Last Judgment, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John Whitehead , at sacred-texts.com
The judgment was effected upon the Gentiles in nearly the same manner as upon the Mohammedans; but they were not led like them in a circuit, but only a short way in the west, where the evil were separated from the good, the evil being there cast into two great gulfs, which stretched obliquely into the deep, but the good were conducted above the middle, where the Christians were, towards the land of the Mohammedans in the eastern quarter, and dwellings were given them behind, and beyond the Mohammedans, to a great extent in the southern quarter. But those of the Gentiles who in the world had worshiped God under the Human form, and bad led lives of charity according to their religious principles, were conjoined with Christians in heaven, for they acknowledge and adore the Lord more than others; the most intelligent of them are from Africa The multitude of the Gentiles and Mohammedans who appeared, was so great, that it could be numbered only by myriads. The judgment on this vast multitude was effected in a few days, for every one after being yielded up into his own love and into his own faith, is immediately assigned and carried to his like.52.
From all these particulars appears the truth of the Lord's prediction concerning the Last Judgment, that: They shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:29).53.
IX. BABYLON AND ITS DESTRUCTION. That all the things which are predicted in the Apocalypse are at this day fulfilled, may be seen above (n. 40-44); and that the Last Judgment has already been accomplished, may be seen in the preceding article; where it is also shown how the judgment was effected upon the Mohammedans and Gentiles. Now follows an account of the manner in which it was effected upon the Papists, who are meant by "Babylon," which is treated of in many parts of the Apocalypse, and its destruction especially in chapter 18, where it is thus described: An angel cried vehemently with a great voice, Babylon hath fallen, hath fallen, and has become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird (v. 2). But before it is told how that destruction was effected, I shall premise: I. What is meant by "Babylon," and what its quality is. II. The quality of those in the other life who are of Babylon. III. Where their habitations have hitherto been. IV. Why they were there tolerated until the day of the Last Judgment. V. How they were destroyed, and their habitations made a desert. VI. Those of them who were in the affection of truth from good were preserved. VII. The state of those hereafter who come thence from the earth.54.
I. What is meant by Babylon, and what its quality is. By Babylon are meant all who wish to have dominion by religion. To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men's souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means. All those who have dominion for an end, and religion for the means are in general Babylon. They are called Babylon because such dominion began in ancient times; but it was destroyed in its beginning. Its commencement is described by the city and the tower, the head of which was to be in heaven; and its destruction, by the confusion of lips, whence its name Babel was derived (Gen. 11:1-9). What the particulars there related mean in the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 1283-1328). Moreover that this dominion began and was instituted in Babel, appears in Daniel, where it is said of Nebuchadnezzar, that he set up an image which all were to adore (chap. 3). And it is also meant by Belshazzar and his peers drinking out of the golden and silver vessels, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from the temple of Jerusalem, at the same time they worshiped gods of gold, silver, copper, and iron; wherefore it was written on the wall: He hath numbered, he hath weighed, he hath divided; and on the same night the king himself was slain (chap. 5). "The vessels of gold and silver" of the temple of Jerusalem, signify the goods and truths of the church; "drinking out of them," and at the same time worshiping gods of gold, silver, copper, and iron, signify profanation; and "the writing upon the wall," and "the death of the king" signify visitation, and destruction denounced against +hose who make use of Divine goods and truths as means. What their quality is who are called Babylon, is also described sometimes in the prophets; as in Isaiah: Thou mayest take up this parable concerning the king of Babylonia. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of those having dominion; thou, Lucifer, hast fallen from heaven; thou art cut down even to the earth; thou hast said in thy mind, I will ascend into the heavens; I will exalt my throne over the stars of God, and I sit on the mountain of the assembly, in the sides of the north, I will become like the Most High. Nevertheless thou shalt be cast down into hell, to the sides of the pit; I will cut off the name and residue of Babylon and will cause her to become an hereditary possession of the bittern (14:4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23). And again it is said in the same: The lion said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her god are cast down (21:9). See also (47 and 48 14-20; and Jer. 50:1-3). From these passages it is now evident what Babylonia is. It should be known that the church becomes Babylonia, when charity and faith cease, and the love of self begins to rule in their place; for this love in proportion as it is unchecked, rushes on, aiming to dominate not merely over all whom it can subject to itself on earth, but even over heaven; nor does it rest there, but it climbs the very throne of God, and transfers to itself His Divine power. That it did this, even before the Lord's coming, appears from the passages of the Word adduced above. But that Babylonia was destroyed by the Lord when He was in the world, both by their becoming altogether idolatrous, and by the Last Judgment upon them in the spiritual world. This is meant by the prophetic sayings, that "Lucifer," who there is Babylon, was cast into hell, and that "Babylon has fallen"; and moreover by "the writing on the wall," and "the death of Belshazzar"; and also by "the stone, hewn from the rock," which destroyed the statue, of which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed.55.
