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dow dwelt all great nations,” Ezek. xxxi. 5, 6. The like is said of Ashur as a cedar, and of birds or fowls in other places; as in Ezek. xvii. 23, Dan. iv. 7-18, Matt. xii. 31, 32, Mark iv. 32; Luke xiii. 19. " Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, come to my sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel : And I will set my glory among the heathen,” Ezek. xxxix. 17, 21, Apoc. xix. 17. And again, in Isaiah xviii. 1, 6, Ezek. xxxviii. 20, Hosea ix. 11, xj. 9, 11, Zephan. i. 3, Psalm viii. 7, 8, 9, Psalm 1. 11, Psalm civ. 11, 12. That birds signify such things as relate to the understanding, and thence to the thought and deliberation, appears manifestly from the birds in the spiritual world, where there are also seen birds of every genus and species ; in heaven, such as are most beautiful, birds of paradise, turtle doves and pigeons; in hell, dragons, owls, screech-owls, and the like, all which are lively representations of thoughts, proceeding from good affections in heaven, and of thoughts proceeding from evil affections in hell.
758. “ For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her," signifies, that they fabricated abominable tenets, which are the adulterations and profanations of what is good and true in the Word, and caused all who were born and educated in the kingdoms under their dominion, to imbibe them. That this is the signification of these words, may appear from the explanation above, in n. 631, 632, and n. 720, 721, where similar expressions occur, to which there is no need of adding more, except that the like is said of Babel in Jeremiah : “ Babylon hath been a golden cupin Jehovah's hand that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine, therefore the nations are mad," li. 7. “ And Babylon shall be for a bissing. In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake," li. 37, 39. By the wine which they drink, and with which they are intoxicated, are signified their tenets, the abominable nature of which
above, n. 754; among them is this abominable one, viz. that works, done according to their doctrinals, constitute merit, by transcribing the merit and righteousness of the Lord into such works, and thus into themselves, when nevertheless the all of charity and the all of faith, or every good and truth, is from the Lord, and what is from the Lord, remains the Lord's in those who are recipients ; for what is from the Lord is divine, and can never become the property of man. What is divine may be in man, but not in his proprium, for the proprium of man is nothing but evil, wherefore he who attaches what is divine to himself as his own, not only defiles, but also profanes it; for what is divine from the Lord is exquisitely separated from the proprium of man, and is elevated above it, and never immersed in it. But inasmuch as they transferred every thing divine in the Lord to themselves, and thus appropriated it, it flows like bituminous water, during a shower of rain, from a spring of bitumen. It is the same with this tenet, that justification is real sanctification, and that their saints are holy in themselves, when, nevertheless, the Lord only is holy, Apoc. xv. 4. More may be seen on the subject of merit in the work on The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 150–158.
759. “And the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies,” signifies, the superior and inferior orders in that hierarchy, who by the dominion over holy things aspire to divine majesty and super-royal glory, and continually aim at establishing them by multiplying monasteries and possessions under them, and by treasures which they collect and accumulate from the world for no purpose, and thus procure to themselves corporeal and natural pleasures by having celestial and spiritual dominion attributed to them.
