Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
It was observed that he (Charles XII) excelled others in the faculty of taking inward note of things; for, when he was in interior thought, he could, almost with a glance of the eye, go over a hundred things, and examine of what quality they were in relation to his end, which was dominion; also, how he might be able to dispose them, which, too, he did, to suit himself. Hence it was evident what acuteness and, as it were, intellectual power the malignant enjoy, especially the deceitful; but they are vastated to such a degree as to become more foolish than others. Charles XII's end in life was to most obstinately insist on subjugating the Divine, for the sake of his own rule, and this to such a pitch, that he wished to die like Samson; wherefore he cast himself into a cloud, at the hinder part, where were the Anakim, or evil ones of the Most Ancient Church; and he wished to stir them up, and so prevail. In that place, he was then vastated, by them, as to his intellectual faculty; for to be conjoined with them is to perish as to everything intellectual. But as he came only slightly into the cloud, he proceeded, although he was stupid, to pursue the Divine still farther, - for, his resolution or will remained - and this he did over a pond on the right side, which no one can pass over without being suffocated. In that place, he utterly lost the remainder of the intellectual, or of thought, and was at length brought to a cave which is in the confines of both [the cloud and pool], and was there plunged beneath, where he is foolish above others in the degree of the cupidity of ruling, even over the Divine.4752.
THAT THE INFERNALS ARE GIFTED WITH OBSERVATION. It was observed that devils, before being fully vastated, enjoy the gift of observation more than others. They can perceive all the particular things which are round about, just as serpents or eagles can look abroad and gather all objects into one view, and this in a moment. They can also understand the truths of faith. But there are cupidities of evil which make them dull, and bring it to pass that they do not receive [the truth]; and in that state they do not believe that truth is truth, for cupidities of evil reject the truths of faith. Several instances of this power of observation have been experienced, especially in regard to a devil, Charles XII, and in regard to those who inspired these things. They could see, in a moment, how all things and every detail coincides with their ends; they could arrange and dispose them to their own pleasure; they could reject and oppose those things that fight against falses and in favor of truths; yea, they could see single societies, where there were innumerable persons, as to what character they were, even the individuals therein, and thus dispose things by means of sight alone. Hence it might be evident what keenness of sight is possessed by the evil, even the worst, before they are fully vastated. 4752-14753.
CONCERNING THE VASTATION AND CONDEMNATION OF THE EVIL - THAT THESE ARE FROM THEMSELVES. It is granted me to know, by continued experience of some [years], how the evil vastate themselves, and at length cast themselves into damnation. From their acquired nature, they cannot do otherwise than engage in wicked practices, and so infest those whom the Lord protects; and when they do this they thereby assail the Divine, and summon infernal societies; and the more they infest those the Lord protects, the more of these societies do they summon, and so more and more imbibe the hells, until their acquired nature becomes full. According to the degree of the infestation, the Divine is resisted; and, then, in that degree they summon the hells, that is, imbibe such things from the hells, and associate themselves with them. Hence it is evident that the Lord vastates, or condemns, no one, but that they themselves do it by dashing against the Divine more and more, until at length, when they have become full, they cast themselves into the hells, and then into damnation, or spiritual death.4754.
CONCERNING RESPIRATION. It was said, and was also well discerned from previously-known facts, that every society of heaven has its own peculiar respiration, distinct from the respiration of any other society, and that every infernal society is similarly characterized. The reason is, because all respiration is circumstanced according to affections and the thoughts thence arising, consequently, according to loves and faiths. This respiration is varied, from origins, progressions and several things. It is thence also known whence everyone is, and this naturally and without previous knowledge, because it is according to order.4756.
IN WHAT MANNER CERTAIN EVIL ONES ARE REDUCED TO TERROR, ON ACCOUNT OF EVILS WHICH THEY PERPETRATED IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY. Those who have altogether confirmed themselves against the Divine, and so have regarded evil as of no moment, are dismissed to hell amongst their like, who torment each other until their evil begins to be lessened, by means of terrors. But they who have also thought about the Divine, and yet committed evils without conscience, are sent to cities, where are judges, examiners and chastisers - for instance, they who esteemed whoredom a matter of no moment, and, in the life of the body, have violated virgins indiscriminately, are sent to such cities; and the judges and explorers there perceive immediately in what evil they are. They furnish them with lodgings and severely admonish them with threats, not to do such things. Shameless women also are admitted to them, who pretend to be virgins; if they violate these, the examiners report it to the judges, and they are chastised. They are again remitted, and proceed in a similar manner. If they do not as yet abstain, they are punished more severely: at length, they [the women] are so admitted that [the men] suppose no one sees; they [the women] also remove such a belief [the belief, that is, that they are seen]: if they sin then, they are brought before the judges, who at once see whether they are guilty, and grievously punish them; and this is continued for a long, long time, until at length, they dare not do so any more from conscience, but from fear. Those who have been still greater evil-doers, are sent from the city across the Jordan, as it is called, and there are most severely examined and chastised.4757.
