112. As it had been foretold that darkness would arise at the end of the present church in consequence of the lack of knowledge and acknowledgment of the Lord as being the God of heaven and earth, and also in consequence of the separation of faith from charity, therefore in order that by reason of this a genuine understanding of the Word might not perish, it has pleased the Lord at this present time to reveal the spiritual sense of the Word and make it plain that the Word in this sense, and from this in the natural sense, treats of the Lord and the church, and indeed of these alone, and to discover many other things besides, by means of which the light of truth from the Word, now almost extinguished, may be restored. That the light of truth would be almost extinguished at the end of the present church is foretold in many places in Revelation, and is also what is meant by the following words of the Lord in Matthew:
Immediately after the affliction of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:29-30)
The "sun" here means the Lord in respect to love; the "moon," the Lord in respect to faith; the "stars," the Lord in respect to the knowledges of good and truth; the "Son of man," the Lord in respect to the Word; a "cloud," the sense of the letter of the Word; and "glory," its spiritual sense and the shining through of this in the sense of the letter.