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and the pride of self-derived intelligence, and the concupiscences of evil and falsity springing from these two sources: "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: “For their power was in their mouth,” signifies, that they only prevail by their discourse in confirmation of faith: "For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt,” 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 of their religion, and thus they deceive: “And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues," signifies, those in the reformed church who are not so spiritually dead from visionary reasonings, and from self-love, and from the pride of self-derived intelligence, and from the concupiscences thence proceeding, as those before mentioned, and yet make faith alone the head of their religion : “ Yet repented not of the works of their hands," signifies, that neither did they shun the things that are proper to themselves, which are evils of every kind, as sins: “ T'hat they should not worship demons,” signifies, that thus they are in the evils of their concupiscences, and make one with their like in hell : “ And idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood,” signifies, that thus they are in worship grounded in mere falses : « Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk," signifies, in which there is nothing of spiritual and truly rational life: “ Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts,” signifies, that the heresy of faith alone induces on their hearts stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness, so that they do not think any thing of the precepts of the decalogue, nor indeed of any sin that it ought to be shunned because it is in favor of the devil and against God,
419. “And the fifth angel sounded,” signifies the exploration and manifestation of the states of life of those in the reformed church, who are called learned and wise from their confirmation of faith separated froin charity, and of justification and salvation by it alone. That these are treated of in what now follows as far as verse 13, is evident from the particulars, understood in a spiritual sense. That by sounding is signified to explore and make
manifest the state of the church, and thence the state of life with those whose religion consists in faith alone, may be seen above, n. 397.
420. “And I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth,” signifies, divine truth'spiritual flowing from heaven into the church as existing with such persons, and effecting exploration and manifestation. By a star is here signified divine truth spiritual, because it fell from the spiritual heaven, concerning which, above, n. 337, 388; and by the earth is here signified the church with those who are in its internals, as above, n. 398. By divine truth spiritual is meant intelligence derived from spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor ; and as that intelligence at this day is called faith, and that love, charity, it is faith derived from charity, or rather it is the truth of faith derived frorn the good of charity, which is here signified by a star. The same is signified by a star in the singular number, Apoc. ii. 28, xxii. 16; for by stars, in the plural number, are signified the knowledges of good and truth, n. 51, and by these intelligence is acquired. That it is divine truth exploring and manifesting, is evident from what follows.
421. “And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit,” signifies, the opening of their hell. By a key is signified the power of opening, and also the act of opening, n. 62, 174, 840. And by the bottomless pit is signified the hell where they are who have confirmed themselves in justification and salvation by faith alone, who are all of the reformed church; but in the present case, they who in their own eyes, and thence in the
many others, appear as learned and erudite, when yet in the sight of the angels in heaven they appear destitute of understanding as to those things which pertain to heaven and the church; because they who confirm that faith even to its interiors, close the superior degrees of their understanding, till at length they are unable to see any spiritual truth in light; the reason is, because the confirmation of falsity is the negation of truth ; therefore when they hear any spiritual truth, which is a truth of the Word serviceable to those who are of the church for doctrine and life,
“ That pit,
they keep their minds fixed in the falses which they have confirmed, and then they either veil over the truth they bave heard with falses, or reject it as a mere sound, or yawn at it and avert themselves; and this in the degree in which they are in the pride of their own erudition ; for pride glues falses together, so that at last they cohere like the concretions formed from the foam of the sea ; therefore the Word is hid from them as a book sealed with seven seals. What their quality is, and what their hell, shall also be described, because it has been permitted me to see it, and to discourse with those who are therein, and also to see the locusts that came out of it. " which is like the aperture of a furnace, appears in the “southern quarter, and the abyss beneath is of large
extent towards the east; there is light in it, but if light “ from heaven be admitted into it, it becomes darkness, “ wherefore the pit is closed above. Huts, arched as it " were with brick, appear therein, divided into various “ little cells, in each of which there is a table, with paper “ and books lying upon it. Every one sits at his own “ table, who in the world had confirmed justification and “ salvation by faith alone, making charity an act merely “natural-moral, and its works only works of civil life, “ whereby men may attain reward in the world ; but if “they are done for the sake of salvation, they condemn
them, and this severely, because human reason and will are in them. All who are in this abyss have been “ learned and erudite in the world ; and among them “there are some metaphysicians and scholastics, who are " esteemed there above the rest. When it was granted “me to enter into discourse with them, I recognised
some of them : but this is their lot on their first admis“sion ;-they sit in the foremost cells; but as they con“ firm faith by excluding works of charity, they leave “ their first habitations, and enter into cells nearer to the “ east, and so on successively till towards the end, where " those are who confirm these tenets from the Word; and " as they then cannot but falsify the Word, their huts “ disappear, and they see themselves in a desert, where
upon what is described above, n. 153, happens to them.