But Babylon treated of in the Apocalypse, is the Babylon of this day, which arose after the Lord's coming, and is known to be with the Papists. This Babylon is more pernicious and more heinous than that which existed before the Lord's coming, because it profanes the interior goods and truths of the church, which the Lord revealed to the world, when He revealed Himself. How pernicious, how inwardly heinous it is: may appear from the following summary. They acknowledge and adore the Lord apart from all power of saving: they entirely separate His Divine from His Human, and transfer to themselves His Divine power, which belonged to His Human;# for they remit sins; they send to heaven; they cast into hell; they save whom they will; they sell salvation; thus they arrogate to themselves what belongs to the Divine power alone: and since they exercise this power, it follows that thee make gods of themselves, each one according to his station, by transference from the highest of them, whom they call Christ's vicar, down to the lowest; thus they regard themselves as the Lord, and adore Him, not for His own sake, but for theirs. They not only adulterate and falsify the Word, but even take it away from the people, lest they should enter into the smallest light of truth; and not satisfied with this, they moreover annihilate it, acknowledging the Divine in the decrees of Rome, superior to the Divine in the Word; so that they exclude all from the way to heaven; for the acknowledgment of the Lord, faith in Him, and love to Him, are the way to heaven; and the Word is what teaches the way: whence it is, that without the Lord, by means of the Word, there is no salvation. They strive with all diligence to extinguish the light of heaven, which is from Divine truth, in order that ignorance may exist in the place of it, and the denser the ignorance, the more acceptable it is to them. They extinguish the light of heaven, by prohibiting the reading of the Word, and of books which contain doctrines from the Word; instituting worship by masses in a language not understood by the simple, and in which there is no Divine truth; and besides, they fill their world with falsities which are darkness itself, and which remove and dissipate the light. They likewise persuade the common people, that they have life in the faith of their priests, thus in the faith of another and not in their own. They also place all worship in a holy external, without the internal, making the internal empty, because it is without the knowledges of good and truth; and yet Divine worship is external, only so far as it is internal, since the external proceeds from the internal. Besides this, they introduce idolatries of various kinds, They make and multiply saints; they see and tolerate the adoration of these saints, and even the prayers offered to them almost as to gods; they set up their idols everywhere; boast of the great abundance of miracles done by them; set them over cities, temples, and monasteries; their bones taken out of their tombs they account holy, which yet are most vile; thus turning the minds of all from the worship of God, to the worship of men, Moreover, they use much artful precaution lest any one should come out of that thick darkness into light, from idolatrous worship to Divine worship; for they multiply monasteries, from which they send out spies and guards in all directions; they extort the confessions of the heart, which are also confessions of the thoughts and intentions, and if any one will not confess, they threaten him with infernal fire and torments in purgatory; and those who dare to speak against the Papal throne, and their dominion, they shut up in a horrible prison, which is called the inquisition. All these things they do for the sole end that they may possess the world and its treasures, and live in luxury and be the greatest, while the rest are slaves. But domination such as this, is not that of heaven over hell, but of hell over heaven, for as far as the love of having dominion is with man, especially with the man of the church, so far hell reigns. That this love reigns in hell, and makes hell, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 551-565). From this summary it may appear that they have no church there, but Babylon; for the church is where the Lord Himself is worshiped, and where the Word is read. #The attribution by the church, of two natures to the Lord, and thus the separation of His Divine from His Human, was effected in a council, for the sake of the Pope, that the Pope might he acknowledged as the Lord's vicar, disclosed from heaven in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 4738).56.
II. The quality of those in the other life who are Babylon can appear only to one to whom it has been given by the Lord to be together with those who are in the spiritual world. Since this has been granted to me, I am able to speak from experience, for I have seen them, I have heard them, and I have spoken with them. Every man after death is in a life similar to his life in the world; this cannot be changed, save only as regards the delights of the love, which are turned into correspondences, as may appear from the two articles in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 470-484; and 485-490). It is the same with the life of those now treated of, which is altogether such as it was in the world, with this difference, that the hidden things of their hearts are there uncovered, for they are in the spirit, in which reside the interior things of the thoughts and intentions, which they had concealed in the world, and had covered over with a holy external. And since these hidden things were then laid open, it was perceived that more than half of those who had usurped the power of opening and shutting heaven, were altogether atheists; but since dominion resides in their minds as in the world, and is based on this principle that all power was given by the Father to the Lord Himself, and that it was transferred to Peter, and by order of succession to the primates of the church, therefore an oral confession about the Lord remains adjoined to their atheism; but even this remains only so long as they enjoy some dominion by means of it. But the rest of them, who are not atheists, are so empty, as to be entirely ignorant of man's spiritual life, of the means of salvation, of the Divine truths which lead to heaven; and they know nothing at all of heavenly faith and love, believing that heaven may be granted of the Pope's favor to any one, whatever he be. Now since every one is in a life in the spiritual world, similar to his life in the natural world, without any difference, so long as he is neither in heaven nor in hell (as is shown, and may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 453-480), and since the spiritual world, as regards its external appearance, is altogether like the natural world (n. 170-176), therefore they also live a similar moral and civil life, and above all have similar worship, for this is inrooted, and inheres to man in his inmost, nor can any one after death be withdrawn from it, except he be in good from truths, and in truths from good. But it is more difficult to withdraw the nation now treated of from its worship, than other nations, because it is not in good from truths, and still less in truths from good; for its truths are not from the Word, with the exception of some few, which they have falsified by applying them to dominion; and hence it has none other than spurious good, for such as the truths are, such does the good become. These things are said, in order that it may be known, that the worship of this nation, in the spiritual world, is altogether similar to its worship in the natural world. These things premised, I will now relate some particulars of the worship and life of the Papists in the spiritual world. They have a certain council, in place of the council or consistory at Rome, in which their primates meet, and consult on various matters of their religion, especially on the means of holding the common people in blind obedience, and of enlarging their dominion. This council is situated in the southern quarter, near the east; but no one who has been a Pope or a cardinal in the world dares to enter it, because the semblance of Divine authority possesses their minds, from their having in the world arrogated the Lord's power to themselves; wherefore, as soon as they present themselves there, they are carried out, and cast to their like in a desert. But those among them, who have been upright in mind, and have not from confirmed belief usurped such power, are in a certain obscure chamber behind this council. There is another assembly in the western quarter, near the north; the business there, is the intromission of the credulous common people into heaven. They there dispose around them a number of societies which live in various external delights; in some of the societies they play, in some they dance, in some they compose the face into the various expressions of hilarity and mirthfulness; in some they converse in a friendly manner; in some they discuss civil affairs, in others religious matters; in other societies again, they talk obscenities; and so on, They admit their dependents into one of these societies such as each may desire, and call it heaven; but all of them, after being there a few hours, are wearied and depart, because those joys are external, and not eternal. In this way, moreover, many are withdrawn from a belief in their doctrinal concerning intromission into heaven. As regards their worship in particular, it is almost like their worship in the world; as in the world, it consists in masses, not performed in the common language of spirits, but in one composed of lofty-sounding words, which induce an external holiness and awe, and are utterly unintelligible. In like manner they adore saints, and expose idols to view; but their saints are nowhere to be seen, for all those who have sought to be worshiped as deities, are in hell; the rest who did not seek to be worshiped, are among common spirits. This their prelates know, for they seek and find them, and when found they despise them; yet they conceal it from the people, that the saints may still be worshiped as tutelar deities, but that the primates themselves, who are set over the people, may be worshiped as the lords of heaven. In like manner, moreover, they multiply temples and monasteries as they did in the world; they scrape together riches, and accumulate costly things, which they hide in cellars; for costly things exist in the spiritual, as well as in the natural world, and far more abundantly. In like manner they send forth monks, to allure the Gentiles to their religious persuasion, in order that they may subject them to their rule. They commonly have watch towers erected in the middle of their assemblies, from which they are enabled to enjoy an extended view into all the surrounding region. And moreover, by various means and arts they establish for themselves communications with persons far and near, joining in league with them, and drawing them over to their own party. Such is their state in general; but as to particulars, many prelates of that religion take away all power from the Lord, and claim it for themselves, and because they do this, they do not acknowledge any Divine. They still counterfeit holiness in externals; yet this holiness in itself is profane, because in their internals there is no acknowledgment of the Divine. Hence it is that they communicate with certain societies of the lowest heaven by a holy external, and with the hells by a profane internal, so that they are in both; on which account, moreover, they allure simple good spirits, and give them habitations near themselves, and also congregate wicked spirits, and dispose them around the society in all directions, by the simple good conjoining themselves with heaven, and by the wicked with hell. Hence they are enabled to accomplish heinous things which they perpetrate from hell. For the simple good who are in the lowest heavens look only to their holy external, and their very holy adoration of the Lord in externals, but they do not see their wickedness, and therefore they favor them, and this is their greatest protection; yet in process of time they all recede from their holy external, and then, being separated from heaven, they are cast into hell. From these things it may be known in some degree, what is the quality of those in the other life who are from Babylon. But I am aware that they who are in this world, and have no idea of man's state after death, of heaven, or of hell, but an inane and empty one, will wonder at the existence of such things in the spiritual world. But, that man is equally a man after death, that he lives in fellowships as he did in the world, that he dwells in houses, hears preaching in temples, discharges duties, and sees things in that world, similar to those in the former world he has left, may appear from all that has been said and shown of the things I have heard and seen, in the work on Heaven and Hell.57.
