Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/496

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

it as a virgin,—in beauty and apparel according to the quality of the church. Thus has it also been granted me to see the church. By "prepared" is signified, attired for her espousal; and the church is no otherwise made ready for espousal, and afterwards for conjunction or marriage, than by the Word; for this is the only medium of conjunction or marriage, because the Word is from the Lord and concerning the Lord, and thus the Lord; and therefore it is called also the covenant, and a covenant signifies spiritual conjunction. For this end indeed the Word was given. That the Lord is meant by "husband" is plain from verses 10 and 11 of this chapter, where Jerusalem is called "the bride, the Lamb's wife." From all this it may be seen, that by Jerusalem "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" that church is signified, conjoined with the Lord by the Word. (A. R. n. 881.)

 

Memorabilia concerning the Tabernacle and Temple of the Holy City.

While I was engaged upon the explanation of the xxth chapter [of the Apocalypse], and was meditating upon the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, one appeared to me, and asked, "What is the subject of your meditation?" I said, "The false prophet." He then said, "I will lead you to a place where they are who are meant by the false prophet." He said they were the same that are meant in chap. xiii. by the "beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spake like a dragon." I followed him. And lo, I saw a multitude, in the midst of which were prelates, who taught that nothing but faith saves man, and that works are good, but not unto salvation; and yet that they are to be taught from the Word, in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be kept more strictly under the restraints of obedience to the magistracy, and forced, as if from religion thus interiorly, to exercise moral charity. And then one of them seeing me said, "Would you like to see our temple, in which there is an image representative of our faith?" I went and saw it. And behold it was magnificent! And in the midst of it there was an image of a woman clothed in a scarlet robe, holding in her right hand a gold coin, and in her left a string of large pearls. But both the temple and the image were produced by fantasies; for infernal spirits can represent magnificent things by fantasies, by closing the interiors of the mind and opening only its exteriors. But when I considered that they were illusions of this kind, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened, and then instead of a magnificent temple I saw a house full of chinks and crevices from