" There is also an abyss beneath the one just mentioned, “where they are who in like manner have confirmed “justification and salvation by faith alone, but who by “themselves in their spirit have denied God, and in their “ hearts have laughed at the holy things of the church; “ here they do nothing but quarrel, tear their garments, o climb
upon the tables, and kick and abuse one another; “ and because no one is there permitted to do mischief to “ the body of another, they menace with their faces and “ fists. Filthiness and impurity here prevail ; but these are not treated of in this place.”
422. “ And he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace," signifies, the falses of the concupiscences of the natural man springing forth from their evil loves. the bottomless pit, is signified the hell above described, n. 421 ; by the smoke from thence, are signified the falses from concupiscences; and because the smoke as of a great furnace is mentioned, the falses of concupiscences springing forth from evil loves are understood, for fire signifies love, n. 468; and the fire of hell, evil love, n. 490. A great furnace has a like signification, because it smokes from fire. Infernal spirits are not in any material fire, but in spiritual fire, which is their love; therefore they do not feel
any other fire ; on which subject see the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 134, 566–575. All love, in the spiritual world, when it is excited, appears at a distance as fire,—within the hells, as red-hot fire, and without, as the smoke of a fire, or as the smoke of a furnace. The falses of the concupiscences springing forth from evil loves, are also described as smoke from a fire and from a furnace, in other parts of the Word, as in these passages : Abraham “looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah,—and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace," Gen. xix. 28. “The sun went down, and it was dark, and behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp, that passed between those pieces,' Gen. xv. 17. And now they sin, more and more, therefore they shall be as the smoke out of the chimney," Hosea xiii. 2, 3. “But the wicked shall perish, into smoke shall
they consume away,” Psalm xxxvii. 20. " And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke,” Joel ii. 30. - And shall cast them into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” Matt. xiii. 41, 42, 49, 51 ; and in other places.
423. “And the sun and the air were darkened, by reason of the smoke of the pit,” signifies, that thereby the light of truth was turned into thick darkness. By the sun and the air is here signified the light of truth, for by the sun is signified love, and by the light proceeding from it, divine truth; wherefore when it is said that the sun was darkened, and at the same time the air, it signifies that divine truth had become thick darkness: that this was from the falses of concupiscences, is signified by its being effected by the smoke of the pit.
424. “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth," signifies, that from them were derived falses to the extreme or lowest degrees, such as prevail with those who have become sensual, and see and judge of all things from their senses and from the fallacies thereof. They are called falses in the extreme or lowest degrees, which occupy the extreme or lowest principles of man's life, and are termed sensual, concerning which we shall speak presently; these are signified by locusts, in the Word: but it is to be observed, that they did not appear like the locusts of the field, which leap about and lay waste meadows and corn fields, but like pigmies or little men, which is evident also from their description, in that they had crowns on their heads, and faces like men, hair like women, teeth like lions, breast-plates of iron, and a king over them,—the angel of the bottomless pit. That little men were also called locusts by the ancients, may be concluded from this passage: The spies who were sent to search the land of Canaan, said, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, and we were in their eyes as locusts,” Numb. xiii. 33. “It is Jehovah that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts," Isaiah xl. 22. But as falses in extreme or lowest principles, such as prevail among them,