תמונות בעמוד

in form!' but they who do not receive that influx, see these paradisiacal gardens but as common woods and forests: all they receive the influx, who are influenced by the love of use; but they do not receive it, who are influenced by the love of glory not originating in use.” Afterwards he explained and taught them, what each thing in the garden represented and signified.

742. Whilst they were thus employed there came a messenger from the prince, with an invitation to them to eat bread with him; and at the same time two pages of the court brought garments of fine linen, and said, “ Put on these ; for no one is admitted to the prince's table unless he be clothed in the garments of heaven.” So they put them on, and accompanying their angel, they where shewn into an ante-chamber, belonging to the palace, where they waited for the prince; and there the angel introduced them to the company and conversation of the grandees and nobles, who were also in expectation of the prince's appearing. And lo! in about half an hour the doors were opened, and through one wider than the rest, on the western side, he was seen to enter, in great order and pomp of procession : his counsellors of inferior order went before him, after them his privy counsellors, and next the officers of chief rank belonging to the court : in the midst of these was the prince, and after him attendants of various distinctions, and lastly the guards; in all they amounted to a hundred and twenty. Then the angel advancing before the ten strangers, who by their dress appeared now like inmates of the place, approached with them towards the prince, and reverently introduced them to his notice; and the prince, without stopping the procession, said to them, “ Come with me to eat bread.” So they followed him into the dining-room, where they saw a table magnificently set out, having in the middle

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filled the cups.

a high pyramid of gold with a hundred branches in triple order, and to each branch a small patin or basket, containing a variety of sweetmeats and preserves, with other delicacies made of bread and wine; and through the middle of the pyramid there issued as it were a bubbling fountain of nectareous wine, the stream of which, shooting from the summit of the pyramid, divided itself into different branches, and

At the side of this high pyramid were various celestial forms of gold, on which were dishes and plates covered with all kinds of food. The celestial forms supporting the dishes and plates were forms of art derived from wisdom, such as conld not be contrived by any human art, nor expressed by any human words: the dishes and plates were of silver, on which forms were sculptured similar to those that supported them; the cups were of transparent gems. Such was the apparatus of the table.

743. The dress of the prince and of his ministers was this: the prince was clad in a long robe of purple, adorned with stars of silver wrought in needle-work; under this robe he wore a tunic of bright silk of a blue or hyacinthine colour; this was open about the breast, where there appeared the front part of a kind of zone, with the distinguishing badge of his society; the badge was an eagle sitting on her young at the top of a tree; this was wrought in refulgent gold, and set round with diamonds. The counsellors were dressed nearly after the same manner, but without the badge, instead of which they wore sapphires curiously cut, hanging from their necks by a chain of gold. The attendants wore clokes of a red brown colour, wrought with flowers encircling young eagles; their tunics were of silk of an opal colour, as were also the garments that covered their thighs and legs. Thus were they clad.

744. The counsellors of both kinds, and the nobles, stood around the table, and by order of the prince folded their hands together, and at the same time uttered in a low voice a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord; after this the prince making a sign, they reclined* on couches at the table. And the prince said to the ten strangers, “Do ye also recline with me, behold there are your couches : so they lay down; and the pages that were before sent by the prince to wait upon them, stood behind them. Then said the prince to them, “ Take each of you a plate from its supporting form, and afterwards a patin from the pyramid ;” and they did so; and lo! instantly new plates and patins appeared upon the stands in the place of those that were taken away: and their cups were filled with wine that streamed from the fountain out of the great pyramid : and they ate and drank. When dinner was about half ended, the prince addressed himself to the ten new guests, and said, "I have been informed that ye were convened in the country which is immediately beneath this heaven in order to disclose your thoughts on the joys of heaven and eternal happiness thence derived, and that ye professed different opinions, each according to his peculiar ideas of delight as originating in the bodily senses : but what are the delights of the bodily senses, without the delights of the soul? it is the soul which inspires them with delight. The delights of the soul are in themselves imperceptible beatitudes, but as they descend into the thoughts of the mind, and from thence into the sensations of the body they become more and more perceptible; in the thoughts of the mind they are perceived as satisfactions, in the sensations of the body as delights, and in the body itself as pleasures: eternal happiness is derived from the latter and the former taken together; but from the latter alone a happiness results, which not being eternal, but temporary, is quickly ended and passeth away, and is sometimes turned into unhappiness. Ye have now seen that all your joys are joys of heaven too, and far more excellent than ye could possibly have conceived; but yet such joys do not inwardly affect our minds (animus). There are three principles which enter by influx from the Lord as a one into our souls; these three as one, or this trine, are love, wisdom, and use: love and wisdom of themselves exist only ideally, being confined to the affections and thoughts of the mind, but in use they exist really, because they are then together in the act and operation of the body; and where they exist really, there they also subsist. Since then love and wisdom exist and subsist in use, it is use which affects us, and use consiste eth in a faithful, sincere, and diligent discharge of the works of our functions. The love of use, and the consequent application to it, so keep together the powers of the mind as to prevent their dispersion; thus the mind is secured from wandering about at random, and imbibing all the lusts which flow in, with their inchanting delusions, through the senses, from the body and the world, by which the truths of religion and morality, with all that is good in either, become the sport of every wind; but an application of the mind to use, keeps in and binds together those truths, and arranges the mind into a form receptible of the wisdom thence derived, and in this case it extirpates from its circumference the idle ridiculous sports of falsities and vanities. But ye will hear more on this subject from the wise persons of our society, whom I will send to you

* It may be expedient here to inform the unlearned reader, that in ancient times, at the repasts of the table, they used to recline on couches, resting on their elbows, instead of sitting upright on seats, according to modern custom.

in the afternoon.” So saying, the prince rose up, and the new guests along with bim, and bidding them farewell, he gave a charge to the conducting angel to lead them back to their apartments, and there to shew them every token of civility and respect, and also to invite some courteous and affable company to entertain them with discourse on the various joys of their society.

745. The angel executed the prince's charge, and as they went back to their private apartments, the company, invited from the city to entertain them with discourse on the various joys of the society, arrived, and after the usual compliments entered into conversation with them as they walked along,

in a strain at once entertaining and elegant. But the conducting angel said, “ These ten men were invited into this heaven to see its joys, and so receive a new idea of eternal happiness; mention then a few particulars of such of its joys, as affect the bodily senses : we expect some wise persons by and by, who will tell us of what renders those joys satisfactory and happy.” Then the company who were invited from the city, spake to the following effect. 1. “ There are here days of festivity appointed by the prince, that the mind (animus), by a due relaxation, may recover from the weariness which in some instances may be produced by the desire of emulation : on these days we have concerts of music and singing in the public places, and out of the city, games and exhibitions : at such times we have orchestras raised in the public places, surrounded with ballusters formed of vines wreathed together, from which hang bunches of ripe grapes; within these ballusters in three rows one above another, sit the musicians, with their wind and string-instruments, of various tones, both high and low, loud and soft, and beside them there are singers of both sexes seated, who entertain the citizens with the sweetest music and singing, both in concert and solo, varied at times as to its particular kind : these concerts continue on those days of festivity from morning till noon, and are afterwards renewed until the evening. 2. Moreover, every morning, from the houses around the public places are heard the most sweet songs of virgins and young girls, which resound over the whole city; it is one of the affections of spiritual love, which is sung every morning, or which is rendered sonorous by modifications of the voice in singing, or by modulations; the affection in the song is perceived as the very affection itself, flowing into the minds of the hearers, and exciting them to a correspondent state : such is the nature of heavenly singing : the virgin-singers say, that the sound of their song as it were inspires and animates them

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