A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg/23 The Fifth, or New Christian Church
THE FIFTH OR NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
It was foretold in the Apocalypse, chap, xxi., xxii., that at the end of the former church a New Church would be established, in which this should be the primary doctrine: That God is One, both in person and in essence, and that the Lord is that God. This Church is what is there meant by the New Jerusalem; into which no one can enter but who acknowledges the Lord alone as God of heaven and earth. Wherefore this church is there called the Lambs Wife. And this I am able to proclaim: That the whole heaven acknowledges the Lord alone, and that whoever does not acknowledge Him is not admitted into heaven; for heaven is heaven from the Lord. This acknowledgment, from love and faith, itself effects that those who are in heaven are in the Lord and the Lord in them; as He Himself teaches in John: "At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (xiv. 20); and in the same: "Abide in Me, and I in you, . . . I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth" (xv. 4-6; also xvii. 22, 23).
The reason why this was not seen before from the Word, is that if it had been seen it would not have been received; for the Last Judgment was not yet accomplished, and before that the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven,—and man is in the midst between heaven and hell. If therefore this had been seen before, the devil, that is hell, would have plucked it from the hearts of men, and moreover would have profaned it. This condition of the power of hell was entirely broken by the Last Judgment, which has now been accomplished. Since that, that is, now, every man who will can be enlightened, and be wise. (D. P. n. 263.)
This New Church is signified by the New Jerusalem.
That a New Church is meant by the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. xxi.), is because Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Canaan; and there were the temple and the altar, there the sacrifices were offered, and thus there the actual Divine worship was performed to which every male in the land was commanded to go up three times in the year; and because the Lord was in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterwards glorified His Human there. Hence it is that the church is signified by Jerusalem. That the church is meant by Jerusalem, is very evident from the prophecies in the Old Testament repecting the new church to be instituted by the Lord, in that it is there called Jerusalem. Only those passages shall be adduced from which every one endued with interior reason may see that the church is there meant by Jerusalem. Let these passages only be cited therefrom: "Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth; the former shall not he remembered. . . . Behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy, and I will rejoice over Jerusalem, and joy over My people. . . . Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; . . . they shall not do evil in all the mountain of My holiness" (Isaiah lxv. 17-19, 25). "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and 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. Then the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt he called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of glory . . . 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 holy People, The redeemed of Jehovah; and thou shalt be called A city sought for, not forsaken" (lxii. 1-4, 11, 12). "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem. . . . The people shall know my name in that day, for it is I that speak, behold, it is I. . . . Jehovah hath comforted His people. He hath redeemed Jerusalem" (lii. 1, 2, 6, 9). "Thus saith Jehovah, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; wherefore Jerusalem shall he called, the City of Truth, and the Mountain of Jehovah of Hosts, the Holy Mountain" (Zech. viii. 3). "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 from generation to generation" (Joel iii. 17, 20). "In that day shall the branch of Jehovah be beautiful and glorious. . . . And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall he called holy, every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem" (Isaiah iv. 2, 3). "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the Throne of Jehovah, and all nations shall he gathered into it, on account of the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubborness of their evil heart" (Jer. iii. 17). "Look upon Zion, the city of our festivities: Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet Hahitation, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken" (Isaiah xxxiii. 20). That by Jerusalem here the church is meant which was to be instituted by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is manifest from every part of its description in the passages adduced; as that Jehovah God would create a new heaven and a new earth, and also at the same time Jerusalem; and that this Jerusalem would be a crown of glory and a royal diadem; that it was to be called Holiness, and the City of Truth, the Throne of Jehovah, a Quiet Habitation, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; that there the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; and there it is said the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and that it shall abide from generation to generation; and, besides many other things, it is also said of the people there that they should be holy, every one written among the living; and that they should be called the Redeemed of Jehovah, Moreover, in all these passages the coming of the Lord is referred to; especially His second coming, when Jerusalem will be such as is there described. For before she was not married, that is, made the bride and wife of the Lamb, as is said of the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse. The former church, or that of the present day, is meant by Jerusalem in Daniel; and its beginning is there described by these words: "Know and perceive that from the going forth of the word for restoring and building Jerusalem, even to the Prince Messiah, shall be seven weeks; after that in sixty and two weeks the street and the trench shall be restored and built, but in troublous times" (ix. 25). And its end is there described by these words: "At length upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation" (ver. 27). These last are what are meant by the Lord's words in Matthew: "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, foretold by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth observe well" (xxiv. 25). That Jerusalem in the passages above quoted did not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, may be seen from the passages in the Word where it is said of this that it was utterly lost, and that it was to be destroyed. (T. C. R. n. 782.)
The New Heaven and the New Earth.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. xxi. 1), signifies that a new heaven was formed by the Lord from among Christians, which at this day is called the Christian heaven; where they are who had worshipped the Lord and lived according to His commandments in the Word,—in whom therefore there is charity and faith. In this heaven are also all the infants of Christians. A natural heaven visible to the eyes, and a natural earth inhabited by men, are not meant by a new heaven and a new earth; but a spiritual heaven is meant, and the earth of that heaven, where angels dwell. That this heaven and the earth of this heaven are meant, every one may see and acknowledge if he can but withdraw himself somewhat from a merely natural and material conception when he reads the Word. It is plain that an angelic heaven is meant; for it is said in the verse immediately following, that he saw the holy city Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; by which no Jerusalem descending is meant, but a church. And the church upon earth comes down from the Lord out of the angelic heaven, because the angels of heaven and men on earth in all things relating to the church form one. It may be seen from this how naturally and materially they have thought and think, who, from these words and those that follow in this verse, have fabricated the dogma of the destruction of the world, and of a new creation of all things. This new heaven is several times previously referred to in the Apocalypse, especially in chap. xiv. and xv. It is called the Christian heaven because it is distinct from the ancient heavens, which were composed of the men of the church before the Lord's coming. These ancient heavens are above the Christian heaven; for the heavens are like expanses one above the other. It is the same with each heaven; for each heaven by itself is distinguished into three heavens, an inmost or third, a middle or second, and a lowest or first heaven. So it is with this new heaven. I have seen those who are there and conversed with them. In this new Christian heaven are all, from the first formation of the Christian church, who have worshipped the Lord and lived according to His commandments in the Word, and who therefore were in charity and at the same time in faith from the Lord through the Word,—and thus who were not in a dead but a living faith. All the infants of Christians are likewise in that heaven, because they are educated by angels in those two essentials of the church; which are, an acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. (A. R. n. 876.)
It is according to Divine order that a new heaven should be formed before a New Church on earth. For the church is internal and external, and the internal church forms one with the church in heaven, that is with heaven; and the internal must be formed before the external, and afterwards the external by the internal. That it is so is known among the clergy in the world. As this new heaven which constitutes the internal with man increases, the New Jerusalem, that is the New Church, comes down from that heaven. This cannot therefore come to pass in a moment, but takes place as the falsities of the former church are removed. For what is new cannot enter where falsities have previously been ingenerated unless these are eradicated; which will be effected among the clergy, and so among the laity. (T. C. R. n. 784)
All Things Made New.
