Brief Exposition, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John Whitehead  at sacred-texts.com
XI. From the faith of the present church there results a worship of the mouth and not of the life, whereas the worship of the mouth is accepted by the Lord according to the worship of the life.52.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. This is testified by experience. How many are there at this day, who live according to the commandments of the Decalogue, and other precepts of the Lord, from religion? And how many are there at this day, who desire to look their own evils in the face, and to perform actual repentance, and thus enter upon the worship of the life? And who among those that cultivate piety, perform any other repentance than oral and oratorical, confessing themselves to be sinners, and praying, according to the doctrine of the church, that God the Father, for the sake of His Son, who suffered upon the cross for their sins, took away their damnation, and atoned for them with His blood, would mercifully forgive their transgressions, that so they might be presented without spot or blemish before the throne of His judgment? Who does not see, that this worship is of the lungs only, and not of the heart, consequently that it is external worship, and not internal? for he prays for the remission of sins, when yet he does not know one sin with himself; and if he did know of any, he would cover it over with favor and indulgence, or with a faith that is to purify and absolve him, without any works of his. But this is comparatively like a servant going to his master with his face and clothes defiled with soot and filth, and saying, Sir, wash me. Would not his master say to him, Thou foolish servant, what is it thou sayest? See! there is water, soap, and a towel, hast thou not hands, and ability to use them? wash thyself. Thus also the Lord God will say, The means of purification are from Me, and from Me also thou hast will and power, wherefore use these My gifts and talents, as thy own, and thou shalt be purified. Take another example by way of illustration. Suppose you should pray a thousand times at home and in temples, that God the Father, for the sake of His Son, would preserve you from the devil, and should not at the same time, from the freedom in which you are perpetually held by the Lord, keep yourself from evil, and so from the devil; you could not in this case be preserved even by legions of angels sent from the Lord; for the Lord cannot act contrary to His own Divine order, and His order is that man should examine himself, see his evils, resist them, and this as of himself, yet from the Lord. This does not indeed at this day appear to be the Gospel, nevertheless it is the Gospel, for the Gospel is salvation by the Lord. The reason why the worship of the mouth is accepted by the Lord according to the worship of the life, is because the speech of man before God, and before angels, has its sound from the affection of his love and faith, and these two are in man according to his life; wherefore, if the love of God and faith in Him are in your life, the sound of your voice will be like that of a dove; but if self-love and self-confidence are in your life, the sound of your voice will be like that of an owl, howsoever you may bend your voice to imitate the voice of a turtle-dove. The spiritual, which is within the sound, effects this.53.
XII. The doctrine of the present church is interwoven with many paradoxes, which are to be embraced by faith; and therefore its dogmas gain admission into the memory only, and not into any part of the understanding above the memory, but merely into confirmations below it.54.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The rulers of the church insist, that the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith, yea that faith, properly speaking, is a faith in what is unknown, which is blind, or a faith of the night. This is the first paradox; for faith is of truth, and truth is of faith; and truth, before it can become an object of faith, should be in its own light and be seen; otherwise what is false may be believed. The paradoxes flowing from such a faith are many; as that God the Father begat a Son from eternity, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both: and that each is a Person by Himself, and God; that the Lord both as to His soul and body, is from the mother; that those three Persons, consequently three Gods, created the universe; and that one of them descended, and assumed the Human, to reconcile the Father, and thus to save men; and that they who by grace obtain faith, and believe these paradoxes, are saved by the imputation, application, and translation of His justice to themselves; and that man, at his first reception of that faith, is like a statue, a stock, or a stone, and that faith inflows by the mere hearing of the Word; and that faith alone without the works of the law, and not formed from charity, is saving; and that it produces the remission of sins without any previous repentance; and that, merely by virtue of such remission of sins, the impenitent are justified, regenerated, and sanctified; and that afterwards charity, good works, and repentance, spontaneously follow. Besides many similar things, which, like offspring from an illegitimate bed, have all issued from the doctrine founded on the idea of three Gods.55.
What wise man does not see, that such things enter only into the memory, and not into the understanding above the memory, although they may be confirmed by reasonings from appearances and fallacies below it? for to the human understanding there are two kinds of light, one from heaven, and the other from the world. The light from heaven, which is spiritual, flows into the human mind above the memory, but the light from the world, which is natural, below it. That man, from this latter light, can confirm whatever he pleases, and falsities equally as well as truths, and that after confirmation he sees falsities altogether as truths, has been shown in a Relation inserted in the work lately published concerning Conjugial Love (n. 233).56.
To these things shall be added this arcanum from heaven. All these paradoxes, according to their confirmations, abide in the minds of men, bound together as into one bundle, or wound up together as into one ball, and they enter at the same time into every individual proposition that is stated from the doctrine of the church; so that when either faith, charity, or repentance, and still more when imputation or justification is mentioned, they all enter and are included in each particular. Man himself does not perceive that congeries or aggregation of the paradoxes in every individual proposition; but the angels that are with man perceive it, and they call it malua, that is, confusion and darkness.57.
I foresee that very many at this day, tinctured with the paradoxes of this faith, will say, how can theological things be perceived by the understanding? are they not spiritual which transcend it? Explain, therefore, if you can, the mystery of redemption and justification, that reason may see it and acquiesce. This mystery then shall be opened in the following manner. Who does not know that God is one, and that besides Him there is no other, and that God is love itself, and wisdom itself, or that He is good itself, and truth itself; and that the very God Himself as to Divine truth, which is the Word, descended and assumed the Human to remove the hells, and consequently damnation from man, which he effected by combats with, and victories over the devil, that is, over all the hells, which at that time infested and spiritually slew every man coming into the world; and that afterwards He glorified His Human, by uniting in it the Divine truth with Divine good, and thus He returned to the Father from whom He came forth? When these things are perceived, then the following passages in John may be understood: The Word was with God, and God was the Word, and the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14). And also the following in the same: I went forth from the Father, and came into the world; again I leave the world and go to the Father (John 16:28, 29). Hence also it is evident, that without the coming of the Lord into the world, no mortal could have been saved, and they are saved who believe in Him, and live well. This face of faith presents itself as clear as the day to those who are enlightened by the Word, and it is the face of the faith of the New Church. See the FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND OF THE NEW CHURCH IN ITS UNIVERSAL AND IN ITS PARTICULAR FORM, below (n. 116, 117).58.
XIII. The dogmas of the present church cannot be learned and retained without great difficulty, nor can they be preached or taught without using great care and caution to conceal their nakedness, because true reason neither perceives nor receives them.59.
