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Conjugial Love, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1768] at

Conjugial Love



The lusts treated of in the four following chapters, are not only lusts of adultery, but are more grievous than those since they exist only from adulteries, being taken to after adulteries are become loathsome; as the lust of defloration, which is first treated of, and which cannot previously exist with any one; in like manner the lust of varieties, the lust of violation, and the lust of seducing innocencies, which are afterwards treated of. They are called lusts, because according to the quantity and quality of the lust for those things, such and so great is their appropriation. In reference specifically to the lust of defloration, its infamous villany shall be made manifest from the following considerations: I. _The state of a maiden or undeflowered woman before and after marriage._ II. _Virginity is the crown of chastity, and the certificate of conjugial love._ III. _Defloration, without a view to marriage as an end, is the villany of a robber._ IV. _The lot of those who have confirmed themselves in the persuasion that the lust of defloration is not an evil of sin, after death is grievous._ We proceed to explain them.


I. THE STATE OF A MAIDEN OR UNDEFLOWERED WOMAN BEFORE AND AFTER MARRIAGE. What is the quality of the state of a maiden, before she has been instructed concerning the various particulars of the conjugial torch, has been made known to me by wives in the spiritual world, who have departed out of the natural world in their infancy, and have been educated in heaven. They said, that when they arrived at a marriageable state, from seeing conjugial partners they began to love the conjugial life, but only for the end that they might be called wives, and might maintain friendly and confidential society with one man; and also, that being removed from the house of obedience, they might become their own mistresses: they also said, that they thought of marriage only from the blessedness of mutual friendship and confidence with a husband, and not at all from the delight of any flame; but that their maiden state after marriage was changed into a new one, of which they previously had not the least knowledge: and they declared, that this was a state of the expansion of all things of the life of their body from first principles to last, to receive the gifts of their husband, and to unite these gifts to their own life, that thus they might become his love and his wife; and that this state commenced from the moment of defloration, and that after this the flame of love burned to the husband alone, and that they were sensible of the heavenly delights of that expansion; and further, that as each wife was introduced into this state by her own husband, and as it is from him, and thereby his in herself, it is altogether impossible for her to love any other than him alone. From this account it was made manifest what is the quality of the state of maidens before and after marriage in heaven. That the state of maidens and wives on earth, whose first attachments prove successful, is similar to this of the maidens in heaven, is no secret. What maiden can know that new state before she is in it? Inquire, and you will hear. The case is different with those who before marriage catch allurement from being taught.


II. VIRGINITY IS THE CROWN OF CHASTITY AND THE CERTIFICATE OF CONJUGIAL LOVE. Virginity is called the crown of chastity, because it crowns the chastity of marriage: it is also the badge of chastity; wherefore the bride at the nuptials wears a crown on her head: it is also a badge of the sanctity of marriage; for the bride, after the maiden flower, gives and devotes herself wholly to the bridegroom, at that time the husband, and the husband in his turn gives and devotes himself wholly to the bride, at that time the wife. Virginity is also called the certificate of conjugial love, because a certificate has relation to a covenant; and the covenant is, that love may unite them into one man, or into one flesh. The men themselves also before marriage regard the virginity of the bride as a crown of her chastity, and as a certificate of conjugial love, and as the very dainty from which the delights of that love are about to commence and to be perpetuated. From these and the foregoing considerations, it is manifest, that after the zone is taken away, and the virginity is sipped, a maiden becomes a wife, and if not a wife, she becomes a harlot; for the new state into which she is then introduced, is a state of love for her husband, and if not for her husband, it is a state of lust.


III. DEFLORATION, WITHOUT A VIEW TO MARRIAGE AS AN END, IS THE VILLANY OF A ROBBER. Some adulterers are impelled by the cupidity of deflowering maidens, and thence also of deflowering young girls in their state of innocence: the enticements offered are either persuasions suggested by pimps, or presents made by the men, or promises of marriage; and those men after defloration leave them, and continually seek for others: moreover, they are not delighted with the objects they have left, but with a continual supply of new ones; and this lust increases even till it becomes the chief of the delights of their flesh. They add also to the above this abominable deed, that by various cunning artifices they entice maidens about to be married or immediately after marriage, to offer them the first-fruits of marriage, which also they thus filthily defile. I have heard also, that when that heat with its potency has failed, they glory in the number of virginities, as in so many golden fleeces of Jason. This villany, which is that of committing a rape, since it was begun in an age of strength, and afterwards confirmed by boastings, remains rooted in, and thereby infixed after death. What the quality of this villany is, appears from what was said above, that virginity is the crown of chastity, the certificate of future conjugial love, and that a maiden devotes her soul and life to him to whom she devotes it; conjugial friendship and the confidence thereof are also founded upon it. A woman likewise, deflowered by a man of the above description, after this door of conjugial love is broken through, loses all shame, and becomes a harlot, which is likewise to be imputed to the robber as the cause. Such robbers, if, after having run through a course of lewdness and profanation of chastity, they apply their minds (_animus_) to marriage, have no other object in their mind (_mens_) than the virginity of her who is to be their married partner; and when they have attained this object, they loathe both bed and chamber, yea also the whole female sex, except young girls: and whereas such are violators of marriage, and despisers of the female sex, and thereby spiritual robbers, it is evident that the divine Nemesis pursues them.


IV. THE LOT OF THOSE WHO HAVE CONFIRMED THEMSELVES IN THE PERSUASION THAT THE LUST OF DEFLORATION IS NOT AN EVIL OF SIN, AFTER DEATH IS GRIEVOUS. Their lot is this: after they have passed the first time of their stay in the spiritual world, which is a time of modesty and morality, because spent in company with angelic spirits, they are next, from their externals, led into their internals, and in this case into the concupiscences with which they had been ensnared in the world, and the angelic spirits into theirs, to the intent that it may appear in what degree they had been ensnared; and if a lesser degree, that after they have been let into them, they may be let out again, and may be covered with shame. But those who had been principled in this malignant lust to such a degree as to be made sensible of its eminent delight, and to make a boast of those thefts as of the choicest spoils, do not suffer themselves to be drawn away from it; wherefore they are let into their freedom, and then they instantly wander about, and inquire after brothels, and also enter them when they are pointed out; (these brothels are on the sides of hell:) but when they meet with none but prostitutes there, they go away, and inquire where there are maidens; and then they are carried to harlots, who by phantasy can assume supereminent beauty, and a florid girlish complexion, and boast themselves of being maidens; and on seeing these they burn with desire towards them as they did in the world: wherefore they bargain with them; but when they are about to enjoy the bargain, the phantasy induced from heaven is taken away, and then those pretended maidens appear in their own deformity, monstrous and dark, to whom nevertheless they are compelled to cleave for a time: those harlots are called sirens. But if by such fascinations they do not suffer themselves to be draw away from that wild lust, they are cast down into the hell lying to the south and west, beneath the hell of the crafty courtezans, and there they are associated with their companions. I have also been permitted to see them in that hell, and have been told that many of noble descent, and the more opulent, are therein; but as they had been such in the world, all remembrance of their descent and of the dignity derived from their opulence is taken from them, and a persuasion is induced on them that they have been vile slaves, and thence were unworthy of all honor. Among themselves indeed they appear as men: but when seen by others, who are allowed to look in thither, they appear as apes, with a stern look instead of a courteous one, and a horrid countenance instead of one of pleasantry. They walk with their loins contracted, and thereby bent, the upper part of the body hanging forward in front, as if they were ready to fall, and they emit a disagreeable smell. They loathe the sex, and turn away from those they see; for they have no desire towards them. Such they appear when seen near at hand; but when viewed from afar, they appear like dogs of indulgences, or whelps of delight; and there is also heard somewhat like barking in the tone of their speech.