CONCERNING REVEALED THEOLOGY, OR THE WORD, AND CONCERNING NATURAL THEOLOGY. For several days, there was an important discussion between certain ones who have believed the Word, and that everything there is from the Divine, thus, that it is Divine in itself. Some of those who argued were such as, in the life of the body, believed that Natural Theology should have the precedence, and that this should illustrate that, and not the reverse. There was great bitterness; but it was on the part of those who were in favor of Natural Theology and not on the part of those who were in favor of the Lord. The former infested the latter cruelly, for several days, and breathed nothing else than their destruction, both of soul and body. They also admitted the hells into themselves, to act through them; and this so far, that the hells altogether spoke through them. These not only denied that the Word, or revelation, is anything, [but even] despised it on account of its style, so simple and incongruous, as they affirm; and thus they entirely rejected it in their heart. They were then told, that it was of such a style, because it contained in itself the most profound things, which are laid open in the three heavens in order; and that in these is the Divine Wisdom, and thence the celestial and spiritual nourishment of these heavens; for the heavens are conjoined with men, especially with those who are of the Church, and dwell in their good affections; thus they make one with the man of the Church, by means of the Word. But still they could not receive it. They understood, indeed, that it was so, and also knew it, in the other life; but, because they have been of such a character in the life of the body, it has not remained with them, but the hells still acted through them, and they thus wished, with all earnestness, to destroy those who had faith in the Word. It was hence apparent how the case is with those who believe that it may be known from nature that the Divine is, of what quality it is, that there is a heaven and hell, that there is a life after death - namely, that they believe nothing at all. The reason is, because they are in the light [lumen] of nature, and not in the light [lux] of heaven; thus with infernals, not with celestials. Two or three of them were known to me in the world - Ericus Benzelius, 4757-1 Anders Kudberg, Christian Wolf. Two were priests.4758.
It was further shown that Natural Theology could discover nothing at all about the Divine, about heaven and hell, about the life after death, or about faith, unless men have previously known those things from revelation; for that which man knows can be confirmed, learnedly by the learned, and ingeniously by the ingenious. Wherefore, they who have faith from revelation, can confirm these things by several things in nature, and so strengthen their faith. The reason is, because man always has a natural idea about all heavenly things, and because, without some idea, there is no comprehension, no memory, yea, no faith, in anything whatever. The qualities which have belonged to the ideas concerning matters of faith, are also evident in the other life; and they were also shown to me. They are all natural: wherefore, if such things as belong to faith are confirmed by the natural truths which are of the sciences, faith is strengthened. But they who do not believe in the Word, but suppose that it is to be believed when they have exhibited reasons, from natural truths and many similar things in nature - hence those who imagine that Natural Theology will illumine the mind and cause it to believe - any such one is much deceived. He goes in inverted order; he wishes to enter into heaven by means of nature, or by means of a grosser into a purer thing, by naturals into spiritual. This is wholly contrary to order; for, then, man is blinded more and more, and, at length, so much so, that he believes nothing, yea, denies [all spiritual truth]. Such had been the condition of those who wished to enter into faith from Natural Theology; for, in this way, they acknowledge nothing of the Divine, for the natural man does not comprehend those things which pertain to heaven, or spiritual things, unless he be enlightened from heaven; and, then, it is the spiritual man that sees it, although it appears to be seen in the natural. This is also taught by the Lord where he speaks of the rich man and Lazarus, that, unless they believe the prophets, that is, the Word, the rest avail nothing at all. These things are also those which are described, in the internal sense, by Egypt, in the prophets: for Egypt is science, thus, Natural Theology.4759.
Some of such a character in the other life smell offensively, like house-lice; in a word, they who have faith from revelation, can be confirmed from nature, and from such things as pertain to Natural Theology, as also from miracles: the reason is, because they are in the affirmative state, and bring all things to that point of view, and especially, because they are in the light [lux] of heaven, and are able to see things in nature from that light. But, on the other hand, they who have not faith from revelation, cannot be confirmed from nature, and from such things as belong to Natural Theology, nor from miracles: the reason is, because they are in the negative - and, when this rules, everything is brought to that point of view, or so explained, that it might agree with it, and especially, because they are in the light [lux] of nature not illustrated by the light [lux] of heaven; for exteriors can be seen from interiors, or posteriors from prior things, and effects from causes, but not the reverse. The angels of heaven can see what things are happening in the hells, and the evils and falsities there; but the infernals cannot see what things are in the heavens, nor the goods and truths there. The reason is, because the former are in the light [lux] of heaven, but the latter in the light [lumen] of hell, which is such as is the light [lumen] of nature not illustrated by the light [lux] of heaven. This light [lumen] is what in the Word is called darkness.4759a.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO DO NOT SEEK OUT, AND PROCURE, SURE DOCTRINALS FROM THE WORD, BUT ONLY REMAIN IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER. It was shown me that there are some who do not procure for themselves sure doctrinals from the Word, but know the Word, and apply it to whatsoever comes into the thought, and that they remain merely in the sense of the letter; they do not, however, diligently seek truths therefrom. Those who do this, can confirm, from the Word, whatever they please, even falses; for those things which are in the sense of the letter of the Word, are general vessels, which scarcely appear, then, to be from genuine truths.)4760.
CONCERNING THE DRAGON IN THE APOCALYPSE. It was discovered to me who are understood by the dragon in the Apocalypse. They are those who reason about divine truth from sciences, thus, from such things as are in nature, and, for confirmation, take the literal sense of the Word, which they torture into agreement; thus, those who wish to be wise concerning Divine things from Natural Theology; and, especially, those who are naturalistic, and, in their heart, deny the Divine; for they reason more than others, and bring all things to the negative. There was a certain one, who, in the world, was the first theologian in his kingdom. He did not believe in the Word, but believed that Natural Theology enlightened the mind and taught spiritual truths. He acted like such as are dragons merely in this, that he tortured the literal sense of the Word to whatsoever he wished, when yet his purpose was to destroy it, and, especially, by means of the literal sense to destroy the internal sense.4761.
These two classes together make the dragon, as to one mode; for each wished to violate the internal sense and destroy it - one altogether and openly, the other also, by not being willing to know that any other Word is given than the sense of the letter.4762.