BRIEF ANALYSIS That the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith, is set as a motto before the dogmas of the present church, to denote that their interiors are mysteries, or arcana, which, because they transcend, cannot flow into the superior region of the understanding, and be there perceived, see above (n. 54). Those ministers of the church who are ambitious to be eminent for their reputation of wisdom, and wish to be looked upon as oracles in spiritual things, imbibe and swallow down in the schools, such things especially as surpass the comprehension of others, which they do with avidity, but nevertheless with difficulty. And because they are thence accounted wise, and they who have distinguished and enriched themselves from such hidden stores are honored with doctors' caps and episcopal robes, they revolve in their thoughts, and teach from their pulpits, scarce anything else but mysteries concerning justification by faith alone, and good works as her humble attendants. And from their erudition concerning both faith and good works, they in a wonderful manner sometimes separate them, and sometimes conjoin them; comparatively as if they held faith by itself in one hand, and the works of charity in the other, and at one time extend their arms and so separate them, and at another time bring their hands together and so conjoin them. But this shall be illustrated by examples. They teach, that good works are not necessary to salvation, because if done by man they are meritorious; at the same time they also teach, that good works necessarily follow faith, and that both together make one in the article of salvation. They teach that faith without good works, as being alive, justifies; and at the same time, that faith without good works, as being dead, does not justify. They teach, that faith is neither preserved nor retained by good works; and at the same time, that good works proceed from faith, as fruit from a tree, light from the sun, and heat from fire. They teach, that good works being adjoined to faith make it perfect; and at the same time, that being conjoined as in a marriage, or in one form, they deprive faith of its saving essence. They teach, that a Christian is not under the law; and at the same time, that he must be in the daily practice of the law. They teach, that if good works are intermixed in the business of salvation by faith, as in the remission of sins, justification, regeneration, vivification, and salvation, they are hurtful; but if not intermixed, that they are profitable. They teach, that God crowns His own gifts, which are good works, with rewards also spiritual, but not with salvation and eternal life, because faith without works, they say, is entitled to the crown of eternal life. They teach, that faith alone is like a queen, who walks in a stately manner with good works as her train of attendants behind her; but if these join themselves to her in front, and kiss her, she is cast from her throne and called an adulteress. But particularly, when they teach faith and good works at the same time, they view merit on the one hand, and no merit on the other, making choice of expressions which they use in two different senses; one for the laity, and the other for the clergy; for the laity, that its nakedness may not appear, and for the clergy, that it may. Consider now, whether anyone hearing such things can draw from them any doctrine leading to salvation, or whether he will not rather, from the apparent contradictions therein, become blind, and afterwards grope for the objects of salvation, like one walking in the dark. Who in this case can tell from the evidence of works, whether he has any faith or not; and whether it is better to omit good works on account of the danger of merit, or to do them for fear of the loss of faith? But do you, my friend, tear yourself away from such contradictions, and shun evils as sins, and do goods, and believe in the Lord, and saving justification will be given you.60.
XIV. The doctrine of the faith of the present church ascribes to God human properties; as, that He regards man from anger, that He wished to be reconciled, that He is reconciled through the love He bore toward the Son, and by His intercession; and that He wished to be appeased by the sight of His Son's sufferings, and thus to be brought back to mercy; and that He imputes the justice of His Son to an unjust man who supplicates it from faith alone; and that thus from an enemy He makes him a friend, and from a child of wrath, a child of grace.61.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. Who does not know that God is mercy and clemency itself, because He is love itself, and good itself, and that these are His esse or essence? And who does not thence see, that it is a contradiction to say, that mercy itself, or good itself, can look at man from anger, become his enemy, turn Himself away from him, and determine on his damnation, and still continue to be the same Divine esse or God? Such things can scarcely be attributed to an upright man, but only to a wicked man, nor to an angel of heaven, but only to an angel of hell; wherefore it is heinous to ascribe them to God. That they have been ascribed to Him, appears evident from the declarations of many fathers, councils, and churches, from the first ages to the present day; and also from the inferences which have necessarily followed from first principles into their derivatives, or from causes into their effects, as from a head into the members; such as, that He wishes to be reconciled; that He is reconciled through love to the Son, and through His intercession and mediation; that He wishes to be appeased by the view of the extreme sufferings of His Son, and so to be brought back and as it were compelled to mercy, and thus from an enemy to be made a friend, and to adopt those who were the sons of wrath as the sons of grace. That to impute the justice and merits of His Son to an unjust man, who supplicates it from faith alone, is also merely human, will be seen in the last analysis of this little work.62.
They who have seen that merely human properties are unworthy of God, and yet are attributed to Him, in order to defend the system of justification once conceived, and to veil that appearance, have said that anger, revenge, damnation, and the like, are predicated of His justice, and are therefore mentioned in many parts of the Word, and as it were appropriated to God. But by the anger of God in the Word, is signified evil in man, which, because it is against God, is called the anger of God; not that God is angry with man, but that man from his evil is angry with God; and because there is in evil its own punishment, as in good its own reward, therefore while evil punishes the evil-doer, it appears as if God did it. For this is like a criminal, who attributes his punishment to the law, or like one who blames the fire for burning him when he puts his hand into it, or a drawn sword for wounding him when he rushes upon the point of it, while in the hand of one defending himself. Such is the justice of God. But of this more may be seen in The Apocalypse Revealed, where it treats of justice and judgment in God and from God (n. 668). That anger is ascribed to Him, may be seen (n. 635); as likewise revenge (n. 658); but this is in the sense of the letter, because that sense is written by appearances and correspondences, yet not in the spiritual sense, wherein truth is in its own light. This I can affirm, that whenever the angels hear anyone say, that God from anger determined on the damnation of the human race, and as an enemy was reconciled by His Son, as by another God begotten from Himself, they are affected in a manner similar to those, who from an uneasiness in their bowels and stomach are excited to vomiting; saying, What can be more insane than to affirm such things of God?63.
The reason why they have ascribed human properties to God, is, because all spiritual perception and illustration is from the Lord alone; for the Lord is the Word or the Divine truth, and: He is the true light which enlighteneth every man (John 1:9). He also says: I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me, may not abide in darkness (John 12:46). And this light, and the perception thence derived, inflows with those who acknowledge Him as the God of heaven and earth and approach Him alone, and not with those who cherish an idea of three Gods, which has been the case from the time the Christian church began to be established. This idea of three Gods, being a merely natural idea, receives no other light than natural, and cannot be opened to the afflux and reception of spiritual light; hence it is, that they have seen no other properties in God, than natural. Furthermore, had they seen how incongruous these human properties are to the Divine essence, and had they removed them from the article of justification, they must then have entirely departed from the religion, which from the beginning was founded on the worship of three Gods, before the time appointed for the New Church, when the fullness and restoration will take place.64.