I have spoken with some from that nation, concerning the keys given to Peter; whether they believe that the power of the Lord over heaven and earth was transferred to him, and because this was the fundamental of their religion, they vehemently insisted on it, saying, that there was no doubt about it, because it was said manifestly. But when I asked them whether they knew that in each expression of the Word there is a spiritual sense, which is the sense of the Word in heaven, they said at first, that they did not know it, but afterwards they said they would inquire; and on inquiring, they were instructed that there is a spiritual sense within each expression of the Word, which differs from the sense of the letter, as the spiritual differs from the natural; and they were also instructed that no person named in the Word is named in heaven, but that some spiritual thing is there understood in place of him. Finally, they were informed, that instead of "Peter" in the Word is meant the truth of the faith of the church, from the good of charity, and that the same is meant by "a rock," which is there named with Peter, for it is said: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My church (Matt. 16:18, seq.). By this is not meant that any power was given to Peter, but that it is given to truth from good, for in the heavens all power belongs to truth from good, or to good through truth; and since all good, and all truth, are from the Lord, and nothing from man, that all power is the Lord's. When they heard this they replied indignantly, that they wished to know whether there is a spiritual sense in those words, wherefore the Word which is in heaven was given them, in which Word there is not the natural sense, but the spiritual, because it is for the angels, who are spiritual; that there is such a Word in heaven, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 259-261). And when they read it, they saw manifestly that Peter is not named there, but truth from good, which is from the Lord, instead of him.# Seeing this they rejected it with anger, and would almost have torn it in pieces with their teeth, had it not at that moment been taken away. Hence they were convinced, although unwilling to be convinced, that the Lord alone has that power, and by no means can it belong to any man, because it is the Divine power. #The twelve disciples of the Lord represented the church as to the all of truth and good, or of faith and love, as in like manner did the twelve tribes of Israel (n. 2179, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397). Peter, James, and John, represented faith, charity, and the goods of charity (n. 3750). Peter represented faith (n. 4738, 6000, 6073, 6344, 10087, 10580). The keys of the kingdom of heaven being given to Peter, signifies that all power is given to truth from good, or to faith from charity, proceeding from the Lord; thus that all power belongs to the Lord (n. 6344). "A key" signifies the power of opening and shutting (n. 9410). All power is in good by truths, or in truths from good, proceeding from the Lord (n. 3091, 3563, 6344, 6413, 6948, 8200, 8304, 9327, 9410, 9639, 9643, 10019, 10182). "A rock" in the Word signifies the Lord as to Divine truth (n. 8581, 10580). All names of persons and places in the Word signify things and states (n. 768, 1888, 4310, 4442, 10329). Their names do not enter heaven, but are turned into the things they signify, and they cannot be pronounced in heaven (n. 1878, 5225, 6516, 10216, 10282). How elegant is the internal sense of the word, where mere names occur, is illustrated by examples (n. 1224, 1264, 1888).58.
