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12. One woe is past; behold, there come two woes more here-
13. And the sixth angel sounded: and I heard a voice from
ing from heaven into the church as existing with such persons, and effecting exploration and manifestation: "And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit," signifies, the opening of their hell: "And he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace," signifies, the falses of the concupiscences of the natural man springing forth from their evil loves: "And the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit," signifies, that thereby the light of truth was turned into thick darkness: "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, signifies, that from them were derived falses to the extreme or lowest degrees, such as prevail with those who have become sensual, and see and judge of all things by the senses and their fallacies: "And unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power,” signifies, the power of persuading that their falses are truths: "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads," signifies, the divine providence of the Lord, that they should not be able to take away any truth and good of faith, nor any affection and perception of them, from any others than such as are not in charity and thence not in faith: "And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months," signifies, that neither from these should they be able to take away the faculty of understanding and willing truth and good, but that they should only be able to bring on stupor for a short time: " And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man," signifies, that this is from their persuasive power: "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them,” signifies, that it is their desire that, in matters of faith, the understanding should be shut up and the will closed, by which means spiritual light and life are extinguished, and that yet this cannot be done: "And the shapes of the locusts," signifies, the form and appearance of those who have confirmed in themselves faith separated from charity: "Were like unto horses prepared unto battle," signifies, that because they can reason, they appear to themselves to combat from the understanding of truth from the Word: "And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold," signifies, that they appeared to themselves as conquerors: "And their faces were as the faces of men," signifies, that they appeared to themselves to be wise: "And they had hair as the hair of women," signifies, that they appeared to themselves to be in the affection of truth; "And their teeth were as the teeth of lions," signifies, that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the life of the natural man, appeared with them to have power over all things: "And they had breast-plates, as it were breast-plates of iron,” signifies, that argumentations from fallacies, by which they fight and prevail, appeared to them so powerful that they could not be refuted: "And the sound of their wings was as the sound
of chariots of many horses running to battle," signifies, their reasonings as if they were from truths of doctrine from the Word fully understood, for which they must ardently fight: "And they had tails like unto scorpions," signifies, the truths of the Word falsified, by means of which they induce stupor: “And there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months," signifies, subtile falsifications of the Word, by which for a short time they darken and fascinate the understanding, and thus deceive and captivate: “And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue he hath his name Apollyon," signifies, that they are in the satanic hell who are in falses from concupiscences, and by a total falsification of the Word have destroyed the church: "One woe is past; behold, there come two woes more hereafter," signifies, further lamentations over the state of the church.
"And the sixth angel sounded,” signifies, the exploration and manifestation of their state of life in the reformed church who are not so wise, and yet place the all of religion in faith, and think of it alone, and live as they like: "And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet," signifies, a command from the Lord out of the spiritual heaven to those who were to explore and make manifest: "Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates,” signifies, that external restraints should be removed from them, that the interiors of their minds might appear: "And the four angels were loosed," signifies, that when external restraints were removed, the interiors of their minds appeared: "Who were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and.a year, to slay the third part of men," signifies, that they were perpetually in the effort to take away spiritual light and life from men of the church: "And the number of the armies of horsemen were two myriads of myriads,” signifies, reasonings concerning faith alone, with which the interiors of their minds were filled, from the great abundance of the mere falses of evil: "And I heard the number of them," signifies, that the quality of them was perceived: "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them,” signifies, that it was then discovered that the reasonings of the interiors of their minds concerning faith alone were imaginary and visionary, and that they themselves were infatuated with them: "Having breast-plates of fire, and of jacinth, and of brimstone," signifies, their imaginary and visionary argumentations from infernal love and self-derived telligence, and from the concupiscences thence proceeding: "And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions,” signifies, fantasies concerning faith alone, as if it were in power: "And out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone," signifies, that in their thoughts and discourses, viewed interiorly, there is nothing, and from them there proceeds nothing, but the love of self and of the world,
and the pride of self-derived intelligence, and the concupiscences of evil and falsity springing from these two sources: "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths," signifies, that from these it is that the men of the church perish: "For their power was in their mouth," signifies, that they only prevail by their discourse in confirmation of faith: "For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt," signifies, the reason, because they are in a sensual and inverted state, speaking truths with their lips, but falsifying them by the principle which constitutes the head of their religion, and thus they deceive: "And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues," signifies, those in the reformed church who are not so spiritually dead from visionary reasonings, and from self-love, and from the pride of self-derived intelligence, and from the concupiscences thence proceeding, as those before mentioned, and yet make faith alone the head of their religion : "Yet repented not of the works of their hands," signifies, that neither did they shun the things that are proper to themselves, which are evils of every kind, as sins: "That they should not worship demons," signifies, that thus they are in the evils of their concupiscences, and make one with their like in hell: "And idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood," signifies, that thus they are in worship grounded in mere falses: "Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk,” signifies, in which there is nothing of spiritual and truly rational life: "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts," signifies, that the heresy of faith alone induces on their hearts stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness, so that they do not think any thing of the precepts of the decalogue, nor indeed of any sin that it ought to be shunned because it is in favor of the devil and against God.
419. "AND the fifth angel sounded," signifies the exploration and manifestation of the states of life of those in the reformed church, who are called learned and wise from their confirmation of faith separated from charity, and of justification and salvation by it alone. That these are treated of in what now follows as far as verse 13, is evident from the particulars, understood in a spiritual sense. That by sounding is signified to explore and make
manifest the state of the church, and thence the state of life with those whose religion consists in faith alone, may be seen above, n. 397.
420. "And I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth," signifies, divine truth spiritual flowing from heaven into the church as existing with such persons, and effecting exploration and manifestation. By a star is here signified divine truth spiritual, because it fell from the spiritual heaven, concerning which, above, n. 337, 388; and by the earth is here signified the church with those who are in its internals, as above, n. 398. By divine truth spiritual is meant intelligence derived from spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor; and as that intelligence at this day is called faith, and that love, charity, it is faith derived from charity, or rather it is the truth of faith derived from the good of charity, which is here signified by a star. The same is signified by a star in the singular number, Apoc. ii. 28, xxii. 16; for by stars, in the plural number, are signified the knowledges of good and truth, n. 51, and by these intelligence is acquired. That it is divine truth exploring and manifesting, is evident from what follows.
421. "And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit," signifies, the opening of their hell. By a key is signified the power of opening, and also the act of opening, n. 62, 174, 840. And by the bottomless pit is signified the hell where they are who have confirmed themselves in justification and salvation by faith alone, who are all of the reformed church; but in the present case, they who in their own eyes, and thence in the eyes of many others, appear as learned and erudite, when yet in the sight of the angels in heaven they appear destitute of understanding as to those things which pertain to heaven and the church; because they who confirm that faith even to its interiors, close the superior degrees of their understanding, till at length they are unable to see any spiritual truth in light; the reason is, because the confirmation of falsity is the negation of truth; therefore when they hear any spiritual truth, which is a truth of the Word serviceable to those who are of the church for doctrine and life,