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

Spiritual Diary


At the boundary in the west, there appeared women who infested whomsoever they saw; and it was perceived, that, when they returned to their residences, they made their way through many roundabout paths and blocked up the rest, lest they should be tracked after they have been infesting, and punished. I was brought to this boundary; and, behold, there was a vast multitude of women who in the world have been harlots, numbering many hundreds of thousands. All these were then cast thence into a marshy pond, which is some distance off at the back of those in the west, and into hells there; and their houses were destroyed. They had been such as continued in those courses during the whole of their life.


Afterwards, others were seen who, unknown to their associates, have secretly practiced whoredom - who, also, have been such to the end of life in the world. These were seen at no great distance from the former ones, to the number of many thousands and myriads. They, in like manner, were led down to the pond on the western side in that region, and cast into a gloomy, yawning cavern there situated.


There is also a marshy pond in the southern region, into which are cast those who have been harlots clandestinely. Very many of those there are of noble condition (St.). Into this [also] are cast those who have been external men, all of whom thought and spoke like men in the world, and, for the most part, in such language as there is in the world. Such ones are numerous; and they are in a natural sphere, not in a spiritual, for the reason that they have not known the truths of faith. Those who are of such a character, and the harlots, are cast into the southern pond; the rest, also, who are such, are in the south.


Those in heaven marveled that few who come into the other life from the Christian world, know that the Lord rules heaven and earth, when, nevertheless, they may know this from [the statements of] the Word that all things of the Father's are His; also, that all power in the heavens and the earths is given to Him, and that He shall judge all men. Few, also, think any otherwise about the Lord than as they do about a common man, or as about themselves.


ABOUT THE RESIDUE OF THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, AND A CONTINUATION ABOUT BABEL. Of that community, there was a vast multitude who were not in the monasteries, dwelling at the east and occupying that whole region - all the way from the eastern quarter above the southern - which extended itself towards the gentiles there, upon the mountains at that part, and in the plains, beneath and above. And all this multitude was transferred from the east, by a direct way right into the west, into another part of the Babylonish region there; in which place residences were given them upon hills and plains, through a great extent of country.


Great part of this communion were such as have lived in good although they have not been in truths: they have practiced good according to their religious belief. They were of that disposition that they did not injure others, nor devise schemes [against them]. That from their good they were always in the affection of truth, was plain from the fact, that, on their way, they time after time asked silver and garments from others, like the children of Israel from the Egyptians - which signifies [obtaining] knowledges from those who were in knowledges. The ones of whom they asked these things were the Egyptians - they were Protestants who were not in good although in truths. This was heard several times.


These were taught in the residence to which they were carried. There were given them priests to instruct them, inasmuch as they are only in good and not in truth, altogether like the gentiles. The Christian religion in that communion is altogether extinct, so that scarcely a vestige of it remains; inasmuch as they have not the Word by which to be instructed about the truths of religion. They [i.e. the Catholics] acknowledge the Lord, but as without any power of saving; saying that they themselves have His power. They make for themselves idols; they remit sins; they introduce into heaven; they cast into hell; they save whomsoever they will and give them wealth; they sell salvation; they preach holy things for the sake of gain; they witness and tolerate the worshipping of themselves and of idols, which, also, they exhibit everywhere. They make missals in the Latin tongue in the place of preachings, or in the place of instruction; they make a holy external apart from say internal - the internal is a void, because there is not the knowledge of truth; they hinder instructions from books; they teach only spurious good, that is, that people should give to the monasteries and sanctify themselves by rosary worship on behalf of souls, continually: in a word, they know nothing of truth. Those, too, of their prelates who are learned, are, for the most part, atheists, because only in the lust of ruling and of possessing the whole world, living for glory and in idleness. They also strive to make the universe serve them, or all men to be their servants. Therefore, they have no truths, and they therefore dwell not far from the gentiles; for their goods are like the goods which are with the gentiles. In fact, they no longer have anything of the Christian religion; for, as regards heaven and salvation, they do not think of the Lord but of Pope, cardinals and saints: all other things are hidden from them. They know only that the Lord is, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a life after death; but of faith and charity, by which the Lord is worshipped, and by which heaven and eternal life [are secured], they know nothing.


There remains a sufficient number of that communion, as of all others, for the service of the men of that communion; or every communion is served by its own [spirits], though sometimes by others: thus, Catholics by theirs. I saw, there, the city of Rome, at the right between the south and west but within the Babylonish region; and I saw all the streets there, but not the Monte Cavallo, nor the Church of St. Peter: these did not appear. The monasteries, also, remain there; but how long was not said.