The lust of varieties here treated of, does not mean the lust of fornication, which was treated of above in its proper chapter: the latter lust, notwithstanding its being usually promiscuous and vague, still does not occasion the lust of varieties, unless when it is immoderate, and the fornicator looks to number, and boasts thereof from a principle of cupidity. This idea causes a beginning of this lust; but what its quality is as it advances, cannot be distinctly perceived, unless in some such series as the following: I. _By the lust of varieties is meant the entirely dissolute lust of adultery._ II. _That lust is love and at the same time loathing in regard to the sex._ III. _That lust altogether annihilates conjugial love appertaining to itself._ IV. _The lot of those (who have been addicted to that lust), after death, is miserable, since they have not the inmost principle of life._ We proceed to an explanation of each article.


I. BY THE LUST OF VARIETIES IS MEANT THE ENTIRELY DISSOLUTE LUST OF ADULTERY. This lust insinuates itself with those who in youth have relaxed the bonds of modesty, and have had opportunities of association with many loose women, especially if they have not wanted the means of satisfying their pecuniary demands. They implant and root this lust in themselves by immoderate and unlimited adulteries, and by shameless thoughts concerning the love of the female sex, and by confirming themselves in the idea that adulteries are not evils, and not at all sins. This lust increases with them as it advances, so much so that they desire all the women in the world, and wish for whole troops, and a fresh one every day. Whereas this love separates itself from the common love of the sex implanted in every man, and altogether from the love of one of the sex, which is conjugial love, and inserts itself into the exteriors of the heart as a delight of love separate from those loves, and yet derived from them; therefore it is so thoroughly rooted in the cuticles, that it remains in the touch when the powers are decayed. Persons addicted to this lust make light of adulteries; wherefore they think of the whole female sex as of a common harlot, and of marriage as of a common harlotry, and thereby mix immodesty in modesty, and from the mixture grow insane. From these considerations it is evident what is here meant by the lust of varieties, that it is the lust of entirely dissolute adultery.


II. THAT LUST IS LOVE AND AT THE SAME TIME LOATHING IN REGARD TO THE SEX. Persons addicted to that lust have a love for the sex, because they derive variety from the sex; and they have a loathing for the sex, because after enjoying a woman they reject her and lust after others. This obscene lust burns towards a fresh woman, and after burning, it grows cold towards her; and cold is loathing. That this lust is love and at the same time loathing in regard to the sex, may be illustrated as follows: set on the left side a company of the women whom they have enjoyed, and on the right side a company of those whom they have not; would not they look at the latter company from love, but at the former from loathing? and yet each company is the sex.


III. THAT LUST ALTOGETHER ANNIHILATES CONJUGIAL LOVE APPERTAINING TO ITSELF. The reason of this is, because that lust is altogether opposite to conjugial love, and so opposite, that it not only rends it asunder, but as it were grinds it to powder, and thereby annihilates it: for conjugial love is confined to one of the sex; whereas that lust does not stop at one, but within an hour or a day is as intensely cold as it was before hot towards her; and since cold is loathing, the latter by forced cohabitation and dwelling together is so accumulated as to become nauseous, and thus conjugial love is consumed to such a degree that nothing of it is left. From these considerations it may be seen, that this lust is fatal to conjugial love; and as conjugial love constitutes the inmost principle of life with man, that it is fatal to his life; and that that lust, by successive interceptions and closings of the interiors of the mind, at length becomes cuticular, and thus merely alluring; while the faculty of understanding or rationality still remains.


IV. THE LOT OF THOSE (WHO HAVE BEEN ADDICTED TO THAT LUST) AFTER DEATH IS MISERABLE, SINCE THEY HAVE NOT THE INMOST PRINCIPLE OF LIFE. Every one has excellence of life according to his conjugial love; for that excellence conjoins itself with the life of the wife, and by conjunction exalts itself; but as with those of whom we are speaking there does not remain the least principle of conjugial love, and consequently not anything of the inmost principle of life, therefore their lot after death is miserable. After passing a certain period of time in their externals, in which they converse rationally and act civilly, they are let into their internals, and in this case into a similar lust and its delights, in the same degree as in the world: for every one after death is let into the same state of life which he had appropriated to himself, to the intent that he may be withdrawn from it; for no one can be withdrawn from this evil, unless he has first been led into it; if he were not to be led into it, the evil would conceal itself, and defile the interiors of the mind, and spread itself as a plague, and would next burst through all barriers and destroy the external principles of the body. For this end there are opened to them brothels, which are on the side of hell, where there are harlots with whom they have an opportunity of varying their lusts; but this is granted with the restriction to one harlot in a day, and under a penalty in case of communication with more than one on the same day. Afterwards, when from examination it appears that that lust is so inbred that they cannot be withdrawn from it, they are conveyed to a certain place which is next above the hell assigned for them, and then they appear to themselves as if they fall into a swoon, and to others as if they fall down with the face upward; and also the ground beneath their backs is actually opened, and they are absorbed, and sink down into hell among their like; thus they are gathered to their own. I have been permitted to see them there, and likewise to converse with them. Among themselves they appear as men, which is granted them lest they should be a terror to their companions; but at a certain distance they seem to have white faces consisting only of skin, and this because they have no spiritual life in them, which every one has according to the conjugial principle sown in him. Their speech is dry, parched, and sorrowful: when they are hungry, they lament; and their lamentations are heard as a peculiar clashing noise. Their garments are tattered, and their lower garments are drawn above the belly round about the breast; because they have no loins, but their ankles commence from the region of the bottom of the belly: the reason of this is, because the loins with men (_homines_) correspond to conjugial love, and they are void of this love. They said that they loathe the sex on account of their having no potency. Nevertheless, among themselves they can reason as from rationality; but since they are cutaneous, they reason from the fallacies of the senses. This hell is in the western quarter towards the north. These same persons, when seen from afar, appear not as men or as monsters, but as frozen substances. It is however to be observed, that those become of this description who have indulged in the above lust to such a degree as to rend and annihilate in themselves the conjugial human principle.



