. That there have been in general four churches on this earth since its creation, one after the other, can be seen from both the historic and the prophetic Word, especially in Daniel, where these four churches are pictured by the statue which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream (chap. 2), and afterward by the four beasts coming up out of the sea (chap. 7). The first, which should be called the Most Ancient church, existed before the flood; and its consummation or destruction is pictured by the flood. The second, which should be called the Ancient church, existed in Asia, and a part of it in Africa; it was consummated and destroyed by idolatries. The third church was the Israelitish, which began with the promulgation of the Decalogue upon Mount Sinai, was continued by means of the Word written by Moses and the prophets, and was consummated or brought to an end by the profanation of the Word; which profanation was complete at the time of the Lord's coming into the world; and in consequence they crucified Him who was the Word. The fourth is the Christian church, which was established by the Lord through the evangelists and apostles. Of this church there have been two epochs, one extending from the Lord's time to the Council of Nice, and the other from that Council to the present day; but in its progress it has been divided into three - the Greek, the Roman Catholic, and the Reformed. All these, however, are called Christian churches. Furthermore, within each of these general churches there have been a number of particular churches; and these, in spite of their secession, have retained the general name, as heresies in the Christian church.


That the last time of the Christian church was the very night in which the former churches came to an end, can be seen from the Lord's prediction respecting it in the Gospels and in Daniel; in the Gospels from the following: That they would see the abomination of desolation, and there would be great tribulation, such as had not been from the beginning of the world until then, nor ever would be; and except those days should be shortened no flesh would be saved; and finally the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matt. 24:15, 21, 22, 29). That time is also called night elsewhere in the Gospels, as in Luke: In that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other left (17:34). And in John: I must work the works of Him that sent Me, the night cometh when no man can work (9:4). [2] As at midnight all light departs, and the Lord is the true light (John 1:4-9; 8:12; 12:35, 36, 46), so when the Lord ascended to heaven He said to His disciples: Lo, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 27:20); and then it is that He departs from them to a new church. That this last time of the church is the very night in which the former churches have come to an end can be seen also from the following passages in Daniel: At last upon the bird of abomination shall be desolation and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (9:27). That this is a prediction respecting the end of the Christian church is clearly evident from the Lord's words in Matthew (24:15); as also from what is said in Daniel respecting the fourth kingdom, or the fourth church, represented by Nebuchadnezzar's statue: Whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of man; but they shall not cohere one with the other even as iron doth not mingle with clay (Dan. 2:43), "the seed of man" meaning the truth of the Word. [3] And again, from what is said respecting the fourth church represented by the fourth beast coming up out of the sea: I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible; it shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces (Dan. 7:7, 23). This means that all the truth of the church will be consummated, and then it will be night, because the truth of the church is light. Respecting this church there are many other like predictions in the Apocalypse, especially in the sixteenth chapter which treats of the vials full of the wrath of God poured out upon the earth, these vials signifying the falsities that would then inundate and destroy the church. So likewise in many places in the Prophets, as in the following: Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness and not light? even thick darkness and no brightness? (Amos 5:18, 20; Zeph. 1:15). Again: In that day Jehovah shall look down upon the land, and behold darkness, and the light is darkened in the ruins thereof (Isa. 5:30; 8:22), "the day of Jehovah" meaning the day of the Lord's coming.


That four churches have existed on this earth since the creation of the world is in accordance with Divine order, which requires that there be a beginning and then its end before a new beginning starts in. Therefore every day begins with morning, progresses, ends in night, and then begins anew; also every year begins with spring, progresses through summer to autumn, closes in winter, and then begins again; and in order that these changes may take place the sun rises in the east progresses therefrom through the south to the west, and finishes its course in the north, after which it rises again. It is the same with churches; the first, which was the Most Ancient, was like morning, spring, and the east; the second or Ancient church was like day, summer, and the south; the third was like evening, autumn, and the west; and the fourth like night, winter and the north. From these orderly progressions the wise men of ancient times inferred four ages of the world, the first of which they called the golden age, the second the silver age, the third the copper age, and the fourth the iron age, by which metals, moreover, these churches are represented in Nebuchadnezzar's statue. And again, in the Lord's sight the church is seen as a single man, and this larger man must pass through his stages of life like an individual, that is to say, from infancy to youth, from this to manhood, and finally to old age; and then, when he dies, he will rise again. The Lord says: Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth [alone]; but if it die, it beareth much fruit (John 12:24).


It is according to order that a first should go forth to its last both in general and in particular, in order that variety may exist in all things, and through varieties every quality; for quality is perfected by means of differences relating to what is more or less opposite. Who cannot see that truth takes on its quality through the existence of falsity, and good likewise through the existence of evil, as light takes on its quality through the existence of darkness, and heat through the existence of cold? What would color be if there were no black and nothing but white? If it were otherwise the quality of intermediate colors could not but be imperfect. What is sensation apart from relation; and what is relation except to things opposite? Is not the sight of the eye obscured by looking at white only, and quickened by a color that inwardly derives something from black, such, for example, as green? Is not the sense of bearing dulled by the continued strain of one tone upon its organs, and stimulated by a modulation that is varied by relative sounds? What is the beautiful without relation to the unbeautiful? So in some pictures in order to present vividly the beauty of a virgin, an ugly face is placed beside the handsome one. What are joy and happiness without relation to what is joyless and unhappy? Will not one become insane by dwelling upon one idea only, uninterrupted by a variety that tends to things opposite? It is the same with the spiritual things of the church, the opposites of which have relation to evil and falsity, which, nevertheless, are not from the Lord, but from man who has freedom of choice which he can turn either to a good use or an evil use; comparatively as it is with darkness and cold, which are not from the sun but are from the earth, which by its revolutions in turn withdraws from the sun and returns to it; and without its turning from and to the sun there would be neither day nor year, consequently no person and no thing on the earth. I have heard that churches which are in different goods and truths, provided their goods relate to love to the Lord, and their truths to faith in Him, are like so many gems in a king's crown.


IV. THIS NIGHT IS FOLLOWED BY A MORNING WHICH IS THE COMING OF THE LORD. As the successive states of the church in general and in particular are described in the Word by the four seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and by the four divisions of the day, morning, noon, evening, and night; and as the present church in Christendom is the night, it follows that the morning, that is, the beginning of a new church, is now at hand. That the successive states of the church are described in the Word by the four states of the light of day, can be seen from the following passages: Unto evening and morning two thousand and three hundred; then the holy one shall be justified. The vision of the evening and the morning is truth (Dan. 8:14, 26). Crying to me from Seir, Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh and also the night (Isa. 21:11-12). The end is come; the morning is come upon thee, O inhabitant of the land; behold the day cometh; the morning is gone forth (Ezek. 7:6-7, 10). Jehovah in the morning shall bring His judgment to light; nor shall He fail (Zeph. 3:5). God is in the midst of her; God shall help her at the return of the morning (Ps. 46:5). I have waited for Jehovah; my soul looketh for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, I say, more than watchmen for the morning; for with Him is plenteous redemption, and He will redeem Israel (Ps. 130:5-8). [2] In these passages "evening" and "night" mean the last time of the church, and "morning" the first. The Lord Himself is also called the morning in the following passages: The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to Me. He shall be as the light of the morning, a morning without clouds (2 Sam. 23:3-4). I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star (Rev. 22:16). From the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy youth (Ps. 110:3). These passages refer to the Lord. Because the Lord is the morning, He arose from the sepulchre early in the morning, being about to begin a new church (Mark 16:2, 9). [3] That it is the Lord's coming that is to be waited for can be clearly seen from His prediction respecting it in Matthew: As Jesus was sitting upon the Mount of Olives the disciples drew near unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3). After the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory (Matt. 24:29, 30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27). As were the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not, shall the Son of man come (Matt. 24:37, 39, 44, 46). In Luke: When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). In John: Jesus said of John, If I will that he tarry till I come (John 21:22-23). [4] In the Acts of the Apostles: When they saw Jesus taken up into heaven, two men stood by them in white apparel, who said, Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have see Him go into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). In the Apocalypse: The Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to his work (Rev. 22:6-7, 12). And again: I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come; and he that heareth, let him say, Come; and he that is athirst, let him come; and he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:16-17). He that testifieth these things saith, Yea, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen (Rev. 22:20-21).


