adapted from Samuel M. Warren, A Compendium of the Theological Writings
of Emanuel Swedenborg
  (Board of Publication of the General Convention of the New Jerusalem, New York 1875)

Table of Contents


A Compendium of the Theological Writings of
Emanuel Swedenborg (Revised)


General Character

This church above all the churches on the whole globe was from the Divine; for it was in the good of love to the Lord. Their voluntary and intellectual part made one, thus one mind. They therefore had a perception of truth from good; for the Lord flowed in through an internal way into the good of their will, and through this into the good of the understanding or truth. Hence it is that that church in preference to the others was called Man [The word Adam, (םךא) nun, is the Hebrew generic word for man; corresponding with the Latin homo, and with our word man in the sense of mankind.] (Adam), and also a likeness of God. (AC n. 4454)

The Most Ancient church had immediate revelation from the Lord through their fellowship with spirits and angels; and also by means of visions and dreams,—from which it was given them, in a general way, to know what was good and true. And when they knew generally, then by means of perceptions they confirmed these general goods and truths as principles, by innumerable other things, which were the particulars or single things of the generals to which they related. General [perceptions] were thus daily confirmed as principles. Whatever was not in agreement with general principles they perceived was not true, and whatever was accordant with them they perceived to be true. Such also is the state of the celestial angels. In the Most Ancient church the generals which were as principles were celestial and eternal verities; as, that the Lord governs the universe; that all good and truth are from the Lord; that all life is from the Lord; that man's proprium is nothing but evil; and that in itself it is dead; with other like things. They received from the Lord a perception of innumerable things confirming, and harmonizing with them. Love, with them, was the principal of faith; and through love it was given them of the Lord to perceive whatever was of faith; and therefore faith with them was love, as was said before. (ibid. n. 597)

The Word in the Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, was not a written Word, but was revealed to every one who was of the church; for they were celestial men, and so were in the perception of good and truth, like the angels, with whom also they had fellowship. They thus had the Word inscribed on their hearts. (ibid. n. 2896)

The Worship of the Most Ancient Church

The man of the Most Ancient church had no other than internal worship, such as there is in heaven; for with them heaven so communicated with man that they made one. This communication was the perception of which so much has been said above. And being thus angelic they were internal men; sensible indeed of the external things relating to their bodies and the world, but not caring for them; perceiving in all objects of sense something Divine and heavenly. Thus, for example, when they saw any high mountain, they did not receive the idea of a mountain, but of height, and from height they had a perception of heaven and of the Lord. Hence it came to pass that the Lord was said to dwell on high; and that He Himself was called the Highest, and the Most Exalted; and that the worship of the Lord was afterwards offered up on mountains. And so in other things. Thus, when they perceived the morning, they did not perceive the morning itself of the day, but the heavenly state which was like the morning and day-dawn in their minds. Hence the Lord was called the Morning, the East (Oriens), and the Day-Spring. So when they beheld a tree, and its fruit and leaves, their attention was not occupied with these, but they saw in them as it were man represented,—in the fruit, love and charity; in the leaves, faith. Hence too the man of the church was not only compared to a tree and so to a paradise, and what was in him to fruit and leaves, but they were even so called. Such are they who are in heavenly and angelic ideas. Every one can recognise the fact that the general idea governs all particulars,—thus, all the objects of sense, both those that they see and those that they hear; and even so that they pay no attention to the objects, except in so far as they flow in with one's general idea. Thus, to him who is of joyful mind all things that he sees and hears appear as it were smiling and joyful; and to him who is of sorrowful mind, all things that he sees and hears appear as if sad and sorrowful. So with all other things. For the general affection is in the particular things, and makes one see and hear particular things in the general affection. Otherwise they do not even appear, but are as if they were absent, or as nothing. Thus it was with the man of the Most Ancient church; whatever he saw with his eyes was to him heavenly; and thus with him each and all things were as if alive. From this it is evident what the nature of his Divine worship was; that it was internal, and in no respect external. (AC n. 920)

The Most Ancients performed Holy Worship in Tents

The reason why a tent is taken in the Word to represent the celestial and holy things of love is, that in ancient times they performed holy worship in their tents. But when they began to profane tents by unholy worship the tabernacle was built, and afterwards the temple; and therefore what the tabernacle and afterwards the temple represented was also signified by tents. For the same reason a holy man was called a tent, and a tabernacle, and also a temple of the Lord. That a tent, a tabernacle, and a temple have the same signification is evident in David: "One thing have I desired of Jehovah, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Jehovah, and to inquire in His temple; for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His tabernacle; in the secret of His tent shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices of shouting" (Psalm xxvii. 4-6). In the highest sense the Lord as to His Human essence is the tent, the tabernacle, and the temple. Hence every celestial man is so called; and everything celestial and holy. And because the Most Ancient church was more beloved of the Lord than any which succeeded, and they then lived apart or in their own families, and celebrated so holy worship in their tents, therefore tents were accounted more holy than the temple which was profaned. In remembrance thereof the feast of tabernacles was instituted, when they gathered the increase of the land; during which they dwelt in tabernacles, like the most ancients (Levit. xxiii. 39-44; neut. xvi. 13; Hosea xii. 9). (AC n. 414)

The Most Ancient Church composed of several Different Churches

By the names which follow, as Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, so many churches are meant, of which the first and principal was the one called Man.[[See note p. 328] For a full account of the successive propagations of the Most Ancient church, indicated by the various names in Genesis, from Adam to Lamech, or to near the time of the deluge, see AC 468-536. F.] Of these churches the chief characteristic was perception; and therefore the differences of the churches of that time were chiefly differences of perception. Concerning perception it may here be mentioned that in the universal heaven there prevails only perception of good and truth; and it is such that it cannot be described,—with innumerable differences, so that one society has not the same perception as another. There are genera and species of perceptions there, and the genera are innumerable, and the species of each genus are likewise innumerable; of which by the Divine mercy of the Lord hereafter. Since there are innumerable genera, and innumerable species of each genus, and still more innumerable varieties in each species, it can be seen how little,—almost nothing,—the world knows at this day about spiritual and celestial things, when it does not even know what perception is, and if told does not believe that it exists. And so with other things. The Most Ancient church represented the celestial kingdom of the Lord, even as to the generic and specific differences of perception. But as what perception is, in its most general character, is at this day utterly unknown, if the genera and species of the perceptions of these churches were described, nothing but strange and unaccountable things would be told. They were for that reason distinguished into houses, families, and tribes, and contracted marriages within the houses and families,—in order that genera and species of perceptions might exist, and be derived no otherwise than according to propagations of native qualities from parents. Those who were of the Most Ancient church therefore dwell together also in heaven. (AC n. 483)

These three churches, Man, Seth, and Enos, constitute the Most Ancient church; yet with a difference of perfection as to their perceptions. The perceptive faculty of the first church here and there diminished in the succeeding churches, and became more general. Perfection consists in the faculty of perceiving distinctly; which is diminished when the perception becomes not so distinct and more general. Then in place of the clearer perception an obscurer succeeds; and so it begins to pass away. (ibid. n. 502)

Enos, as was said, is the third church,—one of the Most Ancient, but less celestial and consequently less perceptive than the church Seth; and this was not so celestial and perceptive as the parent church called Man. These three, which constitute the Most Ancient church, relatively to those that follow, are as it were the kernel of the fruits or seeds; and the following compare, relatively, to their investing membrane. (ibid. n. 505)

Perception in the Most Ancient Church

With the man of the Most Ancient church there was ground in his will, in which the Lord inseminated goods; in consequence of which he was enabled to know and perceive what was true, or by love to obtain faith; but were this the case now man must necessarily perish eternally, since his will is altogether corrupt. Hence it may be seen how insemination into the will and understanding of man is effected. The man of the Most Ancient church had revelations, by which from infancy he was initiated into the perception of goods and truths; and as these were inseminated into his will, he had a perception of innumerable others without fresh instruction; so that from one general truth he became acquainted with particulars and least particulars from the Lord, which man must now learn, and thus know. It is scarcely possible, however, now to acquire a thousandth part of the knowledge which they possessed; for the man of the spiritual church knows only what he learns, and what he thus knows he retains and believes to be true. Yea, if he learns what is false, and this is impressed upon him as if it were true, he believes this also; for he has no other perception than that it is so because he has been so persuaded. (AC n. 895)

Dignities and Riches among the Most Ancient Men

Dignities and riches in the most ancient times were entirely different from what they gradually became afterwards. In the most ancient times dignities were none other than such as there are among parents and children; which were dignities of love, full of respect and veneration,—not on account of their birth from them, but because of instruction and wisdom received from them, which is a second birth, in itself spiritual, because it was of their spirit. This in the most ancient times was the only dignity; because tribes, families, and houses then dwelt separately, and not as at this day under empires. It was the father of the family in whom this dignity resided. Those times were called by the ancients the golden age. But after those times the love of rule from the mere delight of that love gradually entered; and because there entered at the same time enmity and hostility against those who would not submit, then of necessity tribes, families, and houses gathered themselves into communities, and set over them one whom in the beginning they called a judge, afterwards a prince, and finally a king, and emperor. And then they began also to protect themselves by towers and bulwarks and walls. From the judge, prince, king, and emperor, as from the head into the body, the lust of ruling entered into many like a contagion. Hence arose degrees of dignity, and also honours according to them; and with them the love of self, and pride in their own prudence. Something similar took place with respect to the love of riches. In the most ancient times, when tribes and families dwelt separately from each other, there was no other love of riches than that they might possess the necessaries of life; which they procured for themselves by flocks and herds, and by fields, pastures, and gardens, which furnished them with food. Among the necessaries of their life were also suitable houses, furnished with all kinds of useful things; and also clothing. The parents, children, men-servants, and maid-servants in the house, were occupied in the care and service of all these things. But after the love of ruling entered, and destroyed this commonweal, the love of possessing riches beyond their necessities also entered, and rose to such a height that it desired to possess the wealth of all. These two loves are like kindred; for they who desire to rule over all things desire also to possess all things; for thus all become servants, and they alone masters. (DPn. 215)

The Food of the Most Ancient Men

Eating the flesh of animals, considered in itself, is somewhat profane; for in the most ancient times they never ate the flesh of any beast or bird, but only grain,—especially bread made of wheat,—the fruits of trees, vegetables, milks, and such things as are made from them, as butter, etc. To kill animals and eat their flesh was to them unlawful, being regarded as something bestial. They only took from them uses and services, as is evident from Gen. i. 29, 30. But in the course of time, when mankind became cruel like wild beasts, yea, more cruel, then first they began to kill animals and eat their flesh. And because man had acquired such a nature the killing and eating of animals was permitted, and is permitted at the present day. (AC n. 1002)

A Remnant of the Most Ancient Church in the Land of Canaan

Remains of the Most Ancient Church, which was Celestial, were still in the land of Canaan [when the Israelites took possession]; and especially among those there who were called Hittites and Hivites. That they were not elsewhere was because the Most Ancient Church, which was called Man or Adam, was in the land of Canaan; and therefore the garden of Eden was there, by which the intelligence and wisdom of that church were signified. (AC n. 4447)


General Character

Noah signifies a new church, which must be called the Ancient church,—to distinguish between the Most Ancient, which was before the flood, and that which existed after the flood. The states of those churches were entirely different. The characteristic of the Most Ancient church was, that they had a perception of good and thence of truth from the Lord; the characteristic of the Ancient church, or Noah, was that they possessed a conscience of what is good and true. Such as the difference is between having perception and having conscience, such was the difference of state between the Most Ancient church and the Ancient church. Perception is not conscience. The celestial have perception; the spiritual have conscience. The Most Ancient church was celestial; but the Ancient was spiritual. (AC n. 597. [See also p. 293])

The Most Ancient church from love had cognizance of whatever was of faith; or what is the same, from a will for good they had an understanding of truth. But their descendants derived,— from what was hereditary too,—that lusts which are of the will dominated among them; in which they even immersed the doctrinal truths of faith.... When therefore the Lord foresaw that if man remained so constituted he would perish eternally, it was provided of the Lord that the will should be separated from the understanding; and that man should be formed, not as before by a will for good, but that through the understanding of truth charity should be given him, which appears as if it were a will for good. This new church which is called Noah was so constituted; and was therefore of an entirely different character from the Most Ancient church. (ibid. n. 640)

The Ancient church, as was said before, was of a different character from the Most Ancient; for it was spiritual, which is such that a man is born again by means of the doctrinal truths of faith. When these are implanted, a conscience is insinuated into him that he may not act contrary to the truth and good of faith; and thus he is endowed with charity, which governs his conscience, and from which he begins to act. Hence it is evident that a spiritual man is not one who believes that faith is saving without charity, but who makes charity the essential of faith, and acts from it. (ibid. n. 765)

The state of the Most Ancient church was such that they had internal communication with heaven, and so through heaven with the Lord; they were in love to the Lord,—and all who are in love to the Lord are as angels, only with the difference that they are clothed with a material body,—and their interiors were opened, and continued open even from the Lord. But it was otherwise with this new church, which was not in love to the Lord but in faith, and by faith in charity towards the neighbour. They could not, like the most ancients, have internal communication with heaven, but only external. But to describe the nature of these two kinds of communication would be prolix. All men,—even the wicked have communication with heaven, through the angels who are with them; but with a difference as to degree, in that it is nearer or more remote. Otherwise man could not exist. The degrees of communication are indefinite. The spiritual man can never have such communication as the celestial man; for the reason that the Lord dwells in love, and not so much in faith.... Since those times heaven has never been open, as it was to the man of the Most Ancient church. After that it is true many talked with spirits and angels,—Moses, Aaron, and others,—but in quite another manner; of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, hereafter. (ibid. n. 784)

The Ancient church, which was established by the Lord after the flood, was a representative church; which was such that each and all of its externals of worship represented celestial and spiritual things which are of the Lord's kingdom, and in the highest sense Divine things themselves of the Lord; and its internals of worship each and all had reference to charity. That church was spread throughout much of the Asiatic world, and over many kingdoms there; and although they differed as to doctrinals of faith, yet it was one church, because they all everywhere made charity the essential of the church. (ibid. n. 4680)

Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, although four, yet constitute one. In Noah, by whom the Ancient church in general is meant, are contained as in the parent, or seed, the churches derived from it.... All these churches, called Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together constitute the church which is called the Ancient church. (ibid. n. 773)

The Ancient Church was in Representatives and Significatives

The truths possessed by the ancients are at this day entirely forgotten; insomuch that scarcely any one knows that they ever were, and that they could be other than what are taught at this day. But they were quite different. They had representatives and significatives of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom; and so of the Lord Himself. And those that understood such representatives and significatives were called wise; and they also were wise, for they were thus able to talk with spirits and angels. For angelic speech,—which is incomprehensible to man, because it is spiritual and celestial,—when it descends to man, who is in the natural sphere, falls into representatives and significatives such as are in the Word. Hence it is that the Word is a holy book; for the Divine cannot otherwise be presented before the natural man so that there may be full correspondence. And as the ancients were in representatives and significatives of the Lord's kingdom, in which there is nothing but celestial and spiritual love, they also had doctrinals which related only to love to God and charity towards the neighbour; from which doctrinals also they were called wise. From these doctrinals they knew that the Lord would come into the world; and that Jehovah would be in Him; and that He would make the human in Himself Divine, and would thus save the human race. From these doctrinals they also knew what charity is,—namely, an affection for serving others without any view to recompense; and what the neighbour is towards whom charity should be exercised,—namely, all in the universe, but yet to each with discrimination. These doctrinals at this day are entirely lost; and in place of them are doctrinals of faith, which the ancients accounted as relatively nothing. (AC n. 3419)

The Worship of the Ancient Church

The most ancient people who were before the flood saw in each and all things,—as in mountains, hills, plains, valleys, in gardens, groves, and forests, in rivers and waters, in fields and growing crops, in trees of every kind, in animals also of every kind, and in the luminaries of heaven,—something representative and significative of the Lord's kingdom. Their eyes, however,—still less their minds,—did not dwell upon the visible objects; but to them they were the means of thought concerning things celestial and spiritual in the Lord's kingdom; and this to such a degree that there was nothing in universal nature that did not serve them as means. It is indeed true in itself that each and all things in nature are representative; which at this day is a mystery, and scarcely believed by any one. But after the celestial which is of love to the Lord perished, mankind were no longer in that state; that is, in a state to see the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom by outward objects as means. But yet the ancients after the flood, from traditions and the collections of some, knew that they were significative; and because they were significative they accounted them holy. Hence the representative worship of the Ancient church; which church, as it was spiritual, was not in the perception but in the cognition that it was so; for it was in a state relatively dim. Still, however, that church did not worship external things, but by external things were reminded of internal; and hence, when they were in those representatives and significatives they were in holy worship. They indeed could be so because they were in spiritual love, that is in charity,—which they made the essential of worship; and therefore what is holy from the Lord could flow into their worship. (AC n. 2722)

The doctrinals of the Ancient church,—collected from men of the Most Ancient church,—consisted solely of things significative, and so, as it were, enigmatical; namely, of what the things on earth signified,—as that mountains, the morning, and the east signified things celestial, and the Lord; and trees of different kinds with their fruits, man and what is heavenly in him; and so with other things. Of such things did the doctrinals consist which were collected from the significatives of the Most Ancient church; and therefore their writings also were of a similar character. And because in such things they admired and seemed to themselves to behold what is Divine and heavenly,--and also because they admired what was ancient,—their worship from similar things was begun and permitted. Hence their worship upon mountains, and in groves in the midst of trees; hence their statues under the open sky; and at length their altars and burnt-offerings,-which afterwards became the principal things in all worship. (ibid. n. 920)

The Ancient Style of Writing

The most ancient manner of writing was representative of things, by persons and by words whereby they meant entirely different matters from what were apparently expressed. Then profane writers thus joined their histories together, even matters of civil and mooral life; and in fact so that nothing was precisely as it was written, as regards the letter, but under these things there was another meaning. To such a degree was this the case that they presented all affections as gods and goddesses; to whom the heathen afterwards instituted Divine worship. That this was so must be known to every man of letters; for such ancient books are still extant. This method of writing they derived from the most ancient people, who lived before the flood; and who represented to themselves things heavenly and Divine by the things that were visible on earth and in the world; and thus filled their minds and souls with joyous and delightful perceptions, when they beheld the objects of the universe,—especially such as were beautiful on account of their form and order. Therefore all books of the church in those times were thus written.. Such is the book of Job; in imitation of them, such is Solomon's Song; and such were the two books mentioned by Moses in Numb. xxi. 14, 27; besides many which have been lost. This style of writing was thereafter venerated, both among the Gentiles and among the descendants of Jacob, on account of its antiquity; insomuch that whatever was not so written they did not reverence as Divine. And therefore when they were acted on by the prophetic spirit,—as was Jacob (Gen. xlix. 3-17); Moses (Ex od. xv. 1-21; Deut. xxxiii. 2 to the end); Balaam, who was of the sons of the east from Syria, where the Ancient church then was (Numb. xxiii. 7-10, 19-24; xxiv. 5-9, 17-24); and as were Deborah and Barak (Judges v. 2 to the end); Hannah (1 Sam. ii. 2-10), and many others,—they spoke in a similar manner, and this for several hidden reasons. And although they did not understand them, and but very few knew that they signified heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom and church, yet, touched and filled with awe, they were sensible of the presence of what was Divine and holy in them. But that the historical parts of the Word are similar, namely, representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, as to every single name and word,—has not yet been recognized by the learned world; only that the Word as to the least jot was inspired, and that there are heavenly arcana in each and all things therein. (AC n. 1756)