The lust of violation does not mean the lust of defloration, which is the violation of virginities, but not of maidens when it is effected from consent; whereas the lust of violation, which is here treated of, retreats in consequence of consent, and is sharpened in consequence of refusal; and it is the passion of violating all women whatever, who altogether refuse, and violently resist, whether they be maidens, or widows, or wives. Persons addicted to this lust are like robbers and pirates, who are delighted with spoil and plunder, and not with what is given and justly acquired; and they are like malefactors, who covet what is disallowed and forbidden, and despise what is allowed and granted. These violators are altogether averse to consent, and are set on fire by resistance, which if they observe to be not internal, the ardor of their lust is instantly extinguished, as fire is by water thrown upon it. It is well known, that wives do not spontaneously submit themselves to the disposal of their husbands as to the ultimate effects of love, and that from prudence they resist as they would resist violation, to the end that they may take away from their husbands the cold arising from the consideration of enjoyments being cheap in consequence of being continually allowed, and also in consequence of an idea of lasciviousness on their part. These repugnancies, although they enkindle, still are not the causes, but only the beginnings of this lust: its cause is, that after conjugial love and also adulterous love have grown insipid by practice, they are willing, in order that those loves may be repaired, to be set on fire by absolute repugnances. This lust thus begun, afterwards increases, and as it increases it despises and breaks through all bounds of the love of the sex, and exterminates itself, and from a lascivious, corporeal, and fleshly love, becomes cartilaginous and bony; and then, from the periosteurns, which have an acute feeling, it becomes acute. Nevertheless this lust is rare, because it exists only with those who had entered into the married state, and then had lived in the practice of adulteries until they became insipid. Besides this natural cause of this lust, there is also a spiritual cause, of which something will be said in what follows.


The lot of persons of this character after death is as follows: these violators then separate themselves from those who are in the limited love of the sex, and altogether from those who are in conjugial love, thus from heaven: afterwards they are sent to the most cunning harlots, who not only by persuasion, but also by imitation perfectly like that of a stage-player, can feign and represent as if they were chastity itself. These harlots clearly discern those who are principled in the above lust: in their presence they speak of chastity and its value; and when the violator comes near and touches them, they are full of wrath, and fly away as through terror into a closet, where there is a couch and a bed, and slightly close the door after them, and recline themselves; and hence by their art they inspire the violator with an ungovernable desire of breaking down the door, of rushing in, and attacking them; and when this is effected, the harlot raising herself erect with the violator begins to fight with her hands and nails, tearing his face, rending his clothes, and with a furious voice crying to the harlots her companions, as to her female servants, for assistance, and opening the window with a loud outcry of thief, robber, and murderer; and when the violator is at hand she bemoans herself and weeps: and after violation she prostrates herself, howls, and calls out that she is undone, and at the same time threatens in a serious tone, that unless he expiates the violation by paying a considerable sum, she will attempt his destruction. While they are engaged in these venereal scenes, they appear at a distance like cats, which nearly in like manner before their conjunctions combat together, run forward, and make an outcry. After some such brothel-contests, they are taken away, and conveyed into a cavern, where they are forced to some work: but as their smell is offensive, in consequence of having rent asunder the conjugial principle, which is the chief jewel of human life, they are sent to the borders of the western quarters, where at a certain distance they appear lean, as if consisting of bones covered over with skin only; but when seen at a distance they appear like panthers. When I was permitted to see them nearer, I was surprised that some of them held books in their hands, and were reading; and I was told that this is the case, because in the world they said various things concerning the spiritual things of the church, and yet defiled them by adulteries, even to their extremities, and that such was the correspondence of this lust with the violation of spiritual marriage. But it is to be observed, that the instances of those who are principled in this lust are rare: certain it is, that women, because it is unbecoming for them to prostitute love, are repugnant thereto, and that repugnance enervates; nevertheless this is not from any lust of violation.



The lust of seducing innocencies is neither the lust of defloration, nor the lust of violation, but is peculiar and singular by itself; it prevails more especially with the deceitful. The women, who appear to them as innocencies, are such as regard the evil of adultery as an enormous sin, and who therefore highly prize chastity, and at the same time piety: these women are the objects which set them on fire. In Roman Catholic countries there are maidens devoted to the monastic life; and because they believe these maidens to be pious innocencies above the rest of their sex, they view them as the dainties and delicacies of their lust. With a view of seducing either the latter or the former because they are deceitful, they first devise arts, and next, when they have well digested them, without receiving any check from shame, they practise them as from nature. These arts are principally pretences of innocence, love, chastity, and piety; by these and other cunning stratagems, they enter into the interior friendship of such women, and thence into their love, which they change from spiritual into natural by various persuasions and at the same time by insinuations, and afterwards into corporeal-carnal by irritations, and then they take possession of them at pleasure; and when they have attained this end, they rejoice in heart, and make a mock of those whom they have violated.


The lot of these seducers after death is sad, since such seduction is not only impiety, but also malignity. After they have passed through their first period in the spiritual world, which is in externals, wherein they excel many others in the elegance of their manners and the courteousness of their speech, they are reduced to another period of their life, which is in internals, wherein their lust is set at liberty, and commences its sport; and then they are first conveyed to women who had made vows of chastity, and with these they are examined as to the quality of their malignant concupiscence, to the intent that they may not be judged except on conviction: when they are made sensible of the chastity of those women, their deceit begins to act, and to attempt its crafty arts; but as this is to no purpose, they depart from them. They are afterwards introduced to women of genuine innocence; and when they attempt to deceive these in like manner, by virtue of a power given to those women, they are heavily fined; for they occasion in their hands and feet a grievous numbness; likewise in their necks, and at length make them feel as it were a swoon; and when they have inflicted this punishment, they run away and escape from the sufferers. After this there is a way opened to them to a certain company of courtezans, who have been versed in the art of cunningly feigning innocence: and these first expose them to laughter among themselves, and at length after various engagements suffer themselves to be violated. After some such scenes, a third period takes place, which is that of judgement; and in this case, being convicted, they sink down, and are gathered to their like in the hell which is in the northern quarter, and there they appear at a distance like weasels; but if they have allured by deceit, they are conveyed down from this hell to that of the deceitful, which is in the western quarter at a depth to the back; in this hell they appear at a distance like serpents of various kinds; and the most deceitful like vipers: but in the hell into which I was permitted to look, they appeared to me as if they were ghastly pale, with faces of chalk: and as they are mere concupiscences, they do not like to speak: and if they do speak, they only mutter and stammer various things, which are understood by none but their companions who are near them; but presently, as they sit or stand, they make themselves unseen, and fly about in the cavern like phantoms; for on this occasion they are in phantasy, and phantasy appears to fly: after flying they rest themselves, and then, what is wonderful, one does not know another; the cause of this is, because they are principled in deceit, and deceit does not believe another, and thereby withdraws itself. When they are made sensible of any thing proceeding from conjugial love, they fly away into hiding places and conceal themselves. They are also void of all love of the sex, and are real impotencies, and are called infernal genii.



