The Delights of Wisdom
To Which is Added
The Pleasures of Insanity
Being a translation of his work
"Delitiae Sapientiae de Amore Conjugiali; post quas sequuntur Voluptates Insaniae de Amore Scortatorio" (Amstelodami 1768)
Published A.D. 1850
PRELIMINARY RELATIONS RESPECTING THE JOYS OF HEAVEN AND NUPTIALS THERE.
1. "I am aware that many who read the following pages and the Memorable Relations annexed to the chapters, will believe that they are fictions of the imagination; but I solemnly declare they are not fictions, but were truly done and seen; and that I saw them, not in any state of the mind asleep, but in a state of perfect wakefulness: for it has pleased the Lord to manifest himself to me, and to send me to teach the things relating to the New Church, which is meant by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation: for which purpose he has opened the interiors of my mind and spirit; by virtue of which privilege it has been granted me to be in the spiritual world with angels, and at the same time in the natural world with men, and this now (1768) for twenty-five years."
2. On a certain time there appeared to me an angel flying beneath the eastern heaven, with a trumpet in his hand, which he held to his mouth, and sounded towards the north, the west, and the south. He was clothed in a robe, which waved behind him as he flew along, and was girt about the waist with a band that shone like fire and glittered with carbuncles, and sapphires: he flew with his face downwards, and alighted gently on the ground, near where I was standing. As soon as he touched the ground with his feet, he stood erect, and walked to and fro: and on seeing me he directed his steps towards me. I was in the spirit, and was standing in that state on a little eminence in the southern quarter of the spiritual world. When he came near, I addressed him and asked him his errand, telling him that I had heard the sound of his trumpet, and had observed his descent through the air. He replied, "My commission is to call together such of the inhabitants of this part of the spiritual world, as have come hither from the various kingdoms of Christendom, and have been most distinguished for their learning, their ingenuity, and their wisdom, to assemble on this little eminence where you are now standing, and to declare their real sentiments, as to what they had thought, understood, and inwardly perceived, while in the natural world, respecting Heavenly Joy and Eternal Happiness. The occasion of my commission is this: several who have lately come from the natural world, and have been admitted into our heavenly society, which is in the east, have informed us, that there is not a single person throughout the whole Christian world that is acquainted with the true nature of heavenly joy and eternal happiness; consequently that not a single person is acquainted with the nature of heaven. This information greatly surprised my brethren and companions; and they said to me, 'Go down, call together and assemble those who are most eminent for wisdom in the world of spirits, (where all men are first collected after their departure out of the natural world,) so that we may know of a certainty, from the testimony of many, whether it be true that such thick darkness, or dense ignorance, respecting a future life, prevails among Christians.'" The angel then said to me, "Wait awhile, and you will see several companies of the wise ones flocking together to this place, and the Lord will prepare them a house of assembly." I waited, and lo! in the space of half an hour, I saw two companies from the north, two from the west, and two from the south; and as they came near, they were introduced by the angel that blew the trumpet into the house of assembly prepared for them, where they took their places in the order of the quarters from which they came. There were six groups or companies, and a seventh from the east, which, from its superior light, was not visible to the rest. When they were all assembled, the angel explained to them the reason of their meeting, and desired that each company in order would declare their sentiments respecting Heavenly Joy and Eternal Happiness. Then each company formed themselves into a ring, with their faces turned one towards another, that they might recall the ideas they had entertained upon the subject in the natural world, and after examination and deliberation might declare their sentiments.
3. After some deliberation, the First Company, which was from the north, declared their opinion, that heavenly joy and eternal happiness constitute the very life of heaven; so much so that whoever enters heaven, enters, in regard to his life, into its festivities, just as a person admitted to a marriage enters into all the festivities of a marriage. "Is not heaven," they argued, "before our eyes in a particular place above us? and is there not there and nowhere else a constant succession of satisfactions and pleasures? When a man therefore is admitted into heaven, he is also admitted into the full enjoyment of all these satisfactions and pleasures, both as to mental perception and bodily sensation. Of course heavenly happiness, which is also eternal happiness, consists solely in admission into heaven, and that depends purely on the divine mercy and favor." They having concluded, the Second Company from the north, according to the measure of the wisdom with which they were endowed, next declared their sentiments as follows: "Heavenly joy and eternal happiness consist solely in the enjoyment of the company of angels, and in holding sweet communications with them, so that the countenance is kept continually expanded with joy; while the smiles of mirth and pleasure, arising from cheerful and entertaining conversation, continually enliven the faces of the company. What else can constitute heavenly joys, but the variations of such pleasures to eternity?" The Third Company, which was the first of the wise ones from the western quarter, next declared their sentiments according to the ideas which flowed from their affections: "In what else," said they, "do heavenly joy and eternal happiness consist but in feasting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; at whose tables there will be an abundance of rich and delicate food, with the finest and most generous wines, which will be succeeded by sports and dances of virgins and young men, to the tunes of various musical instruments, enlivened by the most melodious singing of sweet songs; the evening to conclude with dramatic exhibitions, and this again to be followed by feasting, and so on to eternity?" When they had ended, the Fourth Company, which was the second from the western quarter, declared their sentiments to the following purpose: "We have entertained," said they, "many ideas respecting heavenly joy and eternal happiness; and we have examined a variety of joys, and compared them one with another, and have at length come to the conclusion, that heavenly joys are paradisiacal joys: for what is heaven but a paradise extended from the east to the west, and from the south to the north, wherein are trees laden with fruit, and all kinds of beautiful flowers, and in the midst the magnificent tree of life, around which the blessed will take their seats, and feed on fruits most delicious to the taste, being adorned with garlands of the sweetest smelling flowers? In this paradise there will be a perpetual spring; so that the fruits and flowers will be renewed every day with an infinite variety, and by their continual growth and freshness, added to the vernal temperature of the atmosphere, the souls of the blessed will be daily fitted to receive and taste new joys, till they shall be restored to the flower of their age, and finally to their primitive state, in which Adam and his wife were created, and thus recover their paradise, which has been transplanted from earth to heaven." The Fifth Company, which was the first of the ingenious spirits from the southern quarter, next delivered their opinion: "Heavenly joys and eternal happiness," said they, "consist solely in exalted power and dignity, and in abundance of wealth, joined with more than princely magnificence and splendor. That the joys of heaven, and their continual fruition, which is eternal happiness, consist in these things, is plain to us from the examples of such persons as enjoyed them in the former world; and also from this circumstance, that the blessed in heaven are to reign with the Lord, and to become kings and princes; for they are the sons of him who is King of kings and Lord of lords, and they are to sit on thrones and be ministered to by angels. Moreover, the magnificence of heaven is plainly made known to us by the description given of the New Jerusalem, wherein is represented the glory of heaven; that it is to have gates, each of which shall consist of a single pearl, and streets of pure gold, and a wall with foundations of precious stones; consequently, every one that is received into heaven will have a palace of his own, glittering with gold and other costly materials, and will enjoy dignity and dominion, each according to his quality and station: and since we find by experience, that the joys and happiness arising from such things are natural, and as it were, innate in us, and since the promises of God cannot fail, we therefore conclude that the most happy state of heavenly life can be derived from no other source than this." After this, the Sixth Company, which was the second from the southern quarter, with a loud voice spoke as follows: "The joy of heaven and its eternal happiness consist solely in the perpetual glorification of God, in a never-ceasing festival of praise and thanksgiving, and in the blessedness of divine worship, heightened with singing and melody, whereby the heart is kept in a constant state of elevation towards God, under a full persuasion that he accepts such prayers and praises, on account of the divine bounty in imparting blessedness." Some of the company added further, that this glorification would be attended with magnificent illuminations, with most fragrant incense, and with stately processions, preceded by the chief priest with a grand trumpet, who would be followed by primates and officers of various orders, by men carrying palms, and by women with golden images in their hand.
4. The Seventh Company, which, from its superior light, was invisible to the rest, came from the east of heaven, and consisted of angels of the same society as the angel that had sounded the trumpet. When these heard in their heaven, that not a single person throughout the Christian world was acquainted with the true nature of heavenly joy and eternal happiness, they said one to another, "Surely this cannot be true; it is impossible that such thick darkness and stupidity should prevail amongst Christians: let us even go down and hear whether it be true; for if it be so, it is indeed wonderful." Then those angels said to the one that had the trumpet, "You know that every one that has desired heaven, and has formed any definite conception in his mind respecting its joys, is introduced after death into those particular joys which he had imagined; and after he experiences that such joys are only the offspring of the vain delusions of his own fancy, he is led out of his error, and instructed in the truth. This is the case with most of those in the world of spirits, who in their former life have thought about heaven, and from their notions of its joys have desired to possess them." On hearing this, the angel that had the trumpet said to the six companies of the assembled wise ones, "Follow me; and I will introduce you into your respective joys, and thereby into heaven."