The Lord is present with every man, urging and pressing to be received; and His first coming, which is called the dawn, is when man receives Him, which he does when he acknowledges Him as his God, Creator, Redeemer, and Savior. From this time man's understanding begins to be enlightened in spiritual things, and to advance into a more and more interior wisdom; and as he receives this wisdom from the Lord, he advances through morning into day, and this day lasts with him into old age, even to death; and after death he passes into heaven to the Lord Himself; and there, although he died an old man, he is restored to the morning of his life, and the rudiments of the wisdom implanted in him in the natural world grow to eternity.


The man who has faith in the Lord and charity toward the neighbor is a church in particular; and the church in general is composed of such. It is wonderful that every angel, in whatever direction he turns his body and face, sees the Lord in front of him; the Lord being the sun of the angelic heaven; and this appears before their eyes when they are engaged in spiritual meditation. The same is true, in respect to the sight of his spirit, of any man in the world in whom the church is; but because this sight is veiled over by the natural sight, to which the other senses add their allurements, and because the objects of these senses are such things as pertain to the body and the world, this state of the man's spirit is unknown. This seeing the Lord in front, however one may turn, originates in this, that all truth (which is the source of wisdom and faith), and all good (through which love and charity exist), are from the Lord, and are the Lord's in man; consequently every truth of wisdom is like a mirror in which the Lord is seen, and every good of love is an image of the Lord. This is the cause of this wonderful appearance. [2] But an evil spirit constantly turns away from the Lord, and looks continually to his own love, and this he does in whatever direction he turns his body and face. The cause of this is the same, but reversed; for every evil is an image, in a sort of form, of a man's ruling love, and falsity therefrom presents that image as in a mirror. [3] That some such thing is also implanted in nature may be inferred from certain plants, in their striving to rise above the herbage that surrounds them, to look at the sun; and again from the fact that some of them turn towards the sun from his rising to the end of the day that they may ripen under his auspices. Nor do I doubt that there is a like endeavor and effort in all the twigs and branches of every tree; but not being elastic enough to bend and turn, the act is checked. Moreover, it is clear to anyone investigating the matter, that all the whirlpools either of inland or ocean waters spontaneously follow in their motion the general course of the sun. [4] Why, then, should not man, who was created in the image of God, so turn, unless by means of his gift of freedom of choice he turns that endeavor and effort, implanted in him by the Creator, in another direction? This may also be likened to a bride's constantly keeping before the sight of her spirit something of the image of her betrothed, and seeing him in his gifts as in mirrors, longing for his coming, and when he comes receiving him with the joy in which her bosom's love finds its delight.


V. THE LORD'S COMING IS NOT HIS COMING TO DESTROY THE VISIBLE HEAVEN AND THE HABITABLE EARTH, AND TO CREATE A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, AS MANY, FROM NOT UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD, HAVE HITHERTO SUPPOSED. The prevailing opinion in the churches at the present day is, that when the Lord shall come for the last judgment, He will appear in the clouds of heaven with angels and the sound of trumpets; will gather together all who still dwell on the earth, together with all who have died; will separate the wicked from the good, as a shepherd separates the goats from the sheep; will then cast the wicked or the goats into hell, and will raise the good or the sheep into heaven; and at the same time will create a new visible heaven and a new habitable earth, and will send down upon that earth the city called the New Jerusalem, built according to the description of it in the Apocalypse (chap. 21), that is, of jasper and gold, and the foundations of its wall of every precious stone, while its height, breadth, and length will be equal, each twelve thousand furlongs; also that into that city will be gathered all the elect, both those who are still alive and those who have died since the beginning of the world; that these will then return into their bodies, and in that magnificent city, as their heaven, will enjoy eternal blessedness. This is the prevailing opinion in the Christian churches of today respecting the Lord's coming and the last judgment.


In respect to the state of souls after death, the belief universally and in each instance is that human souls after death are airy things (some cherishing the idea that they are like a puff of wind), and being such, they are reserved until the day of the last judgment either in the center of the earth, where their abode is, or in the limbus of the fathers. But on these points they differ, some holding that souls are ethereal or aerial forms and thus are like phantoms and specters, some of them dwelling in the air, some in the forests, some in the waters; others holding that the souls of the dead are transferred to the planets or to the stars, and have habitations given to them there; and some believe that after a thousand years they will return into their bodies; but the majority believe that they are reserved for the time when the entire firmament together with the terraqueous globe will be destroyed, which will be done by fire breaking forth from the center of the earth or hurled down like universal lightning from heaven; that then the graves will be opened, and the reserved souls will be clothed again with their bodies, and transported to that holy city, Jerusalem, and so will dwell together on another earth in lustrous bodies, some lower down in that city, some higher up; for the height of it, like its breadth and length, will be twelve thousand furlongs (Apoc. 21:16).


When a clergyman or a layman is asked whether he firmly believes all these things, as that the antediluvians together with Adam and Eve, and the postdiluvians together with Noah and his sons, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, together with all the prophets and apostles, as well as the souls of all other men, are still reserved in the bowels of the earth or are flying about in the ether or air; as also whether he believes that souls will be re-clothed with their bodies or be reunited with them, when yet these dead bodies have been eaten up by worms and mice and fishes, and Egyptian bodies as mummies have been eaten up by men, and others are mere skeletons dried up in the sun and crumbled to dust; also whether he believes that the stars of heaven will then fall upon the earth, which, however, is smaller than a single one of them; and whether these things are not absurdities which reason itself dissipates, as it does anything contradictory; to these things some will make no reply; some will say, "These things are matters of faith, to which we keep the understanding in obedience;" some that not only these but many other matters that are above reason belong to the Divine omnipotence. And when they mention faith and omnipotence, reason is exiled, and sound reason either disappears and becomes as nothing, or becomes as a specter, and is called insane. They add, "Are not these things in accordance with the Word? Must not everyone think and speak from that?"


It has been shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture that the Word in the letter was written by appearances and correspondences, consequently in all its particulars there is a spiritual sense, and in that sense the truth is in its own light while the sense of the letter is in shade. In order therefore that the man of the New Church may not wander about, like the man of the old, in the shade that obscures the sense of the letter of the Word, especially in respect to heaven and hell and man's life after death, and here in respect to the Lord's coming, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and thus introduce me into the spiritual world, and permit me not only to talk with spirits and angels, relatives and friends, and even with kings and princes who have finished their course in the natural world, but also to see the wonders of heaven and the miseries of hell, and thus to learn that man does not abide in some indefinite place in the earth, nor fly about blind and dumb in the air or in vacancy, but lives as a man in a substantial body in a much more perfect state (if he is among the blessed), than that in which he formerly lived when in the material body. In order therefore, that man from ignorance may not immerse himself still more deeply in this opinion respecting the destruction of the visible heaven and habitable earth, and in respect also to the spiritual world (because of which ignorance naturalism together with atheism, which among the learned has begun to take root in the interior rational mind, is spreading more widely, like mortification in the flesh, even extending to the external mind from which man speaks), I have been commanded by the Lord to make known various things that I have seen and heard respecting Heaven and Hell and respecting the Last judgment, and also to explain the Apocalypse, which treats of the Lord's coming the former heaven, the new heaven, and the holy Jerusalem. From these, when they have been read and understood, anyone can see what is meant by the Lord's coming, the new heaven, and the New Jerusalem.


