Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/485

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

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[1] 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

  1. See note, p. 172.