תמונות בעמוד

what they know, compared with what they do not know, is only as water in a glass compared with the waters of a lake; but that external men fancy they know all things.-The Africans took great delight in this discourse, because from their interior sight, which is singularly clear and strong, they acknowledged it to be true.

840. In consequence of the Africans having such a perception, they have at this day a revelation, which is communicated from the place of its commencement round about, but does not extend to the countries bordering on the sea. The Africans reject with contempt those strangers from Europe, who believe that man is saved by faith alone, and thus by mere thought and speech independently of will and action: they insist that there can be no true worship of God, unless a man live according to bis religion; and if not, that he cannot but be both stupid and wicked, because he then receives nothing from beaven : they likewise give to ingenious wickedness the uame of stupidity, because there is not life but death in it. I have conversed at times with Augustine, who in the third century was Bishop of Hippo in Africa : he told me that he is there at the present time, and inspires them with the worship of the Lord, and that there is a hope of this New Gospel being propagated into the neighbonring regions. I have heard the angels rejoice at this revelation, because it serves to open a communication with the rational principle in man, which has been heretofore closed up by this dogma universally received, that the understanding should be kept in obedience to ecclesiastical faith.

Of the Jews In The SPIRITUAL WORLD. 841. Before the last judgment, which took place in the year 1757, the Jews appeared in a valley on the left side of the central part in the spiritual world, inbabited by Christians: after that, they were translated towards the north, and were forbidden all intercourse with the Christians, ex

cept with vagabonds, who leave their own cities. There are in that quarter two large cities into which the Jews are translated after death: both of these before the last judgment they called Jerusalem, but after that, by another name, for since the judgment, Jerusalem signifies the church in which the Lord alone is worshipped, with respect to its doctrine. In their cities converted Jews are set over them, who admonish them not to speak disrespectfully of Christ, and who punish such as disregard the admonition. The streets of their cities are full of dirt up to the ankles, and the stench of their houses is so offensive in consequence of their filthiness, that none but themselves can bear to enter them. I have observed also, since the last judgment, that several of that nation have gained habitations in the southern quarter; and on inquiring who they were, I was informed that they were such as had made small account of the worship to which the rest were attached, and had doubts in their minds about the Messiah, whether He would ever come, and had also thought while in the world on various subjects in accordance with reason, and had suffered their lives to be determined by it. These consist chiefly of Jews who are called Portuguese.

812. There sometimes appears to the Jews, an angel in a middle altitude above them, with a rod in his hand, who causes them to believe that he is Moses, and admonishes them to desist from the folly of expecting the Messiah, as if He were still to come among them; representing to them that Christ, who governs them and all other creatures, is the Messialı ; that he, Moses, knows this to be true, and that while in the world, he had knowledge of Him. On receiving this information they retire, the greater part forgetting what they had heard, and but few retaining it. Such as do retain it are sent into synagogues which consist of converted Jews, and are instructed, after which instead of their old tattered garments they receive new, and are presented with a copy of the Word neatly written, and have an abode


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allotted them in a city not unhandsome.

But such as receive not the above admonition, are cast down, and many of them are banished into forests and desarts, where they carry on all kinds of theft and robbery one amongst another.

843. The Jews trade in the spiritual world, as in the natural, with various commodities, especially with precious stones, which by unknown ways they procure for themselves from heaven, where there are precious stones in great abundance. The cause of their trading in precious stones is, because they read the Word in its original tongue, and esteem the sense of the letter to be holy, and precious stones correspond to the sense of the letter : that such stones derive their spiritual origin from the literal sense of the Word, and that this is the ground of their correspondence, was shewn in the chapter on the Holy SCRIPTURE, n. 217, 218. They can also make artificial precious stones, and by phantasy induce a belief that they are real, but for this they are severely fined by their governors.