"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful" (ver. 5). This signifies the Lord saying these things, concerning the last judgment, to those who should come into the world of spirits, or should die, from the time when He was in the world until now; namely, that the former heaven with the former earth, and the former church, with each and all things in them, should perish, and that He would create a new heaven with a new earth, and a new church, which should be called the New Jerusalem; and that they may know this of a certainty, and keep it in remembrance, because the Lord Himself has testified and declared it. The things contained in this verse, and in the following as far as the 8th inclusive, were said to those in the Christian world who should come into the world of spirits,—which is immediately after death,—to the end that they might not suffer themselves to be seduced by the Babylonians and dragonists. For, as was said above, all congregate after death in the world of spirits,—and they incline to association with one another, as in the natural world,—where they are in company with Babylonians and dragonists, who continually burn with the desire to lead astray; and who were also permitted to form heavens, as it were, for themselves, by imaginative and illusive arts,—by which, too, they were able to mislead. Lest this should be done these words were spoken by the Lord, that they might certainly know that these heavens with their earths would perish, and that the Lord would create a new heaven and a new earth; at which time those that did not suffer themselves to be led astray would be saved. But it should be known that these things were said to those who lived from the Lord's time down to the last judgment, which was executed in the year of our Lord 1757,—because these could have been led astray. But this they cannot be hereafter there, because the Babylonians and dragonists have been separated and cast out. (A. R. n. 886.)
The Vision of the Holy City.
"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (ver. 10). This signifies that John was translated into the third heaven, and that his sight was there opened, and the Lord's New Church was manifested before him, as to doctrine, in the form of a city. "He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain," signifies that John was translated into the third heaven, where they are who are in love to the Lord, and in the genuine doctrine of truth from Him. Great is also predicated of the good of love, and high of truths. Carried away into a mountain signifies taken up into the third heaven, because it is said "in the spirit," and he who is in the spirit as to his mind and its sight is in the spiritual world; and there the angels of the third heaven dwell upon mountains, the angels of the second heaven upon hills, and the angels of the lowest heaven in valleys among the hills and mountains. When, therefore, any one in the spirit is taken up into a mountain, it signifies that he is taken up into the third heaven. This elevation is effected in a moment, because it is done by a change of state in the mind. "He showed me," signifies that his sight was then opened, and manifestation. That great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," signifies the Lord's New Church; for this reason it is called holy, and is said to descend out of heaven from God; it was seen in the form of a city, because a city signifies doctrine, and the church is a church by virtue of doctrine and life according to it. It was seen as a city also in order that it might be described as to its every quality; and it is described by its wall, its gates, its foundations, and various dimensions. The church is described in a similar manner in Ezekiel, where it is also said that the prophet was led in the visions of God upon a very high mountain, and saw a city on the south, which the angel also measured as to its wall, and gates, and as to its breadth and height (xl. 2, and following verses). The same is meant by these words in Zechariah: "Then said I unto the angel, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof" (ii. 2). (A. R n. 896.)
The City Four-square.
"And the city lieth four-square" (ver. 16). The reason why the city was seen four-square is that a quadrangle or square signifies justice, for a triangle signifies righteousness,—all these in the ultimate degree, which is the natural. A quadrangle or a square signifies justice because it has four sides and the four sides look to the four quarters, and to look equally to the four quarters is to look at all things from justice. Therefore three gates from each quarter opened into the city; and it is said in Isaiah, "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth truths, may enter in" (xxvi. 2). The city lieth four-square, that the length and breadth thereof might be equal; and by the length is signified the good of that church, and by the breadth its truth; and when good and truth are equal there is justice. It is from this signification of a square, that in common speech a man is said to be square, who inclines neither to this side nor that from injustice. Because four-square signifies justice the altar of burnt-offering was four-square, by which worship from good and thence from celestial truth was signified (Exod. xxvii. 1); and the altar of incense, by which was signified worship from good and thence from spiritual truth, was also four-square (Exod. xxx. 1, 2; xxxix. 9). And the breastplate of judgment too, in which was the Urim and Thummim, was four-square doubled (Exod. xxviii. 15, 16); besides other things. (A. R. n. 905.)
The City pure Gold.
"And the city was pure gold like unto pure glass" (ver. 18) signifies that therefore the all of that church is the good of love, flowing in together with light out of heaven, from the Lord. By the city or Jerusalem the Lord's New Church is meant, as to every thing pertaining to it, viewed interiorly or within the wall; by gold the good of love from the Lord is signified; and like unto pure glass signifies pellucid, from Divine wisdom,—and since this appears in heaven as light, and flows from the Lord as the sun, by "like unto pure glass" is signified, flowing in together with light from heaven, from the Lord. . . . Since the good of love does not exist by itself or separate from the truths of wisdom, but that it may be the good of love must be formed, and it is formed by the truths of wisdom, therefore it is here said pure gold like unto pure glass. For the good of love without the truths of wisdom has no quality, because it has no form; and its form is according to its truths, flowing in, in their order and connection, together with the good of love, from the Lord; thus in man it is according to reception. It is said in man, but it is not meant that it is of the man, as his own, but of the Lord in him. From these considerations then, it is plain that by the city being pure gold like unto pure glass, it is signified that therefore the all of that church is the good of love, flowing in with light from heaven, from the Lord. (A. R. n. 912.)
The Twelve Foundations.
"The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus, the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst" (ver. 19, 20). This signifies all things of that doctrine in their order from the literal sense of the Word, with those who immediately approach the Lord, and live according to the commandments of the decalogue by shunning evils as sins; for these and no others are in the doctrine of love to God, and of love towards the neighbour, which two are the fundamentals of religion. The twelve foundations of the wall signify all [truths] of doctrine of the New Jerusalem, from the literal sense of the Word. Precious stones in general signify all truths of doctrine from the Word translucent by the spiritual sense; here by each stone some truth in particular is signified thus translucent. There are in general two colours which prevail in the precious stones, red and white; the other colours, as green, yellow, blue, and many others, are composed of these by the mediation of black. By the colour red the good of love is signified and by the colour white the truth of wisdom. Red signifies the good of love because it derives its origin from the fire of the sun, and the lire of the sun of the spiritual world in its essence is the Lord's Divine love, thus the good of love; and white signifies the truth of wisdom because it derives its origin from the light which proceeds from the fire of that sun, and that proceeding light in its essence is Divine wisdom, thus the truth of wisdom; and black derives its origin from their shade or shadow, which is ignorance. But to explain separately what good and what truth is signified by each stone, would be too prolix. But yet that it may be known what good and what truth each stone in this order signifies, see the explanation given at chap. vii. ver. 5-8, where the twelve tribes of Israel are treated of; for the same is here signified by each stone as there by each tribe mentioned, since by the twelve tribes there described all the goods and truths of the church and its doctrine in their order are likewise signified. It is therefore said also in this chapter (ver. 14) that in these twelve foundations were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and by the twelve apostles all things of doctrine concerning the Lord are signified, and concerning life according to His commandments. The same also is signified by these twelve stones as by the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of Aaron, which was called the Urim and Thummim,—of which in Exod. xxviii. 15-21, and which are separately explained in the Arcana Cœlestia,—with the difference, that upon those were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and upon these the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. That the foundations are of precious stones is also said in Isaiah: "O thou afflicted, . . . behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, . . . and thy gates of carbuncles, . . . and all thy children shall he taught of Jehovah" (Isaiah liv. 11, 12). By the afflicted the church is meant that was to be established by the Lord among the Gentiles. In the same: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. . . . Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet" (xxviii. 16, 17). Since all truth of doctrine from the Word must be founded upon the acknowledgment of the Lord, therefore the Lord is called the Stone of Israel (Gen. xlix. 24); and the Corner Stone, which the builders rejected (Matt. xxi. 42); Mark xii. 10, 11; Luke xx. 17, 18). That the corner stone is the foundation stone appears from Jerem. li. 26. The Lord also in many places in the Word is called a rock; therefore by the rock He meant Himself when He said, "Upon this rock will I build my church" (Matt. xvi. 18, 19); and also when He said, "Whosoever heareth my sayings and doeth them, is to be likened unto a prudent man, who buildeth a house and layeth the foundation upon a rock" (Luke vi. 47, 48; Matt. vii. 24, 25). By a rock the Lord as to the Divine truth of the Word is signified. (A. R. n. 915.)
