(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 851

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851. I foresee that many who read the Memorable Relations annexed to the chapters in this work will believe them to be inventions of the imagination. But I affirm in truth that they are not inventions, but were truly seen and heard; not seen and heard in any sleeping state of mind, but in a state of full wakefulness. For it has pleased the Lord to manifest Himself to me, and to send me to teach those things which will belong to His New Church, which is meant by "the New Jerusalem" in the Apocalypse. For this purpose He has opened the interiors of my mind or spirit, whereby I have been permitted to be in the spiritual world with angels, and at the same time in the natural world with men, and this now during twenty-seven years.
Who in the Christian world could have known anything about Heaven and Hell, had it not pleased the Lord to open the sight of someone's spirit, and show and teach him? That such things as are described in the Memorable Relations do appear in the heavens is made clear by the like things seen and described by John in the Apocalypse, also in the Word of the Old Testament by the prophets. [2] In the Apocalypse are the following: John saw the Son of man in the midst of the seven candlesticks; he saw in heaven the tabernacle, the temple, the ark, and the altar; he saw a book sealed with seven seals; he saw this opened, and horses going out of it; he saw four animals round about the throne; twelve thousand chosen out of each tribe; locusts ascending from the abyss a woman bringing forth a male child, and fleeing into the desert on account of the dragon; two beasts, one going up out of the sea and the other out of the earth; an angel flying in the midst of heaven having an eternal Gospel; a sea of glass mingled with fire; seven angels having the seven last plagues; bowls poured out by them on the earth, the sea, the rivers, the sun, the throne of the beast, the Euphrates, and the air; a woman sitting on a scarlet beast; the dragon cast into a lake of fire and brimstone; a white horse; a great supper; a new heaven and a new earth; the holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, the gates, walls, and foundations of which he describes; also the river of the water of life, and trees of life bearing fruit every month; with many other things, all of which were seen by John, and seen when as to his spirit he was in the spiritual world and in heaven. Add what was seen by the apostles after the Lord's resurrection, and later by Peter (Acts 11), and what was seen and heard by Paul; and still further what was seen by the prophets in the Old Testament, as by Ezekiel,
That he saw four living creatures, which were cherubs (Ezek. 1 and 10).
A new temple and a new earth, and an angel measuring them (40-48).
He was carried away to Jerusalem and saw the abominations there, and also into Chaldea (8 and 11).
[3] With Zechariah like things occurred:
He saw a man riding among myrtle trees (Zech. 1:8-11).
He saw four horns; and afterward a man with a measuring line in his hand (1 and 2).
He saw a flying roll and an ephah (5:1, 6).
He saw four chariots between two mountains, and horses (6:1-8).
Likewise with Daniel:
He saw four beasts coming up out of the sea (Dan. 7:1-8).
He saw the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, whose dominion shall not pass away, and whose kingdom shall not be destroyed (7:13, 14).
He saw the battles between the ram and the he-goat (8:1-27).
He saw the angel Gabriel, and he talked with him (9).
The servant of Elisha saw chariots and horses of fire round about Elisha, and saw them when his eyes were opened (2 Kings 6:17).
From these and many other passages in the Word it is evident that those things which exist in the spiritual world have appeared to many, both before and since the Lord's coming. What marvel, then, that they should be seen now also, when a New Church is commencing, or when the New Jerusalem is descending from heaven?

I once saw in the spiritual world a certain duke, an elector in Germany, who also enjoyed the highest ecclesiastical dignity, and near him two bishops and two ministers, and from a distance I heard their conversation. The electoral duke asked the four bystanders whether they knew what constitutes the head of religion in Christendom. The bishops replied, "The head of religion in Christendom is faith alone justifying and saving." Again he asked, "Do you know what lies concealed within that faith? Open it, look into it, and tell me." They replied, "That there was nothing concealed within it but the merit and righteousness of the Lord the Savior." To this the electoral duke answered, "Is there not concealed in it, then, the Lord the Savior in His Human, in which He is called Jesus Christ, because He alone in His Human is Righteousness?" To this they replied, "That certainly and inseparably follows." The electoral duke persisted, saying, "Open that faith, look into it further, examine it well, and see whether there is not something else in it." And the ministers said, "The grace of God the Father is also concealed in it." To this the electoral duke answered, "Obtain a right conception and perception of the subject, and you will see that it is the Son's grace with the Father, for the Son begs and intercedes. Therefore I say to you, since you confess, revere, and kiss that faith alone of yours, you ought by all means to confess, revere, and kiss the Lord the Savior in His Human alone; for, as just said, He in His Human was and is Righteousness. That in this Human He is also Jehovah and God I saw in the Sacred Writings from the following passages:
Behold, the days will come, when I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as a King and prosper; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16).
In Paul:
In Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of Deity bodily (Col. 2:9).
And in John:
Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life (1 Epistle 5:20).
Wherefore He is also called:
The God of faith (Phil. 3:9).


[This is the Author's Index. The figures refer to the numbered paragraphs]


I heard certain new-comers in the spiritual world talking together about three Divine persons from eternity; and then a certain one who in the world had been a primate opened the ideas of his thought respecting that mystery, saying that it had been and still was his opinion that the three sit upon high thrones in heaven, God the Father upon a throne of the finest gold, with a scepter in His hand; God the Son at His right hand, upon a throne of the purest silver with a crown on His head; and God the Holy Spirit upon a throne of shining crystal, holding in His hand a dove, in the form of which He appeared when Christ was baptized, with lamps hanging around about them in triple order, glittering with precious stones; while at a distance innumerable angels were standing in a circle, worshiping and singing praises. He also spoke of the Holy Spirit, how He introduces faith, purifies and justifies. He said that many of his order favored his ideas, and he trusted that I also as a layman gave them credit. But as an opportunity to speak was then given me, I said that from my childhood I have cherished the idea that God is one. I therefore explained to him what the trinity involves, and what is signified by throne, scepter, and crown, where these in the Word are ascribed with God. To this I added that all who believe in three Divine persons from eternity must necessarily believe in three Gods; and, furthermore, that the Divine essence cannot be divided (n. 16).


A discourse of the angels about God,-that His Divine is the Divine Being (Esse) in itself, and not from itself; and that it is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible; also that God is not in place, but is present with those who are in place; and that His Divine love appears to the angels as a sun, the heat from it being in its essence love, and the light therefrom in its essence wisdom (n. 25).
That the proceeding Divine attributes which are creation, redemption, and regeneration, are attributes of one God, and not of three (n. 26).


Perceiving that avast multitude of men are in the persuasion that all things belong to nature, and consequently that nature is the creator of the universe, in a certain gymnasium where there were persons of this kind I spoke with a certain gifted man respecting these three things: (1) Whether nature is a property of life, or life of nature; (2) Whether the center is from the expanse, or the expanse is from the center; (3) Respecting the center and the expanse of nature and of life; that the center of nature is the sun of the natural world, and the expanse itself of that center is its world; and that the center of life is the sun of the spiritual world, and the expanse itself of that center is its world. These propositions were discussed on both sides, and lastly it was shown what the truth is (n. 35)


I was conducted to a kind of theater of wisdom where angelic spirits from the four quarters were assembled with an injunction from heaven to discuss three arcana: (1) What is the image of God, and what is the likeness of God. (2) Why is not man born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even the beasts and the birds are born into the knowledge proper to all their loves. (3) What do the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil signify. And further, they were to unite the answers to these three in one opinion, and refer this to the angels of heaven; this was done, the opinion was referred, and was accepted by the angels (n. 48).


From evil spirits who were just above hell a sound was heard like the roaring of the sea; which was from a tumult that arose among them from their hearing it said above them that the Almighty God had bound Himself to order. A certain one ascending therefrom, addressed me sharply on the matter, saying that as God is omnipotent He is not bound to any order. And on being questioned about order, I said: (1) God is Order itself. (2) He created man from order, in order, and for order. (3) He created man's rational mind in accordance with the order of the spiritual world, and his body in accordance with the order of the natural world. (4) Therefore it is a law of order that man from his little spiritual world or little heaven should govern his little cosmos or little natural world, just as God from His great heaven or spiritual world governs His great cosmos or natural world. (5) Many other laws of order flow forth from these, some of which are recited. What afterward befell those spirits is described (n. 71).


Concerning the reasoning between certain Dutch and British in the spiritual world on the subject of imputation and predestination; on the one side, why God, since He is omnipotent, does not impute the righteousness of His Son to every man, and thus make them redeemed, for being omnipotent, He is able to make all the satans of hell angels of heaven; and even, if it be His good pleasure, He can make Lucifer, the dragon, and all the goats, to be archangels; and what is needed for this but a little word? On the other side, that God is Order itself, and that He can do nothing contrary to the laws of His order; because to act contrary to them would be to act contrary to Himself. Also much beside, about which they contended on this subject (n. 72).


I afterward spoke with others who had believed in predestination, deducing it from God's absolute power or omnipotence; saying that otherwise God would have less power than a king in the world who is a despot, and who can as easily change the laws of justice as he can turn his hands, and can act without restriction, like Octavius Augustus and also like Nero. To which it was answered, that God created the world and each and all things thereof, from Himself as Order, and thus impressed order upon them; also that the laws of His order are just as many as are the truths in the Word. Some of the laws of order were then recited, - what they are, and the nature of them, on God's part, and also on man's part. These cannot be changed, because God is Order itself: and man was created an image of His order (n. 73).


I spoke with clergymen and laymen who had gathered together, concerning the Divine omnipotence; and they said that omnipotence is unlimited, and that limited omnipotence is a contradiction. To this it was answered, that there is no contradiction in acting omnipotently according to laws of justice with judgment. It is said in David that "Justice and judgment are the support of God's throne" (Ps. 89:14); and that there is no contradiction in acting omnipotently according to the laws of love and wisdom; but there is a contradiction in God's being able to act contrary to the laws of justice and love; which would be to act from what is not judgment and wisdom; and such contradiction is implied in the faith of the church of the present day, which is that God is able to make an unjust man just, and endow the impious with all the gifts of salvation and the rewards of life. With much more concerning this faith and concerning omnipotence (n. 74).


When I was once meditating upon the creation of the universe by God, I was led in the spirit to certain wise ones who at first complained of the ideas they had acquired in the world which related to the creation of the universe out of chaos, and creation out of nothing; because these ideas obscure meditation upon the creation of the universe by God, and degrade and pervert it. Therefore when asked for my opinion, I replied that it is idle to try to form any but a speculative conclusion about the creation of the universe, unless it is known that there are two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, and that in each of these is a sun; and that the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is God, is nothing but love, and that from it are all spiritual things, which in themselves are substantial; while the sun of the natural world is nothing but fire, and from it are all natural things, which in themselves are material. From these knowledges it can be concluded in regard to the creation of the universe, that it is from God, and how. This was also slightly traced out (n. 76).