The Decline of the Ancient Church

With the churches after the flood the case was this:—There were three churches which are specially mentioned in the Word; namely, the first Ancient church, which was named from Noah; the second Ancient church, which was named from Eber; and the third Ancient church, which was named from Jacob, and afterwards from Judah and Israel. As regards the first church, that which was called Noah, it was as the parent of those that followed; and, as is usual with churches in their beginnings, it was more spotless and innocent; as appears too from the first verse of this chapter (Gen. xi), where it is said that it had one lip, that is one doctrine,—namely, charity in all things,—as essential. But this church also, as is usual with churches, in process of time began to fall away; and this chiefly from the fact that many of them began to divert worship to themselves, that thus they might be distinguished above others: "For they said, Let us build us a city and a tower, and the head thereof in heaven; and let us make us a name" (ver. 4). Such could not be otherwise than as a kind of leaven in the church, or as a firebrand producing a conflagration. When consequently the danger of profanation of what is holy was imminent, the state of this church, of the Lord's providence, was changed, so that its internal worship perished and the external Temained. This is here (ver. 7-9) signified by Jehovah confounding the lip of the whole earth. From this also it appears that such worship, which is called Babel, did not prevail in the first Ancient church; but in succeeding churches, when men began to be worshipped as gods, especially after death,—whence came so many gods of the Gentiles. (AC n. 1327)

They who at the time of the Ancient church separated faith from charity, and made faith the essential of the church, were called Ham.[See p. 153.] But in process of time this church turned away to idolatrous, and in Egypt, Babel, and elsewhere, to magical [practices]; for they began to worship external things without internal,—and as they thus departed from charity heaven receded from them, and in its place came spirits from hell who led them. (ibid. n. 4680)

The Second Ancient Church, called Eber, and origin of Sacrificial Worship

The first Ancient church, signified by Noah and his sons, was not confined to a few, as is evident from the nations mentioned, [The author teaches that the most ancient of the four styles in which the Word is written [see p. 124],— consisting not of actual but of composed historical narratives,—continues down to the mention of Eber, in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, where true history in the letter of the Word begins (AC n. 1403-1407). But in the tenth chapter, and the eleventh to that point, he states, the style becomes intermediate between that of composed and of actual history (ibid. n. 1140); and the names in the genealogies of Noah and his sons,—though not names of persons, for such persons never existed,—were the names of nations among Whom the Ancient church was spread, and to whom it descended in its successive decline, as by spiritual generations (ibid.). The successive generations mark the actual downward steps of this declension; and the several names in each generation, the distinguishing characteristics of the several branches of the church, among the different peoples with whom the church existed, in each general stage of its declension.] but extended over many kingdoms; certainly over Assyria, Mesopotamia, Syria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Philistia, as far as Tyre and Sidon, and over the whole land of Canaan, on this and on the other side Jordan. But a kind of external worship afterwards began in Syria, which in process of time became widely spread,—and in fact over many countries, especially in the land of Canaan,--which was different from the worship of the Ancient church. And as somewhat of a church thence arose which was separate from the Ancient church, there sprung therefrom a quasi new church, which may therefore be called a second Ancient church. The first institutor of it was Eber; for which reason that church was named from Eber. At that time, as has been said before, all were distinguished into houses, families, and nations. One nation acknowledged one father, from whom it also derived its name; and thus the nation which acknowledged Eber as its father was called the Hebrew nation. (AC n. 1238) [This form of society had continued down to them from the most ancient times.[See p. 332] ibid. n. 470, 471.]

As regards Eber being the first founder of a second Ancient church, by whom that church is signified (Gen. x. 24, 25; xi. 14, seq), the case is this:—The first Ancient church, so widely extended as was said over especially the Asiatic world, in the course of time,—as all churches everywhere are wont,—degenerated, and was corrupted by innovators, both as to its. external and internal worship; and this in various places. Especially by the fact that all the significatives and representatives which the Ancient church received orally from the Most Ancient church,—all which had reference to the Lord and His kingdom,—were turned to idolatrous and among some nations to magical [purposes]. That the universal church might not perish, it was permitted by the Lord that significative and representative worship should be somewhere restored; which was done by Eber. This worship consisted chiefly in things external. The externals of worship were high places, groves, statues, anointings,—besides priestly offices and things belonging to the priestly functions, and many other things which were called statutes. The internals of worship were doctrinals, from the antediluvian period,—especially from those who were called Enoch, [See p. 146]  who gathered together the perceived truths of the Most Ancient church and formed doctrinals from them. These were their Word. Of these externals and internals did the worship established by Eber consist,—but increased, and also changed. Especially they began to prefer sacrifices to other rituals,—which in the true Ancient church were unknown; except that they were permitted among some descendants of Ham and Canaan therein, who were idolaters, lest they should sacrifice their sons and daughters. (ibid. n. 1241)

The kind of new church begun by Eber, called the Hebrew church, was in Syria and Mesopotamia, and also among some nations in the land of Canaan but it differed from the Ancient church in that it placed the essential of external worship in sacrifices. It acknowledged indeed that the internal of worship was charity, but not so much in heart as the Ancient church. (ibid. n. 4680)

The Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, never knew anything of sacrifices nor did it ever come into their minds that they should worship the Lord by the immolation of animals. The Ancient church, which was after the flood, was also ignorant of them. This church indeed was in representatives, but they had no sacrifices. [It should be noted that the account of the offerings of Cain and Abel (Gen. iv. 3-5), and of Noah's sacrifice, is in the part of the Word which the author states is not actual history. Of the latter in particular he says,—"What is said of Noah (Gen. viii. 20), that he offered burnt-offerings to Jehovah, is not actual history; but was made historical, because by burnt-offerings the holiness of worship was signified,—as may there be seen " (AC n. 1343), Such composed historical narrations, which were not actual facts but mere representative descriptions, appear to have been the mental types which the gross sensualism of the church in its last decline realized, or rather materialized in outward sacrifices.]  They were in fact first instituted in the succeeding which was called the Hebrew church, and from thence went forth to the nations from thence also they descended to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so to his posterity. (ibid. n. 2180)

Sacrifices were at first offered to Jehovah, and afterwards became Idolatrous

Their worship was such as was afterwards restored among the posterity of Jacob and its chief characteristic consisted in the fact that they called Jehovah their God, and offered sacrifices. The Most Ancient church with one mind acknowledged the Lord, and called Him Jehovah,—as appears from the first chapters of Genesis, and also from other parts of the Word. The Ancient church, that is the church after the flood, also acknowledged the Lord and called Him Jehovah,--especially those who had internal worship, and were called sons of 'Sheen; but the others, too, who were in external worship, acknowledged Jehovah and worshipped Him. But when internal worship became external, and when it became even idolatrous, and when each nation began to have its own god which it worshipped, the Hebrew nation retained the name of Jehovah, and called Jehovah its God and in this they were distinguished from other nations (ibid. n. 1343). But this church also became idolatrous and at length it pleased the Lord to establish a new church among the posterity of Abraham by Jacob, and to introduce among that nation the external worship of the Ancient church. But that nation was such that it could not receive any internal of the church; because at heart they were entirely opposed to charity. (ibid. n. 4680)

All Nations which adopted Sacrificial Worship, called Hebrews

From the nation which derived its name from Eber as its father, all were called Hebrews who were in similar worship; because there the new worship began.... That the posterity of Jacob was not the only Hebrew nation, but that all who had such worship were called Hebrews, is evident from the fact that the land of Canaan was called the land of the Hebrews even in the time of Joseph: "Joseph said, I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews" (Gen. xl. 15). That there were sacrifices among the idolaters in the land of Canaan is abundantly evident; for they sacrificed to their gods,—to Baal and others. It appears, moreover, that Balaam,—who was from Syria where Eber dwelt, and whence the Hebrew nation came,—not only offered sacrifices before the posterity of Jacob came into the land of Canaan, but also called Jehovah his God. That Balaam was from Syria, whence came the Hebrew nation, may be seen in Numb. xxii. 39 xxiii. 1-3, 14, 29; that he called Jehovah his God in chap. xxii. 18, seq. (AC n. 1343)

Others of the Ancient Church abominated Sacrifices, and abominated the Hebrews on account of them

That sacrifices, in which the Hebrew church made its worship chiefly to consist, were an abomination to the Egyptians appears in Moses:—"Pharaoh said, Go ye, sacrifice, ... in the land. But Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God. Lo, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians, in their eyes, will they not stone us?" (Exod. viii. 25, 26) (AC n. 5702)

Gradual Descent of the Hebrew Church to Idolatry

Eber was a nation,—called the Hebrew nation, from Eber as its father,—by which is signified the worship of the second Ancient church in general. (AC n. 1342)

This Second Ancient church, from a kind of internal worship, degenerated and was corrupted until at last it became idolatrous, —as churches are wont to do, in that they pass from their internal things to external, and end at last in mere externals,[1 The author teaches (AC n. 4825, et al.) that the principle of idolatry does not consist in the worship of idols and graven images, but in external worship without internal] internal things being blotted out of remembrance. (ibid. n. 1356)

The kind of new church begun by Eber, ... though it differed from the Ancient church in that it placed the essential of external worship in sacrifices, yet acknowledged that the internal of worship is charity but not so much in heart as the Ancient church. (ibid. n. 4680)

Peleg [the first in descent from Eber] was a nation so called, from him as its father, by which external worship is signified.... Reu [son of Peleg, and second in descent from Eber] was a nation so called, from him as its father, which signified worship still more external.... Serug [son of Reu, the third in descent] was a nation so named, from him as its father, by which is signified worship in the externals.... Nahor [son of Serug, the fourth in descent] was a nation so named, from him as its father, by which is signified worship verging upon idolatrous.... Terah [son of Nahor, and father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran,the fifth in descent from Eber] was a nation so named, from him as its father, by which idolatrous worship is signified.... Abram, Nahor, and Haran were persons, from whom also nations were named which were idolaters. (ibid. n. 1345-1355)

That this church degenerated to such a degree that a large part of them did not acknowledge Jehovah as God, but worshipped other gods, is evident in Joshua:—"Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river in old time, even Terah the father of Abram and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.... .Now therefore fear Jehovah, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river, and in Egypt, and serve ye Jehovah. And if it seem evil in your eyes to serve Jehovah, choose ye this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served who were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites" (xxiv. 2, 14, 15). It is here very manifest that Terah, Abram, and Nahor were idolaters. That Nahor was a nation, in which there was idolatrous worship, is evident also from Laban the Syrian, who dwelt in the city of Nahor, ["Cities," the Author states, " were but families which dwelt together; and many families constituted a nation." (AC n. 1358)] and worshipped images, or teraphim, which Rachel took away (Gen. xxiv. 10; xx xi 19, 26, 32, 34). And it appears from Gen. xxxi. 53, that there was one god of Abraham, another god of Nahor1, and another of their father Terah. It is therefore evident how much this church declined among this nation into idolatrous worship. (ibid. n. 1356)

Idolatry of the House of Terah, while there were other Hebrew Nations that retained the Worship of Jehovah

In Syria whence Abram came there lingered remains of the Ancient church, and many families there retained the worship of that church,—which is evident from Eber, who was of that country, from whom the Hebrew nation descended; and they likewise retained the name of Jehovah, as has already been dearly shown, and as appears from Balaam, who was from Syria, and offered sacrifices, and called Jehovah his God. [That he was of Syria, see Numb. xxiii. 7; that he offered sacrifices, xxii. 39, 40; xxiii. 1-3, 14, 29; that he called Jehovah his God, xxii. 8, 13, 18, 31; xxiii. 8, 12, 16.] But it was not so with the house of Terah, the father of Abram and Nahor. This was one among the families of nations there which had not only lost the name of Jehovah, but also served other gods; and in place of Jehovah they worshipped Shaddai, whom they called their god. It is expressly declared concerning Abram that Jehovah was not known to him; and that instead of Jehovah they worshipped Shaddai, whom they called their god:—"I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, in God Shaddai; but by My name Jehovah was I not known to them" (Exod. vi. 3). (AC n. 1992, 1356)

The ancients designated the one only God by various names, according to His attributes, and according to the various things that are from Him; and as they believed that temptations too are from Him, in time of temptation they called God, Shaddai. Yet by this name they did not mean another god, but the one only God with respect to temptations. But when the Ancient church declined they began to worship as many gods as there were names of the one God, and also of themselves added many more. This at length so prevailed that every family had its god, and distinguished it entirely from the rest that were worshipped by others. The family of Terah, from whom Abram came, worshipped Shaddai for its god. Hence not only Abraham but Jacob also, and in the land of Canaan too, acknowledged him as their god. But this was permitted them, that they might not be forced from their religion; for no one is forced from what he regards as holy. But as the ancients meant by Shaddai Jehovah Himself, or the Lord,—who was so called when they were suffering temptations,—therefore Jehovah or the Lord took this name with Abraham (as appears from Gen. xvii. 1), and also with Jacob (xxx v. 11). That not only temptation, but also consolation was signified by Shaddai, is because consolation follows after all spiritual temptations. (ibid. n. 5628, 3667)

Hence it appears that in his youth Abram was, like other Gentiles, an idolater; and that up to this time (Gen. xvii. 1), while he was in the land of Canaan, he had not rejected from his mind the god Shaddai,—by which, in the literal sense, the name of the god of Abram is denoted. And that the Lord was first represented before them by this name,—that is before Abram, Isaac, and Jacob,—appears from the passage just cited (Exod. vi. 3). The reason why the Lord was willing first to be represented before them by the name Shaddai was, that the Lord is never willing suddenly, much less in a moment, to destroy the worship inseminated from infancy; for this would be t& pluck up the root, and so to destroy the holy [principle] of adoration and worship, which the Lord never breaks but bends. The holy [principle] of worship inrooted from infancy is of such a nature that it does not endure violence, but slow and gentle bending. The same takes place with Gentiles who in the life of the body worshipped idols and yet lived in mutual charity; in the other life the holy [principle] of their worship, being inrooted from their infancy, is not taken away in a moment, but gradually. For the goods and truths of faith can easily be implanted in those who have lived in mutual charity,—which they afterwards receive with joy; for charity is the very ground. Thus it came to pass with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Lord suffered them to retain the name of the god Shaddai,--insomuch that He said He was God Shaddai,—and this on account of its signification. Some interpreters render Shaddai, the Almighty; others, the Thunderer; but it properly signifies the Tempter, and after temptations, the Benefactor,—as is evident from Job, who so often mentions him, because he was in temptations... That. such is its signification may also appear from the word Shaddai itself, which means devastation, thus temptation; for temptation is a species of devastation.... As he was thus held to be the god of truth,—for devastation, temptation, chastisement, and rebuke are never from good, but from truth,—and as the Lord was represented by him to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, therefore the name was retained in the prophets also; but Shaddai there signifies truth. (ibid. n. 1992)

"And He said, I am God, the God of thy father" (Gen. xlvi. 3).... In the original language God is here named in the first. place in the singular, and in the second place in the plural; that is, He is first called El, and then Elohim,. The reason is that by God in the first place it is signified that He is One and alone and in the second place, that He has many attributes. Hence comes the word Elohim, or God in the plural,—as almost everywhere in the Word. As there are many attributes, and the Ancient church gave to each a name, their posterity,—among Whom the knowledge of such things was lost,—believed there were many gods, and each family chose one of them for its god; as for example, Abram chose Shaddai; Isaac, the god who was called Pachad, or Dread (Gen. xxxi. 42, 53). And because the god of each was one of the Divine attributes the Lord said to Abram, "I am God Shaddai" (Gen. xvii.1), and here, to Jacob, "I am the God of thy father." (ibid. n. 6003)

"And offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac" (xlvi. 1).... That Jacob sacrificed to the God of his father Isaac indicates the character of the fathers of the Israelitish and Jewish nation; namely, that each of them worshipped his own god. That the God of Isaac was another god than his own is plain from the fact that he sacrificed to him [as the God of Isaac], and that in the visions of the night it was said to him, "I am God, the God of thy father;" and also from the fact that he sware by the same,—of which in Gen. xxxi. 53:—"The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, judge between us, the God of their father. Then Jacob sware by the Dread [That is, the object of dread.] of his father Isaac." And it is also evident that Jacob did not acknowledge Jehovah at the beginning, for he said:—"If God will be with me, and will keep me, in, this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, and I return in peace to my father's house, then shall Jehovah be my God" (xxviii. 20, 21). Thus he acknowledged Jehovah conditionally.

