Page images

are signified by locusts in the Word, therefore they are called locusts, as also crowned and commanders, in Nahum: "There shall the fire devour thee, it shall eat thee up like the canker-worm; make thyself many as the canker-worm, make thyself many as the locusts; thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the locust of locusts," iii. 15, 16, 17. It is in consequence of falses in extreme or lowest principles consuming the truths and goods of the church, as they spring up in man, that they are signified by locusts, which consume the grass and herb of the field, as may be evident from these passages: "Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, for the locust shall consume it," Deut. xxviii. 38. "That which the palmer-worm hath left hath the locust eaten, and that which the locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten, and that which the canker-worm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten," Joel. i. 4, 5. "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm have eaten," Joel ii. 24, 25. The same is signified by the locusts in Egypt, concerning which it is thus written in Moses: "And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the east wind brought the locusts. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt;-before them there were no such locusts, and they did eat every herb of the land:" and afterwards, "Moses stretched forth his rod, and the locusts were cast into the red sea," Exod. x. 13, and subsequent verses; and in David: He gave their produce to the caterpillar, and their labor to the locust, Psalm cv. 34, 35. By the miracles in Egypt is described the vastation of the church; and by this miracle, vastation by falses in extreme or lowest principles; and the extreme or lowest principles of man's life, when the interiors on which they depend are closed, are infernal; for this reason it is that it is said the locusts were cast into the red sea, by which is signified hell.

As few at this day know what is meant by the sensual principle, and what the quality of the sensual man is; and as locusts signify such, the following extracts are therefore adduced concerning it from the Arcana Calestia.

"That the sensual principle is the ultimate of the life of "man's mind, adhering and cohering to his five bodily "senses, n. 5077, 5767, 9121, 9216, 9331, 9730. That "he is called a sensual man who judges of all things by "his bodily senses, and who believes nothing but what he "can see with his eyes, and touch with his hands; saying "that these are something, and rejecting the rest, n. 5094, "7693. That the interiors of his mind, which see from "the light of heaven, are closed, so that he sees nothing "of truth there, which is of heaven and the church, n. "6564, 6844, 6845. That such a man thinks in extreme "or lowest principles, and not interiorly from any spiritual "light, n. 5089, 5094, 5564, 7693. In short, that they "are in a dense natural light, n. 6201, 6310, 6464, 6844, 6845, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6524. That thence interiorly "they are against the things which are of heaven and the "church, but that exteriorly they can speak in favor of "them, and ardently, according to the dominion they ex"ercise by means of them, n. 6201, 6316, 6844, 6845, "6948, 6949. That the learned and erudite, who have "confirmed themselves deeply in falses, and still more


[ocr errors]

they who have confirmed themselves against the truths "of the Word, are sensual above all others, n. 6316. "That sensual men reason acutely and subtilely, because "their thought is so near their speech that it is almost in it, and as it were in their lips, and because they place "all intelligence in speech from memory only; also that "some of them can dextrously confirm falses, and that "after confirmation they believe them to be truths, n. "195, 196, 5700, 10236. But that they reason and "confirm things from the fallacies of the senses, by which "the vulgar are captivated and persuaded, n. 5084, 6948, "6949, 7693. That sensual men are more cunning and "malicious than others, n. 7693, 10236. That the avaricious, adulterers, and the voluptuous and deceitful, are especially sensual, although in the eyes of the world they do not appear so, n. 6310. That the interiors of "their minds are filthy and unclean, n. 6201. That by "these they communicate with the hells, n. 6311. That they who are in the hells are sensual, and the more so

