Doctrine of Faith, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John F. Potts , at sacred-texts.com
As the Philistines represented those who are in faith separated from charity, they were called "the uncircumcised," by whom are meant those who are devoid of spiritual love, and consequently are in natural love only: spiritual love is charity. The reason such were called the uncircumcised is that by the circumcised are meant those who are in spiritual love. (That the Philistines are called the "uncircumcised," see 1 Sam. 17:26, 36; 2 Sam. 1:20; and elsewhere.)52.
That those who are in faith separated from charity were represented by the Philistines, is evident not only from their wars with the sons of Israel, but also from many other things recorded about them in the Word, such as that about Dagon their idol, and about the hemorrhoids and mice with which they were smitten and infested for placing the ark in the temple of their idol, and from other things occurring at the same time, as recorded in 1 Sam. 5 and 6; and likewise from what is said about Goliath, who was a Philistine, and was slain by David, as related in 1 Sam. 17. For Dagon from the navel upward was like a man, and below was like a fish, and thus represented their religion, in that from faith it was as it were spiritual, but was merely natural from having no charity. The "hemorrhoids" with which they were smitten, signified their filthy loves. The "mice" by which they were infested, signified the devastation of the church through falsifications of truth. And "Goliath" whom David slew, represented their conceit of self-intelligence.53.
That those who are in faith separated from charity were represented by the Philistines, is evident also from the prophetic parts of the Word where they are treated of, as from the following: Against the Philistines: Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and the fullness thereof, the city and them that dwell therein, so that men shall cry, and that every inhabitant of the land shall howl. Jehovah shall lay waste the Philistines (Jer. 47:1-2, 4). The "waters that rise up out of the north," are falsities from hell; their "becoming an overflowing stream, and overflowing the land and the fullness thereof," signifies the laying waste of all things of the church through these falsities; the "city and them that dwell therein," signifies the laying waste of all things of its doctrine; that "men shall cry, and that every inhabitant of the land shall howl," signifies a lack of all truth and good in the church; "Jehovah shall lay waste the Philistines," signifies the destruction of such. In Isaiah: Rejoice not thou, all Philistia, because the rod that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a basilisk, whose fruit shall be a flying fire serpent (Isa. 14:29). "Rejoice not thou, all Philistia," signifies let not those who are in faith separated from charity rejoice that they still remain; "for out of the serpent's root shall go forth a basilisk," signifies the destruction of all truth in them by the conceit of self-intelligence; "whose fruit shall be a flying fire serpent," signifies reasonings from falsities of evil against the truths and goods of the church.54.
That circumcision represented purification from evils belonging to love merely natural, is evident from these passages: Circumcise your heart, and take away the foreskins of your heart, lest Mine anger go forth because of the evil of your doings (Jer. 4:4). Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked (Deut. 10:16). To "circumcise the heart" or "the foreskin of the heart," is to purify one's self from evils. On the contrary therefore, one who is "uncircumcised" or "foreskinned" means one not purified from the evils of love merely natural, thus one who is not in charity. And as one who is unclean in heart is meant by "one uncircumcised" it is said: No [son of a stranger] uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary (Ezek. 44:9). No uncircumcised person shall eat the passover (Exod. 12:48). And that such a one is condemned (Ezek. 28:10; 31:18; 32:19).55.
THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH SEPARATED FROM CHARITY ARE MEANT BY THE DRAGON IN THE REVELATION It has been said above that in course of time every church falls away into two general religious principles that are evil, one springing from the love of rule, and the other from the conceit of self-intelligence, and that in the Word the former is meant and described by "Babylon," and the latter by "Philistia." Now as the Revelation treats of the state of the Christian Church, especially such as it is at its end, it therefore treats both generally and specifically of these two evil religious principles. The religious principle meant by "Babylon" is described in chapters 17, 18, and 19, and is there the "harlot sitting upon the scarlet beast;" and that meant by "Philistia" is described in chapters 12 and 13, and is there the "dragon," also the "beast that came up out of the sea," and the "beast that came up out of the earth." That this religious principle is meant by the dragon and his two beasts could not heretofore be known, because the spiritual sense of the Word was not opened, and therefore the Revelation has not been understood, and especially because the religious principle of faith separated from charity has so prevailed in the Christian world that no one was able to see it, for every evil religious principle blinds the eyes.56.
