All of the references have been hyperlinked for easy navigation. Some of the experiences of the author were verified much later with the rediscovery of the Near Death Experience by the medical community in the twentieth century. The Second Coming is a revelation of the spiritual meaning behind the literal sense of the word, described in the work called "The White Horse".
Also included in this volume are "Earths in the Universe", and "Summary Exposition," containing an analysis of Catholic and Protestant doctrines. This was added as a bonus volume by the editor, as it was described in the visions of Swedenborg. Product Details About the Author. He journeyed to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study and work with leading scientists in western Europe.
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Upon his return he apprenticed as an engineer under the brilliant Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem This gave him a seat in the Swedish House of Nobles, where he remained an active participant in the Swedish government throughout his life. A member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, he devoted himself to scientific studies and philosophical reflections that culminated in a number of scientific publications, mainly concerning minerology and physiology, where he had made several discoveries. From to he entered a transitional phase that resulted in a shift of his main focus from science and philosophy to theology.
Throughout the rest of his life he maintained that this shift was brought about by Jesus Christ, who appeared to him, called him to a new mission, and opened his perception to a permanent dual consciousness of this life and the spiritual world of heaven and hell. Although he at first published his theological works anonymously, he became more well known to the public when he had a clairvoyant experience where he could describe a fire in Stockholm in , over km away. This was investigated by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who confirmed the event, and it was also noted by Carl Jung who borrowed from Swedenborg for many of his ideas in psychology.
At other times Swedenborg demonstrated his clairvoyant abilities to multiple witnesses, including John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Zen master D. Suzuki called Swedenborg the "Buddha of the North.
The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem
Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Rather, it was intended to serve the people that followed the Most Ancient Church, people who learned truths, not from perception at all, but from doctrine. This manuscript was protected from the final posterity of the Most Ancient Church, who were evil and would have harmed it.
The eighth posterity of Adam was called Methuselah, the son of Enoch. The perceptive faculty of the people represented by Methuselah was even more generalized and obscure than that of the churches preceding it, with a resulting decrease in wisdom and intelligence. Because of this, the people had to inquire after what truth was, and do what was good, from their own Proprium, and the result was nothing but falsity and evil. The reason why every church degenerates, including the Most Ancient Church, is the increase and accumulation of Hereditary Evil.
The descendants of this church, step by step, began to acquire Evil Desires in their will. And since they also inherited a Will and Understanding that were joined to form one, when evil desires began to take possession of their will, their understanding also became perverted. Because of this, the descendants of the Most Ancient Church became steeped in the most dreadful Persuasions. These persuasions came about because they perverted truths and forced them to agree with and support their evil desires. The most terrible of these persuasions was the belief that God infused Himself into men.
The last descendants of the Most Ancient Church imagined that they were like gods and that whatever they thought was Divine.
An expanding picture of the universe
The people who lived just before the Flood, known as the Antediluvians, were steeped in these terrible persuasions, and because of it they made light of everything holy and true. And since their internal Respiration varied according to the states of their internals, it finally ceased, and they were suffocated by an inundation of evils and falsities not unlike a flood. In the internal sense, the story of the great flood describes the Last Judgment of the Most Ancient Church. The church had degenerated so far from the good of love that eventually nothing celestial remained.
At this point the church perished, and a new church, the Ancient Church, was raised up by the Lord.
The First Ancient Church top. Noah was the tenth in the line of churches that had started with Adam see Figure 1. Without a remnant to preserve the goods and truths of faith, there would have been no conjunction of heaven with the human race, and a new church could not have been raised up.
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The people of Noah preserved the doctrines derived from the Perception of the Most Ancient Church so that a new church, the Ancient Church, could be raised up with those doctrines. Noah was not the Ancient Church itself, but was like a parent or seed of that church.
By the time the Most Ancient Church was at its end, it had degenerated so far that nothing celestial remained in it. However, the people called Noah were different from the rest of the Most Ancient Church. With the people of Noah, some natural good and some knowledge of doctrine had remained, making it possible for the Lord to regenerate them.
But before the Ancient Church could come into existence, the people who would belong to that church had to undergo Temptations in order to become truly spiritual people. For this reason, during the time when the Most Ancient Church was dying out, the people called Noah were being born again by means of temptations. Noah was protected while the rest of the Most Ancient Church was perishing in the Flood. The Ancient Church survived with the descendants of Noah until the time of Abram. The people of the Ancient Church were of a spiritual seed instead of a celestial seed.
