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

Last Judgment Posthumous


[254] They still retain from the world the carrying on of trade, especially in precious stones. These by certain methods they procure from heaven; for thence come precious stones, of which much more might be said. For in heaven are all things which are in the world. There is gold and silver there, also gold and silver in the form of coins, and also stones of every kind. Like all other things which appear before their eyes; they are from a spiritual origin, and hence are correspondences. They appear just as in the world. Divine truths are their origin; and therefore, with those angels who are in truths, the decorations in the houses are resplendent with silver and gold, and diamonds. Precious things of this kind are given from heaven to those below who are studious of truths; and because of their origin they also remain forever. The Jews get them from these and sell them. The reason why Jews have this business in the world, and also after their departure from the world, is because they love the Word of the Old Testament in the letter, and the literal sense of the Word corresponds to precious stones of various kinds. It is this sense that is meant by the twelve stones in Aaron's ephod, which were the Urim and Thummim; by the precious stones in Tyre, concerning which in Ezekiel; and by the precious stones with which the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem were adorned. Now because it was foreseen by the Lord that Christians would not hold the Old Testament so holy as do the Jews, therefore, the Jews have been preserved up to this day, and have been scattered throughout the whole Christian world, in order that the Word might still be in its holiness by means of correspondences. This also is the reason why it is still allowed the Jews to trade with similar things as in the world. If there had not been this reason, that whole nation, by reason of its perversity, would have perished.


[255] There are also those who make precious stones for themselves artificially, so that they can scarcely be distinguished from the genuine. But these, when they are found out, are severely punished; they are put into a prison where they suffer harsh things, and are cast into the hells.


[256] The Jews have no other delights than to acquire gain. Of interior delights they have no knowledge. Most of them are external men.


[257] I have often spoken with the Jews on various subjects, namely, (1) Concerning their sacrifices, that they refer to things heavenly; and in what way their various sacrifices signify the Lord. (2) Concerning Isaac, why he might have been sacrificed by Abraham; and that these things had not been disclosed to them in the world because they were so external that they would not have received, for they were not willing to receive; and that they would have profaned them. (3) Concerning the things which are contained in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. At this they became altogether silent; for the chapter was explained, so that they could make no answer. They were afraid lest it should be read again, for they were not willing to be convinced. (4) Concerning eternal life, that it consists in the unanimity of all and in joy therefrom; and that as for them, they are at enmity with each other and thus cannot have the felicity of heaven. They answered, that they look for the Messiah who will unite them. (5) I spoke with them about the signification of Jacob's sinew which was put out of joint, about Esau's heel which Jacob caught hold of, and about the heel which the serpent bruised, that these signify themselves; about their origin from a Canaanitish woman, and from whoredom with a daughter-in-law. And it was explained what all these signify, and that the things there meant are such as are signified. Then that the Jews and their tribes mentioned in the Word are not they but are things celestial and spiritual. I spoke about the land of Canaan, to the effect that they believe they are to be introduced into that land by the Messiah when He comes; that He will walk before them with a rod, and will dry up the rivers; that a wall of fire will be round about them; that they will go through Christendom, and that Christians will take hold of their garments and beg to be allowed to follow them; and that they will admit these and hold them as slaves provided they give their money; and many similar things. They were asked whether the dead and those in the world of spirits are also to follow the Messiah, or whether it is only those who are in the world; whether the land of Canaan would be able to hold them; where the Messiah was to be born; whether they knew the line of David, or the situation of Bethlehem; and many similar questions; why they look for an earthly kingdom when the kingdom of the Messiah is a heavenly one, which those who have now departed from the world might know. All this was said and heard. Those of them who were evil could not be convinced, but some who were upright wished to be instructed. (6) It was explained to them what the land of Canaan signifies, and what Jerusalem; why these are called holy; what Zion signifies; what the twelve tribes represent and hence signify; also the passages where it is said that they who had been in captivity would return, to the effect that it was by no means they who were meant, but that it was so written on account of the spiritual sense in each particular. (7) I spoke with them about the spiritual sense; at which they first said that they knew there was a mystical sense in the Word, and that they knew that mystical sense, which was that they receive gold and that they are able to make gold. To which I answered that, mystically, that is, spiritually, this is also true, because gold signifies the good of love, and they who are in that mystical or spiritual sense of the Word, receive this love. But they wanted gold, not love, saying that the possession of gold is love. 254-1


[258] Before the Last Judgment they called the two cities Jerusalem. But after the Judgment they changed the name by command; because the name Holy Jerusalem, mentioned in Revelation, then came everywhere into general use; by which is signified the New Church into which none shall enter who does not make the Messiah one with Jehovah, thus only he who worships the Lord alone. The Jews are treated of in the Arcana Coelestia.


