A compilation of the teachings
concerning the last judgment
in the Spiritual World in the
Hugo Lj. Odhner
THE LAST JUDGMENT
I. THE WORLD OF SPIRITS, AND THE SCENE OF THE JUDGMENT
Many teachings in the Writings aim to show that the Last Judgment was not a destruction of the material world and did not involve the ceasing of the procreation of the human race.
The present part will be devoted to the subject of the world in which the Judgment actually took place, the World of Spirits.
1. A spiritual judgment can only take place in a spiritual world. Natural judgments occur here on earth in manifold ways; mistakes, errors and evils result in natural punishments and losses.
The common idea that sins are a definite set of acts, and that intentions and the spirit behind the act play a very small part in the sin, is reflected in much literature of the present day: The hero of a story, for example, is calmly intending a crime or revenge, but before he actually perpetrates his act, the villain falls to the bullet of some other foe, and the hero is whitewashed and wins the love of the heroine. His intentions, the character of spirit, the novelist forgets to deplore. Well, the act is the wrong, but the spirit alone commits the sin, and this whether circumstances prevent the act or not.
When the Writings speak of Judgment it is the judging of the spirit that they refer to: the body is mere obedience.
A final judgment upon a man can be made only in the spiritual world; where his spirit is in a spiritual body, the body of his own choice and impress, the body of his mind, his purpose and intention.
2. What does this judgment consist in? Everyone is, without being aware of it, bound to same society in heaven or in hell. The judgment consists essentially in his going to the society of his ruling love and ruling delight, to work out his life in the way of his choice.
(If man was absolutely sincere in good, and so single-minded that there was in him nothing contrary to his ruling love--no other ties, no other, lesser affections, no distracting thoughts; then he would go to that heavenly society at once on death.)
On the other hand, if he was so brazen in his evil, that no other things withheld him from it and no external bonds or self-restraints held him, then he would and will go to join his society or his like in hell practically immediately after resurrection.
But relatively very few are in either of these states. Having lived in the body and in the world, their natural and external minds are fashioned to some extent, usually to a great extent, by their heredity on the one hand, and their environment, education and associates, on the other.
Heredity: Inborn natural affections, both good and evil, are ingrained in the sensual degree which is the last to regenerate. Natural good with the evil is apt to modify the expression of their intention, and especially restrain them from certain cruelties or certain particular forms of evil. Like, good animals, they will love certain kinds of people or virtues, instinctively.
Environment: Prudential restraints are created by discipline and experience: adjustment to environment is advantageous. (Mass opinion is unconsciously accepted; identity of self with Society; the tendency to go in droves; protection in numbers etc., etc. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.)
3. The World of Spirits is a state of gradual weaning from the states of the natural mind. There are societies of natural affections in the world of spirits. (Examples: Societies from cities, and from nations; societies of interior friendship, of exterior friendship, of dissenters; societies from religious sects, from racial groups, etc.)
(Normal progress or the judgment: the three states of the World of Spirits: (a) State of exteriors; (b) State of interiors; (c) State of instruction (or of insertion into hell).)
Abnormal Progress. This is necessary when the World of Spirits does not function. Normally diseases are thrown off by a healthy body, but if the body, for some reason, does not react against the disease, it accumulates into a fever, or a crisis. The equilibrium of the body, with its organs and functions, is then disturbed and a judgment comes. (Judgment in the Greek is krisis, separation, ordering, from krino, to separate; hence the Latin crimen, which means accusation or crime).
4. (How the world of spirits is affected by the decline of the church on earth.) The Church is the seminary of heaven. (The World of Spirits may be likened to the alimentary canal in man; for Heaven is a like a Grand Man, and novitiate spirits are like the food. The stomach normally absorbs the food and puts it to use, in some organ of the body, or some cell tissue. Any disturbance in the process of digestion will affect the state of the stomach and indeed all the viscera and organs of man; there might be a poisoning of the system, with various results.
This would happen especially if an accumulation of indigestible food came to infest the stomach.
It is the same with the world of spirits when the church is at an end in the world, and more evil than good spirits accumulate in the world of spirits.
Read LJ 33, 34, 38, as to the reason for a last judgment.
A last judgment is nothing else than the end of the church with one nation and its beginning with another. (AC 3353, ill. 1850)
Last judgments, or general judgments, have occurred whenever a church or dispensation has come into a state of consummation.