Upon a lofty mountain almost above me, there appeared the sign of the cross, as, amongst the Catholic people, in their roads and elsewhere; and it was perceived that they were attempting something there. It was given me to see, and know, that certain ones have begun to inaugurate Babel there again; which they did in this way: they endeavored to persuade those Christians who were in truths, that the sign of the Cross was placed there to the end that it might be a sign, to all, that they worshipped the Lord, to whom power over the heavens and earths belongs. They also made themselves, there, a crypt under the cross, into which they descended and concealed themselves, so that they might, thus, in silence and in hiding, elaborate their villainies. They said, also, that they accepted the true doctrine of the Lord, of love and faith towards Him, and of charity towards the neighbor; but that to them was entrusted the charge of seeing all things rightly observed. Nor did it appear to the Christians that there was deceit in this, namely, that those things are acknowledged to the end that they may serve them as a means to dominion (as before said); for such ones were like the former, 5409-1 in that they seized upon dominion by means of holy things. Moreover, they conjoined themselves with sorcerers, and with others, and also with the hells amongst which their end was; for the love of ruling for the sake of self as the end, is in hell. They also patronized holy things to the end that hell might rule over heaven wherefore, also, the hells acted in unison with them. All these, who reached the number of a thousand, were cast into the western sea next its northern shore.


There was still seen a monastery-region in the west, somewhat widely extended, beyond the Babylonish territory, towards its northern angle; which was, nevertheless, terminated in the northern angle in the latter region at the west. Thither those transferred themselves who had no place in the Babylonish region in that part; and, because they differed in disposition from those, that territory was beyond where the destroyed Babylonish territory in that part terminated. This was its situation. That territory was crammed with monasteries also.


Afterwards, I saw a vast number brought down from the mountains which were beyond the destroyed western Babylonish territory, towards the south, and also from the southern mountains there, and transferred by a way to the west of that monastery-region of which I have just spoken; and, when the vast multitude came thither, there appeared as it were an inundation there, where the monasteries were, below; and, then, all who were there came out of the monasteries, and the greatest part of them fled away. A certain woman mingled with the people who were brought down thither.


At length, the vast multitude was examined as to who among them were in the affection of truth from good, thus, have lived in the good of charity and have desired to know truths. That investigation was seen like a sudden bringing of them down from that region, through the north and east, towards the south, and thence towards the middle and this several times by turns: investigation by means of changes of state so appears. Those of them who remained in the midst, upon the hills and upon the plains there, were those who were in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, and were consequently imbued with the truths of faith. The rest - in order that they might stay there and be taught - were sent to the monastery-region there, where it was granted them to dwell apart from the monasteries. This was also granted to those from the monasteries who were in the affection of truth for the sake of truth.


They were carried down into the midst, to be there instructed; because the Protestants, who had, and knew, the truths of doctrine, are there. And it was then seen that they wished to take away, as it were, their silver vessels and garments, and the like; just as the children of Israel did from the Egyptians. By that event, such things as are here narrated were signified; for the Egyptians were in science.


Treasures of gold and silver and of precious stones were left under the ground in that new territory amongst the monasteries; and these were given to the new inhabitants there, because they were in the affection of truth from good.


RESPECTING THE MOUNTAIN WHERE THE JESUITS ARE, AND ABOUT MIRACLES BY MEANS OF THE HEAVENLY DOCTRINE. There was a certain one near me who infested others with diabolical art; and, because such arts exist by influx from others of similar character, it was therefore inquired where those were, and it was discovered that they were upon a certain mountain in the western quarter, towards the northern angle. Wherefore, some were sent thither out of heaven, who visited the place; and it was discovered that those there were Jesuits, to the number of several thousands, who assembled themselves thither and dwelt together in a city, so as to be in the city but apart from the monasteries. It was discovered, also, that they acted by observation round about, and thus ruled over many at a distance; also, that they employed evil, and even magical, arts, to accomplish this.


It was found that they had collected, and posted round about that city, magicians more cunning than any others, whom they employed for protecting themselves. Wherever they met any such one, they attached him to themselves; and to these they gave dwellings in the environs. Thus was the city girded about.


In the midst of the city, however, was their treasury, which was exceedingly great and valuable and collected during a long time. This they called their holy place. That treasury was under the ground; and, in the midst of it, was a miraculous lamp, always burning - concerning which in the sequel.


When these things were found out, then were carried away, of the Divine power of the Lord, firstly, the atrocious guards of diabolical magicians which were round about; and these were scattered in every direction and plunged into swamps: thus, cast into hells. When this was seen by the Jesuits, then they discerned that their destruction was close at hand: wherefore, they had recourse to their arts, which appeared like miracles. They caused to appear in the air a resplendent, shining banner, by means of which they summoned the neighbors to their defense; for such a flag is unfurled upon mountains, when danger threatens. For this reason, such a flag appeared in the very air, floating and resplendent. Afterwards there appeared a man in the air, resplendent, and floating in like manner; who appeared, at first, like an angel, and the next moment as a monk. After that, many other things in succession, all in the air. They appeared everywhere. One such shining [banner] went into a mountain where were some of that religion who were devout, to the number of twelve; and these immediately ran down from the mountain, and stood in a certain place, and devoutly and piously prayed for those others. This was done so that the simple good also might be enticed to their protection; for such things inflow and are communicated.