III. Where their habitations in the spiritual world have hitherto been. It was said above (n. 48), that all the nations and peoples in the spiritual world were seen to be as follows: collected in the middle appeared those who are called the Reformed; around this middle, those of the Papal religion; the Mohammedans, beyond them; and lastly the various Gentiles. Hence it may appear that the Papists formed the nearest circumference around the Reformed in the center. The reason of this is that they who are in the light of truth from the Word are in the center, and they who are in the light of truth from the Word are also in the light of heaven, for the light of heaven is from the Divine truth, and the Word is that in which this is. That the light of heaven is from the Divine truth, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 126-140); and that it is the Divine truth (n. 303-310), Light, moreover, proceeds from the center towards the circumferences, and illuminates. Hence it is that the Papists proximately surround the center, for they have the Word, and it is also read by those of the ecclesiastical order, though not by the people. This is the reason why the Papal nation in the spiritual world have obtained habitations around those who are in the light of truth from the Word. Their manner of dwelling, before their habitations were utterly destroyed, and made into a desert, shall now be told. The greatest part of them dwelt in the south and in the west; but some in the north and in the east. In the south dwelt those who had excelled others in talent in the world, and had confirmed themselves in their own religion. Great numbers of the nobility and the rich also dwelt there. They did not dwell upon the earth there, but under it, from dread of robbers, guards being placed at the entrances. In that quarter, moreover, there was a great city, extending nearly from east to west, and somewhat into the west, situated very near the center where the Reformed were. Myriads of men or spirits tarried in that city. It was full of temples and monasteries. The ecclesiastics also carried into it all precious things which they were enabled by their various artifices to scrape together, and they hid them in its cells and subterranean crypts, which were so elaborately formed, that no one besides themselves could enter, for they were disposed around in the form of a labyrinth. On the treasures there amassed, in the full confidence that they could never be destroyed, they had set their hearts. When I saw those crypts I was amazed at the art displayed in constructing them, and enlarging them without end. The most of those who call themselves of the society of Jesus were there, and cultivated amicable relations with the rich who dwelt round about. Towards the east in that quarter was the council where they consulted on the enlargement of their dominion, and on the means of keeping the people in blind obedience (see above, n. 56). This concerning their habitations in the southern quarter. In the north, dwelt those who less excelled in ability, and had less confirmed themselves in their own religion, because they were in an obscure faculty of discerning and thence in blind faith. The multitude was not so great there as in the south. Most of them were in a great city extending lengthwise from the angle of the east to the west, and also a little into the west. It also was full of temples and monasteries. On its outmost side which was near the east there were many of various religions, and also some of the Reformed. A few places, moreover, beyond the city in that quarter, were occupied by the Papists. In the east dwelt those who had been in the greatest delight of ruling in the world, and at the same time in somewhat of natural light. They appeared there on mountains, but only in the quarter which faces the north; there were none in the other part which faces the south. In the angle towards the north, there was a mountain, on the top of which they had placed a certain one of unsound mind, whom, by communications of the thoughts, which are known in the spiritual, but unknown in the natural world, they were enabled to inspire to command anything they chose. And they gave out that he was the very God of heaven, appearing under a human form, and thus paid him Divine worship. They did this, because the people were desirous of receding from their idolatrous worship, wherefore, they devised it as a means of keeping them in obedience. That mountain is meant in Isaiah (14:13) by "the mountain of assembly in the sides of the north," and those on the mountains are there meant by "Lucifer" (ver. 12); for such of the Babylonish crew as dwelt in the east, were in greater light than others, which light also, they had prepared for themselves by artifice. There also appeared some who were building a tower: which should reach even to heaven where the angels are, but this was only representative of their machinations; for machinations are presented in the spiritual world, before the eyes of those who stand at a distance, by many things which yet do not exist actually with those who are in the machinations: this is a common thing there. By this appearance it was given me to know what was signified by: The tower whose head should be in heaven, whence the place was called Babel (Gen. 11:1-10). These things are concerning their habitations in the east. In the west, in front, dwelt those of that religion who lived in the dark ages, for the most part underground, one posterity beneath another. The whole tract in front which looked to the north, was, as it were, excavated, and filled with monasteries. The entrances to them lay through caverns covered by roofs, through which they went out and in, They rarely spoke with those who lived in the following ages, being of a different disposition, and not so malicious; for as, in their times, there was no contention with the Reformed, there was there fore less of the craft and malice from hatred and revenge. In the western quarter beyond that tract, were many mountains, on which dwelt the wickedest of that nation, who in heart denied the Divine and yet orally professed their belief in Him, and adored Him with gestures more devoutly than others. They who were there, devised nefarious arts to keep the common people under the yoke of their sway, and also to force others to submit to that yoke: these arts it is not allowed to describe, they are so heinous. In general they are such as are mentioned in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 580), The mountains on which they dwelt, are meant in the Apocalypse by "the seven mountains," and those who were there are described by the woman sitting upon the scarlet beast: I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads, and ten horns: she had on the forehead a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, mother of the whoredoms and abominations of the earth: the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (Apoc. 17:3, 5, 9). By "a woman" in the internal sense, is meant the church, here in the opposite sense, a profane religion; by "the scarlet beast," the profanation of celestial love; by "the seven mountains," the profane lobe of ruling. These are concerning their habitations in the west. The reason why they dwell distinct according to quarters is, because all in the spiritual world are carried into that quarter, and into that part of it, which corresponds to their affections and loves, and no one to any other place; concerning which see the work on Heaven and Hell, where it treats of the four quarters of heaven (n. 141-153). In general, all the consultations of the Babylonish race tend to this, that they may dominate, not only over heaven, but over the whole earth, and thus that they may possess heaven and earth, obtaining each by means of the other, To effect this, they continually devise and batch new statutes and new doctrinals. They make the same endeavor also in the other life as they made in the world, for every one after death is such as he was in the world, especially as to his religion. It was granted me to hear certain of the primates consulting about a doctrine, which was to be a rule for the people: it consisted of many articles, but they all tended to this; that they might obtain dominion over the heavens, and the earth, and that they might have all power for themselves, and the Lord none. These doctrinals were after. wards read before the bystanders, and thereupon a voice was heard from heaven, declaring, that they were dictated from the deepest hell, though the hearers did not know it; which was further confirmed by this; that a crowd of devils from that hell, of the blackest and direst appearance, ascended, and tore those doctrinals from them, not with their hands, but with their teeth, and carried them down to their hell. The people who saw it were astounded.59.
