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770. When a clergyman or layman is asked, whether he firmly believes all these things, as that the antediluvians, along with Adam and Eve, and the postdiluvians, with Noah and his sons, and also that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with all the prophets and apostles, are, in like manner as the souls of all other men, still reserved in the middle of the earth, or flying about in the æther, or air; and also whether he believes that their souls will be again clothed with their bodies, and again enter into connexion with carcases eaten by worms, by mice, by fish, or, as in the case of Egyptian mummies, by men, and with skeletons parched in the sun, and reduced to powder; and further, whether he believes that the stars of heaven will fall upon the earth, which yet is smaller than any of them ;-if clergymen or Jaymen, I say, be asked whether they believe all this, or whether such conceits are not mere paradoxes, which, like all other contradictory notions, are dispelled and dissipated by right reason, some of them will make no reply; some will insist that such points are matters of faith, to which the understanding must be kept in obedience; some again will argue, that not only these things, but also many others, which are above the comprehension of reason, are works of divine omnipotence; and when they mention faith and omnipotence, sound reason is banished, and either disappears like a thing annihilated, or becomes like a spectre, and is called insanity: to this they will add, “ are not such opinions agreeable to the Word ? and ought not that to be the rule and measure of our thoughts and speech ?"
771. That the Word, as to the letter, is written by appearances and correspondences, and that thus there is a spiritual sense contained in each expression, in which sense truth appears in its light, whilst the sense of the letter is in shade, has been already shewn in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture. Lest therefore the members of the New church, should wander, like those of the old, in the shade of the literal
sense of the Word, particularly on the subjects of heaven and
VI. THAT THIS WHICH IS THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD, EXISTS FOR THE
SEPARATING EyIL FROM the Good, AND THAT THEY WHO HAVE BELIEVED AND WHO DO Believe in HIM MAY SAVED, AND THAT THERE MAY BE FORMED OF THEM A New Angelic Heaven, AND A New CHURCH ON Earth; AND THAT WITHOUT THIS COMING No Fleshi COULD BE SAVE), Matt. xxiv. 22.
772. That this second coming of the Lord does not exist for the destruction of the visible heaven and the habitable earth, has been shewn in the foregoing article : that it is not to destroy any thing, but to build up, consequently not to condemn, but to save those who have believed on Him since His first coming, and who shall hereafter believe on Him, is plain from these words of the Lord : 6 God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved; he that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God,” John iii. 17; and in another place, “ If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world: he that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him ; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him,” Chap. xii. 47, 48. That the last judgment took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757, was shewn in a small treatise on the Last JUDGMENT, published at London in the year 1758, and further in a ContinUATION OF THAT Judgment, published at Amsterdam in the year 1763 : this I solemnly attest, because I saw it with mine own eyes when I was broad awake.
773. That the coming of the Lord is to form a new heaven of those who have believed on Him, and to establish a new church of those who shall hereafter believe on Him, is grounded in this circumstance, that these two purposes are the end of His coming. The very end of the creation of the
universe was solely this, that an angelic heaven might be formed out of mankind, where all who believe in God might live in eternal blessedness; for the divine love which is in God, and which essentially is God, can intend nothing else, and the divine wisdon, which is also in God, and is God, can produce nothing else. Since then the creation of the universe had for its end an angelic heaven, to be formed out of the human race, and at the same time a church on earth, man's passage into heaven lying through the church, and since the salvation of mankind, being effected upon men that are born in the world, is thus a continuation of creation, therefore we so frequently meet in the Word with the term to create, the meaning of which is to form for heaven ; as in the following passages : “ Create in me a clean hearl, O God, and renew a right spirit within me," Psalm li. 10: “ Thou openest Thy hand, they are filled with good, Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created," Psalm civ. 28, 30 : “ The people which shall be created shall praise the Lord,” Psalm cii. 18: “ Thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel: I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by My name ; every one that is called by My name I have created him for My glory,” Isaiah xliii. 1,7: “ They were prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created; thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast CREATED, till iniquity was found in thee,” Ezek. xxviii. 13, 15: this is spoken of the King of Tyre : “ That they may see and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the holy one of Israel hath Created it,” Isaiah xli. 20. Hence the meaning of creating in the following passages will appear: “ Thus saith Jehovah, He that createth the heavens, He that spreadeth forth the carth, He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein," Isaiah xlii. 5, chap. xlv. 12, 18:“ Behold, I CREATE A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: Be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, 1 CREAte Jerusalem a rejoicing,” Isaiah lxv. 17, 18.
774. The presence of the Lord is continual with every one, whether he be wicked or good, for without His presence no man can live ; but His coming is with those only who receive Him, and these are they who believe on Him, and do His commandments. The continual presence of the Lord is the efficient cause of man's rationality, and of his capacity to become spiritual; this is an effect of the light that proceeds from the Lord as the sun in the spiritual world, which light man receives with his understanding, and this light is truth, by which he enjoys rationality; but the coming of the Lord is with such as conjoin heat with that light, that is, with such as conjoin love with truth, for the heat proceeding from the same sun is love to God and towards our neighbour. The mere presence of the Lord, and the illustration of the understanding thereby, may be compared with the presence of solar light in the natural world, which, unless it be conjoined with heat, cannot prevent a universal desolation on the face of the earth; but the coming of the Lord may be compared with the coming of heat, as in the time of spring, in consequence of which, and its conjunction with light, the earth is softened, and the seeds sown therein begin to vegetate, and bear fruit : such a parallelism is there between spiritual things, with which the spirit of man is connected, and natural things, with which his body is connected.
775. The case and circumstances of man, considered as forming a compound church, or in the concrete, are similar with those of the individual or particular man.
Man con sidered in the compound, or concrete, is a church consisting of several members; and man considered as an individual, or a particular, is a church in each of those several members. It is according to divine order, that there be common things and particulars (communia et particularia), and that both be together in every created subject; and that the parts