The Twelve Gates of Pearl.
"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every one of the gates was of one pearl" (ver. 21), signifies that the acknowledgment and cognition of the Lord conjoins into one all cognitions of truth and good which are from the Word, and introduces into the church. By the twelve gates are signified, in a summary, the cognitions of truth and good by which man is introduced into the church; by twelve pearls also cognitions of truth and good in a summary are signified. Hence it is that the gates were pearls. Every gate was of one pearl because all cognitions of truth and good, which are signified by gates and by pearls, have reference to one cognition, which is their containant; which one cognition is cognition of the Lord. It is called one cognition, although there are several which constitute that one, because a cognition of the Lord is the universal of all things of doctrine, and hence of all things of the church. From this all matters of worship derive their life and soul; for the Lord is the all in all of heaven and the church, and therefore the all in all of worship. The reason why the acknowledgment and cognition of the Lord conjoins into one all cognitions of truth and good from the Word is, that there is a connection of all spiritual truths; and if you will believe it, their connection is like the connection of all the members, viscera, and organs of the body. Therefore, as the soul contains and holds all these in their order and connection, so that they are felt no otherwise than as one, so the Lord contains and holds together all spiritual truths in man. That the Lord is the very gate through which men must enter into the church and thence into heaven. He Himself teaches in John: "I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (x. 9); and that the acknowledgment and cognition of Him is the pearl of great price, is meant by these words of the Lord in Matthew: 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold, all that he had, and bought it" (xiii. 45, 46). The one pearl of great price is the acknowledgment and cognition of the Lord. (A. R n. 916.)
The Temple of the City.
"And I saw no temple therein; for the temple of it is the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb" (ver. 22). This signifies that in this church there will be no external separate from the internal, because the Lord Himself in His Divine Human, from whom is the all of the church, is alone approached, worshipped, and adored. I saw no temple therein, does not mean that in the New Church which is the New Jerusalem there will not be temples, but that in this church there will not be an external separate from the internal; the reason is that by a temple the church as to its worship is signified, and, in the highest sense, the Lord Himself as to His Divine Human, who is to be worshipped. And because the all of the church is from the Lord, therefore it is said, "For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is the Temple of it," by which the Lord in His Divine Human is signified; by the Lord God Almighty is meant the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah Himself; and by the Lamb His Divine Human is signified. (A. R. n. 918.)
The Tree of Life in the Midst of the City.
"In the midst of the street of it, and of the river on this side and on that, was the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits" (Rev. xxii. 2). This signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as of himself. In the midst, signifies in the inmost and thence in all things around; by the street the truth of the doctrine of the church is signified; by a river is signified Divine truth in abundance. On either side, signifies on the right hand and on the left,—and the truth on the right hand is that which is in clearness, and on the left hand that which is in obscurity; for in heaven the south, by which truth in its clearness is signified, is on the right hand, and the north, by which truth in obscurity is signified, is on the left. By the tree of life the Lord as to the Divine love is signified; by fruits are signified the goods of love and charity, which are called good works; by twelve all are signified, and it is predicated of the goods and truths of the church. From these particulars collated into one sense it follows that, "In the midst of the street and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life bearing twelve manner of fruits," signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as from himself. This is the case with those who approach the Lord immediately, and shun evils because they are sins, thus who will be in the Lord's New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. For they that do not approach the Lord immediately cannot be conjoined with Him; nor therefore with the Father; and hence cannot be in the love which is from the Divine. For looking up to [Him] conjoins,—not intellectual looking alone, but intellectual looking from an affection of the will; and there is no affection of the will unless a man keeps His commandments. Therefore the Lord says, "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and I will love him, and manifest Myself to him" (John xiv. 21-24). It is said, in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church, because in spiritual things all exist and all proceed from the inmost, as from fire and light in the centre to the circumferences; or as from the sun, which in fact is the centre, heat and light proceed to all parts of the universe. It is thus the same in least things as in the greatest Because the inmost of all truth is signified, therefore it is said, "in the midst of the street and of the river," and not on either side of the river, although this is meant. That all the goods of love and of charity exist and proceed from the Lord, because He is in the inmost, is plain from the Lord's own words in John: Jesus said, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing" (xv. 4-6). (A. R. n. 933.)
The Leaves of the Tree for the Healing of the Nations.
"And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (ver. 2), signifies rational truths therefrom, by which they who are in evils and thence in falsities are led to think sanely and to live becomingly. By the leaves of the tree rational truths are signified; by the nations they are signified who are in goods and thence in truths,—and, in the opposite sense, they who are in evils and thence in falsities. Here those who are in evils and thence in falsities are signified, because it is said "for the healing of them;" and those who are in evils and in falsities thence cannot be healed by the Word, for they do not read it, but if they are strong in judgment they can be healed by rational truths. A similar signification to that of this verse is contained in the following from Ezekiel: "Behold waters went forth from under the threshold of the house . . . from which there was a river, upon whose bank on this side and on that were very many trees of meat, whose leaf doth not fall, neither shall be consumed; every month it springeth again; . . . and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine (xlvii. 1, 7, 12). Here also the New Church is referred to. Leaves signify rational truths, because by a tree man is signified, and therefore all things pertaining to a tree, as the branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds, signify corresponding things in man. By the branches are signified the sensual and natural truths in man; by the leaves, his rational truths; by the flowers, the earliest spiritual truths in the rational [mind]; by fruits, the goods of love and charity; and by seeds, the last and first [principles] of man. That leaves signify rational truths is very evident from those seen in the spiritual world; for there too trees appear, with leaves and fruits, and there are gardens and paradises of them. Among those who are in the goods of love and at the same time in the truths of wisdom, there appear luxuriant fruit trees, with beautiful leaves; and among those who are in truths of some wisdom, and speak from reason, but are not in the goods of love, trees full of leaves appear but without fruits; and among those who are neither in goods nor in truths of wisdom no trees appear unless denuded of their leaves, as in winter-time in the world. The man who is not rational is nothing else than such a tree. Rational truths are those which immediately receive spiritual truths. For the rational [faculty] of man is the first receptacle of spiritual truths; since in the rational of man there is, in some form, a perception of truth which the man himself does not see in thought, as he does the things which are under the rational, in the inferior thought that connects itself with external sight. Rational truths are likewise signified by leaves in Gen. iii. 7; viii. 11; Isa. xxxiv. 4; Jer. viii. 13; xvii. 8; Ezek. xlvii. 12; Dan. iv. 11, 12; Psa. i. 3; Lev. xxvi. 36; Matt. xxi. 19, 20; xxiv. 32; Mark xiii. 28. But the signification varies according to the kinds of trees; the leaves of the olive and the vine signify rational truths from celestial and spiritual light; the leaves of the fig tree, rational truths from natural light; and the leaves of the fir, the poplar, the oak, and the pine, rational truths from sensual light. The leaves of these last kinds excite terror in the spiritual world when they are shaken by a strong wind. These are what are meant in Levit. xxvi. 36; Job xiii. 25. But with the leaves of the former it is not so. (A. R. n. 936.)
