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Last Judgment Posthumous, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1762], tr. by John Whitehead [1914], at

Last Judgment Posthumous


[203] Those who have said that they had faith have been seen many times; and when they are explored it is found that they had no other faith than that which was spoken of above. This they call the only saving faith, and also spiritual faith, and yet they have not lived any Christian life by shunning evil because it is sin. They were sent into places where faith was constituted of truths which had their essence from the good of life, and their communication was granted them to discover whether they had faith. And, from the perception then given them, they themselves openly confessed that they had nothing of faith, it was mere knowledge like any other mere knowledge of the world, and that they had not known what faith was; also that faith was truth, and that, unless truths are from good; they are not truths, but are only articulated expressions of sound.


[204] Very many of those who are in faith alone and in no life of charity are sensual. For evils of life, which they neither see in themselves nor have endeavored to see, occupy their voluntary and make it; and, as a man is in respect to his voluntary such he is as to his interiors. Therefore these interiors are shut up, and all things which are of the church and heaven are below or without, thus merely in the memory where they reside as historical faith or as science. This is the reason why, when men hear something of the truths concerning the Lord, the Word, eternal life, heaven, the state of the angels and the state of men after death, the things they hear are received as matters of the memory; but as soon as they think about them, as to whether they are so, then the sensual corporeal judges and makes its own conclusion. The conclusion reached is that what has been heard cannot be true, and this because what is previously in the memory from doctrine must be believed; as, that there are three Persons of the Divinity, that the Human of the Lord is not Divine, that angels, because they are spirits, are like winds, and so likewise man after death. The reason is because it is the sensual that makes the conclusion, and [in that] light from heaven which enlightens cannot be received, the interiors being closed to the transflux of that light. Investigate for yourself as to whether this is not the case, whenever any such truth is laid under direct examination, and inquiry is made as to whether it is so. The sensual man is such that he comprehends fallacies and believes in appearances and speaks truths, but the truths themselves, which are of the light of heaven, he rejects. This is the effect of faith alone, and therefore they cannot be led on into any understanding of truth.


[205] It was said by angels that there can be no such thing as faith alone. Spirits who, in the world, had been in faith alone, being indignant at this, came running up from every direction to where the angelic spirits were, and inquired, "Is there no such a thing as faith alone?" In this manner they ran to ten or fifteen places, and everywhere received the answer, that there is no such thing, because faith without love is mere knowledge, and their faith the mere knowledge of falsity; and if they wish to call mere knowledge faith, because they have persuaded themselves in it, although they do not understand whether it is so, [their belief] is nothing but persuasion because it is so said, and is scarcely different from the belief that corpses and bones and men's graves are holy, when yet they are stercoraceous and signify damnation and hell. When they heard this they ran on and inquired what love was, whether it was not faith alone. Angelic spirits thought them insane, and still more when they said that works were faith, which is as if they had said that thinking was doing. They ran on still further and said, "Is not faith thus a nonentity?" They received the answer that faith separate from charity is a nonentity, because faith is called faith from charity which is its soul; and faith separate from charity is just such an entity as is the body without the soul.


[206] I have heard many of the learned reasoning about various matters of their faith, things which they had held from birth, thence as truths of their religion. Their reasoning was sharp and vehement and each one was refuting the other. There were angels who were listening and they said that with not a single one of them did they perceive any affection of truth, nor therefore any sight of truth, and thus no delight of mind arising from any truth. They wondered that these spirits were able to confirm falsities; and they said that it was merely the delight of reasoning springing from pride, and that thus they cannot progress into any wisdom, for they are at a standstill. But those who are in the affection of truth are ever progressing from truth to truths, and this continually until at last they come to wisdom and thus to angelic happiness. They said that as soon as they hear such reasoners, they turn themselves away and have no wish to join company with them because they see nothing. Of such quality are very many of those who have confirmed themselves in faith separate, not only in doctrine but also in life; for they think to themselves, "What need have I to know what evil is since this does not condemn? or what good is since this does not save? Only let me think, from that faith, that the Lord has fulfilled for me all things of the law and that His merit will be imputed to me."


[207] It was disclosed by angels of heaven that those who are in faith alone have no conscience, yea, that they do not know what conscience is; and he who has no conscience has no religion. The reason is, because they make goods of life of no account, and they who make these of no account can by no means have conscience, and hence cannot know what it is; for conscience is a grief of the mind [animus] that one has done contrary to the Divine precepts and that one has thought against them. Grief of conscience arises from this, that they see themselves as it were in damnation.