5. When the angel had thus spoken, he went before them; and he was first attended by the company who were of opinion that the joys of heaven consisted solely in pleasant associations and entertaining conversation. These the angel introduced to an assembly of spirits in the northern quarter, who, during their abode in the former world, had entertained the same ideas of the joys of heaven. There was in the place a large and spacious house, wherein all these spirits were assembled. In the house there were more than fifty different apartments, allotted to different kinds and subjects of conversation: in some of these apartments they conversed about such matters as they had seen or heard in the public places of resort and the streets of the city; in others the conversation turned upon the various charms of the fair sex, with a mixture of wit and humor, producing cheerful smiles on the countenances of all present; in others they talked about the news relating to courts, to public ministers, and state policy, and to various matters which had transpired from privy councils, interspersing many conjectures and reasonings of their own respecting the issues of such councils; in others again they conversed about trade and merchandise; in others upon subjects of literature; in others upon points of civil prudence and morals; and in others about affairs relating to the Church, its sects, &c. Permission was granted me to enter and look about the house; and I saw people running from one apartment to another, seeking such company as was most suited to their own tempers and inclinations; and in the different parties I could distinguish three kinds of persons; some as it were panting to converse, some eager to ask questions, and others greedily devouring what was said. The house had four doors, one towards each quarter; and I observed several leaving their respective companies with a great desire to get out of the house. I followed some of them to the east door, where I saw several sitting with great marks of dejection on their faces; and on my inquiring into the cause of their trouble, they replied, "The doors of this house are kept shut against all persons who wish to go out; and this is the third day since we entered, to be entertained according to our desire with company and conversation; and now we are grown so weary with continual discoursing, that we can scarcely bear to hear the sound of a human voice; wherefore, from mere irksomeness, we have betaken ourselves to this door; but on our knocking to have it opened, we were told, that the doors of this house are never opened to let any persons out, but only to let them in, and that we must stay here and enjoy the delights of heaven; from which information we conclude, that we are to remain here to eternity; and this is the cause of our sorrow and lowness of spirits; now too we begin to feel an oppression in the breast, and to be overwhelmed with anxiety." The angel then addressing them said: "These things in which you imagined the true joys of heaven to consist, prove, you find, the destruction of all happiness; since they do not of themselves constitute true heavenly joys, but only contribute thereto." "In what then," said they to the angel, "does heavenly joy consist?" The angel replied briefly, "In the delight of doing something that is useful to ourselves and others; which delight derives its essence from love and its existence from wisdom. The delight of being useful, originating in love, and operating by wisdom, is the very soul and life of all heavenly joys. In the heavens there are frequent occasions of cheerful intercourse and conversation, whereby the minds (mentes) of the angels are exhilarated, their minds (animi) entertained, their bosoms delighted, and their bodies refreshed; but such occasions do not occur, till they have fulfilled their appointed uses in the discharge of their respective business and duties. It is this fulfilling of uses that gives soul and life to all their delights and entertainments; and if this soul and life be taken away, the contributory joys gradually cease, first exciting indifference, then disgust, and lastly sorrow and anxiety." As the angel ended, the door was thrown open, and those who were sitting near it burst out in haste, and went home to their respective labors and employments, and so found relief and refreshment to their spirits.
6. After this the angel addressed those who fancied the joys of heaven and eternal happiness consisted of partaking of feasts with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, succeeded by sports and public exhibitions, and these by other feasts, and so on to eternity. He said, "Follow me; and I will introduce you into the possession of your enjoyments:" and immediately he led them through a grove into a plain floored with planks, on which were set tables, fifteen on one side and fifteen on the other. They then asked, "What is the meaning of so many tables?" and the angel replied, "The first table is for Abraham, the second for Isaac, the third for Jacob, and the rest in order for the twelve apostles: on the other side are the same number of tables for their wives; the first three are for Sarah, Abraham's wife, for Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, and for Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob; and the other twelve are for the wives of the twelve apostles." They had not waited long before the tables were covered with dishes; between which, at stated distances, were ornaments of small pyramids holding sweetmeats. The guests stood around the tables waiting to see their respective presidents: these soon entered according to their order of precedency, beginning with Abraham, and ending with the last of the apostles; and then each president, taking his place at the head of his own table, reclined on a couch, and invited the bystanders to take their places, each on his couch: accordingly the men reclined with the patriarchs and apostles, and the women with their wives: and they ate and drank with much festivity, but with due decorum. When the repast was ended, the patriarchs and apostles retired; and then were introduced various sports and dances of virgins and young men; and these were succeeded by exhibitions. At the conclusion of these entertainments, they were again invited to feasting; but with this particular restriction, that on the first day they should eat with Abraham, on the second with Isaac, on the third with Jacob, on the fourth with Peter, on the fifth with James, on the sixth with John, on the seventh with Paul, and with the rest in order till the fifteenth day, when their festivity should be renewed again in like order, only changing their seats, and so on to eternity. After this the angel called together the company that had attended him, and said to them, "All those whom you have observed at the several tables, had entertained the same imaginary ideas as yourselves, respecting the joys of heaven and eternal happiness; and it is with the intent that they may see the vanity of such ideas, and be withdrawn from them, that those festive representations were appointed and permitted by the Lord. Those who with so much dignity presided at the tables, were merely old people and feigned characters, many of them husbandmen and peasants, who, wearing long beards, and from their wealth being exceedingly proud and arrogant, were easily induced to imagine that they were those patriarchs and apostles. But follow me to the ways that lead from this place of festivity." They accordingly followed, and observed groups of fifty or more, here and there, surfeited with the load of meat which lay on their stomachs, and wishing above all things to return to their domestic employments, their professions, trades, and handicraft works; but many of them were detained by the keepers of the grove, who questioned them concerning the days they had feasted, and whether they had as yet taken their turns with Peter and Paul; representing to them the shame and indecency of departing till they had paid equal respect to the apostles. But the general reply was, "We are surfeited with our entertainment; our food has become insipid to us, we have lost all relish for it, and the very sight of it is loathsome to us; we have spent many days and nights in such repasts of luxury, and can endure it no longer: we therefore earnestly request leave to depart." Then the keepers dismissed them, and they made all possible haste to their respective homes.
After this the angel called the company that attended him, and as they went along he gave them the following information respecting heaven:—"There are in heaven," says he, "as in the world, both meats and drinks, both feasts and repasts; and at the tables of the great there is a variety of the most exquisite food, and all kinds of rich dainties and delicacies, wherewith their minds are exhilarated and refreshed. There are likewise sports and exhibitions, concerts of music, vocal and instrumental, and all these things in the highest perfection. Such things are a source of joy to them, but not of happiness; for happiness ought to be within external joys, and to flow from them. This inward happiness abiding in external joys, is necessary to give them their proper relish, and make them joys; it enriches them, and prevents their becoming loathsome and disgusting; and this happiness is derived to every angel from the use he performs in his duty or employment. There is a certain vein latent in the affection of the will of every angel, which attracts his mind to the execution of some purpose or other, wherein his mind finds itself in tranquillity, and is satisfied. This tranquillity and satisfaction form a state of mind capable of receiving from the Lord the love of uses; and from the reception of this love springs heavenly happiness, which is the life of the above-mentioned joys. Heavenly food in its essence is nothing but love, wisdom, and use united together; that is, use effected by wisdom and derived from love; wherefore food for the body is given to every one in heaven according to the use which he performs; sumptuous food to those who perform eminent uses; moderate, but of an exquisite relish, to those who perform less eminent uses; and ordinary to such as live in the performance of ordinary uses; but none at all to the slothful."
7. After this the angel called to him the company of the so-called wise ones, who supposed heavenly joys, and the eternal happiness thence derived, to consist in exalted power and dominion, with the possession of abundant treasures, attended with more than princely splendor and magnificence, and who had been betrayed into this supposition by what is written in the Word,—that they should be kings and princes, and should reign for ever with Christ, and should be ministered unto by angels; with many other similar expressions. "Follow me," said the angel to them, "and I will introduce you to your joys." So he led them into a portico constructed of pillars and pyramids: in the front there was a low porch, through which lay the entrance to the portico; through this porch he introduced them, and lo! there appeared to be about twenty people assembled. After waiting some time, they were accosted by a certain person, having the garb and appearance of an angel, and who said to them, "The way to heaven is through this portico; wait awhile and prepare yourselves; for the elder among you are to be kings, and the younger princes." As he said this, they saw near each pillar a throne, and on each throne a silken robe, and on each robe a sceptre and crown; and near each pyramid a seat raised three feet from the ground, and on each seat a massive gold chain, and the ensigns of an order of knighthood, fastened at each end with diamond clasps. After this they heard a voice, saying, "Go now and put on your robes; be seated, and wait awhile:" and instantly the elder ones ran to the thrones, and the younger to the seats; and they put on their robes and seated themselves. When lo! there arose a mist from below, which, communicating its influence to those on the thrones and the seats, caused them instantly to assume airs of authority, and to swell with their new greatness, and to be persuaded in good earnest that they were kings and princes. That mist was an aura of phantasy or imagination with which their minds were possessed. Then on a sudden, several young pages presented themselves, as if they came on wings from heaven; and two of them stood in waiting behind every throne, and one behind every seat. Afterwards at intervals a herald proclaimed:—"Ye kings and princes, wait a little longer; your palaces in heaven are making ready for you; your courtiers and guards will soon attend to introduce you." Then they waited and waited in anxious expectation, till their spirits were exhausted, and they grew weary with desire.
