Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/202

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as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions; and they had breastplates as of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of many chariots running to battle; and they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." Neither would any one be able to understand these things unless the spiritual sense were laid open to him, for nothing here is uselessly said, but all things, even to the least particulars, have a signification. The subject here treated of is the state of the church when all knowledges of truth from the Word are destroyed, and consequently man, having become sensual, persuades himself that falsities are truths. By a star fallen from heaven are signified the knowledges of truth destroyed; by the sun and air being darkened is signified the light of truth made darkness; by the locusts which came forth out of the smoke of the pit are signified falsities in the extremes,—such as pertain to those who have become sensual, and who see and judge all things from fallacies; by a scorpion is signified their persuasive [power]. That the locusts appeared as horses prepared for battle signifies their ratiocinations, as if from the understanding of truth; that the locusts had crowns like unto gold upon their heads, and faces as the faces of men, signifies that they appeared to themselves as conquerors, and wise; their having hair as the hair of women signifies that they appeared to themselves as if they were in the affection of truth; their having teeth as the teeth of lions signifies that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the natural man, appeared to them as if they had power over all things; their having breastplates as breastplates of iron signifies argumentations grounded in fallacies, by which they fight and prevail; that the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots running to battle signifies ratiocinations as if from truths of doctrine from the Word, for which they were to contend; their having tails like scorpions signifies persuasions; their having stings in their tails signifies the cunning arts of deceiving thereby; their having power to hurt men five months signifies that they induce a kind of stupor on those who are in the understanding of truth and in the perception of good; their having a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon, or Apollyon, signifies that their falsities were from hell, where they are who are merely natural and in self-intelligence. This is the spiritual sense of these words; nothing of which appears in the sense of the letter. There is such a spiritual sense throughout the Apocalypse. (S. S. n. 12, V6.)

That it may be seen that the prophetical parts of the Word of