« ÎnapoiContinuați »
truth: “ And the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee,” signifies, that with those who are in that religion from doctrine, and from a lite according thereto, there is no conjunction of good and truth which constitutes the church : "For thy merchants were the great men of the earth,” signifies, that the superiors in their ecclesiastical hierarchy are such, because by means of the various and even arbitrary rights left them in the statutes of their order, they traffic and make gain : "For by thy sorcery were all nations deceived,” signifies, their abominable arts and schemes, whereby they have diverted the minds of all from the holy worship of the Lord to the profane worship of living and dead men and of idols: “ And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth," signifies, that from the religion which is meant by ihe city of Babylon, there is an adulteration and profanation of every truth of the Word, and consequently of the church, and that false principies have emanated from thence throughout the whole Christian world.
753. “ And after these things I saw,” signifies a manifestation concerning the destruction and condemnation of those who were of the Roman Catholic religion, and exercised power over the holy things of the church and heaven, from a desire of ruling over all, and possessing all the goods of others. These things are here signified by, "after these things I saw," because these are what are treated of in this chapter. The tenets of that religion are prefixed to this work, in order that they who are in illumination froni the Lord, may see that they have a view to nothing else but dominion over the souls of men, to the end that they may be worshiped as gods, and may alone possess the goods of the whole world; and as this, and not the salvation of souls, was the end, they could not derive their tenets from any other source than from hell; for they could not derive them from heaven, that is, from the Lord, but from themselves, because they had transferred to themselves all things belonging to the Lord. What can be more detestable than to divide the body and blood of the Lord, or the bread and wine, in the holy
supper, manifestly contrary to its institution, and this under feigned pretences, and solely for the sake of the daily and nightly sacrifices of the mass, by which they amass worldly wealth? What can be more detestable than to worship dead men with divine invocations, to fall down upon their knees before their images, and with holy reverence to kiss them, yea, and their bones and relics, and thus to divert the people from divine worship, and to introduce them unto profane worship, and this also for the sake of lucre ? What can be more detestable than to make divine worship on Sundays and festivals to consist in masses not understood, thus in externals, which are of the body and its affections, without internals, which are of the mind and its affections, and to ascribe to the former all holiness, and thereby to keep all in ignorance and in a blind faith, that they may exercise rule and make gain ? What can be more detestable than to transfer all the Lord's divine power to themselves, which is nothing less than to remove the Lord from his throne and place themselves upon it? What can be more detestable than to take the Word, which is divine truth itself, from the laity and common people, and in its stead to issue forth edicis and tenets, in which there is scarcely a single genuine truth of the Word ? These are the things which are treated of in this chapter of the Apocalypse.
754. “An angel came down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory,” signifies, strong influx from the Lord out of heaven by divine truth, whereby his church was in celestial light. By an angel is signified the Lord; by an angel coming down from heaven, is signified the Lord's influx out of heaven; by having great power, is signified strong influx ; by the earth being lightened with his glory is signified that the church was in celestial light from the Lord by divine truth. That by an angel and angels in the Word is meant the Lord, may be seen, n. 258, 344, 465, 649, 657, 718; by coming down, is signified to flow in, because it is said of the Lord ; that by the earth is signified the church, see n. 285, 721 ; that glory is predicated of divine truth, and signifies it, n. 249, 629. It is called
divine truth in celestial light, because divine truth proceeding from the Lord is the light of heaven, which illuminates the angels, and constitutes their wisdom. The reason why the Lord's influx by divine truth, and the consequent illumination of the church, are now spoken of, is, because by means of that influx they who are in falses are separated from those who are in truths, and also because by the light of truth falses appear according to their real quality.