IV. Why they were there tolerated, until the day of the Last Judgment. The reason was, because it is from Divine order that all who can be preserved, shall be preserved, even until they can no longer be among the good. Therefore all those are preserved, who can emulate spiritual life in externals, and present it in a moral life, as if it were therein, whatever they may be as to faith and love in Internals; so also those are preserved who are in external holiness, though not in internal. Such were many of that nation, for they could speak piously with the common people, and adore the Lord in a holy manner to implant religion in their minds, and lead them to think of heaven and hell, and could hold them in doing goods by preaching works. Thus they were able to lead many to a life of good, and therefore into the way to heaven; on which account also, many of that religion were saved, although few of their leaders. For these are such as the Lord means by: False prophets, who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves (Matt. 7:15). By "prophets," in the internal sense of the Word, are meant those who teach truth, and by it lead to good; and by "false prophets," those who teach falsity, and seduce by it. They are also like the scribes and Pharisees, who are described by the Lord in these words: They sit in Moses' seat; all things that they bid you observe, observe and do, but do not according to their word; for they say and do not; all their works they do to be seen of men; they shut up the kingdom of the heavens against men, but go not in themselves: they eat widows' houses, for a pretence pouring forth long prayers. Woe unto you, hypocrites, ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they are full of rapine and iniquity; cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside may be clean also; ye are like whited sepulchres, which appear outwardly beautiful, but within are full of the bones of the dead: thus ye outwardly appear just before men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt. 23:1-34). Another reason moreover why they were tolerated was, because every man after death retains his religious principles that he has acquired in the world; into which therefore he is introduced, when first he comes into the other life. Now with this nation, the religious principle was implanted by those who gave an oral preference to sanctity, and feigned holy gestures, and moreover, impressed the people with a belief that they could be saved through them; hence also they were removed, but were preserved among their own. But the principal reason was, that all are preserved from one judgment to another, who live a life similar to a spiritual life in externals, and emulate as it were a pious and holy internal; by whom the simple may receive instruction and guidance: for the simple in faith and heart look no farther than to see what is external, and apparent before the eyes. Hence all such were tolerated from the commencement of the Christian church, until the day of the judgment. That a Last Judgment has existed twice before, and now exists for the third time, was shown above. Of all these "the former heaven" consisted, and they are meant in the Apocalypse (20:5, 6) by "those who are not of the first resurrection." But since they were such as above described, that heaven was destroyed, and they of the second resurrection were cast out. But it ought to be known that they only were preserved who suffered themselves to be held in bonds by laws both civil and spiritual, they being capable of living together in society; nevertheless they who could not be held in bonds by those laws were not preserved, but were cast into hell long before the day of the Last Judgment: for societies are continually purified and purged from such. Hence, they who led a wicked life, who enticed the common people to do evils, and entered on abominable arts, such as exist among spirits in the hells (see the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 580), were cast out of societies, and this in their turns. In like manner also those who are interiorly good are removed from societies, lest they should be contaminated by those who are interiorly evil; for the good perceive the interiors, and therefore pay no regard to the exteriors, except just so far as they agree with the interiors; they are sent in their turns to places of instruction (concerning which see the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 512-520), and are carried thence into heaven; for "the new heaven" is formed of them, and they are meant by "those who are of the first resurrection." These things are said that it may be known, why so many of the Papal religion were tolerated and preserved until the day of the Last Judgment; but more will be said on the same subject in the following article, where "the first heaven" which passed away is to be treated of.60.
V. How they were destroyed, and their habitations made a desert. This I will here describe in a few words; more fully in the Explanation of the Apocalypse. That Babylonia there treated of has been destroyed, no one but he who saw it can know, and it was given me to see how the Last Judgment was brought about and accomplished upon all, especially upon those of Babylon. I, therefore, will describe it This was granted me, principally, in order to reveal to the world, that all things predicted in the Apocalypse are Divinely inspired, and that the Apocalypse is a prophetic book of the Word. For if this were not revealed to the world, and at the same time the internal sense which is in each expression there, as in each expression of the Prophets of the Old Testament, that book might be rejected, on account of not being understood; which would produce such incredulity, that the things there said would not be held worthy of belief, nor that any such Last Judgment would come; in which unbelief those of the Babylon would confirm themselves more than others. Lest this should be, it pleased the Lord to make me an eye-witness. But all that I saw of the Last Judgment upon those of the Babylon, or of the destruction of Babylon, cannot be here adduced, being in itself sufficient to fill a volume. In this place I shall merely relate certain general things, reserving the particulars for the Explanation of the Apocalypse. Inasmuch as the Babylonish nation was settled in and extended over many tracts in the spiritual world, and had formed to itself societies in all the quarters there (as was shown above, n. 58), I will describe how they were destroyed separately in each quarter.61.
Destruction was effected after visitation, for visitation always precedes. The act of exploring what the men are, and moreover the separation of the good from the evil, is visitation; and the good are then removed, and the evil are left behind. This having been done, there were great earthquakes, from which they perceived that the Last Judgment was at hand, and trembling seized them all. Then those who dwelt in the southern quarter, and especially in the great city there (see n. 58), were seen running to and fro, some with the intention of betaking themselves to flight, some of hiding themselves in the crypts, others of hiding in the cells and caves where their treasures were, out of which others again carried anything they could lay their hands on. But after the earthquakes there burst up an ebullition from below, which overturned everything in the city and in the region round it. After this ebullition came a vehement wind from the east which laid bare, shook, and overthrew everything to its foundations, and then all who were there were led forth, from every part, and from all their hiding-places, and cast into a sea of black waters: those who were cast into it, were many myriads. Afterwards from that whole region a smoke ascended, as after a conflagration, and finally a thick dust, which was borne by the east wind to the sea, and strewn over it; for their treasures were turned into dust, with all those things they had called holy because they possessed them. This dust was strewn over the sea, because such dust signifies what is damned. At last there was seen as it were a blackness flying over that whole region, which when it was viewed narrowly appeared like a dragon; a sign that the whole of that great city and region was become a desert, This was seen, because "dragons" signify the falsities of such a religion, and "the abode of dragons" signifies the desert after their overthrow; as in Jeremiah (9:11; x. 22; 49:33; Mal. 1:3) It was also seen that some had as it were a millstone around the left arm, which was a representative of their having confirmed their abominable dogmas from the Word; a millstone signifies such things: hence it was plain what these words signify in the Apocalypse: The angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall no more be found (Apoc. 18:21). But they who were in the council, which also was in that region, but nearer to the east, in which they were consulting on the modes of enlarging their dominion, and of keeping the people in ignorance, and thence in blind obedience (see above, n. 58), were not cast into that black sea, but into a gulf which opened itself long and deep beneath and around them. Thus was the Last Judgment accomplished upon the Babylonians in the southern quarter. But the Last Judgment upon those in front in the western quarter, and upon those in the northern quarter, where the other great city stood, was thus effected. After great earthquakes, which rent everything in those quarters to the very foundations-these are the earthquakes which are meant in the Word (Matt. 24:7; Luke 