Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Apocalypse revealed, wherein are disclosed the arcana there foretold, which have heretofore remained concealed (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgThe Apocalypse revealed, wherein are disclosed the arcana there foretold, which have heretofore remained concealed (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 58)
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Translated from the Latin of

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Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ







June 8 1914
Gift-George ft Hill Xstat •

P libit ihed by The American Swedexborg Pkikting and Publishins
SociETV, organized for the imrpose of Stereoiijjnuu, Printinf/, and
PuhUshlng Uniform Editions of the Theological Writings o/Emanukl
SwEDEXBOKir and incorporated in the State of New York a. u. 1850.








Not a few liave laboured at the explication of the Apoca-
lypse, but as they were unacquainted with the spiritual sense
Df the Word, they could not discern the arcana which it con-
tains, seeing that these can only be uniblded by the spiritual
sense : expositors have thei'cfore formed various conjectures
respecting it, in many instances applying its contents to the
aft'airs of empires, and blending them, at the same time, with
ecclesiastical matters. The Apocalypse, however, like the rest
of the Word, treats not, in its spiritual sense, of mundane
things, but of such as are heavenly, thus not of empires and
kingdoms, but of heaven and the church.

It is to be observed that, after the last judgment, which
was accomplished in the spiritual world, in the year 1757,
and which forms the subject of a small treatise pul)lished in
London in 1758, a new heaven was formed from among Chris-
tians, from those only, however, M'ho admitted the Lord to 'ne
the God of heaven and earth, according to his own words in
Matthew xxviii. 18 ; and likewise repented in the world of
their evil works : from this heaven the New Church on earth,
which is the New Jerusalem, dcsccnd,s. and will contmue t<


descend. That tliis Church Avill acknowledge the Lord oiu^
is evident from these words in the Apocalj'pse : "There came
unto me 3ne of the seven angels, and talked with me, saying,
Come hither, I will show tliee the bride, the Lamb's wife ;
aiid lie showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, de-
scending out of heaven from God." And in another place :
" Let us be ghid and rejoice, for the time of the marriage
of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made iierself read}- ;
blessed are they whicli are called unto the maiTiage supper
rif the Lamb," chap. xix. 7, 9. That there will be a new
heaven, and tliat the Xcw Church will descend thence upon
earth, is evident from the following words, in the same book :
"Isaw a new heaven and a new earth: and I saw the holy
cit}', New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband ; and he that sat
upon the throne said. Behold, I make all things new ; and he
said unto me, AVrite, for tliese words are true and faithful,"
chap. xxi. 1, 2, 5 ; tlie new heaven means a new lieaven from
amono' Christians : the New Jerusalem means a new church
upon earth, which will make one with that new heaven ; tlie
Lamb means the Lord as to the Divine Humanity.

To this something shall be added by way of illustration.
Tlie Christian heaven is below the ancient heavens ; into this
heaven, from the time of the Lord's abode in the world, were
admitted those who worshipped one God nnder three jjei'sons,
and who did not at tlie same time entertain an idea of tliree
Gods ; and this, by reason of a trinity of persons being received
throughout the whole Christian world : but thev, who enter-
tained no other idea of the Lord's Humanity, than as of tlie


Iminanity df aiiutlier man, could nut receive the faitli ut ilit
Xew Jerusalem, which is, that the Lord is the only Go<l in
^vholn there is a trinity ; these latter, thereibre, were separated
and removed ; it was given me to see their separation and
removal after tli^ last judgment. For upon a just idea of God,
the universal heaven, and the church universal on earth, are
founded, and in general the whole of religion; for by that idea
there is conjunction, and by conjunction, light, wisdom, and
eternal happiness.

