787. Verse 18. Stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What is like unto this city, signifies their mourning in a remote state over the condemnation of that religious persuasion, which they believed to be supereminent above every religion in the world. By "their standing afar off" is signified while they are yet in a state remote from damnation, and still in fear of punishments (n. 769, 783). By their "crying," their mourning is signified. By "the smoke of burning" is signified condemnation on account of the adulteration and profanation of the Word (n. 766, 767). By their saying, "What is like unto this city," is signified that they believed that that religious persuasion was supereminent above every religion in the world. By "that great city" that religious persuasion is signified, as often above. That they believe that religious persuasion to be supereminent above every religion, and that it is the mother, the queen, and the mistress, is known, also that it is continually instilled by the canons and monks, that they should believe so; and it is also known to those who give attention, that they do this from the fire of having dominion and gain. Yet still, on account of the authority of their domination, they cannot recede from all its externals; but still they can recede from its internals, since all liberty has been left and is left to man's will and understanding, and thence to his affection and thought.