(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 89

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89. That I might be confirmed and fully convinced, that by "the pit of the abyss" nothing else is meant than that draconic faith, which is a faith conceived from the idea of three Gods, and from having no idea of the Divinity of the Human nature of Christ, and which is called faith alone justifying, regenerating, quickening, sanctifying, and saving; it was given me to look into that abyss, then to speak with those who are there, and likewise to see the locusts which came out thence; from which ocular demonstration, that pit together with the abyss is described by me in The Apocalypse Revealed; and because a description from ocular demonstration testifies what is certain, it shall be transcribed from that work, where it is described as follows.
"That pit, which is like the mouth of a furnace, appears in the southern quarter; and the abyss beneath it is of great extent towards the east; they have light even there, but if light from heaven be let in, there is immediate darkness; wherefore the pit is closed up at the top. There appear in the abyss huts constructed as of brick, which are divided into distinct cells, in each of which is a table, whereon lie papers, with some books. Everyone there sits at his own table, who in this world had confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, making charity a merely natural and moral act, and the works thereof only works of civil life, whereby men may reap rewards in the world; but if done for the sake of salvation, they condemn them, and some even rigorously, because human reason and will are in them. All who are in this abyss, have been scholars and learned men in the world; and among them are some metaphysicians and scholastics, who are there esteemed above the rest. But their lot is as follows: when first they come thither, they take their seats in the first cells, but as they confirm faith by excluding the works of charity, they leave the first seats, and enter into cells nearer the east, and thus successively till they come towards the end, where they are who confirm those dogmatic things from the Word; and because they then cannot but falsify the Word, their huts vanish, and they find themselves in a desert. There is also an abyss beneath that abyss, where those are who in like manner have confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, but who in their spirits have denied God, and in their hearts have made a jest of the holy things of the church; there they do nothing but quarrel, tear their garments, get up on the tables, stamp with their feet, and assail each other with reproaches; and because it is not permitted them to do evil to anyone, they threaten with the mouth and fists.


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