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supper, manifestly contrary to its institution, and this under feigned pretences, and solely for the sake of the daily and nightly sacrifices of the mass, by which they amass worldly wealth? What can be more detestable than to worship dead men with divine invocations, to fall down upon their knees before their images, and with holy reverence to kiss them, yea, and their bones and relics, and thus to divert the people from divine worship, and to introduce them unto profane worship, and this also for the sake of lucre ? What can be more detestable than to make divine worship on Sundays and festivals to consist in masses not understood, thus in externals, which are of the body and its affections, without internals, which are of the mind and its affections, and to ascribe to the former all holiness, and thereby to keep all in ignorance and in a blind faith, that they may exercise rule and make gain? What can be more detestable than to transfer all the Lord's divine power to themselves, which is nothing less than to remove the Lord from his throne and place themselves upon it? What can be more detestable than to take the Word, which is divine truth itself, from the laity and common people, and in its stead to issue forth edicts and tenets, in which there is scarcely a single genuine truth of the Word ? These are the things which are treated of in this chapter of the Apocalypse.
754. “An angel came down froin heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory," signifies, strong influx from the Lord out of heaven by divine truth, whereby his church was in celestial light. By an angel is signified the Lord; by an angel coming down from heaven, is signified the Lord's influx out of heaven; by having great power, is signified strong influx; by the earth being lightened with his glory is signified that the church was in celestial light from the Lord by divine truth. That by an angel and angels in the Word is meant the Lord, may be seen, n. 258, 344, 465, 649, 657, 718; by coming down, is signified to flow in, because it is said of the Lord ; that by the earth is signified the church, see n. 285, 721 ; that glory is predicated of divine truth, and signifies it, n. 249, 629. It is called
divine truth in celestial light, because divine truth proceeding from the Lord is the light of heaven, which illuminates the angels, and constitutes their wisdom. The reason why the Lord's influx by divine truth, and the consequent illumination of the church, are now spoken of, is, because by means of that influx they who are in falses are separated from those who are in truths, and also because by the light of truth falses appear according to their real quality:
755. “And he cried mightily with a great voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,” signifies, that he made it known, that by the divine power of the Lord, all who were in that religion, and at the same time in the love of dominion, were destroyed in the spiritual world, and in consequence cast into their respective bells. That this is the signification of these words, may appear from the work concerning the Last Judgment and the Destruction of Babylon, published in London, anno. 1758, where its destruction is described from n. 53–64. From which it may be seen, that they of that religion, who from the heat of self-love exercised dominion over the holy and divine things of the Lord, which relate to heaven and the church, and who were mere idolaters, were destroyed and cast into hell ; but that they of the same religion who lived according to the precepts of the decalogue, by shunning evils as sins, and at the same time looked up to the Lord, were saved, may be seen in the Continuation concerning the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World, n. 58; to which it is unnecessary to add any thing more. The like is said of Babylon in Isaiah : “A lion cried upon the watch-tower, and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground,” xxi. 8, 9. They of that religion, who are of like characters with the above described, since the last judgment, are collected together, and are sent from time to time to their like.
