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Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at

Spiritual Diary


Afterwards, an immense number of those called Protestants, and who proclaimed the doctrine of faith alone and yet had no life of faith, both the learned and the more unlearned, who said that they possess true doctrine, have the Word, know the Lord, and many things besides, and that therefore they should be saved rather than others; and yet they had not any of the life of faith - these were brought forth in a vast multitude; at first, in a westerly direction towards the sea there, and were conducted to its southern side, and thence brought back towards the south in another part of the vastated Babylonish tract, and as far as to the east there, and also still farther, beyond the middle of it. From that point they were separated; and some were scattered towards the north, and were seen no more. The rest of them were brought back towards the south, and there borne hither and thither, now forward, now back, and were there explored as to whether they had any faith; for there, in the south, places are distinguished according to Divine truths. Everywhere they were explored as to whether they have had the faith which they professed; and, in every case, it was ascertained that they have had no faith, because no life, since, where there is not life there is no faith, for, apart from life, faith is a mere matter of knowledge. This lasted for the space of an hour; and everywhere they were told whether they believe, or have faith; and it was ascertained that they had none at all. This, also, they themselves there confessed; and, likewise, that they do not even know what a life of charity is, or that the doctrine of faith is separate from the doctrine of charity, and that they do not know the latter nor care for the former; because, [say they], faith alone, without life, saves.


When they were in the southern quarter, there went out, near to a gulf there, a multitude which was concealed there from former times, who likewise said that they believe and therefore would be saved - and thought nothing at all about the life. That multitude was mingled with the former.


Again, from that mountain-region and from the cities, was led forth a multitude who lived morally; not, however, from any conscience, or from religion, but only from fear of the law and of the loss of reputation, profit and honor. They were thus devoid of any Christian life: wherefore, it had been nothing to them to do evil against God and against the neighbor, save when their own advantage restrained them. And because they had not any life of faith, and thus no communication with heaven, they were also cast out towards the southern and towards the western quarter, and led somewhat round about; and it was ascertained, by investigation, that they had no religion - for where there is not life, there is no religion: religion regards living and not merely thinking. Living enters the man, and makes him of its own quality; but not thinking only.


Lastly, those were brought forth who have been well-versed in the doctrinals of the Church, and also have led a moral life, though not from doctrine but only on account of the laws - because, living in society, they were bound by the laws - and on account of reputation, profit, honors; therefore, with a regard to men and not with a regard to God; and thus for the sake of themselves, and not for the sake of the truths of faith. These, also, were examined as to whether they had anything of conscience; and it was ascertained that they had nothing - therefore, also, nothing of religion; for a religion which does not teach life, and which the life is not in accordance with, is not religion. These, also, were cast out of the mountain-region.


All of these were arranged into three classes, and driven far away, until, at the last, they could not be seen except like a cloud - and this was separated and dispersed; and it was said from heaven, that they were all cast into uninhabited and desert places and wholly separated from one another, that they might no longer associate together; and they wander about in that desert, like people possessed of no religion. Such as were of the first class, were cast forth into separate deserts and uninhabited places, outside of the tract where the Church is, since they have no religion because no life. Those who were of the second and third classes, were scattered into more interiorly situated desert places. Amongst the Gentiles are some of no religion, who lead a wild-beast life.


Their dispersion was made to every quarter, to the west, to the south, to the east, and also to the north. They can never return thence, since, in the places whither they have been dispersed, they are deprived of every knowledge of religion and every doctrinal of the Church. In the desert places this occurs, and they therefore pass a wretched life. 5355b. It is wonderful that all these should be ignorant that religion pertains to life, and that they should altogether separate religion from life - to such a degree, as not even to think of a life according to religion, but only of the civil life which obliges them to live morally in externals.


All those who have thought in themselves that evil ought not to be done, and that good ought to be done, on account of God, and because the Word so teaches, consequently, who have thus received somewhat of conscience - all such are saved, inasmuch as they all communicate with heaven. The rest do not.


OF WHAT QUALITY THE ENGLISH, DUTCH, GERMANS AND SWEDES ARE, AS REGARDS RELIGION. It was ascertained, by investigation, of what character the English are, as regards the truths of the Church - that, namely, with the exception of the priests, they do not care to learn them; but yet that they have a fairly keen perception that a thing is so when it is reasonably stated, consequently, they have an interior sight as regards religion; still, however, not an active, but a receptive sight. The reason is because they deal sincerely with each other, without deceit; and because it is customary, when any act otherwise, for others to shun them, etc.