After about three hours, the heavens above them were seen to open, and the angels looked down in pity upon them, and said, "Why sit ye in this state of infatuation, assuming characters which do not belong to you? They have made a mockery of you, and have changed you from men into mere images, because of the imagination which has possessed you, that you should reign with Christ as kings and princes, and that angels should minister unto you. Have you forgotten the Lord's words, that whosoever would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven must be the least of all, and the servant of all? Learn then what is meant by kings and princes, and by reigning with Christ; that it is to be wise and perform uses. The kingdom of Christ, which is heaven, is a kingdom of uses; for the Lord loves every one, and is desirous to do good to every one; and good is the same thing as use: and as the Lord promotes good or use by the mediation of angels in heaven, and of men on earth, therefore to such as faithfully perform uses, he communicates the love thereof, and its reward, which is internal blessedness; and this is true eternal happiness. There are in the heavens, as on earth, distinctions of dignity and eminence, with abundance of the richest treasures; for there are governments and forms of government, and consequently a variety of ranks and orders of power and authority. Those of the highest rank have courts and palaces to live in, which for splendor and magnificence exceed every thing that the kings and princes of the earth can boast of; and they derive honor and glory from the number and magnificence of their courtiers, ministers, and attendants; but then these persons of high rank are chosen from those whose heartfelt delight consists in promoting the public good, and who are only externally pleased with the distinctions of dignity for the sake of order and obedience; and as the public good requires that every individual, being a member of the common body, should be an instrument of use in the society to which he belongs, which use is from the Lord and is effected by angels and men as of themselves, it is plain that this is meant by reigning with the Lord." As soon as the angels had concluded, the kings and princes descended from their thrones and seats, and cast away their sceptres, crowns, and robes; and the mist which contained the aura of phantasy was dispersed, and a bright cloud, containing the aura of wisdom encompassed them, and thus they were presently restored to their sober senses.
8. After this the angel returned to the house of assembly, and called to him those who had conceived the joys of heaven and eternal happiness to consist in paradisiacal delights; to whom he said, "Follow me, and I will introduce you into your paradisiacal heaven, that you may enter upon the beatitudes of your eternal happiness." Immediately he introduced them through a lofty portal, formed of the boughs and shoots of the finest trees interwoven with each other. After their admission, he led them through a variety of winding paths in different directions. The place was a real paradise, on the confines of heaven, intended for the reception of such as, during their abode on earth, had fancied the whole heaven to be a single paradise, because it is so called, and had been led to conceive that after death there would be a perfect rest from all kinds of labor; which rest would consist in a continual feast of pleasures, such as walking among roses, being exhilarated with the most exquisite wines, and participating in continual mirth and festivity; and that this kind of life could only be enjoyed in a heavenly paradise. As they followed the angel, they saw a great number of old and young, of both sexes, sitting by threes and tens in a company on banks of roses; some of whom were wreathing garlands to adorn the heads of the seniors, the arms of the young, and the bosoms of the children; others were pressing the juice out of grapes, cherries, and mulberries, which they collected in cups, and then drank with much festivity; some were delighting themselves with the fragrant smells that exhaled far and wide from the flowers, fruits, and odoriferous leaves of a variety of plants; others were singing most melodious songs, to the great entertainment of the hearers; some were sitting by the sides of fountains, and directing the bubbling streams into various forms and channels; others were walking, and amusing one another with cheerful and pleasant conversation; others were retiring into shady arbors to repose on couches; besides a variety of other paradisiacal entertainment. After observing these things, the angel led his companions through various winding paths, till he brought them at length to a most beautiful grove of roses, surrounded by olive, orange, and citron trees. Here they found many persons sitting in a disconsolate posture, with their heads reclined on their hands, and exhibiting all the signs of sorrow and discontent. The companions of the angel accosted them, and inquired into the cause of their grief. They replied, "This is the seventh day since we came into this paradise: on our first admission we seemed to ourselves to be elevated into heaven, and introduced into a participation of its inmost joys; but after three days our pleasures began to pall on the appetite, and our relish was lost, till at length we became insensible to their taste, and found that they had lost the power of pleasing. Our imaginary joys being thus annihilated we were afraid of losing with them all the satisfaction of life, and we began to doubt whether any such thing as eternal happiness exists. We then wandered through a variety of paths and passages, in search of the gate at which we were admitted; but our wandering was in vain: for on inquiring the way of some persons we met, they informed us, that it was impossible to find the gate, as this paradisiacal garden is a spacious labyrinth of such a nature, that whoever wishes to go out, enters further and further into it; 'wherefore,' said they, 'you must of necessity remain here to eternity; you are now in the middle of the garden, where all delights are centred.'" They further said to the angel's companions, "We have now been in this place for a day and a half, and as we despair of ever finding our way out, we have sat down to repose on this bank of roses, where we view around us olive-trees, vines, orange and citron-trees, in great abundance; but the longer we look at them, the more our eyes are wearied with seeing, our noses with smelling, and our palates with tasting: and this is the cause of the sadness, sorrow, and weeping, in which you now behold us." On hearing this relation, the attendant angel said to them, "This paradisiacal labyrinth is truly an entrance into heaven; I know the way that leads out of it; and if you will follow me, I will shew it you." No sooner had he uttered those words than they arose from the ground, and, embracing the angel, attended him with his companions. The angel as they went along, instructed them in the true nature of heavenly joy and eternal happiness thence derived. "They do not," said he, "consist in external paradisiacal delights, unless they are also attended with internal. External paradisiacal delights reach only the senses of the body; but internal paradisiacal delights reach the affections of the soul; and the former without the latter are devoid of all heavenly life, because they are devoid of soul; and every delight without its corresponding soul, continually grows more and more languid and dull, and fatigues the mind more than labor. There are in every part of heaven paradisiacal gardens, in which the angels find much joy; and so far as it is attended with a delight of the soul, the joy is real and true." Hereupon they all asked, "What is the delight of the soul, and whence is it derived?" The angel replied, "The delight of the soul is derived from love and wisdom proceeding from the Lord; and as love is operative, and that by means of wisdom, therefore they are both fixed together in the effect of such operation; which effect is use. This delight enters into the soul by influx from the Lord, and descends through the superior and inferior regions of the mind into all the senses of the body, and in them is full and complete; becoming hereby a true joy, and partaking of an eternal nature from the eternal fountain whence it proceeds. You have just now seen a paradisiacal garden; and I can assure you that there is not a single thing therein, even the smallest leaf, which does not exist from the marriage of love and wisdom in use: wherefore if a man be in this marriage, he is in a celestial paradise, and therefore in heaven."
