« AnteriorContinuar »
is evident, that to worship demons, is to sacrifice to those concupiscences from the love of them. Therefore he who invokes faith alone, as the head of his religion, or as his idol, remains in evil, by reason of his not searching out any evil in himself which he considers a sin, and consequently is not desirous of removing it by repentance; and as every evil is composed of concupiscences, being nothing but a fascicle or bundle of them, it follows, that he who does not search out any evil in himself, and shun it as a sin against God, which can only be done by repentance, becomes a demon after death. Nothing but such concupiscences are signified by demons in the following passages: “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God," Deut. xxxii. 17. The children of Israel no longer sacrificed to the devils, after which they went a whoring, Levit. xvii. 7, Psalm cvi. 37. 66 The wild beast of the desert and of the islands (Ziim and Ijim) shall meet, and the demon of the woods shall cry to his fellow," Isaiah xxxiv. 14. " But the wild beast of the desert (Ziim) shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, (Ochim,) and the daughters of the owl shall dwell there, and the demons of the woods shall dance there,” Isaiah xiii. 21. By Ziim, Ijim, Ochim, and the daughters of the owl, are signified various concupiscences; wood demons are such concupiscences as appertain to priapuses and satyrs. Babylon is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit, Apoc. xviii. 2. The demons which the Lord cast out, were such concupiscences, when they lived in the world, concerning which, see Matt. viii. 16, 29, ix. 32, 33, x. 8, xii. 22, xv. 22. Mark i. 32, 33, 34, Luke iv. 33–38, 41, viii. 2, 26—40, ix. 1, 37-44—50, xii. 32.
459. “And idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood,” signifies, that thus they are in worship grounded in mere falses. By idols, in the Word, are sige nified the falses of worship, and therefore to worship them signifies worship from falses; and by adoring idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, is signified worship from falses of all kinds, and, taken collectively, worship from mere falses ; moreover, the materials of which idols were
made, their forms, and their garments, among the ancients, represented the falses of religion, from which their worship was performed ; idols of gold signified falses concerning divine things; idols of silver, falses concerning spiritual things ; idols of brass, falses concerning charity ; idols of stone, falses concerning faith; and idols of wood, falses concerning good works. All these falses exist in those who do not do the work of repentance, that is, shun evils as sins against God. Graven images and molten images, which were idols, have this signification, in the spiritual sense, in the following passages : “Every man is brutish in his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors : in the time of their visitation they shall perish,” Jerem. x. 14, 15, li. 17, 18. Graven images are the work of the hands of the workman, they speak not, they are altogether brutish and foolish, the wood is a discipline of vanities, the whole a work of cunning men, Jerem. X. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, “What profiteth the graven image, that the maker and a teacher of lies hath graven it, that the maker of his work trusteth therein ; and there is no breath at all in the midst of it,” Habak. ii. 18, 19, 20. "In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats,” Isaiah ii. 18, 20. “And have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, the work of the craftsmen," Hosea xiii. 2. “ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols,” Ezek. xxxvi. 25. Clean water is truth; idols are the falses of worship, “Ye shall defile also the covering of your graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold, thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth, thou
say unto it, Get thee hence,” Isaiah xxx. 22. Nor is any thing else but the falses of religion and thence of worship, signified by the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, which Belshazzar, king of Babylon, praised (worshiped,) when he drank wine with his princes, his wives and his concubines, out of the vessels of gold, and of silver, from the temple in Jerusalem, Dan. v. 1--5, and following verses ; besides many other places; as in Isaiah x. 10, 11, xxi. 9, xxxi. 7, xi. 19, 20, xli. 29, xlii. 17, xlviii. 5, Jerem. viii. 19, 1. 38, 39, Ezek. vi. 4, 5, xiv. 3-6, Micah i. 7, v. 13, Psalm cxv. 4, 5, Psalm cxxxv. 15, 16, Levit. xxvi. 30. By idols the falses of worship from self-derived intelligence are strictly signified ; the manner in which man fashions them, and afterwards accommodates them, so as to appear like truths, is fully described in Isaiah xliv. 9, 10.