The Dutch have no such receptive perception, but still they are very penetrating, adhering to their doctrine, and not receding from their faith in it: if clearly shown that it is not true, they understand, but turn their back; for they are unwilling to recede from their own position.


The Germans remain in their doctrine; nor are they willing to accept anything else. The Swedes do not care to know anything of doctrine, excepting what they have learned in boyhood. Alter that, with the exception of the priests, they learn nothing. Certain Englishmen had a ready reception.


Afterwards, the clearing away from the middle space of all the cities, and also of the neighboring mansions, continued. Every spot [was cleared] of all those who have lived in the Church without the Church, or in religion without religion, in that they never regarded the life, and, whatever they did, did all for the sake of self, and, moreover, lived in ease and luxury. Such characters were cast, part of them into the northern chasm, part into the western, some, also, into a chasm in the south, besides into the desert places in every direction. This went on for quite a long time. The number was immense.


It was observed, that, in one city, almost a fourth part of those who appeared there - who were of a different genius from, and, consequently, turned their back to, the others - only appeared when they turned themselves into some similarity of affection. The portion that was of a wholly different genius, and did not accord with the citizens, were allotted quarters under the city, and this in various places. I beheld, in the London there, the ground heaped up in the shape of a small hill, and an entrance under it. Under the hill there, although it was small, there was an immense number of the wicked, amounting to many thousands, all of whom were then cast into the hells - because from them, as long as they are there, an exhalation arises to the inhabitants of the city, which infests them and changes their affections and thoughts. On some occasions, also, certain ones go out from thence, and make their appearance; but they return again. This occurs under the cities, in many places. Thus, also, are the cities always cleansed by the Lord.


Moreover, outside of the cities, in the environs, and sometimes within the cities, are very many, such as, although wicked, are not cast down, and such as, although good, are not immediately raised up to heaven. These are such as have arrived from the world within the last 10 to 20 years, who minister to men, and through whom, as subjects, communication is effected with the hells and with the heavens. These are the ones who are in the world of spirits; for those who are in the hells can not be drawn out of them after having been fully vastated. Sometimes, some [may be drawn out] who have not been fully vastated; for those who have been vastated are kept in hell, neither can they be drawn out thence, for as soon as ever they thrust forth their head from thence, they are tormented dreadfully. They who are from the world, and serve as subjects, are vastated in the meanwhile; and this occurs from head to foot; for every single particle of the body of man and spirit, corresponds to some society - if good, to a society in heaven; if evil, to a society in hell. The evil are vastated as to all the hypocritical, or external, truths and goods they possessed in the eyes of the world, their evils and falses thus remaining. But the good are vastated as to evils and falses of act, which are separated from them, their goods and truths thus remaining; and so they are raised up to heaven. Thus all things follow on.


It was observed, that, after that Last Judgment, the hells were completely changed: namely, that the hells of the evil ones of the Catholic religion are now at a great depth in a region around the middle, in the northern and southern quarter. The hells that were formerly there, were cast into other places - which has been previously treated of. But the hells of the evil Protestants are open, round about, to the north, west and south, in a great chasm stretching obliquely under the district of those [places] where Babylon is; so that these hells are now under Babylon. Besides this, they are also elsewhere, as in the western sea, in the gulfs, in the chasms of the mountains and in the deserts - all of which has been before described.


Those who are cast into the hells, into the chasms, into the gulfs and into the seas, can never afterwards ascend from them; and, if they do ascend, even so much as only to raise the head, they are tormented in a dreadful manner; which, also, I several times witnessed. They protruded the head and arms but a little bit; but they instantly drew them back, for a dreadful pain and torment assailed them. The reason is, because all places, wherever they are, are appearances of Divine Truth in ultimates. Divine Truth in ultimates appears in such forms as those of nature, and all places receive Divine Truth variously - one differently from another. Hence it is that spirits and angels can at once see, from the gait of another spirit there, his quality as to truth and good, or as to falsity and evil. The paths of truth and good are everywhere varied. Hence, also, it is, that the abodes of good spirits and angels are variously distanced, and situated according to their truths and goods. Wherefore, the evil who are cast into the hells, into the gulfs, the chasms and the seas - where evils are beneath - if they thrust forth their heads, or shoulders, fall into the hands of the Divine Truth from Good which is there. They cannot endure this at all; for thence they suffer torment.