XV. From the faith of the present church have been produced, and still may be produced, monstrous births; such as instantaneous salvation from immediate mercy; predestination; the notion that God pays no attention to the actions of man, but to faith alone; that there is no connection between charity and faith; that man in conversion is like a stock, with many more heresies of the same kind; likewise concerning the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper, as to the advantages reasonably to be expected from them, when considered according to the doctrine of justification by faith alone; as also with regard to the Person of Christ. The heresies from the first ages to the present day, have sprung up from no other source than from the doctrine founded on the idea of three Gods.65.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That no other salvation is believed at this day, than instantaneous salvation from immediate mercy, is evident from this, that an oral faith alone, at the same time a confidence of the lungs, and not with charity at the same time, whereby oral faith becomes real, and the confidence of the lungs becomes that of the heart, is believed to complete all the work of salvation; for if the cooperation is taken away, which is effected through the exercises of charity by man as of himself, the spontaneous cooperation which is said to follow faith of itself, becomes passive action, which is a frivolous expression. For what need would there then be of anything more than this instantaneous and immediate prayer, "Save me, O God, for the sake of the sufferings of Thy Son, who hath washed me from my sins in His own blood, and presents me pure, just, and holy, before Thy throne"? And this ejaculation of the mouth might avail even at the hour of death, if not sooner, as a seed of justification. That nevertheless instantaneous salvation, from immediate mercy, is at this day a fiery flying serpent in the church, and that by it religion is abolished, security induced, and damnation imputed to the Lord, may be seen in the work concerning The Divine Providence, published at Amsterdam in the year 1764 (n. 340).66.
Predestination is also an offspring of the faith of the present church, because it is born from a belief in instantaneous salvation from immediate mercy, and from a belief in absolute impotence and no free-will in spiritual things, concerning which, see below (n. 68, 69). That this follows from them, as one fiery flying serpent from another, or one spider from another, may be seen above. Predestination also follows from the supposition, that man is as it were inanimate in the act of conversion, that he is like a stock, and that afterwards he is unconscious whether he is a stock made alive by grace, or not; for it is said, that God, by the hearing of the Word, gives faith, when and where He wills [n. 11 (a)], consequently of His good pleasure; and likewise that election is of the mere grace of God, independently of any action on man's part, whether such activity proceed from the powers of nature or of grace: Formula Concordiae (p. 821; Appendix, p. 182). The works which follow faith as evidences thereof, appear to the mind while it reflects on them like the works of the flesh, while the spirit which operates them does not make manifest from what origin they are, but makes them, like faith, to be the effects of grace, and thus of the good pleasure of God. Hence it is plain, that the dogma of predestination has sprung from the faith of the present church, as a sucker from its root; and I can say, that it has followed as the almost unavoidable consequence of that faith. This was first broached by the Predestinarians, and afterwards by Godoschalcus, then by Calvin and his followers, and lastly established and confirmed by the Synod of Dort, whence it was conveyed into the church, by the Supra and Infra Lapsarians, as the palladium of religion, or rather as the head of Gorgon or Medusa engraved on the shield of Pallas. But what more hurtful, or more cruel notion could have been hatched out and believed concerning God, than that any part of the human race are predestined to damnation? For it would be a cruel belief, that the Lord, who is love itself and mercy itself, willed that a multitude of men should be born for hell, or that myriads of myriads should be born devoted to destruction, or in other words, born to be devils and satans; and that, out of His Divine wisdom, which is infinite, He would not and did not provide for those who live well, and acknowledge God, that they should not be cast into everlasting fire and torment; whereas the Lord is the Creator and Saviour of all, and He alone leads all, and wills not the death of any. What then can be believed and thought more monstrous, than that multitudes of nations and peoples, should under His auspices, and in His sight, from a predestined decree, be delivered up to the devil as his prey, to satiate his maw? Yet this is an offspring of the faith of the present church; but the faith of the New Church abhors it as a monster.67.
That God has no respect unto the actions of men, but unto faith alone, is a new heresy, the offspring of the two former, concerning which we have already spoken above (n. 64, 65); and what is wonderful, it is derived from faith alone deeply examined and attentively considered, which has been done by the most sagacious of this age, and is a third offspring, begotten by that faith, and brought forth by predestination, that she-wolf, as a mother; but whereas it is insane, impious, and machiavelian, it has hitherto been kept included as it were in the uterine coats, or secundines, that came from the mother, lest its hideous form should appear; but the insanity and impiety of it may be seen described and exploded in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 463).68.
That there is not any connection between charity and faith, follows from these passages in their doctrine of justification, namely: That faith is imputed for justice without works [n. 12 (a)]. That faith does not justify as being formed from charity [n. 12 (b)]. That good works are to be altogether excluded in treating of justification and eternal life [n. 12 (f)]. That good works are not necessary to salvation, and the assertion of their necessity ought to be totally rejected by the church [n. 12 (g) (h) (i) (k)]. That salvation and faith are neither preserved nor retained by charity and the works thereof [n. 12 (m) (n)]. That good works when mixed with the business of justification, are pernicious [n. 14 (g)]. That the works of the spirit, or of grace, which follow faith as its fruits, contribute nothing to man's salvation [n. 14 (d)], and elsewhere; from all which it inevitably follows, that this faith has no connection with charity, and if it had, it would become injurious to salvation, because injurious to faith, which thus would no longer be the only means of salvation. That no connection between charity and that faith can actually exist, has been shown above (n. 47, 48, 49, 50); wherefore it may be said, that it was providentially ordered, that the reformers should be so zealous to reject charity and good works from their faith; for had they conjoined them, it would have been like conjoining a leopard with a sheep, a wolf with a lamb, or a hawk with a dove. That this faith is also described in the Apocalypse by a leopard, may be seen (chap. 13:2); and also in the explanation thereof, in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 572). But what is a church without faith, and what is faith without charity, consequently what is a church without the marriage of faith and charity (n. 48)? This marriage is the church itself, and is the New Church which is now being established by the Lord.69.
