307. How heaven is conjoined with man by means of the Word I will illustrate by some passages from it. "The New Jerusalem" is described in the Apocalypse in these words:
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. The city was foursquare, its length as great as its breadth; and an angel measured the city with a reed, twelve thousand furlongs; the length, the breadth, and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The building of the wall was of jasper; but the city itself was pure gold, and like unto pure glass; and the foundations of the wall were adorned with every precious stone. The twelve gates were twelve pearls; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass (21:1, 2, 16-19, 21).
When man reads these words he understands them merely in accordance with the sense of the letter, namely, that the visible heaven with the earth is to perish, and a new heaven is to come into existence; and upon the new earth the holy city Jerusalem is to descend, with all its dimensions as here described. But the angels that are with man understand these things in a wholly different way, that is, everything that man understands naturally they understand spiritually.  By "the new heaven and the new earth" they understand a new church; by "the city Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" they understand its heavenly doctrine revealed by the Lord; by " its length, breadth, and height, which are equal," and "twelve thousand furlongs," they understand all the goods and truths of that doctrine in the complex; by its "wall" they understand the truths protecting it; by "the measure of the wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel," they understand all those protecting truths in the complex and their character; by its "twelve gates, which were of pearls," they understand introductory truths, "pearls" signifying such truths; by "the foundations of the wall, which were of precious stones," they understand the knowledge on which that doctrine is founded; by "the gold like unto pure glass," of which the city and its street were made, they understand the good of love which makes the doctrine and its truths transparent. Thus do the angels perceive all these things; and therefore not as man perceives them. The natural ideas of man thus pass into the spiritual ideas with the angels without their knowing anything of the sense of the letter of the Word, that is, about "a new heaven and a new earth," "a new city Jerusalem," its "wall, the foundations of the wall, and its dimensions." And yet the thoughts of angels make one with the thoughts of man, because they correspond; they make one almost the same as the words of a speaker make one with the understanding of them by a hearer who attends solely to the meaning and not to the words. All this shows how heaven is conjoined with man by means of the Word:  Let us take another example from the Word:
In that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria shall come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria; and the Egyptians shall serve Assyria. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land, Which Jehovah of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people the Egyptian, and the Assyrian the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25).
What man thinks when these words are read, and what the angels think, can be seen from the sense of the letter of the Word and from its internal sense. Man from the sense of the letter thinks that the Egyptians and Assyrians are to be converted to God and accepted, and are then to become one with the Israelitish nation; but angels in accordance with the internal sense think of the man of the spiritual church who is here described in that sense, whose spiritual is "Israel," whose natural is the "Egyptian," and whose rational, which is the middle, is the "Assyrian."#
Nevertheless, these two senses are one because they correspond; and therefore when the angels thus think spiritually and man naturally they are conjoined almost as body and soul are; in fact, the internal sense of the Word is its soul and the sense of the letter is its body. Such is the Word throughout. This shows that it is a medium of conjunction of heaven with man, and that its literal sense serves as a base and foundation.
# In the Word "Egypt" and "Egyptian" signify the natural and its knowledge (n. 4967, 5079, 5080, 5095, 5160, 5460, 5799, 6015, 6147, 6252, 7355, 7648, 9340, 9391). "Assyria" signifies the rational (n. 119, 1186). "Israel" signifies the spiritual (n. 5414, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 5879, 5951, 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 7957, 8234, 8805, 9340).