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AR Chapter 16
AR 716. To the above I will add this Relation.
In the spiritual world I spoke with some English bishops concerning the small works published there at London in the year 1758, which were Concerning Heaven and Hell, Concerning the New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, Concerning the Last Judgment, Concerning the White Horse and Concerning the Earths in the Universe; which small works were sent as a gift to all the bishops, and to many of the nobles or lords. They said that they received them, and saw them, but did not think them worthy, although skilfully written; and likewise that they persuaded as many as they could not to read them. I asked, Why so? when yet there are there arcana concerning heaven and hell, and concerning the life after death, and more things most worthy of attention, which have been revealed by the Lord for those who will be of His New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. But they said, "What is this to us?" and they poured out vituperations against them as formerly in the world. I heard them. And then these things were read before them from the Apocalypse:--
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water of it was dried up, that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared; and I saw out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons doing signs to go away unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them together unto the battle of that great day of God Almighty; and He gathered them together unto the place called in Hebrew Armageddon (Apoc. 16:12-16).
This was explained before them; and it was said that they, and similar persons elsewhere, were meant by these things. The king, grandfather to the king now reigning, heard from heaven these things which were said to the bishops; and being somewhat indignant said, "What is this?" And then a certain one of them, who had not made one with them in the world, turned to the king, and said, "These, whom you now see with your eyes, thought in the world, and hence also think now, of the Lordís Divine Human as of the human of a common man, and attribute all salvation and redemption to God the Father, and not to the Lord, except as a cause for the sake of which they are. For they believe in God the Father, and not in His Son, although they know from the Lord, that it is the will of the Father, that they should believe in the Son; and that they who believe in the Son should have eternal life; and that they who do not believe in the Son, will not see life. Besides this, they cast out charity, which is done by the Lord through man as by him, from the smallest part in salvation." Speaking further with the king, he exposed the hierarchy which many of them continually affect and also exercise, which they strengthen by conjunction and combination with all of their order, by means of emissaries, internuncios, letters and conversations, upheld by ecclesiastical and at the same time political authority; from which they almost all hold together like one bundle. And it is also effected by that hierarchy, that the above-named works for the New Jerusalem, though published at London, and sent to them as a gift, have been so shamefully rejected, that they have not even been held worthy to be named among the books of their catalogue. On hearing this the king was astonished, especially at their thinking so of the Lord, who yet is the God of heaven and earth, and of charity, which yet is religion itself. And then the interiors of their mind and faith were laid open by light let in from heaven; and the king saw, and then said, "Depart; alas, who can grow so callous against hearing anything concerning heaven and eternal life?" The king then inquired, whence so universal an obedience was paid to them by the clergy; and it was said that it was from the authority conceded to every bishop in his diocese, of nominating to the king only one candidate to the churches, and not three, as in other kingdoms. Also that from that power they had the influence to advance their dependents to higher honors and larger incomes, each one according to the obedience which he manifests. It was also disclosed how far that hierarchy might go, and that it might advance so far that dominion would be the essential, and religion formal. The ardor of these for dominion was also laid open, and viewed by the angels; and it was seen to exceed the ardor for dominion of those who are in secular authority.