It was their custom to acknowledge the gods of their fathers, but each his own in particular. This they derived from their fathers in Syria; for Terah the father of Abram, and also Abram himself when in Syria, worshipped other gods than Jehovah. Hence their posterity, who were called Jacob and Israel, were such that in heart they worshipped the gods of the Gentiles, and Jehovah only with the mouth, and as to name merely. The reason why they were so was, that they were only in externals, without any internal; and such cannot but believe that worship consists merely in calling upon the name of God, and saying that He is their God,—this, so long as He is favourable,—and that nothing of worship consists in the life of charity and faith. (ibid. n. 5998)

It was enjoined upon the family of Abraham to acknowledge Jehovah as their God; but yet they did not acknowledge Him, except as another god, by whom they might distinguish them- selves from the nations,—thus only in name. And therefore did they so often turn aside also to other gods; as appears in the historical parts of the Word. (ibid. n. 4208)

The Name and Worship of Jehovah again lost by the Posterity of Jacob in Egypt

The posterity of Jacob in Egypt, together with the external worship of Jehovah, lost also the knowledge that their God was called Jehovah. For this reason they were first of all instructed (Exod. that Jehovah was the God of the Hebrews, and the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.... That they had lost both the name and worship of Jehovah appears from these words in Moses:—"Moses said unto, God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your father hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM WHO I AM; and He said, Thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. This is My name for ever" (Exod. iii. 13-15). From this it is plain that even Moses did not know Him, and did not know that they were to be distinguished from others by the name of Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews. (AC n. 1343)

"And [when] they shall say unto me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them?" What the posterity of Jacob was, appears from this question that Moses asked; namely, that they not only had forgotten the name of Jehovah, but also acknowledged a plurality of gods, of whom one was greater than another. Hence it was that they wished to know His name; and they believed it was enough to acknowledge God as to His name. The reason why they were such was, that they were in externals alone, without internal [principles], and they who are without internal [principles] cannot otherwise think of God, because they can receive nothing of the light of heaven, which may enlighten their interior [minds]. To the intent therefore that they might acknowledge Jehovah, it was told them that the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, was seen, and that He sent. Thus they were induced to acknowledge Jehovah from a blind veneration for their fathers, and not from any internal perception. It was indeed sufficient for that people to worship Jehovah only as to name, because they were incapable of receiving anything but the external of a church, thus that which only represented its internal. This, too, was established among them, for the purpose that what they represented might be caused to appear in internal form in heaven, and that there might thus still be some conjunction of heaven with man. (ibid. n. 6877)

Why Sacrificial Worship, in itself not acceptable to the Lord, was yet commanded to the Children of Israel

It has been shown that the [Hebrew] nations were in sacrificial worship. And it is evident from Exod. v. 3; x. 25, 26; xviii. 12; xxiv. 4, 5, that the posterity of Jacob were so before they departed out of Egypt, thus before sacrifices were commanded through Moses on mount Sinai. This is especially evident from their idolatrous worship before the golden calf; of which it is thus written in Moses:—"Aaron built an altar before the calf; and Aaron, made proclamation and said, To-morrow is a feast to Jehovah. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play" (Exod. xxxii. 5, 6). This took place while Moses was on mount Sinai, and thus before the command concerning the altar and sacrifices came to them. That command was given for the reason that sacrificial worship with them, as among the Gentiles, had become idolatrous, and they could not be withdrawn from that worship because they believed there was especial holiness in it; and what is once implanted from infancy as holy,—the more if from forefathers and it is thus inrooted,—this, unless it be directly against order, the Lord never breaks but bends. This is the reason why it was prescribed that sacrifices should be so instituted as is written in the books of Moses. But it is very manifest from the prophets that sacrifices were never acceptable to Jehovah, and therefore were only permitted and tolerated for the reason mentioned. It is thus written of them in Jeremiah:—Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Put your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them, in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matter of burnt-offerings and sacrifices: But this word I commanded them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God" (vii. 21-23). In David:—"Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire, burnt-offering and sacrifices for sin hast Thou not required.... I have desired to do Thy will, O my God" (Psalm xl. 6, 8). In the same:—"I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds.... Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (1, 9, 14). And again:—"Thou delightest not in sacrifice, that I should give it; Thou acceptest not burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" (li. 16, 17; cvii. 22; cvi. 17). In Hosea:—"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings" (vi. 6). Samuel said to Saul, "Hath Jehovah delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices? .. . Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Sam. xv. 22). And in Micah:—"Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with calves the sons of a year? Will Jehovah have pleasure in thousands of rams, in ten thousands of rivers of oil? ... He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself to walk with God?" (vi. 7, 8). Hence now it is plain that sacrifices were not commanded, but permitted; and that nothing was regarded in sacrifices but the internal; and that it was the internal and not the external that was pleasing. And indeed for this reason the Lord abrogated them; as was foretold by Daniel, in these words, referring to the Lord's coming:—"In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." (AC n. 2180)

The Externals of the Ancient Churches were restored in the Israelitish Church

The rituals and statutes which were commanded through Moses to the posterity of Jacob were not new, but existed before, in the Ancient churches, and were only restored among the children of Jacob. They were restored because among other nations they became idolatrous, and in Egypt and in Babel were turned into magic. (AC n. 6846)

As regards the fact that the new church which was established among the posterity of Jacob appears in external form like the Ancient, it should be known that the statutes, judgments, and laws commanded through Moses to the Israelitish and Jewish nation were not different from those that existed in the Ancient church,—as those concerning betrothals and marriages, concerning servants, concerning animals which were fit and unfit for food, concerning cleansings, concerning feasts, tabernacles, the perpetual fire, and many other things; also concerning the altars, burnt-offerings, sacrifices, and libations, which were received in the second Ancient church, instituted by Eber. That these were known before they were commanded to that nation is very plain from the historical parts of the Word. To show only that altars, burnt-offerings, and sacrifices were known: It is related of Balaam that he required that seven altars should be built, and that burnt-offerings and sacrifices of bullocks and rams should be offered upon them (Numb. xxiii. 1, 2, 14, 15, 29); and moreover it is said of the nations in many places that their altars were destroyed; and also of the prophets of Baal whom Elijah slew, that they offered sacrifices. It is therefore evident that the sacrifices commanded to the people of Jacob were not new. So neither were the other statutes, judgments, and laws. But because these things among the nations had become idolatrous, —especially through the fact that by means of such things they worshipped some profane god, and so turned to infernal what represented things Divine, in addition to which they had added many things,—therefore, in order that the representative worship which was of the Ancient church might be restored, the same were recalled [to the service of Jehovah]. Hence it appears that the new church which was instituted among the posterity of Jacob appeared in external form like the Ancient church. (ibid. n. 4449)

The representatives instituted among the posterity of Jacob were not exactly similar to those that were in the Ancient church. They were for the most part similar to those that existed in the church instituted by Eber, which was called the Hebrew church. In this there were many new [ceremonials] of worship,—such as burnt-offerings and sacrifices, besides others, —which were unknown in the Ancient church. The internal of the church was not so much conjoined with these representatives as with the representatives of the Ancient church. (ibid. n. 4874)

When the Children of Israel first constituted a Church

The sons of Jacob themselves did not constitute any church, but their posterity; and this not until after they departed out of Egypt; and not actually until they came into the land of Canaan. (AC n. 4430)

Egyptian Hieroglyphics were perverted Representatives of the Ancient Church

"And Pharaoh said, ... I know not Jehovah" (Exod. v. 2).... In the ancient time the Egyptians knew Jehovah; for the Ancient church was also in Egypt,—as may be clearly seen from the fact that they had among them the representatives and significatives of that church. The Egyptian hieroglyphics were nothing else; for spiritual things were signified by them. They also knew that they actually corresponded. And as they began to make use of such things in their sacred worship, and to worship them, and at length also to turn them into magical appliances, and so to be associated with the diabolical crew in hell, by this means they entirely destroyed the Ancient church among them. Hence it is that by the Egyptians, in the Word, perverted knowledges of the church are signified, and falsities which are contrary to the truths of the church. When Divine worship was thus perverted in Egypt, then also it was no longer permitted them to worship Jehovah, and at length not even to know that Jehovah was the God of the Ancient church; and this in order that they might not profane the name of Jehovah. (AC n. 7097. [See also p. 171])


General Character

The third church was the Israelitish. It was begun by the promulgation of the Decalogue upon Mount Sinai; was continued through the Word written by Moses and the Prophets; and was consummated, or ended, by the profanation of the Word. The fulness of this profanation was at the time when the Lord came into the world; wherefore He who was the Word was crucified. (TCR n. 760)

The Israelitish Church worshipped Jehovah, who in Himself is an invisible God (Exod. xxxiii. 18-23), but under a human form, which Jehovah God put on by means of an angel; in which form He appeared to Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Gideon, Joshua, and sometimes to the Prophets. This human form was representative of the Lord who was to come; and because this was representative, each and all things of their church also were made representative. It is known that the sacrifices and other things of their worship represented the Lord who was to come, and that when He came they were abrogated. (ibid. n. 786)

This was not a true Church but merely Representative, or the Representative of a Church

A church merely representative is the resemblance of a church; it is not a church. (AC n. 3480)

The church instituted among the Jews, as regards them, was not a church, but only the representative of a church; for, that there may be a church there must be in the man of the church faith in the Lord, and also love to Him, as well as love towards the neighbour. These constitute the church. But these were not in the people who were called Jacob. For they did not acknowledge the Lord, and therefore were not willing to hear of faith in Him,—still less of love towards Him; and not even of love towards the neighbour. For they were in self-love, and in the love of the world; which loves are entirely opposite to love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. Such a character was in-rooted in that people from their first parents. Hence it is that no church could be instituted, but that the things of the church could only be represented, among that people. The church is represented when man places worship in externals,—but in such externals as correspond to heavenly things. Then internal things are represented by the external; and the internal are open to heaven, with which there is thus conjunction. Therefore, in order that the Israelitish people might be able to represent, when their interiors were without the faith and love of heaven,—even full of the love of self and the world,—those interiors were over-veiled. The externals could thus communicate with spirits, and by them with angels, without internals; whereas if the internals had not been overveiled they would have been open, and then the representative would have been destroyed, because things abominable would have burst forth and contaminated. That people more than others could be thus overveiled, because they adored the externals [of worship] more than others, and supposed the holy, yea, the Divine to be in them. (ibid. n. 8788)

The Difference between a Representative Church and the Representative of a Church

A church is representative when there is internal worship in the external; but the representative of a church is when there is no internal worship, and yet there is external. In each case there are nearly similar external rituals,—namely, similar statutes, similar laws, and similar precepts; but in a representative church the externals so correspond with internals as to make one, while in the representative of a church there is no correspondence, because the externals are either without internals, or at variance with them. In a representative church celestial and spiritual love is principal; while in the representative of a church corporeal and worldly love is principal. Celestial and spiritual love is the internal itself; and where there is no celestial and spiritual, but only corporeal and worldly love, the external is without an internal. The Ancient church which existed after the flood was a representative church; but that which was established among the posterity of Jacob was merely the representative of a church. But that the distinction may appear more evident, let it be illustrated by examples:—In the representative church the Divine worship was upon mountains, because mountains signified celestial love, and in the highest sense the Lord and when they were holding their worship on mountains they were in its holiness, because they were then at the same time in celestial love. In the representative church Divine worship was also in groves, because groves signified spiritual love, and in the highest sense the Lord in respect to that love; and when they were having their worship in groves they were in its holiness, because at the same time in spiritual love. In the representative church, when they celebrated Divine worship they turned their faces to the rising of the sun, because the rising sun also signified celestial love. And when they gazed upon the moon they were filled likewise with a certain holy veneration, because the moon signified spiritual love; so when they looked up to the starry heaven, because this signified the angelic heaven, or the Lord's kingdom. In the representative church they had tents or tabernacles, and Divine woship in them; and it was holy because tents or tabernacles signified the holiness of love and worship. So in numberless other things. In the representative of a church, in the beginning Divine worship was indeed in like manner on mountains, and also in groves; they looked likewise toward the rising of the sun; and also to the moon, and to the stars; and moreover worship was in tents or tabernacles. But because they were in external worship without internal, or in corporeal and worldly love, and not in celestial and spiritual love, and so worshipped the mountains and groves themselves, and also the sun, the moon, and the stars, as well as their tents or tabernacles, and thereby made those rituals idolatrous which in the Ancient church were holy, therefore they were restricted to one common mountain, namely, to the mountain where Jerusalem was, and where at length Zion was; and to the rising of the sun [as seen] therefrom and from the temple; and also to one common tent, which was called the tent of the congregation; and finally to the ark in the temple. And this was done to the intent that the representative of a church might exist when they were in a holy external; otherwise they would have profaned holy things. From this it may be seen what the distinction is between a representative church and the representative of a church. In general, that they who were of the representative church, as to their interiors, communicated with the three heavens, to which the externals served as a plane; whereas they who were in the representative of a church did not communicate with the heavens as to their interiors,—but yet the externals in which they were held could serve as a plane; and this miraculously, of the Lord's Providence, to the intent that something of communication might exist between heaven and man by a certain semblance of a church. For without communication of heaven with man by something of a church the race would perish. (AC n. 4288)

The Representative of a Church could not be established till all Knowledge of Internal Things had been lost

The representative of a church could not be established among the Jews until the time when they were altogether vastated, that is, when they had no knowledge of the internal things [of worship]; for if they had had a knowledge of internal things, they might have been affected by them, and thus might have profaned them. For holy things, that is internal truths and goods, may be profaned by those who know and acknowledge them, and still more by those who are affected by them; but not by those who do not acknowledge. Worship is made external to prevent the violation of the internal. On this account internal truths were not made known to the Jews. It was therefore pro-sided of the Lord that the genuine representative of the church, that is the internal, should depart from the posterity of Jacob before they came into the representatives of the land of Canaan, insomuch that they did not know anything at all of the Lord. They indeed expected that the Messiah would come into the world; but to the intent that He might raise them to glory and eminence 'above all the nations of the earth, not that He might save their souls to eternity. Nay, they knew nothing whatever of a heavenly kingdom, nor of a life after death, nor even of charity and faith. That they might be reduced to this ignorance they were kept for several hundred years in Egypt; and when they were called out thence, they were ignorant of the very name of Jehovah (Exod. iii. 12-14). And moreover they lost all the worship of the representative church; insomuch that after the precepts of the decalogue had been promulgated in their presence from Mount Sinai, within a month of days they relapsed to Egyptian worship, which was that of a golden calf (Exod. xxxii). And because that nation which was brought forth out of Egypt was of such a character, they all perished in the wilderness. Nothing more indeed was required of them than to keep the statutes and commandments in external form, inasmuch as this was to do what was representative of the church; but those who had grown up to mature age in Egypt could not be brought to this. Their children however could be, although with difficulty,— in the beginning by miracles, and afterwards by fears and captivities; as appears from the books of Joshua and Judges. Hence it appears that every genuine or internal representative of the church departed from them before they came into the land of Canaan, where the external representative of a church was begun among them in full form. For the land of Canaan was the very land itself where representatives of the church could be presented, inasmuch as all places and all boundaries there were representative from ancient times. (AC n. 4289)

The Jewish Church, with all Things appertaining to it, was Representative of all Things of the Church in Heaven and on Earth

That from being idolatrous the church became representative no one can know unless he knows what a representative is. The things which were represented in the Jewish church, and in the Word, are the Lord and His kingdom; consequently the celestial things of love, and the spiritual things of faith. These are what are represented, besides many things which pertain to them; as for instance all things belonging to the church. The things representing are either persons or things, in the world or on earth; in a word, all things which are objects of sense,—insomuch that there is scarcely any object that may not be a representative. But it is a general law of representation that nothing turns upon the person or upon the thing which represents, but upon that itself which is represented. As for example: Every king, whoever he was, in Judah and Israel, yea, in Egypt and elsewhere, could represent the Lord; the regal function of kings, itself is representative. So could the worst of all kings,-- as Pharaoh, who exalted Joseph over the land of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon (Dan. ii. 37, 38), Saul, and the other kings of Judah and Israel, of whatever character they were. The anointing itself involved this; whence they were called the anointed of Jehovah. In like manner all priests, how many soever they were, represented the Lord; the priestly function itself is representative. Priests likewise who were evil and impure; because in representatives nothing turns upon the character of the person. Nor did men only represent, but also. beasts: As all those which were offered in sacrifice; lambs and sheep represented things celestial; doves and turtles things spiritual; likewise rams, goats, bullocks, and oxen,—but lower celestial and spiritual things. Nor, as was said, did things. animate alone represent, but also inanimate things: As the altar, yea, the stones of the altar; and the ark and tabernacle, with all that was in them; and also the temple, with all things therein, as every one may know,—thus the lamps, the bread, and Aaron's garments. Nor were these only representative, but all the rites too that were observed in the Jewish church. In the Ancient churches representatives extended to all objects of the senses; as to mountains and hills; valleys, plains, rivers, brooks, fountains, and pools; to groves, and to trees in general, and each species of tree in particular,—insomuch that every tree had some certain signification; all which afterwards, when the significative church ceased, became representative. From all this it may be seen what is meant by representatives. And as things celestial and spiritual, that is the things of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and of the Lord's kingdom. on earth, could be represented not only by men, whoever and whatever they were, but also by beasts and even by things inanimate, it is evident what a representative church is. The representatives had this effect: That all the things that were done according to the rites commanded appeared holy before the sight of spirits and angels; as when the high priest washed himself with water; when he ministered, clothed in his pontifical garments; when he stood before the lighted candles;—whatever he was, even though most impure and in his heart an idolater. So also the other priests. For, as was said, in representatives nothing turned upon the person, but upon that itself which was represented, quite apart from the person, just as it was apart from the oxen, bullocks, and lambs that were sacrificed; or from the blood which was poured out around the altar; as also apart from the altar itself, and so on. After all internal worship was lost, and when worship had become not only merely external but also idolatrous, this representative church was instituted; in order that there might be some conjunction of heaven with earth, or of the Lord through heaven with man, even after the conjunction by the internals of worship had ceased. (AC n. 1361)

That the representative of a church might exist among them, such statutes and such laws were given them as were entirely representative, by manifest revelation. So long therefore as they were in them and strictly observed them so long they could represent; but when they turned away from them,—as to the statutes and laws of other nations, and especially to the worship of another god,—they deprived themselves of the capability of representing. For this reason they were driven to laws and to statutes truly representative by external means,—which were captivities, scourges, threats, and miracles,—and were not brought to them by internal means, as they are who have internal worship in the external. (ibid. n. 4281)

No one who thinks soundly can believe that the different animals which were sacrificed had no other signification than sacrifices; or that an ox and young bullock or calf signified the same as a sheep, a kid, and a she-goat; and these the same as a lamb; and that the same was signified by turtle-doves and young pigeons. In truth each animal had its special signification; as may sufficiently appear from the fact that one was never offered in the place of another; that those were expressly named which should be offeredin the daily burnt-offerings and sacrifices, in those of the Sabbaths and feasts, in the freewill offerings, in the offerings of vows and of thanksgivings, in the trespass and sin offerings, and which were to be used in offerings for purification. This would never have been unless some special thing were represented and signified by each animal. But what each in particular signified it would be too prolix here to explain. It is sufficient here to know that things celestial are what are signified by the animals, and things spiritual by the birds; and that by each individual one some special celestial or spiritual reality is signified. The Jewish church itself, and all things pertaining to that church, were representative of such realities as are of the Lord's kingdom; where there is nothing but what is celestial and spiritual, that is, nothing but what is of love and faith. This too is evident enough from the signification of the clean and useful beasts; which, because in the Most Ancient churches they signified celestial goods, afterwards,—when worship merely external, and this representative, was held in esteem and acknowledged,—became representative. (ibid. n. 1823)