There have been three most universal judgments, the first signified in the Word by the Flood of Noah (end of Most Ancient Church), the second occurring at the Lords first advent (and of the Ancient Church) and the third in 1757 (end of First Christian Church). (LJ 46)
There have been four general judgments, when the Church of Israel is considered as a church distinct from the Ancient Church. (See Coronis, especially n. 36.) (AC 2118)
There have been five judgments, when the Hebrew Church is distinguished as a Second Ancient Church and the Israelitish is considered as the Third Ancient Church. (See AC 1850) The judgment on the First Ancient Church is then represented in the dispersion after the confusion of tongues at Babel, or in the destruction of Pharaohs army in the Red Sea. The end of the Hebrew Church would then coincide with the call of Abram or the conquest of Canaan.
5. A Witness to the Judgment. To the New Church has been given not only the general principles of the last Judgment,--the laws of judgment, and the truths of charity on which it is based; but the Seer Emanuel Swedenborg actually witnessed every step of the judgment which Spiritual World. Through his eyes we also can see it, can follow each stage of it. He even mentions the fate of this or that historical personage, names what happened to a number of his personal friends, and tells how the face of the world of spirits was changed and reformed.
At once we must mention that these changes seem, especially at first, very complex and confused. Perhaps that is the reason why no history has ever been written of the last Judgment. But there must be some profound reason why the revelator spent so much time noting every event (however trivial it may seem on paper) and describing so minutely the fantastic appearances connected with the destruction of the old order there. (The Spiritual Diary has nearly a volume full of details.)
Several reasons for this may be noted:
(1) This day by day description confirms the actuality of Swedenborgs visions.
(2) It is essential to have an imaginative basis for our thought about this event and about the Spiritual World.
(3) Illustrations are thus provided of the working of spiritual laws.
(4) History can be interpreted in the light of what is there said about the fate of persons, institutions, nations and churches.
(5) The bald description of such spiritual events serves to prevent the acceptance of the Writings by any that are not ready for it; it is a protection against profanation of the doctrine itself.
In our philosophisings about the spiritual world as a living realm of non-spatial substance, we are apt to forget to meditate on the reality of its life. It is of course a form of spiritual timidity to accept the Spiritual World as a fact-yet be unwilling to study its structure or its appearance. One of Swedenborgs friends wanted to accept Swedenborgs claim to inspiration and to accept his doctrine, yet expressed his regret that Swedenborg had ever published the Memorabilia! There was a reluctance to picture the life of the Spiritual World for fear of materializing it! Even Swedenborg himself went through a state, where he experienced a shock at finding the Spiritual World so substantially complete, so complicated, so confusingly like the natural world. So many perplexing appearances and apparent contradictions! Space, yet no space; nature there, yet no nature!
The memorabilia and other recorded experience of Swedenborg in the Spiritual World, constitute, in a manner, a letter, a literal sense, for the doctrine; as a historical, symbolic covering and containant for the precious spiritual laws of life which are the essential Word itself to the New Church.
We shall therefore attempt to present certain generalizations about the changing appearances of the World of Spirits, and study the reasons why sometimes fantastic and surprising events occur there.
6. Place in the Spiritual World: The Spiritual World is the kingdom of the Divine Proceeding, or of Divine Truth. All things there are as they appear: there is no appearance without its definite significance or actuality; and this significance is sensed in the appearance, by angels and intelligent spirits.
What fixes place in the World of Spirits, therefore, is the Divine Truth; or ... the reception of the Divine Truth (D 5363-64). Those who are without certainty, are seen to wander about (D 5373) and have no fixed place.
The source of all permanency is the Lord. His Divine love never alters, neither do the gifts of His love. There are certain constants--such as the atmospheres from the spiritual sun; they are His ever-living hands, and are a permanent and underlying basis of substance in the Spiritual World. Angelic societies are also permanent and do not alter except by a continuous growth,. The reason is that ruling loves once confirmed, are constant; heaven and hell are therefore constant. (TCR 78)
(But the World of Spirits is changing; it contains elements in flux, opposites, and mixed states, like the natural minds of men.)
7. The World of Spirits is only the Intermediate between heaven and hell. It is also the source and beginning of every heaven or hell. These grow out of the World of Spirits.
In the Most Ancient Church there was probably a time when there was only a heaven in the spiritual world. With the development of evil, this heaven deteriorated, and at the time or the s. c. Flood there was a division between the good and the evil, and thus a formation of a heaven and a hell. Afterwards-between these two--a World of Spirits was formed. At length the good from the Ancient Church formed societies there, yet had no power to purify these from evil of the subtler sort. Hence it was not until the Lords time that a complete judgment was made, and a spiritual heaven and a middle hell were organized permanently. Early Christians formed societies in the World of Spirits, but these also became defiled by admixture of evil spirits. Not until the time of Swedenborg could there be a permanent separation of the good and the evil and the formation of a natural heaven and an opposite hell.