9. After this, the conducting angel returned to the house of assembly, and addressed those who had persuaded themselves that heavenly joy and eternal happiness consist in a perpetual glorification of God, and a continued festival of prayer and praise to eternity; in consequence of a belief they had entertained in the world that they should then see God, and because the life of heaven, originating in the worship of God, is called a perpetual sabbath. "Follow me," said the angel to them, "and I will introduce you to your joy." So he led them into a little city, in the middle of which was a temple, and where all the houses were said to be consecrated chapels. In that city they observed a great concourse of people flocking together from all parts of the neighboring country; and among them a number of priests, who received and saluted them on their arrival, and led them by the hand to the gates of the temple, and from thence into some of the chapels around it, where they initiated them into the perpetual worship of God; telling them that the city was one of the courts leading to heaven, and that the temple was an entrance to a most spacious and magnificent temple in heaven, where the angels glorify God by prayers and praises to eternity. "It is ordained," said they, "both here and in heaven, that you are first to enter into the temple, and remain there for three days and three nights and after this initiation you are to enter the houses of the city, which are so many chapels consecrated by us to divine worship, and in every house join the congregation in a communion of prayers, praises, and repetitions of holy things; you are to take heed also that nothing but pious, holy, and religious subjects enter into your thoughts, or make a part of your conversation." After this the angel introduced his companions into the temple, which they found filled and crowded with many persons, who on earth had lived in exalted stations, and also with many of an inferior class: guards were stationed at the doors to prevent any one from departing until he had completed his stay of three days. Then said the angel, "This is the second day since the present congregation entered the temple: examine them, and you will see their manner of glorifying God." On their examining them, they observed that most of them were fast asleep, and that those who were awake were listless and yawning; many of them, in consequence of the continual elevation of their thoughts to God, without any attention to the inferior concerns of the body, seemed to themselves, and thence also to others, as if their faces were unconnected with their bodies; several again had a wild and raving look with their eyes, because of their long abstraction from visible objects; in short, every one, being quite tired out, seemed to feel an oppression at the chest, and great weariness of spirits, which showed itself in a violent aversion to what they heard from the pulpit, so that they cried out to the preacher to put an end to his discourse, for their ears were stunned, they could not understand a single word he said, and the very sound of his voice was become painful to them. They then all left their seats, and, crowding in a body to the doors, broke them open, and by mere violence made their way through the guards. The priests hereupon followed, and walked close beside them, teaching, praying, sighing, and encouraging them to celebrate the solemn festival, and to glorify God, and sanctify themselves; "and then," said they, "we will initiate you into the eternal glorification of God in that most magnificent and spacious temple which is in heaven, and so will introduce you to the enjoyment of eternal happiness." These words, however, made but little impression upon them, on account of the listlessness of their minds, arising from the long elevation of their thoughts above their ordinary labors and employments. But when they attempted to disengage themselves from them, the priests caught hold of their hands and garments, in order to force them back again into the temple to a repetition of their prayers and praises; but in vain: they insisted on being left to themselves to recruit their spirits; "we shall else die," they said, "through mere faintness and weariness." At that instant, lo! there appeared four men in white garments, with mitres on their heads; one of them while on earth had been an archbishop, and the other three bishops, all of whom had now become angels. As they approached, they addressed themselves to the priests, and said, "We have observed from heaven how you feed these sheep. Your instruction tends to their infatuation. Do you not know that to glorify God means to bring forth the fruits of love; that is, to discharge all the duties of our callings with faithfulness, sincerity, and diligence? for this is the nature of love towards God and our neighbor; and this is the bond and blessing of society. Hereby God is glorified, as well as by acts of worship at stated times after these duties. Have you never read these words of the Lord, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bring forth much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples, John xv. 8. Ye priests indeed may glorify God by your attendance on his worship, since this is your office, and from the discharge of it you derive honor, glory, and recompense; but it would be as impossible for you as for others thus to glorify God, unless honor, glory, and recompense were annexed to your office." Having said this, the bishops ordered the doorkeepers to give free ingress and egress to all, there being so great a number of people, who, from their ignorance of the state and nature of heaven, can form no other idea of heavenly joy than that it consists in the perpetual worship of God.
10. After this the angel returned with his companions to the place of assembly, where the several companions of the wise ones were still waiting; and next he addressed those who fancied that heavenly joy and eternal happiness depend only on admittance into heaven, which is obtained merely by divine grace and favor; and that in such case the persons introduced would enter into the enjoyments of heaven, just as those introduced to a court-festival or a marriage, enter into the enjoyment of such scenes. "Wait here awhile," said the angel, "until I sound my trumpet, and call together those who have been most distinguished for their wisdom in regard to the spiritual things of the Church." After some hours, there appeared nine men, each having a wreath of laurel on his head as a mark of distinction: these the angel introduced into the house of assembly, where all the companies before collected were still waiting; and then in their presence he addressed the nine strangers, and said, "I am informed, that in compliance with your desire, you have been permitted to ascend into heaven, according to your ideas thereof, and that you have returned to this inferior or sub-celestial earth, perfectly well informed as to the nature and state of heaven: tell us therefore what you have seen, and how heaven appeared to you." Then they replied in order; and the First thus began: "My idea of heaven from my earliest infancy to the end of my life on earth was, that it was a place abounding with all sorts of blessings, satisfactions, enjoyments, gratifications, and delights; and that if I were introduced there, I should be encompassed as by an atmosphere of such felicities, and should receive it with the highest relish, like a bridegroom at the celebration of his nuptials, and when he enters the chamber with his bride. Full of this idea, I ascended into heaven, and passed the first guard and also the second; but when I came to the third, the captain of the guard accosted me and said, 'Who are you, friend?' I replied, 'Is not this heaven? My longing desire to ascend into heaven has brought me hither; I pray you therefore permit me to enter.' Then he permitted me; and I saw angels in white garments, who came about me and examined me, and whispered to each other, 'What new guest is this, who is not clothed in heavenly raiment?' I heard what they said, and thought within myself, This is a similar case to that which the Lord describes, of the person who came to the wedding, and had not on a wedding garment: and I said, 'Give me such garments;' at which they smiled: and instantly one came from the judgment-hall with this command: 'Strip him naked, cast him out, and throw his clothes after him;' and so I was cast out." The Second in order then began as follows: "I also supposed that if I were but admitted into heaven, which was over my head, I should there be encompassed with joys, which I should partake of to eternity. I likewise wished to be there, and my wish was granted; but the angels on seeing me fled away, and said one to another, 'What prodigy is this! how came this bird of night here?' On hearing which, I really felt as if I had undergone some change, and was no longer a man: this however was merely imaginary, and arose from my breathing the heavenly atmosphere. Presently, however, there came one running from the judgment-hall, with an order that two servants should lead me out, and conduct me back by the way I had ascended, till I had reached my own home; and when I arrived there, I again appeared to others and also to myself as a man." The Third said, "I always conceived heaven to be some place of blessedness independent of the state of the affections; wherefore as soon as I came into this world, I felt a most ardent desire to go to heaven. Accordingly I followed some whom I saw ascending thither, and was admitted along with them; but I did not proceed far; for when I was desirous to delight my mind (animus) according to my idea of heavenly blessedness, a sudden stupor, occasioned by the light of heaven, which is as white as snow, and whose essence is said to be wisdom, seized my mind (mens) and darkness my eyes, and I was reduced to a state of insanity: and presently, from the heat of heaven, which corresponds with the brightness of its light, and whose essence is said to be love, there arose in my heart a violent palpitation, a general uneasiness seized my whole frame, and I was inwardly excruciated to such a degree that I threw myself flat on the ground. While I was in this situation, one of the attendants came from the judgment-hall with an order to carry me gently to my own light and heat; and when I came there my spirit and my heart presently returned to me." The Fourth said that he also had conceived heaven to be some place of blessedness independent of the state of the affections. "As soon therefore," said he, "as I came into the spiritual world, I inquired of certain wise ones whether I might be permitted to ascend into heaven, and was informed that this liberty was granted to all, but that there was need of caution how they used it, lest they should be cast down again. I made light of this caution, and ascended in full confidence that all were alike qualified for the reception of heavenly bliss in all its fulness: but alas! I was no sooner within the confines of heaven, than my life seemed to be departing from me, and from the violent pains and anguish which seized my head and body, I threw myself prostrate on the ground, where I writhed about like a snake when it is brought near the fire. In this state I crawled to the brink of a precipice, from which I threw myself down, and being taken up by some people who were standing near the place where I fell, by proper care I was soon brought to myself again." The other Five then gave a wonderful relation of what befell them in their ascents into heaven, and compared the changes they experienced as to their states of life, with the state of fish when raised out of water into air, and with that of birds when raised out of air into ether; and they declared that, after having suffered so much pain, they had no longer any desire to ascend into heaven, and only wished to live a life agreeable to the state of their own affections, among their like in any place whatever. "We are well informed," they added, "that in the world of spirits, where we now are, all persons undergo a previous preparation, the good for heaven, and the wicked for hell; and that after such preparation they discover ways open for them to societies of their like, with whom they are to live eternally; and that they enter such ways with the utmost delight, because they are suitable to their love." When those of the first assembly had heard these relations, they all likewise acknowledged, that they had never entertained any other notion of heaven than as of a place where they should enter upon the fruition of never-ceasing delights. Then the angel who had the trumpet thus addressed them: "You see now that the joys of heaven and eternal happiness arise not from the place, but from the state of the man's life; and a state of heavenly life is derived from love and wisdom; and since it is use which contains love and wisdom, and in which they are fixed and subsist, therefore a state of heavenly life is derived from the conjunction of love and wisdom in use. It amounts to the same if we call them charity, faith, and good works; for charity is love, faith is truth whence wisdom is derived, and good works are uses. Moreover in our spiritual world there are places as in the natural world; otherwise there could be no habitations and distinct abodes; nevertheless place with us is not place, but an appearance of place according to the state of love and wisdom, or of charity and faith. Every one who becomes an angel, carries his own heaven within himself, because he carries in himself the love of his own heaven; for a man from creation is the smallest effigy, image, and type of the great heaven, and the human form is nothing else; wherefore every one after death comes into that society of heaven of whose general form he is an individual effigy; consequently, when he enters into that society he enters into a form corresponding to his own; thus he passes as it were from himself into that form as into another self, and again from that other self into the same form in himself, and enjoys his own life in that of the society, and that of the society in his own; for every society in heaven may be considered as one common body, and the constituent angels as the similar parts thereof, from which the common body exists. Hence it follows, that those who are in evils, and thence in falses, have formed in themselves an effigy of hell, which suffers torment in heaven from the influx and violent activity of one opposite upon another; for infernal love is opposite to heavenly love, and consequently the delights of those two loves are in a state of discord and enmity, and whenever they meet they endeavor to destroy each other."
