55. THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH SEPARATED FROM CHARITY ARE MEANT BY THE DRAGON IN THE REVELATION
It has been said above that in course of time every church falls away into two general religious principles that are evil, one springing from the love of rule, and the other from the conceit of self-intelligence, and that in the Word the former is meant and described by "Babylon," and the latter by "Philistia." Now as the Revelation treats of the state of the Christian Church, especially such as it is at its end, it therefore treats both generally and specifically of these two evil religious principles. The religious principle meant by "Babylon" is described in chapters 17, 18, and 19, and is there the "harlot sitting upon the scarlet beast;" and that meant by "Philistia" is described in chapters 12 and 13, and is there the "dragon," also the "beast that came up out of the sea," and the "beast that came up out of the earth." That this religious principle is meant by the dragon and his two beasts could not heretofore be known, because the spiritual sense of the Word was not opened, and therefore the Revelation has not been understood, and especially because the religious principle of faith separated from charity has so prevailed in the Christian world that no one was able to see it, for every evil religious principle blinds the eyes.