Most ancient heaven
/ Heaven of Ancient Church
/ / New Christian heaven
/ / /
- - - W O R L D O F S P I R I T S - - - - - - -
/ / /
/ / New hells of Christian era
/ Hells of Ancient churches
8. The elevation of the good to form a heaven is invariably presented in the world of spirits under a spatial appearance, as a lifting up or as a new world above the world of spirits.
For all states are presented in apparently geographical relations in the world of spirits and even in the heavens and hells. The World of Spirits therefore has the coherent features of an entire world!
9. Geographical Appearance in the World of Spirits:
a) The world of spirits appears a vast place (TCR 475): is compared to a forum (AR 791:2); is compared to a city (LJ 27).
b) The world of spirits is seen as a valley (HH 429, cp. 58j) in the low parts of the Spiritual World (HH 583), immediately below the heavens (AR 552). The Heavens then appear as mountains rising over the valley of the world of spirits and Hell like cavernous entrances in the earth below. This appearance is induced when a connection is required between the heavens and the world of spirits, or the hells. But, from different states and points of view the world of spirits appears wider and more inclusive, or different in appearance and relation to the heavens. The law in this respect is that all things are visible to each other in the spiritual world but only so much appears as the Lord permits: that is, as is pertinent to the state or use of an angel or spirit. The same law governs the mind: only that is present to the thought which is pertinent or belongs to the active affection or state.
c) The world of spirits also appears as a complete world: (TCR 475). in this case the heavens are conceived of as above and the hells as below. (5 Mem. 10; CL 461; HH 422). The heavens then are not ordinarily apparent (HH 583) except as clouds or sky. The hells--a continuous hell--is hallowed out under the heavens and the world of spirits (HH 583), a hell being beneath every society of heaven.
d) The latter conception shows the heavens as three expenses, appearing over the mountains of the world of spirits, and then like atmospheric expenses (AC 702:2; AR 260, 876, etc.). The lower expanses appear wider in extension than the higher, and the lowest heaven as if under the earth (AR 260). The ancient heavens form the higher expanses, the new heavens the lowest (HD 4). The hells also form expanses below, so that there are in all six expanses. (AE 1133:6)
e) The next point to notice is that the world of spirits is also an expanse between the heavens and the hells. (LJ post. 126e, AE 1133:6, SD 5240e, 5244). That world and all the superior expanses, are complete worlds, and are not plane, but concentric globes, one within the other.
This appearance is not merely a memory survival from earth, but is the representation of a spiritual coherence of states, a certain mutual relation which can only thus be described. (The appearance of the heavens as higher and wider circuits or spheres about an inner globe is reminiscent of the Ptolemaic idea of the earth as the center of the universe, and of the old Hellenistic conception of the seven spheres-each ruled by some God or Damon. There was a spiritual truth underlying that old idea; it came from the Ancient Church, from a corresponding spiritual reality. The concept of Hades as an underworld is paralleled in the fact that below the surface of the World of Spirits some souls are preserved in the lower earths, which are dispersed at a last judgment.)
From the point of view which shows our relations to the Lord, the universe centers in Him as the Divine Sun. This is the physical truth of each solar system-its center is the sun. But from the view-point of the relations of spiritual beings to each other, the human race, on earth, and thus the world of spirits form as it were a stationary plane upon which the heavens seem to be resting. This is the appearance in the spiritual world.
f) The world of spirits, being a globe, has its zones-relatively frigid and tropic and temperate (TCR 185; SD 5144-7, 4383). It also has its quarters, E. W. N. and S., but oriented from the East, (which is the fixed point). The earth there does not revolve: the Sun is really omnipresent, and those to when it appears at all, see it at an angle of 45 degrees. The quarters are fixed with reference to each angels body. The East is in the front of the angel, the North at his left, the South at the right and the West behind him.
g) There is a physical or geographical parallel. The continents there correspond somewhat to those on earth, but are not in the same physical proportions. The uninhabited parts do not seem to occupy any area, to judge from Swedenborgs diagram of Africa. (SD 4946) It is the human not the physical relation that is shown: racial and cultural similarities make for spiritual proximity.