VI. THIS COMING OF THE LORD WHICH IS HIS SECOND COMING, IS TAKING PLACE IN ORDER THAT THE EVIL MAY BE SEPARATED FROM THE GOOD, AND THAT THOSE WHO HAVE BELIEVED AND DO BELIEVE IN HIM, MAY BE SAVED, AND THAT FROM THEM A NEW ANGELIC HEAVEN AND A NEW CHURCH ON EARTH MAY BE FORMED; AND WITHOUT THIS, NO FLESH COULD BE SAVED (Matt. 24:22). That this second coming of the Lord does not take place for the purpose of destroying the visible heaven and habitable earth, has been shown in the preceding section. That it is not for the purpose of destroying anything, but to build up, consequently not to condemn but to save those who since His first coming have believed in Him and also those who may hereafter believe in Him, is evident from these words of the Lord: God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved; he that believeth on Him is not judged, but he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:17, 18). And elsewhere: If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world but to save the world: He that despiseth Me and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him; the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day (John 12:47-48). That the last judgment took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757 has been shown in the little work on The Last Judgment (London, 1758); and further in a Continuation on the Last Judgment, (Amsterdam, 1763). To all this I can testify, because I saw it with my own eyes in a state of full wakefulness.


The Lord's coming is for the purpose of forming a new heaven of those who have believed in Him, and for the purpose of establishing a new church of those who shall hereafter believe in Him, inasmuch as these two are the ends for which He came. The very end for which the universe was created was no other than the formation from men of an angelic heaven, where all who believe in God shall live forever in eternal blessedness; for the Divine love which is in God and essentially is God, can intend nothing else, and the Divine wisdom which is also in God and is God, can effect nothing else. As the end for which the universe was created was an angelic heaven from the human race, and at the same time a church on earth (for man enters heaven through the church); and as the salvation of men (which is to be effected in men who are to be born in the world), is thus the continuation of creation, so throughout the Word the term "to create," which is frequently used, means to form for heaven, as in the following passages: Create for me a clean heart, O God, and renew a firm spirit in the midst of me (Ps. 51:10). Thou openest Thine hand, they are satisfied with good; Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created (Ps. 104:28, 30). A people that shall be created shall praise Jah (Ps. 102:18). Thus hath said Jehovah thy Creator, O Jacob, and thy Former, O Israel; I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine. Everyone that is called by My name into My glory have I created him (Isa. 43:1, 7). In the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee (Ezek. 28:13, 15). This is said of the king of Tyre: That they may see, know, consider and understand that the hand of Jehovah hath done it, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it (Isa. 41:20). From all this the meaning of the term "to create" in the following passages can be seen: Jehovah creating the heavens, spreading forth the earth, giving breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk in it (Isa. 42:5; 45:12, 18). Behold I create a new heaven and a new earth; be ye glad forever in that which I create; for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing (Isa. 65:17, 18).


The Lord's presence is unceasing with every man, both the evil and the good, for without His presence no man lives; but His Coming is only to those who receive Him, who are such as believe on Him and keep His commandments. The Lord's unceasing presence causes man to become rational, and gives him the ability to become spiritual. This is effected by the light that goes forth from the Lord as the sun in the spiritual world, and that man receives in his understanding; that light is truth, and by means of it man has rationality. But the Lord's coming is to him who joins heat with that light, that is, love with truth; for the heat that goes forth from that same sun is love to God and love toward the neighbor. The mere presence of the Lord, and the consequent enlightenment of the understanding, may be likened to presence of solar light in the world; unless this light is joined with heat all things on earth become desolate. But the coming of the Lord may be likened to the coming of heat, which takes place in spring; because heat then joins itself with light, the earth is softened, and seeds sprout and bring forth fruit. Such is the parallelism between the spiritual things which are the environment of man's spirit, and the natural things which are the environment of his body.


The same is true of the man of the church in the composite or collective sense as of the individual or single man. Man in the collective or composite sense is the church among many, while the individual or single man is the church in anyone of those many. It is according to Divine order that there should be what is general and what is particular, and that both should be together in every single thing, and that otherwise particulars cannot have existence and permanence; just as there are no particulars within man without generals by which they are surrounded. The particulars in man are the viscera and their parts, and the generals are the coverings which surround not only the whole man, but also everyone of the viscera, and every single part thereof. The same is true of every beast, bird, and worm; also every tree, shrub, and seed; nor can a tone be produced by a stringed instrument or the breath, unless there is a most general from which each least particular of the modulation derives its general, in order to exist. The same is true of every bodily sense, as sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; and also of all the internal senses, which belong to the mind. All this has been said by way of illustration, to make clear that in the church also there is what is general and what is particular, also what is most general; and that this is why there have been four preceding churches in order, from which progression what is most general in the church has arisen, and in succession the general and the particular of each church. In man also there are two most general things from which all the generals and the several particulars derive their existence. In his body these two most general things are the heart and lungs; in his spirit they are the will and understanding. On these four depend all things pertaining to his life, both in general and in particular, all of which without them would fall asunder and die. And so would it be with the whole angelic heaven, and with the whole human race, and even with the whole created universe, if they did not all in general, and each in particular depend on God, on His love and His wisdom.


VII. THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS NOT A COMING IN PERSON, BUT IN THE WORD, WHICH IS FROM HIM, AND IS HIMSELF. It is written in many places that the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven (as in Matt. 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 9:34, 35; 21:27; Rev. 1:7; 14:14; Dan. 7:13). And as no one has hitherto known what is meant by "the clouds of heaven," it has been believed that the Lord would appear in them in Person. Heretofore it has not been known that "the clouds of heaven" mean the Word in the sense of the letter, and that the "glory and power" in which He is then to come (Matt. 24:30), mean the spiritual sense of the Word, because no one as yet has had the least conjecture that there is a spiritual sense in the Word, such as this sense is in itself. But as the Lord has now opened to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and has granted me to be associated with angels and spirits in their world as one of them, it is disclosed that "a cloud of heaven" means the Word in the natural sense, and "glory" the Word in the spiritual sense, and "power" the Lord's power through the Word. That such is the signification of "the clouds of heaven" may be seen from the following passages in the Word: There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun who rideth in the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds (Deut. 33:26-27). Sing unto God, praise His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Ps. 68:4). Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud (Isa. 19:1). [2] "To ride" signifies to instruct in Divine truths from the Word, for "a horse" signifies understanding of the Word (see Apocalypse Revealed, n. 298). Who does not see that God does not ride upon the clouds? Again: God rode upon cherubs. He made His pavilion thick clouds of the heavens (Ps. 18:10, 11). "Cherubs" also signify the Word (see Apocalypse Revealed, n. 239, 672). Jehovah bindeth up the waters in His clouds; Him spreadeth His cloud over His throne (Job 26:8, 9). Give ye strength unto God; His strength is in the clouds (Ps. 68:34). Jehovah will create over every dwelling of Mount Zion a cloud by day; for over all the glory shall be a covering (Isa. 4:5). The Word in the sense of the letter was also represented by the cloud in which Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai, when He promulgated the law; the principles of the law that were then promulgated were the first fruits of the Word. [3] As further proof, the following may also be added: In the spiritual world as well as in the natural world there are clouds, but from a different origin. In the spiritual world there are sometimes bright clouds over the angelic heavens, but dusky cloud over the hells. The bright clouds over the angelic heaven signify obscurity there arising from the literal sense of the Word; but when these clouds are dispersed, it signifies that they are in the clear light of the Word from the spiritual sense; while the dusky clouds over the hells signify the falsification and profanation of the Word. This signification of "clouds" in the spiritual world has its origin in the fact that the light which there goes forth from the Lord as a sun, signifies Divine truth; for which reason He is called "the Light" (John 1:9; 12:35). And for the same reason the Word itself there which is kept in the sacred recesses of the temples, appears surrounded by a clear white light, and its obscurity is induced by clouds.