That this is the case, was also discovered by the circumstance that such as said they had faith because they were somewhat versed in doctrine though they did not live according to it, were led round about to where were the kinds of Divine Truth which they said they believed; and, before they arrived there, they cried out, "We believe it;" but, as soon as they came to that place, they themselves discovered that they have believed nothing. And this occurred at all those places where was the truth which they said they had believed. A similar thing occurs with all others when explored as to whether they believe the truth when they have not lived it, or received it in their will by life. I was also conducted through various places, below and above; and it was ascertained that there were variations everywhere. In hell are similar variations - but they are opposite.


I also saw many persons sitting round a table in a certain house. They all looked like rich merchants; and still more of them in turn approached. In external form, they appeared as if good, and they were also well dressed. But I saw that they were all cast down, in succession, from there into the desert places; thus, outside the societies of the upright. The reason was stated to be, because, in the world, they lived just like Christians in external form, and did right, but merely for the sake of obtaining a reputation for honor, so that they might make gain out of and be trusted by, others; and they have done nothing at all for the sake of God or the neighbor, but for the sake of self; and that, thus, they had no communication with heaven. Hence it was, that such ones were cast into the desert places, where they roam amongst robbers, and commit robbery; for, with such as do nothing from religious principles, externals are taken away, and they become robbers. They would also become such in the world, did not externals hold them in bonds.


I afterwards heard how it was with the Last Judgment upon the Dutch. All of those were cast out of their cities, mansions and lands, who have done nothing good from any religious or conscientious motives, but only for reputation - in order that they may appear honest - with an eye to gain. For, when their regard for reputation and gain is removed, as happens in the other life, then such ones rush into every crime, plundering everybody without any mercy. There was an immense number of such characters, amounting to many myriads. I saw and heard them expelled, and cast into the dark chasm that sloped obliquely under the eastern district; and part also into a chasm extending beneath the southern district, on the side where it verges towards the east, but yet not into that same one into which the Catholic crew was cast, but somewhat more to the front. This continued quite a long time. It occurred on the 9th day of January, 1757. Those who had something of conscience, and something of religion, thus remained.


The Dutch nation dwell at the right, in front, in the middle space where the Protestants are, - chiefly in the plane of the arm. They who are somewhat humble, are in a city which is covered from above - which has been mentioned previously - and the bulk of these are preserved.


The Dutch nation are such that, from natural lumen, they excel in judgment. From that lumen, they take an exceedingly just view of matters, especially such as are in the world. And, inasmuch as they constantly think upon their business, they do not appear to be interiorly in heavenly light [lux]; but, yet, this is concealed in their natural light [lumen]. 5368-1 For this reason, they are also able to apprehend whatever is true in religion; but yet, although convinced, they turn their backs, and care little. They do not act thus out of regard for profit, so much as on account of their business itself. Business itself is their end and love, and money is a means. They therefore love the latter for the sake of the former. The avaricious are otherwise; to them, money is the end and love and business is a means.


The English, however, appear a little forward, to the right, higher up, in a plane above the head. Inasmuch as they are of an entirely different genius, light [lux] appears to exist interiorly amongst them, and a spiritual element is received in it. They perceive, instantly, whatever inflows, and also receive it instantly. Those of them who have thought about God from a religious ground, and have hence acted honorably, see the truths of faith quite clearly; nor do they let them down into their natural mind, inasmuch as this is not so much occupied and filled with worldly things, and hence so obscure, as with others. The reason is, because they love sincerity, and act from it, and because this is a general characteristic with them. 5369-1


CONCERNING THE DRAGON. By the Dragon, in the Word, are meant those who have no desire for doctrine, but only for the Word in the letter, and who, by it, justify all people in their loves and principles in order to obtain their good-will, confirming those things by the Word in the letter - for they thus excuse all evils to whomsoever they will, whether they be robberies, pilferings, murders or adulteries; and who also justify themselves and their own life in like manner, thus living according to their own pleasure and strengthening evils and falses in themselves. Such are mostly sensual and merely external men. They are distinguished from others only by the fact that they read the Word; but they do it without doctrine for a lamp to enlighten them.