[208] They who believe that man is saved by charity and not by faith alone, if they do not live the life of charity, differ little from the others. For to say charity or to say faith, and not to do them, are both equally of the thought, in which there is nothing of life because nothing of the will. Such spirits inflict pain in the breast and in the right shoulder blade.


[209] How greatly the principles of falsity injure the mind [animus] and turn it away from deeds, may appear from many examples. Thus he who believes that works contribute nothing to salvation turns his mind away from doing goods. He who believes adulteries are allowable turns his mind away from chaste conjugial love, thus from chastity, yea from purity of faith; for purity of faith is wholly discordant with adulteries. He who believes that nature operates all things, and that God operates only in a universal way, trusts in his own prudence, and does nothing of good except from himself. Wherefore principles of falsity inflow into the life; for the will does not act contrary to the principles that have been received, but with them.


[210] I have spoken with Melancthon about faith alone, to the effect that he could see from reason alone, that faith alone is not saving because every man is his own good and his own evil; and that every spirit is a form and image of his own good and his own evil; and this not only as to his face but also as to his whole body. For according to the quality of a spirit's affection such he is in respect to his mind, and at the same time in respect to his body. This may be manifestly known from the fact that when anyone speaks contrary to the affection of any spirit or angel, he immediately changes his countenance, yea, becomes invisible and disappears. And, therefore, because faith alone is merely of the thought and not of the will, and thus only of the memory and not of the life, it follows that it is as yet outside the man and not within him. Wherefore, since a spirit is a complete spirit in the degree that he is his own good or his own evil, and since faith separate from good is not within the man, it follows that it is merely like a skin, and that men of faith separate are not men except as to the skin; and thus that they are to be called cutaneous.


[211] The truth is, that he who confirms faith alone with himself both in doctrine and in life cannot be reformed, and thus cannot be saved; that is, he who, while in the world, has thought, "Since I am justified by faith nothing of evil will condemn me, because it is not imputed, and nothing of good will save me;" and has thus cast out of his thought all reflection upon the evil and the good of life with himself; and if he apperceives any evil or good he is not concerned about it as being a matter of no importance in respect to salvation. Such are spirits who cannot be reformed, for they think like things after death.


[212] That the Lord is love; that hence the whole heaven is arranged according to the genera and species of love, and thus according to its varieties; that in like manner every society of heaven, and every spirit and angel; that it is similar in a spirit and angel in whom heaven is, in that all things in them are disposed from love and, according to it in their understanding, yea, their whole body. How then can there be such a thing as faith alone, since faith is according to love?


[213] There was a certain Englishman, who had written learnedly and skillfully about faith and charity, and this from considerable ingenuity. But he had come to the conclusion that faith produces charity, and that when man is justified by faith he is in the endeavor to do good, and that this is the effect of faith; thus that faith first leads to charity and afterwards in charity. It was told him by angels that it so appears to man, and yet that it is not so; and, because it so appears, that this is the way of reformation, for thus man learns many things which are of faith, believing that in this way he is saved; but when man is not regenerated the order is inverted. And, moreover, that if he should make inquiry he would never find that faith produced charity, but that faith was produced by charity. And, therefore, because he was gifted with much ingenuity, he thought out many reasons for confirming the idea that it is faith that produces; and it was permitted him to produce these reasons, and to show whether the case was so. Wherefore in his meditation he was left to follow out each reason; but when he came to the end of his production there always appeared, as it were, an obstruction to the way which he was unable to penetrate so as to arrive at charity. Therefore, abandoning this reason, he acted in a similar manner with another reason, and so on with a hundred. In this way he went on in his ingenious meditation every day for an entire year, and not once did he see a conjunction on the part of faith. Wherefore he afterwards confessed that the thing was impossible, and that the fact that some said they had felt it with themselves was due either to their having thought of charity outside of faith, or to other causes, etc., etc., which arose from the fact that the things which are of faith have taught them, for the truths of faith teach and man acts according to them, and that from a principle either adopted or heard, they have attributed it to faith. Moreover, after a man has done charity, faith is then living, and then, in the single things, charity and faith work together, and it can hardly be seen which is prior and which posterior. The truths of faith which are of the thought and understanding are prior-but still truths do not live and become truths of faith or saving until man lives according to them.