Some satans of hell desired to talk with the angels of heaven, for the purpose of convincing them that all things are from nature, and that God is a mere word unless nature is meant. They were permitted to ascend. Then certain angels descended from heaven into the world of spirits to hear them. When the satans saw the angels they ran up to them furiously and said, "You are called angels because you believe that there is a God, and that nature is relatively nothing; this you believe although it is contrary to every sense; for which of your five senses has a sensation of anything but nature?" After these and many other bitter words, the angels called to the remembrance of the satans that they were then living after death, although formerly they had not even believed that they would so live; and then they caused them to see the beautiful and splendid things of heaven, and told them that these were there because all there believe in God; and afterward they caused them to see the vile and filthy things of hell, and told them that these were there because those there believe in nature. From seeing these things the satans were at first convinced that there is a God and that He created nature; but as they descended, the love of evil returned and closed their understanding from above; and when this was closed they believed as before, that all things are of nature, and nothing of God (n. 77).


A type of the creation of the universe was shown me in a living way, by angels. I was conducted into heaven; and it was granted me to see there all things of the animal kingdom, of the vegetable kingdom, and of the mineral kingdom, which were in every respect like the objects of those three kingdoms in the natural world. And then they said, All these things in heaven are created in a moment by God, and they continue to exist as long as the angels are interiorly as to their thought in a state of love and faith; and this instantaneous creation furnishes a clear proof of the creation of similar things, and even a similar creation, in the natural world, with the sole difference that natural things invest spiritual things, and that this clothing was provided by God for the sake of generations one from another, by which creation is perpetuated. Consequently, the creation of the universe was effected in a way similar to that in which it is effected every moment in heaven. Nevertheless, all the noxious and hideous things in the three kingdoms of nature (which are enumerated), were not created by God, but sprang up along with hell (n. 78).


In a conversation relating to the creation of the universe, with some who when in the world had been celebrated for learning, these spoke from the same ideas that they had formerly entertained. One of them said that nature created itself; another, that nature gathered its elements into vortices, and that by the collision of these the earth was formed; and a third that the origin of all things was chaos which in extent had equalled a great part of the universe; and that first there burst forth therefrom the purest elements, of which the sun and stars were formed; and afterwards those less pure, of which the atmospheres were formed; and at last the grosser matters, of which the terraqueous globe was formed. To the question, "What was the origin of human souls?" they answered, that the ether gathered itself into little individual globules, and that these infuse themselves into those who are about to be born, and make their souls; and that after death these globules fly away to their former company in the ether, and afterward return into others according to the doctrine of metempsychosis of the ancients. After this a certain priest, by solid arguments in favor of the creation of the universe by God showed all the things which they had said to be an absurd medley, and put them to shame. But still they held to their former delusions (n. 79).


A conversation with a certain satan about God, and the angelic heaven, and religion; who, not knowing that he was not still in the former world, declared that God is the universe, and that the angelic heaven is the atmospheric firmament, and that religion is nothing but a bewitchment of the common people, besides other follies. But when it was brought to his remembrance that he was then living after death, and that he formerly did not believe in that life, for the moment he confessed that he was insane; but as soon as he turned and went away he was as insane as before (n. 80).


I saw by night an ignis fatuus, often called a dragon, falling toward the earth. I noticed the place where it fell; the ground there was sulphurous, mixed with iron dust. And looking there in the morning, I saw two tents; and just then a spirit fell from heaven. I went to him and asked why he had fallen down from heaven. He replied that he was cast down by the angels of Michael, for saying that God the Father and His Son are two, and not one. He also said that the whole angelic heaven believes that God the Father and His Son are one, as soul and body are one, and that they prove this by many things from the Word and still further from the reason, that the soul of a son is from the father only, and that this is a likeness of the father and from it the likeness is in the body. And he added that he indeed had confessed in heaven, as before on earth, that God is one; but because the confession of the mouth and the thought of the mind disagreed in regard to this, they said in heaven that he did not believe in any God, because the confession and the thought dissipate each other; and he said that this was the cause of his being cast down. Returning the next day to the same place, instead of the two tents I saw two statues composed of the same sort of dust, which was a mixture of sulphur and iron. One of these represented the faith and the other the charity of the church of the present day, both beautifully clothed; but the garments were induced by fantasies. And because they were made of dust, when the rain descended from heaven both of them began to effervesce and burn (n. 110).


In the spiritual world it is unlawful to say anything except what one thinks; if he does, the hypocrisy is distinctly manifest to the ear. In hell, therefore, no one can utter the name Jesus, because Jesus signifies salvation. In this way an experiment was made to ascertain how many in the Christian world at this day believe that Christ even as to His Human is God. Therefore, when many of the clergy and laity were assembled, it was proposed that they say "Divine Human;" but there were scarcely any who were able to draw forth from the thought these two words at once, and so to utter them. It was proved in their presence by many things out of the Word, that the Lord even as to His Human is God as by the following: (Matt. 28:18; John 1:1, 2, 14; 17:2; Col. 2:9; 1 John 5:20; and in other places also); still they were not able to utter the words Divine Human,- and, what seemed surprising, neither were the Evangelicals able to do this, although their orthodoxy teaches that in Christ God is Man and Man is God; and still more, neither could the monks, although they most devoutly adore the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. From all this it was ascertained that Christians at the present day for the most part are interiorly either Arians or Socinians; and that these, if they adore Christ as God, are hypocrites (n. 111).


An altercation about a little book entitled, A Brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church, published by me at Amsterdam; and especially about this doctrine in it, that not God the Father, but the Lord God the Redeemer is to be approached and worshiped. It was argued that on the other hand it is said in the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name: Thy kingdom come," And that consequently it is God the Father who is to be approached. I was summoned to end this strife; and I then showed that God the Father cannot be approached in His Divine, but only in His Human; and as the Divine and Human in Him are one Person, that the Lord is that Father. This also was proved by the Word; both by the Word of the Old Testament, where the Son of God is called Father of Eternity, and in many places called Jehovah the Redeemer, Jehovah our Righteousness, and the God of Israel, and from many passages in the Word of the New Testament; consequently when the Lord the Redeemer is approached, the Father is approached; and then His name is hallowed, and His kingdom comes. With much beside (n. 112).


I saw an army on red and black horses, with the faces of all the riders turned to the horses' tails, and with the hinder part of the head turned towards the horses' heads; they were crying out for battle against those who were riding on white horses. This ludicrous army was from the place called Armageddon (Apoc. 16:16), and consisted of those who in youth had become imbued with the dogmas relating to justification by faith alone, but who afterwards, when they had been promoted to prominent offices, had rejected all things pertaining to faith and religion from the internals of their minds to the externals of their bodies, where at last they disappeared. A description of those who were seen in Armageddon; and it was heard that they wished to meet and contend with the angels of Michael; which was permitted, although at some distance from that place. The contention was about the meaning of these words in the Lord's Prayer; "Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come." It was then said by the angels of Michael that the Lord the Redeemer and Saviour is Father to all in the heavens; since He taught, that the Father and He are one; that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; and that he that sees Him sees the Father: that all things of the Father are in Him; also that it is the will of the Father that men should believe in the Son, and that those who believe not the Son shall not see life, but that the wrath of God will abide on them; also, that He has all power in heaven and on earth; and that He has power over all flesh; and moreover, that no one has seen or can see God the Father, except the Son only who is in the bosom of the Father; and more besides. After this combat, some of the vanquished Armageddons were cast into the abyss mentioned in Apoc. 9, and some of them were banished into a desert (n. 113).


I was in a temple in which there were no windows, but a large opening in the roof, and those assembled there were conferring about Redemption, saying unanimously that redemption was wrought by the passion of the cross. But while they were engaged in that conversation, a black cloud covered the opening in the roof, and because of this it became dark in the temple; but a little after that cloud was dispelled by angels descending from heaven, who then sent down one of their number into the temple to instruct them about redemption. He said that the passion of the cross was not redemption, but redemption was the subjugation of the hells, the restoration of order in the heavens, and thus the restitution of all things which were in disorder both in the spiritual world and in the natural world, and that without it no flesh could have been saved. And of the passion of the cross he said, that by it was completed the inmost union with the Father; and that when it is taken for redemption many things unworthy of God, and even unfit to be spoken, follow as consequences; as that He passed sentence of damnation upon the whole human race, and that the Son took that damnation upon Himself, and that thus He propitiated the Father, and by intercession brought Him back to His Divine essence, which is love and mercy; besides many other things, which it is scandalous to attribute to God (n. 134).


The sun of the spiritual world was seen, wherein is Jehovah God in His Human. Presently there was heard from heaven, that God is One. But when this descended into the world of spirits it was changed according to the forms of the minds there, and finally into the expression three Gods. This was confirmed by one there by this reasoning: that there is one who created all things, another who redeemed all, and a third who operates all things; also that there is one who imputes, another who mediates, and a third who inscribes, and thus implants faith in man, by which He justifies him. But because the belief in three Gods had perverted the whole Christian church, from a perception granted me I disclosed to them what, with the one God, is meant by mediation, intercession, propitiation, and expiation; namely, that these four are attributes of the Human of Jehovah God; that because Jehovah God without the Human cannot approach man, nor be approached by man, mediation means that the Human is the intermediary; that intercession means that it mediates perpetually; that propitiation means that an approach is mercifully opened for every man to God; and that expiation means that this is also for sinners; and all these through the Human (n. 135).


I entered a gymnasium, where they were discussing what is meant where it is said of the Son of God, that He sits at the right hand of the Father. Concerning this there were various opinions; yet it was the opinion of all that the Son actually sits thus; but they were discussing why it was so. Some supposed that it was done on account of redemption; some that it was from love; some, that He might be a counselor; some, that He might have honor from the angels; some, because it was given Him to reign instead of the Father; some, that His right ear may hear those for whom He intercedes. They further discussed whether it was the Son of God from eternity who sits thus, or the Son of God born in the world. Having heard these things, I raised my hand, requesting that I might be permitted to say something, and to tell what is meant by sitting at the right hand of God. I said that it is the omnipotence of God, by means of the Human which He assumed that is meant; for by means of this He wrought redemption, that is, subjugated the hells, created a new angelic heaven, and established a new church. That this is meant by sitting at the right hand, I proved from the Word, in which "the right hand" signifies power; and afterwards it was confirmed from heaven, by the appearance of a right hand over them, from the power of which and the terror therefrom they all became almost lifeless (n. 136).