In the other life, these persons justify all, merely in order that they may be called wise and be extolled above others; and some thus explain and bend [all things] at their pleasure, if only they may gain something by it. These are meant by filthy adulterers, those, namely, who lie with their daughters-in-law, and who love adulteries of sons with their mothers, or stepmothers. Just such is the character of their religion. But there are different kinds of them; for together they make up the whole of the dragon. Those who are altogether sensual are the ones who constitute its tail.


Many such persons were seen; and it was heard how they mislead the multitude and patronize every evil, abusing true doctrine and wholly rejecting the internal sense of the Word. They were gathered into one mass and sent into an abyss. Their abyss is in the southern quarter, at some distance from the boundary where it is joined with the eastern quarter. I beheld, there, a burning as it were of coal - which is the love of self and the world; and they were cast in there, some higher up, some lower down, and they are kept there, bound. Hence it is that it is said of the dragon, that he is sent into the abyss and kept there bound a thousand years. 5372-1


I also saw a crowd of vast number cast down out of heaven - and, in fact, on to the earth at the west towards the north there - and they were scattered in a desert country; for that crowd cared nothing for doctrine, but remained merely in the sense of the letter of the Word. Hence, they had no faith, and applied the Word [to favor] any matter, love or principle; wherefore, they had not any religion, because no certainty touching any subject. These were the ones of whom the Apocalypse speaks, who were cast down out of heaven to the earth by the tail of the dragon; 5373-1 because, namely, they have no knowledges; nor can heaven be opened to them, because they are in no doctrine; nor can they be arranged and kept in any fixed place where Divine truth is, because they have no certainty. Hence they rove everywhere, and wander in the desert; nor are they received by anyone.


I saw those who were of such a character cast down, out of a heaven which is in the highest part, to the number of many thousands. They were, then, at the northern side of that region. The casting down appeared as often as any execrable adultery was perceived below. They entered heaven by reason of piety of life, and because they have thought about God.


After this, I saw multitudes brought down from the heavens to the eastern quarter, in order that they might wander there.


((Moreover, all those are dragons who have the Word and doctrine from the Word, and only speak about them but do not practice them, thus, also, those who are in faith alone. Some constitute the head of the dragon, some the body and some the tail. Those who talk and do not practice, are the very lowest sensual men.))


CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OLD HEAVEN, OR CONCERNING THE CHANGES THERE. There is a still higher expanse above the middle space where Christians are. It did not appear to me before, neither did it appear to those who are beneath. It is high up over the head, round about. Some said, that they do not see it, but that yet they saw some ascending as it were into a cloud, who, however, vanished at a certain height. Thither ascended all from the Christian world, who have thought about God and led a life of piety; thus, whose interiors were slightly open, but this only by their life of piety and thought about God.


I heard and saw them let down from the heaven, there, to the number of many myriads; first towards the north, next towards the west, and lastly towards the south. In a word, an immense multitude was heard; and it was said that they were those who have lived piously and thought about God, but, yet, not about the Lord except as of a man like themselves, and not of Him as God; also, who have thought about the Father alone, and otherwise of the Lord than was proper - in a word, have always directed their thoughts to God the Father, in order that He might save them for the sake of the Son; and, when they thought of the one God, it was not at the same time of the Lord; consequently, they have not worshipped the Lord, when yet the Father cannot be approached save by Him, since He is The Way, and no one comes to the Father but by Him, and also because no one could see the Father unless He teach them, as He says in John 1:18, and elsewhere - in a word, [they are those] who have not had the Lord in the life of their piety, when, yet, without the Lord there is no salvation. For they who are of such a character, howsoever they think about God still cannot be led [of Him], for they always think indeterminately, and have no bond of connection with the Lord, who, nevertheless, is the God of heaven and earth. Neither were they able to think about God under any human form, and thus under any determinate form; hence their thought falls into a sort of nonentity. Indeed, neither do they think of a Trinity - as, however, they suppose they do when they think about God - inasmuch as they have passed by the Lord, and are then in forgetfulness, or in no thought about His Divine, no matter how openly the Church teaches it. Their thought about the Lord falls away from [His] Divine (which to them is nothing), to the likeness of a common man, thus to what they could not direct their thoughts [of God] to, because their idea concerning Him was like that concerning a mere man, and not God. Such pietists were not able to be with the angels in heaven; and they were, therefore, brought down thence, to the number of many myriads.