21:11; likewise Apoc. 6:12; 8:5; 11:13; 16:18); and in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and not any earthquakes in this world-an east wind went forth from the south through the west into the north, and laid bare that whole region first that part of it in front in the western quarter, where the people of the dark ages dwelt underground, and afterwards the great city, which extended from that quarter even through the north to the east, and from these regions thus laid bare, all things were exposed to view. But because there were not such great riches there, no ebullition, and no sulphurous fire consuming treasures were seen, but only overturn and destruction, and at length exhalation of the whole into smoke; for the east wind went forth, blowing to and fro; it overthrew and destroyed and also swept away. The monks and common people were led forth to the number of many myriads; some were cast into the black sea, on that side of it which faces the west; some into the great southern gulf, mentioned above; some into the western gulf, and some into the hells of the Gentiles, for a part of those who lived in the dark ages were idolaters like the Gentiles, A smoke also was seen to ascend from that region, and to proceed as far as the sea; over which it hovered, depositing a black crust there; for that part of the sea into which they were cast, was encrusted over with the dust and smoke, into which their dwellings and their riches were reduced; wherefore that sea has no longer a visible existence, but in its place is seen, as it were a black soil, under which is their hell, The Last Judgment upon those who dwelt upon the mountains in the eastern quarter (see n. 58), was thus accomplished. Their mountains were seen to subside into the deep, and all those who were upon them to be swallowed up; and he whom they had placed upon one of the mountains, and whom they proclaimed to be god, was seen to become first black, then fiery, and with them to be cast headlong into hell. For the monks of the various orders who were upon those mountains, said that he was God and that they were Christ, and wherever they went, they took with them the abominable persuasion that themselves were Christ. Finally, judgment was effected upon those who dwelt more remotely in the western quarter, upon the mountains there, and who are meant by "the woman sitting upon the scarlet beast who had seven heads which are seven mountains," of whom also something is related above (n. 58). Their mountains also were seen, some were open in the middle, where an immense chasm was made and whirled about in a spiral, into which those on the mountains were cast. Other mountains were torn up by their foundations and turned upside down, so that the summit became the base; those who were thence in the plains were inundated as with a deluge, and covered over, and those who were among them from other quarters were cast into gulfs. But the things now related are only a small part of all I saw; more will be given in the Explanation of the Apocalypse. They were effected and accomplished in the beginning of the year 1757. As regards the gulfs into which all were cast, except those who were cast into the black sea, they are many. Four of them were disclosed to me; one great gulf in the southern quarter, towards the east there; another in the western quarter, towards the south; a third in the western quarter, towards the north there; a fourth still further in the angle between the west and the north: the gulfs and the sea are their hells. These were seen, but in addition to these there are many more, which were not seen; for the hells of the Babylonish people are distinct according to the various profanations of spiritual things, which are of the good and truth of the church.62.
Thus now was the spiritual world freed from such spirits, and the angels rejoiced on account of its liberation from them, because they who were of Babylon infested and seduced all whomsoever they could, and there more than in the world; for their cunning is more malignant there, because they are spirits; for it is the spirit of each in which all his wickedness is hidden, since the spirit of the man is what thinks, wills, intends, and plots. Many of them were explored, and it was found that they believed nothing at all, and that the heinous lust of seducing, the rich for the sake of their riches, and the poor for the sake of dominion, was rooted in their minds, and that on account of that end they kept all in the densest ignorance, thus blocking up the way to light, thus to heaven: for the way to light and to heaven is obstructed, when the knowledges of spiritual things are overwhelmed by idolatries, and when the Word is adulterated, weakened, and taken away.63.
VI. Those of them who were in the affection of truth from good were preserved. Those of the Papal nation who lived piously, and were in good, although not in truths, and still from affection desired to know truths, were taken away and carried into a certain region, in front in the western quarter, near the north, and there habitations were given them, and societies of them were instituted, and then priests from the Reformed were sent to them, who instructed them from the Word, and as they are instructed, they are accepted in heaven.64.
The state of those hereafter who come thence from the earth. Since the Last Judgment has now been accomplished, and by means of it all things are reduced by the Lord into order, and since all who are interiorly good are taken into heaven, and all who are interiorly evil are cast into hell, it is not permitted them henceforth as heretofore, to form societies below heaven and above hell, nor to have anything in common with others, but as soon as they come thither, which is after the death of each, they are altogether separated, and after passing a certain time in the world of spirits, they are carried into their own places. They therefore who profane holy things, that is, who claim for themselves the power of opening and shutting heaven, and of remitting sins, which yet are powers belonging to the Lord alone, and who make Papal bulls equal to the Word, and have dominion for an end, are henceforth carried away immediately into that black sea, or into the gulfs, where the hells of profaners are. But it was said to me from heaven, that those of that religious persuasion who are such, do not look at all to the life after death, because they deny it in heart, but only to life in the world; and that hence they hold of no account this lot of theirs after death, which yet is to endure to eternity, but laugh at it, as a thing of nought.65.
X. THE FORMER HEAVEN AND ITS ABOLISHMENT. It is said in the Apocalypse: I saw a great throne, and One sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and their place was not found (Rev. 20:11). And afterwards: I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Rev. 21:1). That by "a new heaven and a new earth," and by the passing away of the former heaven and the former earth is not meant the visible heaven and our habitable earth, but an angelic heaven and a church, was shown above in the first article, and also in those which follow it. For the Word in itself is spiritual, and therefore treats of spiritual things; and spiritual things are the things of heaven and the church; these are expressed by natural things in the sense of the letter, because natural things serve as a basis to spiritual things, and without such a basis the Word would not be a Divine work, because it would not be complete; for the natural, which is the ultimate in Divine order, completes and makes the interiors, which are spiritual and celestial, to subsist upon it, as a house upon its foundation. Now because man has thought of the things of the Word from the natural and not from the spiritual, therefore, by "the heaven and the earth" which are mentioned here and elsewhere, they have understood none other than the heaven and earth which exist in the world of nature; hence it is that everyone expects the passing away and destruction of these, and then also the creation of new ones. But lest they should expect this everlastingly, from age to age in vain, the spiritual sense of the Word is opened, that thus it may be known what is meant by many things in the Word, which, when thought of naturally, do not enter the understanding, and, at the same time, what is meant by "the heaven and the earth" which will pass away.66.
But before showing what is meant by "the first heaven and the first earth," it should be known, that by "the first heaven" is not meant the heaven formed of those who have become angels from the first creation of this world to the present time, for that heaven is abiding, and endures to eternity; for all who enter heaven are under the Lord's protection, and he who has once been received by the Lord, can never be plucked away from Him. But by "the first heaven" is meant that which was composed of others than those who have become angels, and for the most part of those who could not become angels. Who they were, and their quality, shall be told in the following pages. This heaven it is, of which it is said, that it "passed away." It was called heaven, because they who were in it dwelt on high, forming societies upon rocks and mountains, and living in delights similar to natural ones, but still not in any that were spiritual; for very many who come from the earth into the spiritual world, believe themselves to be in heaven, when they are on high, and in heavenly joy, when they are in delights such as they had in the world. Hence it wasn't called heaven, but "the first heaven which passed away."67.
