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IN WHICH ARE DISCLOSED
The Mysteries there foretold
BEING A TRANSLATION OF HIS WORK ENTITLED
“ APOCALYPSIS REVELATA, in qua deteguntur Arcana quæ ibi prædicta sunt, et
hactenus recondita latuerunt." Amstelodami, 1766.
SWEDENBORG SOCIETY, BRITISH AND FOREIGN
Not a few have laboured in explaining the Apocalypse, but as the spiritual sense of the Word had hitherto been unknown, they could not see the mysteries which lay concealed within it, for these can only be unfolded by the spiritual sense. Expositors have therefore formed various conjectures, most of them applying its contents to the affairs of empires, blending them, at the same time, with ecclesiastical matters. The Apocalypse, however, like the rest of the Word, in its spiritual sense treats not of worldly but of heavenly things, thus 'not of empires and kingdoms, but of heaven and the church.
It is to be observed that after the Last Judgment, which was accomplished in the spiritual world in the year 1757, and which forms the subject of a small treatise published in London in 1758, a new Heaven was formed from among Christians, but of those only who admitted the Lord to be the God of heaven and earth, according to His own words in Matthew xxviii. 18, and who in the world had repented of their evil works. From this Heaven the New Church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem, descends, and will continue to descend. That this Church will acknowledge the Lord only, is evident from these words in
the Apocalypse: "'I here came unto me one of the seven angels, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife, and he shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (xxi. 9, 10). And in another place: “Let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready, blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (chap. xix. 7, 9). That there will be a new Heaven, and that from it will descend a new Church upon earth, is evident from the following words, in the same book: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: and I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new; and he said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful" (chap. xxi. I, 2, 5). The new Heaven is the new Heaven of Christians; the New Jerusalem means a new Church upon earth, which will make one with that new Heaven; the Lamb is the Lord as to the Divine Humanity.
To this something shall be added by way of illustration. The Christian heaven is below the ancient heavens. Into this heaven were admitted those who, from the time of the Lord's abode in the world, worshipped one God under three Persons, but did not at the same time entertain an idea of three Gods; and this, for the reason that the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons was received throughout the whole Christian world. Those, however, who entertained no other idea of the Lord's Humanity than as of the humanity of another man, could not receive the faith of the New Jerusalem, which is, that the Lord is the only
God, in whom is the Trinity. These, therefore, were separated and removed; it was given me to see the separations and removals after the Last Judgment. For the Universal Heaven and the Universal Church on earth, and in general the whole of religion, are founded upon a just idea of God; for by this idea there is conjunction, and by conjunction, light, wisdom, and eternal happiness.
Any one may see that the Apocalypse could not possibly be explained but by the Lord alone, since every word of it contains mysteries, which never could be known without some special enlightenment and consequent revelation; wherefore it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and to teach me. Think not, therefore, that anything there given is from myself, or from any angel, but from the Lord alone. Moreover, the Lord said by an angel unto John: “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (chap. xxii. 10); by which is understood that they are to be made manifest.