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Conjugial Love #115

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115. The second account:

Awakened from sleep in the middle of the night, I saw an angel at some height towards the east, holding in his right hand a piece of paper. It appeared in a shining brilliance owing to the light coming in from the sun. In the middle of the paper there was writing in gold letters, and I saw the phrase, "The marriage between good and truth." From the writing sprang a radiance that turned into a large halo around the piece of paper. The halo or ring consequently had an appearance similar to the appearance of dawn in springtime.

After this I saw the angel descending with the paper in his hand. Moreover, as he descended, the paper appeared less and less bright, and the writing - which said, "The marriage between good and truth" - turned from the color of gold to silver, then to the color of copper, next to the color of iron, and lastly to the color of rusty iron and corroded copper. Finally I saw the angel enter a dark cloud and descend through the cloud to the ground. There the piece of paper disappeared, although the angel was still holding it in his hand. (This took place in the world of spirits, the world all people go to first after they die.)

[2] The angel then spoke to me, saying, "Ask the people who are coming this way whether they see me and whether they see anything in my hand."

A host of people came - a crowd from the east, a crowd from the south, a crowd from the west, and a crowd from the north. Those coming from the east and south were people who in the world had devoted themselves to becoming learned, and I asked them whether they saw anyone with me there and whether they saw anything in his hand. They all said they saw nothing at all.

I then asked the people who came from the west and north. They were people who in the world had believed whatever the learned said. They said they did not see anything, either.

The last of these, however, were people who in the world had possessed a simple faith stemming from charity, or some truth resulting from goodness, and after the people before them went away, they said that they saw a man with a piece of paper - a man handsomely dressed, and a piece of paper with letters printed on it. Moreover, when they looked more closely, they said they could read the phrase, "The marriage between good and truth." Then they spoke to the angel, asking him to tell them what it meant.

[3] The angel said that everything which exists in the whole of heaven and everything which exists in the whole world is nothing but a form of the marriage between good and truth, since each and every thing was created out of and into a marriage of good and truth - both everything that lives and breathes and also whatever does not live and breathe.

"There is nothing," he said, "that was created solely into a form of truth, and nothing that was created solely into a form of good. Good alone or truth alone has no reality, but they take form and become real through a marriage of the two, the character of the resulting form being determined by the character of the marriage.

"Divine good and Divine truth in the Lord the Creator are good and truth in their very essence. The being of His essence is Divine good, and the expression of His essence is Divine truth. In Him, moreover, good and truth exist in their very union, for in Him they are infinitely united. Since these two are united in Him, the Creator, therefore they are also united in each and every thing created by Him. By this the Creator is also conjoined with all things created by Him in an eternal covenant like that of a marriage."

[4] The angel said further that the Holy Scripture, which came directly from the Lord, is as a whole and in every part an expression of the marriage between good and truth. And because the church, which is formed through truth of doctrine, and religion, which is formed through goodness of life in accordance with truth of doctrine, are in the case of Christians based solely on the Holy Scripture, it can be seen that the church as a whole and in every part is an expression of the marriage between good and truth. (For an explanation of this, see The Apocalypse Revealed, nos. 373, 483.)

The same thing that the angel said above regarding the marriage of good and truth he also said of the marriage between charity and faith, since good has to do with charity and truth has to do with faith.

Some of the first people, who had not seen the angel or the writing, were still standing around, and on hearing these things they mumbled, "Yes, of course. We see that."

But then the angel said to them, "Turn away from me a little and repeat what you said."

So they turned away, and they said quite plainly, "No, it isn't so."

[5] Afterwards the angel spoke with some married couples about the marriage of good and truth, saying that if their minds were in a such a state of marriage, with the husband being a form of truth and the wife a form of the good of that truth, they would both experience the blissful delights of innocence and thus the happiness that angels of heaven enjoy.

"In such a state," he said, "the husband's power of insemination would continually be in the spring of youth, and he would therefore remain in the effort and power to transmit his truth, and the wife, out of love, would be in a continual state to receive it.

"The wisdom that men have from the Lord knows no greater delight than to transmit its truths. And the love of wisdom that wives have in heaven knows no greater pleasure than to receive them as though in a womb, and thus to conceive them, carry them, and give them birth.

"That is what spiritual procreations are like among angels of heaven. And if you would believe it, natural procreations come also from the same origin."