The cities of this world are duplicated in the other life. Yet some, like Hamburg, did not exist there, lacking a distinct character. Others, like certain Swedish cities, are grouped in a cluster with no distance between them. National characteristics govern all to a certain extent. Yet nations which are dominated by a common church or a religion such as the Roman Catholic, Mohammedan, or Jewish, remain separate in the other life according to religions, not according to distinct national boundaries. These therefore are called nations.
h) Arrangement of the Nations in the World of Spirits. The center of the world of spirits is where the greatest light is. In the beginning of the Christian Church, the Greek Churches were the most enlightened, but later the Roman Church may have taken the lead, although learning existed only in the monasteries. At the reformation a re-orientation began, because the Word was then read in Northern Europe. The first country where the Gospel was widely preached was in England. (Note the work of Wychliffe and his Lollards and, later, of the British and Foreign Bible Society.) Hence at the time just before the last Judgment, the nations in the world of spirits had the following arrangements:
QUARTERS AND TRACTS IN THE WORLD OF SPIRITS
E A S T
N O R T H
W E S T
S O U T H
Arrangement of Reformed Nations in central space:
E - English
D - Danes
G - Germans
H - Dutch
10. Representations of spiritual relationships. The geographical arrangements of the nations and the ordering of the heaven into expanses, each like a globe, are necessary for a perfect representation of the mutual contacts which all bear to each other in the spiritual world. For nothing else would fulfill this requirement of an actual relation between all spirits. (AR 260, 876; AE 702:2; CL 42)
The added teaching is given that the hells, in the view of heaven and thus actually (in spiritual state and idea), are in a reversed relation to the angels: their position is upside down, and thus they are on lands which are under the world of spirits, but they walk head down and feet on their subterranean land as if they lived in the antipodes, and face West. (AC 2641; HH 151; AE 1143:4; SD 3428; AC 5116:3, 9128e, 5013:2, 5746e, 6468:3)
Each single heaven is divided into similar expenses (AR 876), and the World of Spirits is no exception. For the expanses are the spiritual representations of a state that is utterly superior or something as yet unattainable-discretely higher: something which does not enter ones ordinary life, yet is acknowledged as a governing factor.
This may be seen reflected in a larger community on earth which is normally divided into group-life, based on race, heredity, and social standing. Certain uses are leading uses, and tend to impress and govern the rest. Similarity of uses and interests makes for special bonds, and naturally such as are in common uses flock together. This is normal and desirable. But greater education, greater wealth, greater power or at least ambition cause certain people to form a class, and we speak of class distinctions (in an invidious sense) as arising from a gradual segregation of those who have these more exalted uses or who at least can intelligently follow and support such uses sympathetically, from those whose uses are lowly and must follow the leadership of others somewhat blindly. There must be two elements to cause this separation. One is a relegation of responsibility to the governing classes, which means that the simpler among the people will admire and trust leaders of thought and captains of industry, and this largely because they regard them as having succeeded where they themselves have failed. It is usually a matter of hero-worship, however grudgingly this be admitted. The leaders will thus have a great power, and will, on the whole, truly people, like priest. An instructed people means a wise clergy. A people will thus readily make an upper or governing class of those whom they look up to, and follow, and perhaps imitate. A people will reward and exalt and give privileges to those who perform the uses which they need at the time.
In the other world, spiritual class distinctions lead to the formation of certain social layers and strata within the world of spirits, which also becomes distinguished as three expanses.
11. Swedenborg does not give a clear description of the various expanses and quarters of the World of Spirits until he had seen their relationships after much experience. Gradually he finds proper names for the various levels and degrees. At first, in the early Diary, he makes only general observations. (Cf. SD 636-637) His acquaintance had to grow, first with individual spirits, then with societies. The vastness and apparent confusion of that world impressed him, and also the imminence of a judgment.
In the last days of 1756 the last, judgment commenced. Many preparatory judgments had gone on before. (Cf. SD 1316, 2122) But now the connections of states in the spiritual world were being made clear.
The judgment may have been precipitated by the completion of the serial treatments of the Doctrine of Charity and Faith, which closes with a statement of the doctrine concerning the Lord, in the last volume of the Arcana Coelestia (nos. 10815-10831). After the last judgment had occurred, Swedenborg was able to describe the social connections of the World of Spirits with greater preciseness. (Then, not before, he tells of the arrangement which was made among the nations of Christendom, and begins to tell of the more definite geography of the World of Spirits.)
12. Descriptions of the Last Judgment of 1757 in the Writings.
The main treatments on the last judgment are to be found in the work The Last Judgment (publ. 1758) in entries in the Spiritual Diary, from n. 4925 to ca. N. 6022, the works on the Last Judgment (posthumous, written c. 1760), Continuation concerning the Last Judgment (1763), and incidentally in The Apocalypse Explained (1759) and The Apocalypse Revealed (1766). See also Argument concerning the Judgment (Diarii p. VII Appendix).
(The Diary contains a running account of the last judgment, beginning about n. 4925. For dates, note especially nos. 5239, 5336 and 5762. But the events were happening so fast that Swedenborg did not have time to write down everything that he observed. Hence later entries give further details of what happened in the earlier stages of the judgment.)