460. “Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk,” signifies, in which there is nothing of spiritual and truly rational life. The reason why this is said, is, because idolaters believe that their idols see and hear, for they make them gods: still this is not the meaning of these words ; but, that in the falses of worship there is nothing of spiritual nor truly rational life, for by seeing and hearing, is signified to understand and perceive, n. 7, 25, 87; and by walking, is signified to live, n. 167; therefore by these three things, is signified spiritual and truly rational life: this is signified, because by idols are signified the falses of worship, in which there is nothing of spiritual and rational life. That idols do not see, and hear, and walk, is a thing too obvious to be here mentioned, were there not some inward signification involved within it. The like is also said of idols in other parts of the Word, as in these passages: “They have not known nor understood, for he hath shut their eyes—that they cannot see, and their hearts that they cannot understand," Isaiah xliv. 18, 20. They speak not, neither do they walk, Jerem. x. 3-10. *They have mouths, but they speak not, eyes have they, but they see not,” Psalm cxv.5, Psalm cxxxv. 15, 16; by which like things are signified, because by idols are signified the falses of worship; and in falses of worship there is nothing of life which is really life.
461. “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts," signifies, that the hereśy of faith alone induces on their hearts stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness, so that they
do not think any thing of the precepts of the decalogue, nor indeed of any sin, that it ought to be shunned because it is in favor of the devil and against God. What murders, adulteries, and thefts, signify in every sense, may be seen in The Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem from the Precepts of the Decalogue, where it is explained; therefore it is unnecessary to repeat it here; but what is signified by sorceries, shall be explained in the following article. Faith alone induces stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness of heart, in those who are in the reformed church, because the good of life does not constitute religion where faith alone prevails; and if religion does not consist in good of life, then the second table of the decalogue, which is the table of repentance, is like a blank, whereon nothing is written. That the second table of the decalogue is a table of repentance, is evident, because it is not there said that good works are to be done, but that evil works are not to be done, as, Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods; and if these things do not constitute religion, the result is as here stated: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” That good of life does not constitute religion where faith alone prevails, will be clearly shown in what follows.
462. Since at this day it is not known what is meant by sorceries, it shall briefly be explained. Sorceries are mentioned in the above passage, in place of the eighth precept in the decalogue, Thou SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, for the three other evils, which are murders, fornications, and thefts, are there named. To bear false witness, signifies, in the natural sense, to act the part of a false witness, to lie and defame; and, in the spiritual sense, to confirm and persuade that what is false is true, and that what is evil is good; from which it is evident, that by sorcery is signified to persuade to what is false, and thus to destroy truth. Sorceries were in use among the ancients, and were performed in three ways; first, by keeping the hearing and thus the mind of another con
tinually intent upon his words and sayings, without retaining aught from them; and, at the same time, by an aspiration and inspiration of thought conjoined with affection, by means of the breath, into the sound of the voice, whereby the hearer is incapable of thinking any thing from himself: in this manner did the lovers of falsehood pour in their falses with violence. Secondly, they infused a persuasion, which was done by detaining the mind from every thing of a contrary nature, and directing the attention exclusively to the idea involved in that which was uttered by thernselves, hence the spiritual sphere of his mind dispelled the spiritual sphere of the mind of another, and stifled it: this was the kind of spiritual fascination which the magi of old made use of, and which was spoken of as the tying up and binding the understanding. The latter kind of sorcery pertained only to the spirit or thought, but the former to the lips or speech also. Thirdly, the hearer kept his mind so fixed in his own opinion, that he almost shut his ears against hearing any thing from the speaker, which was done by holding the breath, and sometimes by a tacit muttering, and thus by a continual negation of his adversary's sentiment. This kind of sorcery was practised by those who heard others, but the two former by those who spake to others. These three kinds of sorceries prevailed among the ancients, and prevail still among infernal spirits; but with men in the world there remains only the third kind, and this with those, who, from the pride of their own intelligence, have confirmed in themselves the falses of religion ; for these, when they hear things contrary, admit them no further into their thought than to mere contact, and then from the interior recess of their mind they emit as it were fire which consumes them, about which the other knows nothing except by conjecture drawn from the countenance and the sound of the voice in the reply, provided the sorcerer does not, by dissimulation, restrain that fire, or what is the same, the
of his pride. This kind of sorcery operates at the present day, to prevent truths from being accepted, and, with many, to their not being understood. That in ancient times many magical arts prevailed, and among these, sor