That man in his conversion is like a stock, the faith of the present church acknowledges as its natural offspring in these express words. That man is altogether impotent in spiritual things [n. 15 (a) (b) (c)]. That in conversion he is like a stock, a stone, and a statue; and that he cannot so much as accommodate and apply himself to receive grace, but is like something that has not the use of any of the senses [n. 15 (c) (d)]. That man has only a locomotive power, whereby he is capable of going to assemblies to hear the Word and the Gospel, [n. 15 (e)]. But that a person who is regenerate by virtue of the Holy Spirit, from the new powers and gifts which he has received, does in a certain manner cooperate, [n. 15 (k)], besides many other passages. This description of man in his conversion, and during his repentance from evil works, is also an offspring produced from the same egg or womb, that is, from justification by faith alone, to the intent that man's works may be totally abolished, and not suffered to have the least conjunction with faith, not even to touch it. But because such ideas are repugnant to the common perception of all men concerning man's conversion and repentance, they have added the following words: "There is an immense difference between men baptized, and unbaptized, for it is according to the doctrine of Paul, that all who are baptized have put on Christ, and are truly regenerated; they are then endowed with a freedom of will, whereby they not only can hear the Word of God, but can also assent to the same, and embrace it by faith" [n. 15 (m)], and in the Formula Concordiae (p. 675). I appeal to the wise, to consider, whether this latter quotation be any way consistent with the preceding ones, and whether it be not a contradiction to say that a Christian in a state of conversion is like a stock or a stone, so that he is not able so much as to accommodate himself to the receiving of grace, when yet every Christian is baptized, and from baptism became possessed, not only of a power to hear the Word of God, but also to assent to it, and embrace it by faith; wherefore the comparing of a Christian man to a stock or a stone is a simile that ought to be banished from all churches in the Christian world, and to be done away with, like a meteor that vanishes from before the eyes of a man waking out of sleep; for what can be more repugnant to reason? But in order to elucidate the doctrine of the New Church concerning man's conversion, I will transcribe the following passage from a certain Relation in The Apocalypse Revealed. "Who cannot see, that every man has freedom to think about God, or not to think about Him, consequently that every man has the same freedom in spiritual things, as he has in civil and moral things. The Lord gives this freedom continually to all: wherefore man becomes guilty or not guilty as he thinks. Man is man by virtue of this power, whereas a beast is a beast in consequence of its not possessing such a power; so that man is capable of reforming and regenerating himself as of himself, provided he only acknowledge in his heart that his ability is from the Lord. Every man who does the work of repentance, is reformed and regenerated. Both must be done by man as of himself, but this as of himself is also from the Lord, because the Lord gives both the power to will and perform, and never takes it away from anyone. It is true that man cannot contribute anything thereunto, nevertheless he is not created a statue, but a man, to do the work of repentance from the Lord as from himself. In this alone consists the reciprocality of love and faith, and of conjunction thereby, which the Lord altogether wills to be done by man from Him. In a word, act of yourselves, and believe that it is from the Lord, for thus you will act as of yourselves. "But the power so to act is not implanted in man by creation, because to act of himself is the Lord's alone, but it is given continually; and in this case in proportion as man does good and learns truth as of himself, he is an angel of heaven; but in proportion as he does evil, and thence confirms falsity, which also is done as of himself, in the same proportion he is a spirit of hell. That in this latter case also man acts as of himself, is evident from his prayers, as when he prays that he may be preserved from the devil, lest he should seduce him, and bring his own evils upon him. Everyone, however, contracts guilt, who believes that he does of himself either good or evil; but not he who believes that he acts as of himself. For whatsoever a man believes that he does of himself, that he appropriates to himself; if he believes that he does good of himself, he appropriates to himself that good, and makes it his own, when nevertheless it is of God and from God; and if he believes that he does evil of himself, he also appropriates that evil to himself, and makes it his own, when yet it is of the devil and from the devil." That many other false dogmas, even concerning the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper, as to the benefits reasonably to be expected from them, when considered according to the doctrine of justification by faith alone; as likewise concerning the Person of Christ; together with all the heresies from the first ages down to the present day; have flowed from no other source, than from a doctrine founded on the idea of three Gods. This we have not room to demonstrate within the limits of this epitome; but it will be shown and proved at large in the work itself.70.
XVI. The last state of the present church, when it is at its end, is meant by the consummation of the age, and then the coming of the Lord (Matt. 24:3).71.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. We read in Matthew: The disciples came to Jesus, and showed Him the buildings of the temple; and Jesus said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down. And the disciples said unto Him, tell us when these things shall be, especially what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age (Matt. 24:1-3). At this day the learned clergy and laity understand by the destruction of the temple, its destruction by Vespasian, and by the coming of the Lord, and the consummation of the age, they understand the end and destruction of the world. But by the destruction of the temple is not only meant the destruction thereof by the Romans, but likewise the destruction of the present church; and by the consummation of the age, and the coming of the Lord at that time, is meant the end of the present church and the establishment of a New Church by the Lord. That these things are there meant, is evident from the whole of that chapter from beginning to end, which treats solely of the successive decline and corruption of the Christian church, even to its destruction, when it is at an end. That by "the temple," in a limited sense is meant the temple at Jerusalem; in a wide sense the church of the Lord; in a wider sense the angelic heaven; and, in the widest sense, the Lord as to His Human may be seen in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 529). That by "the consummation of the age" is meant the end of the church, which comes to pass when there does not remain any truth of doctrine from the Word that is not falsified, and thus consummated (n. 658, 676, 750, of the same work). That by "the coming of the Lord" is meant His coming in the Word, and at the same time the establishment of a New Church instead of the former consummated one, evidently appears from His own words in the same chapter, from verse 30 to 34; as likewise from the last two chapters, 21 and 22, of Revelation, where also are these words: I, Jesus, am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and him that thirsteth let him come. Yea, I come quickly: Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:16-17, 20).72.
That the church is then at an end, when there are no longer any truths of faith, and thence neither any goods of charity, is self-evident. That falsities of faith extinguish the truths of doctrine, and evils of life burn up the goods of charity, and that where there are falsities of faith, there likewise are evils of life, and that where there are evils of life, there likewise are falsities of faith, will be demonstrated in detail in its own chapter. The reason why it has been hitherto unknown that by "the consummation of the age" is meant the end of the church, is because when falsities are taught, and when the doctrine resulting from them is believed and honored as orthodox, then it cannot possibly be known that the church is to be brought to a consummation, for falsities are regarded as truths, and truths as falsities, and then the falsity explodes the truth and blackens it, like ink poured into clear water, or soot thrown upon white paper. For it is believed, and the most learned of the present age proclaim it, that they are in the clearest light of the Gospel, although as to the whole face they are in thick darkness; thus the white speck has covered over the pupils of their eyes.73.
That in Matt. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, where similar passages occur, the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem is not described, but the successive changes of the state of the Christian church are foretold, in regular order, even to its last state, when its end is, will be shown in the work itself, where those chapters will be explained; and in the meantime, it may appear from these words in those evangelists: Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man, and then shall all the tribes of the earth wail; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from one end of the heavens to the other end thereof (Matt. 24:30, 31; Mark 13:26, 27; Luke 21:27). It is known that these things were neither seen nor heard at the destruction of Jerusalem, and that it is believed at this day, that they will come to pass at the time of the Last Judgment. We likewise read of similar things in Revelation, which from beginning to end treats solely of the last state of the church, where are these words: Behold, Jesus Christ cometh in the clouds, and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him (1:5, 7). The particular explanation of these words may be seen in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 24-28); also what is signified by "the tribes of the earth," and their "wailing" (n. 27, 348, 349).74.
XVII. The infestation from falsities, and thence the consummation of every truth, or the desolation, which at this day prevails in the Christian churches, is meant by "the great affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21).75.
