951. Because the seven angels that had the seven last plagues signify the manifestation of the evils and falsities that have devastated the church; and as this manifestation is made by means of the Divine truth in the Word, therefore those angels appeared clothed in linen pure and glistening white; for by this is signified genuine truth. All the angels also appear clothed according to their functions; for the garments in which they are clothed correspond to their ministries, and in general to their interiors. Angels who are wise from Divine truth appear in white garments of satin, lawn, or linen, because satin, lawn, and linen correspond to the truths in which they are. It is for this reason, also, that the garments in which Aaron and his sons ministered were linen; concerning this it is thus written in Moses:
"Thou shalt make for Aaron and his sons breeches of linen to cover the flesh of their nakedness, from the loins even to the thighs; they shall be upon them, when they enter into the tent of the assembly, and when they approach to the altar to minister in the holy place, lest they bear iniquity and die" (Exod. xxviii. 42, 43).
And in another passage:
"Aaron, when he shall enter into the holy place, shall put on the linen coat of holiness; shoes of linen shall be upon his flesh; he shall gird himself with a linen belt; and shall put on a mitre of linen" (Lev. xvi. 4).
That he should put on the same garments when he expiated the people (ver. 32).
When he took the ashes from the altar after the burnt-offering (Lev. vi. 22).
 Similarly the priests were to minister in the new temple, in Ezekiel:
When "the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, shall enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall put on linen garments; no woollen shall come upon them; when they shall minister in the gates of the inner court and inward, mitres of linen shall be upon their head, and breeches of linen upon their loins" (xliv. 17, 18).
The reason why they put on linen garments when they ministered holy things was, that all holy administration is effected by means of Divine truth. For the priesthood, to which Aaron and his sons were appointed, represented the Lord as to Divine good; and this ministers all things by means of Divine truth. Divine truth also defends from falsities and evils that are from hell; therefore it is also said, "lest they bear iniquity and die," which signifies, that otherwise falsities from hell would destroy them. These garments were called garments of holiness, because holiness is said of Divine truth.
Because linen garments were the garments of the ministry, therefore the priests wore an ephod of linen when they ministered, as we read concerning Samuel (1 Sam. ii. 18); concerning the priests whom Saul slew (1 Sam. xxii. 18); and also concerning David, when he went before the ark (2 Sam. vi. 14).
 Also concerning the Lord Himself in John:
Jesus "rose up from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a linen cloth, and girded himself, and put water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the linen cloth with which he was girded" (xiii. 4, 5).
The washing of the disciples' feet represented and thence signified purification from evils and falsities by means of Divine truth from the Lord. For all purification from evils and falsities is effected by means of Divine truth from the Lord; and this is signified by the linen cloth with which He girded Himself, and with which He wiped the disciples' feet.
(References: John 13:4-5)
 Besides these seven angels treated of in the Apocalypse, other angels also were seen in linen garments; as
The angel who set a mark on the foreheads of the men who sighed; and went in between the wheels of the cherubs, and took coals of fire and sprinkled upon the city (Ezek. ix. 3, 11; x. 2, 6, 7).
The angel who was seen by Daniel, clothed in linen, whose loins were girt with gold of Uphaz (Daniel x. 5; xii. 6, 7).
They appeared clothed in linen, because girded for the ministry. The angel who measured the new temple, whose appearance was of brass,
Was seen to have a linen thread in his hand, and a measuring reed (Ezek. xl. 3).
By measuring the temple is there described the New Church as to its quality, which is signified by the number of the measure. And all the quality of the church is known by means of Divine truth; this was why a linen thread was in his hand.
 Because linen signifies truth, and a girdle everything pertaining to it, for it is that which embraces and includes all things; and since, with the sons of Israel, there was no longer any truth remaining,
Therefore the prophet Jeremiah was commanded to buy himself a girdle of linen, and hide it in the cleft of a rock at the Euphrates; and at the end of many days it was marred, and profitable for nothing (xiii. 1-7).
By the girdle of linen is signified all the truth of doctrine from the Word. What is signified by its being hid in the cleft of a rock at the Euphrates, and there marred, may be seen above (n. 569).
 By linen is signified the truth of the church also in Isaiah:
"A bruised reed will he not break and smoking linen will he not quench, and he will bring forth judgment unto truth" (xlii. 3).
These words are spoken concerning the Lord. By the smoking linen which He will not quench is signified the small amount of truth from good with any one. The rest may be seen explained above (n. 627).
 By linen is also signified truth from the Word, properly the truth of the sense of its letter (Hos. ii. 5, 9). It was also a statute with the sons of Israel,
"That they should not wear a garment mixed with woollen and linen together" (Deut. xxii. 11).
The reason of this was, that woollen signifies good and linen truth, and because a man by his garments also has communication with the societies of heaven; and there are societies that are in good, and societies that are in truth. And a man must not have communication with different societies at the same time, for confusion would be the result. That this was the reason of that statute, no one has hitherto known; but it has been granted me to know this from the change of my garments. For on the laying aside of a linen garment, those in the spiritual world who were in truths have complained that they could not be present; and the same, on the garment being put on again, became present.
That there is such correspondence with the very garments of man has been hitherto unknown, but still it is evident from those passages that have been adduced above, namely, from the linen garments of Aaron and his sons; from the linen ephod which the priests and David had; from the linen in which the angels appeared clothed; and from the linen with which the Lord girded Himself and wiped the disciples' feet. So also from the rest of the garments of Aaron and his sons, which were all representative; and from the signification of garments in general, as denoting truths clothing good; concerning which see above (n. 64, 65, 195, 271, 395, 475, 476, 637).
Continuation concerning the First Precept:-
 It is not believed in the world that the love of ruling from mere delight in ruling, and the love of possessing goods from the mere delight of possession, and not from delight in uses, conceal in themselves every kind of evil; and also a contempt and rejection of everything pertaining to heaven and the church; and this because a man from the love of self and the love of the world is stimulated to do good to the church, to his country, to society, and to his neighbour, placing honour in acting well, and looking for reward. Hence it is that such love is called by many the fire of life, and the incitement to great things. But it must be observed, that so far as these two loves regard uses in the first place, and self in the second, so far they are good. But so far as they regard self in the first place, and uses in the second, so far they are evil. For then a man does everything for the sake of self, and consequently from self; and then, in everything that he does, himself and his proprium are present; and this is intrinsically nothing but evil. But to regard uses in the first place, and self in the second, is to do good for the sake of the church, one's country, society, and the neighbour. And the goods that a man does to these for their own sake are not from man, but the Lord. The difference between these two loves is like that between heaven and hell. A man does not know that there is such a difference, because from birth and nature he is in them, and because the delight in them continually flatters and favours him. Let him, however, know that the love of ruling from the delight in so doing, and not from delight in uses, is altogether diabolical, and may be called atheistical. For in proportion as a man is in that love, in the same proportion he does not, in his heart, believe in the existence of a God; and in the same proportion he derides, in his heart, everything pertaining to the church; indeed, he hates them; and from hatred persecutes all those who acknowledge God, especially those who acknowledge the Lord. The very delight of their life is to do evil, and do wicked and crimeful deeds of every kind. In a word, they are very devils. A man does not know this while he lives in the world, but he will know that it is so, when he comes into the spiritual world, as is the case immediately after death. Hell is full of such persons; where, instead of exercising dominion, they become slaves. They appear also there, when seen in the light of heaven, to be inverted, with the head downwards and the feet upwards, because they placed rule in the first place, and uses in the second. And that which is in the first place is the head, and that which is in the second constitutes the feet; and that which is the head is loved, but that which constitutes the feet is trodden under foot.