That the Lord is the Word can be clearly seen from the following in John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word was made flesh (John 1:1, 14). "The Word" means here Divine truth because Divine truth among Christians is from no other source than the Word, which is the fountain from which all churches bearing the name of Christ draw living waters in their fullness; and yet a church accepting the Word in its natural sense is, as it were, in a cloud, but one accepting it in its spiritual and celestial senses is in glory and power. That there are three senses in the Word, a natural, a spiritual, and a celestial, one within the other, has been shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture, and in the chapter on the Decalogue or Catechism. From all this it is clear that "the Word" in John means Divine truth. John also bears testimony to this in his first Epistle: We know that the Son of God hath come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ (5:20). This is why the Lord so frequently said, "Verily I say unto you," verily [amen] in the Hebrew language meaning truth (That He is "the Amen" see Apoc. 3:14, and "the Truth" John 14:6.) Moreover, when the learned men of the present day are asked what they understand by "the Word" in John (1:1), they say that it means the Word in its preeminence; yet what is the Word in its preeminence but Divine truth? From all this it is evident that the Lord is now to appear in the Word. He is not to appear in Person, because since He ascended into heaven He is in His glorified Human, and in this He cannot appear to any man unless the eyes of his spirit are first opened; and this cannot be done in anyone who is in evils and consequent falsities, thus not in any of the goats whom He sets on His left hand. Therefore when He showed Himself to His disciples, He first opened their eyes, for it is written: And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him and He vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:31). The same took place with the women who were at the sepulchre after the resurrection, and in consequence they also saw angels sitting in the sepulchre and talking with them, and angels cannot be seen with the material eye. Neither did the apostles before the resurrection see the Lord in His glorified Human with their bodily eyes, but in spirit, which seems, after one is awakened from it, like the state of sleep. This is evident from the Lord's transfiguration before Peter, James, and John, for it is said, That they were heavy with sleep (Luke 9:32). It is idle therefore, to believe that the Lord will appear in the clouds of heaven in Person; but He is to appear in the Word, which is from Him and therefore is Himself.


Every man is his own love and his own intelligence, and whatever proceeds from him derives its essence from those two essentials or properties of his life. Therefore the angels, from a brief interaction with a man, recognize what he is essentially; they know his love from the tone of his voice, and his intelligence from his speech. This is because there are two universals of life belonging to every man, the will and the understanding. The will is the receptacle and abode of his love, and the understanding the receptacle and abode of his intelligence. Therefore all things whatever, whether action or speech, that proceed from man, constitute the man and are the man himself. In like manner, but in a preeminent degree the Lord is Divine love and Divine wisdom, or what is the same thing, Divine good and Divine truth; for His will is of the Divine love and the Divine love is of His will, while His understanding is of the Divine wisdom and the Divine wisdom is of His understanding; the Human form is their containant. From this some idea may be formed of how the Lord is the Word. But on the contrary, he who is antagonistic to the Word, that is, to the Divine truth therein, consequently, to the Lord and His church, is his own evil and his own falsity, both in reference to his mind and in reference to the effects thereof, relating to actions and words, which proceed from the body.


VIII. THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A MAN TO WHOM THE LORD HAS MANIFESTED HIMSELF IN PERSON, AND WHOM HE HAS FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT, THAT HE MAY TEACH THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH FROM THE LORD BY MEANS OF THE WORD. Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person, as shown just above, and nevertheless has foretold that He was to come and establish a new church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He will do this by means of a man, who is able not only to receive these doctrines in his understanding but also to publish them by the press. That the Lord manifested Himself before me, His servant, and sent me to this office, that He afterward opened the eyes of my spirit and thus introduced me into the spiritual world and granted me to see the heavens and the hells, and to talk with angels and spirits, and this now continuously for several years, I affirm in truth; as also that from the first day of that call I have not received anything whatever pertaining to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I have read the Word.


In order that the Lord might be continuously present with me He has unfolded to me the spiritual sense of His Word, wherein is Divine truth in its very light, and it is in this light that He is continually present. For His presence in the Word is by means of the spiritual sense and in so other way; through the light of this sense He passes into the obscurity of the literal sense, which is like what takes place when the light of the sun in day-time is passing through an interposing cloud. That the sense of the letter of the Word is like a cloud, and the spiritual sense is the glory, the Lord Himself being the sun from which the light comes, and that thus the Lord is the Word, has been shown above. That "the glory" in which He is to come (Matt. 24:30), signifies Divine truth in its light, in which light the spiritual sense of the Word is, can be clearly seen from the following passages: The voice of one crying in the desert, prepare ye the way of Jehovah; the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it (Isa. 40:3, 5). Shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee (Isa. 40:1 to the end). I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, and My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6, 8; 48:11). Thy light shall break forth as the morning; the glory of Jehovah shall gather thee up (Isa. 48:8). All the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah (Num. 14:21; Isa. 6:1-3; 46:18). In the beginning was the Word; in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light. And the Word was made flesh, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (John 1:1, 4, 9, 14). The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1). The glory of God will lighten the Holy Jerusalem, and the Lamb is the light thereof, and the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it (Apoc. 21:23, 24). Besides in many other places. "Glory" signifies Divine truth its fullness, because all that is magnificent in heaven is from the light that goes forth from the Lord, and the light going forth from Him as the sun there, is in its essence Divine truth.


IX. THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT IN THE APOCALYPSE BY "THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH," AND "THE NEW JERUSALEM" DESCENDING THEREFROM. We read in the Apocalypse: I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:1-2). Something like this is also written in Isaiah: Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth; be ye glad and rejoice forever; and behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy (Rev. 65:17-18). It has been made known previously in this chapter that the Lord is at this day forming a new heaven from such Christians as acknowledged in the world, or after their departure from the world were able to acknowledge, that He is the God of heaven and earth, according to His words in Matthew (28:18).


By the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21), a new church is meant for the reason that Jerusalem was the metropolis in the land of Canaan, and the temple and altar were there, and the sacrifices were offered there, thus the Divine worship itself, to which every male of the whole land was commanded to go three times a year, was celebrated there; and also for the reason that the Lord was in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterward glorified His Human there. This is why "Jerusalem" signifies the church. That "Jerusalem" means the church can be clearly seen from the prophecies in the Old Testament respecting the new church to be established by the Lord, in that it is there called "Jerusalem." [2] Those passages only shall be here cited from which anyone endowed with interior reason can see that "Jerusalem" there means the church. These are the following: Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered. Behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a gladness; that I may rejoice over Jerusalem and be glad over My people. Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; they shall not do evil in the whole mountain of My holiness (Isa. 65:17-19, 25). For Zion's sake will I not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp burneth. Then the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of Jehovah shall utter. And thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and they shall call them the people of holiness, the redeemed of Jehovah; and thou shalt be called a city sought out, not forsaken (Isa. 62:1-4, 11-12). [3] Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem. My people shall know My name in that day, for I am He that doth speak; behold, it is I. Jehovah hath comforted His people; He hath redeemed Jerusalem (Isa. 52:1, 2, 6, 9). Sing for joy, O daughter of Zion; be glad with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; the king of Israel is in the midst of thee; thou shall not fear evil any more; He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in thy love; He will joy over thee with singing; I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth (Zeph. 3:14-17, 20). Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited (Isa. 44:24, 26). Thus saith Jehovah: I will return unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; whence Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts the holy mountain (Zech. 8:3, 20-23). Then shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God dwelling in Zion, the mountain of holiness, and Jerusalem shall be holiness; and it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk. And Jerusalem shall abide to generation and generation (Joel 3:17-21). [4] In that day shall the shoot of Jehovah be for beauty and glory, and it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy everyone that is written unto life in Jerusalem (Isa. 4:2, 3). In the end of days it shall be that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established as the head of the mountains; for out of Zion shall go forth doctrine, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem (Micah 4:1, 2, 8). At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah and all nations shall be gathered unto it, because of the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart (Jer. 3:17). Look upon Zion, the city of our set feast; let thine eye see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; the stakes thereof shall never be removed; and the cords thereof shall not be broken (Isa. 33:20). (So also elsewhere, as in Isa. 24:23; 37:32; 66:10-14; Zech 12:3, 6-10; 14:8, 11, 12, 21; Mal. 3:4; Ps. 122:1-7; 137:4-6). [5] That "Jerusalem" means here a church about to be established by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is evident from the particulars of its description in the passages quoted; as that Jehovah God was to create a new heaven and a new earth, and after that Jerusalem; and that she should be a crown of glory and a royal diadem; that she should be called holiness, a city of truth, the throne of Jehovah, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that should not be taken down; that there the wolf and the lamb are to feed together; that the mountains there will drop down new wine, and the hills flow with milk, and Jerusalem shall abide to generation and generation, with many other things. It is also said of the people there that they are holy, that they are all written unto life, and shall be called the redeemed of Jehovah. All these passages, moreover, treat of the Lord's coming, especially of His second coming, when Jerusalem is to be such as is there described; for until then she was not married, that is, made the bride and wife of the Lamb, as the New Jerusalem is said to be in the Apocalypse. [6] The former church (that is, the existing church), is meant by "Jerusalem" in Daniel, and its beginning is there described as follows: Know and perceive, that from the going forth of the Word, even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks. After the threescore and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat, but in straitness of times (Dan. 9:25). But its end is there described by the following: At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation; and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27). This last passage is referred to by the Lord's words in Matthew: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation predicted by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place let him that readeth note it well (Matt. 24:15). That "Jerusalem" in the foregoing passages does not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews can be seen from those passages in the Word where the latter is said to be utterly lost, and destined to be destroyed (as in Jer. 5:1; 6:6, 7; 7:17-34; 8:6-22; 9:10-22; 13:9, 10, 14; 14:16; Lam. 1:8, 9, 17; Ezek. 4; 5:9-17; 12:8, 19; 15:6-8; 16; 23; Matt. 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20- 22; 23:28-30; besides many other passages); as also from the passages where it is called "Sodom" (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48; and elsewhere).