Any one may see that the Apocalypse could no how be
explained but by the Lord alone, since every word of it con-
tains arcana, which never could be known M-ithout some special
illumination, and consequent revelation ; wherefore it has
pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit and to teach
me. It must not therefore be supposed that I have given any
explication of, my own, nor that even of any angel, but only
what I have had communicated to me from the Lord alone.
The Lord said, moreover, by an angel unto John: "Seal not
the w^ords of the prophecy of this book," chap. xxii. 10; by
which is signified, that they arc to be numifested and laid




Babylon, or the Roman Catholic Reh'gion, being treated ol
in the Apocalypse, in cliapter xvii., xviii,, and xix., it is expe-
dient, at the comniencenient of these explications, to say some-
tliing concerning its doctrines, and that in the following order:
On Baptism; on the Enchai'ist or Holy Supper; on Masses;
on Repentance ; on Justification ; on Purgatory ; on the Seven
Sacraments ; on the Saints ; and on Power.

" I. On Baptism, they teach : that Adam, after the sin of
disobedience, was wholly changed for the worse, both as to
soul and body ; that this sin was transfused into the whole
human race ; that this original sin is only taken away by the
merit of Chi-ist; and that the merit of Christ is applied by the
sacrament of baptism ; and that thus the whole guilt of original
sin is taken away by baptism ; that concupiscence nevertheless
remains in the baptized as an incentive to sins, but not sin
itself; that thus they put on Christ, become new creatures, and
obtain a full and complete remission of sins. Baptism is called
the laver of regeneration and of faith. That the baptized, when
they grow np, are to be questioned concerning the promises
made by their sponsors ; which is the Sacrament of Confirma-
tion. That by reason of lapses after baptism, the sacrament of
repentance is necessary.

"II. On the Eucharist or Holy Supper. That imme-
diately after consecration, the real body and blood of Jesus
Christ are truly and substantially comprehended nnder the
form of bread and wine, together with his soul and divinity ;
the body nnder the form of bread, and the blood nnder tlio
forni of wine, by virtue of the words : but the hody itself under
the form of wine, and the blood under tlie form of bread, and
the soul in both, by virtue of a natural connexion and con-
comitance, whereby the parts of the Lord Christ are united
together, and the divinity by reason of its admirable hypostatic
union with the body and soul ; thus that they are as fully com-
prehended under one form as under both ; in a word, that tJie


whole and entire Christ exists nnder the form of the hread and
nnder every part of that form ; and the whole of him also nndor
the form of the wine and all its parts ; that therefore the two
forms are separated, and the bread is given to the laity, and the
wine to the clergy. That water is to be mixed with wine in the
cup. That the laity are to receive the communion from the
clergy, and the clergy from themselves. That the real body and
the real blood of Christ, after consecration, is in the host in the
consecrated particles ; and that therefore the liost is to be wor-
gliipped when it is shown and carried about. That this wonder-
ful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread
into bod}^ and of the whole substance of the wine into blood, is
called transubstantiation. That the communication of both
forms, under certain conditions, may be granted by tlie pope.
It is called supersubstantial bread, and the bread of angels,
which these eat without any veils; it is called moreover spir-
itual food ; also the antidote by which they are released from
their sins.

"III. On Masses. It is called the sacrifice of the mass,
because the sacrifice by which Christ oflPered np himself t>o God
the Father, is represented thereby under the form of bread and
wine ; that thence it is a sacrifice truly propitiatory, pure, and
altogether holy. That if the people do not communicate sacra-
mentally, but only the minister, in such case the people com-
municate spiritually, because the ministers do it, not for them-
selves only, but for all the faithful who appertain to the body of
Christ. The mass ought not to be performed in the vulgar
tongue, because it contains the great learning of the faithful
people ; but that the ministers may declare something con-
cerning it on the Lord's day. That it is ordained, that some
things vrhich are mystical should be pronounced with a lower,
and other things with a louder, voice ; and, for the purpose of
giving a majesty to so great a sacrifice which is offered to God,
there should be lights, incense, garments, and other things of a
like nature for the occasion. That it is to be offered up for the
sins, penalties, satisfactions, and ail the necessities of the living,
and also for the dead. That masses in honour of the saints are
thanksgivings for their intercession when they are implored.