Seeing the Face of the Lord.
"And they shall see His face; and His name shall he in their foreheads" (ver. 4). This signifies that they will turn themselves to the Lord, and that the Lord will turn Himself to them, because they will be conjoined by love. To see the face of God and of the Lamb, or of the Lord, does not mean to see His face, because no one can see His face, as He is in His Divine love and in His Divine wisdom, and live; for He is the sun of heaven and of the whole spiritual world. For, to see His face as He is in Himself would be as if one should enter into the sun; by the fire of which he would be consumed in a moment. Yet the Lord sometimes presents Himself to the sight out of His sun; but He then veils Himself, and thus presents Himself to their sight,—which is done by means of an angel. As He also did in the world, to Abraham, Hagar, Lot, Gideon, Joshua, and others; and therefore those angels were called both angels and Jehovah, for the presence of Jehovah was in them from afar. But here "they shall see His face," does not mean thus to see His face; but to see the truths which are from Him in the Word, and through them to have cognition of and acknowledge Him. For the Divine truths of the Word form the light in which the angels are, which proceeds from the Lord as a sun; and as they constitute the light, they are as mirrors in which the Lord's face is seen. That to see the Lord's face signifies to turn to Him will be shown below. The name of the Lord in their foreheads signifies that the Lord loves them and turns them to Himself. The name of the Lord signifies the Lord Himself, because it signifies every quality of Him whereby He is known, and according to which He is worshipped; and by the forehead love is signified; and written in the forehead signifies the Lord's love in them. From these considerations it may appear what is properly signified by these words. But the reason why it signifies that they will turn themselves to the Lord and the Lord will turn Himself to them is, that the Lord looks at all who are conjoined with Him by love in their forehead, and so turns them to Himself; wherefore the angels in heaven turn their faces only towards the Lord and the sun, and what is remarkable, this is done in every turning of their bodies. Hence it is in common speech that they have God always before their eyes. It is the same with the spirit of a man who lives in the world and by love is conjoined to the Lord. (A. R. n. 938.)
The Light of the City.
"And there shall he no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light" (ver. 5). This signifies that in the New Jerusalem there will be no falsity of faith, and that men there will be in cognitions concerning God not from natural light, which is from their own intelligence and from glory arising from pride, but will be in spiritual light from the Word from the Lord alone. "There shall be no night there," signifies the same as above, chap, xxi., where these words occur: "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there" (ver. 25), by which is signified, that they are continually received into the New Jerusalem who are in truths from the good of love from the Lord, because there is no falsity of faith there. "They need no lamp, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light," signifies the same as above, in chap, xxi., where are these words: "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof" (ver. 23), which signify that the men of that church will not be in the love of self and in their own intelligence, and hence only in natural light, but in spiritual light from the Divine truth of the Word from the Lord alone. But instead of the moon, which occurs there, the word lamp is used here, and instead of the sun there, it is here said the light of the sun; and by the moon as well as by a lamp, natural light from their own intelligence is signified, and by the light of the sun is signified the glory arising from pride. But it shall be briefly explained what is meant by natural light from the glory arising from pride. There is a natural light from the glory arising from pride, and also from glory that is not from pride. Light from the glory arising from pride is in those who are in the love of self, and thence in all manner of evils; which if for fear of loss of reputation they do not commit, and even condemn, as contrary to morality and against the public good, yet they do not regard them as sins. These are in natural light from the glory arising from pride; for love of self in the will becomes pride in the understanding, and this pride from that love can elevate the understanding even into the light of heaven. This [capability] is granted to man in order that he may be man, and that he may be capable of being reformed. I have seen and heard many consummate devils who understood arcana of angelic wisdom when they heard and read them like the angels themselves; but the instant they returned to their love and their pride therefrom, they not only understood nothing of them, but even saw the contrary from the light of the confirmation of falsity within themselves. But natural light from glory not from pride is in those who are in the delight of uses from genuine love to the neighbour. The natural light of these is also rational light, within which interiorly there is spiritual light from the Lord. The glory in them is from the brightness of the light flowing in from heaven, where all things are splendid and harmonious; for in heaven all uses are resplendent. The pleasantness in the ideas of thought in them from these is perceived as glory. It enters through the will and its goods, into the understanding and its truths, and in these becomes manifest. (A. R. n. 940.)
The New Jerusalem the Bride and Wife op the Lord.
It is said that John saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, and here (Rev. xxi. 2) that he saw that city prepared as a bride for her husband; from which also it is evident that the church is meant by Jerusalem, and that he saw this, first as a city and afterwards as a virgin bride,—as a city representatively, and as a virgin bride spiritually. Thus that he saw it under a twofold idea, one within or above the other,—just as the angels do, who, when they see, hear, or read of a city in the Word, in the idea of their lower thought perceive a city, but in the idea of their higher thought perceive the church as to doctrine; and if they desire, and pray to the Lord, they see it as a virgin,—in beauty and apparel according to the quality of the church. Thus has it also been granted me to see the church. By "prepared" is signified, attired for her espousal; and the church is no otherwise made ready for espousal, and afterwards for conjunction or marriage, than by the Word; for this is the only medium of conjunction or marriage, because the Word is from the Lord and concerning the Lord, and thus the Lord; and therefore it is called also the covenant, and a covenant signifies spiritual conjunction. For this end indeed the Word was given. That the Lord is meant by "husband" is plain from verses 10 and 11 of this chapter, where Jerusalem is called "the bride, the Lamb's wife." From all this it may be seen, that by Jerusalem "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" that church is signified, conjoined with the Lord by the Word. (A. R. n. 881.)
Memorabilia concerning the Tabernacle and Temple of the Holy City.