Similarly, Swedenborgs brief account in The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed, published in 1758, mainly stresses the judgment on the Catholic communities, and it was not until 1763 that a description of the judgment on the Protestant spirits was published, as A Continuation of the Last Judgment.
The manuscripts known as The Last Judgment (Posthumous) is a part of codex 12" in the library of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm. It was used as a rough draft of material to be used in the published work-A Continuation of the Last Judgment. The MS was-according to Hyde-partly written after SD 5947 (compare with LJ post. 122), perhaps early in 1762.
PART ONE: Preparation for the Judgment
Introduction (i. 1-9)
I. The Son of Man and the letters to the Seven Churches (i-iii)
II. The Throne in heaven, and the Opening of the Seven Seals of the Book (iv-viii. l)
The four horsemen. The souls under the altar.
The dread of the judgment. The sealing of the servants of God (144,000)
III. The Seven Trumpets sound. (Viii. 2-xi. 19)
Woes on the earth. John eats the little book. The temple measured.
The two witnesses are killed end rise again. The temple seen in heaven.
PART TWO: A prophecy of the assaults of the devil and his agents on the Church. Their final destruction. The Coming of the Lord. The universal judgment. The descent of New Jerusalem.
IV. Star-crowned Woman (xii) The Dragon in heaven.
The male Child born and caught up to God. The Woman flees to wilderness.
The Dragon flees to wilderness. The Dragon, cast on earth, persecutes the Woman.
V. Two Beasts. (xiii) The beast from the sea overcomes the saints.
The beast from the earth, 666.
VI. The Lamb on Mt. Sion and the 144,000 redeemed (xiv).
The Angel with the Everlasting Gospel. Doom foretold.
VII. The Seven last Plagues (xv, xvi)
The victors on the sea of glass. The temple opened in heaven. The angels
pour out the vials of wrath. The temple filled with the smoke of glory.
The seven plagues poured out. The evil gather at Armageddon.
VIII. The Judgment on Babylon (xvii, xviii). The scarlet woman on the seven-
headed beast of blasphemy. Her mystery explained. The city destroyed,
her fall bemoaned.
XI. The Rider on the White Horse (xix). Glorification for the coming marriage
supper of the Lamb. The heavens open.
The white horse with the secret name (The Word of God). The rider conquers the beast and false prophet.
The Dragon sealed in a pit for 1000 years, the saints enthroned, in the first resurrection. After 1000 years the Satan is also cast into the lake of fire.
X. The Great White Throne (xx. 11-15). Opening of the books of life.
The universal judgment of all the dead.
XI. The New Jerusalem (xxi-xxii. 5). A new heaven and a new earth are seen.
Holy City descends out of heaven. All things are made new.
The golden city measured and described. The river of life and the trees of life. Evil absent, darkness gone.
XII. The Imminence of the Lords Coming (xxii. 6-21). The angel speaks in the name of Jesus, promising the coming of the Lord.
The Church, as the Bride, responds. Benediction.
(Series of the Spiritual Sense)
I. The Lord as to the Divine Truth of revealed Doctrine.
His reception in all possible states.
II. Ordering for Judgment. The Word as to its internal sense seen by the Lord alone.
Exploration of states for judgment. A new heaven and a new church to be formed.
III. Exploration of the Reformed churches. Preparation of the spiritual heavens and their influx with the Reformed.
Preliminary judgments. Influx effects no repentance.
The doctrine (two essentials) rejected. Future state of New Church announced from heaven.
IV. The New Church in the spiritual world. Faith alone assails the Church.
The Church among a few.
The Heavenly Doctrine (male child) received and protected.
V. The doctrine of faith alone with the laity and the clergy within Christendom (Reformed).
VI. Heaven from the Reformed: the Heavenly Doctrine in heaven.
Exhortations against faith alone and love of dominion.
VII. The new heavens from Reformed in confession and preparation to inflow spirits to disclose evils and falsities. Consequent vastations and judgments.
VIII. Judgment on Babylonish tract in World of Spirits. Judgment on those in love of dominion through spiritual things-as in Roman Catholicism.
IX. Second Advent of the Lord. The future conjunction of the Lord in His Divine Human with the Church.
The Lord makes His advent as the WORD in its spiritual sense.
The final judgment of those of the Reformed churches and on the dogma of Faith alone.
Formation of the new heavens from the redeemed.
X. Universal judgment on all states in the world of spirits, including those of gentiles, etc.
XI. The New Church and the new heaven. The New Church as to Doctrine and Life. The Doctrine makes all things new. Genuine truths out of literal sense are the foundations of the Heavenly Doctrine. The conjunction of the New Church with the Lord who alone is worshiped. The quality of the New Church.
