492. Clothed in sackcloth, signifies mourning in the meantime on account of the non-reception of truth. By "clothed in sackcloth" is signified mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church; for "garments" signify truths (n. 166, 212, 328, 378, 379); therefore "to be clothed in sackcloth," which is not a garment, signifies mourning because there is no truth, and where there is no truth there is no church. The sons of Israel represented mourning by various things, which, from correspondences, were significative, as by putting ashes on the head, by rolling themselves in the dust, by sitting a long time silent upon the earth, by shaving themselves, by lamentation and howling, by rending the garments, and also by "putting on sackcloth," besides other particulars; and each of these signified some evil of the church among them, for which they were punished; and when they were punished, they represented repentance by such things, and on account of the representation of repentance and then at the same time of humiliation they were heard.
 That mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church, was represented by "putting on sackcloth," may be seen from the following passages:
The lion is come up from the thicket, he has gone forth from His place to reduce the land to wasteness; for this gird you with sackcloth, lament, howl (Jer. 4:7, 8).
O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes, for the waster shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:26).
Woe unto thee, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13).
The king of Nineveh, after he heard the words of Jonah, put off his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes, and proclaimed a fast, and that man and beast should be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:5, 6, 8);
besides other places; as in Isa. 3:24; 15:2, 3; 22:12; 37:1, 2; 50:3; Jer. 48:37, 38; 49:3; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 7:17, 18; 27:31; Dan. 11:3; Joel 1:8, 13; Amos 8:10; Job 16:15, 16; Ps. 30:11; 35:13; 69:10, 11; 2 Sam. 3:31; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; 19:1, 2).