While I was engaged upon the explanation of the xxth chapter [of the Apocalypse], and was meditating upon the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, one appeared to me, and asked, "What is the subject of your meditation?" I said, "The false prophet." He then said, "I will lead you to a place where they are who are meant by the false prophet." He said they were the same that are meant in chap. xiii. by the "beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spake like a dragon." I followed him. And lo, I saw a multitude, in the midst of which were prelates, who taught that nothing but faith saves man, and that works are good, but not unto salvation; and yet that they are to be taught from the Word, in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be kept more strictly under the restraints of obedience to the magistracy, and forced, as if from religion thus interiorly, to exercise moral charity. And then one of them seeing me said, "Would you like to see our temple, in which there is an image representative of our faith?" I went and saw it. And behold it was magnificent! And in the midst of it there was an image of a woman clothed in a scarlet robe, holding in her right hand a gold coin, and in her left a string of large pearls. But both the temple and the image were produced by fantasies; for infernal spirits can represent magnificent things by fantasies, by closing the interiors of the mind and opening only its exteriors. But when I considered that they were illusions of this kind, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened, and then instead of a magnificent temple I saw a house full of chinks and crevices from top to bottom, in which nothing was coherent; and instead of the woman I saw hanging in that house a form, of which the head was like a dragon's, the body like a leopard's, and the feet like those of a bear,—thus like the beast described as rising out of the sea in Rev. xiii.; and instead of a floor was a marsh, in which there was a multitude of frogs; and I was told that beneath the marsh there was a large hewn stone, under which the Word lay, well hidden. Seeing this, I said to the juggler, "Is this your temple?" And he said, "It is." But then suddenly his interior sight also was opened, and he saw the same as I. Seeing which, he cried out in a loud voice, "What is this, and whence is it?" And I said, "It is from the light of heaven, which discovers the quality of every form. And here is the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity." Then immediately an east wind blew and carried away everything that was there, and also dried up the marsh, and so laid bare the stone under which the Word lay. And then there breathed a vernal warmth from heaven, and lo! in the same place there appeared a tabernacle; as to outward form, plain and simple. And the angels who were with me said, "Behold the tabernacle of Abraham, as it was when the three angels came to him and announced the future birth of Isaac. It appears simple to the eye; but according to the influx of light from heaven it is more and more magnificent." And it was granted them to open the heaven in which the spiritual angels dwell, who are in wisdom; and then by the inflowing light from thence the tabernacle appeared as a temple, like that at Jerusalem. And when I looked into it, I saw the foundation-stone under which the Word was deposited set round about with precious stones, from which as it were lightning flashed forth upon the walls, on which there were forms of cherubim, and beautifully variegated them with colours. I was wondering at these things, when the angels said, "You shall see things still more wonderful." And it was given them to open the third heaven, in which the celestial angels dwell, who are in love; and then by the inflowing light from thence that whole temple vanished, and in its place the Lord alone was seen, standing upon the foundation-stone, which was the Word, in the same form in which He was seen by John (Rev. i.). But as a holiness then filled the interiors of the minds of the angels, from which they had a strong inclination to fall prostrate on their faces, the way of the light from the third heaven was suddenly closed by the Lord, and the way of light from the second heaven was opened, by which the former appearance of the temple returned, and also of the tabernacle, but within the temple. By these things it was illustrated what is meant by the words in this chapter: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them" (ver. 3); and by these: "And I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem; for the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb are the temple of it" (ver. 22). (A. R. n. 926.)
The New Church in the Heavens signified by the Woman clothed with the Sun.
"A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet" (Rev. xii. 1), signifies the Lord's New Church in the heavens, which is the new heaven, and the Lord's New Church about to be on earth, which is the New Jerusalem. That by this woman the Lord's New Church is signified, appears from the particulars in this chapter understood in the spiritual sense. The church is signified by a woman in other parts of the Word also; and the church is signified because the church is called the bride and wife of the Lord. She appeared clothed with the sun because the church is in love to the Lord; for it acknowledges Him and does His commandments, and this is to love Him (John xiv. 21-24). The moon was seen under the feet of the woman because the church on earth is meant, which is not yet conjoined with the church in the heavens. The moon signifies intelligence in the natural man, and faith; and its appearing under the feet signifies that it is about to be on earth. Otherwise, when it is conjoined, that church itself is signified by the feet. (A. R. n. 533.)
"And upon her head a crown of twelve stars" signifies its wisdom and intelligence, from cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word. The crown upon her head signifies wisdom and intelligence; the stars signify cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word; and twelve signify all things of the church which relate to its good and truth. Thus the crown of twelve stars upon the woman's head signifies the wisdom and intelligence of the New Church, from cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word.
"And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered" (ver. 2), signifies the doctrine of the New Church about to come forth, and its difficult reception on account of the resistance of those who are meant by the dragon. To be with child signifies the doctrine about to come forth; because the child which was in the womb,—whose birth is spoken of in ver. 5,—signifies the doctrine of the New Church. For in the spiritual sense of the Word by being with child, travailing, and bringing forth, nothing is signified but the conception and bringing forth of things which are of spiritual life. "She cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered," signifies difficult reception of that doctrine, because of resistance from those who are meant by the dragon. This is plain from what follows in this chapter; as that the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child; and afterwards pursued her into the wilderness. (ib. n. 534, 535.)
"And behold a great red dragon" (ver. 3), signifies those in the Reformed church who make God three, and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith, and hold the latter,—and not together with the former,—to be saving. It is these who are meant, here and in what follows, by the dragon. For they are opposed to the two essentials of the New Church, which are: That God is one in essence and in person; in whom there is a trinity; and that the Lord is that God: And that charity and faith are one, as the essence and its form; and that none have charity and faith but those who live according to the commandments of the decalogue, which are commandments that evils are not to be done. And in so far as any one, by shunning evils as sins against God, does not do them, in so far he does the goods which are of charity, and believes the truths which are of faith. . . . By those who make God three, and the Lord two, they are meant who think of three persons as of three Gods, and separate the Lord's Human from His Divine. And who thinks otherwise, or can think otherwise, that prays, according to the formula of faith, "That God the Father, for the sake of the Son, will send the Holy Spirit?" Does he not pray to God the Father as to one God, and for the sake of the Son as another, and concerning the Holy Spirit as a third? It is plain that though one in his thought shall make the three persons one God, yet he divides them,—that is divides his conception,—when he thus prays, into three Gods. The same formula of faith also makes the Lord two; for the Lord's Human alone is then thought of, and not at the same time His Divine; since "for the sake of the Son" is for the sake of the Human which suffered on the cross. . . . Now, because these two essentials of doctrine in the Reformed churches are falsities, and falsities devastate the church,—for they take away its truths and goods,—therefore they were represented by a dragon. The reason is that by a dragon, in the Word, the devastation of the church is signified; as may appear from the following passages: "I will make Jerusalem heaps, a habitation of dragons, and I will make the cities of Judah desolate" (Jer. ix. 11). Behold, . . . a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, a habitation of dragons" (Jer. x. 22). "Hazor shall be a habitation of dragons, even a desolation for ever" (Jer. xlix. 33). "That it may be a habitation of dragons, a court for owls" (Isa. xxxiv. 13). "In the habitation of dragons where each lay" (Isa. xxxv. 7). "I will go stripped and naked, I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls" (Mic. i. 8). "I cried, I am a brother to dragons, add a companion to owls" (Job xxx. 28, 29). "The wild beasts . . . shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces" (Isa. xiii. 22). "And Babylon shall become heaps, a habitation of dragons, an astonishment and a hissing" (Jer. li. 37). "Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death" (Psa. xliv. 19). "I have laid the mountains of Esau and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness" (Mai. i. 3). And other passages; as Isa. xliii. 20; Jer. xiv. 6; Psa. xci. 13, 14; Deut. xxxii. 33. That by the dragon here they are meant who are in faith alone, and reject the works of the law as not conducive to salvation, has sometimes been made manifest to me in the spiritual world by living experience. I have seen many thousands of them assembled in a crowd; and from a distance they appeared as a dragon with a long tail, that seemed covered with spines like a thorn, which signified falsities. Once also a still greater dragon was seen, which raising his back lifted up his tail towards heaven, with an effort to draw down the stars from thence. Thus it was manifested before my eyes that no others are meant by the dragon. (ib. n. 537.)
