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THE NEW YORK PULIL LIBRARY
ASTOR LENOX AND TILCCI FOUNDATIONS.
FREEMAN AND BOLLES,
Printers..... Washington St.
Not a few have labored 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 show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife, and he showed 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 peresons, 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, whici, 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 lasi 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.
DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC
CHURCH AND RELIGION.
BABYLON, or the Roman Catholic Religion, being treated of in the Apocalypse, in chapters xvii., xviii. and xix., it is expedient, at the commencement of these explications, to say something concerning its doctrines, and that in the following order : On Baptism ; on the Eucharist 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 transsused into the whole human race; that this original sin is only taken away by the merit of Christ; 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 up, are to be questioned concerning the promises made by their sponsors; which is the SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION. That by reason of lapses after baptism, the sacrament of repentance is necessary.
“II. ON THE EUCHARIST OR HOLY SUPPER. That immediately after consecration, the real body and blood of
Jesus Christ are truly and substantially comprehended under the form of bread and wine, together with his soul and divinity; the body under the form of bread, and the blood under the form of wine, by virtue of the words : but the body itself under the form of wine, and the blood under the form of bread, and the soul in both, by virtue of a natural connexion and concomitance, 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 comprehended under one form as under both; in a word, that the whole and entire Christ exists under the form of the bread and under every part of that form; and the whole of him also under 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 nrixed 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 host is to be worshiped when it is shewn and carried about. That this wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into body, 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 the pope. It is called supersubstantial bread, and the bread of angels, which these eat without any veils : it is called moreover spiritual 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 offered up himself to 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 sacramentally, but only the minister, in such case the people communicate spiritually, because the ministers do it, not for themselves only, but for all the faithful who appertain to the body of Christ. That 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 concerning it on the Lord's day. That it is ordained, that some things which are mystical should be pronounced with a lower, and other things with a louder, voice; and, for the purpose of giving