Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/500

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I am a brother to dragons, add a companion to owls" (Job xxx. 28, 29). "The wild beasts . . . shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces" (Isa. xiii. 22). "And Babylon shall become heaps, a habitation of dragons, an astonishment and a hissing" (Jer. li. 37). "Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death" (Psa. xliv. 19). "I have laid the mountains of Esau and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness" (Mai. i. 3). And other passages; as Isa. xliii. 20; Jer. xiv. 6; Psa. xci. 13, 14; Deut. xxxii. 33. That by the dragon here they are meant who are in faith alone, and reject the works of the law as not conducive to salvation, has sometimes been made manifest to me in the spiritual world by living experience. I have seen many thousands of them assembled in a crowd; and from a distance they appeared as a dragon with a long tail, that seemed covered with spines like a thorn, which signified falsities. Once also a still greater dragon was seen, which raising his back lifted up his tail towards heaven, with an effort to draw down the stars from thence. Thus it was manifested before my eyes that no others are meant by the dragon. (ib. n. 537.)

"Having seven heads" signifies insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word. The head signifies wisdom and intelligence; and, in the opposite sense, insanity. And here by the seven heads, because they were of the dragon, insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word is properly signified; for seven is predicated of things holy, and in the opposite sense of things profane. It therefore follows that upon his heads there appeared seven diadems, and by diadems the truths of the Word are signified,—here, falsified and profaned. (ib. n. 538.)

"And ten horns" signifies much power. A horn signifies power; and ten signifies much. It is said that the dragon has much power, because the salvation of man by faith alone, without the works of the law,—which faith is meant by the dragon,—captivates the minds of men, and then confirmations produce conviction. It captivates, because when a man hears that the damnation of the law is taken away, and that the Lord's merit is imputed to him through faith alone therein, he can indulge in the pleasures of mind and body without any fear of hell. Hence is the power which is signified by the dragon's ten horns. That such has been his power, is very plain from the reception of that faith throughout the whole reformed Christian world. (ib. n. 539.)

"And seven diadems upon his heads," signifies all the truths of the Word falsified and profaned. By diadems, or by precious stones, the truths of the Word are signified; in particular, the truths of the literal sense of the Word,—but here, those truths falsified and