(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 734

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734. So saying, the angel led the way; and the first company that followed him was of those who had persuaded themselves that heavenly joys were merely most cheerful companionship and most agreeable conversations. These were introduced by the angel to an assembly in the northern quarter, who in the former world had thought the joys of heaven to be of that character. There was a spacious house there in which they were assembled. In the house there were more than fifty rooms, distinguished by the different kinds of conversation. In some of the rooms they talked about what they had seen and heard in the marketplace and on the streets; in some they made amorous remarks about the fair sex, adding occasional jests until every face in the company expanded with merry laughter. In other rooms they talked about the news concerning courts, ministers, the state of politics, and the various things that had emanated from secret councils, mingled with arguments and conjectures about events. In other rooms they talked about business; in others about literary matters; in others about matters pertaining to civil prudence and moral life; and in others again about ecclesiastical affairs, the sects; and so on.
I was permitted to look into that house, and I saw men running from room to room, seeking companionship in their preferences and thus in their joy; and of such companionship I saw three kinds. Some were very eager to talk, some anxious to ask questions, and some greedy to hear.
[2] There were four doors to the house, one toward each quarter; and I noticed that many separated themselves from the companies and were in haste to go out. I followed some to the eastern door, and saw them sitting near it with sad faces. I approached them and asked why they were sitting there so sad; and they replied, "The doors of this house are kept closed against those who wish to go out; and it is now the third day since we entered; and the life of our desire has been exhausted in company and conversation, and we have become so wearied by unceasing talk that we can hardly bear to hear the murmur of the sound of it. And so out of weariness we came to this door and knocked, but we were told that the doors of this house are not opened to let people out, but only to let them in, and that we must stay and enjoy the delights of heaven; and from this we have come to the conclusion that we are to remain here forever; and therefore sadness has seized our minds, and now our breasts begin to feel oppressed, and anxiety is coming upon us."
[3] The angel then addressed them and said, "This state is the death of those joys of yours which you believed to be the only heavenly joys, when in fact they are only accessories of heavenly joys."
They asked the angel, "What, then is heavenly joy?"
The angel answered briefly, "It is delight in doing something useful both for oneself and for others. Delight in use derives its essence from love and its existence from wisdom. Delight in use arising from love through wisdom is the soul and life of all heavenly joys. In the heavens there are the most gladsome companionships, which exhilarate the minds of the angels, cheer their spirits, delight their breasts, and refresh their bodies; but these they enjoy after they have performed their uses in their offices and employments, from which come the soul and life in all their pleasures and enjoyments; but if that soul or life is taken away the accessory joys gradually cease to be joys, becoming first indistinct, then as it were worthless, and at length distasteful and distressing."
When this had been said, the door was opened, and those sitting near it sprang out; and they fled to their homes, each to his duty and work, and were revived.


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