Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/268

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body, and have contrived various arts of defrauding others, and at length, in consequence of success, have attributed all things to their own prudence, in the other life learn in addition magical arts, which are nothing else than abuses of Divine order, especially of correspondences. For it is according to Divine order that each and all things correspond. As for example, the hands, the arms, and the shoulders, correspond to power; and thence a staff also has the same correspondence. Therefore they form to themselves staffs, and also representatively present shoulders, arms, and hands, and thereby exercise magical power. So in a thousand and a thousand other ways. The abuse of order and of correspondences is when those things which are of order are not applied to good ends, but to evil ends; and to the end of ruling over others, and to the end of destroying; for the end of order is salvation, thus to do good to all.

Where sorceries and enchantments are mentioned in the Word they signify also the art of so presenting falsities that they appear as truths, and of so presenting truths that they appear as falsities; which is done chiefly by fallacies. . . . Such is the signification of enchantments in this passage, "By thy enchantments were all nations seduced" (Rev. xviii. 23); which is said of Babylon. . . . From this it may now be known what is signified by the sorceries which were to be cut off out of the hand, in Micah v. 12; namely, the arts of presenting truths as falsities, and falsities as truths. These arts also correspond to the fantasies by which the evil in the other life present beautiful things before the eyes as ugly, and ugly things as beautiful; which fantasies are in truth a species of sorcery, for they also are abuses and perversions of Divine order. (A. C. n. 7296, 7297.)

By witchcraft in the Word nearly the same is signified as by enchantment, and enchantment signifies such persuasion that a man does not at all perceive but that the thing is so. Such a kind of persuasion exists with certain spirits that they as it were obstruct the understanding of another, and suffocate the faculty of perceiving. And as the upright men in the Babylonish nation[1] are compelled and persuaded to believe and to do what the monks say, therefore it is said they are seduced by their enchantments (Rev. xviii. 23). The enchantments mentioned by Isaiah, xlvii. 9, 12, where also Babylon is treated of, have a similar signification. So by David in Psalm Iviii. 5, 6. Enchantment is also among the arts approximating to magic which were prohibited to the children of Israel (Deut. xviii. 10, 11). (A. E. n. 1191.)

  1. That is, the Papal Church. Babylon is the Scriptural type of that spiritual dominion which in the Christian age has had its most remarkable and characteristic embodiment in that religion.