It is moreover to be known, that this heaven which is called "the first," did not consist of any who had lived before the Lord's coming into the world, but all were from those who lived after His coming, for as was shown above (n. 33-38) a Last Judgment is effected at the end of every church, and then the former heaven is abolished, and a new heaven is created or formed; for all who lived in an external moral life, and in external piety and sanctity, although not in any internal, were tolerated from the beginning to the end of the church provided the internals which belong to the thoughts and intentions could be held in bonds by the laws of society, civil and moral; but at the end of the church their internals are disclosed, and the judgment is then effected upon them, Hence it is that a Last Judgment has been effected upon the inhabitants of this planet twice before, and now for the third time (see above, n. 46); thus also a heaven and an earth have twice passed away before, and a new heaven and a new earth have been created; for the heaven and the earth are the church in either world, as shown above (n. 1-5). Hence it is plain, that "the new heaven and the new earth," mentioned in the prophets of the Old Testament, are not that "new heaven and new earth" mentioned in the Apocalypse, but that the former existed from the Lord when He was in the world, and that the latter exist from Him now. Concerning those in the prophets of the Old Testament, it is thus written: Behold, I am about to create a new heaven and a new earth, neither shall the former be remembered (Isa. 65:17). And in another place: I am about to make a new heaven and a new earth (Isa. 66:22). Besides what is said in Daniel.68.
Since the first heaven which passed away is the subject now treated of, and since no one knows anything concerning it, I will describe it in order. I. Of whom the first heaven consisted. II. What its quality was. III. How it passed away.69.
I. Of whom the first heaven consisted. The first heaven was composed of all those upon whom the Last Judgment was effected, for it was not effected upon those in hell, nor upon those in heaven, nor upon those in the world of spirits, concerning which world see the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 421-520), nor upon any man yet living, but solely upon those who had made to themselves the likeness of a heaven, of whom the greater part were on mountains and rocks; these also were they whom the Lord meant by "the goats," which He placed on the left (Matt. 25:32, 33, seq.). Hence it may appear, that the first heaven existed, not merely from Christians, but also from Mohammedans and Gentiles, who had all formed to themselves such heavens in their own places. What their quality was shall be told in a few words. They were those who had lived in the world in external and not in internal holiness; who were just and sincere for the sake of civil and moral laws, but not for the sake of Divine laws, therefore who were external or natural and not internal or spiritual men; who also were in the doctrinals of the church, and were able to teach them, although they were not in a life according to them; and who filled various offices, and did uses, but not for the sake of uses. These, and all throughout the whole world who were like them, and who lived after the Lord's coming, constituted "the first heaven." This heaven therefore was such as the world and church is upon earth, among those who do good not because it is good, but because they fear the laws, and the loss of fame, honor, and gain; they who do good for no other origin, do not fear God, but men, nor do they have any conscience. In the first heaven of the Reformed, there was a large part of them, who believed that man is saved by faith alone, and had not lived the life of faith, which is charity; and who loved much to be seen of men. In all these, so long as they were associated together, the interiors were closed that they might not appear, but when the Last Judgment was at hand they were opened; and it was then found that inwardly they were obsessed by falsities and evils of every kind, and that they were against the Divine, and were actually in hell For every one after death is immediately bound to his like, the good to their like in heaven, but the evil to their like in hell, yet they do not go to them before the interiors are disclosed; in the meantime they may be consociated with those who are like them in externals. But it is to be known that all who were interiorly good thus who were spiritual, were separated from them, and elevated into heaven, and that all who were exteriorly as well as interiorly evil, were also separated from them, and cast into hell; and this from the time immediately succeeding the Lord's advent, down to the last time, when the judgment was; and that those only were left, to form societies among themselves, who constituted the first heaven, and who were such as are described above,70.
There were many reasons why such societies, or such heavens were tolerated; the principal reason was, that by external holiness, and by external sincerity and justice, they were conjoined with the simple good, who were either in the lowest heaven, or were still in the world of spirits and not yet introduced into heaven. For in the spiritual world, there is a communication, and thence a conjunction, of all with their like; and the simple good, in the lowest heaven, and in the world of spirits, look principally to externals, yet are not interiorly evil; wherefore if these spirits had been forcibly removed from them before the appointed time, heaven would have suffered in its ultimates; and yet it is the ultimate, upon which the superior heaven subsists, as upon its own basis. That they were tolerated until the last time on this account, the Lord teaches in the following words: The servants of the householder came and said unto him, Didst thou not sow good seed in thy field, whence then are the tares? And they said, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay, lest, whilst ye gather up the tares, ye root up at the same time the wheat with them; let both therefore grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into barns. He that hath sowed the good seed, is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the sons of the kingdom, the tares are the sons of evil; the harvest is the consummation of the age: as therefore the tares are gathered together, and burnt with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt, 13:27-30, 37-40). "The consummation of this age," is the last time of the church; "the tares" are those who are interiorly evil; "the wheat" are those who are interiorly good; "the gathering the tares together, and binding them in bundles to burn," is the Last Judgment.# The like is meant in the same chapter by the Lord's parable of the fishes of every kind, which were gathered together, and the good placed in vessels, but the bad cast away; concerning which it is also said: So shall it be in the consummation of the age; the angels shall go forth, and separate the evil from the midst of the just (vers. 47-49). They are compared to fishes, because "fishes" in the spiritual sense of the Word, signify natural and external men, both good and evil; what "the just" signify may be seen below.## # "Bundles" in the Word signify the arrangement of the truths and falsities with man into series, thus also the arrangement of men in whom truths and falsities are (n. 4686, 4687, 5339, 5530, 7408, 10303). "The Son of man" is the Lord as to Divine truths (n. 1729, 1733, 2159, 2628, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 7499, 8897, 9807). "Sons" are the affections of truth from good (n. 489, 491, 533, 2623, 3373, 4257, 8649, 9807); therefore "the sons of the kingdom" are those who are in the affections of truth from good; and "the sons of evil," those who are in the affections of falsity from evil; whence the latter are called tares," and the former "good seed," for "tares" signify falsity from evil, and "good seed," truth from good; "the seed of the field" is truth from good, in man, from the Lord (n. 1940, 3038, 3310, 3373, 10248, 10249). "Seed" in the opposite sense is falsity from evil (n. 10249). "The seed of the field" is also the nutrition of the mind by Divine truth from the Word and "sowing" is instruction (n. 6158, 9272). "The consummation of the age" is the last time of the church (n. 4535, 10622). ## "Fishes," in the spiritual sense of the Word, signify scientifics, which belong to the natural or external man, and hence also natural or external men, both evil and good (n. 40, 991). Animals of all kinds correspond with such things as are with man (n. 45, 46, 246, 714, 716, 719, 2179, 2180, 3519, 9280, 10609). In the Word, they to whom the Lord's justice and merit are attributed, are called "just"; they to whom their own justice and merit are attributed, are called "unjust" (n. 3686, 5069, 9263).71.