He was told that the Word, even as to the letter, is holy, but from the fact that it contains in itself holy things which are perceived in heaven, and which treat of the Lord and His kingdom; and that nobody ought to remain in the literal sense of the Word blindly, but seemingly, namely, he ought to form for himself true doctrine from the Word, and, so, apply the Word. If he does otherwise, he falls into errors, as many as he wishes to fashion for himself, and also applies the Word; in every case, to his own pleasure, thus wrongly and perversely - which is to profane it. He who forms for himself true doctrine thence, can see why the Word speaks as it does in the letter, to wit, that it may enter as a general basis into minds, and give a handle for thinking truly about these things. For instance, he who has formed for himself the doctrinal that the Lord is pure love, thus pure mercy, and from pure love and pure mercy evil can never be intended, still less produced, knows, at once, why, in the letter of the Word, it is said that there is no evil in the city, save from God, 4762-1 that the wrath of God burns even to the lowest hell, and that He will be delighted in that they perish; he knows, namely, that it is man whose wrath thus burns against God, and that it appears then, as if from God; and, so, that it is according to appearance that it is thus said.4763.
CONCERNING CHARLES XII, AND CONCERNING THE LOVE OF DOMINION. He was present with me a long while, at first such as he had been in external form, which lasted for a year's time; and then he behaved quite temperately, but, still, time after time, the abominable things which were within, burst forth. He was afterwards let into his interior state in which he had been when in the world. He thought inwardly in himself, which no one in the world could perceive, nor did he wish it to be noticed; and it was also discovered, that, for years, he spoke with spirits, which speech with them was brought forth a long time, namely, what he spoke, and how they had answered, and that he had not only been instructed concerning the Lord, and concerning such things as pertain to the Church, but was also frequently admonished, and even chastised, and also urged to depart home and make peace; but he would not. He constantly desired to become greatest of all; but when this was denied him, he determined to destroy the name of the Lord, by atheistic doctrines; and then he began to love persons of such a character, or atheists, from his heart, and to look out that he might have such at hand when he should annihilate religion; and then, also, he rushed into abominable things, that ought not to be named (dog), and similar atrocities; but, still, in the exterior form, he had concealed such things, and this right on until he made peace.4764.
This he also continued in the other life, and behaved himself as an enemy to the Lord, and wished to destroy whatever was His, and this quite a long time - at first for weeks, next for months. He acted the devil in effigy, and wished to stir up all hells whatever, and was frequently punished; he was let into a most filthy hell, where there are swine; but, still, he persisted. But to relate the particulars would be to write a book. Hence it was evident of what quality is the love of dominion, which was in him in such an extreme degree, that, although he speaks with spirits and angels, and is instructed daily, yet, notwithstanding, he not only does not receive, but even, at length, denies the Divine itself - which also he did, by attributing all things to nature. Such is the love of dominion.4765.
CONCERNING THE MEMORY AFTER DEATH. It happened that spirits saw in my memory something about a certain servant, [namely] that I have not given him what was due to him and this matter had been dreamed on several occasions, and still I have given him all that I stipulated. When I told them this, then they extracted from my [interior] memory the number of times I have dreamed about it, and what I have dreamed, which was quite frequently - also, that I have given him his wages and yet I myself have wholly forgotten this [as regards the exterior memory]: moreover, they did the like with the servant. Hence it was clearly manifest to me, that each and everything, yea, the minutest details, were inscribed on the interior memory, or the memory of the spirit, even things which have been wholly obliterated in exterior memory.4766.
They also enumerated the times, how often my friend was separated from me, whereof I myself had been wholly ignorant; and yet the details were inscribed on the memory of my spirit.4767.
From this I concluded that all things, in general and particular, are foreseen and provided by the Lord; because they are in the memory, and make the moments of man's life, that is, form the states of his interior life. I have also heard recounted, by a certain one who slandered me ( ? . . .), the times and words, with the circumstances, what ill he had spoken of me and to whom, that he knows [me] to be a disgrace and reproach to the country, and many similar things; and this was done for about half-an-hour, seriatim and rapidly. Wherefrom, it might also be evident to me, that all things, in general and particular, even to the minutest details, remain with man in the other life.4768.
CONCERNING THE HEAVENLY MARRIAGE, AND CONCERNING THE INFERNAL MARRIAGE. There was a certain one who was in the infernal marriage (Charles XII). He practiced a certain kind of wickedness against others, who were in the heavenly marriage; but, then, as a punishment, the heavenly marriage love was communicated to him. Then, from the communication of the influx, he was so miserably tormented, that he was, as it were, in a flame of fire. He bawled and shouted because he was so tormented, and this as long as the communication lasted. Hence was evident the degree and quality of the hell which the influx of heaven, with those who are in hell, produces.4769.
CONCERNING THE ATHEISTIC CREW IN EUROPE, WHERE THE CHURCH IS. It was shown [above] how great is the number of atheists within the Church. All of these that are alive [as to the body], are, as to their souls, in the other life, and in society, there, with other spirits which they themselves do not know. These spirits, namely, of men who are living, are presented to the sight, towards the right. There was a vast multitude of such as at this day are atheists, and are alive in the world - so great that it could not be numbered. It was numbered, by classes, up to three millions, besides many who appeared, as it were, to rise out of the sea, that is, from sciences.4770.
CONCERNING THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHURCH. Afterwards appeared the atheistic crew which is within the Church; then, when it vanished, it was said, by many, that it has been announced, that, somewhere amongst the nations, there begins to take place a revelation from heaven; that is, that spirits and angels speak with them, and teach heavenly doctrine, and especially concerning the Lord; and that those there embrace it, and that thus a new Church from heaven is rising up. Then they spoke concerning this matter; and it was said, that, in this manner, new Churches had been formerly founded, namely, the Jewish, by miracles and living speech with Moses and out of Mount Sinai, thus, by means of spirits and angels; the Christian Church by miracles, and also speech of men with spirits; for spirits spoke with the apostles: moreover, besides the miracles, many also spoke in foreign tongues. Hence there was rejoicing in heaven.4771.
