Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/489

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

in these twelve foundations were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and by the twelve apostles all things of doctrine concerning the Lord are signified, and concerning life according to His commandments. The same also is signified by these twelve stones as by the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of Aaron, which was called the Urim and Thummim,—of which in Exod. xxviii. 15-21, and which are separately explained in the Arcana Cœlestia,—with the difference, that upon those were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and upon these the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. That the foundations are of precious stones is also said in Isaiah: "O thou afflicted, . . . behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, . . . and thy gates of carbuncles, . . . and all thy children shall he taught of Jehovah" (Isaiah liv. 11, 12). By the afflicted the church is meant that was to be established by the Lord among the Gentiles. In the same: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. . . . Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet" (xxviii. 16, 17). Since all truth of doctrine from the Word must be founded upon the acknowledgment of the Lord, therefore the Lord is called the Stone of Israel (Gen. xlix. 24); and the Corner Stone, which the builders rejected (Matt. xxi. 42); Mark xii. 10, 11; Luke xx. 17, 18). That the corner stone is the foundation stone appears from Jerem. li. 26. The Lord also in many places in the Word is called a rock; therefore by the rock He meant Himself when He said, "Upon this rock will I build my church" (Matt. xvi. 18, 19); and also when He said, "Whosoever heareth my sayings and doeth them, is to be likened unto a prudent man, who buildeth a house and layeth the foundation upon a rock" (Luke vi. 47, 48; Matt. vii. 24, 25). By a rock the Lord as to the Divine truth of the Word is signified. (A. R. n. 915.)

 

The Twelve Gates of Pearl.

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every one of the gates was of one pearl" (ver. 21), signifies that the acknowledgment and cognition[1] of the Lord conjoins into one all cognitions of truth and good which are from the Word, and introduces into the church. By the twelve gates are signified, in a summary, the cognitions of truth and good by which man is introduced into the church; by twelve pearls also cognitions of truth and good in a summary are signified. Hence it is that the gates were pearls. Every gate was of one pearl because all cognitions of

  1. See note, p. 284.