I was conducted in the spiritual world to a certain synod at which were assembled celebrated persons who lived before the Nicene council, and who were called Apostolic Fathers; also men renowned in the ages after that council; and I saw that some of the latter appeared with beardless chins, and in curled wigs of women's hair; but all the former with bearded chin, and in natural hair. In front of them stood a man, a judge and critic of the writings of the present century, who began by a kind of lamentation, saying, "A man from the laity has risen up, who has dragged down our faith out of its sanctuary, which yet is a star shining day and night before us; but this is done because that man is blind to the mysteries of that faith, and does not see in it the righteousness of Christ, and thus not the wonders of its justification; and yet that faith is a faith in three Divine persons, and thus in the whole Deity; and because He has transferred his faith to the second Person, and not even to Him, but to His Human, it cannot be otherwise than that naturalism should flow from it." Those who lived after the Nicene council favored his speech, saying, that it is impossible that there should be any other faith, or from any other source. But the Apostolic Fathers, who had lived before that age, being indignant, related many things which are said in heaven respecting the Nicene and Athanasian faith, which may be seen [in the text]. But because the president of the council was affiliated in spirit with that writer in Leipsic, I addressed him, and showed from the Word that Christ, even as to the Human, is God; and also from the dogmatic book of the Evangelicals called Formula Concordiae, "That in Christ God is Man, and Man God;" as also that the Augsburg Confession especially approves of the worship of Christ; besides other things; at which he was silent, and turned away. Afterwards I spoke with a certain spirit who was affiliated with an eminent man in Gottenburg, who defiled the worship of the Lord with a still greater reproach. But at length both of these slanders were declared to be lies craftily invented to turn away men's wills and deter them from the holy worship of the Lord (n. 137).


There appeared a smoke ascending from the lower earth, and it was said that smokes are nothing else than falsities collected together. And then certain angels were seized with a desire to ascertain what the falsities were that thus smoked; and they descended, and found four crowds of spirits, two of which were of the learned and unlearned of the clergy, and two of the learned and unlearned of the laity, who were all proving to each other that an invisible God is to be worshiped, and that the worshipers then secure holiness and a hearing. It is otherwise when a visible God is worshiped. Holiness and a hearing from an invisible God they proved by various things; for which reason they acknowledge three Gods from eternity, who are invisible. But it was shown that the worship of an invisible God, and still more of three invisible ones, is no worship. To confirm this, Socinus and Arius with some of their followers, all of whom had worshiped an invisible Divinity, were brought forth from below; and when these spoke from the natural or external mind, they said that there is a God, although He is invisible; but when their external mind was closed, and the internal mind was opened, and from that mind they were compelled to avow their belief respecting God, they said, "What is God? We have neither seen His shape, nor heard His voice. What then is God, but a figment of reason or nature?" But they were taught that it had pleased God to descend and assume the Human, that they might see His shape and hear His voice. But this was said to them in vain (n. 159).


First concerning the stars in the natural world; that perhaps they were of the same number as the angelic societies in heaven, since every society there sometimes shines like a star. Afterwards, I spoke with the angels about a certain way that appears crowded with innumerable spirits, that it is the way by which all who depart out of the natural world pass into the spiritual world. I went in company with angels towards that way, and we called from that way twelve men, and asked them what they believed about heaven and hell and a life after death. And because they were recently from the world, and did not know but what they were still in the natural world, they answered from the idea which they brought with them The First. That all who live a moral life go to heaven; and as all do live a moral life no one goes to hell. The Second, That God rules heaven, and the devil rules hell; and because they are opposite, one calls good what the other calls evil; and that the man who is a dissembler, because he sides with both, can live equally under the dominion of the one and of the other. The Third, That there is no heaven, and no hell. "Who has come thence and told us?" The Fourth, That no one is able to come back and tell, because man, when he dies, is either a ghost or a wind. The Fifth, That we must wait till the day of the last judgment, and then it will be told, and you will know all about it. But when he said this he laughed in his heart. The Sixth, "How can the soul of man, which is only a wind, re-enter its body that has been eaten up by worms, or be clothed with a skeleton that has either been dried up or has crumbled into dust? "The Seventh, That men can no more live after death than beasts and birds, are not these equally rational? The Eighth, "I believe that there is a heaven, but I do not believe that there is a hell, because God is omnipotent, and is able to save all. "The Ninth, That God, because He is gracious, cannot send any one into eternal fire. The Tenth, That no one can go to hell, because God sent His Son, who has made expiation for all, and taken away the sins of all. What can the devil do against that? The Eleventh, who was a priest, That those only are saved, who have attained to faith, and that election is according to the will of the Almighty. The Twelfth, who was a politician, "I do not say anything about heaven and hell; but let the priests preach about them, that the minds of the common people may be kept bound by an invisible bond to the laws and rulers." On hearing these things the angels were astonished; but they waked up the twelve by teaching them that they were already living after death; and they conducted them into heaven, but they did not stay there long, because. it was found that they were merely natural, and that from this the hinder part of their heads was hollow; concerning which hollowness and the cause of it, something is lastly said (n. 160).


There was heard a noise like that of a mill, and following the noise I saw a house full of chinks, to which there was an entrance opening under ground, and in it a man collecting from the Word and books many things concerning justification by faith alone; and at his side copyists were writing his collections upon paper; and when asked what he was now collecting, he said, "This, that God the Father ceased to be gracious towards the human race, and that He therefore sent the Son to make expiation and propitiation. "To which I answered, that it is contrary to Scripture and contrary to reason, that God could fail of grace, for this would be also failing of His essence, and thus He would not be God. And when I demonstrated this even to conviction, he grew warm, and ordered his copyists to cast me out. But when I had gone out of my own accord, he threw after me a book that he happened to lay hand upon; and that book was the Word (n. 161).


There was a discussion among spirits whether one can see any genuine truth in the Word unless he goes immediately to the Lord who is the Word itself. But as some objected to this an experiment was made; and therein those who went to God the Father, did not see any truth; but all who went to the Lord saw. During this discussion some spirits ascended from the abyss (see Apoc. 9), where they discuss the mysteries of justification by faith alone, saying that they go to God the Father and see their mysteries in clear light. But it was answered that they see them in fatuous light, and that they have not even a single truth; at which, being nettled, they brought forth from the Word many things which were true; but they were told that while these were true in themselves, they were falsified in them. That this was so, was proved by their being led into a house where there was a table upon which light from heaven flowed directly; and they were told to write those truths which they had brought forth from the Word upon paper, and lay it upon that table; and when this was done, the paper on which the truths had been written shone like a star; but when they came up and fixed their gaze upon it, the paper appeared blackened as if by soot. Afterwards they were led to another similar table, upon which lay the Word encircled with a rainbow; and when a certain champion of the doctrine of faith alone touched this with his hand there was an explosion as if from a gun, and he was cast into a corner of the room, and lay as (lead for half an hour. From all this they were convinced that all the truths that they had from the Word were true in themselves but falsified in them (n. 162).


There are climates in the spiritual world, as in the natural world; thus also there are northern zones where are snow and ice. On one occasion, being brought thither in spirit, I entered a temple then covered over with snow, illuminated within by lamps, and behind the altar there was seen a tablet, upon which was written this, The Divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are essentially one, but personally three. And I heard a priest preaching about four mysteries of faith respecting which the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith, which may be seen [in the text]. After the discourse, the hearers thanked the priest for his sermon so rich in wisdom. But when I asked them whether they understood anything, they answered, "We took in everything with full ears; why do you ask whether we understood? Is not the understanding benumbed by such matters?" To this the priest who was present added, "Forasmuch as you have heard and have not understood, you are blessed, for thereby you have salvation." And other things (n. 185).


The human mind is divided into three regions, like the heaven in which angels dwell; and in those who love truths because they are truths theological matters have their seat in the highest region of the mind; and under these, in the middle region, moral subjects, and beneath these in the lowest region, political subjects; and the various sciences constitute the door. But theological matters with those who do not love truths have their seat in the lowest region, and mingle themselves there with what is man's own, and thus with the fallacies of the senses; and for this reason some cannot perceive theological principles at all (n. 186).


I was brought to a place where those were who are meant by "the false prophet" in the Apocalypse; and I was invited by those there to see their temple. I followed and saw it, and in it the image of a woman clad in a scarlet robe, holding in her right hand a golden coin, and in her left a chain of pearls; but these appearances were produced through fantasy. But when the interiors of my mind were opened by the Lord, instead of the temple there was seen a house full of chinks; and instead of the woman there was seen a beast, such as is described in the Apocalypse (13:2); and under the floor there was a bog, in which lay the Word, deeply concealed. But presently, an east wind springing up, the temple was carried away, and the bog was dried up, and the Word lay exposed; and then, by the light from heaven, there appeared there a tabernacle like that of Abraham when the three angels came slid foretold to him the birth of Isaac; and afterwards, light being sent forth from the second heaven, instead of the tabernacle there appeared a temple similar to that of Jerusalem; and after this a light shone upon it from the third heaven, and then the temple disappeared, and the Lord alone was seen standing upon the foundation stone where the Word was. But because an overpowering sanctity then filled their minds this light was withdrawn, and in place of it light from the second heaven was let in, which caused the previous view of the temple to return, and also that of the tabernacle within it (n. 187).


There was seen a magnificent palace, in which there was a temple, and in this seats were placed in triple order. In it there was a council convoked by the Lord, in which they were to deliberate concerning the Lord the Saviour, and concerning the Holy Spirit. When as many of the clergy were present as there were seats, they began the council. And because they were to consult in regard to the Lord, the first proposition was, Who assumed the Human in the virgin Mary? And then the angel standing beside the table read before them what the angel Gabriel said to Mary, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and the holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35; and also from Matt. 1:20, 25); and many other things from the Prophets, that Jehovah Himself was to come into the world, and that Jehovah Himself is called Saviour, Redeemer and Righteousness; from which it was concluded that Jehovah Himself assumed the Human. Another deliberation concerning the Lord, was, Whether the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are not thus one, as soul and body are one; and this was proved by many passages in the Word, and also from the creed of the present church; from which it was concluded that the soul of the Lord is from God the Father, and consequently that His Human is Divine; and that the Human is to be approached that the Father may be approached, since by means of it Jehovah God sent Himself into the world and made Himself seen before the eyes of men, and thus accessible. This was followed by a third deliberation concerning the Holy Spirit; and then first the idea respecting three Divine persons from eternity was discarded, and it was proved from the Word that the Holy Divine, which is called the Holy Spirit, goes forth out of the Lord from the Father. At length, from the deliberations of this council, this conclusion was reached: That in the Lord the Saviour there is a Divine Trinity, namely, the Divine from which (a quo) which is called the Father the Divine Human which is called the Son, and the Divine going forth which is called the Holy Spirit; and that therefore in the church God is one. When the council was ended, splendid garments were given to those who sat in it and they were conducted to the new heaven (n. 188).