"Having seven heads" signifies insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word. The head signifies wisdom and intelligence; and, in the opposite sense, insanity. And here by the seven heads, because they were of the dragon, insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word is properly signified; for seven is predicated of things holy, and in the opposite sense of things profane. It therefore follows that upon his heads there appeared seven diadems, and by diadems the truths of the Word are signified,—here, falsified and profaned. (ib. n. 538.)
"And ten horns" signifies much power. A horn signifies power; and ten signifies much. It is said that the dragon has much power, because the salvation of man by faith alone, without the works of the law,—which faith is meant by the dragon,—captivates the minds of men, and then confirmations produce conviction. It captivates, because when a man hears that the damnation of the law is taken away, and that the Lord's merit is imputed to him through faith alone therein, he can indulge in the pleasures of mind and body without any fear of hell. Hence is the power which is signified by the dragon's ten horns. That such has been his power, is very plain from the reception of that faith throughout the whole reformed Christian world. (ib. n. 539.)
"And seven diadems upon his heads," signifies all the truths of the Word falsified and profaned. By diadems, or by precious stones, the truths of the Word are signified; in particular, the truths of the literal sense of the Word,—but here, those truths falsified and profaned; for they were seen upon the seven heads of the dragon, which signify insanity from truths falsified and profaned. . . . The truths of the literal sense of the Word are signified by diadems or precious stones because, to the eyes of the angels, all things of the literal sense of the Word admit light from its spiritual sense through them, thus light from heaven, in which the spiritual truths of the Word are; for a stone in the Word signifies truth in the ultimates, and therefore a precious stone is that truth pellucid. The reason why the truths of the Word falsified and profaned are also called diadems is, that they have a lustre of themselves, with whomsoever they are,—as diadems on earth, in whosesoever hand. It has sometimes been given me to see adulterous women adorned with diadems, when they first came from the earth into the world of spirits; and also Jews selling diadems, which they had procured from heaven; from which it was evident that evils and falsities with them do not change the light and lustre of the truths of the Word. Similar things are therefore signified by the ten diadems upon the horns of the beast that rose up out of the sea (Rev. xiii. 1); and by the precious stones on the woman sitting upon the scarlet coloured beast (xvii. 3-5). That the truths of the Word are what are signified by diadems plainly appears in the Apocalypse, in that many diadems were seen upon the head of Him who sat on the white horse, whose name was The Word of God (xix. 12, 13). (ib. n. 540.)
"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (ver. 4). This signifies that by falsifications of the truths of the Word they have estranged all spiritual cognitions of good and truth from the church, and by applications to falsities have entirely destroyed them. By the tail, where the reference is to those who have confirmed heretical doctrines from the Word, the truths of the Word falsified are signified; the stars signify spiritual cognitions of good and truth; the third part signifies all; to draw from heaven and cast them to the earth, signifies to estrange from the church and entirely destroy them. For when they are drawn from heaven they are also drawn from the church, because every truth of the Word is insinuated by the Lord into the man of the church through heaven; and truths are drawn away only by falsifications of them in the Word, since the truths of heaven and the church are there and therefrom. That all truths of the Word have been destroyed by those who are meant by the dragon, mentioned above, cannot be believed by any one in the world; and yet they have been so completely destroyed that not one doctrinal truth remains. This was put to the test among the learned of the clergy in the spiritual world, and was found to be so. The reasons I know, but will here mention only one of them:—They assert that whatever proceeds from man's will and judgment is not good; and that therefore the goods of charity or good works, because they are done by man, contribute nothing to salvation, but faith alone; when yet the one thing by virtue of which man is man, and by which he is conjoined with the Lord, is, that he can do good and believe truth as of himself, that is from his own will according to his own judgment. If this one thing were taken away, at the same time everything that is conjunctive of man with the Lord and of the Lord with man would also be taken away. For this is the ability of love to reciprocate; which the Lord gives to every one who is born a man, which He also preserves in him to the end of his life, and afterwards to eternity. If this were taken away from man every good and truth of the Word would also be taken away from him; insomuch that the Word would be nothing but a dead letter and an empty volume. For the Word teaches nothing else than the conjunction of man with the Lord through charity and faith,—both, from man as of himself. They who are meant by the dragon referred to above have sundered this only bond of conjunction, by asserting that the goods of charity or good works which proceed from man, and from his will and judgment, are only moral, civil, and political works, by which man has conjunction with the world, and none at all with God and with heaven; and when this bond is thus broken there is no doctrinal truth of the Word remaining. And if the truths of the Word are applied to confirm faith alone as saving without the works of the law, then they are all falsified. And if the falsification proceeds so far as to affirm that the Lord did not command good works in the Word for the sake of man's conjunction with Himself, but only for the sake of his conjunction with the world, then the truths of the Word are profaned; for thus the Word becomes no longer a holy but a profane book. (ib. n. 541.)
"And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as she should bring forth." This signifies that they who are meant by the dragon will be active to extinguish the doctrine of the New Church at its very birth. The woman signifies the New Church. To bring forth signifies to receive goods and truths of doctrine from the Word; the child which she would bring forth signifies the doctrine of the New Church. To devour signifies to extinguish, because the child signifies doctrine; and when in relation to the child it is said "to devour," in relation to the doctrine it is said "to extinguish." This is at its very birth; for it is said that the dragon stood before the woman, to devour her child as soon as she should bring forth. (ib. n. 542.)
"And she brought forth a male child" (ver. 5), signifies the doctrine of the New Church. By a son in the Word truth of doctrine is signified, and understanding and thought of truth and good therefrom; and by a daughter the good of doctrine is signified, and a will and thence affection for truth and good; and by a male child is signified truth conceived in the spiritual man and born in the natural. The reason is that in the Word generations and births signify spiritual generations and births, all which in general relate to good and truth; for nothing else is begotten and born of the Lord as a husband and the church as a wife. Now, as the woman who brought forth signifies the New Church, it is plain that the male child signifies the doctrine of that church. The doctrine which is here meant is The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, published in London in 1758; and also The Doctrine concerning the Lord, Concerning the Sacred Scripture, and Concerning Life, According to the Commandments of the Decalogue, published in Amsterdam. For by doctrine all the truths of doctrine are meant; because doctrine is the complex of them. When these doctrines were written the dragonists stood around me, and laboured together with all their fury to devour, that is, to extinguish them. This strange circumstance I am permitted to relate, because of a truth it thus occurred. The dragonists who stood around me were from every part of the reformed Christian world, (ib. n. 543.)
"Who was to feed all nations with a rod of iron," signifies,—Which [doctrine] will convince all who are in dead worship from faith separated from charity, that are willing to be convinced, by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and at the same time by rational [considerations] from natural light. This is said concerning the doctrine of the New Church, because concerning the male child by which that doctrine is signified. To feed signifies to teach and instruct; here, to convince those who are willing to be convinced. Nations signify those who are in evils of life; here, those who are in dead worship, from faith separated from charity, for they are here treated of, and they are in evils of life. For while charity is separated there is no good of life; and where there is no good of life there is evil." (ib. n. 544.)
"And her child was caught up unto God and His throne," signifies that the doctrine is protected by the Lord, and guarded by the angels of heaven, because it is for the New Church. (ib. n. 545.)
The New Church is first Established among a Few.