11. After this a voice was heard from heaven, saying to the angel that had the trumpet, "Select ten out of the whole assembly, and introduce them to us. We have heard from the Lord that He will prepare them so as to prevent the heat and light, or the love and wisdom, of our heaven, from doing them any injury during the space of three days." Ten were then selected and followed the angel. They ascended by a steep path up a certain hill, and from thence up a mountain, on the summit of which was situated the heaven of those angels, which had before appeared to them at a distance like an expanse in the clouds. The gates were opened for them; and after they had passed the third gate, the introducing angel hastened to the prince of the society, or of that heaven, and announced their arrival. The prince said, "Take some of my attendants, and carry them word that their arrival is agreeable to me, and introduce them into my reception-room, and provide for each a separate apartment with a chamber, and appoint some of my attendants and servants to wait upon them and attend to their wishes:" all which was done. On being introduced by the angel, they asked whether they might go and see the prince; and the angel replied, "It is now morning, and it is not allowable before noon; till that time every one is engaged in his particular duty and employment: but you are invited to dinner, and then you will sit at table with our prince; in the meantime I will introduce you into his palace, and show you its splendid and magnificent contents."
12. When they were come to the palace, they first viewed it from without. It was large and spacious, built of porphyry, with a foundation of jasper; and before the gates were six lofty columns of lapis lazuli; the roof was of plates of gold, the lofty windows, of the most transparent crystal, had frames also of gold. After viewing the outside they were introduced within, and were conducted from one apartment to another; in each of which they saw ornaments of inexpressible elegance and beauty; and beneath the roof were sculptured decorations of inimitable workmanship. Near the walls were set silver tables overlaid with gold, on which were placed various implements made of precious stones, and of entire gems in heavenly forms, with several other things, such as no eye had ever seen on earth, and consequently such as could never be supposed to exist in heaven. While they were struck with astonishment at these magnificent sights, the angel said, "Be not surprised; the things which you now behold are not the production and workmanship of any angelic hand, but are framed by the Builder of the universe, and presented as a gift to our prince; wherefore the architectonic art is here in its essential perfection, and hence are derived all the rules of that art which are known and practised in the world." The angel further said, "You may possibly conceive that such objects charm our eyes, and infatuate us by their grandeur, so that we consider them as constituting the joys of our heaven: this however is not the case; for our affections not being set on such things, they are only contributory to the joys of our hearts; and therefore, so far as we contemplate them as such, and as the workmanship of God, so far we contemplate in them the divine omnipotence and mercy."
13. After this the angel said to them, "It is not yet noon: come with me into our prince's garden, which is near the palace." So they went with him; and as they were entering, he said, "Behold here the most magnificent of all the gardens in our heavenly society!" But they replied, "How! there is no garden here. We see only one tree, and on its branches and at its top as it were golden fruit and silver leaves, with their edges adorned with emeralds, and beneath the tree little children with their nurses." Hereupon the angel, with an inspired voice said, "This tree is in the midst of the garden; some of us call it the tree of our heaven, and some, the tree of life. But advance nearer, and your eyes will be opened, and you will see the garden." They did so, and their eyes were opened, and they saw numerous trees bearing an abundance of fine flavored fruit, entwined about with young vines, whose tops with their fruit inclined towards the tree of life in the midst. These trees were planted in a continuous series, which, proceeding from a point, and being continued into endless circles, or gyrations, as of a perpetual spiral, formed a perfect spiral of trees, wherein one species continually succeeded another, according to the worth and excellence of their fruit. The circumgyration began at a considerable distance from the tree in the midst, and the intervening space was radiant with a beam of light, which caused the trees in the circle to shine with a graduated splendor that was continued from the first to the last. The first trees were the most excellent of all, abounding with the choicest fruits, and were called paradisiacal trees, being such as are never seen in any country of the natural world, because none such ever grew or could grow there. These were succeeded by olive-trees, the olives by vines, these by sweet-scented shrubs, and these again by timber trees, whose wood was useful for building. At stated intervals in this spiral or gyre of trees, were interspersed seats, formed of the young shoots of the trees behind, brought forward and entwined in each other, while the fruit of the trees hanging over at the same time enriched and adorned them. At this perpetually winding circle of trees, there were passages which opened into flower-gardens, and from them into shrubberies, laid out into areas and beds. At the sight of all these things the companions of the angels exclaimed, "Behold heaven in form! wherever we turn our eyes we feel an influx of somewhat celestially-paradisiacal, which is not to be expressed." At this the angel rejoicing said, "All the gardens of our heaven are representative forms or types of heavenly beatitudes in their origins; and because the influx of these beatitudes elevated your minds, therefore you exclaimed, 'Behold heaven in form!' but those who do not receive that influx, regard these paradisiacal gardens only as common woods or forests. All those who are under the influence of the love of use receive the influx; but those who are under the influence of the love of glory not originating in use, do not receive it." Afterwards he explained to them what every particular thing in the garden represented and signified.
14. While they were thus employed, there came a messenger from the prince, with an invitation to them to dine with him; and at the same time two attendants brought garments of fine linen, and said, "Put on these; for no one is admitted to the prince's table unless he be clothed in the garments of heaven." So they put them on, and accompanied their angel, and were shewn into a drawing-room belonging to the palace, where they waited for the prince; and there the angel introduced them to the company and conversation of the grandees and nobles, who were also waiting for the prince's appearing. And lo! in about an hour the doors were opened, and through one larger than the rest, on the western side, he was seen to enter in stately procession. His inferior counsellors went before him, after them his privy-counsellors, and next the chief officers belonging to the court; in the middle of these was the prince; after him followed courtiers of various ranks, and lastly the guards; in all they amounted to a hundred and twenty. Then the angel, advancing before the ten strangers, who by their dress now appeared like inmates of the place, approached with them towards the prince, and reverently introduced them to his notice; and the prince, without stopping the procession, said to them, "Come and dine with me." So they followed him into the dining-hall, where they saw a table magnificently set out, having in the middle a tall golden pyramid with a hundred branches in three rows, each branch having a small dish, or basket, containing a variety of sweetmeats and preserves, with other delicacies made of bread and wine; and through the middle of the pyramid there issued as it were a bubbling fountain of nectareous wine, the stream of which, falling from the summit of the pyramid separated into different channels and filled the cups. At the sides of this pyramid were various heavenly golden forms, on which were dishes and plates covered with all kinds of food. The heavenly forms supporting the dishes and plates were forms of art, derived from wisdom, such as cannot be devised by any human art, or expressed by any human words: the dishes and plates were of silver, on which were engraved forms similar to those that supported them; the cups were transparent gems. Such was the splendid furniture of the table.
15. As regards the dress of the prince and his ministers, the prince wore a long purple robe, set with silver stars wrought in needle-work; under this robe he had a tunic of bright silk of a blue or hyacinthine color; this was open about the breast, where there appeared the forepart of a kind of zone or ribbon, with the ensign of his society; the badge was an eagle sitting on her young at the top of a tree; this was wrought in polished gold set with diamonds. The counsellors were dressed nearly after the same manner, but without the badge; instead of which they wore sapphires curiously cut, hanging from their necks by a golden chain. The courtiers wore brownish cloaks, wrought with flowers encompassing young eagles; their tunics were of an opal-colored silk, so were also their lower garments; thus were they dressed.