756. “ And is become the habitation of demons,” signifies, that their bells are bells of the lusts of dominion from the heat of self-love, and of the lusts of profaning the truths of heaven from the spurious zeal of that love. By
demons, are signified concupiscences of evil, n. 458; and, also, the lusts of falsifying truths; but demons, like lusts, are of several kinds; the worst are those who are lusts exercising dominion, from the heat of self-love, over the holy things of the church and over heaven ; and as this love of sovereignty reigns in their hearts, they are also the lusts of profaning the truths of heaven from the spurious zeal of that love. And since they, on their becoming demons, as is the case after death, know that the Lord only rules over heaven and earth, they become batreds against him, insomuch that after the lapse of an age they cannot endure to hear him named. From these considerations it is evident, that by Babylon becoming the habitation of demons, is signified that their hells are hells of the lusts of dominion originating from the heat of self-love, and of the lusts of profaning the truths of beaven from the spurious zeal of that love. It is not known in the world, that all after death become affections of the love which reigns within them; they who have looked up to the Lord and to heaven, and at the same time have shunned evils as sins, become good affections, but they who have looked only to themselves and the world, and have shunned evils not because they were sins, but only injurious as to their honor and character, become evil affections, which are concupiscences. These affections appear to the life, and are perceived in the spiritual world; whereas she thoughts only which proceed from affections appear in the natural world. Hence it is, that man does not know that hell resides in the effections of the love of evil, and heaven in the affections of the love of good ; and the reason why he does not perceive this, is, because the lusts of the love of evil, owing to their being bereditary, are delightful in the will, and thence pleasant in the understanding: and man does not reflect upon that which is delightful and pleasant, because it carries his mind along, just as the current of a river carries a ship; wherefore, they who are immersed in those delights and pleasures, cannot arrive at the delights and pleasures of the affections of the love of good and truth, otherwise than after the manner of those who with a strong arm ply their oars against the
tide : but the case is different with such as have not im mersed themselves so deeply.
757. “And the hold of every unclean spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird,” signifies, that the evils of the will and thence of the actions, and the falses of the thoughts and thence of the deliberations of such as are in those hells, are diabolical, because they are turned away from the Lord to themselves. By a hold, is signified bell, this being a place or state of confinement; by a spirit, is signified all that relates to affection and will, and thence to action ; and by a bird, is signified all that relates to thought or understanding, and thence to deliberation, for which reason, by a foul spirit and an unclean bird, are signified all the evils which pertain to the will and consequent actions, and all the falses which pertain to the thought and consequent deliberations; and as these exist
hell among them, therefore it signifies that they are diabolical; and as they are turned away from the Lord to themselves, it is also called a hateful bird. Babel is described in the prophets by the like expressions; as in Isaiah: “ And Babylon shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inbabited, neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there ;-but the wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shali dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces,” xiii. 19–22. In the same prophet: “I will cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant:-I will also make it a possession for the bittern," xiv. 22, 23. And in Jeremiah : “In Babylon shall dwell the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands, and the owls.—As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities thereof, so shall no son of man dwell there,” 1. 39, 40. From which it is evident, that by a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, is signified that the evils of the will and consequent actions, and the falses of the thoughts and consequent deliberations, of such as are in those hells, are diabolical, because they are turned away
from the Lord to themselves. That a bird signifies such things as pertain to the understanding and thought, and thence to deliberation, in both senses, as well evil as good, is evident from the Word. They occur, in a bad sense, in the following places: "And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,” Dan. ix. 27. “But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it, the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it,” Isaiah xxxiv. 11. Nothing but infernal falses are signified by the wild beasts of the deserts and of the islands, and by the owls and dragons, in the above-cited passages, or by “the fowls which came down upon the carcasses, which Abram drove away,” Gen. xv. 10. By “the fowls to which their carcasses were to be given for food,” Jerem. vii. 33, xv. 3, xvi. 4, xix. 7, xxxiv. 20, Ezek. xxix. 5, Psalm Ixxix. 1, 2; or by the “ fowls which devour what is sowed,” Matt. xii. 3, 4. In a good sense, in the following passages : “Let creeping things and flying fowl praise the name of Jehovah," Psalm cxlviii. 10
6 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the fowls of heaven and with the creeping things of the ground,” Hosea ii. 18. “ Ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee, and the fowls of the air and they shall tell thee; Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of Jehovah bath wrought this ?” Job xii. 7, 8, 9. “I beheld, and lo, there was no man, all the birds of the heavens were fled,” Jerem. iv. 24, 25, 26. - Both the fowl of the heavens and the beasts are fled ;—And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons," Jerem. ix. 9, 10, xii. 9.
“ Because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God,—Therefore shall the land mourn, —with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven,” Hosea iv. 1, 2, 3. “I am God,-Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country,” Isaiah xlvi. 9, 11. “Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon,-all the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his sha