"And the woman fled into the wilderness" (ver. 6), signifies that the church which is the New Jerusalem is at first among a few. The New Church is signified by the woman; and the wilderness signifies where there are no longer any truths. That it is first among a few is signified, because it follows, "Where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days;" by which its state at that time is signified,—that meanwhile it may be provided for among a larger number, until it increases to its appointed [state]. (A. R n. 546)
"Where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days," signifies the state of this church at that time, that meanwhile it may be provided for among a larger number, until it increases to its appointed [state]. By place state is signified; and to feed signifies to provide for its increase,—for thus the church is fed. Hence to have a place prepared of God that they may feed her, signifies the state of the church, that meanwhile it may be provided for among a greater number. "A thousand two hundred and sixty days" signifies to the end, and the beginning; that is, to the end of the former church and the beginning of the new,—the same as "time, and times, and half a time" in ver. 14,—thus also to its appointed [state], that is until it comes forth, as was provided. It is of the Lord's Divine providence that the church should first exist among a few, and successively increase among a larger number: because the falsities of the former church must first be removed. For not before can truths be received; because truths which are received and implanted before falsities are removed do not remain, and are also refined away by the dragonists. The case was similar with the Christian church, in that it successively increased from a few to many. Another reason is that first a new heaven is to be formed, which shall act as one with the church on earth. We therefore read that John "saw a new heaven, and the Holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" (Rev. xxi. 1, 2). It is certain that a new church will arise, which is the New Jerusalem, for it is foretold in the Apocalypse (chap. xxi. xxii.); and it is also certain that the falsities of the former church must first be removed; for these are the subject of the Apocalypse as far as chapter xx. (ib. n. 547.)
There are several reasons why this New Church which is called the holy Jerusalem will first begin among a few, afterwards embrace a larger number, and finally be filled:—First, because its doctrine, which is the doctrine of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour, cannot be acknowledged and hence cannot be received, except by those who are interiorly affected by truths,—who are no others than those that can see them; and they only see them who have cultivated their intellectual faculty, and have not destroyed it in themselves by the loves of self and the world. A second reason is, that the doctrine of that Church cannot be acknowledged, and hence cannot be received, except by those who have not confirmed themselves, in doctrine and at the same time in life, in faith alone. If confirmed only in doctrine it does not prevent; but if they have confirmed themselves at the same time in life it prevents; for then they neither know nor wish to know what love to God and charity towards the neighbour are. A third reason is, that the New Church on earth increases according to its increase in the world of spirits; for spirits from thence are with men, and are from those who were in the faith of their church while they lived in the world; and no others of them receive the doctrine but those that have been in an affection for spiritual truth. They alone are conjoined with heaven, where that doctrine is, and conjoin heaven with man. Their number in the world of spirits now daily increases; and therefore, according to their increase, this church which is called the New Jerusalem increases on earth. These too were the reasons why the Christian church increased so slowly in the European world after the Lord left the earth, and did not come to its fulness (ad plenum) until after an age had elapsed. (A. E. n. 732.)
It is said that "The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God;" and afterwards that "she received the wings of an eagle and flew to her own place,"—which signifies that the church which is called the New Jerusalem will abide among those who are in the doctrine of faith separate [from charity] while it increases to a full [state] ) (in plenum), until it is provided for among a larger number. But in that church are the dragons, who separate faith from good works not in doctrine only but also in life; others however in the same church, who live the life of faith, which is charity, are not dragons although among them. . . . The church consisting of those who are not dragons is meant (ver. 16) by the earth which helped the woman, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. . . . By these the New Church which is called the holy Jerusalem is helped, and also increases, (ib. n. 764.)
The Doctrine of the New Church is from Heaven, because from the Spiritual Sense of the Word.
The doctrine of the New Church is from heaven, because it is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and the spiritual sense of the Word is the same as the doctrine which is in heaven. (H. D. n. 7.)
The doctrines of the church in very many instances recede from the literal sense of the Word. It should be known that the true doctrine of the church is what is called the internal sense; for in the internal sense are such truths as are with the angels in heaven. . . . They who teach and learn only the literal sense of the Word, without the regulating doctrine of the church, comprehend only those things that belong to the natural or external man; while those who teach and learn from true doctrine which is from the Word understand also the things that belong to the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that in the external or literal sense the Word is natural, and in the internal sense it is spiritual. (A. C. n. 9025; also 9424)
All the Doctrines op the New Church are Essentials.
The essentials of the church, which conjoin themselves with faith in one God, are charity, good works, repentance, and a life according to the Divine laws; and as these, together with faith, affect and move the will and thought of man, they conjoin man to the Lord, and the Lord to man. . . .
All the dogmas or doctrinals of the New Church are essentials, in each of which is heaven and the church; and they look to this as their end, that man may be in the Lord, and the Lord in
man, according to His Words in John xiv. 20; and xv. 4-6. (B. E. n. 96, 97.)
This Church is to be the Crown of all the Churches, and is to Endure for Ever.
This church is the crown of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the globe; because it will worship the one visible God, in whom is the invisible God as the soul is in the body. Thus and no otherwise can there be conjunction of God with man; because man is natural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must be in the thought, and so in the affection of his love; and this is effected when man thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction with an invisible God is like conjunction of the vision of the eye with the expanse of the universe, of which it sees no limit; and like sight in mid ocean, which falls into the air and into the sea and vanishes. But conjunction with a visible God is like seeing 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 also be a reciprocal conjunction of man with God; and there cannot be this latter reciprocation except with a visible God.
That this church is to succeed the churches which have (existed since the beginning of the world; that it is to endure for ages of ages [in sœcula sœculorum]; and thus is to be the crown of all the churches that have existed before, was prophesied by Daniel:—First, when he told and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream concerning the four kingdoms,—by which are meant the four churches represented by the image seen by him,—saying, "In their days the God of heaven shall cause to arise a kingdom, which for ages shall not be destroyed; . . . and it shall . . . consume all those kingdoms; and it shall stand for ages" (Dan. ii. 44); and this was to be done by "A stone which became a great rock, filling the whole earth" (ver. 35). By a rock in the Word the Lord as to Divine truth is meant. And elsewhere the same prophet says, "I saw in the visions of the night, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, as it were the Son of Man; . . . and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age which will not pass away, and His kingdom one which shall not be destroyed" (vii. 13, 14). And this he says after he saw the four great beasts coming up out of the sea (ver. 3), which also represented the four former churches. That these things were prophesied by Daniel concerning the present time, is evident from his words in chap. xii. 4;. and from the Lord's words in Matt. xxiv. 15, 30. Similar things are said in the Apocalypse: "The seventh angel sounded; then there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms [of this world] are become [the kingdom] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ages of ages" (xi. 15).
Moreover the other prophets have, in many places, predicted of this church what its character will be; from which these few passages shall be adduced. In Zechariah: "There shall be one day which shall be known to Jehovah, not day nor night, . . . for about the time of evening there shall be light. In that day living waters shall go forth out of Jerusalem, . . . and Jehovah shall be King over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Jehovah, and His name one" (xiv. 7-9). In Joel: "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 remain to generation and generation" (iii. 18, 20). In Jeremiah: "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered together, on account of the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart" (iii. 17; Rev. xxi. 24, 26). In Isaiah: "Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; its stakes shall never be removed, and its cords shall not be broken" (xxxiii. 20). In these passages by Jerusalem is meant the holy New Jerusalem described in Rev. xxi., which means the New Church. Again in Isaiah: "There shall go forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, . . . and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His thighs. Wherefore the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the falling 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 over the den of the cockatrice. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah. . . . In that day there shall be a Root out of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the people; after it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious" (xi. 1, 5-10). That such things have not yet come to pass in the churches, much less 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 write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; . . . they shall all know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them" (xxxi. 31-34; Rev. xxi. 3). That these things have not hitherto taken place in the churches is also known. The reason has been that they have not approached a visible God, whom all shall recognize; and He is the Word or law which He will put in their inward parts and write upon their hearts. 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 he called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of glory 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" (lxii. 1-4, 11, 12). (T. C. R. n. 787-789.)