If the Lord had not brought the human race into this new disposition, no one could have been saved, because the people after the flood had no will for good within them. In contrast to this, the people of the spiritual church possessed a will that was completely destroyed, but their understanding was still intact. The Lord was only able to keep the understanding of these people intact by separating the will from the understanding. This separation occurred in the new church called Noah. And because of this change, people would no longer be born with a will for good, but would now be reformed and regenerated in respect to their understanding.
A new will, called Conscience, was implanted in them. These people of the Ancient Church were regenerated by means of the doctrinal matters of Faith. After learning these doctrines, an inner dictate conscience prevented them from acting contrary to the truths of faith they had learned. It was in this way that Charity was given to them—with conscience, which now took the place of Perception, charity was conferred through faith. Unlike perception, conscience did not dictate to a person what was true. Instead, people learned that something was true because the Lord in His Word had said that it was true.
This dictate of the Ancient Church, though called conscience, was in fact halfway between perception and what is known as conscience today. With the people of the Ancient Church, the Rational mind came from a spiritual origin, whereas with the people of the Most Ancient Church it came from a celestial origin. The early fathers of the Most Ancient Church, who had perception, thought from the interior rational.
The fathers of the Ancient Church, who did not have perception but conscience, thought from the exterior or natural rational. Because the people of the Ancient Church had a different mental constitution from the people of the Most Ancient Church, they had a different way of communicating with heaven. Rather than the Perception that was enjoyed by the people of the Most Ancient Church, the people of the Ancient Church had an external kind of Communication with the Spiritual World.
This included, for the first time, communication with hell. The new kind of communication was accomplished by means of the Representatives and Significatives that had been passed down to them by the Most Ancient Church. The form of communication with heaven had to change because the people of the Ancient Church received Influx from the Lord in a new way. This was necessary because their Will and Understanding had been destroyed by desires for evil and persuasions of falsity.
Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence
At this time internal Respiration, which had been the source of perception, was replaced by external respiration, and direct communication with angels ceased. However, even though direct contact with heaven had ended, the people of the Ancient Church could still be taught through Visions and Dreams. The facial type of Speech, with ideas being expressed through the lips and the eyes, was possible with the people of the Most Ancient Church because their Faces acted as representative mirrors of their interior parts.
Vocal speech, or articulated sound that encapsulates thoughts, developed only later when internal Respiration ceased to exist and was replaced by external breathing. By this time the state of the human race had changed so that people could no longer be taught through the internal man, but only through the external. Therefore the revelations that had been enjoyed by the Most Ancient Church were succeeded by matters of doctrine that could only be apprehended through the external senses.
Nevertheless, a limited kind of facial speech was still in use during the time of the Ancient Church. The Lord foresaw that Perception would perish by the time of the Ancient Church, and that the ability to think from correspondences would perish with it. These things were then converted into Doctrine. Within the Ancient Church, there were many smaller churches with many differences in doctrinal matters. But they all made one Church because each one acknowledged love to the Lord and charity to the neighbor as the most important things.
But the people of the Ancient Church did not have this kind of revelation, and so at first the doctrinal things gathered by Enoch served as their Word. In the course of time, however, Writing was developed so that the Word could be written down.
The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem
The Ancient Word was a written Word with histories and prophecies similar to those in the Old Testament. These texts were Divinely inspired and written by correspondences, with the internal sense treating of the Lord and His kingdom. An angel informed Swedenborg that, although the Ancient Word had been lost in the countries of Asia, it was still preserved in Great Tartary. Portions of the Ancient Word have survived in the first seven chapters of Genesis and in a few verses in the book of Numbers.
The book of Job, though not part of the Word, was a book of the Ancient Church and was written in correspondences. In one instance even the apostle Jude quotes from ancient books written in correspondences. The people of the Most Ancient Church, because they were in such close communication with angels, had performed an internal kind of Worship, which is the kind of worship that exists in heaven.
Although they were able to sense the objects of the world with their bodies, they perceived what was Divine and heavenly within those objects. But because the people of the Ancient Church were spiritual and not celestial, they were not able to perceive heaven within the objects they sensed. Instead, they learned the significations of the objects, and used the objects to remind themselves of the spiritual things they had learned from the traditions of the Most Ancient Church. From this knowledge came the representative worship of the Ancient Church.
All of their outward Rituals represented the internal worship of the Lord. Worshiping on mountaintops, and falling upon the face in adoration, were both elements of worship that had been continued from the Most Ancient Church. Altars, which were developed as a representation of the Lord during the Most Ancient Church, were not connected with animal sacrifices during either the Most Ancient Church or the First Ancient Church.
New rituals were added during the Ancient Church, such as the ritual of circumcision, which represented the removal of defiled good and truth from a person. The Temples of the Most Ancient Church had been made out of wood, but those of the Ancient Church were made out of stone.
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