That the religious principle of faith separated from charity is meant and described in the Revelation by the dragon and his two beasts has not only been told me from heaven, but has also been shown me in the World of Spirits, which lies beneath heaven. Those in this separated faith, when assembled together, I have seen appearing like a great dragon with a tail outstretched toward the sky; and others of the same description I have seen singly appearing like dragons. For there are appearances of this nature in the world of spirits on account of the correspondence of spiritual things with natural. For this reason the angels of heaven call such persons dragonists. There is however more than one kind of them; some constitute the head of the dragon, some its body, and some its tail. They who constitute its tail are they who have falsified all the truths of the Word, and it is therefore said of the dragon in the Revelation that with its tail it drew down the third part of the stars of heaven. The "stars of heaven" signify knowledges of truth, and a "third part" signifies all.57.
Inasmuch as the dragon in the Revelation means those who are in faith separated from charity, and as hitherto this has not been known, being indeed actually hidden through a lack of knowledge of the spiritual sense of the Word, a general exposition shall here be given of what is said in the twelfth chapter about the dragon.58.
In Rev. 12 it is said: A great sign was seen in heaven, a woman encompassed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered. And another sign was seen in heaven and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them into the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that when she was delivered, he might devour her child. And she brought forth a man child, who was to pasture all the nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child. And unto the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she would be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:1-8, 13-17).59.
The exposition of these words is as follows: "A great sign was seen in heaven," signifies a revelation by the Lord concerning the church to come, and concerning the reception of its doctrine, and those by whom it will be assailed. The "woman encompassed with the sun, and the moon under her feet," signifies a church that is in love and in faith from the Lord; "and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," signifies wisdom and intelligence from Divine truths in the men of that church; "and she being with child," signifies its nascent doctrine; "cried, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered," signifies resistance by those who are in faith separated from charity. "And another sign was seen in heaven," signifies further revelation; "and behold, a great red dragon," signifies faith separated from charity; he is said to be "red" from love that is merely natural; "having seven heads," signifies a false understanding of the Word; "and ten horns," signifies power in consequence of its reception by many; "and upon his heads seven diadems," signifies falsified truths of the Word; "and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them into the earth," signifies the destruction of all knowledges of truth. "And the dragon stood before the woman that was ready to be delivered, that when she was delivered, he might devour her child," signifies their hatred, and their intention to destroy the doctrine of the church at its birth. "And she brought forth a man child," signifies the doctrine; "who was to pasture all the nations with a rod of iron," signifies that this doctrine will convince by the power of truth natural from spiritual; "and her child was caught up unto God and unto His throne," signifies the protection of the doctrine by the Lord, from heaven. "And the woman fled into the wilderness," signifies the church among a few; "where she hath a place prepared of God," signifies the state of it such that provision may meanwhile be made for its existing with many; "that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days," signifies until it grows to its appointed state. "And there was war in heaven Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels," signifies dissent and battling by those who are in faith separated from charity against those who are in the doctrine of the church respecting the Lord and the life of charity "and they prevailed not," signifies that they were overcome "neither was their place found any more in heaven." signifies that they were cast down thence. "And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child," signifies the infestation of the church by those in faith separated from charity, on account of its doctrine. "And unto the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place," signifies cautious care and foresight while the church is as yet among few; "where she would be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent," signifies while the church is growing to its appointed state. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood," signifies their abundant reasonings from falsities whereby to destroy the church. "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth," signifies that their reasonings, being from falsities, fell of themselves to the ground. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the remnant of her seed," signifies their persistent hatred; "who keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ," signifies against those who live the life of charity, and believe in the Lord.60.
