(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 187

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187. Third Memorable Relation:
Once when I was meditating about the dragon and the beast and the false prophet spoken of in the Apocalypse, an angelic spirit appeared to me and asked, "What are you meditating about?" And I said, "About the false prophet."
Then he said, "I will take you to the place where those are who are meant by the false prophet;" and he added that they are the same as are meant in the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse by "the beast rising up out of the earth," which had two horns like a lamb, and which spoke like a dragon.
I followed him, and lo, I saw a great crowd, in the midst of which were leaders of the church who taught that nothing saves man but faith in the merit of Christ; and that works are good, but contribute nothing to salvation, and yet should be taught from the Word in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be held more firmly in the bonds of obedience to magistrates, and may be compelled as if from religion, and thus from within, to practice moral charity.
[2] Then one of them, seeing me, said, "Would you like to see our temple, in which there is an image representative of our faith?"
I approached and looked, and behold the temple was magnificent. In the center of it was an image of a woman clad in scarlet robes, holding in her right hand a golden coin, and in her left a chain of pearls. But both the image and the temple were produced through phantasy; for through phantasies infernal spirits are able to represent magnificent things by closing up the interiors of the mind and opening the exteriors only. When, however, I observed that these things were such juggleries, I prayed to the Lord, and immediately the interiors of my mind were opened, and then in place of a magnificent temple I saw a house full of chinks from top to bottom, tumbling all to pieces; and in place of the woman, I saw hanging within the building a figure with a head like a dragon's, a body like a leopard's, its feet like bear's feet, and its mouth like that of a lion, thus precisely like the beast described as rising up out of the sea (Rev. 13:2); and for a floor there was a bog with a multitude of frogs in it, and I was told that underneath the bog was a large hewn stone, with the Word hidden deep below it.
Seeing this I said to the juggler, "Is this your temple?" And he said, "It is."
But suddenly he, too, had his inner sight opened, and from it he saw the same things that I did, and he cried out loudly, "What is this, and whence is it?"
And I said, "It is from the light of heaven, which discloses the quality of every outward shape, and thus the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity."
[3] And presently a wind blew up from the east and swept away the temple and the image and dried up the bog and thus laid bare the stone beneath which the Word was lying. And then a warmth like that of spring breathed upon it from heaven, and behold in the same place a tabernacle simple in outward form appeared.
And the angels who were with me said, "Behold the tabernacle of Abraham, as it was when the three angels came to him and foretold the birth of Isaac. To the eye it appears simple, but it becomes more and more magnificent according to the influx of light from heaven."
It was granted them to open the heaven occupied by spiritual angels, who are in wisdom. And at once from the light flowing in from that heaven the tabernacle appeared like a temple similar to that at Jerusalem. And when I looked inside I saw the foundation-stone under which the Word was deposited, set about with precious stones, and from these a kind of effulgence beamed upon the walls, on which were figures of cherubim, and the glow beautifully variegated the walls with colors.
[4] While I wondered at these things the angels said, "You shall see something still more wonderful." And it was granted them to open the third heaven, where celestial angels dwell who are in a state of love; and then because of the flamy light flowing in from that heaven the whole temple vanished, and in its place the Lord alone was seen standing upon the foundation-stone, which was the Word, appearing in the same form in which He appeared to John (Rev. 1). But as the interiors of the angels' minds were then filled with a holiness which impelled them to fall down upon their faces, the way by which the light came from the third heaven was immediately closed by the Lord, and a way was opened for light from the second heaven, and this caused the temple to assume its former aspect, and also the tabernacle, which was now in the center of the temple.
This was an illustration of what is meant in the Apocalypse by these words:
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them (21:3).
And by these words:
I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God the Almighty is the temple thereof, and the Lamb (21:22).


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