This appeared to take place to the left, in front, as if somewhere in Asia, in the vicinity of Africa.4772.
There then appeared many from this place - that is, their spirits - who spoke with the angels, and were instructed through heaven from the Lord, concerning such things as belong to heavenly doctrine; and they said that they would communicate these to their people. Afterwards came hypocrites, and some from hell, and bore in contrary things, to which, however, the former spirits did not attend, but yet heard, in order that they might know contrary things, and so be the better illustrated in truths; for where there is enlightenment, there also there must be an idea of the contraries. After that, the angels spoke together concerning the fact, that those who are within the Church are of a depraved disposition and nature, namely, that they wish to have an invisible God that does not fall into the thought, or concerning whom [no] idea could be formed, and thus with whom they cannot be conjoined by sensual thoughts and affections. Such are they who are within the Church; wherefore, they do not acknowledge the Lord as God, because He was a man, when yet they who were in the most ancient times, and were wise above others - as, for instance, those who were before Abraham, Abraham himself, and those who were after him - worshipped Jehovah under a human form; and when He appeared under that form, they called him Jehovah, and Creator of the universe. Similarly do the wisest of the angels: they worship God under a human form and the Lord also appears to them under that form. They say an invisible Creator is an incomprehensible being, to whom they cannot be conjoined. This is inscribed, from heaven on the nature of the nations outside of Europe, and, also, of some within Europe; wherefore, they wish to worship God under some form. When these hear that the Lord was seen by men in the world, thus when they hear about the Lord, they then flock together, believe, and eagerly embrace the doctrine concerning Him, saying that if God, He must have appeared to men, and under no other shape than the human. This is implanted in men's nature, because it is from heaven; but this is eradicated, as it were, from the hearts of Christians, except from the hearts of some of the simple ones.4773.
CONCERNING THE NEW CHURCH. In a wakeful vision, I was conducted through several regions, forwards, a little towards the left, for quite a remarkable distance, until [I arrived] within the tract where are the spirits from this globe. On the way, I was taken possession of according to the minds and nature of the spirits, and, everywhere, was almost compelled to reflect upon myself and my merit, and to attribute all things which were done by me to myself. The reason was, because the spirits of those regions through which I was conducted, were of such as, in the world, believed salvation to be merited by their works, and this in the particulars, when they have done well from the precepts of religion. There was a region, where, still more conspicuously and manifestly, they attributed all things to themselves or to merit. This region was nearly at the end of the rest; for all these regions were so arranged, that such a faith should go on increasing. There was also a region where they doubted, on account of so innumerable a crowd in infidelity, whether any salvation can be given, but [supposed], that, on account of the multitude of infidels which prevailed and as it were overflowed, the angelic heaven would perish.4774.
After I passed through these regions, I was conducted to a great palace (in appearance, like the castle at Stockholm), and into a spacious court there, extending from one side to the opposite, which is by the sea; and when, at last, I came towards the sea, certain ones spoke, and said that a revelation was promised which they have long expected, and that now they can scarcely expect it any longer. Then appeared a certain luminous appearance, as it were in gloom. Hence they conjectured that the revelation is about to come; and, then I was conducted towards that place, I heard those there say that they expect a revelation concerning Christ, whom they called by the name current amongst them, the Only Man. Then, [one] of the angels from the Lord spoke with them, and instructed them concerning the Lord, saying that there is one God, and He is the Lord, and that it is the Father Himself, the Creator, who, when He appears in human form, was, and is, called the Son of God: hence they might have known that the Son of God was from eternity, and that He was the same with the Father, but in a human form. They said that they understand and perceive this; but, that He was born a man, they do not as yet apprehend: wherefore, they were instructed by the angel how this matter was circumstanced; and they, at length, confessed that they apprehend that also, and that it happened for the sake of the salvation of the human race. The same ones who were there, afterwards related that they have long had revelations from heaven, and that thence was their religion, and that it has been promised them that many things should be revealed to them, and, finally, touching God. They knew many things about heaven and hell which Christians are ignorant of. It was perceived that those in the earth, with whom there is thence communication and influx, were about the region of Africa, partly also in Asia, rather near the Indian Sea, but not in the immediate neighborhood of the sea.4775.
I was next led from thence towards the right where I also heard people speaking and expecting revelations. With these, angels spoke, and instructed them concerning the Lord, and that they were about to receive the unblemished doctrine of the Church out of heaven, and also that they would receive a Bible, but a new Bible, from the Lord. I heard them saying that it could never be otherwise than that God, the Creator of the universe, has appeared in the world before men, because He created them and loves them, and because there is a life after death, and He wishes thus to save them to eternity; and that that appearance must have taken place, even to the sight of the eye, in human form. Then the spirits spoke together concerning the fact that those who are in the Christian world, at this day, especially the learned, are of quite another opinion, namely, that, inasmuch as the Lord was born a man, and appeared a man, He cannot be, as to the human, the God of the universe, still less the Creator of all things; and that this is a sign that their nature is perverted; for, in those with whom there is anything uncorrupted in the intellectual part, and still more in the voluntary, it is innate that the God of the universe must needs appear altogether as a man. Hence, the ancients called God, when He appeared in the earth, Jehovah, Creator of the universe - for instance, Abraham and the rest; and, likewise, the Gentiles of that time, who were wise above the rest, in Greece, and afterwards in Italy, made all their gods men, as Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Juno, Minerva, and many others; likewise the nations wherever they worship idols; because it is innate in them that they see their god, and thus acknowledge him. This arises from the reason that the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; puts on the human form, not only in the universal heaven, but also in every angel there; for Divine Truth is, in its form, a man. Hence the correspondences of all things in the heavens, with man, concerning which see nos. [3624-3649, Arcana Caelestia]. They spoke such things to each other; and they marveled that, in the tract where the Church is, few of the learned are willing to acknowledge the Lord as God, merely for the reason that He was a man; and that, what it is to make the human Divine, they do not at all apprehend. But I also heard some saying, that it is from permission that certain ones in the Church worship the saints as gods, to the end that the idea of a visible God may not perish; and that they [thus] retain some notion, from nature, that the Divine is in a human form, that is, that the Divine proceeding from the Lord is human in every form.4776.