" lY. On Kepentance. That besides baptism there is a
sacrament of repentance, whereby the benefit of tlie death and
merit of Christ is applied to those who lapse after baptism ;
therefore it is called a kind of laborious baptism. That the
])arts of repentance are contrition, confession, and satisfaction.
That CoNTEmoN is the gift of God, and the impulse of the
Holy Ghost, not yet inhabiting, but only moving the contrite
person, therefore it is a disposing. That Confession ought to
be made of all mortal sins, even the most secret, and of the
'mtentions ; that sins which are withheld from confession are


not for2;iven, but that those -which after search do not occur,
are included in confession ; tliat confession ouglit to be made
at least once a year: tliat absohition of sins is to be given by
the ministers of the keys, and that they are remitted on their
«aying, I Absolve; that absolution is like the act of a judge
when sentence is pronounced ; that the more grievous sins are
to be absolved by bishops, and the still more grievous by
the pope. That Satisfaction is made by satisfactory punish-
ments imposed by the minister at discretion, according to the
measure of the offence ; that when eternal punishment is re-
mitted, then temporal punishment is remitted also. Tiiat the
power of Indulgences is left by Christ to the church, and that
the use of them is highly sahitaiy.

" V. On Justification. That a translation cannot be ef-
fected from that state in which man is born a son of Adam, to
a state of grace through the second Adam the Saviour, without
the washing of regeneration and faith, or without baptism.
That the second beginning of justification is from preventing
grace, which is a calling, with Avhich man co-operates by con-
verting himself. That disposition is produced hj faith ^ when
man believes those things to be true which are revealed, to
which he is freely moved ; also by hope^ when he believes that
God is propitious for the sake of Christ ; and by charity^ in
consequence whereof he begins to love his neighbour, and to
hate sin. That justification, M-hich follows, is not only re-
mission of sins, but sanctification, and renovation of the inner
man ; that at this time the justified are not reputed just, but
that they are just, receiving righteousness in themselves; and
because they accept the merit of Christ's passion, justification
is inserted by faitli, hope, and charity. That faith is the be-
ginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of justifi-
cation, and that this is to bo justified by faith: and because
none of those things which precede justification, whether they
be of faith or works, merit the grace of justification, that this
is to be justified gratis, for there is a preventing grace; and
that still man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.
That the just may fall into light and venial sins, and that still
they are just; and that therefore the just ought continually to
lal)our l)y prayers, oblations, alms, fastings, lest they should
fall, because they are born a^ain to the lio])e of gloiy, and not
to glory. That the just, if tbey fall from the grace of justifi-
cation, may be justified again by the sacrament of repentance:
that by any mortal sin grace is lost, birt not faith, but that faith
also is lost by infidelity, which is recession from religion. That
the works of a justified man are merits; and that the justified,
by such, which are done by them through the grace of Qod
and the merit of Christ, merit everlasting life. That Free-will
was not lost and extinguished after the sin of Adam; and that


man may co-operate, by assenting to the calling of God ; and
that otherwise lie would be an inanimate body. They establish
Predestination, by saying, that no one knows whether he is in
the number of the predestinate, and among those whom God
has chosen to himself, except by special revelation.