I saw in a certain stable large purses, in which there was silver in great abundance, and near them young men as guards; in the next room, modest virgins with a chaste wife; and also in another room, two little children; and at last a harlot and dead horses. And afterwards I was taught what each of those things signified; and that by them was represented and described the Word as it is in itself and as it is at this day (n. 277).


Writing was seen, such as there is in the highest or third heaven, which consisted of inflected letters with little curves turning upwards; and it was said that the Hebrew letters in the most ancient time were somewhat like these when they were more curved than they are at this day, and that the letter h, which was added to the names of Abram and Sarai, signifies the infinite and the eternal. They explained before me the sense of some words in Psalm 32:2, from the letters or syllables alone there, which is, that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil (n. 278).


Before the Israelitish Word there was a Word, the prophetical books of which were called Enunciations, and the historical, the Wars of Jehovah; and besides these, also one called the book of Jasher; which three are mentioned in our Word; and this ancient Word was in the land of Canaan, Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Assyria, Chaldea, Egypt, Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; but because it was full of such correspondences as remotely signify celestial and spiritual things, which gave occasion for idolatries, this Word, through Divine Providence, disappeared. I have heard that Moses transcribed from this Word the things which he related concerning the Creation, Adam and Eve, the Flood, and Noah and his three sons, but no further. And I was told in the spiritual world by the angels from Great Tartary that this same, Word is still preserved among that people, and that they draw from it the precepts of their faith and life (n. 279).


On account of the distinction between spiritual and natural, or what is the same, between the substantial and the material, those who are in the spiritual world cannot be seen by those who are in the natural world, nor conversely; thus spirits and angels cannot be seen by men, nor men by spirits and angels. From this is the fact that spirits and angels have altogether a different language, different writing, and also different thought from what men have. That this is so, was made evident by living experience, which was done by their going in turn to their associates, and returning to me, and thus comparing. In this way it was discovered, that there is not even one word of spiritual language that is like any word of natural language; and that their writing consists of syllables, each of which involves a meaning pertaining to the subject; and that the ideas of their thought do not fall into the ideas of natural thought. The cause of these differences is, that spirits and angels are in principles, but men in derivatives; or that the former are in prior things which as causes are the origin of posterior things, and that men are in posterior things from those that are prior. It was said that there is a like difference between the languages, writings, and thoughts, of the angels of the third heaven and those of the angels of the second (n. 280).


On the state of men after death, in general, and the state of those who have confirmed themselves in falsities, in particular. In regard to all of these the following things were observed: (1) For the most part men are commonly resuscitated the third day after death, and then they do not know but that they are still living in the former world. (2) All go to the world which is intermediate between heaven and hell, which is called the world of spirits. (3) There they are transferred into various societies, and thus their characters are ascertained. (4) There the good and faithful are prepared for heaven, and the evil and unfaithful for hell. (5) After the preparation, which continues for some years, a way is opened for the good to some society in heaven where they are to live forever, but a way for the evil into hell; besides many more things. Afterwards the nature of hell is described; and it is stated that those there who are in falsities from confirmation are called satans and those who are in evils of life are called devils (n. 281).


From the lower earth, which is next above hell, I heard shouts, "0 how just! 0 how learned! 0 how wise!" and because I wondered how there could be any just, learned, and wise persons in hell, I descended, and first went to the place where they were crying, "0 how just!" and I saw there, as it were, a tribunal, and in it unjust judges who could skillfully pervert the laws, and turn judgments to the favor of any one whatever; and that thus their judgments were purely arbitrary judgments; and when the sentences were carried out to the clients, they cried out for a long distance, "O how just." Concerning these the angels afterwards said, that such are unable to see any least particle of what is just. After a while these judges were cast into hell, and their books were turned into playing-cards, and instead of judging, they were assigned to the task of preparing paint, with which they daubed the faces of harlots, and thus turned them into beauties (n. 332).


Afterwards I went to the place where they were crying out, "0 how learned" and I saw a company of those who were reasoning whether a thing is so or not, but not thinking that it is so; and therefore they stopped at the first step concerning any subject whatever; thus they merely touched it from without and did not enter into it; so they also argue concerning God, whether there is a God. That I might know for certain whether their character was such I put to them the question, What kind of religion is necessary for the salvation of man? They answered, "It must be considered (1) Whether religion is anything. (2) Whether one religion is more efficacious than another. (3) Whether there is any eternal life, and thus whether there is any salvation. (4) Is there a heaven and a hell?" And then they began to discuss the first, Whether religion is anything. And they said that this required so much investigation that it could not be finished in the space of a year; and one among them said, that it could not be finished in a hundred years; to which I replied that in the meantime they would be without religion. But still they discussed this first point so skillfully that the company standing by cried, "0 how learned!" I was told by the angels, that such appear like graven images; and that afterwards they are sent out into deserts, where among themselves they gabble and talk nothing but nonsense (n. 333).


I went on further to the third company, where I heard the cry, "0 how wise!" and I found assembled there those who are unable to see whether truth is truth or not, and yet are able to make whatever they wish seem true, and are therefore called Confirmers. That they were such, I also saw from various answers to propositions as that they could make it true that faith is the all of the church, and afterwards that charity is the all of the church, and also that faith and charity together are the all of the church; and because they confirmed whichever of these they liked, and adorned them with appearances so that they shone like truths, therefore the by-standers cried, "0 how wise!" Afterwards some ludicrous things, also, were proposed to them, that they might make them true; for they say that there is nothing true, except what man makes true. The ludicrous things were these: that light is darkness, and darkness light; and also that a crow is white, and not black; which two they made to appear as wholly true. The arguments for these may be seen in the text. I was told by the angels that such do not possess a single grain of understanding, since all that is above the rational with them is closed, while all below the rational is open; and by this man can confirm whatever he pleases, but cannot see any truth to be truth therefore, this does not belong to a man of understanding, but it does belong to him to be able to see that truth is truth and that falsity is falsity, and to confirm it (n. 334).


I spoke with spirits who, in the natural world, had been famed for erudition, who were disputing among themselves about connate ideas, whether men have any, as beasts have; and then a certain angelic spirit thrust himself in and said, "You are disputing about goat's wool. Men have no connate ideas, neither have beasts. "At which words all were enraged. But afterwards, opportunity to speak being given, he spoke first concerning beasts, saying, "They have no connate ideas; for the reason that they do not think, but only act from instinct, which they have from their natural love, which makes in them something analogous to a will, and this flows immediately into the senses of their body and excites that which agrees with and favors the love; and yet ideas are predicable only of thought. "That beasts have sensation only and not thought, he confirmed by various things, especially by the wonderful things which are known respecting spiders, bees, and silk-worms, saying, "Does a spider think in its little head, when it forms its web, that the web is to be so woven for the rake of such or such uses? Does a bee think in its little head, 'From these flowers I will suck honey, and from these I will gather wax, out of which I will build compact rows of little cells, and in these I will put honey in abundance that it may be sufficient also for the winter?' besides other things. Does the silkworm think in its little head, 'Now I will betake myself to spinning silk, and when I have spun it I will fly forth and sport with my companions, and provide for myself posterity?' besides like things with beasts and birds." Concerning men he said, that every mother and nurse, and the father also, know that new-born infants have no connate ideas, and that they have no ideas at all until they have learned to think, and that then ideas arise and are produced according to every kind of thought which they have imbibed by instruction; and that this is so because man has nothing born in him except a capacity to know, to understand and to be wise, and an inclination to love not only himself and the world, but also the neighbor and God. These things Leibnitz and Wolfe heard at a distance; and Leibnitz favored, but Wolfe did not (n. 335).


Once a certain angelic spirit illustrated what faith and charity are, and what their conjunction effects. He illustrated it by comparison with light and heat, which meet together in a third; because the light in heaven in its essence is the truth of faith, and the heat there in its essence is the good of charity; therefore as light without heat, such as there is in winter-time in the world, strips the trees of leaves and fruits, so is faith separated from charity; and as light conjoined to heat, such as there is in spring-time, vivifies all things, so is faith conjoined with charity (n. 385).


Two angels descended, one from the eastern heaven where love prevails, and the other from the southern heaven, where wisdom prevails, and spoke concerning the essence of the heavens, whether it is love or wisdom; and they agreed that it is love and wisdom therefrom; consequently, that the heavens were created by God, from love by means of wisdom (n. 386).


After that, I entered a garden, where I was led around by a certain spirit, and at length to a palace which was called the Temple of Wisdom. This was four-square, the walls of crystal, the roof of jasper, the substructure of various precious stones. And he said that no one can enter it who does not believe that what he knows, understands, and is wise in, compared with what he does not know and understand and is not wise in, is relatively so little that it is scarcely anything. And because I believed this, it was granted me to enter; and it was seen that the whole of it was built to be a form of light. In that temple I related what I had lately heard from the two angels about love and wisdom; and they asked, "Did they not also speak of a third, which is use?" And they said that love and wisdom apart from use are merely ideal entities, but that in use they become real, and that it is the same with charity, faith, and good works (n. 387).


One of the spirits of the dragon invited me to see the delights of his love; and he led me to something like an amphitheater, upon the seats of which sat satyrs and harlot, And then he said, "Now you shall see our sport." And he opened a door, and let in, as it were, calves, rams, kids, and lambs; and presently through another door he let in lions, panthers, tigers, and wolves, which rushed upon the flock, tearing them and slaughtering them. But all these things which were seen were induced by means of fantasies. Having seen this I said to the dragonist, "After a while you will see this theater turned into a lake of fire and brimstone "The sport being finished, the dragonist went out, attended by his satyrs and harlots, and saw a flock of sheep; from which he inferred that one of the Jerusalemite cities was near by; on seeing which, he was seized with the desire to take it and cast out the inhabitants; but because it was surrounded by a wall, he planned to take it by stratagem. And then he sent one skilled in incantation, who being admitted spoke craftily with the citizens about faith and charity; especially as to which of them is the primary, and whether charity contributes anything to salvation. But the dragonist, enraged at the answer, went out and gathered together many of his crew, and began to besiege the city; but when he was endeavoring to reach and invade it, fire out of heaven consumed them according to what is foretold in the Apocalypse (20:8, 9) (n. 388).


