396. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings and an earthquake, signifies that after communication was opened with them, there were heard reasonings concerning faith alone, and confirmations in favor of it, and that the state of the church with them was perceived to be tottering to destruction. That "lightnings, thunders, and voices," signify enlightenments, perceptions, and instructions, by influx from heaven (see above, n. 236); but here, with those who were in faith alone, who have no enlightenment, perception, and instruction by influx from heaven, by voices, thunders, and lightnings, are signified reasonings about faith alone, and arguments and confirmations in favor of it; by "earthquakes" are signified changes of the state of the church (n. 331), in this case, that the state of the church among them was perceived to be tottering to destruction. For earthquakes take place in the world of spirits, when the state of the church in the societies is perverted and inverted. The reason why the censer was cast unto the earth by the angel, before the seven angels began to sound with the trumpets, was that by influx communication might be opened between those who were in the spiritual heaven, with those below who were in faith alone; from which communication there arose reasonings and confirmations in favor of it, which were also heard and perceived; wherefore it is said that after communication was opened, they were heard and perceived.