Also, the angels complained that their thoughts concerning the Lord were spoiled, on account of the multitude of such persons round about, and on account of their thoughts; for, in the other life, thoughts which are of affections are communicated. They were all round about.


All of them were brought down to those quarters, as above stated, and to the level earth there, or to where the plains were, and where there appeared a gloom, greater and greater according to the distance; and, afar off, woods. And this was according to their life; inasmuch as they were not able to have love and faith in God except so very dimly, because they then worshipped the Lord in such obscurity, and in so low and slight a manner.


 5389-1 Then, also, I saw that there were brought forth, from the western quarter, and raised into heaven, to their place, as many as a multitude of people, who were those who have been concealed in that part in various places there, from the first times of Christianity, and guarded by the Lord lest they should be seduced by the evil, especially by the Papists who are at the front there. A multitude of Christians was there hidden, and guarded by the Lord - who are they who are treated of in the Apocalypse, chapter 20,


of whom it is said that they have been slain, and that they were raised up out of the sepulchres; and who are of the first resurrection - verses 4, 5, 6, 12, in that chapter. 5390-1


That the Lord is to be approached, and God to be worshipped thus, the Lord teaches in many places, even in the Old Testament, where He is called Father of Eternity, God, Hero, 5391-1 also God with us, or Emanuel, 5391-2 as also Jehovah our Righteousness, 5391-3 etc.; in which places it is His Human that is treated of. It is also known that the Father and Son are One, and that the one is of the other, and the one in the other, reciprocally; and the Divine is still One. Wherefore, those who have thought only of the Divine of the Father, and of the Lord as a man apart from the idea of Divinity - these can by no means receive the Divine, for the Lord's Divine is the all-in-all of heaven, and as soon as this inflows [into them] it is not adopted but rejected; and the Divine is received by them without the idea of a human, which is without any idea; for no idea can be conceived of a Divine apart from a human. This is the reason that they were rejected, inasmuch as they were not able to receive the Divine influx relating to the Lord, thus neither that concerning faith and love, nor respecting all and everyone of the things that belong to faith and love to God.


Afterwards, I saw brought out of heaven, men and women who have led a life of piety, and in fact an idle life, who continually meditated about God and were in prayer and supplications, but did not know, from doctrine, anything except that God remits their sins. They did not know what sins are; and this because they were ignorant of truth. They were also such, that, when they beheld worldly matters and civil cares in others, they said that these things ought to be abandoned and God worshipped, and therefore condemned others, and despised them in comparison with themselves - placing all things relating to salvation in such a life of piety, and not in a life according to the Lord's commandments. Those in heaven said of these, that they dwelt there at one side, and that if they encounter them or direct a look thither, they occasion a sadness which corrupts their joys, and also deadens the truths of their intelligence and wisdom and causes them to be as it were oblivious to what is going on; but that [such characters] are tolerated, although they [i.e. the rest] wished them away.


 5394-1 All of them were brought down to a place in the north, that they might not harass, and plunge in sadness, others, who are in heaven. They were brought down to the northern quarter, because they were in ignorance of such things as lead to heaven; and it was said that they were allowed to dwell together, but that they ought by no means to pass a slothful life and thus hang their heads and go as it were melancholy, inasmuch as such conduct has never been commanded.


The German Protestants appear more towards the north; the Swedes, at the north and west, in the middle; the Danes, in the west; the Dutch, towards the east and south; the English, in the midst amongst them. All appear according to their genius as regards religion.