Illustration of what a Representative Church is, and why it is

There are three heavens, the inmost or third, the middle or second, and the ultimate or first. In the inmost heaven the good of love to the Lord reigns; in the middle heaven the good of charity towards the neighbour reigns; and in the ultimate heaven those things are represented which are thought and said, and which exist, in the middle and inmost heaven. The representatives which exist there are innumerable,—such as paradises, gardens, forests, fields and plains; cities, palaces and houses; as well as flocks and herds, and animals and birds of many kinds, and innumerable other things. These appear before the eyes of angelic spirits there more clearly than similar things in the light of mid-day on earth; and what is wonderful, what they signify is also apperceived. Such things likewise appeared to the prophets, when their interior sight was opened, which is the sight of the spirit; as horses to Zechariah (vi. 1-9); animals, which were cherubim, and afterwards the New Temple with all things appertaining to it, to Ezekiel (i. ix. x. xl. xlviii); a candlestick, thrones, animals, which also were cherubim, horses, the New Jerusalem, and many other things, to John,—of which in the Apocalypse; and horses and chariots of fire to the boy of Elisha (2 Kings vi. 17). Similar things appear continually in heaven, before the eyes of spirits and angels, and are the natural forms in which the internal things of heaven terminate, and in which they are figured; and which are thus visibly presented before the very eyes. These are representations. The church therefore is representative when the internal holy things which are of love and faith, from the Lord and to the Lord, are presented by forms. visible in the world; as in this chapter and the following (Exod. xxv. xxvi) by the ark, the propitiatory, and the cherubim, by the tables therein, by the candlestick, and by the other things of the tabernacle. For that tabernacle was so constructed that it should represent the three heavens, and all things that are therein; and the ark, in which was the testimony, represented the inmost heaven, and the Lord Himself there. For this reason the form of it was shown to Moses in the mount, Jehovah then saying, "That they should make for Him a sanctuary, and He would dwell in the midst of them" (ver. 8). Every one who is gifted with any faculty of interior thought may perceive that Jehovah could not dwell in a tent, but that He dwells in heaven; and that that tent could not be called a sanctuary unless it had reference to heaven, and to the celestial and spiritual things which are there. Let every one think within himself what it would be for Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth, to dwell in a small habitation made of wood overlaid with gold, and compassed about with curtains, unless heaven and the things of heaven had been represented therein in form. For the things which are represented in form really appear in similar form in the ultimate or first heaven, before the spirits who are there; but in the higher heavens the internal things which are represented are perceived,—which, as was said, are the celestial things which are of love to the Lord, and the spiritual things which are of faith in the Lord. Such were the things which filled heaven when Moses and the people were in a holy external, and reverenced the tabernacle as the habitation of Jehovah Himself. It is plain from this what a representative is, and that by means of representatives heaven, and so the Lord, could be present with man. Therefore, when the Ancient church came to its end a representative church was established, among the Israelitish people, that by such means there might be a conjunction of heaven, and so of the Lord, with the human race; for without conjunction with the Lord through heaven mankind would perish, for man derives his life from that conjunction. But those representatives were only the external means of conjunction, with which the Lord conjoined heaven miraculously. And when conjunction by these also perished the Lord came into the world, and opened the internal things themselves which were represented,—which are the things of love and of faith in Him. Now, these conjoin. But yet the sole medium of conjunction at this day is the Word; since this is so written that all and the single things therein correspond, and therefore represent and signify Divine things which are in the heavens. (AC n. 9457)

What it is for the Lord to be present representatively

What it is to be present representatively may be briefly explained. A man who is in corporeal and worldly love, and not at the same time in spiritual or celestial love, has none but evil spirits present with him,—even when he is in a holy external; for good spirits can by no means be present with such a man, since they perceive immediately what is the quality of a man's love. It is the sphere which is exhaled from his interiors that spirits so manifestly perceive, just as a man perceives by smell fetid and offensive substances which float about him in the air. That nation [the Jewish], which is here treated of, as regards good and truth or love and faith was in such a state. Yet in order that they might act as the representatives of a church, it was miraculously provided of the Lord that when they were in a holy external, although surrounded at the same time with evil spirits, the holy [sphere] in which they were might nevertheless be elevated into heaven; and this by good spirits and angels,—not within them, but without them, for within them was nothing but emptiness or uncleanness. Communication was not therefore given with the very man, but with that holy [external] itself in which they were when they performed the statutes and precepts which were all representative of the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom. This is what is meant by the Lord being representatively present with that nation. But the Lord is differently present with those within the church who are in spiritual love and thence in faith. With these there are good spirits and angels present, not in external worship only but also at the same time in internal. With these therefore there is communication of heaven with themselves; for the Lord flows in through heaven by their internals into their externals. To them the holy [external] of worship is of benefit in the other life, but not to the former. It is the same with priests and presbyters who preach what is holy and yet live wickedly and believe wickedly. Good spirits are not present with them, but evil, even when they are in worship apparently holy in its external form. For it is the love of self and of the world, or the love of securing honours and acquiring gain and reputation for their sake, which inflames them, and raises an affection of what is holy,—sometimes to such a degree that nothing of simulation is apperceived, and then is not credited by themselves; when yet they are in the midst of evil spirits, who are then in a similar state and draw near and inspire them. (That evil spirits can be in such a state, and are so when they are in externals, and are inflated with the love of self or of the world, it has been given me to know from manifold experience, of which, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, in the narrations which follow at the end of the chapters) These have no communication with heaven in themselves; but they have who hear and receive the words from their mouth, if they are in a pious and holy internal. For it matters not from whom the voice of good and truth goes forth if only their life be not openly wicked, for this scandalizes. That such was the nation descended from Jacob, namely, that it was encompassed with evil spirits, and yet the Lord was representatively present with them, may be seen from many passages in the Word. There was indeed nothing which at heart they worshipped less than Jehovah; for as often as miracles ceased they immediately turned to other gods and became idolaters; which was a manifest indication that at heart they worshipped other gods, and only confessed Jehovah with the mouth,—and in fact merely to the end that they might be the greatest, and pre-eminent over all the nations round about. That at heart this people, and among them Aaron himself, worshipped an Egyptian idol, and only with the mouth confessed Jehovah, on account of His miracles, is clearly evident from the golden calf which Aaron made for them,—and this but a month of days after they had seen so great miracles on Mount Sinai, besides what they saw in Egypt,—of which in Exod. xxxii. That Aaron also was of such a character is distinctly related in the same chapter (vers. 2-5, and especially ver. 35). Besides many other passages concerning them in the books of Moses, in the book of Judges, in the books of Samuel, and in the books of the Kings. That they were only in external worship, and not in any internal worship, is evident also from the fact that they were forbidden to come near to Mount Sinai when the law was promulgated, and that if they touched the mountain dying they would die (Exod. xix. 11-13; xx. 19). The reason was that their internal man was unclean. Again, it is said, "That Jehovah dwelt with them in the midst of their uncleannesses;" (Levit. xvi. 16). The character of that nation appears also from the song of Moses (Deut. xxxii. 15-43), and from many passages in the prophets. It may be known from all this that there was no church with that nation, but only the representative of a church; and that the Lord was present with it only representatively. (AC n. 4311)

What the Kingdoms of Judges, Priests, and Kings signified, and why the Jews were divided into two Kingdoms

In the representative church among the posterity of Jacob there was first a kingdom of judges, afterwards a kingdom of priests, and finally a kingdom of kings; and by the kingdom of judges Divine truth from Divine good was represented; by the kingdom of priests, who were also judges, Divine good was represented from which Divine truth is derived; and by the kingdom of kings Divine truth was represented without Divine good. But when to the regal office something of the priesthood too was adjoined, by the kings was then represented also Divine truth in which there was so much of good as there was of the priesthood attached to the regal office. All these things in the Jewish church were instituted in order that the states of heaven might be represented by them; for in heaven there are two kingdoms, one which is called the celestial kingdom,. and another which is called the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom is what is called the priesthood, and the spiritual kingdom is what is called the royalty of the Lord. In the latter Divine truth reigns, in the former Divine good. And because the representative of the celestial kingdom began to be destroyed when they sought a king, therefore, in order that the representative of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens might still be continued, the Jews were separated from the Israelites, and the celestial kingdom of the Lord was represented by the Jewish kingdom, and His spiritual kingdom by the Israelitish kingdom. Those who know these things may know the reasons why the forms of government among the descendants of Jacob were successively changed; why also when they asked a king it was said to them of Jehovah by Samuel, that by so doing they rejected Jehovah, that He should not reign over them (1 Sam. viii. 7); and that then the right of a king was declared to them (ver. 11 seq), by which Divine truth without good is described. Those who know the things above mentioned may also know why something of the priesthood was granted to David; and also why after the time of Solomon the kingdom was divided into twc, the Jewish and the Israelitish kingdoms. (AC n. 8770)

Why the Jews above all others could act as a Representative Church

The nature of their fantasies and lusts no one can know unless. he has had some intercourse with them in the other life; and this was granted me in order that I might know; for at different times I have there conversed with them. They love themselves and love worldly wealth more than all others; and besides, above all others they fear the loss of honour, and also the loss of gain. And therefore at this day, as formerly, they despise others in comparison with themselves; and also with intensest application they acquire to themselves wealth. And they are moreover timid. Because such from ancient times had been the character of that nation, therefore they could above other nations be held in a holy external without any holy internal; and thus could represent in an external form the things which are of the church. These fantasies and these lusts are what caused such contumacy. This also appears from many things that are related of them in the historical parts of the Word. After they were punished they could be in such external humiliation as no other nation; for whole days they could lie prostrate on the ground and roll themselves in the dust, and not rise up until the third day; for many days they could bewail, go in sackloth, in tattered garments, with dust or ashes sprinkled on their heads; could fast continually for many days, and meanwhile burst forth in bitter weeping; and this merely from corporeal and earthly love, and from fear of the loss of pre-eminence and worldly wealth. It certainly was not anything internal which affected them, for they did not know at all, or indeed wish to know, what was internal,—as for example that there is a life after death, and that there is eternal salvation. It is therefore evident that, such being their character, it could not but be that they were deprived of every holy internal; for this character in no wise agrees with such a holy external; they are in fact entirely contrary. It is also evident that they beyond others could act as the representative of a church; that is to say, could represent holy things in an external form without any holy internal; and so that by that nation there could be something of communication with the heavens. (AC n. 4293)

Representative Divine worship was yet instituted with that nation; for representative worship could be instituted with any nation that had holy externals of worship, and worshipped almost idolatrously. For what is representative has no reference to the person, but to the thing; and the inclination of that people above every other was absolutely to worship external things as holy and Divine, without any internal; as for instance to adore their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterwards Moses and David, as deities; and likewise to account as holy and Divine and to worship every stone and every [piece of] wood that was inaugurated into their Divine worship,—as the ark, the tables therein, the lamp, the altar, the garments of Aaron, the urim and thummim, and afterwards the temple. By means of such things at that time there was granted, of the Lord's Providence, a communication of the angels of heaven with man; for there must somewhere be a church, or the representative of a church, in order that there may be communication of heaven with the human race. And because they above every other nation could place Divine worship in external things, and thus act as the representative of a church, that nation was adopted. (AC n. 8588)

Why it is believed that the Jews were chosen above others for their Goodness

They that know nothing of the internal sense of the Word cannot believe otherwise than that the Israelitish and Jewish nation was elected above every other nation, and therefore that they were more excellent,—as they themselves also believed. And what is extraordinary, not only that nation itself believes this, but Christians also believe it; although they know that nation is in filthy loves, in sordid avarice, in hatred, and in arrogance; and besides, that they make light of and even hold in aversion the internal things which relate to charity and faith, and which relate to the Lord. That even Christians believe that nation was elected above others is because they believe that the election and salvation of man is of mercy, however a man lives, and thus that the wicked can be received into heaven equally with the pious and the good,—not considering that election is universal, namely, of all who live in good; and that the mercy of the Lord is towards every man who abstains from evil, and wills to live in good, and thus who suffers himself to be led of the Lord, and to be regenerated,—which is effected by the continuance of his life. Hence it is that very many even in the Christian world too believe that that nation will be again elected, and will then be brought back again into the land of Canaan; and this also according to the sense of the letter. (AC n. 7051)

The children of Israel are called the people of Jehovah, not because they were better than other nations, but because they represented the people of Jehovah, that is, those who are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom. That they were not better than other nations is evident from their life in the wilderness, in that they did not believe at all in Jehovah, but in heart believed in the gods of the Egyptians; which is manifest from the golden calf that they made for themselves, and which they called their gods that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt (Exod. xxxii. 8). It is evident also from their life afterwards in the land of Canaan, of which we read in the historical parts of the Word; and from what is said of them too in the prophetical parts of the Word, and finally by the Lord. Hence also it is that few of them are in heaven, for they have received a lot in the other life according to their life. Be not therefore willing to believe that they before others were elected for heaven. Those who so believe do not believe that the life of every one remains; nor believe that man must be prepared for heaven by his whole life in the world, and that this is done of the Lord's mercy,—and that they are not admitted into heaven of mercy alone, howsoever they have lived in the world. To such an opinion of heaven and of the Lord's mercy the doctrine of faith alone leads, and of salvation by that faith without good works. For they who are in this, doctrine are not concerned about the life. Hence they even believe that evils can be wiped away, as filth with water; and thus that a man can be transmitted into the life of good and consequently admitted into heaven in a moment; not knowing that if the life of evil were taken away from the evil they would have nothing of life at all; and that if they who are in the life of evil were admitted into heaven they would feel hell within them, and the more grievous the more interiorly they were in heaven. From all this now it may be seen that the Israelites and Jews were not elected at all, but only accepted to represent the things which are of heaven; and that it was expedient that this should be done in the land of Canaan, because the church of the Lord had been there from the most ancient times, and all places there were therefore become representative of things celestial and Divine. Thus also a Word could be written there wherein the names would signify such things as are of the Lord and of His kingdom. (AC n. 7439)

The Jews were not chosen, but were urgent to be a Church, from the Love of Pre-eminence

That the descendants of Jacob were not chosen, but were solicitous that there might be a church with them, appears in many passages of the Word, from its internal historical sense; and plainly in the following: "Jehovah said unto Moses, Go up hence, thou and the people, which thou hast caused to go up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will 1 give it.... I will not go up in the midst of thee, for thou art a stiff-necked people; lest I consume thee in the way. When the people heard this evil word they mourned, and they put every one his adornment from upon him.... And Moses took the tent, and stretched it for himself without the camp, by removing far from the camp; and Moses said unto Jehovah, See, Thou sayest unto me, Cause this people to go up, when Thou hast not made known to me whom Thou wilt send with me.... Now, therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thine eyes, make known to me, I pray Thee, Thy way, that I may know of Thee, that I have found grace in Thine eyes; and see that this nation is Thy people. He said therefore, My faces shall go until I shall give thee rest" (Exod. xxxiii). It is here said that Moses caused the people to go up out of the land of Egypt and afterwards that theylaid aside their adornment, and mourned; and that Moses stretched his tent without the camp, and so Jehovah assented; thus clearly, that they themselves were urgent. Again: "Jehovah said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke Me? and how long will they not believe in Me, for all the signs which I have sheaved in the midst of them? I will smite them with, pestilence, and extinguish them, and will make thee into a greater nation and mightier than they."But Moses supplicated, and Jehovah being entreated said, " I will be propitious according to Thy word; nevertheless I live, and the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah. For as to all these men who have seen My glory, and My miracles, which 1 did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted Me these ten times, and have not Obeyed My voice, if they shall see the land which I sware unto their fathers, all that have provoked Me shall not see it; ... in this wilderness shall their . carcases fall together; ... but their children I will bring in" (Numb. xiv). From this also it appears that Jehovah purposed to extinguish them, consequently not to establish a church among them, but that they were urgent, and therefore it was done. (AC n. 4290)

They were urgent that a church should be instituted among them but this was for no other end than that they might be distinguished above all nations on the whole globe. For beyond others they were in the love of self, and they could not be exalted to eminence over them by other means than that Jehovah, and thus the church also, should be among them for where Jehovah is, that is the Lord, there is the church. That this was the end is evident from many passages in the Word; as from these words also in this chapter (Exod. xxxiii): "Moses said, Wherein shall it become known here that I have found favour in Thine eyes, I and Thy people? Is it not in Thy going with us, and our being rendered excellent, I and Thy people, above all the people that are on the faces of the earth?" (ver. 16) (ibid. n. 10,535)

Why the Jews are called in the Word a Holy People

The reason why that people is called in the Word the people of Jehovah, the chosen and beloved nation, is that by Judah there the celestial church is meant, by Israel the spiritual church, and something of the church by all the sons of Jacob and by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord Himself also is meant, as well as by Moses, Aaron, and David. (AC n. 10,396)

Why the Jews have been Preserved unto this day

Because the tribe of Judah, more than the other tribes, was of this character [that they could be in a holy external, and so keep holy the rituals whereby the heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom were represented], and at this day, as formerly, keep holy the rituals which can be observed out of Jerusalem, and also have a sacred veneration for their fathers, and an especial reverence for the Word of the Old Testament, and it was foreseen that Christians would almost reject it, and would likewise defile its internals with things profane, therefore that nation has been hitherto preserved,—according to the Lord's words in Matthew (xxiv. 34). It would have been otherwise if Christians, as they were acquainted with internal things, had also lived as internal men. If this had been so, that nation, like other nations, before many ages would have been cut off. (AC n. 3479)

The Land of Canaan, in respect to the Churches there

The Most Ancient church, which was celestial, and before the flood, was in the land of Canaan; and the Ancient church which was after the flood was also there, and in many countries besides. Hence the origin of the fact that all the nations there, and also all the lands, and all the rivers there were clothed with representatives; for the most ancients, who were celestial men, perceived through all the objects that they saw such things as belong to the Lord's kingdom; and so through the countries too and the rivers of the land. Those representatives, and also the representatives of the places there, remained in the Ancient church. The Word in the Ancient church had also representative names of places therefrom; as also the Word after their time, which is called Moses and the Prophets; and because it was so Abraham was commanded to go thither, and a promise was made to him that his posterity should possess that land. And this not for the reason that they were better than other nations,—for they were among the worst of all,—but that by them a representative church might be instituted, in which nothing should turn upon person or upon place, but upon the things which were represented; and thus the names too of the Most Ancient and of the Ancient church were retained. (AC n. 3686)

There was a church in the land of Canaan from the most ancient times; whence it came to pass that all places there, and which were circumjacent in whatever direction, with the mountains and rivers, that are mentioned in the Word, became representative and significative of such things as constitute the internals of the church, which are what are called its spiritual things. (HD n. 5)