I should here say something, in the way of preface, concerning correspondence; but the subject does not properly belong to the present work. The nature and meaning of correspondence may be seen in a brief summary above, n. 76, and n. 342; and fully in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, from beginning to end, that it is between the natural sense of the Word and the spiritual sense. That in the Word there is a natural and a spiritual sense, and a correspondence between them, has been demonstrated in the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, and especially, n. 5-26.


The spiritual marriage means the marriage of the Lord and the church, spoken of above, n. 116-131; and hence also the marriage of good and truth, likewise spoken of above, n. 83-102; and as this marriage of the Lord and the church, and the consequent marriage of good and truth, is in everything of the Word, it is the violation of this which is here meant by the violation of the spiritual marriage; for the church is from the Word, and the Word is the Lord: the Lord is the Word, because he is divine good and divine truth therein. That the Word is that marriage, may be seen fully confirmed in the DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, n. 80-90.


Since therefore the violation of the spiritual marriage is the violation of the Word, it is evident that this violation is the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth, for the spiritual marriage is the marriage of good and truth; whence it follows, that when the good of the Word is adulterated, and its truth falsified, the above marriage is violated. How this violation is effected, and by whom, is in some measure evident from what follows.


Above, in treating of the marriage of the Lord and the church, n. 116, and the following numbers, and in treating of the marriage of good and truth, n. 83, and the following numbers, it was shewn, that that marriage corresponds to marriages in the world: hence it follows, that the violation of that marriage corresponds to whoredoms and adulteries. That this is the case, is very manifest from the Word itself, in that whoredoms and adulteries there signify the falsifications of truth and the adulterations of good, as may be plainly seen from numerous passages adduced out of the Word in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 134.


The Word is violated by those in the Christian church who adulterate its goods and truths; and those do this who separate truth from good and good from truth; also, who assume and confirm appearances of truth and fallacies for genuine truths; and likewise, who know truths of doctrine derived from the Word, and live evil lives, not to mention other like cases. These violations of the Word and the church correspond to the prohibited degrees, mentioned in Levit, chap. xviii.


As the natural principle and the spiritual appertaining to every man (_homo_), cohere as soul and body, (for a man without the spiritual principle which flows into and vivifies his natural principle, is not a man), it hence follows, that whoever is in spiritual marriage is also in happy natural marriage; and on the contrary, that whoever is in spiritual adultery is also in natural adultery, and whoever is in natural adultery is also in spiritual adultery. Now since all who are in hell are in the nuptial connection of evil and the false, and this is essential spiritual adultery; and all who are in heaven are in the marriage of good and truth, and this is essential marriage; therefore hell in the total is called adultery, and heaven in the total is called marriage.


To the above shall be added this MEMORABLE RELATION. My sight being opened, I saw a shady forest, and therein a crowd of satyrs: the satyrs as to their breasts were rough and hairy, and as to their feet some were like calves, some like panthers, and some like wolves, and they had beasts' claws instead of toes. These were running to and fro like wild beasts, crying out, "Where are the women?" and instantly I saw some harlots who were expecting them, and who in various ways were monstrous. The satyrs ran towards them, and laid hold of them, dragging them into a cavern, which was in the midst of the forest deep beneath the earth; and upon the ground round about the cavern lay a great serpent in spiral foldings, breathing poison into the cavern: in the branches of the forest above the serpent dismal birds of night croaked and screeched. But the satyrs and harlots did not see these things, because they were the correspondences of their lasciviousnesses, and therefore their usual appearances at a distance. Afterwards they came out of the cavern, and entered a certain low cottage, which was a brothel; and then being separated from the harlots they talked together, and I listened; for conversation in the spiritual world may be heard by a distant person as if he was present, the extent of space in that world being only an appearance. They talked about marriages, nature, and religion. Those who as to the feet appeared like calves, spoke concerning MARRIAGES, and said, "What are marriages but licit adulteries? and what is sweeter than adulterous hypocrisies, and the making fools of husbands?" At this the rest clapped their hands with a loud laugh. The satyrs who as to the feet appeared as panthers, spoke concerning NATURE, and said, "What is there but nature? What distinction is there between a man and a beast, except that a man can speak articulately and a beast sonorously? Does not each derive life from heat, and understanding from light, by the operation of nature?" Hereupon the rest exclaimed, "Admirable! you speak from judgement." Those who as to the feet appeared like wolves, spoke concerning RELIGION, saying, "What is God or a divine principle, but the inmost principles of nature in action? What is religion but a device to catch and bind the vulgar?" Hereupon the rest vociferated, "Bravo!" After a few minutes they rushed forth, and in so doing they saw me at a distance looking attentively at them. Being provoked at this, they ran out from the forest, and with a threatening countenance directed their course hastily towards me, and said, "What are you doing here, listening to our whispers?" I replied, "Why should I not? what is to hinder me? you were only talking together:" and I related what I had heard from them. Hereupon their minds (_animi_) were appeased, which was through fear lest their sentiments should be divulged; and then they began to speak modestly and to act bashfully; from which circumstance I knew that they were not of mean descent but of honorable birth; and then I told them, how I saw them in the forest as satyrs, twenty as calf-satyrs, six as panther-satyrs, and four as wolf-satyrs; they were thirty in number. They were surprised at this, because they saw themselves there as men, and nothing else, in like manner as they saw themselves here with me. I then taught them, that the reason of their so appearing was from their adulterous lust, and that this satyr-like form was a form of dissolute adultery, and not a form of a person. This happened, I said, because every evil concupiscence presents a likeness of itself in some form, which is not perceived by those who are in the concupiscence, but by those who are at a distance: I also said, "To convince you of it, send some from among you into that forest, and do you remain here, and look at them." They did so, and sent away two; and viewing them from near the above brothel-cottage, they saw them altogether as satyrs; and when they returned, they saluted those satyrs, and said, "Oh what ridiculous figures!" While they were laughing, I jested a good deal with them, and told them that I had also seen adulterers as hogs; and then I recollected the fable of Ulysses and the Circe, how she sprinkled the companions and servants of Ulysses with poisonous herbs, and touched them with a magic wand, and turned them into hogs,--perhaps into adulterers, because she could not by any art turn any one into a hog. After they had made themselves exceedingly merry on this and other like subjects, I asked them whether they then knew to what kingdoms in the world they had belonged? They said, they had belonged to various kingdoms, and they named Italy, Poland, Germany, England, Sweden; and I enquired, whether they had seen any one from Holland of their party? And they said, Not one. After this I gave the conversation a serious turn, and asked them, whether they had ever thought that adultery is sin? They replied, "What is sin? we do not know what it means." I then inquired, whether they ever remembered that adultery was contrary to the sixth commandment of the Decalogue. [Footnote: According to the division of the commandments adopted by the Church of England, it is the _seventh_ that is here referred to.] They replied, "What is the Decalogue? Is not it the catechism? What have we men to do with that childish pamphlet?" I asked them, whether they had ever thought at all about hell. They replied, "Who ever came up thence to give us information?" I asked, whether they had ever thought at all in the world about a life after death. They said, "Just as much as about the future life of beasts, and at times as about phantoms, which exhale from dead bodies and float about." I further asked them, whether they had heard any thing from the priests on any of these subjects. They replied, that they had attended only to the sound of their voices, and not to the matter; and what is it? Being astonished at these answers, I said to them, "Turn your faces, and direct your eyes to the midst of the forest, where the cavern is in which you have been;" and they turned themselves, and saw that great serpent around the cavern in spiral foldings, breathing poison, and also the doleful birds in the branches over the serpents. I then asked them, "What do you see?" But being much terrified, they did not answer; and I said, "Do you see the dreadful sight? Know then that this is a representative of adultery in the baseness of its lust." Suddenly at that instant an angel presented himself, who was a priest, and opened the hell in the western quarter into which such spirits are at length collected; and he said, "Look thither:" and they saw that firy lake, and knew there some of their friends in the world, who invited them to themselves. Having seen and heard these things, they turned themselves away, and rushed out of my sight, and retired from the forest; but I observed their steps, that they only pretended to retire, and that by winding ways they returned into the forest.