[259] The Jews strive much after heaven, believing that heaven is theirs, and that to inherit the land is to inherit heaven, that the land of Canaan is in heaven, and that the Messiah is with them. They marvel that He does not descend to them from heaven, but I answered that He does not will to do this because there is so much discord among them and such enmities and hatreds, and contempt for others; and because they pray to the God of Israel not for the sake of salvation but that they may become rich.


[260] Those of them who are evil are cast down into the hells which are under their great tract; many into woods and deserts where they commit robbery, but still they are miserably punished. The Word is taken away from them.


[261] They have been preserved also for the sake of the Hebrew language. They also have the Word written in the ancient Hebrew language where all the letters are curved, because in such a letter the Word has a more immediate communication with heaven.


[356] THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. (1) Ten articles, what is effected with man when he fights against evils as sins, as before.


(2) Then the commandments of the Decalogue, where the evils are [named] which are sins, against which one must fight. --Then of the spiritual which is then given to him, and in which he also comes; there is the spiritual there in every precept.


(3) What charity is, is; it is to do uses, everyone in his own function.


(4) What faith out of charity is, and what faith from charity is.


(5) Something concerning faith separated from charity, what its quality is when man is in it both as to life and doctrine.


[357] OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING FAITH. In a particular small work faith will be treated of, thus concerning faith separated from charity, after the work on the Last Judgment, in which all things will be described by articles, which are:


(1) What charity and faith are.


(2) One cannot be separated from the other. There is no charity where there is no faith, and there is no faith where there is no charity.


(3) As far as there is one, so far there is the other, in equal degree and in equal quality.


(4) Faith is truth.


(5) Faith does not produce charity, but charity faith. --Before there is charity, those things which are supposed to be of faith, are only knowledges without life.


(6) Faith without charity is not possible. --Faith without charity is no religion. --Faith without charity falsifies the Word. --Faith without charity blinds all the understanding of truth. --It is the end of the church when there is not the faith of charity. --Every church ends in Babylon, and in faith separate. --Faith separate from charity is predicted in the Apocalypse, and is meant by the dragon and his two beasts. --Faith without charity is meant by the he-goat in Daniel and in Matthew. --Faith without charity is meant by Philistea. --Faith without charity is meant by Cain. --Faith without charity is meant by Reuben. --Faith from charity, also faith without charity, is meant by Peter. --Charity is meant by James, and the works of charity by John. (See n. 358-364 concerning faith.)


The quality of the faith of the present day is to be presented, such as it is, and the degrees of justification such as they are, they are to be described briefly, and that it is the whole of theology at the present day, also that if it is confirmed there arise many falsities, but not if it is not confirmed.


(1) The will is double, spiritual and natural. (2) Knowledges are the storehouse of faith. (3) All things of faith can be seen. (4) Falsities of faith are not faith. (5) Faith is truth.


[352]. THE LAST JUDGMENT. (1) What the Last Judgment is.


(2) The Last Judgment has been effected three times.


(3) The Last Judgment was effected and is effected by the Lord from firsts by ultimates.


(4) The Last Judgment could not have been effected the second time, unless He Himself had come into the world, and by that as (in firsts) be also in ultimates.


(5) Without the Last Judgment effected by Him, thus without His Coming into the world, no one of mortals could have been saved.


(6) Unless the Lord had glorified His Human, even to its ultimates, no Last Judgment could be effected at this day. --Thus hereafter no one could be saved.


(7) After the Last Judgment a new church is always to be established and is established, and before [the Last Judgment] it could not be nor can it be.


(8) Therefore it is predicted in the Apocalypse, that the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven after the Last Judgment, by which is meant the New Church.


(9) No one is received in that church thus in heaven, after this except he who acknowledges God, one in Person and Essence, in whom is the Trinity, thus the Lord; and unless by some combats he has removed and shunned evils as sins against the Divine laws.


[353] THE ENGLISH. The English have a double theology, one for the learned and one for the unlearned.