[214] I read before Englishmen their exhortation used before the Holy Supper [teaching], how they should act that their sins may be forgiven, and in which there is no mention of faith; and I said this is true religion itself. Certain preachers who were in favor of faith alone, hearing this, said that when reading that exhortation in their churches they had fully believed it to be the way of salvation, but when thinking from their doctrine of faith alone they had thought differently. The English were praised for that exhortation, and many of them believed that it belonged to their doctrine; but more of them said that this was for the common people, faith alone being for the learned. They were asked whether they wished to thus invite the curse expressed in the words, that unless they do this Satan would enter into them as he entered into Judas. They then went away and spoke about the matter among themselves.


[215] I once saw some leaders of the English, among whom were also one or two bishops, who fought for faith alone as for their altars and hearths. And from the ideas of their thought concerning faith alone and justification thereby they formed an image, that it might represent that faith. In the spiritual world this can be done skillfully and easily. They there made their images by means of ideas, and these images also became visible, for appearances are merely from their ideas. Into their image they fitted all things of their faith. But when it was finished it appeared in the sight of the angels as an enormous monster, and as though it would frighten them away. This was in the light of heaven; but before their own eyes it assumed a different appearance, as monstrous things are wont to do, when seen in darkness and from phantasy. They gloried in it at first, but afterwards they became ashamed.


[216] The English said that faith produces charity as a tree produces fruit. But it was shown them that by a tree there is not meant faith but man, and by the branches and leaves are meant the truths of faith, and by the fruits the goods of love; also that natural affection or natural good, which is of the love of self and the world, cannot be conjoined to a faith which is spiritual; if it is conjoined, the result is an adultery; and that spiritual good is not possible except by means of the good of life, which is the good treated of.


[217] An argument on which they lay stress is, that man cannot do good which is good of himself. This is true, but still unless man be in good as from himself it is not appropriated to him, and so he is not conjoined to the Lord. In order for conjunction there must be something reciprocal, and thus a covenant, which is, If you do that I will do this. And, therefore, that man may do it as if of himself freedom is given him, and this freedom is freedom to think, to will, and to do; reason is given him that he may see what salvation is; will is given, and choice and election; and he is commanded to act. All these are given in order that he may act as if of himself, and yet it is not from him but from the Lord. If he did not act of himself he would be an automaton, and all influx would pass through him. The Lord is continually with man pressing and urging him that he may act, and that, for the sake of appropriation and conjunction, it may appear no otherwise than that he acts of himself. A thousand passages can be adduced showing that man is condemned if he does evil and rewarded if he does good; those where doing and works are mentioned might be brought forward.


[218] Many were explored who at the last hour when they had received the Sacrament believed they would be saved by that faith. They said they had believed with trust and confidence; yet it was the life of evil that remained and not the faith. They were told to hold their breath and, at the same time, retain that faith, but still, as soon as they breathed, the delight of evil, from which was their life, returned; and they were cast into hell.


[219] After the judgment those who had been scattered amongst others round about were collected together. And when they had been collected, there came into their mind a cunning [idea] of seducing the upright [by teaching them] that faith alone is saving. Wherefore the latter complained about them to the Lord. And then I saw them receding more and more, even till they came to the bounds of the Christian world; there, at the back, were deserts, and I saw a great part of them driven thither. Afterwards it was granted me to see the nature of this desert. There were vile huts and hovels wherein they dwelt almost solitary, with some harlot, and round about them it was stony, with great heaps of rocks between which were a few ways. Nor does one dare to approach another. They all fear each other lest they do evil, nor do they believe even when they stand outside and invite them in. A piece of bread with water is given them daily; some send them something eatable. I saw no shrub, still less any tree; but sandy and rocky places.


[220] Many of them said they were desirous of being instructed and thus of rejecting that faith, but in vain; 218-1 the inrooted faith clung to them because it had been the principle of their life. What is marvelous, the learned of that religion regard justification by faith alone as such a Divine mystery, that touching it is like touching the pupil of the eye; saying that they have bound themselves to it by oath. But it was shown them that in the Revelation it is described by the beast from the sea [Rev. 13:1-10], and in Daniel by the little horn which waxed great towards all the quarters, and cast down from heaven the host thereof [Dan. 8:9-10]. But when they hear this confirmed from heaven, where correspondences are perceived, they still worship justification as their idol. The justification that is meant is justification by faith separate from charity. I also spoke much about the endeavor to do good which follows justification, asking them whether this endeavor is anything of the will on man's part. They said that it was: others said that it was not, but was to be carefully separated.