After this I returned home, and the next day, from a recollection of these sad scenes, I looked to the same forest, and saw that it had disappeared, and in its place there was a sandy plain, and in the midst thereof a lake, in which were some red serpents. But some weeks after when I was looking thither again, I saw on its right side some fallow land, and upon it some husbandmen; and again, after some weeks I saw springing out of that fallow land some tilled land surrounded with shrubs; and I then heard a voice from heaven, "Enter into your chamber, and shut the door, and apply to the work begun on the Apocalypse, and finish it within two years."



THE LORD SAITH, JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT CONDEMNED, Matt. vii. 1; which cannot in any wise mean judgement respecting any one's moral and civil life in the world, but respecting his spiritual and celestial life. Who does not see, that unless a man was allowed to judge respecting the moral life of those who live with him in the world, society would perish? What would society be if there were no public judicature, and if every one did not exercise his judgement respecting another? But to judge what is the quality of the interior mind, or soul, thus what is the quality of any one's spiritual state, and thence what his lot is after death, is not allowed; for that is known only to the Lord: neither does the Lord reveal this till after the person's decease, to the intent that every one may act freely in whatever he does, and thereby that good or evil may be from him, and thus be in him, and that thence he may live to himself and live his own to eternity. The reason why the interiors of the mind, which are kept hid in the world, are revealed after death is, because this is of importance and advantage to the societies into which the man then comes; for in them all are spiritual. That those interiors are then revealed, is plain from these words of the Lord: _There is nothing concealed, which shall not be revealed, or hidden, which shall not be known: therefore whatsoever things ye have said in darkness, shall be heard in light: and that which ye have spoken into the ear in closets shall be preached on the house-tops_, Luke xii. 2, 3. A common judgement, as this for instance,--"If you are such in internals as you appear to be in externals, you will be saved or condemned," is allowed; but a particular judgement, as this, for instance,--"You are such in internals, therefore you will be saved or condemned," is not allowed. Judgement concerning the spiritual life of a man, or the internal life of the soul, is meant by the imputation which is here treated of. Can any human being know and decide who is in heart an adulterer, and who a conjugial partner? And yet the thoughts of the heart, which are the purposes of the will, judge every one. But we will explain this subject in the following order: I. _The evil in which every one is principled is imputed to him after death; and so also the good._ II. _The transference of the good of one person into another is impossible._ III. _Imputation, if by it is meant such transference, is a frivolous term._ IV. _Evil is imputed to every one according to the quality of his will and his understanding; in like manner good._ V. _Thus adulterous love is imputed to every one._ VI. _In like manner conjugial love._ We proceed to the explanation of each article.


I. THE EVIL IN WHICH EVERY ONE IS PRINCIPLED, IS IMPUTED TO HIM AFTER DEATH; AND SO ALSO THE GOOD. To make this proposition in some degree evident, it shall be considered according to the following arrangement: 1. That every one has a life peculiar to himself. 2. That every one's life remains with him after death. 3. That to an evil person is then imputed the evil of his life, and to a good person the good of his life. As to the first point,--that everyone has a life peculiar to himself, thus distinct from that of another, it is well known; for there is a perpetual variety, and there is not any thing the same as another, consequently everyone has his own peculiar principle. This is evident from men's faces, the faces of no two persons being absolutely alike, nor can there be two alike to eternity: the reason of this is, because there are no two minds (_animi_) alike, and faces are derived from minds; for the face, as it is said, is a type of the mind, and the mind derives its origin and form from the life. Unless a man (_homo_) had a life peculiar to himself, as he has a mind and a face peculiar to himself, he would not have any life after death, separate from that of another; yea, neither would there be a heaven, for heaven consists of perpetual varieties; its form is derived solely from the varieties of souls and minds arranged into such an order as to make a one; and they make a one from the One, whose life is in every thing therein as the soul is in a man: unless this was the case, heaven would be dispersed, because form would be dissolved. The One from whom all things have life, and from whom form coheres, is the Lord. In general every form consists of various things, and is such as is their harmonic co-ordination and arrangement to a one: such is the human form; and hence it is that a man, consisting of so many members, viscera, and organs, is not sensible of any thing in himself and from himself but as of a one. As to the SECOND point,--that every one's life remains with him after death, it is known in the church from these passages of the Word: _The Son of Man will come and will then render to every one according to his deeds_, Matt. xvi. 27. _I saw the books open; and all were judged according to their works_, Rev. xx. 12. _In the day of judgement God will render to every one according to his works_, Rom. ii. 6; 2 Cor. v. 10. The works, according to which it will be rendered to every one, are the life, because the life does the works, and they are according to the life. As I have been permitted for several years to be associated with angels, and to converse with the deceased, I can testify for certain, that every one is then examined as to the quality of the life which he has led, and that the life which he has contracted in the world abides with him to eternity. I have conversed with those who lived ages ago, whose life I have been acquainted with from history, and I have known it to be like the description given of it; and I have heard from the angels, that no one's life after death can be changed, because it is organized according to his love and consequent works; and that if it were changed the organization would be rent asunder, which cannot be done in any case; also that a change of organization can only be effected in the material body, and is utterly impossible in the spiritual body, after the former has been laid aside. In regard to the THIRD point--that to an evil person is then imputed the evil of his life, and to a good person the good of his life, it is to be observed, that the imputation of evil is not accusation, inculpation, and judication, as in the world, but evil itself produces this effect; for the evil freely separate themselves from the good, since they cannot remain together. The delights of the love of evil are different from those of the love of good; and delights exhale from every one, as odors do from every vegetable in the world; for they are not absorbed and concealed by the material body as heretofore, but flow freely from their loves into the spiritual _aura_; and as evil is there made sensible as in its odor, it is in this which accuses, fixes blame, and judges,--not before any judge, but before every one who is principled in good; and this is what is meant by imputation. Moreover, an evil person chooses companions with whom he may live in his delights; and because he is averse from the delight of good, he spontaneously betakes himself to his own in hell. The imputation of good is effected in like manner, and takes place with those who in the world have acknowledged that all good in them is from the Lord, and nothing from themselves. These, after they have been prepared, are let into the interior delights of good, and then there is opened to them a way into heaven, to the society where its homogeneous delights are: this is effected by the Lord.