The preachers compose their discourses so that the learned understand their theology and the unlearned theirs, and this is done from a certain fear on account of reputation and favor on both sides.


[354] To the question whether they believe that the theology for the unlearned is true, they reply that they do not know otherwise when they utter that prayer in their temples, but not so when they compose their discourses.


[355] It is then said to them, that the reason they do not know otherwise at that time is from influx out of heaven; and that it is not so when they compose their discourses, is from influx from their proprium; because they then think concerning themselves, their own learning, and fame and favor there from.


[262] VARIOUS THINGS CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. Various things concerning those things which are in the Spiritual World, from which some things have been quoted in the Continuation Concerning the Spiritual World. To Be Observed. LEIBNITZ AND WOLFF. I spoke with John [C.] Wolff and his preceptor Leibnitz concerning the simple substance and preestablished harmony.


[263] Concerning the simple substance Leibnitz said, that his opinion concerning the monad was never like that of Wolff concerning the simple substance. He said that he indeed acknowledged monads as unities but that there were in them simpler and purer substances by which the monad was formed, from which changes of state existed therein; since if there were nothing therein, it would be nothing, in which there cannot be any change of state, for a vacuum admits of no change. Leibnitz therefore wondered that Wolff held that his monad, which he calls a simple substance, was created out of nothing, and that when divided it falls into nothing; and yet he had attributed changes of state to it; and also that he had called some existences simple substances, and which are in nature, which anyone can see are aggregations of substances, like the parts of the air and ether, the elements of metals, and also souls. Wolff said that he wished by his definitions of his simple substances to captivate the minds of theologians, who want it to be believed that all things have been created by God out of nothing, immediately; at that time not knowing that his followers, by confirming these principles in themselves, would close in themselves the ways to angelic wisdom, which nevertheless are founded on natural truths.


[264] Concerning preestablished harmony, Leibnitz said, he had considered and deduced it from this, that thought acts as one with man's speech, countenance, and action; and at that time he had not thought of interior thought, from which many men do not speak nor act; and which with many combats with the exterior; and still less did he think of spiritual thought, into which man does not come until after death; then that he considered nothing else in the world but thought, which at that time he acknowledged in place of the soul; and he did not consider affection at the same time, from which and according to which he thinks. Therefore now, after he has been instructed by angels he confesses that he erred, and he knows that the case is altogether otherwise.


[265] NEWTON. I spoke with Newton concerning a vacuum, and concerning colors.


[266] Concerning a vacuum he said, that in the world he had believed in the existence of a vacuum; but when the angels perceived that he had an idea of a vacuum, as an idea of nothing, they turned themselves away, saying that they cannot bear the idea of nothing, since when there is an idea of nothing the idea of the essence of things perishes. And when the idea of the essence of things perishes, the idea of thought, understanding, affection, love, and of will with men and angels perishes, which things are not given in nothing. They asked him whether he believed that the Divine, whence is all angelic wisdom, and all intelligence to men in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, is a vacuum, and thus that any Divine operation inflows through a vacuum into their vacuum and can present itself to perception. At that question he was disturbed. He replied that it cannot through an absolute vacuum, which is nothing, but through an apparent vacuum, because the Divine is the Esse itself of wisdom and love with the angels in heaven and with men in the world, and it fills all things. Also Esse itself and nothing are so contrary to each other, that if one be admitted the other cannot. Therefore the angels entreated that he and all those who cherished the idea of a vacuum as of nothing would desist from it, that they might be together, knowing that nothing of their life can ever be given in nothing, but in those things which are, and which are or exist from the Esse. They added that not anything can be said of a vacuum which is nothing, which has relation to acting, reacting, receiving, or attracting, thus to the life of their wisdom and love; in which there are so many infinite affections with their variations, perceptions, and sensations; for nothing is nothing, and of nothing we cannot predicate something. When he had heard these things, Newton said that before this he had desisted from that idea, and he would desist from it hereafter; knowing that he is now in the spiritual world, in which, nevertheless, according to his former idea, would have been his vacuum; and that even now he is a man, and therein he thinks, feels, acts, yea breathes, and this could not take place in a vacuum which is nothing, but in something which is, and from Esse exists and subsists, and that an interstitial nothing is impossible, because that would be destructive of something, that is of essences and substances which are something. For something and nothing are altogether opposites, even so that he was horrified at the idea of nothing, and would beware of it, lest his mind fall into a swoon.


