Apocalypse Revealed (Coulsons) n. 537

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537. 'And behold a great red dragon' signifies those in the Church of the Reformed who make God three and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith and make faith saving and not charity at the same time. It is these who here and in the things following are understood by 'the dragon', for they are against the two Essentials of the New Church, which are: that God is One in essence and person in Whom is the Trinity, and that that God is the Lord; also that charity and faith are one like an essence and its form, and that no others have charity and faith but those who live in accordance with the precepts of the Decalogue. These precepts are that evils are not to be done, and in so far as any one does not do evils by fleeing from them as sins against God, so far he does the goods that are of charity and believes the truths that are of faith. [2] That those who make God three and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith and make the latter saving and not the former at the same time, are against the two Essentials of the New Church can be seen by any one who has considered the matter. It is said 'those who make God three and the Lord two', and those who think of three Persons as of three Gods and who separate the Lord's Human from His Divine are understood. And who thinks otherwise, or can think otherwise, if he prays according to the formula of faith 'that God the Father may send the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Son'? Is he not praying to God the Father as to one God, and for the sake of the Son as concerning a second, and concerning the Holy Spirit as a third? It is plain as a consequence that, although anyone in his thought makes the three Persons one God, still he divides them, that is, he divides his idea into three Gods when he so prays. The same formula of faith also makes the Lord two, since then only the Human of the Lord and not at the same the His Divine is thought of, for [the idea] 'for the sake of the Son' is for the sake of His Human that has suffered the cross. In consequence of these considerations it can now be established who they are who are understood by 'the dragon' who wanted to devour the offspring of the woman, and afterwards pursued the woman even into the wilderness on account of her offspring. [3] The dragon is said to be 'great' because all the Churches of the Reformed separate God into three Persons and make faith the only means of salvation, except for some here and there who do not believe in like manner concerning the Trinity and concerning faith. Those who separate God into three Persons and adhere to these words of the ATHANASIAN DOCTRINE, 'There is One Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit', and also to these, 'The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God'; those, I say, cannot make one God out of the Three. They are indeed able to say that they are One God, but are not able to think so. Equally, those who think of the Lord's Divine from eternity as of the Second Person of the Divinity, and of His Human in the as of the human of another man, cannot do otherwise than make the Lord two, notwithstanding its being said in the ATHANASIAN DOCTRINE that His Divine and Human are One Person, united as soul and body. [4] The dragon is said to be 'red' because 'red' signifies the untruth derived from the evils of lusts, and this is infernal untruth. Now because these two Essentials of the doctrine in the Churches of the Reformed are untrue, and untruths lay the Church waste, for they deprive it of its truths and goods, therefore they were represented by a 'dragon'. This is because in the Word by a 'dragon' the devastation of the Church is signified, as can be established from the following passages:-

I will make Jerusalem into heaps, a habitation of dragons, and I will reduce the cities of Judah into a waste Jer. ix 11 [H.B. 10].

Behold a great tumult is coming out of the land of the north, to reduce the cities of Judah into a waste, a habitation of dragons Jer. x 22.

Hazor shall become a habitation of dragons, a desolation even for an age Jer. xlix 33.

That it may he a habitation of dragons, a court for the daughters of the owl Isa. xxxiv 13.

In the habitation of dragons is his couch Isa. xxxv 7.

I will go stripped and naked, I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning like the daughters of the owl Micah i 13.

I cried, I have become a brother to dragons, and a companion to the daughters of the screech owl Job xxx 28, 29.

The ijim shall answer in his palaces, and dragons in the temples Isa. xiii 22.

Let Babel be a heap, a habitation of dragons, for hissing and astonishment Jer. li 37.

Thou hast bruised us in a place of dragons, and covered us over with the shadow of death Ps. xliv 18, 19 [H.B. 19, 20].

I have laid the mountains of Esau waste, and set his heritage for the dragons of the wilderness Mal. i 3;

besides elsewhere, as Isa. xliii 20; Jer. xiv 6; Ps. xci 13, 14; Deut. xxxii 33. [5] That by 'the dragon' here are understood those who are in faith alone, and who reject the works of the law as not contributing to salvation, has been testified to me in the spiritual world by living experience on several occasions. I have seen many thousands of them gathered into a crowd, and then from afar off they have been seen as a dragon with a long tail that appeared set with spikes like thorns, these signifying untruths. Once also a still larger dragon was seen, and he with his back arched up lifted his tail even up to the sky in an attempt to draw the stars down therefrom. Thus it was made manifest before my eyes that by 'the dragon' no others are understood.

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