Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/503

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

doctrine of the New Church. By a son in the Word truth of doctrine is signified, and understanding and thought of truth and good therefrom; and by a daughter the good of doctrine is signified, and a will and thence affection for truth and good; and by a male child is signified truth conceived in the spiritual man and born in the natural. The reason is that in the Word generations and births signify spiritual generations and births, all which in general relate to good and truth; for nothing else is begotten and born of the Lord as a husband and the church as a wife. Now, as the woman who brought forth signifies the New Church, it is plain that the male child signifies the doctrine of that church. The doctrine which is here meant is The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, published in London in 1758; and also The Doctrine concerning the Lord, Concerning the Sacred Scripture, and Concerning Life, According to the Commandments of the Decalogue, published in Amsterdam. For by doctrine all the truths of doctrine are meant; because doctrine is the complex of them. When these doctrines were written the dragonists stood around me, and laboured together with all their fury to devour, that is, to extinguish them. This strange circumstance I am permitted to relate, because of a truth it thus occurred. The dragonists who stood around me were from every part of the reformed Christian world, (ib. n. 543.)

"Who was to feed all nations with a rod of iron," signifies,—Which [doctrine] will convince all who are in dead worship from faith separated from charity, that are willing to be convinced, by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and at the same time by rational [considerations] from natural light. This is said concerning the doctrine of the New Church, because concerning the male child by which that doctrine is signified. To feed signifies to teach and instruct; here, to convince those who are willing to be convinced. Nations signify those who are in evils of life; here, those who are in dead worship, from faith separated from charity, for they are here treated of, and they are in evils of life. For while charity is separated there is no good of life; and where there is no good of life there is evil." (ib. n. 544.)

"And her child was caught up unto God and His throne," signifies that the doctrine is protected by the Lord, and guarded by the angels of heaven, because it is for the New Church. (ib. n. 545.)

The New Church is first Established among a Few.

"And the woman fled into the wilderness" (ver. 6), signifies that the church which is the New Jerusalem is at first among a few. The New Church is signified by the woman; and the