When the visitation of the Germans, Swedes and Danes occurred, those were first cast out to whom religion was not a matter of very much concern, thus, those who thought about civil and worldly matters and but little about religion save that it exists - not even that it ought to exist. Their perception respecting it was also deadened, as if it were not a matter of very much moment. They said that they did not know the difference between living civilly and morally well, and living well in a Christian way; and that it is just the same thing whether they refrain from evil in the state merely because they would be punished by the laws thereof, or whether they shun evil out of regard to religion, thinking about the precepts of the Church derived from the Word; when, yet, the difference is so great, that they who do well only on account of civil laws, still have no conscience, nor, consequently, influx from heaven. But these were merely external men; and, when the externals of such ones are removed, as happens in the other life, they rush into every crime, into which they are led by the hells, according to their cupidities, without restraint, since they are not inwardly ruled by the Lord; and, in the other life, they are in dense darkness as regards all things which belong to intelligence, and in torpor and listlessness concerning everything that pertains to the life there: in a word, the whole of their life is open outwards, or downwards, and not inwards, or upwards. This is the difference between doing well from religion, and doing well from a civil standpoint, out of regard to the laws and fear for their reputation, profit, or honor.


There appeared a multitude of so-called Protestants, upon quite a high mountain and also around the mountain, who have been, in the world, of such a temper, that they esteemed themselves better Christians and worshippers of God than other men. They believed this because, they say, they have performed the work of repentance, and have done so as often as they attended the Holy Supper; and that they have also prayed on their knees, at other times, that their sins might be forgiven: this they have called repentance; while, yet, they neither examined themselves, nor knew, nor cared to know what their sins were; only that they believed they were born in sins. Wherefore, when they returned from the Holy Supper and from their prayers, they led a life not at all different from their previous one. They supposed that not to act contrary to the civil laws from fear of punishments, nor contrary to moral laws from fear of the loss of reputation, profit and honor, was to live Christianly. 5396b. Evils of thought and will they did not suppose were sins; when, yet, these are the sins that condemn. To do well outwardly, when such things are within, is hypocrisy, and, in relation to God and the neighbor, fraud and deceit. Such was the quality of their repentance and fear of God; for, when externals are removed, no bonds of conscience, which are of the thought and will, bridle or restrain them from rushing into evils and falses of every kind, without any mercy. Such are those who do not think from religion, and will, and thus act, from it; and, inasmuch as they had the intention of injuring the righteous whom the Lord defended (which also they knew), they were told that they do not fear any God. This they denied, though they said that they were, indeed, aware that the Lord defends the righteous, but, still, they do not regard the Lord otherwise than as a man, and have never thought otherwise about Him. 5396c. But they were asked whether they do not know that the Divine is also in the Lord, and that the Divine is the same as God the Father; also, that His Divine and Human act as one; also, that one is never contrary to the other; also, that the oneness is like that of soul and body in man - as, moreover, the Creed received in universal Christendom teaches; and likewise that no one cometh to God the Father except by the Lord; as well as that He is The Way - whence it follows, that he who acts against the Lord acts against God the Father; and that those all acknowledge no God, but are atheists, who deliberately, or knowingly, thus disparage the lord. They confessed that, from doctrine, they know such things, but that they never think so, but think no differently about the Lord than about a man just like other men. Inasmuch as these persons were of such a character, that mountain sank down to a level surface, and those who were worse than the rest were kept there on a certain summit, and cast into a hell in the neighborhood of the north.


In the Creed called the Athanasian, the following things are said: that the three persons are not commixed, nor separated; as to the Divine, and that as the Father is, so also is the Son, uncreate, infinite, eternal, omnipotent, God and Lord; but, yet, they are not three [Gods] but one God; The Father not made, created, or born; The Son not made, or created, but born of the Father; The Holy Spirit not made, created, or born, but proceeding; No one of them is first or last, nor greatest or least, but the three are alike eternal and great; That Christ is very man; that He is the Son of God: God and man; God from the nature of the Father, man from the nature of the mother; equal to the Father as touching His Divinity, less than the Father as touching his Humanity: but, although God and man, yet, nevertheless, those are not two, but He is one Christ: He is one, but not in such wise that the Divine is changed into the Human, but the Divine takes the Human to itself; He is one altogether, but not in such wise that the two natures are mixed; but there is one only person, because just as body and soul makes one man, so God and man is one Christ - who suffered for our salvation, etc. 5397-1


In the western quarter was a multitude, whose speech sounded sincere, so that, from the speech, they might be believed to be as it were sincerity itself, and who, by means of this fact, were able to induce the simple-minded to believe that they were sincere. They were those who so appeared in the world, and tried to obtain a reputation for sincerity, but, inwardly, were destitute of conscience and without religion. They consult together how they may subjugate and rule the simple-minded. They assail others behind the back, and not to their face; and they thus inspire such things as they think, and at length subjugate them. They were also cast into a hell in front there, under the western region. For the most part, they were, inwardly, wickednesses - devisers of arts to get gain, with the end of ruling.