A paper was once sent down from heaven, in which there was an exhortation to acknowledge the Lord the Savior as the God of heaven and earth, according to His words (Matt. 28:18). But two bishops who were there were consulted as to what should be done. They said that the paper should be sent back to heaven from which it came. When this was done that society sank down, but not very deep. The next day some ascended therefrom and told what lot they had met with there; also that they went to the bishops there and reproved them for their advice, and that they had talked much about the state of the church at this day, and had censured the doctrine of the bishops regarding the Trinity, of justifying faith, of charity, and other things which pertained to their orthodoxy, and asked them to discard those doctrines because they were contrary to the Word; but to no purpose. And because they called their faith dead and diabolical, according to James in his Epistle, one of the bishops took off the miter from his head, and laid it down upon the table, saying that he would not resume it until the scoffing of his faith had been avenged. But then a monster appeared coming up from below, like the beast described in the Apocalypse (13:1, 2), which took up the miter and carried it away (n. 389).


I went to a certain house where those assembled were arguing one with another, whether the good which a man does in the state of justification by faith is the good of religion or not. There was an agreement that by the good of religion the good which contributes to salvation is meant. But the opinion of those prevailed who said that no good that is done by man contributes anything to salvation; since no voluntary good of man can be conjoined with what is free, because salvation is bestowed freely neither can any good from man be conjoined with the merit of Christ, by which alone is salvation possible; neither can the operation of man be conjoined with the operation of the Holy Spirit, that does all things without the aid of man. From which it was concluded that good works, even in the state of justification by faith, contribute nothing to salvation; but faith only. On hearing these things, two gentiles who stood at the door said to each other, "These men have no religion. Who does not know that to do good to the neighbor for God's sake, thus from God and with God, is religion?" (n. 390).


I heard the angels lamenting that there is such spiritual destitution at this day in the church that they know nothing else than that there are three Divine persons from eternity, and that faith alone saves; and about the Lord they know only the historical facts; and that they are profoundly ignorant of the things that are taught in the Word respecting the Lord, His oneness with the Father, His Divinity and power. And they said that a certain angel had been sent down by them to discover whether there was such destitution at this day among Christians; and that he asked a certain one what his religion was. He answered, that it was faith. Then he asked him about redemption, regeneration, and salvation. He answered that they were all matters of faith; and also in regard to charity that it is in faith; also, whether any one can do good from himself. Afterwards the angel said to him, "You have answered like a man playing but one note on a flute; I hear only faith; but if you know nothing else but that, you know nothing." Then he led him to his companions in a desert, where there was not even grass. Besides more (n. 391).


I saw five gymnasia encompassed by different kinds of light, and with many others I entered into the first, which was seen in flame-colored light. Many were assembled there, and the president proposed that they should declare their opinions respecting charity; and when they had begun, the first said that in his opinion charity is morality inspired by faith. The second, that it is pity inspired by commiseration. The third that it is doing good to everyone, both virtuous and vicious alike. The fourth, that it is to serve by every means one's relatives and friends. The fifth, that it is giving alms to the poor and assisting the needy. The sixth, that it is building hospitals, infirmaries, and orphans' homes. The seventh, that it is to endow temples and to do good to their ministers. The eighth, that it is the old Christian brotherhood. The ninth, that it is to forgive every one his trespasses. Each of them fully confirmed his opinion; which confirmations cannot be recited because they are many; they may therefore be seen in the Memorable Relation itself. After this there was given me an opportunity to express my opinion; and I said that charity is to act with judgment from a love justice, in every employment and office but from a love derived from no other source than the Lord the Savior; and after this had been demonstrated, I added that all those things which had been said before respecting charity by the nine celebrated men were eminent examples of charity when done with judgment from justice; and because justice and judgment are from no other source than the Lord the Savior, they are to be done by man from Him. This was approved by most of them in their internal man, but not as yet in the external (n. 459).


At a distance there was heard something like the gnashing of teeth, and mingled with this a kind of beating; and I went toward the sounds, and saw a small house built of reeds plastered together; and instead of the gnashing of teeth and the sound of knocking, I heard within, in the little house, disputes about faith and charity which of them is the essential of the church. And those who were for faith brought forward their arguments, saying that faith is spiritual because it is from God, but charity natural because it is from man. On the other hand, those who were for charity said that charity is spiritual and faith is natural unless it is conjoined to charity. To these things a certain syncretist wishing to settle the dispute added to this the proof that faith is spiritual and charity only natural. But it was said that moral life is of two kinds, spiritual and natural, and that in the man who lives from the Lord it is spiritual-moral but in the man who does not live from the Lord it is natural-moral, such as exists with the evil and sometimes with the spirits in hell (n. 460).


In spirit I was brought into a certain garden in the southern quarter, and saw certain persons sitting there under a laurel, eating figs. I asked them how they understood that man can do good from God, and yet do it altogether as if from himself. And they answered that God works good inwardly in man; but if man does it from his own will and from his own understanding, he defiles it so that it is no longer good. But to this I said that man is only an organ of life; and that if he believes in the Lord he does good of himself from the Lord; but if he does not believe in the Lord, and still more, if he does not believe in any God, he does good of himself from hell; and further, that the Lord has given to man freedom of choice in acting from the one or from the other. That the Lord has given this freedom was proved from the Word, in that He commanded man to love God and the neighbor, to perform the good works of charity as a tree produces fruit, and to keep God's commandments that he may be saved, and that everyone will be judged according to his deeds; and that these things would not have been commanded if man could not do good of himself from the Lord. When this had been said, I gave them twigs from a vine, and the twigs in their hands put forth grapes. And more beside (n. 461).


I saw a splendid dock-yard, and in it vessels large and small, and on benches there were boys and girls, who were waiting for tortoises to rise up out of the sea; and when they emerged, I saw that they had two heads; one, which at pleasure they drew back into the shell of the body, and another which appeared in form like a man, and from this they spoke with the boys and girls: and these caressed them, because of their elegant discourse and also gave them presents. When these things had been seen an angel explained what they signified; namely, that there are men in the world, and as many spirits from the world after death, who say that in those who have acquired faith God does not look at anything that they think and do, but only looks at the faith which He has stored up in the interiors of their minds; and that these same persons bring forth before the congregations in temples, holy things from the Word just as others do, but this they do from the greater head which appears as a man, into which they then insert the little one, or draw it into the body. The same persons afterwards were seen in the air in a vessel flying with seven sails, and those in it were decorated with laurels and purple garments, and they cried out that they were the chief of the wise of all the clergy. But the things seen were images of pride flowing from the ideas of the minds of such. And when they were upon the earth I spoke with them, first from reason and afterwards from the Sacred Scripture; and by many means I proved that their doctrine was unsound, and, being contrary to the Sacred Scripture, was from hell; but the arguments by which I proved this were too extended to be set forth here, but may be seen in the Relation itself. Afterwards they were seen in a sandy place, in garments of rags, and girt about the loins with network like fishers' nets, through which their nakedness was visible; and at last they were sent down into a society bordering on that of the Machiavelians (n. 462).


An assembly was called together which sat in a circular temple, in which at the sides there were altars, and near these the members of the assembly sat; but there was no president; therefore each one of himself rushed forth into the midst and spoke out the feelings of his mind. A discussion began about Freedom of Choice in spiritual things. The first speaker, rushing forth, cried out that man has no more freedom of choice in those things than Lot's wife when turned into a statue of salt; the second, that he has no more than a beast or a dog; the third, that he has no more than a mole, or than a bird of night in the day-time; the fourth, that if man had freedom of choice in spiritual things he would become a maniac and believe himself to be as a God who can regenerate and save himself. The sixth read from a book of the Evangelical, called Formula Concordiae that man has no more freedom of choice in spiritual things than a stock or a stone, and that he has no ability whatever to understand think, or will in respect to these things, or even to adapt and accommodate himself to receive what is spiritual; besides other things (of which above, n. 464). When this had been said, and there was also given me an opportunity of speaking, I said, "What else is man, without freedom of choice in spiritual things, than a brute? And without it, of what use is anything theological?" But to this they replied, "Read our theology, and you will not find therein anything spiritual; you will find this so concealed within that not even a shadow of it appears. Therefore, read what our theology teaches respecting justification, that is, the remission of sins, regeneration, sanctification and salvation; you will not see there anything spiritual, because spiritual things flow in through faith, without any consciousness on man's part. It has also removed charity far from what is spiritual, and repentance also from contact with it. And besides, as to redemption, it attributes to God purely natural human properties, as that He included the human race under a universal damnation; that the Son took that damnation upon Himself, and thus propitiated the Father; and what else are intercession and mediation with the Father? From all this it is clear that in all our theology there is nothing spiritual, and not even what is rational, but merely what is natural below them." But then suddenly a thunderbolt was heard from heaven, and the assembly, seized with terror, rushed forth, and each fled to his own home (n. 503).


I talked with two spirits, one of whom loved good and truth, and the other evil and falsity; and I found that both enjoyed the same ability to think rationally. But when the one who loved evil and falsity was left to himself, I saw a kind of smoke that arose from hell and extinguished the lucidity which was above his memory; but when the one who loved good and truth was left to himself, I saw, as it were, a gentle flame descending from heaven and illuminating the region of his mind above the memory, and from that the things below it. Afterwards I spoke with the one who loved evil and falsity respecting freedom of choice in spiritual things; and at the mere mention of it he fired up and cried out that no one can move his foot or hand to do any spiritual good, or his tongue and lips to speak any spiritual truth, and thus that he cannot even adapt and accommodate himself to receive any such thing. He said, "Is not man in such things dead, and merely passive? How can what is dead or merely passive do good and speak truth of itself? Does not our church so speak?" But the other, who loved good and truth spoke thus respecting freedom of choice in spiritual things: "Without it what would the whole Word be, or what the church, what religion, what the worship of God, thus what the ministry? And from the light of my understanding, I know that man without that spiritual freedom would not be man but a beast; for man is man and not a beast because of that freedom; and moreover, man without freedom of choice in spiritual things would have no life after death, thus no eternal life, because no conjunction with God; therefore, to deny this is the part of those who are insane in spiritual things." Afterwards there was seen an appearance of a fiery serpent upon a tree, which handed fruit therefrom to him who denied freedom of choice in spiritual things; and when this had been eaten a smoke appeared ascending from hell, which extinguished the light in the higher part of his rational mind (n. 504).