The ones with whom took place the conversation concerning doctrine from heaven, and concerning a Bible, were a little to the right of the former, as was said; and it was perceived that they were in the entrance to Africa.4777.
It was next shown, in an obscure vision, in what way that heavenly doctrine would advance in Africa, namely, from this place towards the interiors of Africa, but, still, not to the middle of it; and, then, should bend itself to the inhabitants who are in interior Africa, nearer to the Mediterranean Sea, and thus go on for a long distance, but not as far as to the coasts; and, then, after a time, should bend its way back through an interior tract as far as towards Egypt; and, also, should then proceed from there, to some in Asia under the government of the Turks, also in Asia round about. Hence, the angels rejoiced that the coming of the Lord was now at hand, and that the Church, which is now perishing in Europe, should be renewed in Africa; and that this is done by the Lord alone, by means of revelations, and not by missionaries from the Christians. The people in those countries were also cautioned not to receive any doctrine from Christian missionaries, but that they should indeed hear them, but not believe them. For which reason also, that heavenly doctrine is not divulged to those who are near the coasts, for Christians come thither and introduce scandals; for these surpass all in believing nothing, and living impiously.4778.
I was brought back from thence by another way; and, while on the way, I felt contraction and pain in the thoracic for the reason that there were those who acknowledged faith and not charity, as the only medium of salvation; for the thoracic region corresponds to charity.4779.
At length, when I parted from those about whom I spoke just above, I heard them praising God, very earnestly, in great assembly, singing, Hallelujah. I was afterwards brought back, but higher up, where were spirits from the regions of the north part of Asia; and it was perceived that they were of such a disposition, from their life in the world, as to be able to receive the heavenly doctrine of which I have spoken above. I was afterwards brought back to the region where are those who are in sciences, namely, such things as those from which human learning is at this day imbibed; and it was there observed, that all there were totally unable to apprehend that the Lord can be the only God, merely for the reason that He was a man - and not even that He can be God; and, thus, that these were able to receive the heavenly doctrine in the very smallest degree; for they have no perception that it can be this, because they have by means of sciences extinguished every gift of perception. But, in a region farther to the right there, downwards, were those who were more in the capacity of receiving that doctrine, who had not extinguished, by sciences, the gift of perceiving that a thing is as it is.4780.
Hence it was evident that the heavenly doctrine should at least be propagated from those nations, to spirits who are from various regions of this earth, and then to spirits of other earths. The subject is continued [below].4781.
CONCERNING OUR EARTH - WHY THEY LORD WAS BORN THERE. Continuation. There was a talk concerning the Lord, why He was born in this earth and not in some other; and [it was seen] that the reason was, because, in this earth, doctrine communicated from heaven, could be propagated throughout the whole world, and remain for thousands of years; for, in this earth, from ancient times, such things have been committed to writings, and, afterward, to types, and these can be spread throughout the whole world, and also remain; for such communications and travellings exist in this earth, and not elsewhere; for, elsewhere, the inhabitants are distinguished into nations, families and houses, and do not know how to commit to writings the thing which they know, nor how to communicate with all. Besides, also, when the heavenly doctrine concerning the Lord is known in one earth, the rest are thus able to know it, when they become spirits and angels.4782.
They called the spirits from this earth, sciences; for they correspond to sciences, not abstracted from material things but conjoined with them. Thus, in this earth, it is known, from science, that God is a man: elsewhere, not from science. The difference is like that between angels who know from perception and communication, and [those who know] from themselves.4783.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE CHURCH. From these things it was evident, what that signifies which the Lord said where He speaks of the last judgment - that it is called His Coming, the consummation of the age, when also the temple should be destroyed (Matt. 24:1-3). The angels said concerning the Coming of the Lord, that, as often as a new Church was to be raised up, the Lord Himself should come, and teach, like as when the Most Ancient and Ancient [Churches were established], concerning which see n. . . . especially when the Jewish [Church was established]: the Lord then appeared in a bush to Moses, again on Mount Sinai, and also through the prophets by whom the Word, which is from Himself was given so also, now, with those among whom a new Church is to be raised up, whom the Lord Himself teaches by the angels. Moreover, the Africans are more receptive than others in this earth, of the heavenly doctrine - which it was given to know from the spirits who are thence. These willingly receive, from the angels, the doctrine concerning the Lord. They, more than others, have it implanted in themselves that the Lord must appear altogether as a man, and that it can by no means happen otherwise. They are in the capacity of receiving not only the truths of faith, but especially its goods. They are of the celestial genius.4784.
