57. I have spoken with some from that nation, concerning the keys given to Peter; whether they believe that the power of the Lord over heaven and earth was transferred to him, and because this was the fundamental of their religion, they vehemently insisted on it, saying, that there was no doubt about it, because it was said manifestly. But when I asked them whether they knew that in each expression of the Word there is a spiritual sense, which is the sense of the Word in heaven, they said at first, that they did not know it, but afterwards they said they would inquire; and on inquiring, they were instructed that there is a spiritual sense within each expression of the Word, which differs from the sense of the letter, as the spiritual differs from the natural; and they were also instructed that no person named in the Word is named in heaven, but that some spiritual thing is there understood in place of him. Finally, they were informed, that instead of "Peter" in the Word is meant the truth of the faith of the church, from the good of charity, and that the same is meant by "a rock," which is there named with Peter, for it is said:
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My church (Matt. 16:18, seq.).
By this is not meant that any power was given to Peter, but that it is given to truth from good, for in the heavens all power belongs to truth from good, or to good through truth; and since all good, and all truth, are from the Lord, and nothing from man, that all power is the Lord's. When they heard this they replied indignantly, that they wished to know whether there is a spiritual sense in those words, wherefore the Word which is in heaven was given them, in which Word there is not the natural sense, but the spiritual, because it is for the angels, who are spiritual; that there is such a Word in heaven, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 259-261). And when they read it, they saw manifestly that Peter is not named there, but truth from good, which is from the Lord, instead of him.# Seeing this they rejected it with anger, and would almost have torn it in pieces with their teeth, had it not at that moment been taken away. Hence they were convinced, although unwilling to be convinced, that the Lord alone has that power, and by no means can it belong to any man, because it is the Divine power.
#The twelve disciples of the Lord represented the church as to the all of truth and good, or of faith and love, as in like manner did the twelve tribes of Israel (n. 2179, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397). Peter, James, and John, represented faith, charity, and the goods of charity (n. 3750). Peter represented faith (n. 4738, 6000, 6073, 6344, 10087, 10580). The keys of the kingdom of heaven being given to Peter, signifies that all power is given to truth from good, or to faith from charity, proceeding from the Lord; thus that all power belongs to the Lord (n. 6344). "A key" signifies the power of opening and shutting (n. 9410). All power is in good by truths, or in truths from good, proceeding from the Lord (n. 3091, 3563, 6344, 6413, 6948, 8200, 8304, 9327, 9410, 9639, 9643, 10019, 10182). "A rock" in the Word signifies the Lord as to Divine truth (n. 8581, 10580). All names of persons and places in the Word signify things and states (n. 768, 1888, 4310, 4442, 10329). Their names do not enter heaven, but are turned into the things they signify, and they cannot be pronounced in heaven (n. 1878, 5225, 6516, 10216, 10282). How elegant is the internal sense of the word, where mere names occur, is illustrated by examples (n. 1224, 1264, 1888).