Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1885

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

1885. These two types of visions however are out of the ordinary, and I was shown them for the sole purpose of my knowing the nature of them. But the things I have ordinarily seen are all those which, recounted in the Lord's Divine mercy, you may see in this first Volume - in the sections placed before and after each chapter. Those experiences are not visions however but things seen when my body has been fully awake, and this for several years now.a


a Volume One of the Latin ends here.


[Each chapter in Volume Two of the Latin (Chapters 16-21) was published separately. This Preface therefore may be said to belong before Chapter 16 only. Another Preface occurs before Chapter 18.]

Volume One consisted of an explanation of fifteen chapters of Genesis, stating what these contain in the internal sense. Adjoined to each chapter also were things I have been allowed in the Lord's Divine mercy to see and hear in the world of spirits and in the angelic heaven. Now comes Volume Two in which such matters are going to be appended in a similar way to each chapter. That which will be appended to this Chapter 16 is concerned with 'Visions and Dreams', including those that are prophetical which are described in the Word. I know few people will believe that anyone is able to see the things that manifest themselves in the next life and is consequently able to report anything on the state of souls after death; for few believe in the resurrection, indeed fewer of the learned than of the simple do so. It is true that they speak of it with their lips, for the reason that the doctrine of faith teaches that they will rise again; nevertheless they deny it in their hearts.

[2] In fact some go on to declare quite openly that they will not believe it until somebody rises from the dead, and they see, hear, and touch that person. If this were to be done however it would have to be done for every individual - though in fact no one like this who is a denier at heart would be persuaded by it, but thousands of objections would enter in, which would harden his mind in its negative attitude. Others however say that they will indeed rise again, but on Judgement Day, regarding which they have adopted the idea that at that time all things in the visible universe are going to perish. Yet because people have been awaiting that day for so many centuries, they too are in doubt. What is meant by the Last Judgement spoken of in the Word will be stated briefly, in the Lord's Divine mercy, at the end of Chapter 17 below.

[3] From this it may be seen what people are like in the Christian world at the present day. The Sadducees referred to in Matt 22:23 and following verses openly denied any resurrection, yet they did better than those at the present day who, though they say that they do not deny it because, as has been stated, the doctrine of faith teaches it, do nevertheless at heart deny it, so that their words are contrary to their belief, and their belief contrary to their words. To prevent them confirming themselves any further in that false notion however I have been allowed, in the Lord's Divine mercy, while still in the physical body in the world, to be in the spirit in the next life - for a human being is a spirit clothed with a body. In that world I have been allowed to talk to souls who have risen again not long after their decease. Indeed I have been allowed to talk to almost everyone who has died and with whom I was acquainted during their lifetime, and also day by day for several years now to talk to spirits and angels, and to see the remarkable things in that world which have never entered anyone's imagination. And in none of these experiences have I been in any way deluded.

[4] Because so many people assert that they will believe if someone comes back to them from the next life it now remains to be seen whether, despite the hardness of their hearts, they will be persuaded. This I can say quite definitely, that those entering the next life from the Christian world are the worst of all for hating the neighbour, hating faith, and denying the Lord - for in that life what is in the heart declares itself, not what is simply on the lips. They are also worse adulterers than all others. And because heaven is thereby beginning to be taken away from those inside the Church, it becomes clear, as I have also been permitted to know quite definitely, that the last times are at hand. With regard to the internal sense of the Word - what it is, and the nature of it- please see what has been stated and shown in Volume One, in 1-5, 64-66, 167, 605, 920, 937, 1143, 1224, 1404, 1405, 1408, 1409, 1502 (end), 1540, 1659, 1756, especially in 1767-1777 and 1869-1879, and in 1783, 1807; and in this Volume in 1886-1889 inclusive.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church