The next chapter (Rev. 13) treats of the dragon's two beasts, the first seen coming up out of the sea, in verses 1-10, and the other one out of the earth, in verses 11-18. That these are the dragon's beasts is evident from verses 2, 4, and 11. The first beast signifies faith separated from charity in respect to confirmations of it from the natural man. The other beast signifies faith separated from charity in respect to confirmations of it from the Word, which also are falsifications of truth. As the exposition of these passages contains the argumentations of those who are in such faith, and would be too tedious if set forth in detail, I pass it by, and merely give the exposition of the concluding words: He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (verse 18) "He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast," signifies that those who are in enlightenment examine the nature of the confirmations of that faith manufactured from the Word; "for it is the number of a man," signifies that the nature of these confirmations is one of self-intelligence; "and his number is six hundred and sixty-six," signifies all the truth of the Word in a falsified condition.61.
THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH SEPARATED FROM CHARITY ARE MEANT BY THE "GOATS" IN DANIEL AND IN MATTHEW. That the "he-goat" in Dan. 8, and the "goats" in Matt. 25 mean those in faith separated from charity, is evident from the fact that they stand contrasted with the "ram" and the "sheep," by which are meant those who are in charity. For in the Word the Lord is called the "Shepherd," the church the "fold," and the men of the church taken collectively the "flock," and individually, "sheep." And as the "sheep" are those in charity, the "goats" are those who are not in charity.62.
That those in faith separated from charity are meant by the "goats" shall now be shown. i. From experience in the spiritual world. ii. From the Last Judgment, and the character of those upon whom it was executed. iii. From the description in Daniel of the combat between the ram and the he-goat. iv. Lastly, from the neglect of charity by those of whom mention is made in Matthew.63.
i. That those who are in faith separated from charity are meant in the Word by "goats," shown from experience in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there appear all things that are in the natural world. There appear houses and palaces. There appear paradises and gardens, and in them trees of every kind. There appear fields and meadowland, plains and grassy swards, flocks and herds, all precisely like those on our earth, there being no difference except that the latter are from a natural origin, while the former are from a spiritual origin. And therefore angels, being spiritual, behold the things which are of spiritual origin, just as men do those of natural origin.  All things that appear in the spiritual world are correspondences, for they correspond to the affections of the angels and spirits. For this reason they who are in the love of what is good and true, and consequently in wisdom and intelligence, dwell in magnificent palaces that are surrounded by paradises full of correspondent trees, around which again are fields and plains with flocks lying there, and these are appearances. With those however who are in evil affections there are correspondences of an opposite character; such are either in hells confined in workhouses that are windowless, and yet have light in them like that of a will-o'-the-wisp, or else they are in deserts and dwell in hovels surrounded by an unbroken barrenness where there are serpents, dragons, screech owls, and many other creatures that correspond to their evils.  Between heaven and hell there is an intermediate place called the World of Spirits, into which every human being comes immediately after death, and where one person has interaction with another just as among men on earth. Here too all things that appear are correspondences. Here too appear gardens, groves, forests of trees and shrubs, and flowery and grassy plains, together with beasts of various kinds, both gentle and savage, all in correspondence with the affections of those who dwell there.  There have I often seen sheep and goats, and combats between them like that described in Dan. 8. I have seen goats with horns bent forward and bent backward, and I have seen them attack the sheep with fury. I have seen goats with two great horns with which they violently struck the sheep. And when I looked to see what these things meant, I saw some who were disputing about charity and faith; and from this it was evident that faith separated from charity was what appeared as a goat, and that charity from which is faith was what appeared as a sheep. And as I have seen such things often I have come to know with certainty that those who are in faith separated from charity are meant in the Word by "goats."64.