844. The Jews are less aware than any other people of their being in the spiritual world, believing themselves to be still living in the natural world; and that because they are altogether external men, and do not at all think of religion from an interior principle: hence they talk about the Messiah just as they did before, some insisting that He will come with David, and will go before them, shining with diadems, and introduce them into the land of Canaan, and in their way thither will dry up the rivers which they are to pass over by the raising of his rod; that the Christians, whom also, among themselves, they call Gentiles, will then lay hold on the skirts of their garments, humbly praying to be permitted to accompany them; that they will receive the rich according to their wealth, and be served by them. They confirm themselves in these notions by what is written in Zechariah, chap. viii. 23; and in Isaiah, chap. Ixvi. 20; and by what is written of David, that he is to come and be their king and

shepherd, in Jeremiah, chap. xxx. 9: and in Ezekiel, chap. xxxiv. 23 to 25; chap. xxxvii. 23 to 26; being altogether averse from hearing that our Lord Jesus Christ is meant by David in those passages, and that the future members of His church there are meant by Jews.

845. When they are asked whether they firmly believe, that they shall all go to the land of Canaan, they answer in the affirmative, and insist, that at the same time the deceased Jews will rise again, and leave their sepulchres to enter that land: if it be objected that they themselves will not be able to go forth from their sepulchres, being now living after death, they reply, that they shall then descend, and re-enter their bodies, and so will live. When they are told that the land of Canaan is not large enough to contain them all, they answer, that then it will be enlarged. When it is urged, that the kingdom of the Messiah, since He is the Son of God, will not be upon earth, but in heaven, they reply, that the land of Canaan will then be heaven. When it is said, that they know not the situation of Bethlehem Ephrata, the birth-place of the Messiah, according to the prophecy in Micah, chap. v. 2, and in David, Psalm cxxxii. 6, they return for answer, that the mother of the Messiah will nevertheless bring forth in that place: and some of them insist, that wherever she is delivered, there is Bethlehem. When it is objected, How can the Messiah dwell with such a wicked people? and in proof of their singular wickedness several passages are quoted from Jeremiah, and particulary from the Song of Moses, Deut. xxxii. they reply, that there are among the Jews both good and bad, and that the bad are meant in those passages. When it is urged, that they derive their lineage from a Canaanitess, and from the whoredom of Judah with his daughter-in-law, Gen. xxxviii. they contend, that it was no whoredom : but when it is retorted upon them, that Judah commanded her to be brought forth and burnt for her whoredom, they go away to deliberate about the matter and after consulting together, they say, that Judah only did the office of her husband's brother, which was done neither by his second son Onan, nor by his third son Selah; and they add further, that a great many of them are of the tribe of Levi, who held the priesthood, and that they are all descended out of the loins of Abraham. When they are told, that there is within the Word a spiritual sense, which treats much of Christ or the Messiah, they reply, that it is not so; but some of them say, that within the Word, or in its depths, there is nothing but gold. Not to mention other similar extravagances.

846. “ I was once raised up as to my spirit into the angelic “ heaven, and there introduced to a certain society : imme“ diately some of the wise of the society came to me and " said, “WHAT NEWS FROM EARTH?" "This is new,' I “ replied, that the Lord has revealed such arcana, as in “ point of excellence surpass all the arcana revealed from " the beginning of the church down to this time.' "What « arcana?' they asked. I answered, "The following: I. “ That in all and every part of the Word there is a spirI“ TUAL SENSE corresponding to the natural sense, and " that the Word by that sense is a medium of conjunction “ between mankind and the Lord, and also of consociation “ with angels, and that the holiness of the Word resides in

Il. That the CORRESPONDENCES, of which the spiritual sense of the Word consists, are discovered.' " " But' the angels asked, did the inhabitants of the earth “ before this know nothing of correspondences ?' 'No“ thing,' I replied ; 'for the doctrine of correspondences “ hias been hidden now for some thousands of years, even “ from the time of Job: in those days and in the ages “ before it, the science of correspondences, from which " they drew their wisdom, was esteemed the science of

w that sense.

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