top to bottom, in which nothing was coherent; and instead of the woman I saw hanging in that house a form, of which the head was like a dragon's, the body like a leopard's, and the feet like those of a bear,—thus like the beast described as rising out of the sea in Rev. xiii.; and instead of a floor was a marsh, in which there was a multitude of frogs; and I was told that beneath the marsh there was a large hewn stone, under which the Word lay, well hidden. Seeing this, I said to the juggler, "Is this your temple?" And he said, "It is." But then suddenly his interior sight also was opened, and he saw the same as I. Seeing which, he cried out in a loud voice, "What is this, and whence is it?" And I said, "It is from the light of heaven, which discovers the quality of every form. And here is the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity." Then immediately an east wind blew and carried away everything that was there, and also dried up the marsh, and so laid bare the stone under which the Word lay. And then there breathed a vernal warmth from heaven, and lo! in the same place there appeared a tabernacle; as to outward form, plain and simple. And the angels who were with me said, "Behold the tabernacle of Abraham, as it was when the three angels came to him and announced the future birth of Isaac. It appears simple to the eye; but according to the influx of light from heaven it is more and more magnificent." And it was granted them to open the heaven in which the spiritual angels dwell, who are in wisdom; and then by the inflowing light from thence the tabernacle appeared as a temple, like that at Jerusalem. And when I looked into it, I saw the foundation-stone under which the Word was deposited set round about with precious stones, from which as it were lightning flashed forth upon the walls, on which there were forms of cherubim, and beautifully variegated them with colours. I was wondering at these things, when the angels said, "You shall see things still more wonderful." And it was given them to open the third heaven, in which the celestial angels dwell, who are in love; and then by the inflowing light from thence that whole temple vanished, and in its place the Lord alone was seen, standing upon the foundation-stone, which was the Word, in the same form in which He was seen by John (Rev. i.). But as a holiness then filled the interiors of the minds of the angels, from which they had a strong inclination to fall prostrate on their faces, the way of the light from the third heaven was suddenly closed by the Lord, and the way of light from the second heaven was opened, by which the former appearance of the temple returned, and also of the tabernacle, but within the temple. By these things it was illustrated what is meant by the words in this chapter: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with
Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/497
THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.