[221] Some say that we have no free will, but that it was destroyed by Adam; that we have some freedom of belief or faith, but none of doing or acting. But it was shown them that no man, not even Adam, had freedom from himself, but only as if from himself; and that everyone has freedom to act from the Lord, thus to be led by the Lord: and that each one is in this freedom so far as he is led. 219-1


[222] All those preachers who in the life of the body have confirmed themselves in faith alone, and who cannot recede therefrom on account of their life, are not admitted to preach. Their priestly garment is taken away from them, and afterwards they do not know that they have been preachers. Very many are admitted to preach, but as soon as they preach faith separate from charity, and justification by it alone, all who are present go out, and the temple becomes empty. Thus those preachers who can recede from that faith are amended, and receive the doctrine of heaven. The case is similar with those who separate the Lord from the Father and do not make them one, and what is new, all of them, after they have been in the spiritual world a month, reject the third Person, acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is the Lord speaking through angels and spirits. The reason why they reject is because enthusiastic spirits, Quakers and many others, who are infernal, call themselves the holy spirit from eternity. [223] I have had much speech with them in respect to this matter, to the effect that they have rejected the third Person of the Divinity, and that now they think of two, in order that they may see, whether from the two they make one.


[224] One whom I knew in the world, had confirmed himself in faith alone by many arguments. I said to him that he should go and see those habitations in the desert, and when he went he saw nothing but a sandy waste, with rough stones and rocks all around, but not a single shrub nor a blade of grass; and, therefore, returning, he grieved over their miserable lot. There also he met and spoke with some who in the world had been acknowledged by him as learned men. And when he still wished to defend faith alone there appeared serpents which darted at his feet and coiled themselves around them. He was afterwards led to plains where those dwelt who were in a similar faith, where there was grass, shrubs, trees and buildings, and the inhabitants were of a cheerful disposition, and industrious in their work and business. They confessed that they had merely known of that faith from having heard it preached, but had thought nothing about it beyond the literal sense, and had not confirmed it any further; and that still they had lived a life according to the Word; thus that the faith was only a faith of science in their memory, but not a faith in the life. They are afterwards instructed and receive truths which they had not known in the world.


[225] A learned man, who, in the world, had thought solely about faith alone, was examined as to whether he knew any truth of the church, whether he knew what faith is, or what the life of faith, what charity is, what love, what truth and the affection and perception of truth, what free will, what regeneration, what spiritual temptation, what Baptism, what the Holy Supper, what is heaven with man, and what and whence is hell, wherein is the holiness of the Word, what Providence is, what God and whether He is one or three, what conscience is, also what is the church in man and what heaven in him. And the angels heard; [and they saw] that he knew nothing of these things. The responses which he made were falsities derived from reasonings, and were also things from the Word which had been falsified. It was said to him, How could he be in the light of heaven, and hence in angelic wisdom, and from this in the felicity of heaven? Being convicted, he wished to learn, but because he had confirmed faith alone he could not.


[226] I spoke with angels concerning the progression of truth to good, saying that the angels have joy when an infant or boy learns truths and acquires them from affection, thus when truths become truths of knowledge; they have greater joy when they become truths of the understanding, still greater when they become of the will, and the greatest joy when they become of the act. Then they love him because truths have taught him and led him to good. And they are gladdened when he knows that it is not truths which lead to good, but that it is good which leads him into truth and thus into wisdom. Man does not know this, but the angels perceive it and rejoice.


[227] How Englishmen who wish to acquire a reputation for erudition compose their discourses with great elegance and as it were profound wisdom, especially concerning the influx of faith, and the endeavor to the doing of good, and of man's state then as to affection, reception and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. Some of the English complained, saying that these elegancies delight their ears and are pleasing to them while they listen; but when they wish to apply anything therefrom to themselves they know not what the preachers have said, and whether it is allowable to adjoin the will, and thus to openly will, and act, or not. When they ask them, they say such sounding words as, that they may, and may not, and finally that it is a transcendent mystery. They speak in this manner so that their hearers, being able to gather either meaning from them, may praise them. And yet, by reason of these words with their double meaning in which something lies hidden like a snake in the grass, those hearers do not love them. They tell them that they should remain in the doctrine that is taught in the exhortation used at the Holy Supper, and that if they do not so from the will, the devil will, perchance, enter into them as he entered into Judas. Their discourses are also filled with the perception of trust and confidence in themselves.


