Apocalypse Revealed/Volume I
WHEREIN ARE DISCLOSED
ARCANA THERE FORETOLD,
HITHERTO REMAINED CONCEALED.
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN OF
Late Member of the House of Nobles in the Royal Diet of Sweden,
Assessor of the Royal Board of Mines,
Fellow of the Royal Society of Upsala, and of the Royal Academy of Science of Stockholm,
And Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences
of St. Petersburg.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
A NEW EDITION REVISED AND CORRECTED.
PUBLISHED BY J. S. HODSON, CROSS STREET, HATTON GARDEN:
SOLD ALSO BY W. SIMPKIN AND II. MARSHALL, STATIONERS' HALL
COURT, LUDGATE STREET; T. GOYDER, FARRINGDON STREET;
AND W. CLARKE, MANCHESTER.
This Work is printed at the expense of, and published for, "The Society for Printing and Publishing the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, instituted in London in the Year 1810."
Not a few have laboured at the explication of the Apocalypse, but as they were unacquainted with the spiritual sense of the Word, they could not discern the arcana which it contains, seeing that these can only be unfolded by the spiritual sense: expositors have therefore formed various conjectures respecting it, in many instances applying its contents to the affairs of empires, and blending them, at the same time, with ecclesiastical matters. The Apocalypse, however, in like manner as 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 published in London in 1758, a new heaven was formed from among Christians, from those only, however, who admitted the Lord to be 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, descends, and will continue to descend. That this Church will acknowledge the Lord only is evident from these words in the Apocalypse: "There came unto me one of the seven angels, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife, and he shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." And in another place: "Let us be glad and rejoice, for the time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready; blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb"(chap. xix. 7, 9). That there will be a new heaven, and that the New Church will descend from thence upon earth, is evident from the following words, in the same book : "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: and I saw the holy city, 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, Write, for these words are true and faithful"(chap. xxi. 1, 2, 5); the new heaven means a new heaven from among Christians; the New Jerusalem means a new church upon earth, which will make one with that new heaven; the Lamb, means the Lord as to the Divine Humanity.
To this something shall be added by way of illustration: the 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 worshiped one God under three persons, and who did not at the same time entertain an idea of three Gods; and this, by reason of a trinity of persons being received throughout the whole christian world; but they, who entertained no other idea of the Lord's Humanity, than as of the humanity of another man, could not receive the faith of the New Jerusalem, which is, that the Lord is the only God in whom there is a trinity; these latter, therefore, were separated and removed; it was given me to see their separation and removal after the 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 contains arcana, which never could be known without 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 words of the prophecy of this book"(chap. xxii. 10); by which is signified, that they are to be manifested and laid open.