Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/160

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which was to reach even unto heaven; but the design of the builders was frustrated by the confusion of tongues, and they were dispersed, and the city was called Babel (Gen. xi. 1-9). What is there meant by the tower, and the confusion of tongues, is explained in the Arcana Cœlestia, published in London. The reason why the hells had grown to such a height was, that at the time when the Lord came into the world the whole earth had completely alienated itself from God, by idolatry and magic; and the church which had existed among the children of Israel, and afterwards among the Jews, was utterly destroyed through the falsification and adulteration of the Word. And both the former and the latter after death flocked into the world of spirits, where at length they so increased and multiplied, that they could not be expelled but by the descent of God Himself, and then by the strength of His Divine arm. How this was done is described in a little work on the Last Judgment, published at London in the year 1758. This was accomplished by the Lord when He was in the world. A similar judgment has also been accomplished by the Lord at this day, for, as was said above, now is His second coming, which is foretold everywhere in the Apocalypse; and in Matt. xxiv. 3, 30; in Mark xiii. 26; in Luke xxi. 27; also in the Acts of the Apostles i 11; and in other places. The difference is that at His first coming the hells had so increased by idolaters, magicians, and falsifiers of the Word; but at this second coming by so-called Christians, both those who are steeped in naturalism, and also those who have falsified the Word, by confirmations of their fabulous faith concerning three Divine Persons from eternity, and concerning the passion of the Lord, that it was redemption itself; for it is these who are meant by the dragon and his two beasts in the Revelation xii. and xiii. (T. C. R. n. 121.)

The reason why the angels could not have subsisted in a state of integrity if redemption had not been wrought by the Lord, is that the whole angelic heaven, together with the church on earth, before the Lord is as one man, whose internal constitutes the angelic heaven, and whose external constitutes the church; or more particularly, whose head constitutes the highest heaven, whose breasts and middle region of the body constitute the second and the ultimate heaven, and whose loins and feet constitute the church on earth; and the Lord Himself is the soul and life of this whole man. If therefore the Lord had not wrought redemption this man would have been destroyed,—as to the feet and loins, by the defection of the church on earth; as to the gastric region, by the defection of the lowest heaven; as to the breast, by the defection of the second heaven; and then the head, having no correspondence with the body, would fall into a swoon. (T.C.R.n.119.)