(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 462

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462. Fourth Memorable Relation:
Looking toward the seashore in the spiritual world, I saw a splendid dockyard. I went near and looked into it, and behold, there were large and small vessels, and in them merchandise of every kind, and on benches there were sitting boys and girls distributing the merchandise to all who wanted it.
And they said, "We are waiting to see our beautiful tortoises, which will soon rise up out of the sea to us."
And behold, I saw both large and small tortoises, on the shells and scales of which sat young tortoises looking toward the surrounding islands. The paternal tortoises had two heads, a large one covered over with a shell like the shells on their bodies, which gave them a reddish hue, and a small one, such as tortoises have; this they drew back into the forepart of the body, and also, in some unseen way, inserted into the larger head.
But I kept my eyes on the large red head; and I saw that it had a face like the face of a man, and it talked with the boys and girls on the seats and licked their hands. Then the boys and girls patted them, and gave them food and dainties, and also costly things, such as silk for clothing, thyine-wood for tables, purple for decorations, and scarlet for coloring.
[2] Seeing these things, I wished to know what they represented, as I knew that all things that appear in the spiritual world are correspondences, and represent the spiritual things pertaining to affection and to thought therefrom.
They then spoke to me from heaven and said, "You yourself know what the dockyard represents, and the ships, and the boys and girls that are on them; but you do not know what the tortoises signify." And they said, "The tortoises represent such of the clergy there as altogether separate faith from charity and its good works, affirming in themselves, that there is clearly no conjunction of these, but that the Holy Spirit, through man's faith in God the Father on account of the merit of the Son, enters into man, and purifies his interiors even to his own will; out of which they make a sort of oval plane; and they claim that when the operation of the Holy Spirit comes near this plane, it bends itself around it towards the left and does not touch it at all; so that the inner or higher part of man's nature is for God, and the outer or lower part for man; consequently nothing that man does, whether good or evil, is apparent to God - not the good, because this is a matter of merit, nor the evil, because it is evil, for if either of these were to appear to God, man would perish because of it. And this being so, man is at liberty to will and think and say and do whatever he pleases, provided he is discreet before the world."
[3] I asked whether they also asserted that man is permitted to think of God as not omnipresent and omniscient.
They answered from heaven that this is permitted, for the reason that in a man who has acquired faith, and has been purified and justified thereby, God does not look at anything pertaining to his thought and will, and that he still retains in his inner bosom, or in the higher region of his mind or nature, the faith that he had received in the act of faith, it being sometimes possible for that act to return without man's being conscious of it. "These are the things represented by the small head, which they draw into the forepart of the body, and insert into the larger head when they are talking with the laity, for with them they do not talk from the small head, but from the large one, which in appearance is provided in front with a human face; and with them they talk from the Word about love, charity, good works, the commandments of the Decalogue, and repentance, selecting from the Word almost everything that is there said on these subjects. But in so doing they insert the small head into the large one, and from this they understand inwardly in themselves that none of these things are to be done for the sake of God and salvation, but only for the sake of public and private good. [4] And inasmuch as they talk about these subjects from the Word, especially about the Gospel, the operation of the Holy Spirit, and salvation, in a pleasing and elegant manner, they seem to their hearers to be handsome men and the wisest in all the world. This is why, as you saw, costly and precious things were given them by the boys and girls who sat upon the benches in the vessels; also why you saw them represented as tortoises. In your world they are but little distinguished from others, except by this, that they imagine themselves the wisest of men, and laugh at others, even at those who entertain a like doctrine of faith but are not in these mysteries. They carry with them on their clothing a certain mark by which they make themselves distinguishable from others."
[5] He who was talking to me said, "I will not tell you what their sentiments are respecting other matters of faith, such as election, freedom of choice, baptism, and the holy supper, which are of such a nature that they do not divulge them; but we in heaven know what they are. But because they are such in the world, and because no one is allowed after death to think one thing and say another, and therefore they can then do no otherwise than speak from the insanities of their thoughts, they are regarded as insane and are expelled from societies, and finally sent down to the bottomless pit spoken of in Revelation (9:2). There they become corporeal spirits, and look like the mummies of the Egyptians. For a callousness has been induced upon the interiors of their minds, owing to the barrier they had interposed when they were in the world. The infernal society composed of them borders upon the infernal society from the Machiavelians, and they pass indiscriminately from one to the other, and call each other fellow-members. But they go back because there is a difference between them, arising from the fact that there has been with them some religious principle respecting the act of justification by faith, while the Machiavelians have no religious principle at all."