That the church is the Lord's, and that from the spiritual marriage, which is that of good and truth, the Lord is called the Bridegroom and Husband, and the church the bride and wife, is well known to Christians from the Word, especially from the following. John said of the Lord: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth because of the bridegroom's voice (John 3:29). Jesus said, The children of the bridechamber cannot mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35). I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2). The angel said to John: Come, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb, and from a mountain he showed him the holy city Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10). The time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. Blessed are they that have been called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9). I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come, and he that willeth, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:16-17).


It is in accordance with Divine order that a new heaven should be formed before a new church is established on earth, for the church is both internal and external, and the internal church makes one with the church in heaven, thus with heaven itself; and what is internal must be formed before its external, what is external being formed afterwards by means of its internal. This is well known in the world among the clergy. Just so far as this new heaven, which constitutes the internal of the church with man, increases, does the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church, descend from it; consequently this cannot take place in a moment, but it takes place to the extent that the falsities of the former church are set aside. For where falsities have already been implanted what is new cannot enter until the falsities have been rooted out, and this will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity; for the Lord said: No one puts new wine into old wineskins, else the skins burst and the wine is spilled, but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved (Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38). That these things take place only at the consummation of the age, by which is meant the end of the church, can be seen from these words of the Lord: Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away; but when the blade sprang up, then appeared the tares also. The servants came and said, Wilt thou that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them; let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Collect first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barn. The harvest is the consummation of the age; as the tares are gathered and burned with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:24-30, 39-40). "Wheat" means here the truths and goods of the new church, and "tares" the falsities and evils of the former church. In the first section of this chapter it can be seen that "the consummation of the age" means the end of the church.


That there is in everything an internal and an external, and that the external depends on the internal as the body does on its soul, every single thing in the world shows when it is properly examined. In man this is manifest. As his entire body is from his mind, so in each thing that proceeds from man there is an internal and an external; in his every action there is the mind's will, and in his every word the mind's understanding, so also in his every sensation. In every bird and beast, and even in every insect and worm, there is an internal and an external; and again in every tree, plant, and germ, and even in every stone and every particle of soil. A few facts relating to the silk-worm, the bee, and dust, will suffice to make this clear. The internal of the silk-worm is that whereby its external is moved to weave its cocoon, and afterward to fly forth as a butterfly. The internal of the bee is that whereby its external is moved to suck honey from flowers, and to build its cells in wonderful forms. The internal of a particle of soil whereby its external is moved, is its endeavor to fecundate seed; it exhales from its little bosom something which introduces itself into the inmosts of the seed, and produces this effect; and this internal follows the growth of the seed even to new seed. The same takes place in things of an opposite character, in which there is also an internal and an external; as in the spider, whose internal, whereby its external is moved, is the ability and consequent inclination to construct an ingenious web, at the center of which it lies in wait for the flies that fly into it, which it eats. It is the same with every noxious worm, every serpent, and every beast of the forest; as also with every impious, cunning, and treacherous man.


X. THIS NEW CHURCH IS THE CROWN OF ALL THE CHURCHES THAT HAVE HITHERTO EXISTED ON THE EARTH. It has been shown above that there have been, in general, from the beginning, four churches on this earth, one before the flood, the second after it, the third the Israelitish church, and the fourth that which is called the Christian church; and as all churches depend on a knowledge and acknowledgment of one God, with whom the man of the church can be conjoined, and as none of these four churches has possessed that truth, it follows that a church must follow these four which will know and acknowledge one God. The sole end of God's Divine love, when He created the world, was to conjoin man to Himself and Himself to man that He might thus dwell with man. This truth the former churches did not possess, the Most Ancient church, which preceded the flood, worshiping an invisible God with whom no conjunction is possible; the Ancient church which followed the flood, did likewise; the Israelitish church worshiped Jehovah, who in Himself is an invisible God (Exod. 33:18-23), but under a human form, which Jehovah God put on by means of an angel, in which He was seen by Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Gideon, Joshua, and sometimes by the prophets. This human form was a representative of the Lord who was to come, and because this was representative so each thing and all things in their church were made representative. It is a well known fact that the sacrifices and everything else pertaining to their worship represented the Lord who was to come, and that when He came they were abrogated. The fourth, which is called the Christian church, did indeed with the lips acknowledge one God, but in three Persons, each One of whom was singly or by Himself God; thus it acknowledged a divided Trinity, but not a Trinity united in one Person; and from this an idea of three Gods adhered to their minds, although the expression "one God" was on their lips. Moreover, the teachers of the church from that doctrine of theirs which they concocted after the Nicene Council, teach that men ought to believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all of them invisible, because existent in a similar Divine essence before the world was (although, as said above, with an invisible God no conjunction is possible), for they still do not know that the one God who is invisible came into the world and assumed a Human, not only that He might redeem men, but also that He might become visible, that thereby conjunction with man might become possible. For we read: The Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word was made flesh (John 1:1, 14). And in Isaiah: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and His name, God, Mighty, Father of Eternity (9:6). It is also frequently declared in the Prophets that Jehovah Himself would come into the world, and would be a Redeemer, which He also became in the Human which He assumed.


This New Church is the crown of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the earth, because it is to worship one visible God in whom is the invisible like the soul in the body. Thus, and not otherwise, is a conjunction of God with man possible because man is natural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must exist in his thought, and thus in his love's affection, and this is the case when he thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction with an invisible God is like a conjunction of the eye's vision with the expanse of the universe, the limits of which are invisible; it is also like vision in mid-ocean, which reaches out into the air and upon the sea, and is lost. Conjunction with a visible God, on the other hand, is like beholding a man in the air or on the sea spreading forth his hands and inviting to his arms. For all conjunction of God with man must be also a reciprocal conjunction of man with God; and no such reciprocation is possible except with a visible God. That before the assumption of the Human, God was not visible, the Lord Himself also teaches in John: Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father at any time, nor seen His form (5:37). And in Moses: That no one can see God and live (Ex. 33:20). But that He is visible through His Humanity is stated in John: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath manifested Him (1:18). And in the same: Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father but by Me. He that knoweth Me, knoweth the Father, and he that seeth Me seeth the Father (14:6, 7, 9). That there is a conjunction with the invisible God through the visible, that is, through the Lord, He teaches in the following passages: Jesus said, Abide in Me, and I in you; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit (John 15:4, 5). In that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me and I in you (John 14:20). The glory which thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and Thou in Me: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:21-23, 26; also 6:56). It is also taught that He and the Father are one, and that in order to have eternal life man must believe in Him. That salvation depends on conjunction with God has been frequently shown above.