16. The privy-counsellors, with those of inferior order, and the grandees stood around the table, and by command of the prince folded their hands, and at the same time in a low voice said a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord; and after this, at a sign from the prince, they reclined on couches at the table. The prince then said to the ten strangers, "Do ye also recline with me; behold, there are your couches:" so they reclined; and the attendants, who were before sent by the prince to wait upon them, stood behind them. Then said the prince to them, "Take each of you a plate from its supporting form, and afterwards a dish from the pyramid;" and they did so; and lo! instantly new plates and dishes appeared in the place of those that were taken away; and their cups were filled with wine that streamed from the fountain out of the tall pyramid: and they ate and drank. When dinner was about half ended, the prince addressed the ten new guests, and said, "I have been informed that you were convened in the country which is immediately under this heaven, in order to declare your thoughts respecting the joys of heaven and eternal happiness thence derived, and that you professed different opinions each according to his peculiar ideas of delight originating in the bodily senses. But what are the delights of the bodily senses without those of the soul? The former are animated by the latter. The delights of the soul in themselves are imperceptible beatitudes; but, as they descend into the thoughts of the mind, and thence into the sensations of the body, they become more and more perceptible: in the thoughts of the mind they are perceived as satisfactions, in the sensations of the body as delights, and in the body itself as pleasures. Eternal happiness is derived from the latter and the former taken together; but from the latter alone there results a happiness not eternal but temporary, which quickly comes to an end and passes away, and in some cases becomes unhappiness. You have now seen that all your joys are also joys of heaven, and that these are far more excellent than you could have conceived; yet such joys do not inwardly affect our minds. There are three things which enter by influx from the Lord as a one into our souls; these three as a one, or this trine, are love, wisdom, and use. Love and wisdom of themselves exist only ideally, being confined to the affections and thoughts of the mind; but in use they exist really, because they are together in act and bodily employment; and where they exist really, there they also subsist. And as love and wisdom exist and subsist in use, it is by use we are affected; and use consists in a faithful, sincere, and diligent discharge of the duties of our calling. The love of use, and a consequent application to it, preserve the powers of the mind, and prevent their dispersion; so that the mind is guarded against wandering and dissipation, and the imbibing of false lusts, which with their enchanting delusions flow in from the body and the world through the senses, whereby the truths of religion and morality, with all that is good in either, become the sport of every wind; but the application of the mind to use binds and unites those truths, and disposes the mind to become a form receptible of the wisdom thence derived; and in this case it extirpates the idle sports and pastimes of falsity and vanity, banishing them from its centre towards the circumference. But you will hear more on this subject from the wise ones of our society, when I will send to you in the afternoon." So saying, the prince arose, and the new guests along with him, and bidding them farewell, he charged the conducting angel to lead them back to their private apartments, and there to show them every token of civility and respect, and also to invite some courteous and agreeable company to entertain them with conversation respecting the various joys of this society.
17. The angel executed the prince's charge; and when they were turned to their private apartments, the company, invited from the city to inform them respecting the various joys of the society, arrived, and after the usual compliments entered into conversation with them as they walked along in a strain at once entertaining and elegant. But the conducting angel said, "These ten men were invited into this heaven to see its joys, and to receive thereby a new idea concerning eternal happiness. Acquaint us therefore with some of its joys which affect the bodily senses; and afterwards, some wise ones will arrive, who will acquaint us with what renders those joys satisfactory and happy." Then the company who were invited from the city related the following particulars:—"1. There are here days of festivity appointed by the prince, that the mind, by due relaxation, may recover from the weariness which an emulative desire may occasion in particular cases. On such days we have concerts of music and singing in the public places, and out of the city are exhibited games and shows: in the public places at such times are raised orchestras surrounded with balusters formed of vines wreathed together, from which hang bunches of ripe grapes; within these balusters in three rows, one above another, sit the musicians, with their wind and stringed instruments of various tones, both high and low, loud and soft; and near them are singers of both sexes who entertain the citizens with the sweetest music and singing, both in concert and solo, varied at times as to its particular kind: these concerts continue on those days of festivity from morning till noon, and afterwards till evening. 2. Moreover, every morning from the houses around the public places we hear the sweetest songs of virgins and young girls, which resound though the whole city. It is an affection of spiritual love, which is sung every morning; that is, it is rendered sonorous by modifications of the voice in singing, or by modulations. The affection in the song is perceived as the real affection, flowing into the minds of the hearers, and exciting them to a correspondence with it: such is the nature of heavenly singing. The virgin-singers say, that the sound of their song is as it were self-inspired and self-animated from within, and exalted with delight according to the reception it meets with from the hearers. When this is ended, the windows of the houses around the public places, and likewise of those in the streets, are shut, and so also are the doors; and then the whole city is silent, and no noise heard in any part of it, nor is any person seen loitering in the streets, but all are intent on their work and the duties of their calling. 3. At noon, however, the doors are opened, and in the afternoon also the windows in some houses, and boys and girls are seen playing in the streets, while their masters and mistresses sit in the porches of their houses, watching over them, and keeping them in order. 4. At the extreme parts of the city there are various sports of boys and young men, as running, hand-ball, tennis, &c.; there are besides trials of skill among the boys, in order to discover the readiness of their wit in speaking, acting, and perceiving; and such as excel receive some leaves of laurel as a reward; not to mention other things of a like nature, designed to call forth and exercise the latent talents of the young people. 5. Moreover out of the city are exhibited stage-entertainments, in which the actors represent the various graces and virtues of moral life, among whom are inferior characters for the sake of relatives." And one of the ten asked, "How for the sake of relatives?" And they replied, "No virtue with its graces and beauties, can be suitably represented except by means of relatives, in which are comprised and represented all its graces and beauties, from the greatest to the least; and the inferior characters represent the least, even till they become extinct; but it is provided by law, that nothing of the opposite, which is indecorous and dishonorable, should be exhibited, except figuratively, and as it were remotely. The reason of which provision is, because nothing that is honorable and good in any virtue can by successive progressions pass over to what is dishonorable and evil: it only proceeds to its least, when it perishes; and when that is the case, the opposite commences; wherefore heaven, where all things are honorable and good, has nothing in common with hell, where all things are dishonorable and evil."
18. During this conversation, a servant came in and brought word, that the eight wise ones, invited by the prince's order, were arrived, and wished to be admitted; whereupon the angel went out to receive and introduce them: and presently the wise ones, after the customary ceremonies of introduction, began to converse with them on the beginnings and increments of wisdom, with which they intermixed various remarks respecting its progression, shewing, that with the angels it never ceases or comes to a period, but advances and increases to eternity. Hereupon the attendant angel said to them, "Our prince at table while talking with these strangers respecting the seat or abode of wisdom, showed that it consists in use: if agreeable to you, be pleased to acquaint them further on the same subject." They therefore said, "Man, at his first creation, was endued with wisdom and its love, not for the sake of himself, but that he might communicate it to others from himself. Hence it is a maxim inscribed on the wisdom of the wise, that no one is wise for himself alone, or lives for himself, but for others at the same time: this is the origin of society, which otherwise could not exist. To live for others is to perform uses. Uses are the bonds of society, which are as many in number as there are good uses; and the number of uses is infinite. There are spiritual uses, such as regard love to God and love towards our neighbour; there are moral and civil uses, such as regard the love of the society and state to which a man belongs, and of his fellow-citizens among whom he lives; there are natural uses, which regard the love of the world and its necessities; and there are corporeal uses, such as regard the love of self-preservation with a view to superior uses. All these uses are inscribed on man, and follow in order one after another; and when they are together, one is in the other. Those who are in the first uses, which are spiritual, are in all the succeeding ones, and such persons are wise; but those who are not in the first, and yet are in the second, and thereby in the succeeding ones, are not so highly principled in wisdom, but only appear to be so by virtue of an external morality and civility; those who are neither in the first nor second, but only in the third and fourth, have not the least pretensions to wisdom; for they are satans, loving only the world and themselves for the sake of the world; but those who are only in the fourth, are least wise of all; for they are devils, because they live to themselves alone, and only to others for the sake of themselves. Moreover, every love has its particular delight; for it is by delight that love is kept alive; and the delight of the love of uses is a heavenly delight, which enters into succeeding delights in their order, and according to the order of succession, exalts them and makes them eternal." After this they enumerated the heavenly delights proceeding from the love of uses, and said, that they are a thousand times ten thousand; and that all who enter heaven enter into those delights. With further wise conversation on the love of use, they passed the day with them until evening.
19. Towards evening there came a messenger clothed in linen to the ten strangers who attended the angel, and invited them to a marriage-ceremony which was to be celebrated the next day, and the strangers were much rejoiced to think that they were also to be present at a marriage-ceremony in heaven. After this they were conducted to the house of one of the counsellors, and supped with him; and after supper they returned to the palace, and each retired to his own chamber, where they slept till morning. When they awoke, they heard the singing of the virgins and young girls from the houses around the public places of resort, which we mentioned above. They sung that morning the affection of conjugial love; the sweetness of which so affected and moved the hearers, that they perceived sensibly a blessed serenity instilled into their joys, which at the some time exalted and renewed them. At the hour appointed the angel said, "Make yourselves ready, and put on the heavenly garments which our prince sent you;" and they did so, and lo! the garments were resplendent as with a flaming light; and on their asking the angel, "Whence is this?" he replied, "Because you are going to a marriage-ceremony; and when that is the case, our garments always assume a shining appearance, and become marriage garments."
