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from the Lord to themselves. That a bird signifies such things as pertain to the understanding and thought, and thence to deliberation, in both senses, as well evil. as good, is evident from the Word. They occur, in a bad sense, in the following places: “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,” Dan. ix. 27. « But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it, the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it," Isaiah xxxiv. 11. Nothing but infernal falses are signified by the wild beasts of the deserts and of the islands, and by the owls and dragons, in the above-cited passages, or by “the fowls which came down upon the carcasses, which Abram drove away,” Gen. xv. 10. By “the fowls to which their carcasses were to be given for food,” Jerem. vii. 33, xv. 3, xvi. 4, xix. 7, xxxiv. 20, Ezek. xxix. 5, Psalm 1xxix. 1, 2; or by the “ fowls which devour what is sowed,” Matt. xiii. 3, 4. In a good sense, in the following passages : " Let creeping things and flying fowl praise the name of Jehovah," Psalm cxlvii. 10 in that day will I make a covenant for them with the fowls of heaven and with the creeping things of the ground,” Hosea ii. 18. “ Ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee, and the fowls of the air and they shall tell thee ; Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this ?” Job xii. 7, 8, 9. held, and lo, there was no man, all the birds of the heavens were fled,” Jerem. iv. 24, 25, 26. " Both the fowl of the heavens and the beasts are fed ;— And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons," Jerem. ix. 9, 10, xii. 9. “Because there is no truth, nor mercy, por knowledge of God,- Therefore shall the land mourn, -with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven,” Hosea iv. 1, 2, 3. “I am God,-Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country,” Isaiah xlvi. 9, 11. “Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon,-all the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his sha
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dow dwelt all great nations,” Ezek. xxxi. 5, 6. The like is said of Ashur as a cedar, and of birds or fowls in other places; as in Ezek. xvii. 23, Dan. iv. 7-18, Matt. xiii. 31, 32, Mark iv. 32; Luke xiii. 19. “Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, come to my sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel :And I will set my glory among the hcathen,” Ezek. xxxix. 17, 21, Apoc. xix. 17. And again, in Isaiah xviï. 1, 6, Ezek. Xxxviii. 20, Hosea ix. 11, xi. 9, 11, Zephan. i. 3, Psalm viii. 7, 8, 9, Psalm 1. 11, Psalm civ. 11, 12, That birds signify such things as relate to the understanding, and thence to the thought and deliberation, appears manifestly from the birds in the spiritual world, where there are also seen birds of every genus and species ; in heaven, such as are most beautiful, birds of paradise, turtle doves and pigeons ; in hell, dragons, owls, screech-owls, and the like, all which are lively representations of thoughts, proceeding from good affections in heaven, and of thoughts proceeding from evil affections in hell.
758. “ For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her," signifies, that they fabricated abominable tenets, which are the adulterations and profanations of what is good and true in the Word, and caused all who were born and educated in the kingdoms under their dominion, to imbibe them. That this is the signification of these words, may appear from the explanation above, in n. 631, 632, and n. 720, 721, where similar expressions occur, to which there is no need of adding more, except that the like is said of Babel in Jeremiah : “ Babylon hath been a golden cup in Jehovah's hand that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine, therefore the nations are mad," li. 7. “And Babylon shall be for a hissing.-In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake," li. 37, 39. By the wine which they drink, and with which they are intoxicated, are signified their tenets, the abominable nature of which may be seen
above, n. 754; among them is this abominable one, viz. that works, done according to their doctrinals, constitute merit, by transcribing the merit and righteousness of the Lord into such works, and thus into themselves, when nevertheless the all of charity and the all of faith, or every good and truth, is from the Lord, and what is from the Lord, remains the Lord's in those who are recipients; for what is from the Lord is divine, and can never become the property of man. What is divine may be in man, but not in his proprium, for the proprium of man is nothing but evil, wherefore he who attaches what is divine to himself as his own, not only defiles, but also profanes it ; for what is divine from the Lord is exquisitely separated from the proprium of man, and is elevated above it, and never immersed in it. But inasmuch as they transferred every thing divine in the Lord to themselves, and thus appropriated it, it flows like bituminous water, during a shower of rain, from a spring of bitumen. It is the same with this tenet, that justification is real sanctification, and that their saints are holy in themselves, when, nevertheless, the Lord only is holy, Apoc. xv. 4. More may be seen on the subject of merit in the work on The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 150–158.