That this church is to follow those that have existed since the beginning of the world, and that it is to endure for ages of ages, and is thus to be the crown of all the churches that have preceded, was foretold by Daniel; first, when he narrated and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream of the four kingdoms (which mean the four churches that were represented by the statue that he saw), saying: In the days of those kings the God of the heavens shall make a kingdom to arise which shall not perish for ages, and it shall consume all those kingdoms; but itself shall stand for ages (Dan. 2:44). And this, he said, should be done, By a stone becoming a great rock and filling all the earth (verse 35); "rock" in the Word meaning the Lord in respect to Divine truth. The same prophet also says elsewhere: I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and languages shall worship Him; His dominion is the dominion of an age, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (7:13, 14). And this he said after he saw the four great beasts coming up out of the sea (verse 3), which beasts also represented the four prior churches. That all this was prophesied by Daniel respecting the present time, can be seen from his words in 12:4, as also, from the words of the Lord in Matt. 24:15, 30. Like things are said in the Apocalypse: The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's; and He shall reign unto the ages of the ages (11:15).


Furthermore, the other prophets have made many predictions respecting this church, what its character would be, a few of which shall be cited: In Zechariah: It shall be one day that shall be known to Jehovah, not day nor night, for about the time of evening it shall be light. In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; and Jehovah shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Jehovah and His name one (14:7-9) In Joel: And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; and Jerusalem shall abide to generation and generation (3:17-21). In Jeremiah: At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, because of the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart (3:17; Apoc. 21:24, 26). In Isaiah: Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; the stakes thereof shall never be removed, and the cords thereof shall not be broken (33:20). [2] In these passages "Jerusalem" means the new and holy Jerusalem described in the Apocalypse (chap. 21), by which the New Church is meant. Again in Isaiah: There shall go forth a Shoot out of the stem of Jesse and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His thigh. Therefore the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk's den. They shall not do evil nor corrupt themselves in all the mountain of My holiness; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah. In that day it shall come to pass that the nations shall seek the Root of Jesse which standeth for an ensign of the people; and His rest shall be glory (11:5-10). That such things have not yet taken place in the churches, least of all in the last, is well known. In Jeremiah: Behold the days come, in which I will make a new covenant; and this shall be the covenant, I will put My law in their inward parts, and upon their hearts will I write it, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them (Jer. 31:31-34; Rev. 21:3). [3] That this state of things has not existed in the churches heretofore is also known. This was because men did not approach the visible God whom all shall know, because He is the Word or law which He will put in their inward parts and write upon their hearts. Again in Isaiah: For Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall declare; and thou shalt be a crown of beauty and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Jehovah shall delight in thee, and thy land shall be married. Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with Him. And they shall call them, the people of holiness, the redeemed of Jehovah, and thou shalt be called, a city sought out and not forsaken (Isa. 62:1-4, 11-12).


What this church is to be is fully described in the Apocalypse, where the end of the former church and the beginning of the new are treated of. This New Church is described by the New Jerusalem, by its magnificence, and by its being the future bride and wife of the Lamb (19:7; 21:2, 9). Besides these I will cite only the following quotation from the Apocalypse: When the New Jerusalem was seen descending from heaven it was said: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His peoples, Himself shall be with them, their God. And the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it; and there shall be no night there. I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let them come. And he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen (Rev. 21:3, 24-25; 22:16-17, 20).


NOTE. - After this work was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that THE LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages, according to the prediction in Daniel (7:13, 14), and in Revelation (11:15). Also that blessed are those that come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9). This took place on the nineteenth day of June, 1770. This is what is meant by these words of the Lord: He shall send His angels and they shall gather together His elect, from the end of the heavens to the end thereof (Matt. 24:31).


SUPPLEMENT. THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. The spiritual world has been treated of in detail in the work entitled Heaven and Hell, in which many things relating to that world are described; and as every man enters that world after death, man's state there is also described. Who does not know, or may not know, that man lives after death, because he is born a man and is created an image of God, and also because the Lord teaches it in His Word? But what his life is to be, has been hitherto unknown. It has been believed, that he would then be a soul, and of soul there has been no other idea than that of ether or air, thus that it is a mere breath, such as man breathes out from his mouth when he dies, in which, however, his vitality resides. It is also regarded as destitute of any sight like that of the eye, and of any hearing like that of the ear, and of any speech like that of the mouth. And yet, man after death is as much a man as he was before, so much so as to be unaware that he is not still in the former world; for he has sight, hearing, and speech as in the former world; he walks, runs, and sits, as in the former world; he lies down, sleeps, and awakes, as in the former world; he eats and drinks as in the former world; he enjoys marriage delight as in the former world; in a word, he is a man in each and every respect. From all this it is clear that death is not the extinction but the continuation of life, and is merely a transition.


That man is as much a man after death as before, although he is not then visible to the eyes of the material body, can be seen from the appearance of the angels to Abraham, Hagar, Gideon, Daniel, and some of the prophets, also in the Lord's sepulchre, and frequently afterwards to John as related in the Apocalypse; but especially from the Lord Himself, who showed by touch and by eating that He was a Man, and yet became invisible to the eyes of His disciples. Who can be so foolish as not to acknowledge that although He was invisible He was just as much a Man? His disciples saw Him because the eyes of their spirits were then opened; and when these are opened, the things of the spiritual world appear as clearly as those of the natural world. The difference between man in the natural world and man in the spiritual world is, that man in the spiritual world is clothed with a substantial body, but man in the natural world with a material body, within which is his substantial body; and the substantial man sees the substantial man just as clearly as the material man sees the material. But the substantial man cannot see the material man, nor the material man the substantial, because of the difference between what is material and what is substantial, the nature of which difference can be defined, but not in few words.


From what I have seen during so many years, I can relate the following: In the spiritual world there are lands just as in the natural world, and there are plains and valleys, mountains and hills, also springs and rivers; there are parks, gardens, groves, and forests; there are cities, with palaces and houses in them; there are writings and books; there are occupations and business; there are gold, silver, and precious stones; in a word, there are all things and each thing there that are in the natural world; although the things in heaven are immeasurably more perfect. But there is this difference, that all things seen in the spiritual world are instantaneously created by the Lord, as the houses, parks, food, and the rest; and that they are created in correspondence with the interiors of angels and spirits, which are their affections and the thoughts therefrom; while all things seen in the natural world spring up and grow from seed.


This being the case, and also because I have talked there daily with the nations and peoples of this world, both with those who are in Europe, and also, with those who are in Asia and Africa, thus with those of different religions, I will add as a supplement to this work a brief description of the state of some of these peoples. It must be borne in mind that in the spiritual world the state of every nation and people in general, and also of individuals, is in accordance with their acknowledgment and worship of God; and that all who in heart acknowledge God, and from this time on, all who acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as God, Redeemer, and Savior, are in heaven, while those who do not acknowledge Him are beneath heaven; where they are taught, and those who accept what they are taught, are raised up into heaven, but those who do not are cast down to hell; and to this class belong those who, like the Socinians, have approached God the Father only, or who like the Arians have denied the Divinity of the Lord's Human. For the Lord said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but through Me. (John 14:6). And to Philip who wished to see the Father; He said: He that hath seen and known Me, hath seen and known the Father (John 14:6 seq.).


