Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/499

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

are meant by the dragon. This is plain from what follows in this chapter; as that the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child; and afterwards pursued her into the wilderness. (ib. n. 534, 535.)

"And behold a great red dragon" (ver. 3), signifies those in the Reformed church who make God three, and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith, and hold the latter,—and not together with the former,—to be saving. It is these who are meant, here and in what follows, by the dragon. For they are opposed to the two essentials of the New Church, which are: That God is one in essence and in person; in whom there is a trinity; and that the Lord is that God: And that charity and faith are one, as the essence and its form; and that none have charity and faith but those who live according to the commandments of the decalogue, which are commandments that evils are not to be done. And in so far as any one, by shunning evils as sins against God, does not do them, in so far he does the goods which are of charity, and believes the truths which are of faith. . . . By those who make God three, and the Lord two, they are meant who think of three persons as of three Gods, and separate the Lord's Human from His Divine. And who thinks otherwise, or can think otherwise, that prays, according to the formula of faith, "That God the Father, for the sake of the Son, will send the Holy Spirit?" Does he not pray to God the Father as to one God, and for the sake of the Son as another, and concerning the Holy Spirit as a third? It is plain that though one in his thought shall make the three persons one God, yet he divides them,—that is divides his conception,—when he thus prays, into three Gods. The same formula of faith also makes the Lord two; for the Lord's Human alone is then thought of, and not at the same time His Divine; since "for the sake of the Son" is for the sake of the Human which suffered on the cross. . . . Now, because these two essentials of doctrine in the Reformed churches are falsities, and falsities devastate the church,—for they take away its truths and goods,—therefore they were represented by a dragon. The reason is that by a dragon, in the Word, the devastation of the church is signified; as may appear from the following passages: "I will make Jerusalem heaps, a habitation of dragons, and I will make the cities of Judah desolate" (Jer. ix. 11). Behold, . . . a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, a habitation of dragons" (Jer. x. 22). "Hazor shall be a habitation of dragons, even a desolation for ever" (Jer. xlix. 33). "That it may be a habitation of dragons, a court for owls" (Isa. xxxiv. 13). "In the habitation of dragons where each lay" (Isa. xxxv. 7). "I will go stripped and naked, I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls" (Mic. i. 8). "I cried,