ii. That those in faith separated from charity are meant in the Word by "goats," shown from the Last Judgment and the character of those upon whom it was executed. The Last Judgment was executed upon no others than those who in externals had been moral, but in internals had not been spiritual, or but little spiritual. As to those who had been evil in both externals and internals, they had been cast into hell long before the Last Judgment, while those who had been spiritual in externals and at the same time in internals had also long before that event been uplifted into heaven; and the Last Judgment was not executed upon those in heaven, nor upon those in hell, but upon those who were midway between the two, where they had made for themselves imaginary heavens. That the Last Judgment was executed upon these exclusively, may be seen in the short work on the Last Judgment (n. 59 and 70); and still further in the Continuation of the Last Judgement (n. 16-19), where it treats of the Judgment upon the Reformed, of whom those who had been in faith separated from charity in their life as well as in their doctrine, were cast into hell, while those who had been in that same faith as to their doctrine only, and in their life had been in charity, were uplifted into heaven; from which it was evident that none but these were meant by the "goats" and the "sheep" in Matt. 25 where the Lord is speaking of the Last Judgment.65.
iii. That those in faith separated from charity are meant in the Word by "goats," shown from the description in Daniel of the combat between the ram and the he-goat. In the book of Daniel all things treat, in the spiritual sense, of the things of heaven and the church, as do all things in the universal Holy Scripture (as is shown in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Holy Scripture, n. 5-26). So therefore does what is said in Daniel about the combat of the ram and the he-goat, which in substance is as follows: In vision I saw a ram that had two high horns, and the higher one came up last, and I saw that with the horn he pushed westward, and northward, and southward, and magnified himself. Afterwards I saw a he-goat coming from the west over the faces of the whole earth, that had a horn between his eyes, and he ran at the ram with the fury of his strength, and broke his two horns, cast him to the earth, and trampled upon him. But the great horn 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 horn, that grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the sunrise, and toward the beauteous land, and even to the army of the heavens, and he cast down some of the army, and of the stars, to the earth, and trampled upon them. Yea, he exalted himself even to the prince of the army, and from him the continual sacrifice was taken away, and the dwelling-place of his sanctuary was cast down, because he cast down the truth to the earth. And I heard a holy one saying, How long shall be this vision, the continual sacrifice, and the wasting transgression, that the holy place and the army shall be given to be trampled upon? And he said, Until evening morning; then shall the holy place be made righteous (Dan. 8:2-14).66.
It is very evident that this vision foretells future states of the church, for it is said that the continual sacrifice was taken away from the prince of the army, that the dwelling-place of his sanctuary was cast down, and that the he-goat cast down the truth to the earth, besides that a holy one said, "How long shall be this vision, the continual sacrifice, and the wasting transgression, that the holy place and the army shall be given to be trampled upon?" and that the answer was, "Until evening morning; then shall the holy place be made righteous;" for "evening" means the end of the church when there will be a new church. The "kings of Media and Persia," spoken of in the same chapter, mean the same as the "ram;" and the "king of Greece" means the same as the "he-goat." For the names of the kings, nations, and peoples, and also those of persons and places, mentioned in the Word, signify the things of heaven and of the church.67.
The exposition of the foregoing prophetic utterances is as follows: The "ram that had two high horns, the higher of which came up last," signifies those who are in faith from charity; his "pushing with it westward, northward, and southward," signifies the dispersing of what is evil and false; his "magnifying himself," signifies growth; the "he-goat coming from the west over the faces of the whole earth," signifies those who are in faith separated from charity, and the invasion of the church by them; the "west" being the evil of the natural man; that "had a horn between his eyes," signifies self-intelligence; that he "ran at the ram with the fury of his strength," signifies impetuously attacking charity and the faith of charity; that he "broke the ram's two horns, cast him down to the earth, and trampled upon him," signifies scattering to the winds both charity and faith, for whoever does this to charity does it to faith also, because these make a one; that the "great horn of the he-goat was broken," signifies the non-appearing of self-intelligence that "instead of it there came up four horns," signifies applications of the sense of the letter of the Word by way of confirmation; and that "out of one of them there came forth a little horn," signifies an argumentation that no one is able of himself to fulfill the law, and do what is good; that "this horn grew toward the south, toward the sunrise, and toward the beauteous land," signifies a rising up thereby against all things of the church; "and into the army of the heavens, and he cast down some of the army, and of the stars, and trampled upon them," signifies the destruction in this manner of all the knowledges of good and truth pertaining to charity and faith; that he "exalted himself to the prince of the army, and from him was taken away the continual sacrifice, and the dwelling-place of his sanctuary," signifies that in this way this principle ravaged all things that pertain to the worship of the Lord and to His church; that he "cast down the truth to the earth," signifies that it falsified the truths of the Word; "evening morning, when the holy place shall be made righteous," signifies the end of that church, and the beginning of a new one.68.