Brief Analysis That the successive decline and corruption of the Christian church is foretold and described by the Lord in Matt. 24 may be seen above (n. 73). After having spoken of false prophets that should arise, and of the abomination of desolation wrought by them (verses 11, 15), He says: Then shall be great affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be (verse 21). Whence it is evident, that by "great affliction," in this as well as in other places throughout the Word, is meant the infestation of truth by falsities, until there remains no genuine truth derived from the Word which is not falsified, and thus consummated. This has come to pass, because the churches have not acknowledged the Unity of God in the Trinity, and His Trinity in Unity, in one Person, but in three, and hence have founded a church in the mind upon the idea of three Gods, and in the mouth upon the confession of one God; for by this means they have separated themselves from the Lord, and at length to such a degree, that they have no idea left of the Divinity in His Human nature (see The Apocalypse Revealed n. 294), when nevertheless the Lord as to His Human is the Divine truth itself, and the Divine light itself, as He fully teaches in the Word; hence is the great affliction at the present day. That this has been principally brought on by the doctrine of justification and imputation through the means of faith alone, will be shown in the following pages.76.
This affliction, or infestation of truth by falsities, is treated of in seven chapters of Revelation, and is what is meant by: The black horse and the pale horse going forth from the book, the seals whereof the Lamb had opened (6:5-8). Then: By the beast ascending out of the abyss, which made war against the two witnesses, and slew them (11:7 seq.). As also by: The dragon which stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, in order to devour her offspring, and pursued her into the desert, and there cast out of his mouth water as a flood, that he might swallow her up (12). And likewise by: The beast out of the sea, the body of which was like that of a leopard, his feet like those of a bear, and his mouth like that of a lion (13:2). Also by: The three unclean spirits like frogs, which came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet (16:13). And moreover by these particulars, that: After the seven angels had poured out the vials of the wrath of God, wherein were the seven last plagues, upon the earth, upon the sea, upon the rivers and fountains, upon the sun, upon the throne of the beast, upon Euphrates, and at length upon the air, there was a great earthquake, such as had not been since men were created upon the earth (16). "The earthquake" here signifies an inversion of the church, which is effected by falsities and falsifications of truth. The like things are meant by these: The angel sent in his sickle, and gathered the vineyard of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God; and the winepress was trodden, and blood came out even unto the horses' bridles, for a thousand and six hundred stadia (14:19, 20). There "blood" signifies truth falsified: besides many other things in those seven chapters. But see, if you will, the explanations, and the Relations at the end of the chapters.77.
XVIII. There would be neither love, nor faith, nor the knowledges of good and truth, in the last time of the Christian Church, when it draws to an end, is meant by these words: "After the affliction of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matt. 24:29).78.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. In the prophetic Word, the like things are said of the "sun," "moon," and "stars," as here (Matt. 24:29). Thus in Isaiah: Behold, the cruel day of Jehovah cometh; the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light, the sun shall be darkened at his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine (13:9, 10). In Ezekiel: When I shall put thee out, I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine, and I will give darkness upon thy land (32:7, 8). In Joel: The day of Jehovah cometh, a day of darkness, the sun and moon shall not cause their light to shine, and the stars shall withdraw their shining (2:1, 2, 10). In the same: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great day of Jehovah cometh (3:4). The day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision; the sun and moon are darkened (4:14, 15). In Revelation: The fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the stars, and the day shone not for a third part of it (7:12). And in another place:- The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood (6:12). In all these passages it treats of the last time of the Jewish Church, which was when the Lord came into the world; in like manner here in Matthew and in Revelation, only in reference to the last time of the Christian Church, when the Lord is to come again, but in the Word, which is Himself, and in which He is; wherefore, immediately after those words (Matt. 24:29), it follows: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of the heavens (verse 30). By "the sun" in the above passages is meant love; by "the moon" faith; and by "the stars" the knowledges of good and truth; and by "the powers of the heavens" those three as the supports and firmaments of the heavens where the angels are, and of the churches where men are; by the above, therefore, collected into one sense, is meant, that there would be no love, nor faith, nor knowledges of good and truth, remaining in the Christian Church, in the last time thereof, when it draws to its end. That "the sun" signifies love, has been shown in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 53, 54, 413, 796, 831, 961). That "the moon" signifies faith (n. 53, 332, 413, 423, 533). That "the stars" signify the knowledges of good and truth (n. 51, 74, 333, 408, 419, 954).79.
That, according to the above prediction, there is at this day such thick darkness throughout the Christian churches, that the sun gives no light by day, nor the moon and stars any light by night, is occasioned solely by the doctrine of justification by faith alone; for it teaches faith as the only means of salvation; of the influx, progress, indwelling, operation, and efficacy of which no one has hitherto seen any sign; and into which neither the Law of the Decalogue, nor charity, nor good works, nor repentance, nor striving after a new life, have any entrance, or are in the smallest degree connected with it; for it is asserted, that they spontaneously follow, without being of any use either to contain faith or to procure salvation. The above doctrine likewise teaches, that faith alone imparts to the regenerate, or those who are possessed of it, full liberty, so as to be no longer under the law; moreover that Christ covers over their sins before God the Father, who forgives them as though they were not seen, and crowns them with renovation, sanctity, and eternal life. These and many other things of a like nature are the interiors of that doctrine; the exteriors, which do not gain admission, are valuable sayings concerning charity, good works, acts of repentance, and exercises of the law; yet these are accounted by them merely as slaves and drudges, which follow their mistress, faith, without contiguity. But because they know that the laity account these things as equally necessary to salvation with faith, they carefully subjoin them in their sermons and discourses, and pretend to conjoin them with and insert them into justification. This, however, they do merely to tickle the ears of the common people, and to defend their oracles, that they may not appear mere riddles, or like the vain responses of soothsayers.80.
In order to confirm the above assertions, I will adduce the following passages from the Formula Concordiae (concerning which see n. 9), lest anyone should think that these things have been unjustly laid to their charge. That the works of the second table of the Decalogue are civil duties, and belong to external worship, which man is able to do of himself; and that it is a folly to dream that they justify (pp. 84, 85, 102). That good works are to be utterly excluded from the business of justification by faith (pp. 589-591, 704-708). That good works do not in any wise enter into justification (pp. 589, 702; Appendix, 62, 173). That good works do not preserve salvation nor faith (pp. 590, 705; Appendix, p. 174). That neither does repentance enter into justification by faith (pp. 165, 320; Appendix, p. 158). That repentance is nothing more than invoking God, confessing the gospel, giving of thanks, being obedient to the magistracy, and following one's calling (pp. 12, 198; Appendix, 158, 159, 172, 266). That renovation of life has likewise nothing to do with justification (pp. 585, 685, 688, 689; Appendix, p. 170). That striving after new obedience neither enters into faith, nor justifies (pp. 90, 91, 690; Appendix, p. 167). That the regenerate are not under the law, but are delivered from the bondage thereof, and are only in the law, and under grace (p. 722, and elsewhere). That the sins of the regenerate are covered over by the merit of Christ (pp. 641, 686, 687, 719, 720); besides many other passages to the same purport. It is to be known, that all Protestants, both the Evangelical and the Reformed, teach in like manner justification by faith alone, see above (n. 17, 18).81.