[6] After I had seen them expelled from societies and collected together to be cast down, I saw a vessel flying in the air with seven sails, and therein officers and sailors dressed in purple clothing and having splendid laurels on their caps, and shouting, "Lo, we are in heaven; we are purple-robed doctors of the highest degree, since of all the wise men among the clergy in Europe we are the heads."
I wondered what this meant, and was told that they were images of pride and of the visionary thoughts called fantasies, which spring from those who before appeared as tortoises, but these had now been cast out of the societies as insane and gathered into one body and now stood together in one place.
I then wished to speak with them, and therefore went to the place where they were standing and saluted them, and said, "Are you those who have separated the internals of men from their externals, and who have separated the operation of the Holy Spirit, as being in faith, from its cooperation with man outside of faith, and thus you have separated God from man? Have you not thus not only removed charity itself and the works of charity from faith, as many others of the learned clergy have done, but also faith itself from man as to its manifestation before God? [7] But I pray you, which do you prefer, that I should speak to you on this matter from reason, or from Holy Scripture?"
They said, "Speak first from reason."
And I spoke as follows, "How can the internal man and external man be separated? Who does not see or cannot see from common perception, that all of man's interiors go forth and are continued into his exteriors, and even into his outermosts, in order to work out their effects and produce their works? Are not internals for the sake of externals, that they may terminate in them and find permanence in them, and so come forth, nearly the same as a column rests upon its base? You can see that unless there were a continuation and thus a conjunction, outermosts would dissolve and pass away like bubbles in the air. Who can deny that the interior operations of God in man are myriads of myriads and of these man knows nothing? And what need is there of his knowing about them, provided he knows about the outermosts, in which, with his thought and will, he is together with God? [8] But this shall be illustrated by an example. Does man understand the interior operations of his speech, as how the lungs draw in the air, and fill the little vessels with it, and the bronchial tubes, and the lobes; how they send out the air into the trachea, and there turn it into sound; how that sound is modified in the glottis with the aid of the larynx; and how the tongue then articulates it, and the lips complete the articulation that it may become speech? Do not all these interior operations, of which man knows nothing, exist for the sake of the outermost, which is that man may have power to speak? Remove or separate one of these internals from its continuity with the outermosts, and could man speak any more than a stock? [9] Take another example. The two hands are the outermosts of man. Do not the interiors, which are continued thither, come from the head through the neck, also through the chest, the shoulders, the arms, and the forearms? And there are the innumerable muscular textures, innumerable battalions of motor fibers, innumerable combinations of nerves and blood-vessels, and the many bony articulations with their ligaments and membranes. What does a man know about these things? And yet the working of his hands is from each and all of them. Suppose that these interior parts were to turn back to the right or left near the elbow, instead of continuing onward, would not the hand drop down from the forearm and rot like something torn away from the body and deprived of life? If you will believe it, it would be with the hand as it would be with the body if the man were beheaded. It would be precisely the same with the human mind and its two lives, the will and the understanding, if the Divine operations, which are those of faith and charity, were to cease half way and not pass by a continuous course even to the man himself. Clearly man would then be not merely a brute, but a rotten stick. All this is in accordance with reason. [10] Furthermore, if you will listen, it is also in accordance with the Sacred Scripture. Does not the Lord say,
Abide in Me, and I in you. I am the Vine and ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit (John 15:4, 6).
Is not the fruit the good works which the Lord does through man, and man does of himself from the Lord? The Lord also says,
That He stands at the door and knocks, and that He comes in to him that opens, and sups with him, and he with Him (Rev. 3:20).
Does not the Lord give pounds and talents to man to trade with and profit by, and as man profits by them, does He not give him eternal life? (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:13-26).
And again:
That He gives wages to every man according to the labor done in His vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16).
These are but a few passages. Pages might be filled from the Word on this subject, that man ought to bear fruit like a tree, to do according to the commandments, to love God and the neighbor, and so forth. [11] But I am aware that your self-intelligence is unable to hold to anything such as it is in itself, that is in common with these things from the Word, for although you give utterance to it, your ideas pervert it. And you cannot do otherwise, because you remove from man everything belonging to God as to communication and conjunction. What then remains but to remove all that pertains to worship also?"
Afterward these spirits appeared to me in the light of heaven, which discloses and manifests the character of everyone. And they did not then appear as they did before, in a ship in the air, as if in heaven; neither were they clad in purple robes and crowned with laurel, but 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 then they were sent down to the society bordering on that of the Machiavellians.


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