There was heard a grating sound like that of two mill-stones grinding on each other; and I went up to where the sound began and saw a house in which were many little cells, and in these the learned of this age were sitting and confirming justification by faith alone; and going up to one, I asked what he was now studying. He answered, "Concerning the Act of Justification which is the head of all things of doctrine in our orthodoxy." And I asked whether he knew any sign by which to tell when justifying faith enters, and when it has entered. And he said, that this is done passively, and not actively. To which I replied, "If you take away what is active in it, you also take away receptivity; and thus that act would be a purely ideal thing, such as is called a figment of reason, thus nothing more than the state of Lot's wife, composed of mere salt which tinkles when scratched by a scribe's pen or fingernail." The man growing warm picked up a candlestick, to throw it at me; but the light going out suddenly he threw it at his companion (n. 505).


There appeared two flocks, one of goats and the other of sheep; but when they were viewed closely, in place of goats and sheep men were seen; and it was perceived that the flock of goats consisted of those who make faith alone saving, and the flock of sheep of those who make charity and faith together saving. To the inquiry why they were there, those who were seen as goats said that they were sitting as a council because it had been disclosed to them that the saying of Paul, "That man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Rom. 3:28)" is not rightly understood; because by "faith" here is not meant the faith of this day, but faith in the Lord the Savior; and by "the deeds of the law" are not meant the deeds of the law of the Decalogue, but the deeds of the Mosaic law which were rituals; which also was shown. And they said that they had concluded that faith produces good works as a tree produces fruit. This teaching was favored by those who constituted the flock of sheep. Then an angel, standing between the two flocks, cried out to the flock of sheep, "Do not listen, for they have not receded from their former faith." And he divided the flock of sheep into two, and said to those on the left, "Join yourselves to the goats; but I tell you that a wolf is coming which will carry them off and you with them." Then it was asked how they understood that faith produces good works as a tree produces fruit; and it was found that their perception concerning the conjunction of faith and charity was altogether different from that comparison, and thus that it was a fallacious mode of speaking. When these things were understood, the flocks of sheep reunited themselves into one as before, to which some of the goats joined themselves, confessing that charity is the essence of faith, and that thus faith separate from charity is only natural, but conjoined to it it becomes spiritual (n. 506).


A discourse with angels concerning the three loves, which are universal, and therefore with every man; which are, Love of the neighbor, or the Love of uses, which in itself is spiritual; the Love of the world, or the Love of possessing wealth, which in itself is material: and the Love of self, or the Love of ruling over others, which in itself is corporeal; and that when these three loves are rightly subordinated in man, he is truly man; and that they are rightly subordinated when love of the neighbor forms the head, love of the world the body, and love of self the feet; it is altogether otherwise when they become fixed in man in a contrary order. And it was shown what man is when the love of the world forms the head, and what he is when love of self; that then he is an inverted man; and in respect to the interiors of his mind is a wild beast, and in respect to his exteriors and the body is an actor. After this there was seen a certain devil ascending from below, having a dusky face with a white circle around the head; and he said that he was Lucifer, although he was not; and that in his internals, he was a devil, but in his externals an angel of light; and he declared when in externals he was moral among the moral, rational among the rational, and even spiritual among the spiritual; and that when he was in the world he had preached; and that then he accursed evil doers of every kind, and this is why he was called "Son of the morning;" and, what he himself wondered at, when he was in the pulpit he had no other idea than that it was as he spoke; but otherwise when he was out of the temple. This he said because in the temple he was in his externals and then in the understanding only, but out of the temple in his internals and then in the will; and thus he was raised into heaven by his understanding while his will drew him down into hell; but that the will prevails over the understanding, because it disposes the understanding according to its beck and nod. After this the devil who pretended to be Lucifer fell down into hell (n. 607).


There was seen a round temple, the roof of which was crown-shaped, its walls continuous windows of crystal, its door of a pearly substance. In it there was a pulpit, on which was the Word enveloped in a sphere of light. In the center of the temple was a sanctuary, before which was a veil, at that time raised, where stood a cherub waving a sword in his hand. When this had been seen it was explained to me what each particular signified; which may be seen. Above the gate there was this inscription, Now it is permitted; which signified, that now it is permitted to enter understandingly into the mysteries of faith; and it was given me to perceive that it exceedingly dangerous to enter with the understanding into dogmas of faith which are from self intelligence and thus in falsities, and still more to confirm these from the Word; therefore, by the Divine Providence the Word had been taken away from the Roman Catholics, and with Protestants it had been closed by their dogma that the understanding is to be kept under obedience to their faith. But because the dogmas of the New Church are all from the Word, it is permitted to enter into these with the understanding, because they are continuous truths from the Word, and also shine before the understanding. This was what is meant by the writing above the gate, Now it is permitted, and by the veil of the sanctuary being raised, within which the cherub stood. After this there was brought to me a paper from an infant who was an angel in the third heaven, on which was written, Enter hereafter into the mysteries of the Word which has been heretofore shut up; for the particular truths therein are so many mirrors of the Lord (n. 508).


I was seized with a grievous disease, from the smoke that came in from the Jerusalem which is called Sodom and Egypt (Apoc. 11:8); and I was seen by those Who were in that city as dead; and they said one to another that I was not worthy of burial, just as it is said concerning the two witnesses in the same chapter in the Apocalypse; and meanwhile I heard blasphemies in abundance from the citizens on account of my having preached repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But as a judgment came upon them, I saw that the whole city fell down and was overflowed with waters; and afterwards that they were running about among the heaps of stones, and lamenting on account of their lot; when their belief was that, by the faith of their church they were born again and were thus righteous. But it was said to them that they were anything else than such, since they had never performed any actual repentance; and were therefore unaware of any damnable evil in themselves. Afterwards it was said to them from heaven, that faith in the Lord and repentance are the two means of regeneration and salvation; and that this is very well known from the Word, and still further, from the Decalogue, baptism, and the holy supper; concerning which see the Relation (n. 567).


All who after death come into the spiritual world at first are kept in the externals in which they were in the natural world; and because most men who are in externals live morally, frequent churches and pray to God, they believe that they will certainly come into heaven. But they are taught that every man after death gradually puts off the external man, and the internal man is opened, and then the man is known, as he is in himself, since man is man from his will and understanding, and not merely from action and speech: and from this it is that man can in externals appear like a sheep, although in internals he is like a wolf, and that he is such in his internal man unless he examines the evils of his will and of his intention therefrom, and repents of them; with more besides (n. 568).


Every love breathes forth delight. In the natural world the delights from love, are but little felt, but in the spiritual world they are clearly felt; and there they are sometimes turned into odors; and the nature of the delights is then perceived and what love they are from; and the delights from the love of good, such as are in the heavens, are perceived as fragrance in gardens and flower-beds; and on the other hand, the delights from the love of evil, such as are in hell, are perceived as the pungent and fetid smells from stagnant waters and from cesspools; and because they are so opposite, the devils are tortured when they are sensible of any sweet odor from heaven, and on the other hand, the angels are tortured when they are sensible of any ill-smelling odors from hell. That it is so, was confirmed by two examples. This is why the oil of anointing was prepared from fragrant things, and why it is said of Jehovah that He smelled a sweet savor from the burnt-offerings; and on the other hand, why it was commanded the sons of Israel that they should carry unclean things out of their camps, and that they should bury their excrements; for their camps represented heaven, and the desert outside of the camps represented hell (n. 569).


A certain novitiate spirit, who in the world meditated much upon heaven and hell, desired to know the nature of each; and it was said to him from heaven, "Inquire what delight is, and you will know." Therefore going away he inquired; but among spirits merely natural he inquired in vain. But he was led to three companies in succession; to one where they searched out ends and were therefore called wisdoms; to another where they investigated causes, and were therefore called intelligences; and to a third where they inquired into effects, and were therefore called knowledges: and by all these he was taught that every angel, spirit, and man has life from the delight of his love; and that the will and thought cannot move a step except from a delight in some love; and this is to everyone that which is called good; and still further that the delight of heaven is a delight in doing good, and the delight of hell a delight in doing evil. That he might be further taught, a devil providentially ascended, and there before him described the delights of hell, that they were the delights of revenge, fornication, plunder and blasphemy; and these when perceived there as odors are perceived as balsams and therefore he called them the delights of their nostrils (n. 670).


A company of spirits was seen praying to God that He would send angels to teach them about various things pertaining to faith, inasmuch as in most things they were in doubt, because churches so differ one from another, and all their ministers say "Believe us; we are the ministers of God, and we know." And angels appeared, whom they questioned in regard to charity and faith, repentance, regeneration, God, the immortality of the soul, and baptism and the holy supper; about each of which the angels gave such answers as fell into their understanding; saying further that whatever does not fall into the understanding is like what is sown in the sand which, however it may be watered by the rain, still withers away; and the understanding when closed against religion, no longer sees anything in the Word from the light therein from the Lord; and even if the Word is read he becomes more and more blind in the things of faith and salvation (n. 621).


How man, when prepared for heaven, enters it; namely, that after preparation he sees a path that leads to the society in heaven in which he is to live to eternity; and near the society there is a gate which is opened; and when he has entered an examination is made whether he has in him the same light and the same heat, that is, the same good and truth as are in the angels of that society. When this is determined he goes about and inquires where his house is; for there is for each novitiate angel a new house. When this is found he is received and numbered as one among them. But those who have not in them the light and heat, that is, the good and truth of heaven, have this hard lot, that when they enter they are miserably tortured, and because of the torture cast themselves down headlong. This happens to them because of the sphere of the light and heat of heaven, in the opposite of which they are; and afterwards they no longer desire heaven, but are affiliated with their like in hell. From this it is clear that it is idle to believe that gaining heaven is merely an admission from favor, and that those who are admitted enter into the fruition of the joys there, like those in the world who are admitted into a house where there is a wedding (n. 622).


Many who believe that heaven is a mere matter of admission from grace, and after admission there is eternal joy, were permitted to ascend into heaven; but because they could not endure the light and heat, that is, the faith and love there, they cast themselves down headlong; and they appeared to those who stood below like dead horses. Among those who stood below and who thus saw them, were boys with their master; and he taught them what their appearing like dead horses signified, and who those are who so appear at a distance, saying that they are those who when they read the Word think materially and not spiritually about God, the neighbor, and heaven; and that those think materially about God who think about essence from person, and in regard to the neighbor about his quality from the face and speech, and in regard to heaven about the state of love there from place; but those think spiritually who think of God from essence, and from essence of person; of the neighbor from his quality; and from quality of his face and speech; and of heaven from the state of love there and of place from that. And afterwards he taught them that a horse signifies understanding of the Word; and because the Word with those who think spiritually when they read it is a living letter, so such appear at a distance as living horses; and on the other hand, because the Word with those who think materially when they read it is a dead letter, so those at a distance appear as dead horses (n. 623).


