The Four Ages

- from the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
The Four Beasts - continued

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That the states of the church are likewise described in the Word by beasts, as well as by metals, is evident from numberless passages, some only of which I will adduce here; which are as follows:

He was not with beasts, but with devils, with whom He fought and whom He subdued; besides a thousand other passages, which are in part adduced in the Apocalypse Revealed (AR n. 567).

Moreover, it is known that the Lord Himself, in the Word, is called a "Lamb" and also a "Lion;" likewise, that the Holy Spirit was represented as a "dove;" that the "cherubim," also, by which the Word in the literal sense is signified, appeared like "four beasts," in Ezekiel and in the Apocalypse; and that the man of the church who acknowledges the Lord as his God and Shepherd, is called a "sheep;" and, on the other hand, he who does not acknowledge Him, is called a "he-goat" and also a "dragon;" and that an assembly of the latter is described, in like manner as in Daniel, by:

These comparisons originate from the spiritual world, where all the affections and the thoughts therefrom, of angels and spirits, are presented at a distance from them as beasts which also appear in a form in all respects similar to that of the beasts in the natural world; the affections of the love of good as gentle beasts and good uses, but the affections of the love of evil as savage beasts and evil uses. Hence it is that "beasts" are so often named in the Word; and by them in the spiritual sense are signified affections, inclinations, perceptions and thoughts. From these things it is manifest what is meant by "creatures" in the following passages:

By "creatures," here, are meant those who can be created anew, that is, regenerated, and thus become of the Lord's church.


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