II. THE TRANSFERENCE OF THE GOOD OF ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER IS IMPOSSIBLE. The evidence of this proposition may also be seen from the following points: 1. That every man is born in evil. 2. That he is led into good by regeneration from the Lord. 3. That this is effected by a life according to his precepts. 4. Wherefore good, when it is thus implanted, cannot be transferred. The FIRST point,--that every man is born in evil, is well known in the church. It is generally said that this evil is derived hereditarily from Adam; but it is from a man's parents. Every one derives from his parents his peculiar temper, which is his inclination. That this is the case, is evinced both by reason and experience; for the likenesses of parents as to face, genius, and manners, appear extant in their immediate offspring and in their posterity; hence families are known by many, and a judgement is also formed concerning their minds (_animi_); wherefore the evils which parents themselves have contracted, and which they have transmitted to their offspring, are the evils in which men are born. The reason why it is believed that the guilt of Adam is inscribed on all the human race, is, because few reflect upon any evil with themselves, and thence know it; wherefore they suppose that it is so deeply hid as to appear only in the sight of God. In regard to the SECOND point,--that a man is led into good by regeneration from the Lord, it is to be observed that there is such a thing as regeneration, and that unless a person be regenerated, he cannot enter into heaven, as appears clearly from the Lord's words in John iii. 3, 5. The regeneration consists in purification from evils, and thereby renovation of life, cannot be unknown in the Christian world; for reason also sees this when it acknowledges that every one is born in evil, and that evil cannot be washed and wiped away like filth by soap and water, but by repentance. As to the THIRD point,--that a man is led into good by the Lord, by a life according to his precepts, it is plain from this consideration, that there are live precepts of regeneration; see above, n. 82; among which are these,--that evils are to be shunned, because they are of and from the devil, and that goods are to be done, because they are of and from God; and that men ought to go to the Lord, in order that he may lead them to do the latter. Let any one consult himself and consider, whether a man derives good from any other source; and if he has not good, he has not salvation. In regard to the FOURTH point,--that good, when it is thus implanted, cannot be transferred, (that is, the good of one person into another,) it is evident from what has been already said; for from that it follows, that a man by regeneration is made altogether new as to his spirit, which is effected by a life according to the Lord's precepts. Who does not see that this renewing can only be effected from time to time, in nearly the same manner as a tree successively takes root and grows from a seed, and is perfected? Those who have other perceptions of regeneration, do not know any thing about the state of man, or about evil and good, which two are altogether opposite, and that good can only be implanted so far as evil is removed; nor do they know, that so long as any one is in evil, he is averse from the good which in itself is good; wherefore if the good of one should be transferred into any one who is in evil, it would be as if a lamb should be cast before a wolf, or as if a pearl should be tied to a swine's snout: from which considerations it is evident, that any such transfer is impossible.


III. IMPUTATION, IF BY IT IS MEANT SUCH TRANSFERENCE, IS A FRIVOLOUS TERM. That the evil in which every one is principled, is imputed to him after death, and so also the good, was proved above, n. 524; hence it is evident what is meant by imputation: but if by imputation is meant the tranference of good into any one that is in evil, it is a frivolous term, because any such transference is impossible, as was also proved above, in 525. In the world, merits may as it were be transferred by men; that is, good may be done to children for the sake of their parents, or to the friends of any client out of favor; but the good of merit cannot be inscribed on their souls, but only be externally adjoined. The like is not possible with men as to their spiritual life: this, as was shewn above, must be implanted; and if it is not implanted by a life according to the Lord's precepts, as above-mentioned, a man remains in the evil in which he was born. Before such implantation, it is impossible for any good to reach him, or if it reaches him, it is instantly struck back and rebounds like an elastic ball falling upon a rock, or it is absorbed like a diamond thrown into a bog. A man not reformed as to the Spirit, is like a panther or an owl, and may be compared to a bramble and a nettle; but a man regenerated is like a sheep or a dove, and may be compared to an olive and a vine. Consider, I pray, if you are so disposed, how can a man-panther be changed into a man-sheep, or an owl into a dove, or a bramble into an olive, or a nettle into a vine, by any imputation, if by it is meant transference? In order that such a change may be effected is it not necessary that the ferine principle of the panther and the owl, or the noxious principle of the bramble and the nettle, be first taken away, and thereby the truly human and innocent principle be implanted? How this is effected, the Lord also teaches in John, chap. xv. 1-7.


IV. EVIL OR GOOD IS IMPUTED TO EVERY ONE ACCORDING TO THE QUALITY OF HIS WILL AND HIS UNDERSTANDING. It is well known that there are two principles which make a man's life, the will and the understanding; and that all things which a man does, are done from his will and his understanding; and that without these acting principles he would have neither action nor speech other than as a machine; hence it is evident, that such as are a man's will and understanding, such is the man; and further, that a man's action in itself is such as is the affection of his will which produces it, and that a man's conversation in itself is such as is the thought of his understanding which produces it: wherefore several men may act and speak alike, and yet they act and speak differently: one from a depraved will and thought, the other from an upright will and thought. From these considerations it is evident that by the deeds or works according to which every one will be judged, are meant the will and the understanding; consequently that evil works means the works of an evil will, whatever has been their appearance in externals, and that good works mean the works of a good will, although in externals they have appeared like the works done by an evil man. All things which are done from a man's interior will, are done from purpose, since that will proposes to itself what it acts by its intention; and all things which are done from the understanding, are done from confirmation, since the understanding confirms. From these considerations it may appear, that evil or good is imputed to every one according to the quality of his will therein, and of his understanding concerning them. These observations I am allowed to confirm by the following relation: In the spiritual world I have met several who in the natural world had lived like others, being sumptuous in their dress, giving costly entertainments, frequenting the exhibitions of the stage, jesting loosely on love topics, with other similar practices; and yet the angels accounted those things as evils of sin to some, and not to others, declaring the latter guiltless, and the former guilty. Being questioned why they did so, when all had done alike, they replied that they regard all from their purpose, intention, or end, and distinguish accordingly; and that therefore they excuse or condemn those whom the end either excuses or condemns, since an end of good influences all in heaven, and an end of evil all in hell.