An angel was seen descending from heaven into that world with a paper in his hand, upon which was written the marriage of good and truth and it was seen that in heaven the paper shone, but in its descent gradually less and less, until neither the paper nor the angel was seen, except before some unlearned ones who were simple-hearted. To these the angel explained what the marriage of good and truth involves, namely, that all and each of the things in the whole heaven and in the whole world contain the two together, because in the Lord God the Creator good and truth make one; and therefore nothing is anywhere possible which by itself is good, nor anything which by itself is true; consequently in each and everything there is a marriage of good and truth, and in the church a marriage of charity and faith, since charity pertains to good and faith to truth (n. 624).


When I was in profound thought about the second coming of the Lord, I saw heaven from the east to the west luminous, and heard a glorification and celebration of the Lord by the angels, but from the Word, both the prophetic Word of the Old Testament and the Apostolic Word of the New Testament. The passages themselves by which the glorifications were made may be seen in the Relation (n. 625).


In the north-eastern quarter there, are Places of instruction, and those who interiorly receive instruction there are called disciples of the Lord. Once when in the spirit, I asked the teachers there whether they knew the universals of heaven and the universals of hell; and they answered that the universals of heaven are three loves, the love of uses, the love of possessing the goods of the world from the love of performing uses, and true marriage love; and that the universals of hell are three loves opposite to those three, namely, the love of ruling from the love of self, the love of possessing the goods of others from the love of the world, and scortatory love. It is described afterwards what the first infernal love is, which is the love of ruling from the love of self; that it is such with the laity that, when loose rein is given to it, they wish to rule over all things of the world, and with the clergy, that they wish to rule over all things of heaven. That such a hallucination possesses those who are in that love was proved by the like in hell, where such are together in a certain valley, who find enjoyment for their minds in the hallucinations that they are emperors of emperors, or kings of kings; and elsewhere that they are gods; and it was seen that at the sight of these latter, the former, whose minds were so elated, fell upon their knees and worshiped. Afterwards I spoke with two, one of whom was the prince of a certain society in heaven, and the other was the high-priest there; who said that with those in that society there are magnificent and splendid things, because their love is not from the love of self, but from the love of uses; and that they are surrounded by honors and that they accept them not for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of the good of obedience. I then asked them, "How can anyone know whether he does uses from the love of self or the world, or from love of uses since uses are performed from all these loves? Let it be supposed that there is a society consisting of satans only and a society consisting of angels only, and I can imagine that the satans, from the love of self and the world, would perform as many uses in their society as the angels would in theirs. Who, then, can know from which love the uses are?" To this the prince and priest replied that satans perform uses for the sake of reputation, that they may be raised to honors and acquire wealth, but angels perform uses for the sake of uses. And the latter are distinguished from the former especially by this, that all who believe in the Lord and shun evils as sins perform uses from the Lord, and thus from the love of uses; but all who do not believe in the Lord and do not shun evils as sins perform uses from themselves and for the sake of themselves, thus from the love of self or the world (n. 661).


I entered a certain grove and saw two angels talking with each other. I drew near them and they were speaking of the lust of possessing all things of the world, and it was said that many who in actions appear moral and in conversation rational are in the madness of that lust, and that that lust is turned into hallucinations with those who let their minds dwell in ideas concerning it. And because everyone in the spiritual world is permitted to delight himself in his hallucination, provided he does no evil to another there are even congregations of such in the lower earth; and as it was known where they were, we descended and went to them; and we saw that they were sitting at tables, upon which there was an abundance of gold coin, and they said that this was the wealth of all in the kingdom; but it was only a vision of the imagination which is called a hallucination, whereby such an appearance was created. But when they were told that they were insane, they turned away from the tables and confessed that it was so; but because they were exceedingly delighted by the vision, they could not help returning again and again, and indulging the allurements of their senses. To this they added, that if anyone deprives another of his goods, or otherwise harms him, he falls down into a kind of prison under them, and is kept there at work for food, clothing, and some little pieces of money; and if they also do evil there, they are deprived of these and punished (n. 662).


A dispute was heard between an ambassador of a kingdom and two priests, whether intelligence and wisdom, and thus also prudence, are from God or from man. The ambassador insisted that these are from man, but the priests that they are from God; nevertheless it was perceived by certain angels that the priests inwardly in themselves believed the same as the ambassador, namely, that intelligence and wisdom, and prudence therefrom, are from man. That this, therefore, might be made clear, the ambassador was requested to lay aside the garments of his office, and to put on the garments of the sacerdotal ministry, and when this was done the ambassador began to prove by many things that all intelligence and also prudence are from God. And afterwards the priests also were asked to lay aside their garments, and to put on the garments of ministers of state; and when this was done the priests spoke from their interior selves, saying that all intelligence and prudence are from man. They so spoke because a spirit thinks himself to be such as his dress is. After this the three became hearty friends; and as they conversed together they went the way that tended downwards; but afterwards I saw them brought back (n. 663).


First those are treated of who in the Word are called the elect, and it is known that they are such as are found after death to have lived a life of charity and faith, and who are separated from those who have not lived that life; thus the elect mean those who are then elected and prepared for heaven. Therefore to believe that only some, before their birth or after it, are elected and predestined to heaven, and not all, since all are called, would be to accuse God of impotence and also of injustice (n. 664).


It was said in heaven, by a certain new-comer that no one in the Christian world knows what conscience is; and because the angels did not believe this, they said to a certain spirit that he might call together with a trumpet the intelligent, and ask them whether they know what conscience is. And it was so done; and they came, and among them there were statesmen, scholars, physicians, and priests. First, the statesmen were asked what conscience is. They answered that it is a pain arising from fear anticipated or actual, of the loss of honor or wealth; or from a hypochondriacal humor arising from undigested substances in the stomach; and more besides. Afterwards, they asked the scholars what they knew about conscience. They answered that it is a sadness and anxiety infesting the body and from that the head, or the head and from that the body, from various causes, especially from applying the mind to one thing only, which is done especially when the reigning love suffers; giving rise sometimes to hallucinations and deliriums, and with some to a kind of brain sickness in religious matters, which is called remorse of conscience. Next the physicians were asked what conscience is. And they said that it is only a pain arising from various diseases, which they enumerated in abundance; also that they had cured many by means of drugs. The diseases from which the pains called those of conscience spring may be seen enumerated in the Relation. Finally the priests were asked what conscience is. They said that it was the same with the contrition that precedes faith, and that they had cured it by the gospel; moreover, that there are conscientious persons of every religion, true as well as fanatical, who make to themselves scruples about matters of salvation, also about indifferent matters. The angel from hearing these things perceived it to be true that no one knew what conscience is; therefore they sent down one from themselves to teach. He standing in the midst said that conscience is not a pain, as they had all imagined, but is a life according to religion; and that that life is especially in those who are in the faith of charity; and that those who have conscience speak from the heart what they speak, and do from the heart what they do. This he illustrated by examples. So, when it is said of anyone that he has a conscience, it is meant that he is upright; and conversely. When all this had been said, those who had been called together divided themselves into four bodies; those who understood and favored the words of the angel passed over into one; those who did not understand but still favored, into another; those who had no wish to understand, saying to each other, "What have we to do with conscience?" passed over into a third; and those who scoffed, saying, "What is conscience but a breath of wind?" passed over into the fourth. After this the two latter bodies were seen to go aside to the left, and the two former to the right (n. 665).


I was led to a place where the ancient Sophi dwelt who had been in Greece, which place they called Parnassium; and I was told that at times they send out some to fetch new-comers from the world that they may inquire about wisdom, how it is at this day on earth. Then two Christians were found and brought, who were presently asked, "What news from earth?" And they answered that this was new there; that they had found human beings in the woods, perhaps left there in early childhood; and that they appeared from the face to be men, and yet they were not men; and that from this it was concluded in the world that man is no more than a beast, except that he can articulate sound, and thus speak; and that a beast could in like manner become wise if endowed with the ability to make articulate sounds; besides more. The Sophi from hearing these things drew many conclusions respecting wisdom, what changes it had undergone since their times; especially from this, that they do not now know the distinction between the state of man and that of a beast, nor even that man is born merely the form of a man, and becomes man by instructions and such a man as the kinds of instruction he receives; that he becomes wise from truths, unwise from falsities, and inwardly a wild beast from evils; and that he is born merely a capacity to know. understand, and become wise, in order that he might be a subject into which God might inspire wisdom, from the first degree of it to the highest. They said further that they understood from the new-comers that wisdom which in their time was in its rise, is at this day setting. Afterwards they instructed the new-comers how it is that man, created a form of God, could be turned into the form of the devil. But concerning all this the Relation may be seen (n. 692).


There was again a meeting appointed in the place where the ancient Sophi were, since they had heard from those sent out by them that they had found three new-comers from the earth, one a priest, another a politician, and a third a philosopher; these were brought and were presently asked, "What news from earth?" And they replied, "This is new; we have heard that a certain man says that he speaks with angels and spirits; and he relates many things concerning their state and among them that man lives a man after death as much as before, with this difference only, that he is then clothed with a spiritual body, but before with a material body." On hearing which they asked the priest what he had thought about those things on earth. He replied that because he had believed that man was not to live again as a man before the day of the last judgment, he with the rest of his order were of the opinion that the things the man told were visions, and afterwards fictions, and that at last he was in doubt. Then he was asked whether the inhabitants of the earth could not see from reason that man lives a man after death, and thus dissipate the paradoxical notions concerning the state of souls in the mean time, which are, that souls meanwhile are flying about like winds in the universe, continually awaiting the last judgment that they may be combined with their bodies; which lot would be worse than the lot of any beast. To this the priest replied that they talk, but they do not convince; and that they ascribe the combining or re-uniting of souls with their bodies and skeletons in the sepulchre to the omnipotence of God; and when they name omnipotence and also faith, all reason is exiled. Afterwards the politician being questioned concerning the things heard, replied that in the world he could not believe that man would live after death, since all of man lies dead in the grave, and thus he thought that that man saw specters and believed them to be angels and spirits but that now for the first time he was convinced, by his very senses, that he lives a man as before, and that he was therefore ashamed of his former thoughts. The philosopher related nearly the same things concerning himself, and concerning others of his school; saying, moreover, that he referred those things which he had heard respecting the things seen and heard by that man, to a place among the opinions and hypotheses which he had collected from the ancients and moderns. On hearing these things the Sophi were astonished, especially that Christians, who are in light above others from revelation, should be in such thick darkness respecting their life after death; when yet they and the wise men of their time knew about and believed in that life; saying further that they had noticed that the light of wisdom had lowered itself since that age from the interior of the brain even to the mouth under the nose, where it appears as a brightness of the lip, and in consequence the speech of the mouth appears like wisdom. To this one of the tyros added, "How stupid are the minds of those who now dwell on the earth! Would that the disciples of Heraclitus who laughed at everything and the disciples of Democritus who wept at everything were here, and we should hear both great laughter and great weeping." After this there were given to the new-comers plates of copper on which hieroglyphics were engraved and they departed (n. 693).


