Apocalypse Explained #1220

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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1220. And his wife hath made herself ready.- That this signifies that the church is now adorned with truths from good for reception, is evident from the signification of wife, when the Lord is treated of, as denoting the church, concerning which see above (n. 1120); and from the signification of making herself ready, as denoting to be adorned with truths from good for reception; for it is said afterwards, that she was arrayed in fine linen, clean and shining, and by fine linen is signified truth from celestial good. The church, from those truths, receives the Lord; for the Lord enters by influx with man into the good of his love, and is received by man in truths; from this all spiritual conjunction comes. It is said "to be adorned," and this means to be taught and to learn, for in this and in no other way does the church adorn herself, and prepare herself for the nuptials, and for receiving the Lord.

(References: Revelation 19:7; The Apocalypse Explained 1120)


[2] Continuation [concerning Omnipresence and Omniscience].- 2. Spaces and times must be removed from the ideas, in order that the Lord's Omnipresence with all men, collectively and severally, as well as his omniscience of things present and future may be understood.

Since however spaces and times can be removed with difficulty from the ideas of thought in the natural man, it is better that the artless should not think of the Divine Omnipresence and Omniscience from the reasoning of the understanding; it is sufficient for them to believe in simplicity from religion. If such a man thinks from reason, let him acknowledge in his own mind that they exist, because they belong to God, God being everywhere and infinite; and because the Word also teaches this. If again he thinks of them from nature, and from the spaces and times belonging to it, let him acknowledge again in his own mind that they have a miraculous origin. But because at the present day naturalism has almost deluged the church, and can be dispersed only by means of rational arguments which will enable man to see that this is the case, these Divine [attributes] shall therefore be placed in their true light, and cleared of the darkness with which nature overspreads them. This can be done moreover, because, as previously said, the understanding with which man is endowed, is capable of elevation into the interior light of heaven, provided only, from love he desires to know truths. All naturalism arises from thinking of Divine subjects from the properties of nature, which are matter, space, and time. The mind which clings to these properties, and unwilling to believe anything that it does not understand, is bound to obscure its understanding, and from the thick darkness into which it has plunged it, deny that there is any such thing as Divine Providence, and affirm as a consequence that omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience have no existence. These attributes are, nevertheless, precisely as religion teaches, both within nature and above it, but they cannot be comprehended by the understanding unless space and time are removed from its ideas in thinking on the subject; for these properties of matter are, in some way or other, inherent in every idea of thought. If therefore they are not removed, no other thought can be formed than that nature is everything, that it is self-existent, that life is from it, that its inmost is that which is called God, and that all beside it is imaginary. I know that men will also be astonished to hear that there is any existence possible where there is neither time nor space; that the Divine itself exists apart from them; and that spiritual beings are not in them, but merely in the appearances of them - though Divine spiritual things are nevertheless the very essences of all things that have ever existed or that do exist - and that natural things without spiritual things are like bodies without souls, which become mere carcases.

[3] Every man who has become a naturalist, by means of thought from nature, remains such also after death; and he calls all the objects that he sees in the spiritual world natural, because they are similar to those in the natural world. Men of this kind are however enlightened and taught by angels that these objects are not natural, but that they are the appearances of natural things, and they are convinced so far as to affirm that this is the case. Still they relapse and worship nature, as they had done in the world, until at length, separating themselves from the angels, they fall into hell, and cannot be rescued from it to eternity (in aeternum). The reason of this is that their souls are not spiritual but natural, like that of the beasts, with the faculty nevertheless of thinking and speaking, because they were born men. Now because the hells at this day, more than at any former period, are filled with men of this class, it is of importance that darkness so dense caused by nature closing and barring up the entrance to men's understandings, should be removed by means of rational light derived from spiritual.

(References: Revelation 19:7)

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