It is wonderful, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone prevails at this day over every other doctrine throughout the whole Reformed Christian world, and is esteemed in the sacred order almost as the only important point of theology. This is what all young students among the clergy greedily learn and imbibe at the universities, and what they afterwards teach in temples, and publish in books, as if they were inspired with heavenly wisdom, and whereby they endeavor to acquire to themselves a name, and the reputation of superior learning, as well as diplomas, licenses, and other honorary rewards. And these things are done, notwithstanding it is owing to this doctrine alone, that the sun is at this day darkened, the moon deprived of her light, and the stars of the heavens have fallen, that is, have perished. It has been testified to me, that the doctrine of faith in imputed justice has blinded the minds of men at this day to such a degree, that they will not, and therefore as it were cannot, see any Divine truth by the light of the sun, nor by the light of the moon, but only by the light of a fireplace by night; on which account I will venture to assert, that supposing Divine truths concerning the conjunction of charity and faith, concerning heaven, the Lord, and eternal happiness, to be sent down from heaven engraven in silver characters, they would not be thought worthy to be read by the sticklers for justification; but the case would be quite otherwise supposing a paper concerning justification by faith alone to be brought up from hell. It is also said in the Formula Concordiae, that the article of justification by faith alone, or the justice of faith, is the chief article in the whole Christian doctrine; and that the works of the law are utterly to be excluded from this article (pp. 17, 61, 62, 72, 89, 683; Appendix, p. 164).82.
XIX. They who are in the present justifying faith, are meant by "the he-goats" in Daniel and in Matthew.83.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. It is written in Daniel: I saw in a vision a ram, which had two horns that were high, but the higher came up last; and the born pushed westward, and northward, and southward, and made itself great. Then I saw a he-goat coming from the west, over the face of the whole earth, which had a horn between its eyes; and he ran to the ram in the fury of his strength, and broke his two horns, and cast him down to the earth, and trampled him: but the great born of the he-goat was broken, and instead of it there came up four horns; and out of one of them came forth a little born which waxed exceeding great towards the south, towards the east, and towards honorableness, and even to the host of heaven; and it cast down of the host and of the stars to the earth, and trampled them: yea, he extolled himself to the prince of the host, and took from him the daily sacrifice, and cast away the place of his sanctuary, for he cast down truth to the earth. And I heard one saint saying, how long shall this vision be, the daily sacrifice, and the wasting transgression, that both the holy place and the host should be given to be trodden under foot? And he said, even to the evening the morning, then shall the holy place be justified (8:2-14). That this vision is a prediction of the future states of the church is very evident, for it declares, that "the daily sacrifice was taken away from the prince of the host, the habitation of his sanctuary cast down, and the he-goat cast down truth to the earth"; moreover, that "a saint said, How long shall this vision be, that both the holy place and the host should be given to be trodden under foot?" and that this should be "even to the evening the morning, when the holy place shall be justified." By "the evening the morning" is meant the end of the old church, when a New Church commences.84.
We read these words in Matthew: Then shall the Son of man say to the he-goats on His left hand, depart from Me, for I was hungry, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; I was naked, and ye clothed Me not, I was sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not; and these shall go away into eternal punishment. That the same are here meant by "he-goats" and "sheep" as by the "he-goat" and "ram" in Daniel, is very evident. That by "he-goats" are meant those who are in the present justifying faith, appears from this, that to the sheep are enumerated works of charity, and it is said that they did them; and that to the he-goats the same works of charity are enumerated, but it is said that they did them not, and that they are therefore condemned. For they who are in the present justifying faith, neglect works, because they deny them to have anything of salvation or of the church in them. When charity is thus removed, good works, which are of charity, slip away from the mind, and are obliterated; so that they are never remembered, nor is the least effort made to recall them to mind from the Law of the Decalogue. It is a general rule of religion, that as far as anyone does not will goods, and hence does not do them, so far he wills evils, and hence does them; and on the contrary, that as far as anyone does not will evils, and hence does not do them, so far he wills goods, and hence does them. These latter are the "sheep," but the former are the "he-goats." If all the evil had been there meant by the "he-goats," instead of the works of charity which they had not done, the evils which they had done would have been enumerated.85.
That no other than the above described are meant by the "he-goats," has been manifested to me by experience in the spiritual world. In that world there appear all things that are in the natural world, such as houses and palaces, paradises and gardens, with trees of every kind; likewise fields and fallow lands, as also plains and green pastures, and also herds and flocks; all resembling those upon our earth; nor is there any other difference, than that in the natural world they are from a natural origin, but in the spiritual world from a spiritual origin. There I have often seen sheep and he-goats, also combats between them, like that described in Daniel (chap. 8) I have seen he-goats with horns bent forwards and backwards. and rushing with fury upon the sheep; I have seen some he-goats with two, and others with four horns, with which they vehemently struck at the sheep; and when I looked to discover what this meant, I saw some persons disputing together about faith conjoined with charity, and faith separated from charity; from whence it plainly appeared, that the present justifying faith, which considered in itself is a faith disjoined from charity, is "the he-goat," and that faith conjoined with charity is "the sheep."86.
The like are meant by "he-goats" in Zechariah: Mine anger was kindled against the shepherd, and I will visit the he-goats (10:3). And in Ezekiel: Behold I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats; seemeth it a small thing unto you, to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must trample down with your feet also the residue of the pastures? Ye thrust all the infirm sheep with your horns, until ye have dispersed them; therefore will I save My flock, that it will be no more a prey (34:17, 18, 22 seq.).87.
XX. They who have confirmed themselves in the present justifying faith are meant in Revelation by "the dragon and his two beasts," and by "the locusts"; and this same faith, when confirmed, is there meant by "the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where the two witnesses were slain," as also by "the pit of the abyss, from which the locusts went forth."88.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That in seven chapters of Revelation it treats of the perverted state of the church with the Reformed, and in two chapters of the perverted state of the church with the Roman Catholics, and that the states of both churches, as existing at the present day, are condemned, has been shown in the explanation thereof, in the work entitled, The Apocalypse Revealed, and that not by vain conjectures, but by full proofs. That by "the dragon" treated of in chapter 12 are meant those in the church of the Reformed who make God three, and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith, by making their faith spiritual and saving, and not charity, see there (n. 532-565), and the Relation adjoined (n. 566). That they are further described by "the two beasts," one rising out of the sea, and the other out of the earth (as related in chap. 13), see n. 567-610, and the Relation (n. 611). That they are also described by "the locusts," which came forth out of the pit of the abyss (as mentioned in chap. 9), see n. 419-42. That this same faith, when confirmed, is meant, by "the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt," where the two faithful witnesses were slain (as related in chap. 11), see n. 485-530, particularly n. 500-503, and the Relation (n. 531). That they are also meant by "the pit of the abyss," out of which issued smoke as out of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened, and then locusts came forth (chap. 9), see n. 421-424.89.