To the above I will add the following observation: it is said in the church that no one can fulfil the law, and the less so, because he that offends against one precept of the decalogue, offends against all: but this form of speaking is not such as it sounds; for it is to be understood thus, that he who, from purpose or confirmation, acts against one precept, acts against the rest; since to act so from purpose or confirmation is to deny that it is a sin; and he who denies that it is a sin, makes nothing of acting against the rest of the precepts. Who does not know, that he that is an adulterer is not on that account a murderer, a thief, and a false witness, or wishes to be so? But he that is a determined and confirmed adulterer makes no account of anything respecting religion, thus neither does he make any account of murder, theft, and false witness; and he abstains from these evils, not because they are sins, but because he is afraid of the law and of the loss of reputation. That determined and confirmed adulterers make no account of the holy things of the church and religion, may be seen above, n. 490-493, and in the two MEMORABLE RELATIONS, n. 500, 521, 522: it is a similar case, if any one, from purpose or confirmation, acts against any other precept of the decalogue; he also acts against the rest because he does not regard anything as sin.


The case is similar with those who are principled in good from the Lord: if these from will and understanding, or from purpose and confirmation, abstain from any one evil because it is a sin, they abstain from all evil, and the more so still if they abstain from several; for as soon as any one, from purpose or confirmation, abstains from any evil because it is a sin, he is kept by the Lord in the purpose of abstaining from the rest: wherefore, if unwittingly, or from any prevailing bodily concupiscence, he does evil, still this is not imputed to him, because he did not purpose it to himself, and does not confirm it with himself. A man comes into this purpose, if once or twice in a year he examines himself, and repents of the evils which he discovers in himself: it is otherwise with him who never examines himself. From these considerations it evidently appears to whom sin is not imputed, and to whom it is.


V. THUS ADULTEROUS LOVE IS IMPUTED TO EVERY ONE;--not according to his deeds, such as they appear externally before men, nor either such as they appear before a judge, but such as they appear internally before the Lord, and from him before the angels, which is according to the quality of a man's will and of his understanding therein. Various circumstances exist in the world which mitigate and excuse crimes, also which aggravate and charge them upon the perpetrator: nevertheless, imputations after death take place, not according to the external circumstances of the deed, but according to the internal circumstances of the mind; and these are viewed according to the state of the church with every one: as for example, a man impious in will and understanding, that is, who has no fear of God or love of his neighbour, and consequently no reverence for any sanctity of the church,--he, after death, becomes guilty of all the crimes which he did in the body; nor is there any remembrance of his good actions, since his heart, from whence as from a fountain those things flowed, was averse from heaven, and turned to hell; and deeds flow from the place of the habitation of every one's heart. In order that this may be understood, I will mention an arcanum: Heaven is distinguished into innumerable societies, and so is hell, from an opposite principle; and the mind of every man, according to his will and consequent understanding, actually dwells in one society, and intends and thinks like those who compose the society. If the mind be in any society of heaven, it then intends and thinks like those who compose that society; if it be in any society of hell, it intends and thinks like those who are in the same society; but so long as a man lives in the world, so long he wanders from one society to another, according to the changes of the affections of his will and of the consequent thoughts of his mind: but after death his wanderings are collected into one, and a place is accordingly allotted him, in hell if he is evil, in heaven if he is good. Now since all in hell are influenced by a will of evil, all there are viewed from that will; and since all in heaven are influenced by will of good, all there are viewed from that will; wherefore imputations after death take place according to the quality of every one's will and understanding. The case is similar with adulteries, whether they be fornications, whoredoms, concubinages, or adulteries; for those things are imputed to every one, not according to the deeds themselves, but according to the state of the mind in the deeds; for deeds follow the body into the tomb, whereas the mind rises again.


VI. THUS CONJUGIAL LOVE IS IMPUTED TO EVERY ONE. There are marriages in which conjugial love does not appear, and yet is: and there are marriages in which conjugial love appears and yet is not: there are several causes in both cases, which may be known in part from what was related concerning love truly conjugial, n. 57-73; concerning the cause of colds and separations, n. 234-260; and concerning the causes of apparent love and friendship in marriages, n. 271-292: but external appearances decide nothing concerning imputation; the only thing which decides is the conjugial principle, which abides in every one's will, and is guarded, in whatever state of marriage a man is. The conjugial principle is like a scale, in which that love is weighed; for the conjugial principle of one man with one wife is the storehouse of human life, and the reservoir of the Christian religion, as was shewn above, n. 457, 458; and this being the case, it is possible that that love may exist with one married partner, and not at the same time with the other; and that it may lie deeper hid than that the man (_homo_) himself can observe any thing concerning it; and also it may be inscribed in a successive progress of the life. The reason of this is, because that love in its progress accompanies religion, and religion, as it is the marriage of the Lord and the church, is the beginning and inoculation of that love; wherefore conjugial love is imputed to every one after death according to his spiritual rational life; and for him to whom that love is imputed, a marriage in heaven is provided after his decease, whatever has been his marriage in the world. From these considerations then results this short concluding observation, that no inference is to be drawn concerning any one, from appearances of marriages or of adulteries, whereby to decide that he has conjugial love, or not; wherefore _Judge not, lest ye be condemned_. Matt. vii. 1.