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"in proportion to the depths to which they have fallen, ❝n. 4623, 6311. That the sphere of infernal spirits con"joins itself with the sensual principle of man from behind, n. 6312. That they who have reasoned from sensual "things only, and thence against the genuine truths of the "church, were called by the ancients, serpents of the tree "of knowledge, n. 195, 196, 197, 6398, 6399, 10313. "Moreover the sensual principle or faculty of man, and "the sensual man, are described, n. 10236: and the ex"tension of things sensual in man, n. 9731. That sen"sual things ought to be in the last place, and not in the "first, and that in a wise and intelligent man they are in "the last place, and subject to the interiors; but that in 66 a foolish man, they are in the first place, and govern; "these are they who are properly called sensual, n. 5077, "5125, 5128, 7645. If sensual things are in the last "place, a way is opened by them to the understanding, "and truths are corrected by a mode of extraction, n. "5580. That those sensual things are in close contact "with the world, and admit the things which flow from "the world, and, as it were, sift them, n. 9726. That "man, by means of those sensual things, communicates "with the world, and, by means of rational things, with "heaven, n. 4009. That sensual things supply such as 66 are subservient to the interiors of the mind, n. 5077, "5081. That there are sensual things which minister to "the intellectual part; and such as minister to the voluntary part, n. 5077. That unless the thought be elevated "above sensual things, man enjoys but little wisdom, n. "5089. That a wise man thinks above sensual things, "n. 5089, 5094. That man, when his thought is elevated "above sensual things, comes into a clearer light, and, at "length, into heavenly light, n. 6183, 6313, 6315, 9407, "9730, 9922. That elevation above sensual things, and "abstraction from them, was known to the ancients, n. "6313. That man, by his spirit, might perceive the "things which are done in the spiritual world, if he could "be withdrawn from sensual things, and be elevated into "the light of heaven by the Lord, n. 4622. The reason "is, because the body does not think, but the spirit of man

[ocr errors]

"in the body; and in proportion as it thinks in the body, "in the same proportion it thinks obscurely and in dark"ness; and in proportion as it does not think in the body, "in the same proportion it thinks clearly and in the light; "but in spiritual things, n. 4622, 6614, 6622. That the "sensual scientific principle is the ultimate of the understanding, and sensual delight, the ultimate of the will, "n. 9996. What the difference is between the sensual "things common to beasts, and the sensual things not 66 common to them, n. 10236. That there are sensual men not wicked, by reason that their interiors are not "closed correspondently, concerning whose state in an"other life, see n. 6311."

425. And unto them were given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power," signifies, the power of persuading that their falses are truths. By a scorpion is signified deadly persuasion; and, by a scorpion of the earth, persuasion in things relating to the church; the earth signifying the church, n. 285; for a scorpion, when he stings a man, induces a stupor upon the limbs, which, if it be not cured, is followed by death; their persuasion produces a corresponding effect upon the understanding. Such is also the signification of scorpion in these passages: "And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house,' Ezek. ii. 6. Jesus said unto the seventy whom he sent forth, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you," Luke x. 10.

[ocr errors]

426. "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads," signifies, the divine providence of the Lord, that they should not be able to take away any truth and good of faith, nor any affection and perception of them, from any others than such as are not in charity and thence not in faith. By its being_commanded them, is signified the Lord's divine providence,

[blocks in formation]

because it was commanded from heaven; by not hurting the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, is signified not to be able to take away any truth and good of faith; for by grass, is signified the truth of faith, which is what first springs up in man, n. 401; and, by green thing, is signified the living principle of faith, which is derived from good, n. 401; by not hurting any tree, is signified not to be able to take away the affection and perception of truth and good; for by a tree, is signified man as to these qualities, n. 400; by those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, are signified they who are not in charity, and thence in faith; for the forehead signifies love and charity, n. 347; and to have the seal, signifies to know and distinguish them from others, n. 345. The reason why they who have confirmed faith alone, to the very arcana of justification and salvation by it, cannot take away any truth and good of faith, nor the affection and perception of them, from any but those who are not in the faith of charity, is, because they are scarcely comprehended by any one but the priest who teaches and preaches them. The layman hears them, but they enter in at one ear and go out at the other; which the priest himself, who utters those arcana, may know of a certainty from this circumstance, that he himself spent the whole force of his genius in acquiring a knowledge of them in his youth, and afterwards in retaining them in adult age, likewise from his considering himself as a man of extraordinary learning: what then must be the case with a layman, who simply thinks of faith from charity, when he hears these mysteries? From what has been said, it may be seen, that faith alone, as being competent to justification, is the faith of the clergy, and not of the laity, save such of them as live unconcernedly, who imbibe no more from their arcana than that faith alone saves; that they cannot do good from themselves, nor fulfill the law; and that Christ suffered for them; besides some other universals of a similar nature.

[ocr errors]

427. "And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months,' signifies, that from the divine providence of the Lord, they

« PreviousContinue »