That I might be confirmed and fully convinced, that by "the pit of the abyss" nothing else is meant than that draconic faith, which is a faith conceived from the idea of three Gods, and from having no idea of the Divinity of the Human nature of Christ, and which is called faith alone justifying, regenerating, quickening, sanctifying, and saving; it was given me to look into that abyss, then to speak with those who are there, and likewise to see the locusts which came out thence; from which ocular demonstration, that pit together with the abyss is described by me in The Apocalypse Revealed; and because a description from ocular demonstration testifies what is certain, it shall be transcribed from that work, where it is described as follows. "That pit, which is like the mouth of a furnace, appears in the southern quarter; and the abyss beneath it is of great extent towards the east; they have light even there, but if light from heaven be let in, there is immediate darkness; wherefore the pit is closed up at the top. There appear in the abyss huts constructed as of brick, which are divided into distinct cells, in each of which is a table, whereon lie papers, with some books. Everyone there sits at his own table, who in this world had confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, making charity a merely natural and moral act, and the works thereof only works of civil life, whereby men may reap rewards in the world; but if done for the sake of salvation, they condemn them, and some even rigorously, because human reason and will are in them. All who are in this abyss, have been scholars and learned men in the world; and among them are some metaphysicians and scholastics, who are there esteemed above the rest. But their lot is as follows: when first they come thither, they take their seats in the first cells, but as they confirm faith by excluding the works of charity, they leave the first seats, and enter into cells nearer the east, and thus successively till they come towards the end, where they are who confirm those dogmatic things from the Word; and because they then cannot but falsify the Word, their huts vanish, and they find themselves in a desert. There is also an abyss beneath that abyss, where those are who in like manner have confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, but who in their spirits have denied God, and in their hearts have made a jest of the holy things of the church; there they do nothing but quarrel, tear their garments, get up on the tables, stamp with their feet, and assail each other with reproaches; and because it is not permitted them to do evil to anyone, they threaten with the mouth and fists.90.
That I might also be confirmed and convinced, that they who have confirmed themselves in the present justifying faith, are meant by the dragon, it was given me to see many thousands of them assembled together, and they then appeared at a distance like a dragon with a long tail, which seemed full of spikes like thorns, which signified falsities. Once also there appeared a still greater dragon, which, raising up his back, lifted his tail towards heaven, and endeavored to draw down the stars from thence; "stars" there signify truths.91.
XXI. Unless the New Church be established by the Lord, no one can be saved; and this is meant by these words, "Unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matt. 24:22).92.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. By "shortening those days," is meant the putting an end to the present church, and establishing the New Church; for, as has been said above, in Matt. 24, it treats of the successive decline and the perversions of the Christian church, even to the consummation and end thereof, and then of the coming of the Lord. The reason why no flesh could be saved, unless those days should be shortened, is because the faith of the present church is founded on the idea of three Gods, and with this idea no one can enter heaven; consequently no one can enter heaven with the faith of the present church, because the idea of three Gods is in all and every part thereof; and besides, in that faith there is no life from the works of charity. That the faith of the present church cannot be conjoined with charity, and produce any fruits which are good works, was shown above (n. 47-50). There are two things which form heaven in man, namely, the truths of faith and the goods of charity; the truths of faith effect the presence of the Lord, and show the way to heaven, and the goods of charity effect conjunction with the Lord, and introduce into heaven. And everyone is there introduced into light according to his affection of truth, and into heat according to his affection of good. That the affection of truth is faith in its essence, and the affection of good charity in its essence, and that the marriage of them both constitutes the church, may be seen above (n. 48). The church and heaven make one. That these three are not in the churches of the present day, which are built upon faith alone, has been fully shown in the preceding pages.93.
I have sometimes in the spiritual world spoken with the justifiers of men by faith alone, and I said that their doctrine is erroneous, and likewise absurd, that it brings on security, blindness, sleep, and night in spiritual things, thereby death to the soul, thus exhorting them to desist from it. But I have received for answer, Why should we desist? Does not the preeminence of the clergy above the laity, in point of erudition, depend upon this doctrine? To which I replied, that thus they do not regard the salvation of souls, but their own preeminence; and that because they had applied the truths of the Word to their own false principles, and thereby had adulterated them, they were angels of the abyss, called "Abaddons" and "Apollyons" (Rev. 9:11); by whom are signified the destroyers of the church by a total falsification of the Word. See the explanation thereof (n. 440), and the Relation (n. 566), in The Apocalypse Revealed. But they answered, What is this? Are we not, by our knowledge of the mysteries of that doctrine, oracles? And do we not from that doctrine give answers as from the sanctuary? wherefore we are not Apollyons, but Apollos. Being indignant at this I said, If ye are Apollos, ye are also Leviathans, the first class of you are crooked Leviathans, and the second class of you are oblong Leviathans, whom God will visit with His hard and great sword (Isa. 27:1). But they laughed at these things. What is meant by "being visited and perishing by the sword," may be seen in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 52).94.
The great arcanum, why, unless the New Church be established by the Lord, no flesh can be saved, is this: that as long as the dragon with his crew remains in the world of spirits, into which he was cast from heaven, so long no Divine truth, united with Divine good, can pass from the Lord to men on earth, but it is either annihilated or perverted, whence there is no salvation. This is what is meant by this in Revelation: And the dragon was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him; woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil is come down unto them, having great wrath; and he persecuted the woman, who brought forth a son (Rev. 12:9, 12, 13). But after the dragon was cast into hell (20:10), then it was that John saw the new heaven and the new earth, and saw the new holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21:1, 2 seq.). What is meant by "the dragon," and who the dragons are, may be seen above (n. 87).95.
XXII. The opening and rejection of the dogmas of faith of the present church, and the revelation and reception of the tenets of the faith of the New Church, is meant by these words in Revelation: "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" (chap. 21:5).96.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. "He that sat upon the throne," that is, the Lord, said these things to John, when he saw "the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven." That by "the New Jerusalem" is meant the New Church, will be shown in the following chapter. The reason why the falsities of the dogmas of the faith of the present church must first be opened and rejected, before the truths of the dogmas of the New Church can be revealed and received, is, because they do not agree together, no not in one single point or particular; for the dogmas of the present church are founded upon a faith, in which it is unknown whether there be any essential of the church, or not. The essentials of the church, which conjoin themselves with a faith in one God, are charity, good works, repentance, and a life according to the Divine laws; and because these together with faith affect and move the will and thought of man, they conjoin man with the Lord, and the Lord with man. Since, therefore, none of these essentials enter into the faith of the present church at its first approach, which is called the act of justification, it cannot possibly be known whether this faith be in man, or not, consequently whether it be anything, or whether it be only an idea; for it is said, that man in that act is like a stock or a stone, and that he can neither will, think, cooperate, no, nor even apply or accommodate himself to the reception thereof in the smallest degree, see above [n. 15 (c) (d)]. Since, therefore, the case is such, that no one can guess, much less know, whether that faith be in him, and thus whether it be in him like a painted flower, or like a flower of the field in him; or whether it be like a bird flying by him, or like a bird that has built her nest in him; I ask by what tokens or signs is this to be known? If it be answered, that it is to be known from charity, good works, repentance, and exercises of the law, which follow after this faith, and yet have no connection with it; I leave it to men of sagacity to determine, whether things that have no connection with faith, can possibly be signs testifying thereof. For this faith of theirs, they say, is neither preserved nor retained by the things above mentioned, see above [n. 12 (m) (n)]. From what has been said we may draw the following conclusion, that in the faith of the present day there is nothing of the church, and thus that it is not anything, but only an idea of something. Since then this faith is of such a nature, it is deservedly to be rejected, yea, it rejects itself, as that of which nothing of the church can be predicated.97.