[228] I have sometimes heard it said from heaven that that faith saves no one because there is no life in it; and that true faith is truth; and that man has truth only so far as he shuns evils as sins. Particulars concerning the Decalogue and its Holiness, --See [Spiritual Experiences n. 6065].


[229] The truths of faith are compared with the ornaments and utensils in palaces; unless man lives according to them they are, as it were, in a dark room with the windows shut, but as soon as a man lives according to them he is then elevated into heavenly light, the windows are opened, and he then sees those things and is delighted with them.


[230] CONCLUSION. Lastly, it shall be told what the state of man is after death, whatsoever his religion may have been. They who have led a good life, who are such as have shunned evils because they are sins, and have conducted their business with rectitude and sincerity, are not let into the evils of their will, but are held by the Lord in good, and in intelligence and wisdom therefrom. But they who have lived in evil, are let into the evils of their will, and then they can think in no other way than in agreement with those evils; and when in that state, they appear as if insane, more like beasts than men. The love of doing evil then rules them, and they now rush into all things which they have coveted. They who have been in the love of ruling for the sake of self are more insane than others. I have seen many such spirits, and they appear as if utterly deprived of all rationality; and yet they then believe that they are wise, yea, the wisest of all. But it is allowed them at times to return into the rationality which they had in the world, when, from shrewdness, they had feigned themselves gifted with every virtue. Still, even then, the pleasure of returning into the delight of their will draws them on so that they cannot be led away except unwillingly; they wish to be insane. And because they are of such a character they are sent into hells, and then it is not permitted them to go out. And they there remain under the supervision of a judge who imposes tasks on them which they must do daily. If they do not perform them, they receive neither food, clothing, nor bed; and if they do evil they are severely punished. Thus by means of adequate tasks they are led away from the delights of their will. In such a prison all are held, both men and women, who have lived in evil, that is, who have given reins to their sins. But before they go, they are deprived of everything which they had formerly learned from the Word, and of everything which they had known concerning faith, and also of the knowledge of who they had been in the world, whether kings or magistrates, bishops or elders, rich or poor, or of the common people. And they are then all alike among themselves, nor is one greater than another. A low countryman may be together with an eminent man, nor does either know who had been the more eminent in the world; for elation of the mind exists equally with those who are of the common people as with those who are in the highest places. And, what is wonderful, they cannot go out to all eternity; for if, perchance, they put forth a foot, they are punished; and if they are taken out by others they become more insane than before. I have sometimes seen this done. They are like robbers who, from fear of punishment, live honestly in a house in a city, but as soon as they come into the woods they constantly think about robberies.


[231] All the states of man can be recalled after death, the states of age, as the state of childhood, of adolescence and of youth; they who come into heaven come into the state of their adolescence, return into all the states of innocence, charity and affection with all their delights, and this with ineffable increase. With those who have lived well good states are recalled, with those who have lived in evil, evil states, concerning which various things have been said above.


[232] That at this day they crucify the Lord, see Lord; and that they are like the Jews in their time: experience.


[233] LOVE. From the ideas of spirits passing into the world of spirits after death, may be known all the ideas which they have had concerning God, heaven, love, and faith. Concerning God most of them have an idea as of a cloud or mist, because they have thought that God is a spirit, and of a spirit they have no other idea. Concerning heaven they have the idea that it is in the air, some that it is in the stars, others that it is in the universe, and scarcely any that it is with man; for they cannot remove the idea of space. Concerning heavenly joy they have ideas of delight, each one of the delight of his own love, especially of the delight of ruling and of living happily and continually in external luxuries. Few have an idea of living in internal delights; not knowing what they are. Concerning love they have so gross an idea that you may call it filthy. They think from the delight of the love of adultery. Some have no idea of love, because they have not known what love is. And so concerning mutual love; some have an idea of external friendship. In a word, all their ideas of love partake of the idea of lasciviousness. Concerning faith they have no other idea than as of the received faith, the quality of which has been spoken of above. This is no idea of genuine faith since it is an idea of faith separated from charity, and what this is, is unknown. When the angelic idea concerning God, heaven, love, and faith flows in, if it is not perceived, it becomes in their minds like an obscure darkness; for the light of heaven does not enter in. Such, from faith alone, is the world at this day. For when that faith enters in and is received, then nothing of truth is loved. They say, "In this faith I know the truths of our church in one complex."