CONCERNING DEVILS WHO LABOR IN EVERY WAY TO INTRODUCE ADULTERIES. I was led along in a wakeful vision, and, on the way, passed through the hell of those who, in every way, and diligently, labor to pervert, invert and extinguish those things which belong to conjugial love, and to induce such things as are of adultery. They acted almost like genii; but they were subtle spirits placed in concealment; and they gave heed to all the changes of thought and affection, and continually endeavored to pervert these into lascivious adultery, by seductively persuading, and thus injecting the idea that that surpasses the conjugial state. I wondered how they were able to give heed to all the changes of thought, and lead these away from truths and goods, to pervert, then invert and extinguish them, according to the end of their design, and this continually. They afterwards entered into the spiritual life itself, which is not perceived by man - but, in vain, because this is protected by the Lord. The modes of perversion and inversion cannot be described, because they are in the spiritual sphere. They took place by means of the idea of speech, or such ideas as are not attended to by man, since many of these make one idea of speech, or one word; still less [does man attend to] the affections therein, which are the life of these, or of ideas. From this it can be evident to me, that a man who had once perceived the delight of adultery - for to introduce this was their end - can hardly ever be removed and turned away from it; further, that never can anyone resist them unless protected by the Lord, for they act into the life proximately, and yet rather interiorly, within human thought, so that man can by no means observe it. Nor should I have been able, unless, being enlightened by the Lord, I knew how to speak and think with spirits, and so to perceive the quality of the ideas from their affections.4785.
CONCERNING THE MORAVIAN CONGREGATION I heard spirits speaking with those who are of the Moravian Church; and they then opened, in part, the arcana of their religion. First, concerning the Lord, that they acknowledge Him as a man sent by God, in order that, by means of the passion of the cross, He might save the human race. Second, by this means also, that He should fulfill the law, and so abstain from sins. Third, hence He was acknowledged as son by the Father, and called the Son of God. Fourth, faith with them is confidence [fortroende] 4785-1 in Him, not as in God, but as towards a man; hence they have something like love towards Him, though they do not love Him as God, but as man [loves] a very good man. Fifth, in the other life, they retain the same faith, and some that confidence in Him as a man; and it is then granted to some to speak with a certain angel who is sent by the Lord. With him they speak concerning salvation, but only with the object that He [the Lord] may pray the Father to receive them into Heaven; but the angel answers them, that, as man, He cannot, but as God; wherefore their request is not granted. At length, they know that the reason is because they have, about the Lord, the idea of a man, and not of God. Sixth, they also say, that, on account of obedience in the world, He has power in heaven and earth, but not over heaven and earth. Seventh, inasmuch as they do not acknowledge the Lord as God, but as man, in general conversation they call him the Lamb, and thereby understand the innocent one. Eighth, they make nothing of charity, and little of piety, but place all things in that confidence, or fortroende, which they call faith. Ninth, when told that the Lord, in the Word, says that He is one with the Father, they reply that it is understood as a friend, that [is] through friendship, others say through love. Tenth, when it is said to them that the Lord says that He was born of the Father from eternity, and that He should return to the Father and be where He was before, to this they are unable to reply. They were then told that to be born of God from eternity, is to be God; and that, otherwise, he could not have been born of God from eternity. They were not willing to reply to this, because they thought this to be the arcanum of their arcana, which [arcanum] is to this purpose, that to be born signifies to be reborn, and from eternity [that it was] foreseen. Eleventh, their inmost dogma concerning the Lord they are not willing to publish, because thus they would be reckoned amongst Socinians, who are not to be tolerated in Christendom.4786.
CONCERNING CERTAIN APPEARANCES, AMONG SPIRITS, RELATING TO THE SOCIETIES WITH THEM - SUCH AS HATS AND OTHER ARTICLES OF CLOTHING, AND THINGS ON THE OUTSIDE OF MAN. It is worthy of relation, that the angelic societies with a spirit, not only inflow into those things which belong to his mind and body, but also into those things which are external to the body - as, for example, those which they [the societies] specially affect, hat, wig, cap, scarf [or kerchief]; so, also, into garments everywhere. Hence it is, that, by the garments a spirit has, it can be known with which societies he is conjoined. A certain female spirit had a chest, wherein were some garments belonging to an infant, and other things pertaining to infantile innocence. This chest she concealed. When, however, it was taken away, infantile innocence perished. Hence it was evident, that infantile societies favored that. It is similar with those who have a sword, or even a staff with a transverse piece of wood, or of silver, or of gold. This also happens by means of influx from societies which are in the power of truth. That sword [appears through influx from a society] which is in the function of defense, by means of truth. If a hat, or cap, or wig, is taken away from anyone, the communication with such things as inflow from above, perishes; so that these articles of clothing are from thence. When there is a connection with anyone, this is represented by means of a band which he holds in the hand: the communication and influx of thoughts [is represented] by ropes descending, and so forth.4787.
KERCHIEFS. LADY'S CAP. FORK. A kerchief signifies the gift of perception in external things, and a cap signifies the gift of external understanding. Women have these faculties; and if these faculties are taken from them, they lose the outward gifts [i. e., the articles of apparel mentioned], which was proved by someone taking these faculties from them, when the women lost those portions of apparel. 4787-1 A fork signifies the science of sensuals, because it serves, in externals, for eating. A certain one (Ericus Benzelius), who had been in sensuals and their science, had such a fork; and, in whatever direction he stretched it out, he himself followed in an instant, and was there. This was also shown by him, experimentally. The reason that this happens, is, because he then has communication with societies which are in sensuals, and these are what attract the minds of all to themselves; for his general speech, for more than a month, is from sensuals and their science. In like manner the signification of stockings, of shoes, of trousers, of under-vests, of garments, of a man's cap and of a hat, is taken from the part of the body which they clothe. 4787-24788.