Besides, they had four devout women - who, from a religious habit acquired in the world, were continually at prayers - constantly praying for them: so that thus, also, the simple good might be won over. But these women, since they were sincerely devout, descended from the mountain when they noticed the visitation. Many miracles were afterwards performed with that doctrine, 5416a-1 in different places.


Shortly afterwards, the ever-burning lamp in their treasury was snatched away. It was lifted up and exhibited; and afterwards it was carried around everywhere, that they might see it; inquiry being then made whence such an art that it burned continually - which was magical - originated. It has found that it was in a certain mountain where some monks were who invented that art - some account of whom immediately follows.


After these things were found out, and there had been visitation of all and every single one of those of that quality who were there, namely, the Jesuits, then, to begin with, the treasure was whirled around, completely mingled with the dust of the earth there, and thus passed into dust; which having been done, the city, with all therein, together with the treasure reduced to dust, sank down into the deep, thus into hell and a smoke ascended therefrom, which was spread around.


After this, there was visitation among the monks. Those who, by their art, were able to produce that continuous burning [of the lamp], were in a mountain, also in the western quarter, not far distant from the middle; and they were found out there and examined. They said, first, that they had done it by means of prayers, morning, noon and evening; but they lied: they produced that burning from art, in that they cast heavenly doctrine into a crucible, and so into fire; and, when the crucible was let down, it [i.e. the heavenly doctrine] was taken away from the fire and placed in that lamp. They also produced that shining, floating flag by means of that doctrine, in a similar way; projecting it on high, and thinking then of such things as appeared. Because these employed such art - which was the foulest magic of all, because effected with Divine truths - therefore, they, also, [sank down]; the earth opened under the feet, and they were swallowed up and cast into hell.


After this, inquiry was instituted in various places, and it was found that, by means of that doctrine, they produced shining appearances in the air and in chambers - thus miracles - which were very numerous. With a certain one, all his books, through that doctrine [thus abused], fled away; and other things happened elsewhere. That that doctrine shone, was from the Divine truths in it; for Divine truth is what gives light in the other life.


ABOUT THE JEWS. The Jews dwelt within the middle-space at the left, in the plane beneath the sole of the foot; and there they had their many synagogues, and repaired to them and held their worship. I spoke with them there, frequently; but they were all dispersed and the synagogues destroyed; and, now, they wander round about without any worship anywhere. They appear solitary. Below that plane are also Jews, who have not yet been dispersed. That they should be dispersed is foretold by the Lord in Matthew, chapter 24. The reason that they were within the middle-space, was because they had the Word: for such are within that.


CONTINUATION ABOUT THE DRAGON. As was said above, those were dragons who have not been in any doctrine, but only in the sense of the letter of the Word, which they have applied to whatever they wished, for the purpose of upholding their principles and their loves, and also those of others, especially the powerful and rich, and for flattering the delights of their own love and of theirs; consequently, who have in this manner committed adultery with the Word - filthy and heinous adulteries; who have been able therefore to be of any doctrine whatever, and thus to be carried hither and thither like the wind; knowing, consequently, nothing of truth, and thus being not at all in the affection of truth for the sake of truth. Such men, also, are sensual; not thinking beyond the senses; holding the interiors of the Word in hatred, and also the doctrinals of the Church in aversion. For he who does not learn truth from the doctrine of the Church, is not in any doctrine, nor can he be in the affection of truth. They were questioned, from doctrine, about some matters. They answered from some passages of the Word, thus from whatever doctrine they chose; and, when it was inquired how the Word in that place ought to be understood, and also in other parts where dissimilar statements occur, they would not listen, much less answer. Several times they propounded something heretical and false, from that diabolical crew; and secured their favor at first, by honoring them; then, immediately, they found passages from the Word for confirming them, and thus for confirming evils and falses: as, for instance, that there is fury with God; that there is anger and passion; that all evil is from Him; that He might save and is not willing, and that when He might be merciful He is hard; that (from the instance of David) robbery and murder [may be committed] providing only the civil law does not stand in the way; that the torments of hell are from Him, and, thus, that He is merciless; [that He] promises and does not perform, as [with] the sons of Jacob out of Egypt; that He repents Himself like a man; that the Lord [Jesus Christ] is only like a common man. Thus they waver and wander amongst all heresies. They can be Jews, Socinians, papists. Since they are such, heaven cannot be allotted them, because not anything of truth, and consequently not anything of wisdom.