New-comers from the world were found, and were brought to the city under Parnassium, and were asked, "What news from earth?" And they answered that in the world they had believed that after death there would be rest from all kinds of labor, and yet they had heard, when they were coming hither, that there are here administrations, offices and employments, as in the former world, and thus that there is not rest. To this the wise ones there replied, "Thus you believed that now you are to live in mere idleness, and yet idleness produces a languid, torpid, stupid and sleepy state of the mind, and from that of the whole body, and this is death and not life." And then they were led about in the city, and to the administrators and workmen; on seeing which, they wondered that there should be such things, since they had believed that there would be some empty place in which souls were to live until the new heaven and new earth came into existence. They were also taught that all the things that here appear before the eyes are substantial and are called spiritual; and that all things in their former world are material and are called natural; and that there is this difference because they are from different origins; namely, that all things in this world exist and subsist from a sun which is pure love, and all things in that world exist from a sun which is pure fire. They were also taught that in this world there are not only administrations, but also pursuits of every kind, and also writings and books. The new-comers were delighted with what they were taught, and when they were going away, some virgins came with pieces of needle-work and embroidery made with their own hands, and gave these to them; and they sung before them an ode in which they expressed in angelic melody the affection for useful labor and its charms (n. 694).


I was introduced into an assembly where some of the ancient philosophers were present, and was asked what they knew in my world about influx. To which I answered, that the only influx they knew about was that of the light and heat of their sun into the things which are of nature, both into animate and into inanimate things; and that they knew nothing about the influx of the spiritual world into the natural world, although from that influx are all the wonderful things which are beheld both in the animal kingdom there, and in the vegetable kingdom (these were in part recounted). And because they are ignorant of this influx, they confirm themselves in favor of nature, and become naturalists, and at length atheists (n. 695).


I spoke with the followers of Aristotle, Descartes, and Leibnitz, concerning physical influx, occasional influx, and pre-established harmony, and heard how each confirmed his hypothesis; but as they were able to look into that subject only with an understanding subordinated to confirmations, and not superior to them, they ended the dispute by lot, which came out in favor of spiritual influx, which to some extent coincides with occasional influx (n. 696).


I was taken into a certain gymnasium in which the young were initiated into various things pertaining to wisdom, and this was done by the discussion of some subject which was there proposed by the president; and the subject then under discussion was, What is the soul, and what is its nature? There was a desk into which those who were to answer ascended. And presently one ascended, who said that no one since the creation of the world had been able to find out what the soul is and what its nature is; but since it was known that there is a soul in man, man had sought to know where it is. There was one who held that it has its seat in man in a certain little gland which is called the pineal gland, which is situated between the two brains in the head; and that at first he had believed this; but as it was rejected by many, he afterwards receded from this view. After this the second ascended, and said that he believed the seat of the soul to be in the head, because the understanding is there; but as he was unable to conjecture where in the head it resided, he acceded now to the opinion of those who said that its seat is in the three ventricles of the brain; now to the opinion of those who said that it is in the striated bodies there; now to the opinion of those who said that it is in the medullary or the cortical substance, and now to the opinion of those who said that it is in the dura mater; adding that he would leave it to everyone to think what he liked. The third ascending said that the seat of the soul is in the heart and thence in the blood; and this he confirmed from the Word where it is said, heart and soul. The fourth next ascending said that from his childhood he had believed with the ancients that the soul is not in one part but in the whole, because it is a spiritual substance, of which place cannot be predicated, but impletion; and further, as soul and life mean the same thing, the life is in the whole. The fifth ascending said that he believed the soul to be something pure, like ether or air, and that he believed this because it is supposed that the soul would be such after it had been separated from the body. But the wise ones in the orchestra, perceiving that none of them knew what the soul is, requested the president, who had proposed the problem, to descend and teach. He therefore descending, said, "The soul is the very essence of man; and because an essence without a form is not anything, the soul is the form of man's forms; and this form is the truly human form, in which wisdom with its perceptions and love with its affections universally reside; and as you believed in the world that you would be souls after death, you are now yourselves the souls;" besides more. And this was confirmed by this declaration in the Book of Creation, "Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the soul if lives, and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7) (n. 697).


There was seen an angel with a trumpet, with which he called together those celebrated for erudition among Christians, that they might tell what they had believed in the world concerning the joys of heaven and eternal happiness. This was done because it had been said in heaven that no one in the Christian world knew anything about them. And after about an hour there were seen six companies coming from the learned Christians, who were asked what they had known about the joys of heaven and eternal happiness. The first company said that they had believed them to be merely an admission into heaven, and then into its festive joys, as one is admitted into a house where there is a wedding and into its festivities. The second company said that they had believed them to be most cheerful companionship and the sweetest conversations with angels. The third company said that they had believed them to be feastings with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The fourth company said that they had believed them to be paradisal delights. The fifth company, that there would be supreme dominion, boundless wealth, and more than royal magnificence. The sixth company, that there would be a glorification of God and a festival enduring to eternity. Therefore that these learned ones might know whether those things which they had believed to be the joys of heaven were so, it was granted them to enter into those their joys, each company by itself, that they might learn by living experience whether those joys were imaginary or real. This takes place with most of those who come from the natural world into the spiritual (n. 731- 733).
And then presently the company that had thought the joys of heaven to be most cheerful companionship and sweetest conversations with angels, were let into the joys of their imagination; but because they were external joys and not internal, after some days they were affected with weariness and departed (n. 734).
Afterwards those who had believed that the joys of heaven are feasts with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were let into like things; but because they perceived that such joys were only external and not internal, they became weary and went away (n. 735).
The same was done with those who had believed that the joys of heaven and eternal happiness consist in supreme dominion, boundless riches, and more than royal magnificence (n. 736).
Also with those who had believed that heavenly joys, and consequently eternal happiness, are paradisal delights (n. 737).
Afterwards with those who had believed that heavenly joys and eternal happiness are a perpetual glorification of God, and a festival enduring for ever. These were finally taught what is meant in the Word by the glorification of God (n. 738).
Finally, the same was done with those who had believed that they would enter into heavenly joys and eternal happiness if only they were admitted into heaven; and that they would then have joys like the joys of those who enter into the house of a wedding, and join in the festivities there. But when they were shown by living experience that there are no joys in heaven except for those who have lived the life of heaven, that is, a life of charity and faith, but instead, heaven is a torture to those who have led an opposite life, they withdrew and affiliated themselves with their like (n. 739).
Because the angels perceived that as yet no one in the natural world knows what the joys of heaven are, and thus what eternal happiness is, the angel with the trumpet was told to choose ten from those who had been called together, and introduce them into a society of heaven, that they might see with their eyes and perceive with their minds what heaven is and what the joys there are; and so it was done. And when they had been admitted, it was granted them first to see the magnificent palace of the prince there (n. 740). Then the paradise near it (n. 741). Afterwards, the prince himself and his great men in splendid garments (n. 742). Then, being invited to the table of the prince, they saw such an entertainment as no eye had ever seen oil earth; and at the table they heard the prince give instruction respecting heavenly joys and eternal happiness, that they consist essentially in internal blessedness, and from this in external enjoyments; and that internal blessedness derives its essence from an affection for use (n. 743, 744). After dinner, by command of the prince some wise men of the society were sent for, who taught them fully about the nature and source of internal blessedness, which is eternal happiness; and that this causes external enjoyments to be joys; besides more concerning all these things (n. 745 746). After this they were permitted to see a wedding in that heaven, (of which n. 747-749). And finally, to hear preaching (n. 750, 751). When they had seen and heard all this, full of knowledge concerning heaven and joyful in heart they descended (n. 752).


Revelation is here treated of. It has pleased the Lord to manifest Himself to me, and to open the interiors of my mind and to enable me thereby to see the things which are in heaven and hell and thus He has disclosed mysteries which in excellence and dignity surpass all mysteries hitherto disclosed. They are as follows. (i.) That, in each thing and all things of the Word there is a Spiritual Sense, which does not appear in the sense of the letter; and that consequently the Word was written by means of the correspondences of spiritual things with natural. (ii.) The Correspondences themselves, what they are has been explained. (iii.) There has also been a revelation concerning the Life of men after Death. (iv.) Also respecting Heaven and Hell, what the one is and what the other is; also respecting Baptism and the Holy Supper. (v.) Respecting the Sun in the spiritual world, that it is pure love from the Lord who is in the midst of it, the light proceeding from which is wisdom, and the heat proceeding from which is love; thus that faith and charity are from it; and that all things that go forth from it are spiritual and thus alive; also that the sun of the natural world is pure fire, and therefore all things that are from the sun are natural, and thus dead. (vi.) That there are three Degrees hitherto unknown. (vii.) And furthermore, matters have been revealed relating to the Last Judgment; the Lord the Savior as the God of Heaven and Earth; the New Church and its Doctrine; the Inhabitants of the Planets, and the Earths in the Universe (n. 846). (viii.) Also respecting Conjugial Love; that with the spiritual it is spiritual with the natural it is natural, and with adulterers it is carnal (n. 847). (ix.) The angels discerned by inquiry that although these mysteries are more excellent than any mysteries hitherto disclosed, still at this day they are regarded by many as of no account (n. 848). (x.) A murmur was heard from some in the lower earth that they would not believe those things unless Miracles were done; but the answer was made that they would no more believe through miracles than did Pharaoh and the Egyptians; or no more than the posterity of Jacob when they danced about the golden calf in the desert; or no more than the Jews when they saw the miracles done by the Lord Himself (n. 849). (xi.) Finally, why the Lord revealed these mysteries to me, and not rather to some one of the ecclesiastical order (n. 850).
The things contained in the Memorable Relations which follow the chapters are true; and like things were seen and heard by the prophets before the coming of the Lord, and like things by the apostles after His coming, as by Peter, Paul, and especially by John in the Apocalypse; which things are set forth (n. 851).


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