WHAT A MARSHY PLACE, OR SWAMP, IS. During my sleep, a certain one appeared to set something on fire, but water flowed over it. It was upon a rock, which was lower than another. Seeing this, I said that he could not burn it there because the water flowed over it, so that if he wishes to set it on fire water is emitted from somewhere at the side: it was so arranged also, in order that it could be emitted: but if he wishes to do so on the upper rock, where it was dry, [he could]. I said this, but he did not do so; he wished to set fire to the material which was under the waters. This is what it signified: to kindle a fire is to act piety, to love, and the like; the waters which overflowed are falses; the lower rock where the water was, was charity, and the upper rock, where it was not, was faith in the Lord. The person was Boneauschold. There was a marsh near by, or an altogether marshy water - a pond. He went thither once and returned; but afterwards he went thither and was immersed, and could not be raised up. Nevertheless, I and another sought to discover in what way he might be raised out, but none was discovered: there appeared a sort of bubbling as if he might emerge, but he did not. He afterwards appeared to be immersed deeper and deeper.4789.
When I awaked, it was then granted me to know that it was Boneauschold, and that the marshy pond was his nature, which he acquired to himself in the world. It was also shown, by a spiritual idea, of what quality that nature was. It was such that he thought about men only in reference to his advantage, and not in reference to their merit, or superiority of life above others; but, in his mind, he frequently preferred and praised him from whom he received, or might be able to receive, gain, and slandered him from whom he did not, or could not, get gain. Such was his mind and nature. Hence he was quite silly, believing that the world was everything. This is the marshy place in the other life.4790.
He was afterwards explored, and very many things he had done which were nefarious, detected; but he heard and was not ashamed. He was examined, and he had not any notion of eternal or spiritual life. Thus this was suffocated by means of the world.4791.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE FROM THE MORAVIAN CHURCH. These, as was said above, appeared as before, a very little to the right in the plane of the sole of the foot. They live together, but were tempted by a devil; and, at first, they resisted. But, afterwards, they succumbed, and joined with him in persecuting me: when engaged in the reading and study of the Word; and then, being of such a character, they were divided. Some of them were brought under the sole of the foot, and then were introduced into a long chamber at the right. They were explored as to what faith they were in; and it was discovered that they do not acknowledge the Lord as God, but as a man, and so worship Him, and that they love Him because He saves them in preference to others; for they believe that no others can be saved except those who have faith and love Him: thus, that all the rest in the universe, whom they call dead, are condemned. They carry this notion with them in the other life. They also believe that good work, and a life of good in general, effect nothing, but only faith in the truth, and love to the Lord as a man. Therefore, they also separate good from truth: further, too, they believe that the Word of the Old Testament is abrogated, and also explain away all those places in the New Testament where good works are treated of; for they believe that no one can do a good work, unless he believes he merits thereby. Moreover, they believe that when they love the Lord as a man, they can do whatever they please, even deceive others outside their congregation, commit whoredom although they are married, and similar things; for they believe that this does not damn, because they are in the Lord.4792.
But they were told that they are in the falsity that the Lord is a mere man, when yet He is God; and that to love the Lord, if they are not in the good of life according to the precept of faith, is most perilous, because the Lord is the Holy Itself; and that it is not possible for those who are of filthy and profane life, to receive the holy; for that which receives the Lord, is the Divine Itself, or the holy of the Lord in man, thus good from the Lord; and that the Lord cannot be conjoined with man, nor be received by man, otherwise, than in that of His own, which is received by the man. But they were not at all of this opinion, saying that all things in them are holy from the Lord, even evils of life; consequently, that these are not heeded. And they were also told that the Lord does not inflow into the truths of faith, except by means of good, thus, not into the intellectual faculty, except through the will. Inasmuch as they assert themselves to have the sensation [of the Lord's influx], they were told that that sensation is not the perception of truth, but the sensation of the confirmation of their doctrine, and that it comes from the influx of those who have been in that doctrine in the world. For they possess, above others, the characteristic that they wish to make proselytes, for the reason that they believe themselves alone to be happy; hence those spirits have such a desire and influx - whence is the sensation. As, also, with Quakers are Quaker spirits, and with enthusiasts, enthusiastic spirits. Like are adjoined to like.4793.
Moreover, they are in a certain kind of hatred against those who think differently, especially against those who make out the Lord to be God, and this because these do something from the good of charity or of works, in general. They do good to each other, in turn; but this is from friendship, which counterfeits charity; and they are also opposed to the Word of the Old Testament: in general, are opposed to the internal sense [of the Word]. Thus, also, they no longer love the Lord, but begin now to persecute Him; for, in secret, they make one with the devil; but in what sort and to what extent, I do not as yet know. Hence, from them, infamous things begin to appear.4794.
There was also an infamous thing from them which was detected: to wit, there was a certain spirit with me, who was in good; and he was adjoined to me. He was twice called forth by them, in secret; and they did the most infamous things to him, one after another, in the way of corrupting him. They supposed it was that spirit [they had worked on], but it was others who were with him in externals - who were, also, afterwards pointed out. From the fact of their perpetrating abominations, it is given to know how they believe in the truths and goods of the Word, to wit, that they pervert these things more than others do; for this is exhibited, in the other life, by things like adulterations. Moreover, they also seek opportunities of injuring stealthily, in heinous ways.4795.
From custom and life in the world, they have the characteristic, that they conceal the arcana of their faith from others, and speak about them to each other; for they fear lest they should be styled Socinians, and so be excluded from those others who acknowledge the Divinity of the Lord, and for other reasons. Hence, also, they converse with, and impress on, each other; that they alone are the saved, and that all others are condemned. They do not speak about their arcana to others. Hence it is, that those of them who are evil are interiorly evil, and think in an interiorly evil manner respecting others, and, also, do evil to them in secret.4796.