They who were of such a character were gathered at the left, beneath the heel of the feet; and others in the southern [part], towards the west and likewise in the eastern [part] towards the south. The bulk of these also were presbyters. When, moreover, they were seen representatively, they appeared like black dragons with a long tail.


There were gathered together in the heavens, from every quarter, those who have, indeed, lived well in a moral point of view, and also have frequented churches and the Holy Supper, and have then been in devotion, but, nevertheless, have not had the least care to know the doctrinals of the Church - only to listen to preachings without any inclination to learn, but only from a certain outward sanctity, and who, also, have not cared to know anything else but passages in the Word: in a word, who have not been in any affection of truth for the sake of truth, but only for the sake of outward sanctity. For they who do not love to learn the doctrinals of the Church, however much they may listen to preachings and read the Word still are not in any affection of truth; and they who are not in any affection of truth, are not able to be in angelic wisdom. They are admitted, indeed, [into heaven]; but they live separately, nor do they associate with them [i.e. the angels]. Wherefore, they dwell there in the outskirts; and, when they turn themselves towards the angels, they take away their happiness and good-fortune, which they enjoy by reason of [their] wisdom; they also blunt their minds and make the light dim. They are indeed admitted: such have been admitted into heaven within many centuries, till there is a vast multitude of them. But, although in heaven, they have not possessed heaven, because no one is able to possess heaven except he be in the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good. It is into good which is from truths that the Lord inflows; and not into empty [goods].


All such communicated with those below who have been dragons - of whom before; for all who are in heaven communicate with those who are below; thus they have connection and make one. This is according to order. Hence it was, that, when the lower ones were removed, those also who were above were drawn away likewise.


The dragons, from influx from the higher ones, conspired against the heavenly doctrine, which they wished utterly to destroy. That conspiracy was discovered, and, then, the dragons, who were very numerous, were cast a very great distance towards the south-eastern angle, until they were scarcely visible. Consequently on this, it was then seen that a vast multitude of such ones who were in heaven, fell down from the heavens on every side for the entire distance; and the fallen multitude appeared like a starry mass, as it were a Milky-way. This is described by the dragon drawing down the third part of the stars of heaven upon the earth. 5426-1


Their casting down was at first seen from south to north towards the eastern quarter; afterwards, towards the northern; then, also, somewhat towards the western; and it took place on to the surface of the earth in that part.


In their place, ascended those who have been in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, and were reserved by the Lord to this time; for angelic wisdom can be given and communicated to those, but not to others.


When the dragons looked upon those who were in heavenly doctrine, they fell into fearful agonies, and were tortured and tormented; inasmuch as they cannot endure Divine Truth.


Michael, in the Apocalypse, 5429-1 are those who are in heavenly doctrine: the blood of the Lamb, 5429-2 by which they conquered, is the Divine Truth of that doctrine.


 5450-1 Some hideous black horses were seen like dusky clouds. They approached me, and I felt behind me the sphere of adulteration. I wondered what that was. Certain ones at my back were then heard to say: "What need of knowledges, thus, of truths; it is sufficient that one is in holy worship." It was thence perceived that those dusky clouds were from these. They were then told that outward holiness, without knowledges of truth and good, is not holiness, because there is nothing from heaven in it; for it is from an empty man from whom nothing is perceived. They were also told that a man's love, namely, of truth and good, is in all and everyone of the things of [his] worship: hence, if there is nothing [of this] within, what must the quality of the worship or the quality of the holiness be? Those of this description think of self and from self. [It was said], also, that a man is not able to have heaven in him without knowledges: for instance, if he does not know of the Lord, that all good is from Him, and of himself, that all evil [is from him], and that from this knowledge comes the humiliation which belongs to worship. If these [knowledges] are not in the humiliation it has not anything in it, since only the mouth produces it and not the heart. Thus, too, it is in many other instances, namely, that things must be known before they can enter into the formation of the understanding and the will, or the faith and the love. These who were of such a character were monks, 5450-2 because they keep everybody in the greatest obscurity and darkness: thence it is that papistical darkness arises. Those, namely, who are of such a character, averse to knowledges, by which, all the while, is the way to heaven, and who place the whole of worship in outward things, are the Gog and Magog of the Apocalypse. 5450-3


5409-1 See no. 5407. -ED.

5416a-1 See below, 5419. -ED.

5426-1 See Rev. 12:4. -ED.

5429-1 Chap. 12 verse 7. -ED.

5429-2 Ibid., verse 11. -ED.

5450-1 The numbering leaps, as here, from 5429 to 5450, the Latin Editor tells us, in the author's manuscript. -ED.

5450-2 "Monks" -inasmuch as it is Protestantism which is signified by the Dragon - must, it would appear, be here employed as a synonym for the "monkish policy" described. -ED.

5450-3 Chap. 20:8. See also Apocalypse Revealed, 858, 859. -ED.

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