iv. That those in faith separated from charity are meant by "goats," shown from the neglect of charity by those of whom mention is made in Matthew. That the "goats" and "sheep" in Matt. 25:31-46 mean the very same persons as those meant by the "he-goat" and "ram" in Dan. 8 is evident from the fact that works of charity are recounted to the sheep, and it is said that they had done them; and that the same works of charity are recounted to the goats, and it is said that they had done them not, and that the latter are condemned on that account. For works are neglected by those who are in faith separated from charity, in consequence of their denying that there is anything of salvation or of the church therein; and when charity, which consists in works, is set aside in this way, faith also falls to the ground, because faith is from charity; and when there are no charity and faith there is condemnation. If all the evil had been meant there by the goats, there would not have been recounted the works of charity they had not done, but the evils they had done. The same persons are meant by the "he-goats" also in Zechariah: Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I will visit upon the he-goats.(Zech. 10:3). And in Ezekiel: Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats. Is it a small thing to you that ye have eaten up the good pastures, but ye must also tread down with your feet the residue of the pastures? ye have pushed all the feeble sheep with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; therefore will I save My flock, that it may no more be for a prey (Ezek. 34:17-18, 21-22, etc.).69.
FAITH SEPARATED FROM CHARITY DESTROYS THE CHURCH AND ALL THINGS THAT BELONG TO IT. Faith separated from charity is no faith, because charity is the life of faith: its soul, and its essence. And where there is no faith because no charity, precisely there there is no church. And therefore the Lord says: When the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8).70.
At times I have heard the goats and the sheep holding a colloquy as to whether those who have confirmed themselves in faith separated from charity possess any truth; and as they said that they possessed a great deal, the matter in dispute was submitted to an examination. They were then questioned as to whether they knew what love is, what charity is, and what good is; and as these were the things that they had set aside, the only reply they could make was that they did not know. They were questioned as to what sin is, as to what repentance is, and what the remission of sins; and as they replied that those who have been justified through faith have their sins remitted so that they no longer appear, it was avouched to them, "This is not the truth." They were questioned as to what regeneration is, and they replied either that it is baptism, or that it is the remission of sins through faith. It was avouched to them that "this is not the truth." They were questioned as to what the spiritual man is, and they replied that it is one who has been justified through the confession of their faith. But it was avouched to them that "this is not the truth." They were questioned concerning redemption, concerning the union of the Father and the Lord, and concerning the unity of God, and they gave answers that were not truths. Not to mention other points concerning which they were questioned. After these interrogatories and the replies, the matter in dispute came to judgment, and the judgment was that those who have confirmed themselves in faith separated from charity do not possess any truth.71.
That such is the case cannot be credited by them while they are in the natural world, because those who are in falsities see no otherwise than that falsities are truths, and that it is not a matter of much consequence to know more than what belongs to their faith. And as their faith is divorced from the understanding (for it is a blind faith) they make no investigation into this matter, which is one that can be investigated solely from the Word by the means of an enlightening of the understanding. The truths therefore that are in the Word they turn into falsities by thinking of faith when they see mention made of "love," "repentance," the "remission of sins," and many other things that must belong to action.72.
But I wish to say emphatically that it is those who have confirmed themselves by both doctrine and life in faith alone who are of this character, and by no means those who, although they have heard and have believed that faith alone saves, have nevertheless shunned evils as sins.