After bidding all farewell, the angel rose from the earth, and passing through the cloud, ascended into heaven. Moreover, as he ascended, the piece of paper then began to shine as before, until the halo that had previously had the appearance of dawn suddenly descended and dispelled the cloud which had cast a shadow over the earth, and it became sunny.

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Many thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.

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Apocalypse Revealed #483

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483. And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about peoples, nations, tongues, and many kings." (10:11) This symbolically means that such being the case, the character of people caught up in faith alone must be further told.

That this is the symbolic meaning is apparent from what follows, in which the subject is people caught up in faith alone, to the end of chapter 16. After that the subject is the Roman Catholic religion, then the casting out of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet into hell, and afterward the New Church, which will worship the Lord alone.

To prophesy means, symbolically, to teach (nos. 8, 133), and so to prophesy again means to teach further. "Peoples" symbolize people who are impelled by doctrinal truths or doctrinal falsities, and "nations" symbolize people who are impelled by good practices or evil practices. More about these later. "Tongues" symbolize people who are impelled by truths and goods or falsities and evils externally (no. 282), and "kings" people who are impelled by them internally. To be shown that kings symbolize people who are impelled by truths springing from goodness, and in an opposite sense, people who are impelled by falsities springing from evil, and abstractly truths themselves springing from goodness or falsities themselves springing from evil, see nos. 20, 664, 704, 720, 830, 921. And as the subject in what follows is in particular people impelled by interior falsities, the text says, "and many kings," which symbolizes falsities accompanying evil in abundance.

The text says peoples, nations, tongues and kings in order to mean all people in the church who are of this character.

John's being told that he had to prophesy again means, symbolically, to teach further the character of people caught up in faith alone, in order that their falsities may be exposed and thus eradicated, since no falsity is eradicated before it has been exposed.

[2] That "peoples" symbolize people impelled by doctrinal truths or falsities, and "nations" people impelled by good or evil practices, can be seen from many passages in the Word where peoples and nations are mentioned. However, to demonstrate this we will cite here only some passages where peoples and nations are mentioned together, from which this conclusion may be drawn, as each and every particular in the Word contains a marriage of the Lord and the church, and consequently a marriage of goodness and truth; and "peoples" refer to truth, and "nations" to goodness. The presence of such a marriage in each and every particular of the Word may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture, nos. 80-90.

[3] Here are the passages in the Word:

Woe to a sinful nation, to a people laden with iniquity... (Isaiah 1:4)

I will send him against a hypocritical nation, against the people of My wrath I will command him... (Isaiah 10:6)

(Jehovah) who is striking the peoples... with an incurable plague, who is ruling the nations in anger... (Isaiah 14:6)

At that time a present will be brought to Jehovah..., a people scattered and shaven..., and a nation marked off and downtrodden... (Isaiah 18:7)

...a strong people will honor You, a city of mighty nations will fear You. (Isaiah 25:3)

(Jehovah) will swallow up... the covering... over all peoples, and the veil... over all nations. (Isaiah 25:7)

Come near, you nations..., and pay heed, you peoples! (Isaiah 34:1)

I... have called You... as a covenant to the peoples, and as a light to the nations. (Isaiah 42:6)

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples assemble. (Isaiah 43:9)

Behold, I will lift My hand... to the nations, and... My standard to the peoples. (Isaiah 49:22)

...I have given him as a witness to the peoples, a leader and lawgiver to the nations. (Isaiah 55:4)

Behold, a people is coming from the north country, and a great nation... from the edges of the earth. (Jeremiah 6:22)

Many peoples and numerous nations shall come to seek Jehovah of hosts in Jerusalem... (Zechariah 8:22)

Jehovah renders the counsel of the nations of no effect, He overturns the deliberations of the peoples. (Psalms 33:10)

(Jehovah) will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet... (Jehovah) reigned over the nations... The willing of the peoples have gathered together... (Psalms 47:3, 8-9)

The peoples shall confess You... The nations shall be glad... For You shall judge the peoples righteously, and guide the nations on the earth. (Psalms 67:3-4)

Remember me, O Jehovah, with good pleasure toward Your people..., that I may rejoice in the joy of Your nations... (Psalms 106:4-5)

...all peoples, nations, and languages shall worship (the Son of Man). (Daniel 7:14)

And so on elsewhere, as in Psalms 18:43, Isaiah 9:2-3; 11:10, Ezekiel 36:15, Joel 2:17, Zephaniah 2:9, Revelation 5:9, Luke 2:30-32.


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Many thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.