Why the Israelites were expelled from the Land of Canaan

As the Israelitish nation were in externals, without internals, and yet something of the church was to be established among them, it was provided of the Lord that communication with heaven might still be effected, through the representatives which constituted the externals of worship with that nation. This communication, however, was effected miraculously. But, that this might be, two things were requisite; one, that the internal within them should be entirely closed; and the other, that they might be in a holy external while engaged in worship. For, when the internal is entirely closed, then the internal of the church and of worship is neither denied nor acknowledged; it is as if there were none; and then there can be a holy external, and it can even be exalted, because nothing opposes and prevents. This nation was therefore also in entire ignorance of internal things,—which are the things pertaining to love and faith towards the Lord, and to eternal life by means of them. But as soon as the Lord came into the world and revealed Himself, and taught love and faith in Himself, then that nation as they heard these things began to deny them, and so could no longer be kept in such ignorance as before. Therefore they were then driven out of the land of Canaan; that they might not defile and profane internal things, by denial, in that land where, from the most ancient times, all places were made representative of such things as pertain to heaven and the church. (AC n. 10,500)


General Character

The Christian church in its essence is the same with the representative church as to its internal form. But the representatives and significatives of that church were abrogated after the Lord came into the world, because each and all of them represented Him, and consequently the things which are of His kingdom; for these are from Him, and so to speak are Himself. But between the Most Ancient church and the Christian the difference is as between the light of the sun by day and the light of the moon and stars by night; for, to see goods by an internal or prior way is like seeing in the day by the light of the sun, while to see by an external or posterior way is like seeing in the night by the light of the moon or stars. There was almost the same difference between the Most Ancient church and the Ancient; only that they of the Christian church were capable of being in fuller light, if they had acknowledged internal things, or had believed and done the truths and goods which the Lord taught. The good itself is the same to each, but the difference is in seeing it clearly or dimly. They who see clearly see innumerable arcana almost As the angels in heaven, and are also affected by what they see; but they that see dimly scarcely see anything without doubt, and the things which they see also mix themselves with the shades of night, that is, with falsities; nor can they be interiorly affected by them. (AC n. 4489)

The externals of the Ancient church were all representative of the Lord and of the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom; that is of love and charity and of faith thence, consequently of such things as are of the Christian church. Hence it is that when the externals which belonged to the Ancient and also to the Jewish church are unfolded, and as it were unswathed, the Christian church appears. This was signified by the rending asunder of the veil in the temple (Matt. xxvii. 51). (ibid. n. 4772)

The Lord abolished the representatives themselves of the Jewish church because the greatest part of them referred to Him; for the shadow vanishes when the form itself appears. He established therefore a new church, which should not like the former be led by representatives to things internal, but which should know them without representatives. And in place of those representatives He enjoined certain external things only, namely Baptism and the Holy Supper; Baptism, that by it they might remember regeneration; and the Holy Supper, that they might thereby remember the Lord and His love towards the whole human race, and the reciprocal [love] of man to Him. (ibid. n. 4904)

In the end of the church, when there is no faith because there is no charity, the interior [truths] of the Word are made known which are to serve the new church for doctrine and life. This was effected by the Lord Himself when the end of the Jewish church was at hand; for then the Lord Himself came into the world and opened the interiors of the Word, especially those concerning Himself, concerning love to Him, concerning love towards the neighbour; and concerning faith in Him,—which before lay hidden in the interiors of the Word, being in its representatives, and thence in the single things of the church and of worship. The truths therefore which the Lord unfolded were the interior truths—and in themselves spiritual—which afterwards served the new church for doctrine and life, according to what was just said above. But yet those truths were not immediately received, nor till after a considerable lapse of time, as is well known from ecclesiastical history. The reason was that they could not be received until all things in the spiritual world were reduced to order; for with men the spiritual world is conjoined to the natural world. Therefore unless that world had first been reduced to order the goods of love and truths of doctrine could not be understood nor perceived by men in the natural world. This was the reason why so long a time intervened before the Christian church was universally established in the European world; for all the effects which exist in the natural world derive their origin from causes in the spiritual world, especially those that concern the things of the church. (A. E. n. 670)

The primitive Condition and subsequent Degeneration of this Christian Church

The Christian church, from the time of the Lord, has passed through the several periods from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy was during the time in which the Apostles lived, and preached to the whole world repentance and faith in the Lord God the Saviour. That they preached these two is evident from these words in the Acts of the Apostles:—"Paul testified to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (ch. xx. 21).... The church established by the Lord through them is at this day so nearly consummated that scarcely any remnant of it is left; and this has come to pass because they have divided the Trinity into three persons, each of which is God and Lord. And from this a sort of a frenzy has been diffused into all theology, and so into the church which from the name of the Lord is called Christian. It is called frenzy, because the minds of men have been driven by it to such distraction that they do not know whether God is one, or whether there are three. He is one in the word of the mouth, but three in the thought of the mind. The mind is therefore at variance with its mouth, or the thought with its utterance; from which variance it results that there is no God. The prevailing naturalism of the day is from no other source. Consider, if you please, when the mouth says one and the mind thinks three, whether within, where they meet (in media via), the one does not in turn destroy the other. Consequently a man scarcely thinks of God, if he does think, otherwise than from the bare word, without any sense which involves a cognition of it. 'TCR n. 4)

In the primitive church, after the Lord's advent, all the members of the church lived as brethren among one another, and also called each other brethren, and mutually loved one another. But afterwards, in the course of time, charity diminished and vanished away. As charity vanished, evils succeeded; and with evils falsities also insinuated themselves. Hence arose schisms and heresies; which would never have been if charity had lived and ruled. Then a schism would not even have been called schism, nor a heresy heresy, but a doctrinal [belief] according to the opinion of him who held it; which they would have left to the conscience of every one,—if only it did not deny the principles, that is, the Lord, eternal life, and the Word; and if it was not against Divine order, that is contrary to the precepts of the Decalogue. (AC n. 1834)

The present State of this Christian Church

I have been told that good of the will, which was enjoyed by the men of the Most Ancient church, was entirely lost among the antediluvians; and that at this day, among the men of the Christian church, good of the understanding is beginning to perish, insomuch that but little of it remains,—for the reason that they believe nothing unless they comprehend it by the senses, and that at this day they not only reason from the senses concerning Divine arcana, but also by a philosophy unknown to the ancients. Through this means the light of the understanding is entirely darkened; and the darkness is become so great that it can scarcely be dispelled. (AC n. 2124)

That within the church at this day faith is so rare that it can scarcely be said to exist at all, was made evident from many of the learned and many of the simple, whose spirits after death were examined as to what their faith had been in this world. It was found that every one of them supposed faith to be merely believing and persuading themselves that the truth is so; and that the more learned of them made it to consist entirely in believing, with trust or confidence, that they are saved by the Lord's passion and His intercession; and that hardly one among them knew that there is no faith if there is no charity or love. Nay, it was found that they did not know what charity to the neighbour is, nor the difference between thinking and willing. For the most part they turn their backs upon charity, saying that charity does nothing, but that faith alone is effective. When it was replied to them that charity and faith are one, as the will and the understanding are one, and that charity has its seat in the will, and faith in the understanding, and that to separate the one from the other is as it were to separate the will from the understanding, they did not comprehend. It was thus made evident to me that scarcely any faith exists at the present day.... Such then is the state of the church at this day; namely, that there is no faith in it because there is no charity; and where there is no charity there is no spiritual good, for that good exists from charity alone. It was declared from heaven that there is still good with some, but that it cannot be called spiritual, but natural good; because essential Divine truths are in obscurity, and Divine truths introduce to charity, for they teach it, and regard it as their end and aim. There can therefore be no other charity than such as accords with the truths which form it. The Divine truths from which the doctrines of the churches are derived relate to faith alone; on which account they are called the doctrines of faith, and have no reference to life. But truths which regard faith alone, and not life, cannot make man spiritual; for so long as they are external to the life they are only natural, being merely known and thought of as common things. Hence it is that there is no spiritual good at the present day, but only natural good with some. (LJ n. 37, 38)

"All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations, for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity shall increase the charity of many shall wax cold. But he that shall remain steadfast unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the inhabited world for a testimony unto all nations. And then shall the end be" (Matt. xxiv. 8-14). By these words the second state of perversion of the church is described; which is, that good and truth would be despised, and also turned away from, and that thus faith in the Lord would expire according to the degree in which charity would cease....

That such is the church does not appear to those who are in the church; namely, that they despise and are averse to all things which are of good and truth, and that they bear enmities against those things, and especially against the Lord Himself. For they frequent the temples, hear preaching, are in a kind of holy [state] while there, attend the Holy Supper, and sometimes converse among themselves in a becoming manner concerning these things. Thus do the bad equally with the good; they also live among themselves in civil charity or friendship. Hence it is that to the eyes of men no contempt appears, still less aversion, and less still enmity against the goods and truths of faith, and thus against the Lord. But these are external forms by which one seduces another; and the internal forms of the men of the church are quite unlike, even entirely contrary to the external forms. The internal forms are what are here described, and are of such a character. The real quality of these appears to the life in the heavens. For the angels do not attend to any other than internal things, that is to ends, or to intentions and volitions, and to thoughts from these. How unlike these are to the externals may be clearly seen from those who come from the Christian world into the other life; it is the internals alone according to which they think and speak in the other life, since the externals are left with the body. And there it is manifest that, although such appeared peaceable in the world, yet they entertained hatred to one another, and hatred towards all things of faith, especially towards the Lord. For when the Lord is only named before them in the other life, a sphere not only of contempt, but even of aversion and enmity against Him, manifestly goes forth from and surrounds them; even from those who in appearance talked piously of Him, and who also had preached. So when charity and faith are mentioned. Such are they in the internal form, which is there made manifest, that if external restraints had been removed while they lived in the world, that is, if they had not feared for life, and the penalties of the laws, and especially if they had not feared for reputation on account of the honours which they aspired to and sought to obtain, and the wealth which they desired and eagerly strove after, they would from intestine hatred have rushed one against another according to their impulses and thoughts; and without any conscience they would have seized the goods of others, and without conscience would also have cruelly murdered especially the inoffensive. Such are Christians at this day as to their interiors, except a few who are not known. From this it appears what the quality of the church is. (AC n. 3486-3489)

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be; and except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matt. xxiv. 21, 22). This is said of the last time of the church, when the judgment takes place. That such is the state of the church at this day may be known from these considerations alone: That in the greatest part of the Christian world are those who have transferred to themselves the Divine power of the Lord, and would be worshipped as gods, and who invoke dead men,—and scarce any there invoke the Lord; and that the rest of the church make God three, and the Lord two, and place salvation, not in amendment of life, but in certain words devoutly uttered with the breath,—thus not in repentance, but in confidence that they are justified and sanctified, if only they fold their hands and look upwards, and utter some customary form of prayer. (AR n. 263)

The End of the First Christian Church

The greater part of mankind believe that when the last judgment comes all things in the visible world are to be destroyed, that the earth will be consumed by fire, the sun and the moon will be dissipated, and the stars will vanish away; and that afterwards a new heaven and a new earth will spring forth. This opinion they have taken from Prophetic revelations, wherein such things are mentioned. But the last judgment is nothing else than the end of the church with one nation, and its beginning with another; which end and which beginning take place when there is no longer any acknowledgment of the Lord, or, what is the same, when there is no faith. There is no acknowledgment or no faith when there is no charity; for faith cannot exist except with those who are in charity. That then is the end of the church and its transfer to others, clearly appears from all that the Lord Himself taught and foretold in the Evangelists concerning that last day, or the consummation of the age; namely, in Matt. xxiv., Mark xiii., and in Luke xxi. But as these teachings cannot be comprehended by any one without the key, which is their internal sense, it is permitted to unfold in order the things which are therein, beginning with these words in Matthew: "The disciples came to Jesus, saying, Tell us when shall these things be, and what is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age. And Jesus answering, said unto them, See that no one seduce you; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall seduce many: but ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not disturbed; for all these things must needs be, but the end is not yet. For nation shall be stirred up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. But all these things are the beginning of sorrows" (xxiv. 3-8). Those who adhere to the sense of the letter cannot know whether these, and the particulars which follow in this chapter, were spoken of the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, or of the end of days, which is called the last judgment; but those who are in the internal sense see clearly that the end of the church is here treated of, which end is what here and elsewhere is called the coming of the Lord, and the consummation of the age. And as this is the end here meant, it may be known that all the above particulars signify things pertaining to the church; and what they signify is evident from the particulars, in the internal sense. As that "many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall seduce many." Here name does not signify a name, nor Christ, Christ; but name signifies that by means of which the Lord is worshipped, and Christ signifies the very truth. Thus the signification is that there would come those who would say, This is of faith, or, This is true, when yet it is neither of faith, nor true, but false. That they should hear of wars and rumours of wars, is, that there would be disputes and quarrels concerning truths, which are wars in the spiritual sense; that nation should rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, signifies that evil would combat with evil, and the false with the false; and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places, is that there would no longer be any cognitions of good and of truth, and thus that the state of the church would be changed, which is [spiritually] an earthquake. (AC n. 3353)

"But immediately after the affliction of those days" signifies the state of the Church as to the truth which is of faith, which state is treated of in what precedes; desolation of truth throughout the Word is called affliction. Hence it is evident that these words signify that when there is no longer any faith there will be no charity. For faith leads to charity, because it teaches what charity is; and charity receives its quality from the truths which are of faith, and. the truths of faith receive their essence and their life from charity. "The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light," signifies love to the Lord, which is the sun, and charity towards the neighbour, which is the moon; to be darkened and not give light signifies that they would not appear, thus that they would vanish. The reason of this signification of the sun and moon is that in the other life the Lord appears as a sun to those in heaven who are in love to Him, who are called celestial, and as a moon to those who are in charity towards the neighbour, who are called spiritual. The sun and moon in the heavens, or the Lord, are never darkened, nor lose their light, but shine perpetually. Thus neither with the celestial is love to Him at any time obscured, nor charity towards the neighbour with the spiritual, in the heavens; nor on earth with those with whom those angels are, that is with those who are in love and in charity. But as to those who are in no love and charity, but in the love of self and of the world, and thence in hatreds and revenge,—they bring this darkness upon themselves. The case is the same as with the sun of the world; the sun shines perpetually, but when clouds interpose themselves it does not appear. "And the stars shall fall from heaven," signifies that cognitions of good and truth shall be lost. Nothing else is signified in the Word by stars, wherever they are mentioned. "And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken," signifies the foundations of the Church, which are said to be moved and shaken when these things perish; for the church on earth is the foundation of heaven, since the influx of good and truth through the heavens from the Lord ultimately terminates in the goods and truths of the man of the church. Thus when the man of the church is in such a perverted state as no longer to admit the influx of good and truth, the powers of the heavens are said to be shaken. On this account it is always provided by the Lord that somewhat of the church should remain; and that when an old church perishes a new church should be established. (ibid. n. 4060)


General Doctrine

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" (Matt. xxiv. 30), signifies the appearing then of Divine 'Truth; a sign denotes an appearing; the Son of Man is the Lord as to Divine Truth. It is this appearing, or this sign, about which the disciples inquired when they said to the Lord, "Tell us when shall these things come to pass, and what is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age" (ver. 3). For they knew from the Word that when the age was consummated the Lord would come, and they knew from the Lord that He would come again; and they understood by this that the Lord would come again into the world, not knowing as yet that as often as the church has been vastated, so often the Lord has come. Not that He has come in person, as when by nativity He assumed the Human and made this Divine, but by appearings,—either manifest, as when He appeared to Abraham in Mamre, to Moses in the bush, to the people of Israel on Mount Sinai, and to Joshua when he entered the land of Canaan; or not so manifest, as through the inspirations whereby the Word [was given], and afterwards through the Word. For the Lord is present in the Word; for all things of the Word are from Him and relate to Him, as is evident from what has been so frequently shown before. This is the appearing which is here signified by the sign of the Son of Man, and of which this verse treats. "And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn," signifies that all who are in the good of love and in the truth of faith shall be in grief. That mourning has this signification may be seen in Zechariah, chap. xii. verses 10-14; and tribes signify all things of good and truth, or of love and faith, consequently those who are in love and faith. They are called tribes of the earth, because they that are within the church are signified; the earth is the church. "And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heavens, with rower and great glory," signifies that then the Word shall be revealed as to its internal sense, in which the Lord is. The Son of Man is the Divine Truth which is therein. The clouds are the literal sense power is predicated of the good, and glory of the truth that are therein. This is the coming of the Lord which is here meant; and not that according to the letter He will appear in the clouds. What now follows concerns the establishment of a New Church, which takes place when the old is vastated and rejected. "He shall send forth His angels with a trumpet and a great voice," signifies election; not that it is effected by visible angels, still less by trumpets and by great voices, but by an influx of holy good and holy truth from the Lord through the angels. Therefore angels in the Word signify something appertaining to the Lord; here things which are from the Lord and concerning the Lord. By a trumpet and a great voice evangelization is signified, as also elsewhere in the Word. "And they shall gather together the elect, from the four winds, from the end of the heavens even to the end of them," signifies the establishment of a New Church. The elect are they who are in the good of love and faith; the four winds, from which they shall be gathered together, are all states of good and truth; the end of the heavens even to the end of them are the internal and external things of the Church. These things then are what are signified by those words of the Lord. (AC n. 4060)

This Second Coming of the Lord is not a Coming in Person, but in the Word, which is from Him, and is Himself .

It is written in many places that the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven; but as no one has known what was meant by the clouds of heaven, men have believed that He would come in them in Person. That the clouds of heaven mean the Word in the sense of the letter, and that the glory and power in which He will also then come mean the spiritual sense of the Word, has hitherto been hidden; because no one hitherto has even conjectured that there is any spiritual sense in the Word, such as this in itself is. Now, since the Lord has opened to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and has granted me to be in company with angels and spirits in their world, as one of them, it is disclosed that by the clouds of heaven the Word in the natural sense is meant, and by power the Lord's might through the Word. That the clouds of heaven have this signification may be seen from these passages in the Word:—"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven, and in His greatness upon the clouds" (Deut. xxxiii. 26); "Sing unto God, praise His name, extol Him who rideth upon the clouds" (Ps. lxviii. 5); "Jehovah rideth upon a swift cloud" (Isa. xix. 1).