20. After this the angel conducted them to the house where the nuptials were to be celebrated, and the porter opened the door; and presently being admitted within the house, they were received and welcomed by an angel sent from the bridegroom, and were introduced and shewn to the seats intended for them: and soon after they were invited into an ante-chamber, in the middle of which they saw a table, and on it a magnificent candlestick with seven branches and sconces of gold: against the walls there were hung silver lamps, which being lighted made the atmosphere appear of a golden hue: and they observed on each side of the candlestick two tables, on which were set loaves in three rows; there were tables also at the four corners of the room, on which were placed crystal cups. While they were viewing these things, lo! a door opened from a closet near the marriage-chamber, and six virgins came out, and after them the bridegroom and the bride, holding each other by the hand, and advancing towards a seat placed opposite to the candlestick, on which they seated themselves, the bridegroom on the left hand, and the bride on the right, while the six virgins stood by the seat near the bride. The bridegroom was dressed in a robe of bright purple, and a tunic of fine shining linen, with an ephod, on which was a golden plate set round with diamonds, and on the plate was engraved a young eagle, the marriage-ensign of that heavenly society; on his head he wore a mitre: the bride was dressed in a scarlet mantle, under which was a gown, ornamented with fine needle-work, that reached from her neck to her feet, and beneath her bosom she wore a golden girdle, and on her head a golden crown set with rubies. When they were thus seated, the bridegroom turning himself towards the bride, put a golden ring on her finger; he then took bracelets and a pearl necklace, and clasped the bracelets about her wrists, and the necklace about her neck, and said, "Accept these pledges;" and as she accepted them he kissed her, and said, "Now thou art mine;" and he called her his wife. On this all the company cried out, "May the divine blessing be upon you!" These words were first pronounced by each separately, and afterwards by all together. They were pronounced also in turn by a certain person sent from the prince as his representative; and at that instant the ante-chamber was filled with an aromatic smoke, which was a token of blessing from heaven. Then the servants in waiting took loaves from the two tables near the candlestick, and cups, now filled with wine, from the tables at the corners of the room, and gave to each of the guests his own loaf and his own cup, and they ate and drank. After this the husband and his wife arose, and the six virgins attended them with the silver lamps, now lighted, in their hands to the threshold; and the married pair entered their chamber; and the door was shut.
21. Afterwards the conducting angel talked with the guests about his ten companions, acquainting them how he was commissioned to introduce them, and shew them the magnificent things contained in the prince's palace, and other wonderful sights; and how they had dined at table with him, and afterwards had conversed with the wise ones of the society; and he said, "May I be permitted to introduce them also to you, in order that they may enjoy the pleasure of your conversation?" So he introduced them, and they entered into discourse together. Then a certain wise personage, one of the marriage-guests, said, "Do you understand the meaning of what you have seen?" They replied, "But little;" and then they asked him, "Why was the bridegroom, who is now a husband, dressed in that particular manner?" He answered, "Because the bridegroom, now a husband, represented the Lord, and the bride, who is now a wife, represented the church; for marriages in heaven represent the marriage of the Lord with the church. This is the reason why he wore a mitre on his head, and was dressed in a robe, a tunic, and an ephod, like Aaron; and why the bride had a crown on her head, and wore a mantle like a queen; but to-morrow they will be dressed differently, because this representation lasts no longer than to-day." They further asked, "Since he represented the Lord, and she the church, why did she sit at his right hand?" The wise one replied, "Because there are two things which constitute the marriage of the Lord with the church—love and wisdom; the Lord is love, and the church is wisdom; and wisdom is at the right hand of love; for every member of the church is wise as of himself, and in proportion as he is wise he receives love from the Lord. The right hand also signifies power; and love has power by means of wisdom; but, as we have just observed, after the marriage-ceremony the representation is changed; for then the husband represents wisdom, and the wife the love of his wisdom. This love however is not primary, but secondary love; being derived from the Lord to the wife through the wisdom of the husband: the love of the Lord, which is the primary love, is the husband's love of being wise; therefore after marriage, both together, the husband and his wife, represent the church." They asked again, "Why did not you men stand by the bridegroom, now the husband, as the six virgins stood by the bride, now the wife?" The wise one answered, "Because we to-day are numbered among the virgins; and the number six signifies all and what is complete." But they said, "Explain your meaning." He replied, "Virgins signify the church; and the church consists of both sexes: therefore also we, with respect to the church, are virgins. That this is the case, is evident from these words in the Revelation: 'These are those who were not defiled with women; for they are Virgins: and they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,' chap. xiv. 4. And as virgins signify the church, therefore the Lord likened it to ten Virgins invited to a marriage, Mat. xxv. And as Israel, Zion, and Jerusalem, signify the church, therefore mention is so often made in the Word, of the Virgin and Daughter of Israel, of Zion, and of Jerusalem. The Lord also describes his marriage with the church in these words: 'upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir: her clothing is of wrought gold: she shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the Virgins her companions that follow her shall enter into the king's palace.' Psalm xlv. 9-16." Lastly they asked, "Is it not expedient that a priest be present and minister at the marriage ceremony?" The wise one answered, "This is expedient on the earth, but not in the heavens, by reason of the representation of the Lord himself and the church. On the earth they are not aware of this; but even with us a priest ministers in whatever relates to betrothings, or marriage contracts, and hears, receives, confirms, and consecrates the consent of the parties. Consent is the essential of marriage; all succeeding ceremonies are its formalities."
22. After this the conducting angel went to the six virgins, and gave them an account of his companions, and requested that they would vouchsafe to join company with them. Accordingly they came; but when they drew near, they suddenly retired, and went into the ladies' apartment to the virgins their companions. On seeing this, the conducting angel followed them, and asked why they retired so suddenly without entering into conversation? They replied. "We cannot approach:" and he said, "Why not?" They answered, "We do not know; but we perceived something which repelled us and drove us back again. We hope they will excuse us." The angel then returned to his companions, and told them what the virgins had said, and added, "I conjecture that your love of the sex is not chaste. In heaven we love virgins for their beauty and the elegance of their manners; and we love them intensely, but chastely." Hereupon his companions smiled and said, "You conjecture right: who can behold such beauties near and not feel some excitement?"
23. After much entertaining conversation the marriage-guests departed, and also the ten strangers with their attendant angel; and the evening being far advanced, they retired to rest. In the morning they heard a proclamation, TO-DAY IS THE SABBATH. They then arose and asked the angel what it meant: he replied, "It is for the worship of God, which returns at stated periods, and is proclaimed by the priests. The worship is performed in our temples and lasts about two hours; wherefore if it please you, come along with me, and I will introduce you." So they made themselves ready, and attended the angel, and entered the temple. It was a large building capable of containing about three thousand persons, of a semicircular form, with benches or seats carried round in a continued sweep according to the figure of the temple; the hinder ones being more elevated than those in front. The pulpit in front of the seats was drawn a little from the centre; the door was behind the pulpit on the left hand. The ten strangers entered with their conducting angel, who pointed out to them the places where they were to sit; telling them, "Every one that enters the temple knows his own place by a kind of innate perception; nor can he sit in any place but his own: in case he takes another place, he neither hears nor perceives anything, and he also disturbs the order; the consequence of which is, that the priest is not inspired."
24. When the congregation had assembled, the priest ascended the pulpit, and preached a sermon full of the spirit of wisdom. The discourse was concerning the sanctity of the Holy Scriptures, and the conjunction of the Lord with both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, by means thereof. In the illustration in which he then was, he fully proved, that that holy book was dictated by Jehovah the Lord, and that consequently He is in it, so as to be the wisdom it contains; but that the wisdom which is Himself therein, lies concealed under the sense of the letter, and is opened only to those who are in the truths of doctrine, and at the same time in goodness of life, and thus who are in the Lord, and the Lord in them. To his discourse he added a votive prayer and descended. As the audience were going out, the angel requested the priest to speak a few words of peace with his ten companions; so he came to them, and they conversed together for about half an hour. He discoursed concerning the divine trinity—that it is in Jesus Christ, in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, according to the declaration of the apostle Paul; and afterwards concerning the union of charity and faith; but he said, "the union of charity and truth;" because faith is truth.