755. “And he cried mightily with a great voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,” signifies, that he made it known, that by the divine power of the Lord, all who were in that religion, and at the same time in the love of dominion, were destroyed in the spiritual world, and in consequence cast into their respective hells. That this is the signification of these words, may appear from the work concerning the Last Judgment and the Destruction of Babylon, published in London, anno. 1758, where its destruction is described from n. 53–64. From which it may be seen, that they of that religion, who from the heat of self-love exercised dominion over the holy and divine things of the Lord, which relate to heaven and the church, and who were mere idolaters, were destroyed and cast into hell ; but that they of the same religion who lived according to the precepts of the decalogue, by shunning evils as sins, and at the same time looked up to the Lord, were saved, may be seen in the Continuation concerning the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World, n.58; to which it is unnecessary to add any thing more. The like is said of Babylon in Isaiah : “ A lion cried upon the watch-tower, and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken into the ground,” xxi. 8, 9. They of that religion, who are of like characters with the above described, since the last judgment, are collected together, and are sent from time to time to their like.
756. “ And is become the habitation of demons," signifies, that their hells are hells of the lusts of dominion from the heat of self-love, and of the lusts of profaning the truths of heaven from the spurious zeal of that love. By
demons, are signified concupiscences of evil, n. 458; and, also, the lusts of falsifying truths ; but demons, like lusts, are of several kinds ; the worst are those who are lusts exercising dominion, from the heat of self-love, over the holy things of the church and over heaven; and as this love of sovereignty reigns in their hearts, they are also the lusts of profaning the truths of heaven from the spurious zeal of that love. And since they, on their becoming demons, as is the case after death, know that the Lord only rules over heaven and earth, they become hatreds against bim, insomuch that after the lapse of an age they cannot endure to hear him named. From these considerations it is evident, that by Babylon becoming the babitation of demons, is signified that their bells are bells of the lusts of dominion originating from the heat of self-love, and of the lusts of profaning the truths of heaven from the spurious zeal of that love. It is not known in the world, that all asier death become affections of the love which reigns witbin them; they who have looked up to the Lord and to heaven, and at the same time bave shunned evils as sins, become good affections, but they who have looked only to themselves and the world, and have shunned evils not because they were sins, but only injurious as to their honor and character, become evil affections, which are concupiscences. These affections appear to the life, and are perceived in the spiritual world ; whereas the thoughts only which proceed from affections appear in the natural world. Hence it is, that man does not know that hell resides in the effections of the love of evil, and beaven in the affections of the love of good ; and the reason why he does not perceive this, is, because the lusts of the love of evil, owing to their being hereditary, are delightful in the will, and thence pleasant in the understanding: and man does not reflect upon that which is delightful and pleasant, because it carries bis mind along, just as the current of a river carries a sbip; wherefore, they who are immersed in those delights and pleasures, cannot arrive at the delights and pleasures of the affections of the love of good and truth, otherwise than after the manner of those who with a strong arm ply their oars against the
tide : but the case is different with such as have not immersed themselves so deeply.
757. “ And the hold of every unclean spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird,” signifies, that the evils of the will and thence of the actions, and the falses of the thoughts and thence of the deliberations of such as are in those hells, are diabolical, because they are turned away from the Lord to themselves. By a hold, is signified hell, this being a place or state of confinement; by a spirit, is signified all that relates to affection and will, and thence to action ; and by a bird, is signified all that relates to thought or understanding, and thence to deliberation, for which reason, by a foul spirit and an unclean bird, are signified all the evils which pertain to the will and consequent actions, and all the falses which pertain to the thought and consequent deliberations; and as these exist in hell among them, therefore it signifies that they are diabolical ; and as they are turned away froin the Lord to themselves, it is also called a bateful bird. Babel is described in the prophets by the like expressions ; as in Isaiah : “ And Babylon shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrab. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there ;- but the wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces,” xiii. 19—22. In the same prophet: “I will cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant :- I will also make it a possession for the bittern," xiv. 22, 23. And in Jeremiah : “In Babylon shall dwell the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands, and the owls.As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities thereof, so shall no son of man dwell there,” l. 39, 40. From which it is evident, that by a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, is signified that the evils of the will and consequent actions, and the falses of the thoughts and consequent deliberations, of such as are in those hells, are diabolical, because they are turned away