XII. Conjunction of the Lord and the Church.
The Apocalypse to be revealed in its time. The Lord to make His second advent. The things revealed are to be kept. The Church is thus conjoined with the Lord.
GENERAL ORDER OF THE LAST JUDGMENT OF 1757
I. a. Ordering of heavens and preparation Internal Sense of the Word
of world of sprits.
Disclosed through the
b. Explorations and preparatory judgments.
c. Visitations on Former Heavens: Dragon begins
to assault. Eastern Papists re-ordered.
II. a. Judgment on Babylonish tracts. Extraction of Doctrine from
Completed Jan. 6, 1757 The spiritual sense as
Revealed in Arcana Coelestia.
b. Judgment on Mohammedan circuit.
c. Judgment on Gentiles.
d. Judgment on the Reformed nations:
Commenced about Jan. 7, 1757. Nearly
Completed about the middle of April, 1757,
although the judgments were continuing
throughout the year (?).
III. a. Release of those in the Lower Earth, Formal organization of the
began especially towards the end of Doctrine of the New Church,
April, 1757. and its reception among
spirits and men.
b. Their elevation into the New Heavens.
First phase lasted into the month of May.
Formation of new heavens and new hells.
c. Strengthening of New Jerusalem in the Comp. CLJ 11, 12.
World of spirits.
d. Beginning of New Church on earth: reception
of the Heavenly Doctrine.
e. Sending out of the Gospel of the Second Advent
in the Spiritual World, June 19, 1770.
f. Gradual establishment of the New church on earth,
in proportion to its increase in the world of spirits.
DIAGRAM OF THE BABYLONISH TRACT
The main feature of the district occupied by the Papists in the Spiritual World before the Last Judgment, as described in Last Judgment, n. 58.
The convention in the sides of the North Watch (B) Central tract of the Reformed
or the Mount of Assembly Nations (A)
Area of various religions, including some
of the Reformed (H) Subterranean great city Babylon (EDF) in mountains (C)
Great city of blind faith (G)
Papal city and under-city (J)
Underground city of the ancients (I) The black sea in the West (L)
Seven Mountains (D)
Characteristics of the Quarters:
East: Those who had greatest delight in ruling and were in something of natural lumen.
South: Those who had more powerful abilities and were more confirmed in their religion.
West: Underground in anterior part looking towards the North, were the men of the Dark Ages.
Posteriorly towards the West, the most wicked of the Babylonians, who forced the vulgar to blind obedience. These were informal profession but in interior denial of the Lord.
North: Those in less powerful abilities, less confirmed and in blind faith, not as numerous as in the South.
II. THE LAST JUDGMENT UPON BABYLONIA.
1. Babylonia before the Last Judgment.
In the Arcana Coelestia, published in 1756, Swedenborg tells of those who are meant by Babylonia, namely those who aim by the things of religion to raise themselves above others and arrogate to themselves the power of the Lord, setting themselves up in the spiritual world on mountains, and proclaiming somebody from their own rank as a god. While they are engaged in this profane worship, the mountain opens into a cleft, and they are swallowed up into hell. (AC 10412)
Those of the Papal religion appeared before the last Judgment in a region stretching around the middle or the spiritual world where the Reformed were. For is the center are those who are in the light of truth from the Word. Such light is propagated from the center to the circumferences. (LJ 58)
For the general features of the Babylonish tract, see Diagram. Most of the papists dwelt, in the South and in the West. In the South dwelt those who were talented, and many of nobility and wealth; but for fear of robbers they lived under the earth. Near the Reformed a great city extended almost from East to West, a city full of temples and monasteries, where ecclesiastics hid their precious things in subterranean Labyrinths. Jesuits there consorted with the wealthy. And a council met in a place called Rome in that quarter towards the East, consulting how to keep the people in blind obedience. (LJ 58, cp. 56)
In the North were those less able and less confirmed in their religion. Most were in a great city stretching from the angle of the East to the West and somewhat into the West. At its outer side near the East were some from the Reformed and many from various religions. (LJ 58)
In the East were those in the delight of ruling, who were also in something of natural light. They appeared on mountains, but only in the quarter which faced North. On top of a mountain in the angle of East and North, an insane spirit was placed when they claimed to be the God of heaven and by secret arts inspired to give out their commands. This mountain is referred to in Isa. 41:13. Some appeared there as building a tower that would reach heaven (cp. Gen. 11:1-10); but this only in phantasy. (LJ 58)
In the West, in front, dwelt those from the dark ages, mostly underground, one posterity beneath another. The tract in front, towards the North was excavated and filled with monasteries. (See also page 18) Beyond that tract, to the West, were many mountains (Rev. 17:9) where the most wicked were. (See HH 580) There are in a profane love of ruling. (LJ 58)
The reason why these spirits were tolerated until the last judgment are noted in LJ 59, 70.