[234] After death man comes into the world of spirits which is intermediate between heaven and hell; and there he changes his societies, and is thus prepared either for heaven or for hell. This change appears like a transference from one place to another, and also like a journey. He goes to various quarters, now ascending to higher regions, now descending to lower; and yet it is perceived that these journeys are only changes of state. This has been the case with me when I have been in the spirit. And at last when the man has been prepared, then that love leads him which is the head of his other loves. And he then turns his face to the society where his ruling love is, and thither he betakes himself as to his own home.


[235] The knowledges of truth are inscribed on the affection or love, so that it is the affection that produces them as though they had been known to it. Affection sees those things which are consonant and concordant with itself, for some have the faculty of confirming. Wherefore if the affection is good, and it becomes good by means of life, it straightway has inscribed on it the knowledges which serve it; and when it hears and sees them, then, from things in itself which are similar and analogous, it discerns them; this therefore is of the love. But he who is in faith alone and in the love of self and the world, cannot be affected by other things than those which agree with his love; these are inscribed on his love. They are contrary to the truths of faith, which are: That God should be loved above oneself, heaven above the world, the good of the neighbor, and every use for the neighbor, and the like [above self]. The truths of faith are then cast out, which is also actually the case after death, and those things remain which are of the love, or, which are of the will.


[236] All who are in the love of ruling for the sake of self and not for the sake of uses, retain that love after death; and wheresoever they come they wish to rule. This love rushes on as its bonds are relaxed. It spurns everything Divine, unless this afford it the means of ruling; in which case, so long as it serves as a means, it loves it; but when it does not serve as a means it not only rejects it but also holds it in hatred. The reason is, because this love is opposite to heavenly love. They are not admitted into heaven, and if, like hypocrites, they insinuate themselves into heaven they fill the whole neighborhood with an idea and image of themselves, and this even when they speak of God. This love turns aside the ideas of the angels, which are directed away from themselves and towards God; therefore they are driven away. This has been shown. For the most part they are corporeal because immersed in the proprium, and not elevated above it. Such spirits are taken to the boundaries of the world of spirits of our earth where there appears a lake smoking with fire; and first the spirit is rolled in the dust and let into his life in the world, and thus he is cast into the lake.


[237] Let all who are in the world and read these lines know that the love of ruling for the sake of self and not for the sake of uses is diabolical love itself and in it are all evils. Let them know this and be on their guard. All evil loves are in that love and with it, even those of which the man had been wholly ignorant while in the world. I have examples in all abundance, showing that those who, in external form, appear to be moral and Christian men but interiorly in themselves have thought of nothing else but themselves and the world, after death are consociated with devils. There was one whom I saw during a long period of time, who was so haughty in his disposition that hardly anyone could be more haughty; and yet in the world he could talk with theologians and speak morally with other men; and he feigned justice and equity more than anyone else. But after death he became such a fiery devil that he not only denied God, but he also wished to be the devil himself, in order that he might continually fight against God and destroy heaven; and he was enflamed with hostility against all who were in the acknowledgment of the Lord. He was punished frequently, but in vain. If I should mention his deeds of malice, cunning, and crimes I would fill pages. In him I saw what the devil is, both in his own hell and with men (C. XII.). 234-1 Such men do not acknowledge God, but believe all are gods who are powerful; and they wish to become gods themselves, and be worshipped.


[238] There was once some conversation respecting the love of ruling, to the effect that many believe that those who worship the Lord in the world, although they are His enemies, [will be saved and will rule over all in heaven]. 235-1 And it was said that a devil can be driven to worship the Lord, if only he be promised that he will be great, and still more if he would thereby become the greatest. It was then permitted that they should take from hell one of the devils there, who was most bitterly hostile to the Lord; and it was told him that he would be made the greatest by the Lord. He then put his whole mind to this object, and this to such a degree that he wished to lead all men to the Lord and to drive them by threats; saying, that the Lord alone should be honored and worshipped, and repeating it with earnestness and persuasion; but in his mind he cherished the thought that he would become the Lord's vicar. When, however, he saw that he had been deluded, he began to detest the Lord, and became as before, His most bitter enemy; but he was cast into hell. In a word, the delight of commanding exceeds every delight of the body.