25. After expressing their thanks they returned home; and then the angel said to them, "This is the third day since you came into the society of this heaven, and you were prepared by the Lord to stay here three days; it is time therefore that we separate; put off therefore the garments sent you by the prince, and put on your own." When they had done so, they were inspired with a desire to be gone; so they departed and descended, the angel attending them to the place of assembly; and there they gave thanks to the Lord for vouchsafing to bless them with knowledge, and thereby with intelligence, concerning heavenly joys and eternal happiness.
26. "I again solemnly declare, that these things were done and said as they are related; the former in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell, and the latter in the society of heaven to which the angel with the trumpet and the conductor belonged. Who in the Christian world would have known anything concerning heaven, and the joys and happiness there experienced, the knowledge of which is the knowledge of salvation, unless it had pleased the Lord to open to some person the sight of his spirit, in order to shew and teach them? That similar things exist in the spiritual world is very manifest from what were seen and heard by the apostle John, as described in the Revelation; as that he saw the Son of Man in the midst of seven candlesticks; also a tabernacle, temple, ark, and altar in heaven; a book sealed with seven seals; the book opened, and horses going forth thence; four animals around the throne; twelve thousand chosen out of every tribe; locusts ascending out of the bottomless pit; a dragon, and his combat with Michael; a woman bringing forth a male child, and flying into a wilderness on account of the dragon; two beasts, one ascending out of the sea, the other out of the earth; a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast; the dragon cast out into a lake of fire and brimstone; a white horse and a great supper; a new heaven and a new earth, and the holy Jerusalem descending described as to its gates, wall, and foundation; also a river of the water of life, and trees of life bearing fruits every month; besides several other particulars; all which things were seen by John, while as to his spirit he was in the spiritual world and in heaven: not to mention the things seen by the apostles after the Lord's resurrection; and what were afterwards seen and heard by Peter, Acts xi.; also by Paul; moreover by the prophets; as by Ezekiel, who saw four animals which were cherubs, chap i. and chap x.; a new temple and a new earth, and an angel measuring them, chap. xl.-xlviii.; and was led away to Jerusalem, and saw there abominations: and also into Chaldea into captivity, chap. viii. and chap. xi. The case was similar with Zechariah, who saw a man riding among myrtles; also four horns, chap. i. 8, and following verses; and afterwards a man with a measuring-line in his hand, chap. ii. 1, and following verses; likewise a candlestick and two olive trees, chap. iv. 2, and following verses; also a flying roll and an ephah, chap. v. 1, 6; also four chariots going forth between two mountains, and horses, chap. vi. 1, and following verses. So likewise with Daniel, who saw four beasts coming up out of the sea, chap. vii. 1, and following verses; also combats of a ram and he-goat, chap. viii. 1, and following verses; who also saw the angel Gabriel, and had much discourse with him, chap. ix.: the youth of Elisha saw chariots and horses of fire round about Elisha, and saw them when his eyes were opened, 2 Kings vi. 15, and following verses. From these and several other instances in the Word, it is evident, that the things which exist in the spiritual world, appeared to many both before and after the Lord's coming: is it any wonder then, that the same things should now also appear when the church is commencing, or when the New Jerusalem is coming down from the Lord out of heaven?"
ON MARRIAGES IN HEAVEN.
27. That there are marriages in heaven cannot be admitted as an article of faith by those who imagine that a man after death is a soul or spirit, and who conceive of a soul or spirit as of a rarefied ether or vapor; who imagine also, that a man will not live as a man till after the day of the last judgment; and in general who know nothing respecting the spiritual world, in which angels and spirits dwell, consequently in which there are heavens and hells: and as that world has been heretofore unknown, and mankind have been in total ignorance that the angels of heaven are men, in a perfect form, and in like manner infernal spirits, but in an imperfect form, therefore it was impossible for anything to be revealed concerning marriages in that world; for if it had it would have been objected, "How can a soul be joined with a soul, or a vapor with a vapor, as one married partner with another here on earth?" not to mention other similar objections, which, the instant they were made, would take away and dissipate all faith respecting marriages in another life. But now, since several particulars have been revealed concerning that world, and a description has also been given of its nature and quality, in the treatise on HEAVEN AND HELL, and also in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, the assertion, that marriages take place in that world, may be so far confirmed as even to convince the reason by the following propositions: I. A man (homo) lives a man after death. II. In this case a male is a male, and a female a female. III. Every one's peculiar love remains with him after death. IV. The love of the sex especially remains; and with those who go to heaven, which is the case with all who become spiritual here on earth, conjugial love remains. V. These things fully confirmed by ocular demonstration. VI. Consequently that there are marriages in the heavens. VII. Spiritual nuptials are to be understood by the Lord's words, where he says, that after the resurrection they are not given in marriage. We will now give an explanation of these propositions in their order.
28. I. A MAN LIVES A MAN AFTER DEATH. That a man lives a man after death has been heretofore unknown in the world, for the reasons just now mentioned; and, what is surprising, it has been unknown even in the Christian world, where they have the Word, and illustration thence concerning eternal life, and where the Lord himself teaches, That all the dead rise again; and that God is not the God of the dead but of the living, Matt. xxii. 31, 32. Luke xx. 37, 38. Moreover, a man, as to the affections and thoughts of his mind, is in the midst of angels and spirits, and is so consociated with them that were he to be separated from them he would instantly die. It is still more surprising that this is unknown, when yet every man that has departed this life since the beginning of creation, after his decease has come and does still come to his own, or, as it is said in the Word, has been gathered and is gathered to his own: besides every one has a common perception, which is the same thing as the influx of heaven into the interiors of his mind, by virtue of which he inwardly perceives truths, and as it were sees them, and especially this truth, that he lives a man after death; a happy man if he has lived well, and an unhappy one if he has lived ill. For who does not think thus, while he elevates his mind in any degree above the body, and above the thought which is nearest to the senses; as is the case when he is interiorly engaged in divine worship, and when he lies on his death-bed expecting his dissolution; also when he hears of those who are deceased, and their lot? I have related a thousand particulars respecting departed spirits, informing certain persons that are now alive concerning the state of their deceased brethren, their married partners, and their friends. I have written also concerning the state of the English, the Dutch, the Papists, the Jews, the Gentiles, and likewise concerning the state of Luther, Calvin, and Melancthon; and hitherto I never heard any one object, "How can such be their lot, when they are not yet risen from their tombs, the last judgement not being yet accomplished? Are they not in the meantime mere vaporous and unsubstantial souls residing, in some place of confinement (in quodam pu seu ubi)?" Such objections I have never yet heard from any quarter; whence I have been led to conclude, that every one perceives in himself that he lives a man after death. Who that has loved his married partner and his children when they are dying or are dead, will not say within himself (if his thought be elevated above the sensual principles of the body) that they are in the hand of God, and that he shall see them again after his own death, and again be joined with them in a life of love and joy?
29. Who, that is willing, cannot see from reason, that a man after death is not a mere vapor, of which no idea can be formed but as of a breath of wind, or of air and ether, and that such vapor constitutes or contains in it the human soul, which desires and expects conjunction with its body, in order that it may enjoy the bodily senses and their delights, as previously in the world? We cannot see, that if this were the case with a man after death, his state would be more deplorable than that of fishes, birds, and terrestrial animals, whose souls are not alive, and consequently are not in such anxiety of desire and expectation? Supposing a man after death to be such a vapor, and thus a breath of wind, he would either fly about in the universe, or according to certain traditions, would be reserved in a place of confinement, or in the limbo of the ancient fathers, until the last judgement. Who cannot hence from reason conclude, that those who have lived since the beginning of creation, which is computed to be about six thousand years ago, must be still in a similar anxious state, and progressively more anxious, because all expectation arising from desire produces anxiety, and being continued from time to time increases it; consequently, that they must still be either floating about in the universe, or be kept shut up in confinement, and thereby in extreme misery; and that must be the case with Adam and his wife, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with all who have lived since that time? All this being supposed true, it must needs follow, that nothing would be more deplorable than to be born a man. But the reverse of this is provided by the Lord, who is Jehovah from eternity and the Creator of the universe; for the state of the man that conjoins himself with him by a life according to his precepts, becomes more blessed and happy after death than before it in the world; and it is more blessed and happy from this circumstance, that the man then is spiritual, and a spiritual man is sensible of and perceives spiritual delight, which is a thousand times superior to natural delight.
30. That angels and spirits are men, may plainly appear from those seen by Abraham, Gideon, Daniel, and the prophets, and especially by John when he wrote the Revelation, and also by the women in the Lord's sepulchre, yea, from the Lord himself as seen by the disciples after his resurrection. The reason of their being seen was, because the eyes of the spirits of those who saw them were opened; and when the eyes of the spirit are opened, angels appear in their proper form, which is the human; but when the eyes of the spirit are closed, that is, when they are veiled by the vision of the bodily eyes, which derive all their impressions from the material world, then they do not appear.