" VI. On Purgatory. That all the guilt from which men
are to be purified by temporal punishment is not blotted out by
justification, that therefore all go to purgatory to be purified,
before they can be admitted into heaven. That the souls there
detained are assisted by the sufifrage of the faithful, and par-
ticularly by the sacrifice of the mass ; and that this is diligently
to be taught and preached." The torments there endured are
variously described, but they are mere inventions and fictions.
" VII. On the Seven Sacraments. That there are seven
sacraments — baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, repentance,
extreme unction, order, and matrimony ; that there are neither
more nor less ; that one is of greater dignity than another; that
they contain grace ; and that from the work operated by them
grace is conferred : that tliere were the same number of sacra-
ments of the ancient law. Baptism, confirmation, the eucharist,
and repentance have been treated of above. On the Sacra-
ment OF Extreme Unction : That it is founded on the epistle
of James, cluip; v., 14, 15 ; that it is to be administered to the
sick at their lives' end, whence it is called the sacrament of the
departing ; that if they recover, it may be applied again ; that
it is to be performed with oil consecrated by the bishop, and
wdth these words : ' May God grant thee his indulgence far
whatsoever oft'ence thou hast committed through the fault of
tlie eyes, of the nostrils, or of the feeling.' On the Sacrament
OF Order : That there are seven orders in the ministry of the
priesthood, which differ in dignity, and all together are called
the ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is like the order of an en-
campment ; that inaugurations into the ministry are to be
effected by unctions, and by transferring of the Holy Spirit
upon them. That the secular powder or consent, calling or au-
thority of the magistrate is not requisite for the ordination of
bishops and priests ; that they who ascend to the ministry only
by the appointment of their calling, are not ministers, but
thieves and robbers, who do not enter in by the door. On the
Sacrament of Matrimony : That a dispensation of degrees and
divorces belongs to the church. Tliat the clergy are not tc
contract matrimony. That all of them may have the gift of
chastity, and if any one'saith.he cannot, when nevertheless he
had made a vow, let him be anathema, because God doth not
refuse it to those who ask it properly, and doth not sufi^'er any
one to be tempted beyond what he is able to bear. That a
state of virginity and celibacy is to be preferred to the conjugaj
stnte ; besides other things of the same nature.


"VIII. On the Saints. That the saints reigning together
with Christ otier up tlieir prayers to God for men ; that Christ
is to be adored, and the saints to be invoked; that the invo-
cation of saints is not idohitrous, nor derogatory to tlie lionour
of the one Mediator between God and men ; it is called Latna.
That images of Christ, of Mary the motlier of Gud, and of the
saints, are to be revered and lionoured, not that it is to be
Bupposed they possess any divinity or virtue, but because the
honour which is paid to them is referred to tlie protot) pes
which tliey represent; and that by the in'.ages which they kiss
and before whicli they kneel and uncover their heads, they
adore Christ and venerate the saints. That the miracles of
God are ix^rformed by the saints.

"IX. On Power. That the Roman Pontiff is the successor
cf the apostle Peter, and vicar of Jesus Christ, the head of the ^
church, and the universal bishop; that he is superior to coun-
cils ; that he hath the keys for opening and shutting heaven,
consequently the power of remitting and retaining sins ; that
therefore he, as keeper of the keys of everlasting life, hath a
right at once to earthly and heavenly empire ; tliat moi'cover
bishops and priests have such a power from him, Ijecause it was
given also to the rest of the apostles, and that therefore they
are called ministers of the keys. That it belongs to the church
to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred
Scriptures, and that they who oppose them are to suffer pun-
islmients established by law. That it is not proper for the laity
to read the Sacred Scriptures, because the sense of them is only
known to the church : thence its ministers boast that it is known
to them."

X. The above doctrinals are selected from their councils
and bulls, particularly from the council of Trent, and the papal
bull confirming it, wherein all who think, believe, and act con-
trary to what was there decreed, which in general is as above
adduced, are condemned to be excommunicated.





The members of the Reformed Church being much treated
of in the Apocalypse, in its spiritual sense, it is expedient, be-
fore entering upon its explication, to unfold their doctrines in
the following order : On God ; on Christ the Lord ; on Justifi-
cation by Faith, and on Good AVorks ; on the Law and the
Gospel ; on Repentance and Confession ; on Original Sin ; on
Baptism ; on the Holy Supper ; on Free-will ; and on the

" I. On God. Of God they believe according to the Atha-
iiasian Creed, which, as it is in the hands of every one, is not
here inserted. That they believe in God the Father as the cre-
ator and preserver; in God the Son as the saviour and redeemer ;
and in the Holy Spirit as the illuminator and sanctifier, is also
well known.