[239] Concerning the two rules or dominions, one from the love of self, the other from love towards the neighbor, see in the work on Heaven and Hell, in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and in the little work on The Earths in the Universe, all of which works may be adduced.


[240] With those who are in the love of commanding, the interiors appear black, and this because they are closed against the influx of heaven; but their inferiors appear as it were misty because they are opened to the hells. 237-1 It is said that with those who are in the love of ruling, the superiors, thus the interiors, can never be opened towards heaven.


[241] There were seen men who belonged to the nobility of various nations. They had cordons lying over their breasts suspended from the shoulders, and also diadems. A number of them were seen. And being inspected by angels it was observed that they were continually directing their looks to themselves, and were thinking about their own superior eminence and excellence, and desiring that all men should turn their eyes to them. And because they believed that they were more worthy of being set over others than other men, therefore offices were given them. But when they were making conclusions with respect to subjects that concerned the common welfare, it was then perceived that they had no affection for the community, nor for uses; thus they were unable from judgment to discern good from evil, or truth thence from falsity, but could only speak in a high-sounding manner from the memory. And because they were of such a character they were cast out of their offices; and it was allowed them to wander about and get offices for themselves. But wherever they came they were told by the spirits there that they were thinking only of themselves and not of them, thus that they had no thought except what was from the sensual corporeal; therefore they were nowhere received. They did this for some time, afterwards I saw some of them reduced to extremities and seeking alms. Thus is the love of ruling brought low. One spirit who also wore the insignia of a nobleman confessed that as long as he wore that insignia he could not think as before, because he was interrupted by thought concerning himself; but whenever he was at home and put it off, he returned to his own judgment as before. 238-1 Diabolical spirits are skilled in the art of seducing the upright. They do this by turning their thoughts to themselves and their own proprium; by praising them in various ways; by placing themselves at their back and breathing into them the love of self; and where they observe anything black, which is the proprium, they inquire what is there; they then infuse it with their own thought and pervert, yea lead him. Some look into the forehead and act in like manner; others proceed in a different way. 238-2 Wherever blackness appears, there is the love of ruling, because this blackness is the proprium.


[242] Love, which is of man's will, corresponds to flame, and faith, which is of the thought from the understanding, corresponds to light, this is derived from the Lord's influx from love and wisdom, or from the sun of heaven. From this sun proceed Divine love and Divine wisdom, love into the will and wisdom into the understanding. But only so much of intelligence [is received] as there is of love; just as is the case with light from flame.


[243] They who worship the Lord from love, worship Him from all the truths of faith; therefore the more the truths the fuller and more acceptable is the worship. The reason is, because love excites all the things which have entered from love into the understanding. When the man is in worship only those things appear before him which he then speaks or prays, but all the rest are in vain and not in their series. When love produces truths, then these latter are disposed by the Lord into the form of heaven, and the man then adores the Lord as it were from heaven. This has been made known to me from experience in the spiritual world. When I see anyone, all those things come up which I know and have heard about him. The angels see these in their series, and so forth. Hence it is evident of what quality is the worship of the Lord by those who, from love to Him, are in genuine truths.


[244] For the sake of instruction it sometimes happens that one spirit is allowed to change the affections in another, even into contrary affections; and according to the changes of his affections his face is changed so that it becomes wholly unrecognizable; there is also induced a monstrous form of face and also blackness according to the affections. Moreover, the body also is changed, becoming taller or shorter, taller from haughtiness and pride, and shorter from humility and the disparagement of self. It thence became evident that affection or love makes the man from head to foot. A like change takes place when a spirit is carried transversely through various societies, which was also seen, so that at length he is not recognized. Hence it is evident that he is altogether such as his love is. It was also shown that faith, which is of the thought, conjoined to corporeal love, and which also is various, makes man to be deformed according to the kind of love, and therefore in order that faith may be faith, it must be conjoined to spiritual affection.