The first of the main preparatory judgments on Babylonian spirits from the Catholic religion is noted in a long account in SD 4913-18, 4953-4988. The region which is here treated of seems to be in the Eastern Quarter of the Babylonian tract, but the directions given are simply right and left, which leaves a certain amount of uncertainty as to its relations. In the Eastern Quarter dwelt those who were in the greatest delight or ruling and also were in some natural lumen. (LJ 58)
A - Tower on the Mount of Assembly: first position.
B - Opposite Tower: NE
C - Communications (SD 4969).
D, D - Benches on Mount of Assembly.
F - Mountain range, E to W, in the south
G - Above of vast multitudes.
Bishops and prelates, aided by Jesuits, appeared on a mountain to the right of the place where the Lord appears as a Sun. On this mountain they had a great city and a Consistory, but no Pope was permitted. (SD 4957) They had organized their authority over the whole region, inspiring the multitudes with the chimerical faith that the things they say are from the Lord and that the Lord is with them with His own presence. (SD 4956) Inspectors were everywhere, and spies. An immense multitude occupied the mountain.
In the midst of the mountain was an eminent height, which Swedenborg calls the MOUNT OF ASSEMBLY. This was is the side of the North. Its height was the same as the height of the Sun. (See Isa. xiv)
A Watch Tower stood above the mount, indeed many on and below the mount, from which signs and signals were given. The whole mountain was surrounded with benches, filled with spirits--row after row--who ruled all things below as far as eye could see. This rule was from a diabolic love. (SD 4965ff)
A communication appeared between the mountain to the right and another toward the left. This was produced by an interception of the light of the Sun by such as took away love. (SD 4969) The mountains there obscured the Sun; a vast multitude was in that place of communication, possibly descended from the Mount of Assembly. (see SD 4969, 4968)
A corresponding Watch Tower then appeared on the opposite side (SD 4969:2).
Presently, the Mount of Assembly, end the surrounding mountains, sank down from its altitude even to the plane of the horizon. But as this was happening, the Mount of Assembly was-with a great number of spirits transferred to the left, around, to quite a distance, where it sank down. They feared their destruction. (SD 4975ff)
The immediate occasion for this judgment was that Swedenborg read Isaiah ch. xiv, concerning Lucifer, the King of Babel, and the angels turned their eyes upon the spirits on the Mount. (SD 4970 et seq.)
Afterwards there appeared a Babylonian Tower of doctrine, being built up on the left side by a council which deliberated below. They sent out these dogmas to establish the worship of the Vicar of Christ. (SD 4979ff) They raised the tower above the clouds. Ib. Some of them devised how to receive and adulterate the Heavenly Doctrine (printed in Arcana Coelestia), but were detected and punished by being unable ever to recover their intellectual power. (SD 4988)
The mountains further off however resigned. The Judgment was not yet started, only a visitation. (SD 5004ff)
Later site of Mount Assembly First site of Mount of Assembly
A - Second Babylonish Tower (SD 4969-1/2)
B - Mountain of the Phantastic Sun
Those in greater dignity, and thus to the right side, were first removed, (SD 4954, 4977). A movement to the North indicates an increase of ignorance and phantasy.
In their attempts to make the simple hold their confidence in them, evil spirits (Jacob Benzelius, etc.) resorted to magical miracles. They produced--by phantasy--a Sun, but they could not make it shine! So they put a man in this lightless sun of phantasy and made him give verdicts in their favor. They hailed him as God the Father, and when he was judged, a successor was continually appointed. (SD 5044ff, 5207, 5082f. LJ 58) He authorized their crimes, and assented to the doctrine of Purgatory. (SD 5005f)
NOTE: The mountain on which this devil sat, may be identical with the Mount of Assembly after its transfer to the left and its subsidence. (See SD 5082)
The man in the sun: received the applause of Jesuits, sad sirens and some of his worshipers or disciples said that they are Christs. (Cp. SD 5080ff, compare 5208, 5209)
2. The Beginning of the Last Judgment on Babylon.
After these preparations had been made in the Eastern Quarter, Babylonia, as to its three sides, was completely devastated and utterly destroyed. This judgment commenced at the end of the year 1756, and on the 5th and 6th of January 1757, it had been accomplished. (SD 5336)
It occurred in the following order: 1. Southern side; 2. Northern side; 3. West, toward North;
3. A summary description of the progress of the Judgment is found in LJ 61, 63. The features of the Babylonish tracts are outlined in LJ 58.
The general stages of the Judgment were:
(1) Earthquakes in diverse places: spirits tremble and flee in all directions.