Those were explored who had not any charity towards the neighbor - not those who are unmerciful, and of such a disposition; for these are at once seen to be infernal - but they who do not appear so in words and in outward form, but yet are so in heart and internally. They are those who say they are for their country and its good, and likewise act and speak as if they were for it, and yet are not; for those who are for the good of their country have charity towards the neighbor - for the good of their country is the neighbor, and more the neighbor than a fellow-citizen is. These were explored by the following criterion, namely, as to whether they wished well to the Lord's Kingdom, thus to heaven; for they who wish well to their country also wish well to the Kingdom of the Lord; for after death this is their country: in the other life; no other country is recognized. They were those who have thus acted and spoken in favor of the Lord's Kingdom, by thus speaking and acting well towards those whom they knew to be of the Lord's Kingdom, but, when they believed it would fail in any way, and saw its states changed, then, at once joined those who destroyed, and bore them help. They [i.e. those thus explored] were scattered round about; and, when any of such a quality were perceived, they were cast into chasms and deserts on every side. It was observed that they constantly preferred their own good to that of the public, and only favored the public good so far as good would thence accrue to them. Good, also, did accrue to them; and so long as this was the case, no notice was taken of them; but, when the change of state was perceived, they cast themselves at once on to the opposite side, thus hoping, by virtue of their persuasion, to get good out of evils.


All those were afterwards cast out who cared nothing at all about the truths of the Church: which they did not even desire to know, and declined to become acquainted with as being far removed from them, and interior truths as being inimical to them. There was a vast number of such; for they have all thought nothing about religion, but only about external worship arising in habit inculcated from childhood, and from regard for their good name, lest they should be reputed irreligious. For he who does [not] care for the truths of the Church, cannot be led by the Lord to heaven; for it is by those truths that he is led, because he is imbued with the faith and love of them, and is thus led to think them and do them. All these persons, also, were of such a character that they wished to rule and lead others, thus, not to be themselves led, - which, also, was ascertained by the fact, that, wherever they saw anyone, outside of their region, they immediately infested him, by subjugating him, leading him as their slave, not even suffering him to think for himself: thus did they desire to obsess others. All who have hated the truths of faith are of such a character. Gentiles, however, care for their religious principles, and love to know interior truths and to live according to them; but amongst Christians there are very few like this, excepting priests and elders, of whom many, and even the greater part, learn these things for the sake of a reputation for learning, so that they may be promoted to honors and held in esteem, and for the sake of applause - thus for self's sake, and not in order to live according to them and thus amend their lives.


5368-1 We have ventured here to read lumine (=light) in preference to the Latin Editor's homine (=man). -ED.

5369-1 It must be remembered that this description and that in no. 5357, above, were penned 130 years ago. It is to be feared, that, since that time, the English character has undergone considerable deterioration in the matter of plain dealing. -ED.

5372-1 Revelation 20:2, 3.

5373-1 Chapter 12:4.

5389-1 The numbering in the original leaps from 5380 to 5389, as here. -ED.

5390-1 Revelation 20.

5391-1 The Latin Editor here reads Herus, Master. But Swedenborg's reading of Isaiah 9:6, is, et vocabitur nomen illius, Mirabilis, Consiliarius, DEUS, HEROS, Pater aeternitatis, Princeps pacis, = "and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero [not the Mighty God, as in the English Authorized Version], the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace," (see Arcana Coelestia 2005). Knowing this, and noticing that, in the present text, Swedenborg unquestionably has in mind the Lord's titles as recited in Isaiah 9:6, we cannot doubt that he here wrote, Deus, Heros = "God, Hero. " We have made the English translation, therefore, to read accordingly. -ED.

5391-2 Isaiah 7:14.

5391-3 Jeremiah 23:6.

5394-1 The numbering strictly follows the original, omitting number 5393. -ED.

5397-1 This paragraph is in italics indicating a quotation.

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