Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/454

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in those of the Sabbaths and feasts, in the freewill offerings, in the offerings of vows and of thanksgivings, in the trespass and sin offerings, and which were to be used in offerings for purification. This would never have been unless some special thing were represented and signified by each animal. But what each in particular signified it would be too prolix here to explain. It is sufficient here to know that things celestial are what are signified by the animals, and things spiritual by the birds; and that by each individual one some special celestial or spiritual reality is signified. The Jewish church itself, and all things pertaining to that church, were representative of such realities as are of the Lord's kingdom; where there is nothing but what is celestial and spiritual, that is, nothing but what is of love and faith. This too is evident enough from the signification of the clean and useful beasts; which, because in the Most Ancient churches they signified celestial goods, afterwards,—when worship merely external, and this, representative, was held in esteem and acknowledged,—became representative, (ib. n. 1823.)


Illustration of what a Representative Church is, and why it is.

There are three heavens, the inmost or third, the middle or second, and the ultimate or first. In the inmost heaven the good of love to the Lord reigns; in the middle heaven the good of charity towards the neighbour reigns; and in the ultimate heaven those things are represented which are thought and said, and which exist, in the middle and inmost heaven. The representatives which exist there are innumerable,—such as paradises, gardens, forests, fields and plains; cities, palaces and houses; as well as flocks and herds, and animals and birds of many kinds, and innumerable other things. These appear before the eyes of angelic spirits there more clearly than similar things in the light of mid-day on earth; and what is wonderful, what they signify is also apperceived. Such things likewise appeared to the prophets, when their interior sight was opened, which is the sight of the spirit; as horses to Zechariah (vi. 1-9); animals, which were cherubim, and afterwards the New Temple with all things appertaining to it, to Ezekiel (i. ix. x. xl. xlviii.); a candlestick, thrones, animals, which also were cherubim, horses, the New Jerusalem, and many other things, to John,—of which in the Apocalypse; and horses and chariots of fire to the boy of Elisha (2 Kings vi. 17). Similar things appear continually in heaven, before the eyes of spirits and angels, and are the natural forms in which the internal things of heaven terminate, and in which