That the Lord is the Word is very certain from these words in John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, ... and the Word was made flesh" (i. 1,14). The Word here means Divine Truth; for Divine truth among Christians is from no other source than the Word. It is the fountain whence all churches bearing the name of Christ draw living waters in their fulness although it is as in a cloud, in which its natural sense is, yet it is in glory and power, in which its spiritual and celestial sense is. It has been shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture, and in the chapter on the Decalogue or Catechism, that there are three senses in the Word, the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial, one within another. It is therefore clear that in John the Word means Divine Truth.... From all this it is plain that now also the Lord will appear in the Word. The reason why He will not appear in person is, that since His ascension into heaven He is in the glorified Human and in this lie cannot appear to any man unless He first open the eyes of his spirit; and these cannot be opened with any one who is in evils and thence in falsities; thus not with any of the goats which He sets at His left hand. Therefore when He manifested Himself to the disciples He first opened their eyes; for it is said, "And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight" (Luke xxiv. 31). The same occurred with the women at the sepulchre after the resurrection; and therefore they then also saw angels sitting in the sepulchre and talking with them, whom no man can see with the material eye. Neither did the apostles see the Lord in the glorified Human before the Lord's resurrection with the eyes of the body, but in the spirit,—which appears after waking as if it were in sleep. This is evident from His transfiguration before Peter, James, and John, in that "their eyes were heavy with sleep" (Luke ix. 32). It is therefore vain to think the Lord will appear in person in the clouds of heaven but He will appear in the Word which is from Him, thus which is Himself. (TCR n. 776, 777)

This Second Coming of the Lord is effected by means of a Man, to whom the Lord has manifested Himself in Person, and whom He has filled with His Spirit, to teach the Doctrines of the New Church from Himself, through the Word

Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person, as shown just above, and yet has foretold that He would come and establish a New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that this will be effected by means of a man, who is able not only to receive the doctrines of that church into his understanding, but also to publish them by the press. I testify in truth, that the Lord manifested Himself to me His servant, and sent me to this office; and that afterwards He opened the sight of my spirit, and so intromitted me into the spiritual world, and has granted me to see the heavens and the hells, and also to converse with angels and spirits, and this now continually for many years; likewise that from the first day of that calling I have not received anything whatever relating to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone, while I was reading the Word.

To the end that the Lord might continually be present, He has opened to me the spiritual sense of His Word, in which Divine Truth is in its light. And in this light He is continually present; for His presence in the Word is no otherwise than by the spiritual sense. By the light of this He passes through into the shade in which the sense of the letter is; comparatively as the light of the sun in the daytime does through an interposing cloud. (TCR n. 779, 780)

How the Lord's Advent becomes effective in the Individual Man

The Lord's presence is perpetual with every man, the evil as well as the good; for without His presence no man lives. But His advent is to those only who receive Him,—who are those that believe in Him, and do His Commandments. The effect of the Lord's perpetual presence is, that man is made rational, and that he can become spiritual. This is effected by the light proceeding from the Lord as a sun in the spiritual world, which man receives in his understanding; and that light is the truth by which he has rationality. But the Lord's advent is to him who conjoins heat with that light, that is, love with he truth; for the heat proceeding from that same sun is love to God and towards the neighbour. The mere presence of the Lord, and enlightenment of the understanding thereby, may be compared to the presence of the light of the sun in the world; unless it is conjoined with heat all things on earth become desolate. But the advent of the Lord may be compared to the advent of heat, which takes place in the springtime; and because heat then conjoins itself with the light, the earth is softened, seeds shoot forth and bear fruit. Such a parallelism exists between the spiritual things in which a man's spirit dwells, and the natural things in which his body lives. (TCR n. 774)


General Character

It was foretold in the Apocalypse, chap. xxi., xxii., that at the end of the former church a New Church would be established, in which this should be the primary doctrine: That God is One, both in person and in essence, and that the Lord is that God. This Church is what is there meant by the New Jerusalem; into which no one can enter but who acknowledges the Lord alone as God of heaven and earth. Wherefore this church is there called the Lamb's Wife. And this I am able to proclaim: That the whole heaven acknowledges the Lord alone, and that whoever does not acknowledge Him is not admitted into heaven; for heaven is heaven from the Lord. This acknowledgment, from love and faith, itself effects that those who are in heaven are in the Lord and the Lord in them; as He Himself teaches in John: "At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (xiv. 20); and in the same: "Abide in Me, and I in you, ... I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth" (xv. 4-6; also xvii. 22, 23).

The reason why this was not seen before from the Word, is that if it had been seen it would not have been received; for the Last Judgment was not yet accomplished, and before that the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven,—and man is in the midst between heaven and hell. If therefore this had been seen before, the devil, that is hell, would have plucked it from the hearts of men, and moreover would have profaned it. This condition of the power of hell was entirely broken by the Last Judgment, which has now been accomplished. Since that, that is, now, every man who will can be enlightened, and be wise. (DP n. 263)

This New Church is signified by the New Jerusalem

That a New Church is meant by the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. xxi), is because Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Canaan; and there were the temple and the altar, there the sacrifices were offered, and thus there the actual Divine worship was performed to which every male in the land was commanded to go up three times in the year; and because the Lord was in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterwards glorified His Human there. Hence it is that the church is signified by Jerusalem. That the church is meant by Jerusalem, is very evident from the prophecies in the Old Testament respecting the new church to be instituted by the Lord, in that it is there called Jerusalem. Only those passages shall be adduced from which every one endued with interior reason may see that the church is there meant by Jerusalem. Let these passages only be cited therefrom: "Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth; the former shall not be remembered.... Behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy, and I will rejoice over Jerusalem, and joy over My people.... Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; ... they shall not do evil in all the mountain of My holiness" (Isaiah lxv. 17-19, 25). "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. Then the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all icings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of glory ... and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.... Jehovah shall delight in thee, and thy land shall be married.... Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him.... And they shall call them The holy People, The redeemed of Jehovah; and thou shalt be called A city sought for, not forsaken" (lxii. 1-4, 11, 12). "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem,.... The people shall know my name in that day, for it is I that speak, behold, it is ... Jehovah hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem" (lii. 1, 2, 6, 9). "Thus saith Jehovah, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; wherefore Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, and the Mountain of Jehovah of Hosts, the Holy Mountain" (Zech. viii. 3). "Then shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion the mountain of holiness; and Jerusalem shall be Holiness.... And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, ... and Jerusalem shall abide from generation to generation" (Joel iii. 17, 20). "In that day shall the branch of Jehovah be beautiful and glorious.... And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem" (Isaiah iv. 2, 3). "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the Throne of Jehovah, and all nations shall be gathered into it, on account of the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart" (Jer. iii. 17). "Look upon Zion, the city of our festivities: Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet Habitation, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken," (Isaiah xxxiii. 20). That by Jerusalem here the church is meant which was to be instituted by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is manifest from every part of its description in the passages adduced; as that Jehovah God would create a new heaven and a new earth, and also at the same time Jerusalem; and that this Jerusalem would be a crown of glory and a royal diadem; that it was to be called Holiness, and the City of Truth, the Throne of Jehovah, a Quiet Habitation, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; that there the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; and there it is said the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and that it shall abide from generation to generation; and, besides many other things, it is also said of the people there that they should be holy, every one written among the living; and that they should be called the Redeemed of Jehovah. Moreover, in all these passages the coming of the Lord is referred to; especially His second coming, when Jerusalem will be such as is there described. For before she was not married, that is, made the bride and wife of the Lamb, as is said of the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse. The former church, or that of the present day, is meant by Jerusalem in Daniel; and its beginning is there described by these words: "Know and perceive that from, the going forth of the word for restoring and building Jerusalem, even to the Prince Messiah, shall be seven weeks; after that in sixty and two weeks the street and the trench shall be restored and built, but in troublous times" (ix. 25). And its end is there described by these words: "At length upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation" (ver. 27). These last are what are meant by the Lord's words in Matthew: "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, foretold by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth observe well" (xxiv. 25). That Jerusalem in the passages above quoted did not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, may be seen from the passages in the Word where it is said of this that it was utterly lost, and that it was to be destroyed. (TCR n. 782)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. xxi. 1) signifies that a new heaven was formed by the Lord from among Christians, which at this day is called the Christian heaven; where they are who had worshipped the Lord and lived according to His commandments in the Word,—in whom therefore there is charity and faith. In this heaven are also all the infants of Christians. A natural heaven visible to the eyes, and a natural earth inhabited by men, are not meant by a new heaven and a new earth; but a spiritual heaven is meant, and the earth of that heaven, where angels dwell. That this heaven and the earth of this heaven are meant, every one may see and acknowledge if he can but withdraw himself somewhat from a merely natural and material conception when he reads the Word. It is plain that an angelic heaven is meant; for it is said in the verse immediately following, that he saw the holy city Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; by which no Jerusalem descending is meant, but a church. And the church upon earth comes down from the Lord out of the angelic heaven, because the angels of heaven and men on earth in all things relating to the church form one. It may be seen from this how naturally and materially they have thought and think, who, from these words and those that follow in this verse, have fabricated the dogma of the destruction of the world, and of a new creation of all things. This new heaven is several times previously referred to in the Apocalypse, especially in chap. xiv. and xv. It is called the Christian heaven because it is distinct from the ancient heavens, which were composed of the men of the church before the Lord's coming. These ancient heavens are above the Christian heaven; for the heavens are like expanses one above the other. It is the same with each heaven; for each heaven by itself is distinguished into three heavens, an inmost or third, a middle or second, and a lowest or first heaven. So it is with this new heaven. I have seen those who are there and conversed with them. In this new Christian heaven are all, from the first formation of the Christian church, who have worshipped the Lord and lived according to His commandments in the Word, and who therefore were in charity and at the same time in faith from the Lord through the Word,— and thus who were not in a dead but a living faith. All the infants of Christians are likewise in that heaven, because they are educated by angels in those two essentials of the church; which are, an acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. (AR n. 876)

It is according to Divine order that a new heaven should be formed before a New Church on earth. For the church is internal and external, and the internal church forms one with the church in heaven, that is with heaven; and the internal must be formed before the external, and afterwards the external by the internal. That it is so is known among the clergy in the world. As this new heaven which constitutes the internal with man increases, the New Jerusalem, that is the New Church, comes down from that heaven. This cannot therefore come to pass in a moment, but takes place as the falsities of the former church are removed. For what is new cannot enter where falsities have previously been ingenerated unless these are eradicated; which will be effected among the clergy, and so among the laity. (TCR n. 784)

All Things made New

"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful" (ver. 5). This signifies the Lord saying these things, concerning the last judgment, to those who should come into the world of spirits, or should die, from the time when He was in the world until now; namely, that the former heaven with the former earth, and the former church, with each and all things in them, should perish, and that He would create a new heaven with a new earth, and a new church, which should be called the New Jerusalem; and that they may know this of a certainty, and keep it in remembrance, because the Lord Himself has testified and declared it. The things contained in this verse, and in the following as far as the 8th inclusive, were said to those in the Christian world who should come into the world of spirits,—which is immediately after death,—to the end that they might not suffer themselves to be seduced by the Babylonians and dragonists. .For, as was said above, all congregate after death in the world of spirits,—and they incline to association with one another, as in the natural world,—where they are in company with Babylonians and dragonists, who continually burn with the desire to lead astray; and who were also permitted to form heavens, as it were, for themselves, by imaginative and illusive arts,—by which, too, they were able to mislead. Lest this should be done these words were spoken by the Lord, that they might certainly know that these heavens with their earths would perish, and that the Lord would create a new heaven and a new earth; at which time those that did not suffer themselves to be led astray would be saved. But it should be known that these things were said to those who lived from the Lord's time down to the last judgment, which was executed in the year of our Lord 1757,—because these could have been led astray. But this they cannot be hereafter there, because the Babylonians and dragonists have been separated and cast out. (AR n. 886)

The Vision of the Holy City

"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (ver. 10). This signifies that John was translated into the third heaven, and that his sight was there opened, and the Lord's New Church was manifested before him, as to doctrine, in the form of a city. "He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain," signifies that John was translated into the third heaven, where they are who are in love to the Lord, and in- the genuine doctrine of truth from Him. Great is also predicated of the good of love, and high of truths. Carried away into a mountain signifies taken up into the third heaven, because it is said "in the spirit," and he who is in the spirit as to his mind and its sight is in the spiritual world; and there the angels of the third heaven dwell upon mountains, the angels of the second heaven upon hills, and the angels of the lowest heaven in valleys among the hills and mountains. When, therefore, any one in the spirit is taken up into a mountain, it signifies that he is taken up into the third heaven. This elevation is effected in a moment, because it is done by a change of state in the mind. "He showed me," signifies that his sight was then opened, and manifestation. "That great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," signifies the Lord's New Church; for this reason it is called holy, and is said to descend out of heaven from God; it was seen in the form of a city, because a city signifies doctrine, and the church is a church by virtue of doctrine and life according to it. It was seen as a city also in order that it might be described as to its every quality; and it is described by its wall, its gates, its foundations, and various dimensions. The church is described in a similar manner in Ezekiel, where it is also said that the prophet was led in the visions of God upon a very high mountain, and saw a city on the south, which the angel also measured as to its wall, and gates, and as to its breadth and height (xl. 2, and following verses). The same is meant by these words in Zechariah: "Then said I unto the angel, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof', and what is the length thereof" (ii. 2). (AR n. 896)

The City Four-square

"And the city lieth four-square" (ver. 16). The reason why the city was seen four-square is that a quadrangle or square signifies justice, for a triangle signifies righteousness,—all these in the ultimate degree, which is the natural. A quadrangle or a square signifies justice because it has four sides and the four sides look to the four quarters, and to look equally to the four quarters is to look at all things from justice. Therefore three gates from each quarter opened into the city; and it is said in Isaiah, "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth truths, may enter in' (xxvi. 2). The city lieth four-square, that the length and breadth thereof might be equal; and by the length is signified the good of that church, and by the breadth its truth; and when good and truth are equal there is justice. It is from this signification of a square, that in common speech a man is said to be square, who inclines neither to this side nor that from injustice. Because four-square signifies justice the altar of burnt-offering was four-square, by which worship from good and thence from celestial truth was signified (Exod. xxvii. 1); and the altar of incense, by which was signified worship from good and thence from spiritual truth, was also four-square (Exod. xxx. 1, 2; xxxix. 9). And the breastplate of judgment too, in which was the Urim and Thummim, was four-square doubled (Exod. xxviii. 15, 16); besides other things. (AR n. 905)

The City pure Gold

"And the city was pure gold like unto pure glass" (ver. 18) signifies that therefore the all of that church is the good of love, flowing in together with light out of heaven, from the Lord. By the city or Jerusalem the Lord's New Church is meant, as to every thing pertaining to it, viewed interiorly or within the wall; by gold the good of love from the Lord is signified; and like unto pure glass signifies pellucid, from Divine wisdom,—and since this appears in heaven as light, and flows from the Lord as the sun, by "like unto pure glass " is signified, flowing in together with light from heaven, from the Lord.... Since the good of love does not exist by itself or separate from the truths of wisdom, but that it may be the good of love must be formed, and it is formed by the truths of wisdom, therefore it is here said pure gold like untc pure glass. For the good of love without the truths of wisdom has no quality, because it has no form; and its form is according to its truths, flowing in, in their order and connection, together with the good of love, from the Lord; thus in man it is according to reception. It is said in man, but it is not meant that it is of the man, as his own, but of 'the Lord in him. From these considerations then, it is plain that by the city being pure gold like unto pure glass, it is signified that therefore the all of that church is the good of love, flowing in with light from heaven, from the Lord. (AR n. 912)

The Twelve Foundations

"The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus, the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst" (ver. 19, 20). This signifies all things of that doctrine in their order from the literal sense of the Word, with those who immediately approach the Lord, and live according to the commandments of the decalogue by shunning evils as sins; for these and no others are in the doctrine of love to God, and of love towards the neighbour,. which two are the fundamentals of religion. The twelve foundations of the wall signify all [truths] of doctrine of the New Jerusalem, from the literal sense of the Word. Precious stones in general signify all truths of doctrine from the Word translucent by the spiritual sense; here by each stone some truth in particular is signified thus translucent. There are in general two colours which prevail in the precious stones, red and white; the other colours, as green, yellow, blue, and many others, are composed of these by the mediation of black. By the colour red the good of love is signified and by the colour white the truth of wisdom. Red signifies the good of love because it derives its origin from the fire of the sun, and the fire of the sun of the spiritual world in its essence is the Lord's Divine love, thus the good of love; and white signifies the truth of wisdom because it derives its origin from the light which proceeds from the fire of that sun, and that proceeding light in its essence is Divine wisdom, thus the truth of wisdom; and black derives its origin from their shade or shadow, which is ignorance. But to explain separately what good and what truth is signified by each stone, would be too prolix. But yet that it may be known what good and what truth each stone in this order signifies, see the explanation given at chap. vii. ver. 5-8, where the twelve tribes of Israel are treated of; for the same is here signified by each stone as there by each tribe mentioned, since by the twelve tribes there described all the goods and truths of the church and its doctrine in their order are likewise signified. It is therefore said also in this chapter (ver. 14) that in these twelve foundations were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and by the twelve apostles all things of doctrine concerning the Lord are signified, and concerning life according to His commandments. The same also is signified by these twelve stones as by the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of Aaron, which was called the Urim and Thummim,—of which in Exod. xxviii. 15-21, and which are separately explained in the Arcana Coelestia,—with the difference, that upon those were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and upon these the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. That the foundations are of precious stones is also said in Isaiah: "O thou afflicted, .. . behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, ... and thy gates of carbuncles, ... and all thy children shall be taught of Jehovah" (Isaiah liv. 11, 12). By the afflicted the church is meant that was to be established by the Lord among the Gentiles. In the same: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.... Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet" (xxviii. 16, 17). Since all truth of doctrine from the Word must be founded upon the acknowledgment of the Lord, therefore the Lord is called the Stone of Israel (Gen. xlix. 24); and the Corner Stone, which the builders rejected (Matt. xxi. 42); Mark xii. 10, 11; Luke xx. 17, 18). That the corner stone is the foundation stone appears from Jerem. li. 26. The Lord also in many places in the Word is called a rock; therefore by the rock He meant Himself when He said, "Upon this rock will I build my church" (Matt. xvi. 18, 19); and also when He said, "Whosoever heareth my sayings and doeth them, is to be likened unto a prudent man, who buildeth a house and layette the foundation upon a rock" (Luke vi. 47, 48; Matt. vii. 24, 25). By a rock the Lord as to the Divine truth of the Word is signified. (AR n. 915)

The Twelve Gates of Pearl

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every one of the gates was of one pearl" (ver. 21), signifies that the acknowledgment and cognition [See note, p. 284] of the Lord conjoins into one all cognitions of truth and good which are from the Word, and introduces into the church. By the twelve gates are signified, in a summary, the cognitions of truth and good by which man is introduced into the church; by twelve pearls also cognitions of truth and good in a summary are signified. Hence it is that the gates were pearls. Every gate was of one pearl because all cognitions of truth and good, which are signified by gates and by pearls, have reference to one cognition, which is their containant; which one cognition is cognition of the Lord. It is called one cognition, although there are several which constitute that one, because a cognition of the Lord is the universal of all things of doctrine, and hence of all things of the church. From this all matters of worship derive their life and soul; for the Lord is the all in all of heaven and the church, and therefore the all in all of worship. The reason why the acknowledgment and cognition of the Lord conjoins into one all cognitions of truth and good from the Word is, that there is a connection of all spiritual truths; and if you will believe it, their connection is like the connection of all the members, viscera, and organs of the body. Therefore, as the soul contains and holds all these in their order and connection, so that they are felt no otherwise than as one, so the Lord contains and holds together all spiritual truths in man. That the Lord is the very gate through which men must enter into the church and thence into heaven, He Himself teaches in John: "I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (x. 9); and that the acknowledgment and cognition of Him is the pearl of great price, is meant by these words of the Lord in Matthew: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (xiii. 45, 46). The one pearl of great price is the acknowledgment and cognition of the Lord. (AR n. 916)