By the merchants of Babylon, no others can be meant than those of the superior and inferior orders in their ecclesiastical hierarchy, because in verse 23 of this chapter it is said, that they are the great men of the earth ; and by the abundance of her delicacies through which they are waxed rich, no other things can be meant, than the dogmatical tenets by which, as means, they acquire dominion over the souls of men, and thus, also, over their possessions and wealth ; that they collect these for no purpose, and fill their treasures with them, is well known; and, likewise, that they make a traffic of the holy things of the church, since by offerings and gists made to monasteries and to their saints and images, and by masses, indulgences, and various dispensations, they sell salvation, or, what is the same thing, heaven. Who cannot see, that if the papal dominion had not received a check at the time of the reformation, they would have amassed together the possessions and riches of every kingdom in Europe, and in this case would have become sole lords, and the rest, servants ? Have they not derived from former ages, when they had power over einperors and kings, whom they could excommunicate and dethrone for disobedience, their principal opulence; and have they not annual revenues which are still immense, together with treasuries full of gold, silver, and jewels ? The like barbarous dominion still dwells in the minds of many of them, being kept within bounds solely by the fear of losing what power they have, by attempting to extend it any further. But what use do they make of these vast revenues, treasures, and possessions, except to pamper and gratify their pride, and to confirm their power and dominion to eternity ? From these considerations it may appear, what is here signified by the merchants of the earth, who are waxed rich through the abundance of the delicacies of Babylon. They are also called merchants in Isaiah : “ The inhabitants of Babylon shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them, they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame ;—even thy merchants from thy youth,” xlvii. 14, 15. To merchandise and trade, in the Word, signifies to procure spiritual riches, which are the knowledges of things true and good, and, in the opposite sense, the knowledges of things false and evil, and by the latter to gain the world, and by the former to gain heaven ; for which reason the Lord compared "the kingdom of heaven to a merchantman seeking goodly pearls,” Matt. xiii. 45, 46. And the members of the church to servants, " to whom were given
talents to trade with and make profit,” Matt. xxv 14– 20. And to whom there were given ten pounds, which they were in like manner to trade and make profit with, Luke xix. 12—26. And since by Tyre is signified the church with respect to the knowledges of things true and good, therefore her trade and merchandise are treated of throughout the whole of the twenty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel ; and it is said of her, “ With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee gold and silver into thy treasures By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic thou hast increased thy riches,” Ezek. xxviii. 4, 5. "And in another place : “ Tyre is laid waste, whose. merchants are princes, whose trafficers are the honorable of the earth," Isaiah xxiii. 1, 8. And the perverted church among the Jews in the land of Canaan, is called the land of traffic, Ezek. xvii. 4, xxvii.
760. “ And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," signifies, an exhortation from the Lord to all, as well those who are in that religion, as those who are not, to take heed not to connect themselves with it by acknowledgment and affection, lest, as to their souls, they should be joined with its abominations, and perish. By another voice from heaven, saying, is signified an exhortation from the Lord to all, as well those who are of that religion, as those who are not, because it follows, “ come out of her my people,” that is, all who approach the Lord. The reason why this exhortation is from the Lord, is, because the voice was from heaven ; " that ye be not partakers of her sins," signifies, to take heed lest as to their souls they should be conjoined with its abominations, and inasmuch as conjunction is effected by acknowledgment and affection, this also is signified. The reason why their sins are abominations, is because they are so called in the foregoing chapter, verse 4, " and that ye receive not of her plagues," signifies, lest they perish; for by plagues are signified evils and falses, and at the same time destruction by them; this is what is signified by plagues above, n. 657, 673, 676; and in other places. The like is said of Babylon in the Word in the following passages : “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul, from the fierce anger of Jehovah, and lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumor," Jerem. li. 45, 46. ?
6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver ye every man his soul, be not cut off in her iniquity," Jerem. li. 6. “Forsake her, and let us go every one into bis own country, for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies,” Jerem. li. 9. “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing ; declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, Jehovah hath redeemed," Isaiah xlviii. 20, 21, Jerem. 1. 8.
761. "For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God bath remembered her iniquities," signifies, that their evils and falses infest the heavens, which the Lord will protect from their violence. By her sins have reached unto heaven, is signified that their evils and falses infest the angels of heaven; by God hath remembered her iniquities, is signified, that the Lord will protect the heavens from their violence. The reason why this is signified, is, because all things in heaven are goods and truths, and all things in hell are evils and falses, and therefore the heavens and hells are altogether separated, and as inversely situated relatively to each other as antipodes; therefore evils and falses cannot reach to the heavens ; but yet when evils and falses are multiplied beyond the degrees of opposition, and thence beyond due measure, the heavens are infested, and unless the Lord then defends the heavens, which is effected by a stronger influx from himself, the heavens suffer violence, and when this arrives at its height, he then executes the last judgment, and they thus are delivered. On this account it is said further on in this chapter, “ Rejoice over her, thou heaven, for God hath avenged you on her," verse 20, and in the xixth chap. which comes next, verse 1-9, and in Jeremiah, “ Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing over Babylon, for the spoilers shall come unto her," li. 48.