LUTHER, MELANCTHON, AND CALVIN IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. Having frequently talked with these three leaders, reformers of the Christian church, I have thus learned what the state of their life has been from its beginning in that world up to the present time. As for Luther, from the time that he entered the spiritual world he was a most vehement propagator and defender of his dogmas, and his zeal for them grew as the number of those from the earth who agreed with him and favored him increased. A house was given him there like the one he had at Eisleben while he lived in the body. In the center of this house he erected a sort of throne, somewhat elevated, where he sat; and through the open door he admitted hearers, and arranged them in classes, admitting to the class nearest to himself those who were the more favorable to him, and placing behind them those less favorable, and then he made set speeches to them, occasionally permitting questions in order that he might from some point resume the thread of his discourse. [2] In consequence of this general approval he at length acquired a power of persuasion which is so efficacious in the spiritual world that no one is able to resist it or speak against what is said. But as this was a kind of incantation used by the ancients, he was strictly forbidden to speak any more from that power of persuasion; and thereafter he taught, as he had done before, from the memory and understanding together. This power of persuasion, which is a kind of incantation, flows from the love of self; and on this account it finally becomes of such a nature that when anyone contradicts, not only is the subject in question attacked, but also, the person himself. [3] Such was the state of Luther's life up to the time of the last judgement, which took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757. But a year after that, he was removed from his first house to another, and at the same time underwent a change of state. And then, having heard that I, while still in the natural world, could speak with those in the spiritual world, he among others came to me; and after some questions and answers, he saw that there is at this day an end of the former church and the beginning of a new church, respecting which Daniel prophesied, and which was predicted by the Lord Himself in the Gospels. He also saw that it is this new church that is meant by the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse, and by "the eternal gospel" which the angel flying in the midst of heaven proclaimed unto them that dwell upon the earth (Rev. 14:6). At this he became very angry and railed. But as he observed the increase of the new heaven (which was formed and is still forming of those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, according to His word in Matthew (28:18), and also that the number of his own congregations was daily diminishing, he ceased his railing, and then came nearer to me, and began to talk with me more familiarly. And when he had been convinced that he had got his chief dogma of justification by faith alone from his own intelligence and not from the Word, he suffered himself to be instructed respecting the Lord, charity, true faith, freedom of choice, and also respecting redemption, and this solely from the Word. [4] And finally when he had been convinced, he began to favor those truths out of which the New Church is built up, and finally to confirm himself in them more and more. At this time he was with me daily; and then, as often as he brought those truths together, he began to laugh at his former dogmas as things diametrically opposed to the Word; and I heard him say, "Do not wonder at my seizing upon justification by faith alone, excluding charity from its spiritual essence, and thus taking away from men all freedom of choice in things spiritual, and affirming other things that depend on faith alone once accepted, as links on a chain, since my object was to break away from the Roman Catholics, and this object I could compass and attain in no other way. I therefore do not wonder at my own errors, but I do wonder that one crazy man could make so many others crazy; so that they failed to see what is said in the Sacred Scriptures on the other side, although it is very manifest;" and as he said this he looked askance at certain dogmatic writers, men of celebrity in his time, faithful followers of his doctrine. [5] I was told by the examining angels that the reason why this leader was more nearly in a state of conversion than many others who had confirmed themselves in the doctrine of justification by faith alone, was that in his childhood, before he entered upon the Reformation, he had been imbued with the dogma of the preeminence of charity; and for this reason his teaching respecting charity was so excellent, both in his writings and in his preaching; and as a consequence, justifying faith with him was merely implanted in his external-natural man, and had not taken root in his internal-spiritual man. It is otherwise with those who in their childhood confirm themselves against the spirituality of charity; and this comes of itself when justification by faith alone is established by confirmations. I have talked with the prince of Saxony, with whom Luther had been associated in the world, and he told me that he had often reproved Luther, especially for separating charity from faith and declaring faith to be saving and charity not saving, when not only does Sacred Scripture join together these two universal means of salvation, but Paul even sets charity before faith, when he says, That there are three, faith, hope, charity, and that the greater of these is charity (1 Cor. 13:13). But he said that Luther as often replied that he could not do otherwise, because of the Roman Catholics. This prince is among the blessed.


As to the lot of Melancthon when he first entered the spiritual world, and what it was afterward, I have been permitted to learn many things not only from angels but also from himself, for I have talked with him repeatedly, yet not so often nor so intimately as with Luther. The reason why I have not talked with him so often or so intimately is that he could not approach me as Luther did, because he had given his attention so fully to justification by faith alone, and not to charity; and I was surrounded by angelic spirits who were in charity, and who were a hindrance to his approaching me. [2] I have heard that when he first entered the spiritual world, a house was prepared for him like that in which he had dwelt in the world. This is done for most of the newcomers there, and for this reason they do not know but that they are still in the natural world, and the time that has passed since their death seems to them merely as a sleep. Also everything in his room was like what he formerly had; a similar table, a similar desk with compartments, and a similar library; so that as soon as he came there, as if he had just awakened from a sleep, he seated himself at the table and continued his writing, and that, too, on the subject of justification by faith alone, and so, on for several days, writing nothing whatever about charity. The angels perceiving this, asked him through messengers why he did not write about charity also. He replied that there is nothing of the church in charity, for if charity were to be received as in any way an essential attribute of the church, man would ascribe to himself the merit of justification and consequently of salvation, and thus he would rob faith of its spiritual essence. [3] When the angels who were over his head perceived this, and when the angels who were associated with him when he was outside of his house heard it (for angels are associated with every newcomer at the beginning), they all withdrew. A few weeks after this occurred, the things that he used in his room began to be obscured and at length to disappear, until at last there was nothing left there but the table, paper, and ink stand; and, moreover, the walls of his room seemed to be plastered with lime, and the floor to be covered with a yellowish, brick-like material, and he himself to be in coarser clothing. Wondering at this, he asked of those about him why it was so, and was told that it was because he had separated charity from the church, which was, nevertheless, its heart. But as he repeatedly contradicted this, and went on writing about faith as the one only essential of the church and the means of salvation, and separated charity more and more, he suddenly seemed to himself to be under ground in a sort of workhouse, where there were others like him. And when he wished to go out he was detained, and it was announced to him that no other lot awaits those who thrust charity and good works outside of the doors of the church. But as he had been one of the Reformers of the church, he was released by the Lord's command, and sent back to his former room, where there was nothing but the table, paper, and ink stand. Nevertheless, because of his confirmed ideas, he continued to besmear the paper with the same error, so that he could not be kept from being alternately sent down to his captive fellows and sent back again. When sent back, he appeared in a garment made of a hairy skin, because faith without charity is cold. [4] He himself told me that there was another room adjoining his own in the rear, in which there were three tables, at which sat men like himself, who had likewise exiled charity, and that sometimes a fourth table appeared there, on which were seen monstrous things in various forms, but they were not frightened thereby from their work. He said that he conferred with these, and was confirmed by them daily. Nevertheless, after a time, he was smitten with fear, and began to write something about charity; but what he wrote on the paper one day he did not see the next day, for this is what happens to everyone there when he commits anything to paper from the external man only, and not also from the internal, thus from compulsion and not from freedom. The writing is obliterated of itself. [5] But after the beginning of the establishment of the new heaven by the Lord, he began to think from the light from that heaven that he might possibly be in error; and in consequence, because of anxiety about his lot, he felt impressed upon him some interior ideas respecting charity. In this state he consulted the Word, and then his eyes were opened, and he saw that it was filled throughout with love to God and love towards the neighbor, so that it was, as the Lord says, that on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets, that is, the whole Word. From this time he was interiorly conveyed into the southern quarter towards the west, and thus to another house, and there he talked with me, saying that his writings on charity did not then vanish as formerly, but appeared obscurely the next day. [6] One thing I wondered at, that when he walked, his steps had a clanking sound, like those of a man walking with iron heels on a stone pavement. To this must be added, that when any novitiate from the world entered his room to talk with him or see him, he would summon a spirit from among those given to magic, who by fantasy could call up various beautiful shapes, and who then adorned his chamber with ornaments and flowered tapestry, and also with the appearance of a library in the center. But as soon as the visitors were gone those shapes vanished, and the former plastering and emptiness returned. But this was when he was in his former state.