759. “And the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies," signifies, the superior and inferior orders in that hierarchy, who by the dominion over holy things aspire to divine majesty and super-royal glory, and continually aim at establishing them by multiplying monasteries and possessions under them, and by treasures which they collect and accumulate from the world for no purpose, and thus procure to themselves corporeal and natural pleasures by having celestial and spiritual_dominion attributed to them. By the merchants of Babylon, no others can be meant than those of the superior and inferior orders in their ecclesiastical hierarchy, because in verse 23 of this chapter it is said, that they are the great men of the earth; and by the abundance of her delicacies through which they are waxed rich, no other things can be meant, than the dogmatical tenets by which, as means, they acquire dominion
over the souls of men, and thus, also, over their possessions and wealth' ; that they collect these for no purpose, and fill their treasures with them, is well known; and, likewise, that they make a traffic of the holy things of the church, since by offerings and gifts made to monasteries and to their saints and images, and by masses, indulgences, and various dispensations, they sell salvation, or, what is the same thing, heaven. Who cannot see, that if the papal dominion had not received a check at the time of the reformation, they would have amassed together the possessions and riches of every kingdom in Europe, and in this case would have become sole lords, and the rest, servants? Have they not derived from former ages, when they had power over emperors and kings, whom they could excommunicate and dethrone for disobedience, their principal opulence; and have they not annual revenues which are still immense, together with treasuries full of gold, silver, and jewels ? The like barbarous dominion still dwells in the minds of many of them, being kept within bounds solely by the fear of losing what power they have, by attempting to extend it any further. But what use do they make of these vast revenues, treasures, and possessions, except to pamper and gratify their pride, and to confirm their power and dominion to eternity ? From these considerations it may appear, what is here signified by the merchants of the earth, who are waxed rich through the abundance of the delicacies of Babylon. They are also called merchants in Isaiah: “ The inhabitants of Babylon shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them, they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame ;—even thy merchants from thy youth,” xlvii. 14, 15. To merchandise and trade, in the Word, signifies to procure spiritual riches, which are the knowledges of things true and good, and, in the opposite sense, the knowledges of things false and evil, and by the latter to gain the world, and by the former to gain heaven ; for which reason the Lord compared " the kingdom of heaven to a merchantman seeking goodly pearls," Matt. xiii. 45, 46. And the members of the church to servants, to whom were given
talents to trade with and make profit,” Matt. xxv 14 20. And to whom there were given ten pounds, which they were in like manner to trade and make profit with, Luke xix. 12–26. And since by Tyre is signified the church with respect to the knowledges of things true and good, therefore her trade and merchandise are treated of throughout the whole of the twenty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel ; and it is said of her, “ With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee gold and silver into thy treasures By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic thou hast increased thy riches,” Ezek. xxviii. 4, 5. "And in another place : “ Tyre is laid waste, whose merchants are princes, whose trafficers are the honorable of the earth," Isaiah xxiii. 1, 3. And the perverted church among the Jews in the land of Canaan, is called the land of traffic, Ezek. xvii. 4, xxviii.
760. “ And I heard another voice from heaven, saying Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues,” signifies, an exhortation from the Lord to all, as well those who are in that religion, as those who are not, to take heed not to connect themselves with it by acknowledgment and affection, lest, as to their souls, they should be joined with its abominations, and perish. By another voice from heaven, saying, is signified an exhortation from the Lord to all, as well those who are of that religion, as those who are not, because it follows, co come out of her my people,” that is, all who approach the Lord. The reason why this exhortation is from the Lord, is, because the voice was from heaven; "that ye be not partakers of her sins," signifies, to take heed lest as to their souls they should be conjoined with its abominations, and inasmuch as conjunction is effected by acknowledgment and affection, this also is signified. The reason why, their sins are abominations, is because they are so called in the foregoing chapter, verse 4, “ and that ye receive not of her plagues," signifies, lest they perish; for by plagues are signified evils and falses, and at the same time destruction by them ; this is what is signified by plagues