[267] Concerning colors he said that in the world he had believed that they originated from the substances, as it were, of different colored materials continually flowing forth from the solar ocean, and adding themselves continually to like things in objects in the world, likewise when they pass through pellucid objects following then the ways of light, according to its diffractions and refractions, and proceeding as like to like, thus red to red, blue to blue, yellow to yellow, and so on, as in prisms, crystalline globes, and vapors whence come rainbows. But the angels did not acknowledge this cause of colors, saying that there are colors in the spiritual world as well as in the natural world; and in the spiritual world they are vivid, splendid, and variegated more than in the natural world, and that they know that they are variegations of their light corresponding to their love or good, and to their wisdom or truth, and that the sun from which their light proceeds, is the Lord Himself, whose Divine love presents around Him the appearance of a sun, and the Divine wisdom therefrom the appearance of light, and that from that sun, which as was said, is pure love, no such substances or matters flow forth, but that pure light presents to view variegations of colors in objects according to the reception of wisdom by the angels; the color red according as their wisdom is derived from good, and the color bright white according as their wisdom is derived from truth, and the rest as they partake of the defect and absence of them, which there correspond to shade in the world. Moreover the angels, by their spiritual ideas, by which they are able to present and bring forth the causes of things to the life and to full consent, demonstrated that colors are nothing else than variegations of flamy light and bright white light, in objects according to their forms; and that colors are not materials, so neither is light, because they correspond to the love and wisdom of the angels, from whom they proceed by Divine operation; and their love and wisdom are not material but spiritual. Neither are heat and light in the world material, but natural, and they inflow into matters, and they modify themselves in them according to the forms of the parts. Therefore neither are colors material, as they would be if they existed from different colored atoms. At length from some indignation they said, "Who cannot see a paradox in the Newtonian cause, yea what is absurd?" And they departed, saying they would return if he would discern spiritually or even naturally concerning colors, and not so materially and sensually. Then some spirits approached, and said to him, "We entreat you to think of colors not as originating from some small prism or from some wall, but from the green color of all the woods and grassy fields of the whole world in which you were; can you conceive of a continuous efflux from the sun of a green color alone, and at the same time an influx, and a continual restoration, likewise of a continual influx of gray or stone color into the mountains of the whole earth, and so on? Can you then conceive of a continuous ocean of green alone, and of rock color alone? Tell us where they go, where they subsist, do they proceed into the universe? Or do they fall downwards somewhere, or ascend upwards? From these things perchance new earths exist, for they must be in great abundance because they are material." After he thought of this thing more deeply, he said, "Now I know that colors are modifications of light in objects, in the forms of which they make general planes, upon which the light is variegated according to the forms of the parts, whence are colors." These are the words of Newton himself, which he wishes me to communicate.


[268] LONDON. London in the spiritual world appears like the London in the natural world as to its streets and quarters, but is dissimilar as to houses and habitations; this difference is not apparent, because everyone there dwells in a quarter and in a house corresponding with his affection and thought thence derived. In the middle of the city is situated the Royal Exchange. To the right of it dwells the moderator, and round about it his officers. The middle street of it answers to Holborn; the east is in front, toward the back even to Wapping is the west; the south is at the right of that street; and the north is on its left. In the eastern quarter, which is of considerable length, reaching far beyond the city, dwell the best of them, where they all worship the Lord. Those who are distinguished for intelligence dwell in the southern quarter which extends almost to Islington, where there is also an assembly. They who dwell there are also prudent in speaking and writing. Towards the north those dwell who are illiterate, and who are in the greatest degree of liberty of speech which they love. In the west are those who are in the obscure affection of good. Those who are there are fearful of manifesting their thoughts. In the southern region answering to Moorfield's and round about it, is a promiscuous multitude; thither from the city are sent away all those who incline to evils, wherefore the multitude there is cast out by turns, and thus continually, through this way the city is continually purified, and those who are led away therefrom appear no more. Sometimes they see about the middle of the city a certain malicious person sitting on a seat in a pulpit, and the inhabitants are called together and ordered to go thither to him. They who approach and hearken are led to the place of exit, where there are promiscuous crowds, and as was said, they are sent out through the ways there. Every society is purified, this is the manner of purifying them there. [269] Their houses, clothing, and food are similar to those used in the world. I asked about wine, strong drink, beer, chocolate, tea and the like, and was told that they had similar things. I asked also about the liquor called punch, they said that they also have that liquor, but it is given only to those who are sincere and at the same time industrious. They do not tolerate in the city any ruler who directs or dictates to them what they must do, for they wish to be in full liberty.