But widely different is the case with the dogmas or doctrinals of the New Church; these are all essentials, in each of which there is heaven and the church; and they regard this as their end, that man may be in the Lord, and the Lord in man, according to His own words in John (14:20; 15:4-6). It is this conjunction alone which constitutes the Christian Church. From these few observations it may clearly appear what is meant by these words of the Lord: He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new; and He said, Write, for these words are true and faithful (Rev. 21:5).98.
The sole reason why the Christian world has fallen into a faith, which has put away from itself all the truths and goods of heaven and the church, even to the separation thereof, is because they have divided God into three, and have not believed the Lord God the Savior to be one with God the Father, and thus have not approached Him immediately; when nevertheless He alone as to His Human is the Divine truth itself: Which is the Word, that was God with God, and is the true Light which enlighteneth every man; and became flesh (John 1:1, 2, 9, 14). That He is the truth itself, and thus the light itself, is also testified in other places; for He says: I am the Light of the world (John 8:22; 9:5). And in another place: While ye have the Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be sons of the Light. I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me, may not abide in darkness (John 12:36, 46). In Revelation: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the bright and morning Star (Rev. 22:13, 16). And in Matthew: When Jesus was transformed, His face shone as the sun and His raiment became as the light (Matt. 17:1, 2). Hence it appears why and whence this imaginary faith came into the world, namely, because they have not approached the Lord. And I can, from all experience, and thence testimony from heaven, declare with certainty, that it is impossible to derive a single genuine theological truth from any other source than from the Lord alone; nay, that to derive it from any other source is as impossible, as it is to sail from England or Holland to the Pleiades, or to ride on horseback from Germany to Orion in the sky.99.
XXIII. The New Church about to be established by the Lord is the New Jerusalem, treated of in Revelation (chap. 21 and 22), which is there called "the Bride and the Wife of the Lamb."100.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The reason why the New Church is meant by "the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" (Rev. 21), is that Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Canaan, and there was the temple, the altar, there the sacrifices were offered, thus Divine worship, to which every male throughout the land was commanded to come three times a year. Then, because the Lord was in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterwards glorified His Human there; hence it is that by "Jerusalem" is signified the church. That by "Jerusalem" is meant the church, is very clear from the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning a New Church to be established by the Lord, wherein it is called "Jerusalem." The following passages only shall be quoted, from which anyone of interior reason may clearly see, that by "Jerusalem" is meant the church: Behold I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered; behold I will create Jerusalem, an exultation, and her people a gladness, that I may exult over Jerusalem, and be glad over My people. Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together: they shall not do evil in all the mountain of My holiness (Isa. 65:17, 18, 19, 25). For Zion's sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her justice go forth as splendor, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. Then the Gentiles shall see thy justice, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name; which the mouth of Jehovah shall utter; and thou shalt be a crown of beauty, and a tiara of a kingdom, in the hand of thy God. Jehovah shall be well pleased in thee, and thy land shall be married. Behold thy salvation shall come, 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, not deserted (Isa. 62:1-4, 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 I am He that doth speak, behold it is I. Jehovah hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem (Isa. 52:1, 2, 6, 9). Shout O daughter of Zion, be glad with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; the king of Israel is in the midst of thee: fear not evil any more; he will be glad over thee with joy, he will rest in thy love, he will eat over thee with shouting; I will give you for a name and a praise among all the people of the earth (Zeph. 3:14-17, 20). Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be inhabited (Isa. 44:24, 26). Thus saith Jehovah, I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, whence Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts the mountain of holiness (Zech. 8:3, 20-23). 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 must, and the hills shall flow with milk, and Jerusalem shall sit from generation to generation (Joel 4:17-21). In that day shall the branch of Jehovah be for ornament and glory; 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 for life in Jerusalem (Isa. 4:2, 3). In the last days the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established on the head of the mountains, for out of Zion shall go forth doctrine, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem (Micah 4:1, 2, 8). At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah, and all nations shall be gathered to Jerusalem for the name of Jehovah, neither shall they go any more after the confirmation of their own evil heart (Jer. 3:17). Look upon Zion, the city of our stated feasts, thine eyes shall see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be destroyed; the pins thereof shall not be removed forever, and the cords thereof shall not be torn out (Isa. 33:20); besides other passages, as (Isa. 24:23; 37:32; 66:10-14; Zech. 12:3, 6-10; 14:8, 11, 12, 21; Mal. 3:2, 4; Ps. 122:1-7; Ps. 130:4-6). That by "Jerusalem" in the above passages is meant a church to be established by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is plain from every particular of the description in the passages quoted; as that "Jehovah God was about to create a new heaven and a new earth," and also "Jerusalem" at the same time; and that "this would be a crown of beauty, and a tiara of a kingdom"; that it is 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 "the Wolf and the lamb shall feed together therein," and that "the mountains shall drop down with new wine, and the hills flow with milk," and that "it should remain from generation to generation"; besides other circumstances, as respecting the people therein, that they should be "holy, all written for life," and should be called "the redeemed of Jehovah." Moreover, all those passages treat of the coming of the Lord, and particularly of His second coming, when Jerusalem shall be such as is there described; for heretofore she has not been married, that is, has not been "the Bride and the Wife of the Lamb," as "the New Jerusalem" is said to be in the Apocalypse. The former or present church is meant by "Jerusalem," and its beginning is there described in these words in Daniel: Know and perceive, that from the going forth of the Word, unto the restoring and building of Jerusalem, even unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks; afterwards in sixty and two weeks it shall be restored, and the street and the ditch shall be built, but in distress of times (9:25). But its end is 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). This last passage is meant by the following words of the Lord in Matthew: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth note it well (chap. 24:15). That "Jerusalem" in the places above adduced, does not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, may appear from those places in the Word, where it is said of that city that it was entirely destroyed, and that it was to be destroyed, as in (Jer. 5:1; 6:6, 7; 7:17, 18, seq.; 8:6, 7, 8, seq.; 9:10, 11, 13, seq, 13:9, 10, 14; 14:16; Lam. 1:8, 9, 17; Ezek. 4:1 to the end; 5:9 to the end; 12:18, 19; 15:6-8; 16:1-63; 23:1-40; Matt. 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-22; 23:28-30); besides many other passages; and also where it is called "Sodom" (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48); and in other places.