342. IX. THAT THE MOHAMMEDAN HEAVEN IS OUTSIDE THE CHRISTIAN HEAVEN, AND IS DIVIDED INTO TWO HEAVENS, A LOWER AND A HIGHER; AND THAT NO OTHERS ARE ELEVATED INTO THEIR HIGHER HEAVEN SAVE THOSE WHO RENOUNCE CONCUBINES, LIVE WITH ONE WIFE, AND ACKNOWLEDGE OUR LORD, TO WHOM IS GIVEN DOMINION OVER HEAVEN AND EARTH, AS EQUAL WITH GOD THE FATHER. Before anything is said in particular respecting these heavens, it is important that something be premised concerning the Lord's Divine Providence in relation to the rise of the Mohammedan religion. The fact that this religion has been received by more kingdoms than have received the Christian religion may be a stumbling-block to those who think of Divine Providence and at the same time believe that no one can be saved but he who is born a Christian. The Mohammedan religion, however, is not a stumbling-block to those who believe that all things are of Divine Providence. These inquire wherein this Providence lies; moreover, they find it lies in this: That the Mohammedan religion acknowledges our Lord as the Son of God, as the wisest of men, and as the great prophet who came into the world that he might teach men. But because the Mohammedans make the Koran the only book of their religion, and Mohammed, who wrote it, is therefore inseated in their thoughts, they follow him with a kind of worship, and think little about our Lord. That it may be fully known that of the Lord's Divine Providence that religion was raised up for the wiping out of the idolatries of many nations, this shall be told in some order.
 First, then, respecting the origin of idolatries. Previous to that religion, the worship of idols existed in all countries, and this because previous to the coming of the Lord all churches were representative. Such also was the Israelitish Church. There the tabernacle, Aaron's garments, the sacrifices, all that was in the temple at Jerusalem, and also the statues, were representative. Moreover, with the ancients, the science of correspondences, which is also the science of representations, was the science of the wise. This was especially cultivated by the Egyptians; hence their hieroglyphics. From this science they knew what was signified by animals of every kind, and by trees of every kind, and also by mountains, hills, rivers, and fountains, and by the sun, moon, and stars. Moreover, by this science they had a knowledge of things spiritual; for the things which were represented, being such as are matters of spiritual wisdom with the angels, were the origins of the representations.  Now because all their worship was representative, consisting of mere correspondences, therefore they held that worship on mountains and hills, and also in groves and gardens. Therefore also they consecrated fountains, and in their adorations turned their faces to the rising sun. Moreover, they made sculptured horses, oxen, calves, lambs, yea, birds, fishes, serpents; and these they placed in their houses and elsewhere, in an order according to the spiritual things of the Church to which they corresponded or which they represented. They also placed them in their temples, that they might call to mind the holy things of worship which they signified. In course of time, when the science of correspondences had been obliterated, their posterity began to worship the sculptured images as holy in themselves, not knowing that the ancients, their fathers of old, saw nothing holy in them, seeing only that they represented and thence signified holy things according to correspondences. Hence arose idolatries, and these filled the whole world, as well Asia with its surrounding islands as Africa and Europe.  That all these idolatries might be uprooted, it was brought to pass of the Lord's Divine Providence that there should be inaugurated a new religion accommodated to the genius of the orientals; a religion in which there would be something from both Testaments of the Word, and which would teach that the Lord came into the world and that He was the great Prophet, the wisest of all, and the Son of God. This was done through Mohammed, from whom this religion has its name.
From the above it is evident that this religion, as was said, was raised up of the Lord's Divine Providence and accommodated to the genius of the orientals, to the end that it might wipe out the idolatries of so many nations, and might give them some knowledge of the Lord prior to their entrance into the spiritual world, which takes place with every one after death. This religion would not have been received by so many kingdoms, and could not have uprooted their idolatries, had it not been suited to their ideas, and especially had not polygamy been permitted. Moreover, this was permitted because without such permission the orientals, from burning heat, would have rushed into filthy adulteries more than Europeans, and would have perished.