[270] The English live together, and do not travel about in other regions, for they are of a different genius and disposition from others, and their disposition is such, that they do not admit others into intimacy with them.


[271] It was also shown to them that they speak, write and think spiritually, and that they themselves do not know otherwise than that they do all things naturally; from which they were instructed by me that there is no ratio between the spiritual and the natural, thus there is no conjunction through what is continuous, but through what is discrete, that is, by correspondences; which conjunction makes a likeness as if they are one. They were a little envious that they had not discovered this. Moreover in each degree there is an internal and an external, and the external corresponds to the internal, and the externals are appearances like material things, although they are not material. It was shown to them also by ascent to the third heaven, that there is a similar difference between the celestial and the spiritual, as there is between the spiritual and the natural so that there is no ratio between them, that is, the natural cannot become spiritual by any continuous purification, nor can the spiritual become celestial, thus not by any approximation, but it is like the difference between cause and effect or between the soul and the body.


[272] I afterwards spoke with them concerning priests. And I saw that there is one kind of priests that supposes they are more erudite and learned than others. These all dwell in the west, and when they come to preach, they go forth from the west a little into the north, and so towards the middle of the city to the temples. This is a sign that they go in the way of taciturnity and ignorance, for in the west those dwell who are taciturn, and there near to the north those who are ignorant of truth. They appear to themselves to preach learnedly and with erudition, because they preach about the Divine operation into the actions of men, when they are justified; thus concerning the effort, which is the fourth degree of justification, which inflows into the act with men, they themselves being ignorant of it, and that the voluntary of man is not present, since that is evil. The hearers complained of them that they cannot understand them whether they wish them to act of themselves or not; because they can take both senses from their ambiguous teachings. It was perceived that they wish such discourses to sound learned before preachers and bishops, and that they do not dare to preach otherwise before them. But there are also preachers who dwell in the south, who altogether preach that they must shun evils as from themselves, and that they must do goods as from themselves; but that still they must know that they are not from themselves, thus the citizens love these; they speak in harmony with the prayer before the Holy Supper.


[273] In the suburbs at the left dwell many of their learned and with them Newton, they go down thither by a sloping way.


[274] In a word they who teach according to their prayer at the Holy Supper, dwell in the south towards the east, and they are loved because they think as they preach, the rest do not, but dispute continually with them, and reply that they cannot do otherwise. I saw them recede to their habitations in the west, which are at the right side there where there is a place of exit, and some also are led out.


[275] It was said of those preachers in the west, that they do not care to know evils or sins, because God knows, and not they, nor do they wish to know from affection any other knowledges than what confirm their faith. They despise those who are in the south and east as simple, who as it were with their thought are low; and that their thought is not elevated but depressed, when yet it is altogether contrary.


[276] I heard a conversation with presbyters in the west, which was effected by representatives. On one side the devil with hell was represented, on the other side the Lord with heaven, and then it was said, (1) that the devil or hell dwells in the evils with man, and that the Lord with heaven is in the goods with him. (2) Then that the Lord through heaven continually drives away the devil with hell. (3) But the man who excuses his evils, and who lives in them, retains with himself the devil with hell, nor does he permit him to go away, although the Lord drives him away. (4) Also the devil then speaking with him, says what need is there to know evils, so as to combat against them, when God does that? and so he confirms man, therefore he is retained and thus they live together as friends; besides many similar things. Also the devil by that faith confirms them, saying what need is there of other knowledges, than those which belong to that faith? they are of no help; what need is there to know evils, because man from himself cannot combat against them? What need is there of combats, because man of himself can do nothing? (5) When nevertheless everything of life, everything of reason, and everything of freedom man has from the Lord, and He wills that man should act as of himself, and without man's cooperation as of himself, the evil remains, and the devil with evil, etc.


[277] Those priests in the west complained that those who were in faith alone, or in faith separated, disappeared, saying that they do not know where they went, some said that they saw some in the hells.


254-1 See T 845; SE 2256, 2257, 4388.

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