« AnteriorContinuar »
of light; and by fire, is signified love; and by light, intelligence: this intelligence is signified by blue in the coverings and vails of the tabernacle, Exod. xxvi. 31, 36, xxvii. 16; in Aaron's ephod, Exod. xxviii. 6, 15; by the cloth of blue or hyacinth which was placed over the ark, the table, the candlestick, and the altar, when they journeyed, Numb. iv. 6, 7, 9, 11, 12; by the fringe of blue thread on the borders of their garments, Numb. xv. 38, 39; and by the hyacinthine or blue color, in Ezekiel xxvii. 7, 24. But intelligence derived from the affection of infernal love, is signified by blue in Ezekiel : Aholah, or Samaria, played the harlot, and doted on her lovers the neighboring Assyrians, clothed in blue, horsemen riding upon horses, xxiii. 4, 5, 6: hereby the church is described, which, by reasonings from self-derived intelligence, had falsified the truths of the Word. And in Jeremiah: “But they are altogether brutish and foolish : the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, the work of the workman and of the hands of the founder, blue and purple is their clothing, they are all the work of the wise,” x. 8, 9. The work of the workman and of the hands of the founder, and all the work of the wise, signify, in this passage, that they were the offspring of self-derived intelligence.
451. “And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions," signifies, phantasies concerning faith alone, as if it were in power. By heads, are signified the imaginary and visionary notions about faith alone, with those who are here treated of collectively, which are called phantasies: by horses, are signified the reasonings of the interiors of their minds, wbich are such, n. 449; by lions, are signified power, n. 241; but then it is power from fallacies inasmuch as they are sensual, and the sensual reason from fallacies, by which they persuade and captivate, n. 424.
That their arguments in favor of faith alone are imaginary and visionary, any one may see, who elevates his mind a little. What are faith in act and faith in state, as conceived by them, but visionary things ? Who is there among them that knows any thing concerning
faith in act; and what avails faith in state, when no good enters from man into faith in act? What is remission of sins and consequent momentaneous salvation, but a result of visionary thought? That it is the fiery flying serpent in the church, see The Wisdom of Angels concerning the Divine Providence, n. 340. What is the conceit of immunity, merit, righteousness, and sanctification by imputation, but a visionary thing? see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, n. 18. What is the Divine Operation in internals, without man's coöperation in externals as from himself ? For to separate the internal from the external so that there can be no conjunction of them, is merely visionary, see below, n. 606. Such a visionary thing is faith separated from charity ; for charity in works is the very foundation and continent of faith ; it is its ground and soil, also its essence and life; in a word, faith from charity constitutes a man; but faith, without charity, is a spectre, and a creature of the imagination, like a bubble of water floating in the air. But perhaps some may say, If you remove the understanding from faith, you will not see visionary things; but be it known, that he who can remove the understanding from faith, may obtrude a thousand visionary things upon every religious tenet, as has been done for ages past by the Roman Catholics.
452. “And out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone," signifies, that in their thoughts and discourses, viewed interiorly, there is nothing, and from them there proceeds nothing but the love of self and of the world, which is the proprium or selfhood of the will; the pride of self-derived intelligence, which is the proprium of the understanding, and the concupiscences of evil and falsity, which is the common proprium springing from the two former. Out of their mouths, means out of their thoughts and discourses; by fire is signified the love of self and of the world, which love is the proprium of man's will, n. 450, 465, 495; by smoke is signified the pride of self-derived intelligence, which is the proprium of his understanding, proceeding from the love of self and of the world, as smoke does from fire, n. 422;
and by brimstone is signified the concupiscence of evil and falsity, which is the common proprium flowing from the two former. These things, however, do not appear from their discourses before men in the world, but manifestly before the angels in heaven; therefore it is said, that when viewed interiorly, they are such. Fire signifies infernal love; and brimstone, the concupiscences flowing from that love through the pride of self-derived intelligence, in the following passages : I will cause it to rain fire and brimstone upon him, Ezek. xxxviii. 22. “Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked fire and brimstone," Psalm xi. 6. “For it is the day of Jehovah's vengeance—and the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, the smoke thereof shall go up for ever,” Isaiah xxxiv. 8, 9, 10. “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven ;—even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed,” Luke xvii. 29, 30, Gen. xix. 24. "If any man worship the beast and his image,-he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone,” Apoc. xiv. 9, 10. " And the beast, and with him the false prophet and the devil, were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone,” Apoc. xix. 20, xx. 10, xxi. 8. “The breath of Jehovah like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it," Isaiah xxx. 33. “And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt and burning, that it is not sown, neither shall it bring forth any grass like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah,” Deut. xxix. 21, 23. Brimstone shall be scattered over the habitation of the wicked, Job xviii. 15.