That there is interior friendship amongst them, is because they think much concerning their salvation, and that they are saved, and not others; hence they have such friendship. When they speak together, with closed doors, they then talk about such things; and they said, when they were heard speaking together in a closed apartment that they are certainly in the truth, because they have the sensation [of it], which others have not, and that angels speak with many [of their number]: so they imagine; but they who speak with them are spirits of the same faith with themselves, who are in a similar persuasion.4797.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE MORAVIAN CHURCH, AND CONCERNING MERCY. The same believed that they are saved from mercy, but only they; and that to be saved from mercy is to be received into heaven, no matter what their quality as to life, be they only in such a faith and sensation as they had. But they were told that the mercy of the Lord is over man from infancy; also, that the Lord constantly operates and regenerates from mercy; and that they who have not received mercy in the world cannot receive it in the other life. It is received by means of charity; and they were also told that faith in this truth can indeed be given in the other life, but that this occurs in an extraordinary manner, therefore, not according to order. In order that this - and, at the same time, that no one could be saved from mercy unless they had received it by means of a life of good in the world - might be manifest, the same ones, who at first denied this, were sent, in an extraordinary way, towards those who felt aright concerning mercy and reception into heaven; and they were then held, directed towards the right, afar, and certain spirits were brought above the head, that thus they might be kept in that state of faith, or light; and they then said, in a clear and living voice, that they perceive and see most manifestly that the matter is so; and this they did, frequently, and for a long time. Also, a certain great devil was brought thither, and he also saw it clearly. But when let back into their former state, which was the state of their life, they then perceived it no longer. The contrary, however, was thence apparent, namely, that they cannot be raised up into heaven, out of mercy, and without regard to how they have lived; for no one can be kept to eternity in an extraordinary state; but he is led from good, by the Lord, and is then led in the ordinary and general way.4798.
It is among their arcana, that even crimes committed by them are forgiven, and this more completely than [with those] who do not sin, and wish to merit thereby. Wherefore, they do not restrain themselves from crimes, but [practice] them against those who are outside their congregation, on whom they do not fear to inflict harm by violence, or by cunning, because they consider them as dead and infernal. They also believe that none enter heaven but themselves, and that they and no others are endowed therewith by His Father. They infested me a whole night, placing [before me] women, and the foulest parts of women, as if to eat, which signified, that, by exceedingly atrocious things, they thought they worshipped the Lord as God, or His Human as Divine.4799.
It was all of them in unison who acted thus. Wherefore, they were also removed to the right, in the plane of the sole of the foot, very far off. They were told that the Lord cannot dwell, by love, with those who are in a life of evil, because He is most holy. He cannot be with those who are profane as to the ends of their life; wherefore, they are kept in the state of loving the Lord, as a man, like one of themselves, who was infirm in similar manner; so that they have no faith in the Lord, and, consequently, no love.4800.
Their way is to act in secret, and not to divulge their dogmas to others; for they know that they could not then remain with them, because they would be rejected as Socinians; and [they know] that according to these [dogmas]; it would be allowable to commit evils and crimes, and that thus [i.e. by keeping their dogmas secret] evils would be forgiven them, provided they do not separate themselves from the congregation.
4754-1 A most striking example that the evil, and even devils, have the faculty of understanding truth, was (President Stjerncrona). He so excelled in that gift, that he could lay hold of and understand the truths of faith, even to the minutiae, when these were exhibited to him, to the life; and he also acknowledged them: for instance, that there was divine order, and that the laws of order are the truths of faith; that love to the Divine and love towards the neighbor constitute heaven, and that love of the world constitutes hell; that divine order cannot be received save by the humble, and that humility cannot exist with those who are in self-love; that self-love is hard, and love to the Divine is soft; also, that self-love must be wholly crushed, and that this occurs in hell, and that, nevertheless, humility cannot exist [in those circumstances]. These and the like truths he was able to lay hold of and understand; but, still, he could not act otherwise than contrary thereto, because imbued with the desire of ruling over others. His life in the world was scandalous with the most shameful adulteries; and yet he promised repentance but still continued [in evil], utterly defiling divine things by the fact that he acknowledged his sins, prayed devoutly for forgiveness, to that end used the holy supper, and yet persevered afterwards [in sin]; and, at length, he confirmed himself in evil, and was then given up to evil entirely, so that he could no longer do aught but evil, without any conscience.
4757-1 Ericus Benzelius the elder. --Kahl is of opinion (Narratiunculoe, p. 9) the younger of the two men bearing this name in here meant; but Dr. Tafel (Documents, Vol. I., p. 608) applies the passage to the elder. The fact that the above description does not tally with that given of the younger man in other parts of the present work, (see No. 4749), compels the acceptance of Dr. Tafel's view. -EDITOR.
4762-1 Amos 3:6. - "Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
4785-1 A Swedish word, meaning trust or confidence.
4787-1 In the original (Swedish) the passage runs thus: "Armklede betyder perceptions gafwan in (och?) vtwartes, och hufwau bstyder vtwertes forstandz gafwan, fruntimber hafwa den, och da den tages ifran dem, mista de de vtwertas gafworna, som och bewistes med det at de som taga sadant och fruentimbren mjsta den. --See Swedenborg's "Drommar," p. 65, Appendix.
4787-2 In the original (Swedish) the passage runs thus: "Likaledes strumpor, skor, boxor, lifstycke, klutar (? klader) mossa, hsatt, signification tages af det som det beklader" -See, as before, Swedenborg's "Drommar," p. 65, Appendix.