2243. Whether they have made a consummation according to the cry of it which is come unto Me, and if not I will know. That this signifies whether evil has arrived at its height, is evident from the signification of a "cry," as being falsity (explained just above, n. 2240). As there said (near the end) there are two kinds of falsity, namely, the falsity which is from evil, and the falsity which produces evil. The falsity which is from evil is all that which a man thinks when he is in evil, namely, all that favors his evil; as for example, when he is in adultery, that which he then thinks about adultery: that it is allowable, that it is becoming, that it is the delight of life, that the procreation of offspring is thereby promoted, and so on; all these thoughts being falsities from evil.
 But the falsity which produces evil takes place when from his religious belief a man conceives some principle, and consequently believes that it is good or holy, when yet in itself it is evil. For example, he who believes from his religion that there is some man who can save, and therefore worships and adores him, does evil from that falsity; and the same is true in regard to any other religious belief which in itself is false. As therefore falsity is from evil, and falsity produces evil, the expression "cry" is here used, signifying, as a kind of general expression, that which it involves, namely, evil; as is also evident from its being said, "whether they have made a consummation according to the cry of it which is come unto Me;" where "its cry" is put in the singular number, and "they have made a consummation," in the plural.
 What a "consummation" is, was shown in volume 1 (n. 1857); and what a consummation is further, may be comprehended from the churches. The Most Ancient Church, which was called "Man," was the most celestial of all. This in process of time so far degenerated from the good of love, that at length nothing celestial remained, and then was its consummation, which is described by the state of those just before the flood.
 The Ancient Church (which was after the flood and was called "Noah," and was less celestial) also in course of time so departed from the good of charity, that nothing of charity remained, for it was turned partly into magic, partly into idolatry, and partly into a kind of dogmatic system separate from charity; and then was its consummation.
 Another church succeeded, called the Hebrew Church, which was still less celestial and spiritual, placing somewhat of holy worship in external rites. This in course of time was distorted in various ways, and that external worship was turned into idolatry; and then was its consummation.
 A fourth church was then restored among the posterity of Jacob, which had nothing celestial and spiritual, but only a representative of it; and therefore that church was a church representative of celestial and spiritual things, inasmuch as they did not know what their rites represented and signified; but it was instituted in order that there might still be some connection between man and heaven, such as there is between the representatives of good and truth, and good and truth themselves. This church at length so fell away into falsities and evils that every rite became idolatrous; and then was its consummation. Therefore, after the churches had thus successively declined-when in the last one the connection between the human race and heaven was altogether broken, insomuch that the human race would have perished because there was no church by which there could be a connection and a bond (see n. 468, 637, 931, 2054).
 The Lord then came into the world, and by the unition of the Divine Essence with the Human Essence in Himself, conjoined heaven with earth, and at the same time He set up again a new church, called the Christian Church, which at first was in the good of faith, and its members lived in charity with one another as brethren. But in process of time this church has departed in diverse ways, and at the present day has become such that its members do not even know that the fundamental of faith is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; and although they say from doctrine that the Lord is the Saviour of the human race, that they are to rise again after death, and that there is a heaven and a hell, yet few believe it. As this church has become such, its consummation is not far off.
 All this shows what "consummation" is, namely, that it is when evil has come to its height. The case is similar in particular, that is, with every man; but how the case is with consummation as regards each person in particular, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told in what follows. Consummation is treated of in the Word in various places, and the state which precedes is described by "vastation" and "desolation," which is followed by "visitation."