(2) SOUTH: In the great city, a flight to the cellars and caves with their treasures. An earthquake and ebullition from below overturn city and region. The East Wind carries all into the Black Sea. (Jer. Ix, 11, x. 22, xlix. 33. Mal. i. 3. Apoc. Xviii. 21.)
(3) WEST and NORTH: Earthquakes (Matt. xxiv 7, Lu. Xxi. 11. Apoc. Vi. 12, viii. 5, xi. 13, xvi. 18, and in Old Testament). An East Wind, through the South, demolishes the front part of the West quarter (dark ages) the Great City, from West to North to East, is laid bare. There is no fire or flood, but the places are overturned and blown away into smoke.
GC - College for Cath.
Hells of the gentiles Gulf in South toward North
Gulf in angle between North and West Gulf in West and South
Gulf in West, to North
(4) EAST: The mountains subside into the deep. The god set up for their worship is cast into hell with the worshipers. The monks declared him God and themselves Christs.
(5) Remote WEST: The Seven Mountains (Apoc. xvii. 9) yawned open into spiral gulfs or turned upside down. The plains were deluged and the spirits cast into gulfs.
(6) Four gulfs or chasms were seen, others not seen. The Black Sea was covered up by an encrustation of black dust.
(7) Good Catholics were brought to a district inside the Middle Space for instruction.
4. Swedenborgs visit to the Spiritual Rome, or Babylon.
In a wakeful vision Swedenborg visited a certain senator in a place called Rome, in the Southern quarter, in a house, which resembled a palace on the Capitoline hill. This spirit, with some others, had been trying to form a doctrine of life. (SD 5210ff) They accepted some things which Swedenborg told them, but remained in the extravagances of the Catholic religion. The Senator seemed to receive something of the doctrine concerning the Lord. This caused many prelates and cardinals to conspire and form a mob which broke in through the windows. They thought to kill him and tried in vain to drag his dead body away. (SD 5211)
The conspiracy involved multitudes on surrounding hills. Swedenborg was besieged, but protected by being put to sleep until the conspirators were overthrown and cast the fourth gloomy gulf (mentioned in SD 5206, 5220), and the riot quieted. (SD 5212)
The gulfs (hiatus) are described in SD 5204 as being at great depths in the extremes of each world, or interstitial. About fifty cardinals are cast into the third gulf--the lake of sulphur. (SD 5213, 5204) See LJ 61 for the position of the gulfs.
5. A papal Consistory at in the Southern quarter (SD 5221, 5229), and further towards the south former cardinals who ruled the conclave. Popes are not allowed to show themselves. (SD 5215, 5229) The Consistory, whose membership changed daily, governed the whole Babylonian tract by their gaze. When they deny the Divine, influx from heaven is denied them and they fell down as if dead. (SD 5229)
6. The Southern Chasm and the New Hell. Events now increase in importance. After half a day of tranquility, Swedenborg finds that more than ten thousand eminent monks and higher Roman clergy have gathered to scheme to usurp the Lords power. Some of their followers dissented. (SD 5230)
A large mountain in the southern quarter opened into a frightful, dark chasm running deeper and deeper to the south. (SD 5231) Many spirits were engulfed. The peaks of all the mountains of the Babylonian tract flowed together into a continuous chain, and from all--in the West, North, and East--a multitude of spirits who had magnified themselves from self-love were carried into the deep chasm. (SD 5232, 5235, cp. 5313)
NOTE: The formation of a continuous plane out of the summits of the mountains suggests the defensive action of the hierarchy. (Cp. SD 5765f) But these leaders, whether ignorant or learned, outwardly good or evil, were judged together, for their pride. (SD 5233)
The order in which they were borne into the chasm was, (1) those from the South, (2) those from the North, (3) those from the East, (4) those from the West. (SD 5233f) The mountain of the cardinals was then split open and, with some of the popes, cast into the chasm. (SD 5234)
There was rejoicing among those Catholics who had lived in mutual charity according to their religion (SD 5236).
The chasm was enlarged below into a vast subterranean hell, in an orderly arrangement according to quarters. Angels are sent to arrange it into order. (SD 5237) This hell is new, and is kept closed beneath but open above; and is for those of such character who had lived since the beginning of Christianity, and is still open. (SD 5338)
This happened in the last days of the year 1755. (SD 5239)
INTERPRETATION OF SPIR. DIARY, 5231 et seq.
Confer SD 5206, 5212.
7. Judgment on the Mohammedans. A this point, the last judgment an the Mohammedan tract seem to have begun. This judgment took less time, but went on coincidentally with the progressive judgments in the more central tracts. (SD 5240-5248, 5258-5262). See Part III.