The Temple of the City

"And I saw no temple therein; for the temple of it is the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb" (ver. 22). This signifies that in this church there will be no external separate from the internal, because the Lord Himself in His Divine Human, from whom is the all of the church, is alone approached, worshipped, and adored. I saw no temple therein, does not mean that in the New Church which is the New Jerusalem there will not be temples, but that in this church there will not be an external separate from the internal; the reason is that by a temple the church as to its worship is signified, and, in the highest sense, the Lord Himself as to His Divine Human, who is to be worshipped. And because the all of the church is from the Lord, therefore it is said, "For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is the Temple of it," by which the Lord in His Divine Human is signified; by the Lord God Almighty is meant the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah Himself; and by the Lamb His Divine Human is signified. (AR n. 918)

The Tree of Life in the Midst of the City

"In the midst of the street of it, and of the river on this side and on that, was the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits" (Rev. xxii. 2). This signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as of himself. In the midst, signifies in the inmost and thence in all things around by the street the truth of the doctrine of the church is signified; by a river is signified Divine truth in abundance. On either side, signifies on the right hand and on the left,—and the truth on the right hand is that which is in clearness, and on the left hand that which is in obscurity; for in heaven the south, by which truth in its clearness is signified, is on the right hand, and the north, by which truth in obscurity is signified, is on the left. By the tree of life the Lord as to the Divine love is signified; by fruits are signified the goods of love and charity, which are called good works; by twelve all are signified, and it is predicated of the goods and truths of the church. From these particulars collated into one sense it follows that, "In the midst of the street and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life bearing twelve manner of fruits," signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as from himself. This is the case with those who approach the Lord immediately, and shun evils because they are sins, thus who will be in the Lord's New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. For they that do not approach the Lord immediately cannot be conjoined with Him; nor therefore with the Father; and hence cannot be in the love which is from the Divine. For looking up to [Him] conjoins,—not intellectual looking alone, but intellectual looking from an affection of the will; and there is no affection of the will unless a man keeps His commandments. Therefore the Lord says, "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth, them, he it is that loveth Me; and I will love him, and manifest Myself to him" (John xiv. 21-24). It is said, in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church, because in spiritual things all exist and all proceed from the inmost, as from fire and light in the centre to the circumferences or as from the sun, which in fact is the centre, heat and light proceed to all parts of the universe. It is thus the same in least things as in the greatest Because the inmost of all truth is signified, therefore it is said, "in the midst of the street and of the river," and not on either side of the river, although this is meant. ' That all the goods of love and of charity exist and proceed from the Lord, because He is in the inmost, is plain from the Lord's own words in John: Jesus said, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing" (xv. 4-6). (AR n. 933)

The Leaves of the Tree for the Healing of the Nations

"And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (ver. 2), signifies rational truths therefrom, by which they who are in evils and thence in falsities are led to think sanely and to live becomingly. By the leaves of the tree rational truths are signified; by the nations they are signified who are in goods and thence in truths,—and, in the opposite sense, they who are in evils and thence in falsities. Here those who are in evils and thence in falsities are signified, because it is said "for the healing of them;" and those who are in evils and in falsities thence cannot be healed by the Word, for they do not read it, but if they are strong in judgment they can be healed by rational truths. A similar signification to that of this verse is contained in the following from Ezekiel: "Behold waters went forth from under the threshold of the house ... from which there was a river, upon whose bank on this side and on that were very many trees of meat, whose leaf doth not fall, neither shall be consumed; every month it springeth again; ... and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine" (xlvii. 1, 7, 12). Here also the New Church is referred to. Leaves signify rational truths, because by a tree man is signified, and therefore all things pertaining to a tree, as the branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds, signify corresponding things in man. By the branches are signified the sensual and natural truths in man; by the leaves, his rational truths; by the flowers, the earliest spiritual truths in the rational [mind]; by fruits, the goods of love and charity; and by seeds, the last and first [principles] of man. That leaves signify rational truths is very evident from those seen in the spiritual world; for there too trees appear, with leaves and fruits, and there are gardens and paradises of them. Among those who are in the goods of love and at the same time in the truths of wisdom, there appear luxuriant fruit trees, with beautiful leaves; and among those who are in truths of some wisdom, and speak from reason, but are not in the goods of love, trees full of leaves appear but without fruits and among those who are neither in goods nor in truths of wisdom no trees appear unless denuded of their leaves, as in winter-time in the world. The man who is not rational is nothing else than such a tree. Rational truths are those which immediately receive spiritual truths. For the rational [faculty] of man is the first receptacle of spiritual truths; since in the rational of man there is, in some form, a perception of truth which the man himself does not see in thought, as he does the things which under the rational, in the inferior thought that connects itself -with external sight. Rational truths are likewise signified by leaves in Gen. iii. 7 viii. 11; Isa. xxxiv. 4; Jer. viii. 13; xvii. 8; Ezek. xlvii. 12; Dan. iv. 11, 12; Psa. i. 3; Lev. xxvi. 36; Matt. xxi. 19, 20; xxiv. 32; Mark xiii. 28. But the signification varies according to the kinds of trees; the leaves of the olive and the vine signify rational truths from celestial and spiritual light; the leaves of the fig tree, rational truths from natural light; and the leaves of the fir, the poplar, the oak, and the pine, rational truths froth sensual light. The leaves of these last kinds excite terror in the spiritual world when they are shaken by a strong wind. These are what are meant in Levit. xxvi. 36; Job xiii. 25. But with the leaves of the former it is not so. (AR n. 936)

Seeing the Face of the Lord

"And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads" (ver. 4). This signifies that they will turn themselves to the Lord, and that the Lord will turn Himself to them, because they will be conjoined by love. To see the face of God and of the Lamb, or of the Lord, does not mean to see His face, because no one can see His face, as He is in His Divine love and in His Divine wisdom, and live; for He is the sun of heaven and of the whole spiritual world. For, to see His face as He is in Himself would be as if one should enter into the sun; by the fire of which he would be consumed in a moment. Yet the Lord sometimes presents Himself to the sight out of His sun; but He then veils Himself, and thus presents Himself to their sight, —which is done by means of an angel. As He also did in the world, to Abraham, Hagar, Lot, Gideon, Joshua, and others; and therefore those angels were called both angels and Jehovah, for the presence of Jehovah was in them from afar. But here "they shall see His face," does not mean thus to see His face; but to see the truths which are from Him in the Word, and through them to have cognition of and acknowledge Him. For the Divine truths of the Word form the light in which the angels are, which proceeds from the Lord as a sun; and as they constitute the light, they are as mirrors in which the Lord's face is seen. That to see the Lord's face signifies to turn to Him will be shown below. The name of the Lord in their foreheads signifies that the Lord loves them and turns them to Himself. The name of the Lord signifies the Lord Himself, because it signifies every quality of Him whereby He is known, and according to which He is worshipped; and by the forehead love is signified; and written in the forehead signifies the Lord's love in them. From these considerations it may appear what is properly signified by these words. But the reason why it signifies that they will turn themselves to the Lord and the Lord will turn Himself to them is, that the Lord looks at all who are conjoined with Him by love in their forehead, and so turns them to Himself; wherefore the angels in heaven turn their faces only towards the Lord and the sun, and what is remarkable, this is done in every turning of their bodies. Hence it is in common speech that they have God always before their eyes. It is the same with the spirit of a man who lives in the world and by love is conjoined to the Lord. (AR n. 938)

The Light of the City

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light" (ver. 5). This signifies that in the New Jerusalem there will be no falsity of faith, and that men there will be in cognitions concerning God not from natural light, which is from their own intelligence and from glory arising from pride, but will be in spiritual light from the Word from the Lord alone. "There shall be no night there," signifies the same as above, chap. xxi., where these words occur: "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there" (ver. 25), by which is signified, that they are continually received into the New Jerusalem who are in truths from the good of love from the Lord, because there is no falsity of faith there. "They need no lamp, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light," signifies the same as above, in chap. xxi., where are these words: "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof" (ver. 23), which signify that the men of that church will not be in the love of self and in their own intelligence, and hence only in natural light, but in spiritual light from the Divine truth of the Word from the Lord alone. But instead of the moon, which occurs there, the word lamp is used here, and instead of the sun there, it is here said the light of the sun and by the moon as well as by a lamp, natural light from their own intelligence is signified, and by the light of the sun is signified the glory arising from pride. But it shall be briefly explained what is meant by natural light from the glory arising from pride. There is a natural light from the glory arising from pride, and also from glory that is not from pride. Light from the glory arising from pride is in those who are in the love of self, and thence in all manner of evils; which if for fear of loss of reputation they do not commit, and even condemn, as contrary to morality and against the public good, yet they do not regard them as sins. These are in natural light from the glory arising from pride; for love of self in the will becomes pride in the understanding, and this pride from that love can elevate the understanding even into the light of heaven. This [capability] is granted to man in ,order that he may be man, and that he may be capable of being reformed. I have seen and heard many consummate devils who understood arcana of angelic wisdom when they heard and read them like the angels themselves; but the instant they returned to their love and their pride therefrom, they not only understood nothing of them, but even saw the contrary from the light of the confirmation of falsity within themselves. But natural light from glory not from pride is in those who are in the delight of uses from genuine love to the neighbour. The natural light of these is also rational light, within which interiorly there is spiritual light from the Lord. The glory in them is from the brightness of the light flowing in from heaven, where all things are splendid and harmonious; for in heaven all uses are resplendent. The pleasantness in. the ideas of thought in them from these is perceived as glory. It enters through the will and its goods, into the understanding and its truths, and in these becomes manifest. (AR n. 940)

The New Jerusalem the Bride and Wife of the Lord

It is said that John saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, and here (Rev. xxi. 2) that he saw that city prepared as a bride for her husband; from which also it is evident that the church is meant by Jerusalem, and that he saw this, first as a city and afterwards as a virgin bride,—as a city representatively, and as a virgin bride spiritually. Thus that he saw it under a twofold idea, one within or above the other,—just as the angels do, who, when they see, hear, or read of a city in the Word, in the idea of their lower thought perceive a city, but in the idea of their higher thought perceive the church as to doctrine; and if they desire, and pray to the Lord, they see it as a virgin,—in beauty and apparel according to the quality of the church. Thus has it also been granted me to see the church. By "prepared" is signified, attired for her espousal; and the church is no otherwise made ready for espousal, and afterwards for conjunction or marriage, than by the Word; for this is the only medium of conjunction or marriage, because the Word is from the Lord and concerning the Lord, and thus the Lord; and therefore it is called also the covenant, and a covenant signifies spiritual conjunction. For this end indeed the Word was given. That the Lord is meant by "husband" is plain from verses 10 and 11 of this chapter, where Jerusalem is called "the bride, the Lamb's wife." From all this it may be seen, that by Jerusalem "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" that church is signified, conjoined with the Lord by the Word. (AR n. 881)

Memorabilia concerning the Tabernacle and Temple of the Holy City

While I was engaged upon the explanation of the xxth chapter [of the Apocalypse], and was meditating upon the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, one appeared to me, and asked, "What is the subject of your meditation?" I said, "The false prophet." He then said, "I will lead you to a place where they are who are meant by the false prophet." He said they were the same that are meant in chap. xiii. by the "beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spake like a dragon." I followed him. And lo, I saw a multitude, in the midst of which were prelates, who taught that nothing but faith saves man, and that works are good, but not unto salvation; and yet that they are to be taught from the Word, in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be kept more strictly under the restraints of obedience to the magistracy, and forced, as if from religion thus interiorly, to exercise moral charity. And then one of them seeing me said, "Would you like to see our temple, in which there is an image representative of our faith?" I went and saw it. And behold it was magnificent! And in the midst of it there was an image of a woman clothed in a scarlet robe, holding in her right hand a gold coin, and in her left a string of large pearls. But both the temple and the image were produced by fantasies; for infernal spirits can represent magnificent things by fantasies, by closing the interiors of the mind and opening only its exteriors. But when I considered that they were illusions of this kind, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened, and then instead of a magnificent temple I saw a house full of chinks and crevices from top to bottom, in which nothing was coherent; and instead of the woman I saw hanging in that house a form, of which the head was like a dragon's, the body like a leopard's, and the feet like those of a bear,—thus like the beast described as rising out of the sea in Rev. xiii.; and instead of a floor was a marsh, in which there was a multitude of frogs; and I was told that beneath the marsh there was a large hewn stone, under which the Word lay, well hidden. Seeing this, I said to the juggler, "Is this your temple?" And he said, "It is." But then suddenly his interior sight also was opened, and he saw the same as I. Seeing which, he cried out in a loud voice, "What is this, and whence is it?" And I said, "It is from the light of heaven, which discovers the quality of every form. And here is the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity." Then immediately an east wind blew and carried away everything that was there, and also dried up the marsh, and so laid bare the stone under which the Word lay. And then there breathed a vernal warmth from heaven, and lo! in the same place there appeared a tabernacle; as to outward form, plain and simple. And the angels who were with me said, "Behold the tabernacle of Abraham, as it was when the three angels came to him and announced the future birth of Isaac. It appears simple to the eye; but according to the influx of light from heaven it is more and more magnificent." And it was granted them to open the heaven in which the spiritual angels dwell, who are in wisdom; and then by the inflowing light from thence the tabernacle appeared as a temple, like that at Jerusalem. And when I looked into it, I saw the foundation-stone under which the Word was deposited set round about with precious stones, from which as it were lightning flashed forth upon the walls, on which there were forms of cherubim, and beautifully variegated them with colours. I was wondering at these things, when the angels said, "You shall see things still more wonderful." And it was given them to open the third heaven, in which the celestial angels dwell, who are in love; and then by the inflowing light from thence that whole temple vanished, and in its place the Lord alone was seen, standing upon the foundation-stone, which was the Word, in the same form in which He was seen by John (Rev. i). But as a holiness then filled the interiors of the minds of the angels, from which they had a strong inclination to fall prostrate on their faces, the way of the light from the third heaven was suddenly closed by the Lord, and the way of light from the second heaven was opened, by which the former appearance of the temple returned, and also of the tabernacle, but within the temple. By these things it was illustrated what is meant by the words in this chapter: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them" (ver. 3); and by these: "And I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem; for the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb are the temple of it" (ver. 22). (AR n. 926)

The New Church in the Heavens signified by the Woman clothed with the Sun

"A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet" (Rev. xii. 1), signifies the Lord's New Church in the heavens, which is the new heaven, and the Lord's New Church about to be on earth, which is the New Jerusalem. That by this woman the Lord's New Church is signified, appears from the particulars' in this chapter understood in the spiritual sense. The church is signified by a woman in other parts of the Word also; and the church is signified because the church is called the bride and wife of the Lord. She appeared clothed with the sun because the church is in love to the Lord; for it acknowledges Him and does His commandments, and this is to love Him (John xiv. 2124). The moon was seen under the feet of the woman because the church on earth is meant, which is not yet conjoined with the church in the heavens. The moon signifies intelligence in the natural man, and faith; and its appearing under the feet signifies that it is about to be on earth. Otherwise, by the feet that church itself is signified when it is conjoined. (AR n. 533)

"And upon her head a crown of twelve stars," signifies its wisdom and intelligence, from cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word. The crown upon her head signifies wisdom and intelligence; the stars signify cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word; and twelve signify all things of the church which relate to its good and truth. Thus the crown of twelve stars upon the woman's head signifies the wisdom and intelligence of the New Church, from cognitions of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word.