II. What the quality of the first heaven was, may be concluded from the things already said of it; as also from this, that they who are not spiritual by acknowledgment of the Divine, by a life of good, and by the affection of truth, and still appear as spiritual by external holiness, by discoursing on Divine things, and by sincerities for the sake of themselves and the world, rush into the abominations which agree with their lusts, when they are left to their own internals; for nothing withholds them, neither fear of God, nor faith, nor conscience. Hence it was, that as soon as they who were in the first heaven were let into their interiors, they appeared conjoined with the hells.72.
III. How the first heaven passed away, was described before, in describing the Last Judgment upon the Mohammedans and Gentiles (n. 50, 51); and upon the Papists (n. 61-63), since they also in their own places were constituents of the first heaven, It remains that something be said of the Last Judgment upon the Reformed, who are also called Protestants and Evangelical, or how the first heaven composed of them passed away; for, as was said above, judgment was effected upon those only of whom the first heaven consisted, After being visited, and let into their own interiors, they were separated from each other, and divided into classes according to evils and falsities therefrom, and according to falsities and evils therefrom, and were cast into hells corresponding to their loves. Their hells surrounded the middle region on all sides, for the Reformed were in the middle, the Papists around them, the Mohammedans around the Papists, and the Gentiles in the outmost circuit (see n. 48). Those who were not cast into hells, were cast out into deserts; but there were some sent down to the plains in the southern and northern quarters, there to form societies, and be instructed and prepared for heaven; these are they who were preserved. But how all these things were accomplished, cannot be described in particular in this place, for the judgment upon the Reformed was of longer continuance than upon others, and was effected by successive changes. Now since much that is worthy of mention was then heard and seen, I will present the particulars in their own order in the Explanation of the Apocalypse.73.
XI. THE STATE OF THE WORLD AND OF THE CHURCH HEREAFTER. The state of the world hereafter will be altogether similar to what it has been heretofore, for the great change which has taken place in the spiritual world, does not induce any change in the natural world as to the external form; so that after this there will be civil affairs as before, there will be peace, treaties, and wars as before, with all other things which belong to societies in general and in particular, The Lord said that: In the last times there will be wars, and then nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places (Matt. 24:6, 7). This does not signify that such things will exist in the natural world, but that the things corresponding with them will exist in the spiritual world: for the Word in its prophecies does not treat of the kingdoms on earth, nor of the nations there, thus neither concerning their wars, nor of famines, pestilences, and earthquakes there, but of such things as correspond to them in the spiritual world; what these things are, is explained in the Arcana Coelestia, and a collection of passages on the subject may be seen below.# But as for the state of the church, this it is which will be dissimilar hereafter; it will be similar indeed as to the external appearance, but dissimilar as to the internal. As to the external appearance divided churches will exist as heretofore, their doctrines will be taught as heretofore; and the same religions as now will exist among the Gentiles. But henceforth the man of the church will be in a more free state of thinking on matters of faith, thus on the spiritual things which relate to heaven, because spiritual freedom has been restored to him. For all things in the heavens and in the hells are now reduced into order, and all thought concerning Divine things and against the Divine inflows from thence; from the heavens all thought which is in harmony with Divine things, and from the hells all which is against Divine things. But man does not observe this change of state in himself, because he does not reflect upon it, and because he knows nothing of spiritual freedom and of influx; nevertheless it is perceived in heaven, and also by man himself after his death. Because spiritual freedom has been restored to man, therefore the spiritual sense of the Word has now been disclosed, and by it interior Divine truths have been revealed; for man in his former state would not have understood them, and he who would have understood them, would have profaned them. That man has freedom by means of the equilibrium between heaven and hell, and, that man cannot be reformed except in freedom, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 597 at the end). # That "wars" in the Word signify spiritual combats (n. 1659, 1664, 8295, 10455). Hence all "the arms of war," as "the bow," "the sword," "the shield," signify something of spiritual combat (n. 1788, 2686). "Kingdoms" signify churches as to truths and as to falsities (n. 1672, 2546). "Nations" signify those in the church who are in goods and who are in evils (n. 1059, 1159, 1205, 1258, 1260, 1416, 1849, 4574, 8005, 6306, 6858, 8054, 8317, 9320, 9327). "Famine" signifies a defect of the knowledges of good and truth (n. 1480, 3364, 5277, 5278, 5281, 5300, 5360, 5376, 5893). It also signifies the desolation of the church (n. 5279, 5415, 5576, 6110, 6144, 7102). "Pestilence" signifies the vastation and consummation of good and truth (n. 7102, 7505, 7507, 7511). "Earthquakes" signify changes of the state of the church (n. 3355).74.
I have had various conversations with angels, concerning the state of the church hereafter. They said that they know not things to come, for the knowledge of things to come belongs to the Lord alone; but they know that the slavery and captivity in which the man of the church was formerly, has been taken away, and that now, from restored freedom, he can better perceive interior truths, if he wills to perceive them; and thus be made more internal, if he wills to become so; but that still they have slender hope of the men of the Christian church, but much of some nation far distant from the Christian world, and therefore removed from infesters, which nation is such that it is capable of receiving spiritual light, and of being made a celestial-spiritual man, and they said, that at this day interior Divine truths are revealed in that nation, and are also received in spiritual faith, that is, in life and heart, and that they adore the Lord.