453. "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths,” signifies, that from these it is, that the men of the church perish. A third part of men being killed, signifies that the men of the church perish by the three things just now mentioned, n. 452; for by being killed, is signified to be killed spiritually, which is to perish as to the soul; and by a third part, is signified all who are principled in those falses, which have been frequently enumerated above; what is
signified by fire, smoke, and brimstone, and what by issuing out of their mouths, may be seen above, n. 452. To these falses may be ascribed the circumstance, that throughout Christendom it is not known that the fire here spoken of denotes the love of self and of the world, and that this love is the devil; also that the smoke issuing from this fire denotes the pride of self-derived intelligence, and that this pride is satan ; as also that brimstone kindled by this fire, by means of that pride, denotes the concupiscences of evil and falsity; and that these concupiscences are the crew of the devil and satan, of which hell consists; and when ignorance prevails respecting these things it cannot be known what is a sin, for sin derives all its delight and pleasantness from them.
454. “For their power is in their mouth,” signifies, that they only prevail by their discourse in confirination of faith. By power in their mouth, is signified power in discourse confirming doctrine ; for neatness and elegance of language, pretended zeal, ingenious confirmation of what is false, especially from the appearances of truth in the Word, authority, closure of the understanding, and the like, effect everything, whilst truth and the Word effect notbing; for truth shines before none, and the Word teaches none, but those who are principled in charity and thence in faith.
155. “For their tails were like unto serpents and had heads, and with them they burt," signifies, the reason, because they are in a sensual and inverted state, speaking truths with their lips, but falsifying them by the principle which constitutes the head or chief doctrine of their religion, and thus they deceive. The same is here signified, as above, by the locusts, n. 438, 439; but it is there said, that they had tails like scorpions, whereas here, like serpents, for they who are described by the locusts, speak and persuade from the Word, the sciences, and from erudition ; but these only from arguments, which are appearances of truth and fallacies ; and they who use such arguments ingeniously, and as it were wisely, do indeed deceive, but not in so great a degree. By serpents, in the Word, are signified sensual things, which are the ulti
mates of man's life, as above, n. 424; the reason is, because all animals signify the affections of man, wherefore also the affections of angels and spirits, in the spiritual world, appear at a distance as animals, and affections, merely sensual, as serpents; and this because serpents creep on the ground and lick the dust, and sensual things are the lowest of the understanding and will, being in close contact with the world, and nourished by its objects and delights, which only affect the material senses of the body. Noxious serpents, which are of many kinds, signify the sensual things that are dependent on the evil affections which constitute the interiors of the mind with those who are insane through the falses of evil; and harmless serpents signify the sensual things that are dependent on the good affections which constitute the interiors of the mind with those who are wise by virtue of the truths of good. Sensual things dependent on evil affections, are signified by serpents in these places: “They shall lick the dust like a serpent,” Micah vii. 17.
6 And dust shall be the serpent's meat,” Isaiah Ixv. 25. Unto the serpent it was said, “Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life,” Gen. iii. 14. The sensual principle is so described, because, communicating as it does with hell, where all are sensual, it, in things spiritual, changes celestial wisdom into infernal insanity. “ Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina,- for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent,” Isaiah xiv. 29. “ They hatch cockatrice eggs,-he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper,” Isaiah lix. 5. Because the sons of Israel desired to return into Egypt, they were bit by serpents, Numb. xxi. 1–10. To return into Egypt signifies from spiritual to become sensual; therefore it is said, The hirelings of Egypt turned themselves away, “the voice thereof shall go like the voice of a serpent,” Jerem. xlvi. 22. Because Dan was the last of the tribes, and thence signified the ultimate of the church, which is the sensual principle subject to the interiors, therefore it is said of him, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way that biteth the horses' heels,