"And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered" (ver. 2), signifies the doctrine of the New Church about to come forth, and its difficult reception on account of the resistance of those who are meant by the dragon. To be with child signifies the doctrine about to come forth; because the child which was in the womb,—whose birth is spoken of in ver. 5,—signifies the doctrine of the New Church. For in the spiritual sense of the Word by being with child, travailing, and bringing forth, nothing is signified but the conception and bringing forth of things which are of spiritual life. "She cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered," signifies difficult reception of that doctrine, because of resistance from those who are meant by the dragon. This is plain from what follows in this chapter; as that the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child; and afterwards pursued her into the wilderness. (ibid. n. 534, 535)

"And behold a great red dragon" (ver. 3), signifies those in the Reformed church who make God three, and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith, and hold the latter,—and not together with the former,—to be saving. It is these who are meant, here and in what follows, by the dragon. For they' are opposed to the two essentials of the New Church, which are: 'That God is one in essence and in person; in whom there is a trinity; and that the Lord is that God: And that charity and faith are one, as the essence and its form; and that none have charity and faith but those who live according to the commandments of the decalogue, which are commandments that evils are not to be done. And in so far as any one, by shunning evils as sins against God, does not do them, in so far he does the goods which are of charity, and believes the truths which are of faith.... By those who make God three, and the Lord two, they are meant who think of three persons as of three Gods, and separate the Lord's Human from His Divine. And who thinks otherwise, or can think otherwise, that prays, according to the formula of faith, "That God the Father, for the sake of the Son, will send the Holy Spirit? " Does he not pray to God the Father as to one nod, and for the sake of the Son as another, and concerning the Holy Spirit as a third? It is plain that though one in his thought shall make the three persons one God, yet he divides them,— that is divides his conception,—when he thus prays, into three 'Gods. The same formula of faith also makes the Lord two; for the Lord's Human alone is then thought of, and not at the same time His Divine; since "for the sake of the Son " is for the sake of the Human which suffered on the cross.... Now,because these two essentials of doctrine in the Reformed churches are falsities, and falsities devastate the church,—for they take away its truths and goods,—therefore they were represented by a dragon. The reason is that by a dragon, in the Word, the devastation of the church is signified; as may appear from the following passages: "I will make Jerusalem heaps, a habitation of dragons, and I will make the cities of Judah desolate" (Jer. ix. 11). Behold, ... a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, a habitation of dragons" (Jer. x. 22). "Hazor shall be a habitation of dragons, even a desolation for ever" (Jer. xlix. 33). "That it may be a habitation of dragons, a court for owls" (Isa. xxxiv. 13). "In the habitation of dragons where each lay" (Isa. xxxv. 7). "I will go stripped and naked, I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls" (Mic. i. 8). "I cried, I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls" (Job xxx. 28, 29). "The wild beasts ... shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces" (Isa. xiii. 22). "And Babylon shall become heaps, a habitation of dragons, an astonishment and a hissing" (Jer. li. 37). "Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death" (Psa. xliv. 19). "I have laid the mountains of Esau and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness" (Mal. i. 3). And other passages; as Isa. 20; Jer. xiv. 6; Psa. xci. 13, 14; Deut. xxxii. 33. That by the dragon here they are meant who are in faith alone, and reject the works of the law as not conducive to salvation, has sometimes been made manifest to me in the spiritual world by living experience. I have seen many thousands of them assembled in a crowd; and from a distance they appeared as a dragon with a long tail, that seemed covered with spines like a thorn, which signified falsities. Once also a still greater dragon was seen, which raising his back lifted up his tail towards heaven, with an effort to draw down the stars from thence. Thus it was manifested before my eyes that no others are meant by the dragon. (ibid. n. 537)

"Having seven heads," signifies insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word. The head signifies wisdom and intelligence; and, in the opposite sense, insanity. And here by the seven heads, because they were of the dragon, insanity from the falsification and profanation of the truths of the Word is properly signified; for seven is predicated of things holy, and in the opposite sense of things profane. It therefore follows. that upon his heads there appeared seven diadems, and by diadems the truths of the Word are signified,—here, falsified and profaned. (ibid. n. 538)

"And ten horns," signifies much power. A horn signifies power; and ten signifies much. It is said that the dragon has much power, because the salvation of man by faith alone, without the works of the law,—which faith is meant by the dragon,— captivates the minds of men, and then confirmations produce conviction. It captivates, because when a man hears that the damnation of the law is taken away, and that the Lord's merit is imputed to him through faith alone therein, he can indulge in the pleasures of mind and body without any fear of hell. Hence is the power which is signified by the dragon's ten horns. That such has been his power, is very plain from the reception of that faith throughout the whole reformed Christian world. (ibid. n. 539)

"And seven diadems upon his heads" signifies all the truths of the Word falsified and profaned. By diadems, or by precious stones, the truths of the Word are signified; in particular, the truths of the literal sense of the Word,—but here, those truths falsified and profaned; for they were seen upon the seven heads of the dragon, which signify insanity from truths falsified and profaned.... The truths of the literal sense of the Word are signified by diadems or precious stones because, to the eyes of the angels, all things of the literal sense of the Word admit light from its spiritual sense through them, thus light from heaven, in which the spiritual truths of the Word are; for a stone in the Word signifies truth in the ultimates, and therefore a precious stone is that truth pellucid. The reason why the truths of the Word falsified and profaned are also called diadems is, that they have a lustre of themselves, with whomsoever they are,—as diadems on earth, in whosesoever hand. It has sometimes been given me to see adulterous women adorned with diadems, when they first came from the earth into the world of spirits; and also Jews selling diadems, which they had procured from heaven; from which it was evident that evils and falsities with them do not change the light and lustre of the truths of the Word. Similar things are therefore signified by the ten diadems upon the horns of the beast that rose up out of the sea (Rev. xiii. 1); and by the precious stones on the woman sitting upon the scarlet coloured beast (xvii. 3-5). That the truths of the Word are what are signified by diadems plainly appears in the Apocalypse, in that many diadems were seen upon the head of Him who sat on the white horse, whose name was The Word of God (xix. 12, 13). (ibid. n. 540)

"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did east them to the earth" (ver. 4). This signifies that by falsifications of the truths of the Word they have estranged all spiritual cognitions of good and truth from the church, and by applications to falsities have entirely destroyed them. By the tail, where the reference is to those who have confirmed heretical doctrines from the Word, the truths of the Word falsified are signified; the stars signify spiritual cognitions of good and truth; the third part signifies all; to draw from heaven and cast them to the earth, signifies to estrange from the church and entirely destroy them. For when they are drawn from heaven they are also drawn from the church, because every truth of the Word is insinuated by the Lord into the man of the church through heaven; and truths are drawn away only by falsifications of them in the Word, since the truths of heaven and the church are there and therefrom. That all truths of the Word have been destroyed by those who are meant by the dragon, mentioned above, cannot be believed by any one in the world; and yet they have been so completely destroyed that not one doctrinal truth remains. This was put to the test among the learned of the clergy in the spiritual world, and was found to be so. The reasons I know, but will here mention only one of them:—They assert that whatever proceeds from man's will and judgment is not good; and that therefore the goods of charity or good works, because they are done by man, contribute nothing to salvation, but faith alone; when yet the one thing by virtue of which man is man, and by which he is conjoined with the Lord, is, that he can do good and believe truth as of himself, that is from his own will according to his own judgment. If this one thing were taken away, at the same time everything that is conjunctive of man with the Lord and of the Lord with man would also be taken away. For this is the ability of love to reciprocate; which the Lord gives to every one who is born a man, which He also preserves in him to the end of his life, and afterwards to eternity. If this were taken away from man every good and truth of the Word would also be taken away from him; insomuch that the Word would be nothing but a dead letter and an empty volume. For the Word teaches nothing else than the conjunction of man with the Lord through charity and faith,—both, from man as of himself. They who are meant by the dragon referred to above have sundered this only bond of conjunction, by asserting that the goods of charity or good works which proceed from man, and from his will and judgment, are only moral, civil, and political works, by which man has conjunction with the world, and none at all with God and with heaven; and when this bond is thus broken there is no doctrinal truth of the Word remaining. And if the truths of the Word are applied to confirm faith alone as saving without the works of the law, then they are all falsified. And if the falsification proceeds so far as to affirm that the Lord did not command good works in the Word for the sake of man's conjunction with Himself, but only for the sake of his conjunction with the world, then the truths of the Word are profaned; for thus the Word becomes no longer a holy but a profane book. (ibid. n. 541)

"And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as she should bring forth." This signifies that they who are meant by the dragon will be active to extinguish the doctrine of the New Church at its very birth. The woman signifies the New Church. To bring signifies to receive goods and truths of doctrine from the Word; the child which she would bring forth signifies the doctrine of the New Church. To devour signifies to extinguish, because the child signifies doctrine; and when in relation to the child it is said "to devour," in relation to the doctrine it is said "to extinguish." This is at its very birth; for it is said that the dragon stood before the woman, to devour her child as soon as she should bring forth. (ibid. n. 542)

"And she brought forth a male child" (ver. 5), signifies the doctrine of the New Church. By a son in the Word truth of doctrine is signified, and understanding and thought of truth and good therefrom; and by a daughter the good of doctrine is signified, and a will and thence affection for truth and good; and by a male child is signified truth conceived in the spiritual man and born in the natural. The reason is that in the Word generations and births signify spiritual generations and births, all which in general relate to good and truth; for nothing else is begotten and born of the Lord as a husband and the church as a wife. Now, as the woman who brought forth' signifies the New Church, it is plain that the male child signifies the doctrine of that church. The doctrine which is here meant is THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM, published in London in 1758; and also  THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE LORD, CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, AND CONCERNING LIFE, ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE DECALOGUE, published in Amsterdam. For by doctrine all the truths of doctrine are meant; because doctrine is the complex of them. When these doctrines were written the dragonists stood around me, and laboured together with all their fury to devour, that is, to extinguish them. This strange circumstance I am permitted to relate, because of a truth it thus occurred. The dragonists who stood around me were from every part of the reformed Christian world. (ibid. n. 543)

"Who was to feed all nations with a rod of iron," signifies,-- Which [doctrine] will convince all who are in dead worship from faith separated from charity, that are willing to be convinced, by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and at the same time by rational [considerations] from natural light. This is said concerning the doctrine of the New Church, because concerning the male child by which that doctrine is signified. To feed signifies to teach and instruct; here, to convince those who are willing to be convinced. Nations signify those who are in evils of life; here, those who are in dead worship, from faith separated from charity, for they are here treated of, and they are in evils of life. For while charity is separated there is no good of life; and where there is no good of life there is evil." (ibid. n. 544)

"And her child was caught up unto God and His throne," signifies that the doctrine is protected by the Lord, and guarded by the angels of heaven, because it is for the New Church. (ibid. n. 545)

The New Church is first Established among a Few

"And the woman fled into the wilderness" (ver. 6), signifies that the church which is the New Jerusalem is at first among a few. The New Church is signified by the woman; and the wilderness signifies where there are no longer any truths. That it is first among a few is signified, because it follows, "Where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days;" by which its state at that time is signified,—that meanwhile it may be provided for among a larger number, until it increases to its appointed [state]. (AR n. 546 )

"Where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days," signifies the state of this church at that time, that meanwhile it may be provided for among a larger number, until it increases to its appointed [state]. By place state is signified; and to feed signifies to provide for its increase,—for thus the church is fed. Hence to have a place prepared of God that they may feed her, signifies the state of the church that meanwhile it may be provided for among a greater number. "A thousand two hundred and sixty days " signifies to the end and beginning; that is, to the end of the former church and the beginning of the new,— the same as "time, and times, and half a time " in ver. 14,—thus also to its appointed [state], that is until it comes forth, as was provided. It is of the Lord's Divine providence that the church should first exist among a few, and successively increase among a larger number; because the falsities of the former church must first be removed. For not before can truths be received; because truths which are received and implanted before falsities, are removed do not remain, and are also refined away by the dragonists. The case was similar with the Christian church, in that it successively increased from a few to many. Another reason is that first a new heaven is to be formed, which shall act as one with the church on earth. We therefore read that John "saw a new heaven, and the Holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" (Rev. xxi. 1, 2). It is certain that a new church will arise, which is the New Jerusalem, for it is foretold in the Apocalypse (chap. xxi. xxii); and it is also certain that the falsities of the former church must first be removed; for these are the subject of the Apocalypse as far as chapter xx. (ibid. n. 547)

The Doctrine of the New Church is from Heaven, because from the Spiritual Sense of the Word.

The doctrine of the New Church is from heaven, because it is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and the spiritual sense of the Word is the same as the doctrine which is in heaven. (HD n. 7)

The doctrines of the church in very many instances recede from the literal sense of the Word. It should be known that the true doctrine of the church is what is called the internal sense; for in the internal sense are such truths as are with the angels in heaven.... They who teach and learn only the literal sense of the Word, without the regulating doctrine of the church, comprehend only those things that belong to the natural or external man; while those who teach and learn from true doctrine which is from the Word understand also the things that belong to the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that in the external or literal sense the Word is natural, and in the internal sense it is spiritual. (AC n. 9025; also 9424)

All the Doctrines of the New Church are Essentials

The essentials of the church, which conjoin themselves with faith in one God, are charity, good works, repentance, and a life according to the Divine laws; and as these, together with faith, affect and move the will and thought of man, they conjoin man. to the Lord, and the Lord to man....

All the dogmas or doctrinals of the New Church are essentials, in each of which is heaven and the church; and they look to this as their end, that man may be in the Lord, and the Lord in man, according to His words in John xiv. 20; and xv. 4-6. (BE n. 96, 97)

This Church is to be the Crown of all the Churches, and is to endure forever

This church is the crown of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the globe; because it will worship the one visible God, in whom is the invisible God as the soul is in the body. Thus and no otherwise can there be conjunction of God with man; because man is natural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must be in the thought, and so in the affection of his love; and this is effected when man thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction with an invisible God is like conjunction of the vision of the eye with the expanse of the universe, of which it sees no limit; and like sight in mid ocean, which falls into the air and into the sea and vanishes. But conjunction with a visible God is like seeing a man in the air or on the sea, spreading forth his hands and inviting to his arms. For all conjunction of God with man must also be a reciprocal conjunction of man with God; and there cannot be this latter reciprocation except with a visible God.

That this church is to succeed the churches which have existed since the beginning of the world; that it is to endure for ages of ages [in scecula saeculorum]; and thus is to be the crown of all the churches that have existed before, was prophesied by Daniel:—First, when he told and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream concerning the four kingdoms,—by which are meant the four churches represented by the image seen by him,—saying, "In their days the God of heaven shall cause to arise a kingdom, which for ages shall not be destroyed; ... and it shall .. . consume all those kingdoms; and it shall stand for ages" (Dan. ii. 44); and this was to be done by "A stone which became a great rock, filling the whole earth" (ver. 35). By a rock in the Word the Lord as to Divine truth is meant. And elsewhere the same prophet says, "I saw in the visions of the night, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, as it were the Son of Man; ... and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age which will not pass away, and His kingdom one which shall not be destroyed" (vii. 13, 14). And this he says after he saw the four great beasts coming up out of the sea (ver. 3), which also represented the four former churches. That these things were prophesied by Daniel concerning the present time, is evident from his words in chap. xii. 4; and from the Lord's words in Matt. xxiv. 15, 30. Similar things are said in the Apocalypse "The seventh angel sounded; then there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms [of this world] are become [the kingdom] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ages of ages" (xi. 15).

Moreover the other prophets have, in many places, predicted of this church what its character will be; from which these few passages shall be adduced. In Zechariah: "There shall be one day which shall be known to Jehovah, not day nor night, ... for about the time of evening there shall be light. In that day living waters shall go forth out of Jerusalem, ... and Jehovah shall be King over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Jehovah, and His name one" (xiv. 7-9). In Joel: "It shall come to pass in that day, ,that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, ... and Jerusalem shall remain to generation and generation" (iii. 18, 20). In Jeremiah: "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered together, on account of the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart" (iii. 17, Rev. xxi. 24, 26). In Isaiah: "Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; its stakes shall never be removed, and its cords shall not be broken" (xxxiii. 20). In these passages by Jerusalem is meant the holy New Jerusalem described in Rev. xxi., which means the New Church. Again in Isaiah: "There shall go forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, . y. and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His thighs. Wherefore the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the falling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together; ... and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand over the den of the cockatrice. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah.... In that day there shall be a Root out of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the people; after it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious" (xi. 1, 5-10). That such things have not yet come to pass in the churches, much less in the last, is well known. In Jeremiah: "Behold the days come, ... in which I will make a new covenant.... And this shall be the covenant: ... I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; ... they shall all know Me, from the least of, them even to the greatest of them" (xx xi. 31-34; Rev. xxi. 3). That these things have not hitherto taken place in the churches is also known. The reason has been that they have not approached a visible God, whom all shall recognize; and He is the Word or law which He will put in their inward parts and write upon their hearts. In Isaiah: "For Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth, as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth ... And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name.And thou shalt be A CROWN OF GLORY AND A ROYAL DIADEM in the hand of thy God.... Jehovah shall delight in thee, and thy land SHALL BE MARRIED. Behold, thy Salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him.... And they shall call them, The people of Holiness, The redeemed of Jehovah; and thou shalt be called, A city sought out and not forsaken" (lxii. 1-4, 11, 12). (TCR n. 787-789)

Formation of the New Heaven

"And I saw, and, lo! a Lamb stood upon Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand" (Rev. xiv. 1). This signifies the Lord, now in the New Heaven, gathered from those in the Christian churches who have acknowledged the Lord alone as God of heaven and earth, and have been in truths of doctrine from the good of love from Him, by means of the Word.... The one hundred forty and four thousand were treated of in the seventh chapter; but there [the circumstance] that they were sealed upon their foreheads, thus, that they were distinguished and separated from others. Here now [it is taught] that they were gathered together in one; and that of them a heaven [was formed].... This heaven is the New Heaven from which the Holy Jerusalem, that is the New Church on earth, will descend. (AR n. 612)

The New Church from this New Heaven is to be Distinct from the former Church

It should be known that when any church becomes no church, —that is when charity perishes,—and a new church is established by the Lord, seldom if ever does it take place among those with whom the old church existed, but among those with whom there was before no church, that is among Gentiles.[As to who are meant by Gentiles see p. 323.] It was so when the Most Ancient church perished; then a new church called Noah, or the Ancient church which existed after the flood, was established among Gentiles, that is among those with whom there was no church before. In like manner when this church perished, the semblance of a church was established among the descendants of Abraham from Jacob; thus again among Gentiles, for Abram when he was called was a Gentile; the posterity of Jacob in Egypt became still more Gentile, insomuch that they were entirely ignorant of Jehovah, and therefore of all Divine worship. After this semblance of a church was consummated, then the Primitive church was established among Gentiles, the Jews being rejected. So will it be with this church, which is called Christian. (AC n. 2986)

The destruction of this [the first Christian] church is foretold by the Lord in the Evangelists, and through John in the Apocalypse; which destruction is what is called the last judgment. Not that then heaven and earth are to perish; but that a new church will be raised up in some part of the earth, this church still remaining in its external worship,— as the Jews in theirs; in whose worship it is well enough known there is nothing of charity and faith, thus nothing of the church. (ibid. n. 1850)

"And His wife hath made herself ready." This signifies that they who will be of this New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, are to be gathered together, inaugurated, and instructed. That by wife the Lord's New Church is signified, which is the New Jerusalem, is clearly manifest from the following (twenty-first) chapter, where these words occur:—"I saw the holy city New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (ver. 2). And in the same chapter: "There came unto me an angel ... saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.... And he showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (ver. 9, 10). By [the expression] "His wife hath made herself ready," it is signified that they who will be of this New Church of the Lord are to be gathered together, inaugurated, and instructed. And because this is signified by "hath made herself ready," it follows that that wife is to be "arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright," by which inauguration by instruction is signified. And therefore the subject of the white horse also follows, by which is signified the understanding of the Word [revealed] for them by the Lord. (AR n. 813)

The New Church at first External

Every church in its beginning becomes acquainted only with the general [principles] of doctrine; for it is then in its simplicity, or as it were in its childhood. In the course of time it adds particulars; which are partly confirmations of general principles, partly additions,—which yet are not repugnant to the general principle,—and also explanations, that open contradictions may be analyzed, and not clash with what common sense dictates. (AC n. 4720)

The Necessity of Order, Internal and External

Who does not see that there is no empire, kingdom, dukedom, republic, state, or household, that is not established by laws, which constitute the order and so the form of its government? In each of them the laws of justice are in the highest place, political laws in the second, and economical laws in the third. If compared with man, the laws of justice constitute the head; political laws the body; and economical laws the clothing,—wherefore these, like garments, may be changed.

But as regards the order in which the church is established by God, it is,—That God, and also the neighbour towards whom order is to be exercised, is in all and every thing of it. The laws of this order are as many as the truths in the Word. The laws which relate to God constitute its head; the laws that relate to the neighbour constitute its body; and ceremonial laws form its clothing. For unless these preserved the former in their order it would be as if the body were made bare, and exposed to the heat of summer and the cold of winter; or as if the roof and walls were removed from a temple, and the sanctuary, the altar, and the pulpit, daily stood thus openly exposed to various kinds of violence. (TCR. It n. 55)

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