This new and true Christian Church, it is to be proved from the Word of both Testaments, will endure to eternity (in æternum), and was foreseen from the foundation of the world. It is to be the crown of the four preceding churches, because of its true faith and true charity. (Cor. p. 70.)
Formation of the New Heaven.
"And I saw, and, lo! a Lamb stood upon Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand" (Rev. xiv. 1). This signifies the Lord, now in the New Heaven, gathered from those in the Christian churches who have acknowledged the Lord alone as God of heaven and earth, and have been in truths of doctrine from the good of love from Him, by means of the Word. . . . The one hundred forty and four thousand were treated of in the seventh chapter; but there [the circumstance] that they were sealed upon their foreheads, thus, that they were distinguished and separated from others. Here now [it is taught] that they were gathered together in one; and that of them a heaven [was formed]. . . . This heaven is the New Heaven from which the Holy Jerusalem, that is the New Church on earth, will descend. (A. R. n. 612.)
The New Church from this New Heaven is to be Distinct from the former Church.
It should be known that when any church becomes no church,—that is when charity perishes,—and a new church is established by the Lord, seldom if ever does it take place among those with whom the old church existed, but among those with whom there was before no church, that is among Gentiles. It was so when the Most Ancient church perished; then a new church called Noah, or the Ancient church which existed after the flood, was established among Gentiles, that is among those with whom there was no church before. In like manner when this church perished, the semblance of a church was established among the descendants of Abraham from Jacob; thus again among Gentiles, for Abram when he was called was a Gentile; the posterity of Jacob in Egypt became still more Gentile, insomuch that they were entirely ignorant of Jehovah, and therefore of all Divine worship. After this semblance of a church was consummated, then the Primitive church was established among Gentiles, the Jews being rejected. So will it be with this church, which is called Christian. (A. C. n. 2986.)
The destruction of this [the first Christian] church is foretold by the Lord in the Evangelists, and through John in the Apocalypse; which destruction is what is called the last judgment. Not that then heaven and earth are to perish; but that a new church will be raised up in some part of the earth, this church still remaining in its external worship,—as the Jews in theirs; in whose worship it is well enough known there is nothing of charity and faith, thus nothing of the church, (ib. n. 1850.)
When the church is fully devastated a New Church will be established, into which they who are of the former church will be invited. (A E. n. 948.)
"And His wife hath made herself ready." This signifies that they who will be of this New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, are to be gathered together, inaugurated, and instructed. That by wife the Lord's New Church is signified, which is the New Jerusalem, is clearly manifest from the following (twenty-first) chapter, where these words occur:—"I saw the holy city New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (ver. 2). And in the same chapter: "There came unto me an angel . . . saying, Come hither, I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. . . . And he showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (ver. 9, 10). By [the expression] "His wife hath made herself ready," it is signified that they who will be of this New Church of the Lord are to be gathered together, inaugurated, and instructed. And because this is signified by "hath made herself ready," it follows that that wife is to be "arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright," by which inauguration by instruction is signified. And therefore the subject of the white horse also follows, by which is signified the understanding of the Word [revealed] for them by the Lord. (A. R n. 813.)
By the New Jerusalem is meant a new church, or congregation; the doctrines and articles of whose faith cannot shine in their true splendour, and give light to others, without the Divine aid; because they are only figuratively described in the Apocalypse, that is, according to correspondence. (Letter to Oetinger, Swed. Doc., p. 208.)
The New Church at first External.
The New Church in its beginning will be external. (A. E. n. 403.)
Every church in its beginning becomes acquainted only with the general [principles] of doctrine; for it is then in its simplicity, or as it were in its childhood. In the course of time it adds particulars; which are partly confirmations of general principles, partly additions,—which yet are not repugnant to the general principle,—and also explanations, that open contradictions may be analyzed, and not clash with what common sense dictates. (A. C. n. 4720.)
The Necessity of Order, Internal and External.
Who does not see that there is no empire, kingdom, dukedom, republic, state, or household, that is not established by laws, which constitute the order and so the form of its. government? In each of them the laws of justice are in the highest place, political laws in the second, and economical laws in the third. If compared with man, the laws of justice constitute the head; political laws the body; and economical laws the clothing,—wherefore these, like garments, may be changed.
But as regards the order in which the church is established by God, it is,—That God, and also the neighbour towards whom order is to be exercised, is in all and every thing of it. The laws of this order are as many as the truths in the Word. The laws which relate to God constitute its head; the laws that relate to the neighbour constitute its body; and ceremonial laws form its clothing. For unless these preserved the former in their order it would be as if the body were made bare, and exposed to the heat of summer and the cold of winter; or as if the roof and walls were removed from a temple, and the sanctuary, the altar, and the pulpit, daily stood thus openly exposed to various kinds of violence. (T. C. R. n. 55.)
- See note, p. 172.
- See note, p. 284.
- This might seem at variance with the author's very explicit teaching elsewhere (see p. 117), that "The doctrine of the Church should be drawn from the
- As to who are meant by Gentiles see p. 323.
literal sense of the Word, and confirmed by it." In reality however the two are in perfect harmony, and only different and very important phases of the same truth. In another place (S. S. n. 55) he teaches that, "In the literal sense the Word is as a man clothed, whose face and hands are naked; all things therein which relate to man's life, and so to his salvation, are naked, and the rest are clothed." The very doctrine of the Word is its internal sense (A. C. n. 9424, et al.), and those parts of the Word which are naked, or where the doctrine of the internal sense is uncovered in the letter, are the parts where genuine truth or true doctrine is taught in the letter. But this genuine truth can only be seen by those who are enlightened by the Lord; and when the church had sunk so low that all power to distinguish the true doctrine of the Word had been lost,—when "the sun was darkened, and the moon had ceased to give her light," the true doctrine could only be restored by a new revelation. It was then necessary that one should be enlightened in the spiritual sense itself of the Word, in order that in the light of that sense he might fully and certainly see which are the uncovered parts where the literal coincides with the spiritual sense, and genuine truth or the true doctrine of the church is taught. Thus it is true, both that the genuine doctrine of the church is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and that it must be drawn from the literal sense, and confirmed by it. But the doctrines lying uncovered in the letter of the Word are general truths (A. R. n. 378, et al. ); and as the uncovered face is the index to the whole man, so these general truths involve all the particulars of doctrine contained in the internal sense itself. Now, it has pleased the Lord in this fulness of time, for the use of this future "crown of all the churches," not only to enlighten the mind of one raised up for the purpose, to see and teach the genuine doctrine thus contained in the letter of the Word, but also to reveal very many of the particulars of doctrine contained within these general truths; in other words, to reveal the spiritual sense which is the doctrine itself of the Word. (See also pp. 122, 123.)