About Calvin I have heard the following: I. When he first entered the spiritual world he fully believed that he was still in the world where he was born; and although he was told by the angels associated with him in the beginning that he was then in their world, and not in his former one, he said, "I have the same body, the same hands, and like senses." But he was taught by the angels that he was then in a substantial body, and that formerly he had been not only in that same body, but also in a material body which invested the substantial; and that the material body had been cast off, while the substantial body, from which a man is a man, still remained. This he at first understood; but the next day he returned to his former belief, that he was still in the world where he was born. This was because he was a sensual man and had no other belief than what he could draw from the objects of the bodily senses; and from this it came about that he drew all the dogmas of his faith as conclusions from his own intelligence and not from the Word. His quoting the Word was in order to win the assent of the common people. [2] II. After this first period, having left the angels, he wandered about inquiring for those who from ancient times believed in Predestination; and he was told that they had been removed from that place and shut up and covered over, and that there was no way open to them except rearward under the earth; but that the disciples of Gotschalk still went about freely, and sometimes assembled in a place called, in spiritual language, Pyris. And as he earnestly desired their company, he was led to an assembly where some of them were standing; and when he came among them he was in his heart's delight, and bound himself to them by interior friendship. [3] III. But when the followers of Gotschalk had been led away to their brethren in the cavern, Calvin became weary, and therefore sought here and there for an asylum, and was finally received into a certain society made up wholly of the simple-minded, some of whom were also religious; and when he saw that they knew nothing and could understand nothing about predestination, he betook himself to one corner of the society, and there hid himself for a long time, not opening his mouth on any church matter. This was provided in order that he might withdraw from his error respecting predestination, and that the ranks of those, who, after the Synod of Dort adhered to that detestable heresy might be filled up; all of whom were gradually sent away to their fellows in the cavern. [4] IV. At length when the modern Predestinarian inquired where Calvin was, he was found after a search for him, on the confines of a certain society consisting solely of the simple-minded. He was therefore called away from there and conducted to a certain governor who was filled with similar dregs; and who therefore took him into his house and guarded him, and this until the new heaven began to be established by the Lord; and then, as the governor, his guardian, was cast out together with his troop, Calvin betook himself to a certain house of ill-repute, and remained there for some time. [5] V. As he then enjoyed the liberty of wandering about, and also of coming near to the place where I was stopping, I was permitted to talk with him, in the first place about the new heaven which is at this day being formed of those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, according to His own words in Matthew (28:18). I told him that such believe, That He and the Father are one (John, 10:30); And that He is in the Father and the Father in Him, and that whosoever sees and knows Him, sees and knows the Father (John 14:6-11); thus that there is one God only in the church as in heaven. [6] At first, when I said this, as usual he was silent; but half an hour he broke the silence and said, "Was not Christ a man, the son of Mary, who was married to Joseph? How can a man be adored as God?" I answered, "Is not Jesus Christ our Redeemer and Savior both God and Man?" He replied, "He is both God and Man; nevertheless the Divinity is the Father's and not His." I asked, "Where then is Christ?" He answered, "In the lowest parts of heaven;" and he gave as proof of this His humiliation before the Father, and His suffering Himself to be crucified. To this he added some witty remarks about the worship of Christ, which then invaded his memory from the world, which was, in brief, that the worship of Christ was nothing but idolatry. He wanted to add things unfit to be spoken about that worship; but the angels who were with me shut his lips. [7] But from a zeal to convert him I said, that the Lord our Savior is not only both God and Man, but in Him God is Man and Man is God. And this I confirmed by Paul's saying, That in Him dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity bodily (1 Col. 2:8); and by John's: That He is the true God and eternal life (1 Epistle, 5:20); as also from the words of the Lord Himself: That it is the Father's will that all who believe on the Son shall have eternal life, and that he who believes not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36; 4:40); and finally by the declaration of faith called Athanasian, which declares that in Christ God and Man are not two but one, and are in one Person like the soul and body in man. [8] When he heard this, he replied, "What are all those things you have presented from the Word but empty sounds? Is not the Word the book of all heresies, and thus like the weathercocks on house-tops and ships' masts, which turn every way according to the wind? It is Predestination alone that determines all things pertaining to religion; this is their habitation or their tent of meeting, wherein faith, through which justification and salvation are effected, is the shrine and sanctuary. Has any man freedom of choice in spiritual things? Is not everything of salvation a free gift? Any argument therefore against these principles, and so against predestination, I listen to and value as much as I do eructations from the stomach or the rumbling of the bowels. And this being so, I have thought to myself that any church where anything else is taught, even from the Word, together with the crowd there assembled, is like a pen of beasts containing both sheep and wolves, but with the wolves muzzled by the laws of civil justice, lest they should attack the sheep (the sheep meaning the predestined), also that the praying and preaching there are like so much hiccoughing. But I will give you my confession of faith; it is this: There is a God, and He is omnipotent; and there is no salvation for any except those who are elected and predestined by God the Father; and everyone else is condemned to his lot, that is, to his fate." [9] Hearing this I answered with much warmth, "What you say is horrible. Begone, wicked spirit! Being in the spiritual world do you not know that there is a heaven and a hell, and that predestination implies that some have been designated for heaven and some for hell? Can you then form to yourself any other idea of God than as being a tyrant who admits his favorites into his city, and sends the rest to the rack? Shame on you." [10] I then read to him what is written in the dogmatic book of the Evangelical Protestants, called Formula Concordiae relating to the erroneous doctrine of the Calvinists in regard to the worship of the Lord and predestination. Their doctrine of the worship of the Lord is thus defined: It is damnable idolatry, if the confidence and faith of the heart are placed in Christ, not only according to His Divine but also according to His Human nature, and the honor of worship is directed to both. And predestination is thus defined: Christ did not die for all men, but only for the elect. God has created the greater part of men for eternal damnation, and does note that the greater part should be converted and live. The elect and born again cannot lose faith and the Holy Spirit, although they should commit all kinds of great sins and crimes. But those who are not elected are necessarily damned, nor can they attain to salvation even if they were to be baptized a thousand times, were to partake of the sacrament daily, and moreover were to lead as holy and blameless a life as it is ever possible to live (Leipsic edition of 1756, pp. 837, 838). When I had read this, I asked him whether this, which was written in that book was from his doctrine or not. He said that it was, but that he did not remember whether or not those very words had flowed from his pen, although they might have from his lips. [11] All the servants of the Lord, when they heard this, withdrew from him, and he betook himself hastily to a way that led to a cave, which was occupied by those who had confirmed in themselves the execrable dogma of predestination. I afterward talked with some of those imprisoned in that cave, and asked about their lot. They said that they were compelled to labor for food, that they were all enemies of each other, that each sought an occasion to do evil to the other, and this they did whenever they found the slightest opportunity, and that this was the delight of their lives. (More about predestination and the predestinarians may be seen above, n. 485-488.)


I have also talked with many others, both with followers of these three men and with their opponents; and respecting all of them I was enabled to conclude that all such among them as have lived a life of charity, and still more those who have loved truth because it is truth, suffer themselves to be instructed in the spiritual world, and then accept the doctrines of the New Church; while on the other hand those who have confirmed themselves in falsities of religion, and also those who have lived an evil life, do not suffer themselves to be instructed; and that these turn away step by step from the new heaven, and associate themselves with their like who are in hell, where they confirm themselves more and more against the worship of the Lord, and set themselves against it even to such an extent that they cannot bear to hear the name Jesus. But it is the reverse in heaven, where all with one accord acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven.


THE DUTCH IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. In the work on Heaven and Hell it is related that the Christians among whom the Word is read among them and there is a knowledge and acknowledgment of the Lord the Redeemer and Savior are in the center of the nations and peoples of the entire spiritual world, because with them there is the greatest spiritual light; and from them as a center light goes forth in all directions to the very boundaries, according to what is shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture (n. 267-272). In this Christian center those of the Reformed churches are allotted places according to their reception of spiritual light from the Lord; and because the Dutch have that light more deeply and fully joined in with their natural light than others, and in consequence are more receptive of rational considerations, they are granted dwelling places in that Christian center in the east and south - in the east, because of their capacity to receive spiritual heat, and in the south, because of their capacity to receive spiritual light. In the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 141-153) it is shown that the quarters in the spiritual world are not like those in the natural world; and that the dwelling-places according to the different quarters there are dwelling-places in accord with their reception of faith and love, those who excel in love being in the east and those who excel in intelligence in the south.

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