[245] The quality of the delight of the love of commanding was perceived, namely, that the sweetness within it is ineffable. From this sweetness man believes that it is heaven and heavenly joy, when yet it is hell. This delight is also turned into what is direful. It is similar with the love of doing evil, the love of hatred and revenge, the love of theft, and also the love of adultery, and their delights. Man does not know that when, by means of reformation by the Lord, these delights recede, then for the first time the delights of heaven enter in; which delights infinitely surpass the former. Nor does he know that the delights of those evils are then undelightful and stinging. Before reformation he does not know that such is their quality.


[246] I saw many who had lived in this and former centuries, some of them military officers, of higher and lower rank, and others civil functionaries, all of whom, under the favoring influence of fortune, had contracted such a delight of commanding that they aspired to dominion over all things. Their delight was perceived as being to them like heaven. Moreover, they were gifted, above others, with talent and natural light in regard to civil affairs. After their decease, they had at first spoken about God; but after a short time they not only denied God and acknowledged nature; but at last they became like fools, sitting in dark shade; and in this way they led a miserable life. The reason is because the love of commanding is opposite to heavenly love.


[247] After death every man is bound to many societies according to the number of his loves; but after vastation he comes into that society where his ruling love is, for this is the center of his other loves.


[248] There was a certain man (Fr. G.) 245-1 who in his boyhood had cultivated piety, and who remained therefrom in the acknowledgment of God even to the end of his life. And yet under the favoring influence of fortune he came into the love of commanding and hence into evils of every kind. He did not indeed perpetrate them, but still he excused them and accounted them lawful. In the other life he prayed to God as he had done in the world, and with such fervor that scarcely anyone could pray more ardently; but it was to God the Father, for he believed that by doing this all things were forgiven him. But he began to burn with such hatred against the Lord that he denied Him; and afterwards he persecuted those who adored the Lord. At last he denied God and became like a fool; and he was sent among those who have little life.


[249] They who are in the delight of the love of commanding cannot become spiritual. They become corporeal for the reason that they immerse everything of affection and hence of thought in their proprium, which in itself is corporeal and evil, so that they cannot be withdrawn from the proprium. Everyone who acknowledges God in heart, is elevated above his proprium; for man cannot look to God, acknowledging Him in heart, from himself; and he who cannot be elevated above his proprium has heaven closed to him. And since through heaven there flows in from the Lord intelligence, because it is spiritual light, therefore when heaven is closed they become stupid and like fools.


[250] I once saw what kind of love to the Lord exists among Christians at this day. A number of them were let into their loves; and in phantasy it was granted them to see as it were the Lord. 247-1 And they then came into such fury that they wished to drag down and slay Him. They were all in faith alone, and, at the time, in the love of self. Thence it became evident that in the Christian world at this day they are against the Lord as were the Jews of old. In a word, all who are in faith alone and in the love of self and the world, and hence in evils, come into fury if they merely feel the Lord's Divine sphere.


[251] THE JEWS. Before the Last Judgment, the Jews, for the most part, were at the left in the plane of the heel. I have often spoken with them there. They were then under the middle region where is the Christian world. 248-1 But after the Last Judgment they were driven away, and now being removed to the left, they dwell there in certain cities where the streets appear filled with filth and impurities, and where the houses are undergoing continual variation. This arises from the fact that newcomers are ever arriving and departing. They are there explored in order to find out who among them are able to acknowledge the Lord as the Messiah, whom they still look for in the world, and who are not. The former are taken to synagogues where they are instructed.


[252] In that city an angel with a rod sometimes appears on high; and he gives them to believe that he is Moses. He exhorts them to desist from their madness in expecting the Messiah, when yet the Messiah is Christ, who, being now one with the Father, rules the whole heaven; adding that He knows this Himself, because He had known it in the world. They hear what he says; and when they depart those who cannot acknowledge, because of their life, forget it, but they retain it in their memory who can.


[253] Of Abraham they have a Divine idea; of Jacob, and also of their fathers they have some Divine idea, but a lesser one. There is always set over them by the Lord, some converted Jew in whom Judaism lies hidden within or in the heart, and Christianity, without or in the mouth; and he is taught by certain angels from the Lord, in order that he may rule them according to their genius and disposition.


218-1 See SE 6023.

219-1 See SE 6024

234-1 See SE 4748, 4884.

235-1 The words in brackets are supplied from a corresponding passage in SE 4817.

237-1 See AC 1507.

238-1 See SE 5461 1/2.

238-2 See SE 5463.

245-1 See Se 5976, 5977.

247-1 See SE 4725.

248-1 See T 841.

Next: 251-300