417. Again, how immense the heaven of the Lord is can be seen from this, that all the planets visible to the eye in our solar system are earths, and moreover, that in the whole universe there are innumerable earths, all of them full of inhabitants. These have been treated of particularly in a small work on those earths from which I will quote the following passage:
It is fully known in the other life that there are many earths inhabited by men from which spirits and angels come; for everyone there who desires from a love of truth and of use to do so is permitted to talk with spirits of other earths, and thus be assured that there is a plurality of worlds, and learn that the human race is not from one earth alone, but from innumerable earths. I have frequently talked about this with spirits of our earth, and was told that any intelligent person ought to know from many things that he does know that there are many earths inhabited by men; for it may be reasonably inferred that immense bodies like the planets, some of which exceed this earth in magnitude, are not empty masses created merely to be borne through space and to be carried around the sun, and to shine with their scanty light for the benefit of a single earth, but must have a more important use. He that believes, as everyone must believe, that the Divine created the universe for no other end than that the human race might exist, and heaven therefrom, for the human race is a seminary of heaven, must needs believe that wherever there is an earth there are men. That the planets visible to us because they are within the limits of our solar system are earths is evident from their being bodies of earthy matters, which is known from their reflecting the sun's light, and from their not appearing, when viewed through telescopes, like stars, sparkling with flame, but like earths varied with darker portions; also from their passing like our earth around the sun and following in the path of the zodiac, thus making years and seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, also revolving on their axes like our earth, making days and times of the day, morning, mid-day, evening, and night; also from some of them having moons, called satellites, that revolve around their earth at stated times, as the moon does around ours; while the planet Saturn, being at a greater distance from the sun, has also a large luminous belt which gives much light, though reflected, to that earth. Who that knows all this and thinks rationally can ever say that the planets are empty bodies? Moreover, I have said to spirits that man might believe that there are more earths in the universe than one, from the fact that the starry heaven is so immense, and the stars there so innumerable, and each of them in its place or in its system a sun, resembling our sun, although of a varying magnitude. Any one who duly weighs the subject must conclude that such an immense whole must needs be a means to an end that is the final end of creation; and this end is a heavenly kingdom in which the Divine may dwell with angels and men. For the visible universe or the heaven illumined by stars so numberless, which are so many suns, is simply a means for the existence of earths with men upon them from whom the heavenly kingdom is derived. From all this a rational man must needs conclude that so immense a means to so great an end could not have been provided merely for the human race on a single earth. What would this be for a Divine that is infinite, to which thousands and even myriads of earths, all of them full of inhabitants, would be little and scarcely anything? There are spirits whose sole pursuit is the acquisition of knowledges, because their delight is in this alone; and for this reason they are permitted to wander about, and even to pass out of our solar system into others, in acquiring knowledge. These spirits, who are from the planet Mercury, have told me that there are earths with men upon them not only in this solar system but also beyond it in the starry heaven in immense numbers. It was calculated that with a million earths in the universe, and on each earth three hundred millions of men, and two hundred generations in six thousand years, and a space of three cubic ells allowed to each man or spirit, the total number of so many men or spirits would not fill the space of this earth, and scarcely more than the space of one of the satellites about one of the planets - a space in the universe so small as to be almost invisible, since a satellite can scarcely be seen by the naked eye. What is this for the Creator of the universe, to whom it would not be sufficient if the whole universe were filled, since He is infinite? I have talked with angels about this, and they said that they had a similar idea of the fewness of the human race compared with the infinity of the Creator, although their thought is from states, not from spaces, and that in their thought earths amounting to as many myriads as could possibly be conceived of would still be nothing at all to the Lord.
The earths in the universe, with their inhabitants, and the spirits and angels from them, are treated of in the above mentioned work. What is there related has been revealed and shown to me to the intent that it may be known that the heaven of the Lord is immense, and that it is all from the human race; also that our Lord is every where acknowledged as the God of heaven and earth.