To the above I will add the following MEMORABLE RELATION. I was once raised, as to my spirit, into one of the societies of the angelic heaven; and instantly some of the wise men of the society came to me, and said, "What news from the earth?" I replied, "This is new; the Lord has revealed arcana which in point of excellence surpass all the arcana heretofore revealed since the beginning of the church." They asked, "What are they?" I said, "The following: 1. That in every part of the Word there is a spiritual sense corresponding to the natural sense; and that by means of the former sense the men of the church have conjunction with the Lord and consociation with angels; and that the sanctity of the Word resides therein. 2. That the correspondences are discovered of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists." The angels asked, "Have the inhabitants of the earth had no previous knowledge respecting correspondences?" I said, "None at all;" and that the doctrine of correspondences had been concealed for some thousands of years, ever since the time of Job; and that with those who lived at that time, and before it, the science of correspondences was their chief science, whence they derived wisdom, because they derived knowledge respecting the spiritual things of heaven and the church; but that this science, on account of its being made idolatrous, was so extirpated and destroyed by the divine providence of the Lord that no visible traces of it were left remaining; that nevertheless at this time it has been again discovered by the Lord, in order that the men of the church may have conjunction with him, and consociation with the angels; which purposes are effected by the Word, in which all things are correspondences. The angels rejoiced exceedingly to hear that it has pleased the Lord to reveal this great arcanum, which had lain so deeply hid for some thousands of years; and they said it was done in order that the Christian church, which is founded on the Word, and is now at its end, may again revive and draw breath through heaven from the Lord. They inquired whether by that science it is at this day discovered what are signified by baptism and the holy supper, which have heretofore given birth to so many various conjectures about their true meaning. I replied, that it is. 3. I said further, that a revelation has been made at this day by the Lord concerning the life of man after death? The angels said, "What concerning the life after death? Who does not know that a man lives after death?" I replied, "They know it, and they do not know it: they say that it is not the man that lives after death, but his soul, and that this lives a spirit; and the idea they have of a spirit is as of wind or ether, and that it does not live a man till after the day of the last judgement, at which time the corporeal parts, which had been left in the world, will be recollected and again fitted together into a body, notwithstanding their having been eaten by worms, mice, and fish; and that thus men will rise again." The angels said, "What a notion is this! Who does not know that a man lives a man after death, with this difference alone, that he then lives a spiritual man, and that a spiritual man sees a spiritual man, as a material man sees a material man, and that they know no distinction, except that they are in a more perfect state?" 4. The angels inquired, "What do they know concerning our world, and concerning heaven and hell?" I said, "Nothing at all; but at this day it has been revealed by the Lord, what is the nature and quality of the world in which angels and spirits live, thus what is the quality of heaven and of hell; and further, that angels and spirits are in conjunction with men; besides many wonderful things respecting them." The angels were glad to hear that it has pleased the Lord to reveal such things, that men may no longer be in doubt through ignorance respecting their immortality. 5. I further said, that at this day it has been revealed from the Lord, that in your world there is a sun, different from that of our world, and that the sun of your world is pure love, and the sun of our world is pure fire; and that on this account, whatever proceeds from your sun, since it is pure love, partakes of life, and whatever proceeds from our sun, since it is pure fire, does not partake of life; and that hence is the difference between spiritual and natural, which difference, heretofore unknown, has been also revealed: hereby also is made known the source of the light which enlightens the human understanding with wisdom, and the source of the heat which kindles the human will with heat. 6. It has been further discovered, that there are three degrees of life, and that hence there are three heavens; and that the human mind is distinguished into those degrees, and that hence man (_homo_) corresponds to the three heavens. The angels said, "Did not they know this heretofore?" I answered, "They were acquainted with a distinction of degrees in relation to greater and less, but not in relation to prior and posterior." 7. The angels inquired whether any other things have been revealed? I replied "Several; namely, concerning the last judgement: concerning the Lord, that he is God of heaven and earth; that God is one both in person and essence, in whom there is a divine trinity; and that he is the Lord: also concerning the new church to be established by him, and concerning the doctrine of that church; concerning the sanctity of the sacred scripture; that the Apocalypse also has been revealed, which could not be revealed even as to a single verse except by the Lord; moreover concerning the inhabitants of the planets, and the earths in the universe; besides several memorable and wonderful relations from the spiritual world, whereby several things relating to wisdom have been revealed from heaven."


The angels were exceedingly rejoiced at this information; but they perceived that I was sorrowful, and asked the cause of my sorrow. I said, because the above arcana, at this day revealed by the Lord, although in excellence and worth exceeding all the knowledges heretofore published, are yet considered on earth as of no value. The angels wondered at this, and besought the Lord that they might be allowed to look down into the world: they did so, and lo! mere darkness was therein: and they were told, that those arcana should be written on a paper, which should be let down to the earth, and they would see a prodigy: and it was done so; and lo! the paper on which those arcana were written, was let down from heaven, and in its progress, while it was in the world of spirits, it shone as a bright star; but when it descended into the natural world, the light disappeared, and it was darkened in the degree to which it fell: and while it was let down by the angels in companies consisting of men of learning and erudition, both clergy and laity, there was heard a murmur from many, in which were these expressions, "What have we here? Is it any thing or nothing? What matters it whether we know these things or not? Are they not mere creatures of the brain?" And it appeared as if some of them took the paper and folded it, rolling and unrolling it with their fingers, that they might deface the writing; and it appeared as if some tore it in pieces, and some were desirous to trample it under their feet: but they were prevented by the Lord from proceeding to such enormity, and charge was given to the angels to draw it back and secure it: and as the angels were affected with sadness, and thought with themselves how long this was to be the case, it was said, _For a time, and times, and half a time_, Rev. xii. 14.


After this I conversed with the angels, informing them that somewhat further is revealed in the world by the Lord. They asked, "What?" I said, "Concerning love truly conjugial and its heavenly delights." The angels said, "Who does not know that the delights of conjugial love exceed those of all other loves? and who cannot see, that into some love are collected all the blessednesses, satisfactions, and delights, which can possibly be conferred by the Lord, and that the receptacle thereof is love truly conjugial, which is capable of receiving and perceiving them fully and sensibly?" I replied, "They do not know this, because they have not come to the Lord, and lived according to his precepts, by shunning evils as sins and doing goods; and love truly conjugial with its delights is solely from the Lord, and is given to those who live according to his precepts; thus it is given to those who are received into the Lord's new church, which is meant in the Apocalypse by the New Jerusalem." To this I added, "I am in doubt whether in the world at this day they are willing to believe that this love in itself is a spiritual love, and hence grounded in religion, because they entertain only a corporeal idea respecting it." Then they said to me, "Write respecting it, and follow revelation; and afterwards the book written respecting it shall be sent down from us out of heaven, and we shall see whether the things contained in it are received; and at the same time whether they are willing to acknowledge, that that love is according to the state of religion with man, spiritual with the spiritual, natural with the natural, and merely carnal with adulterers."


After this I heard an outrageous murmur from below, and at the same time these words, "Do miracles; and we will believe you." And I asked, "Are not the things above-mentioned miracles?" Answer was made, "They are not." I again asked, "What miracles then do you mean?" And it was said, "Disclose and reveal things to come; and we will have faith." But I replied, "Such disclosures and revelation are not granted from heaven; since in proportion as a man knows things to come, in the same proportion his reason and understanding, together with his wisdom and prudence, fall into an indolence of inexertion, grow torpid, and decay." Again I asked, "What other miracles shall I do?" And a cry was made, "Do such miracles as Moses did in Egypt." To this I answered, "Possibly you may harden your hearts against them as Pharaoh and the Egyptians did." And reply was made, "We will not." But again I said, "Assure me of a certainty, that you will not dance about a golden calf and adore it, as the posterity of Jacob did within a month after they had seen the whole Mount Sinai on fire, and heard Jehovah himself speaking out of the fire, thus after the greatest of all miracles;" (a golden calf in the spiritual sense denotes the pleasure of the flesh;) and reply was made from below, "We will not be like the posterity of Jacob." But at that instant I heard it said to them from heaven, "If ye believe not Moses and the prophets,--that is, the Word of the Lord, ye will not believe from miracles, any more than the sons of Jacob did in the wilderness, nor any more than they believed when they saw with their own eyes the miracles done by the Lord himself, while he was in the world."