"II. On Christ the Lokd. Concerning the person of
Christ, the same doctrine is not taught by all the Reformed.
The Luthei'ans teach that the Yirgin Mary not only conceived
and brought forth a real man, but also the real Son of God,
whence she is justly called, and truly is, the mother of God.
That in Christ there are two natures, a divine and a human,
the divine from eternity, and the human in time ; that these two
natures are personally united, altogether in such a manner, that
there are not two Christs, one the Son of God, and the other
the Son of man ; but that one and the same is the Son of God
and the Son ol man, not that these two natures are mixed
together into one substance, nor that one is changed into the
other, but that both natures retain their essential properties,
wliich are also described as to their qualities : that their union
is hypostatic, and that this is ^he most perfect commimion, like
that of the soul and body ; that therefore it is justly said, that
in Christ God is man and man God ; that he did not sutler for
us as mere man only, but as such a man, whose human nature
liath so strict and ineffable a union and communion with the
Son of God, as to become one person with him ; that in truth



the Son of God sufiered for us, but yet accordi!i«r to the
properties of human nature ; that the Son of man, by xrhom is
undei*stood Clirist as to his liuman nature, was really exalted to
the right hand of God when he was taken into God, which was
the case as soon as he was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the
womb of his mother; that Christ always had that majesty by
reason of his personal union, but that, in his state of exinanitiou,
lie only exercised it so far as he thought proper; but that after
his resurrection he fully and entirely put off the form of a
servant, and put his human nature or essence into a plenary
assumption of the divine majesty ; and that in this manner ho
entered into glory ; in a word, that Christ is, and remains to
all eternity, perfect God and num in one indivisible person;
and the true, omnipotent, and eternal God : being also, with
respect to his hunumity, present at the right hand of God, he
governs all things in heaven and upon earth, and also lills all
things, is with us, and dwells and operates in us. That there
is no difference of adoration, because by the nature which is
seen, the divinity which is not seen, is adored. That the divine
essence communicates and imparts its own excellences to the
human nature, and performs its divine operations by the body
as by its organ ; that thus all the fulness of the Godhead dwells
in Christ bodily, according to Paul. That the incarnation was
accomplished that he might reconcile the Father to us, and be-
come a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, as well original
as actual ; that he was incarnate of the substance of the Holy
Spirit, Ijut that his human nature was produced from the Virgin
Mary, which, as the Word, he assumed and united to himself;
that he sanctifies those who believe in him, by sending the Holy
Spirit into their hearts, to guide, comfort, and vivity them, aiui
defend them against the devil and the power of sin. That
Christ descended into hell, and destroyed hell for all believers;
but in what manner these things were effected, he doth not wish
them to scrutinize too curiously, but that the knowledge of this
matter may be reserved for another age, when not only this
mystery, b.it matiy other things also shall be revealed." These
]>articulars are from Luther; the Augustan Confession; the
Ct)uncil of Nice ; and the Smalcalden Articles. See the For-
mula ConcordijB.

" Some of the Reformed, who are also treated of in the
Formula Concordiae, believe that Christ, according to his human
nature, by exaltation, received only created gifts aiul finite
power, therefore that he is a man like any other, retaining the
properties of the flesh; that therelbre as to his human nature
ne is not omnipotent and omniscient; that although absent he
governs, as a King, things remote from himself; that as God
from eternity he is with the Father, and as a man born in time,
he is with the angels in heaven ; and that when it is said, in


Olinst God is man and man God, it is only a figurative mode
of speech : besides other things of a like nature.

" But this disagreement is adjusted bj the Athanasian Creed,
M'liicli is received by all the Christian world, where these words
occur : ' The true foith is, that we believe and confess that our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man ; God, of
the substance of the Father, begotten before the world, and
man, of the substance of the motlier, born in the world ; per-
fect God and j)erfect man : who, although he be God and man,
yet these are not two but one Christ ; one, not by conversion
of the divine Essence into body, but by the taking of his man-
hood into God ; one altogether, not by confusion of substance,
but by unity of person ; for as the reasonable soul and body is
one man, so God and man is one Christ.'

" III. On Justification by Faith, and on Good "Works.
The justifying and saving faith of the clergy is this ; — That God
the Father turned himself away from the human race by reason
of their iniquities, and so, from justice, condemned them to
eternal death, and that he therefore sent his Son into the world
to expiate and redeem them, and make satisftiction and recon-

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgThe Apocalypse revealed, wherein are disclosed the arcana there foretold, which have heretofore remained concealed (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 58)