« EdellinenJatka »
OF THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE; OF THE COMING OF THE LORD; AND OF THE NEW HEAVEN, AND NEW CHURCH.
1. THAT THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE IS THE LAST TIME OR END OF THE CHURCH.
753. On this earth there have been several churches, all of which in process of time have come to their consummation, and then have been succeeded by new ones, and so on to the present time; the consummation of the church
*The author having spoken more particularly of the present and former churches in the Appendix to this work, it is thought expedient, for the reader's satisfaction, to transcribe in this place the heads of the subjects contained in it; at the same time recommending the reader to consult the work itself. It is entitled, 4 Coronis or Appendix to the True Christian Religion, treating of the Four Churches which have been on this earth since the creation of the world, and of their Periods and Consummation; and of a New Church which is to succeed those four, which will be a Church truly Christian, and the Crown of all the foregoing; also of the Lord's Advent to that church, and His divine presence and influence therein to eternity; and lastly, of the Mystery of Redemption. The subject is then digested, and treated under the following particular heads, or lemmas: I. That Four Churches have existed on this Earth since the Day of its Creation, the First, which was called the Adamic; the Second, which was called the Noatic; the Third, which was called the Israelitish; and the Fourth, which was called the Christian. II. That each Church passed through four successive States or Periods, which are understood in the Word by the Morning, Day, Evening, and Night. III. That in each Church
cometh to pass when there remains no divine truth but what is falsified and rejected, in which case there cannot remain any genuine good, because the whole quality of good is formed by truths, good being the essence of truth, and truth being the form of good, and no quality can exist without a form. Good and truth can no more be separated than will and understanding, or what is the same thing, than affection of love, and thought thence originating; so that when truth cometh to its consummation in the church, good also cometh to its consummation at the same time, and when this is the case, the church is at an end, or, in other words, its consummation is arrived.
754. The church is brought to consummation by various means, but especially by such as make the false appear like truth, in which case the good which is truly so, and is called spiritual good, ceases also; that which is then supposed to be good, is only the natural good produced by a moral life. The causes of this consummation of truth, and along with it of good, are principally these two natural loves, the love of self, and the love of the world, which
have been four successive Changes of State, the First of which was the Appear ing of the Lord Jehovih and Redemption, and this was its Morning, or Rise; the Second was its Instructions, and this was its Day or Progression; the Third was its Declension, and this was its Evening, or Vastation; the Fourth was its End, and this was its Night and Consummation. IV. That after its Consummation, or End, the Lord Jehovih appears and executes judgment on the Mem bers of the former Church, and separates the Good from the Evil, and elevates the Good to Himself into Heaven, and removes the Evil from Himself into Hell, V. That after this the Lord Jehovah forms a New Heaven of the Good that are elevated to Himself, and a New Hell of the Evil that are removed from Himself; and that He establisheth Order in respect to each, to preserve them under His Auspices and Government to Eternity. VI. That the Lord Jehovih derives and produces a New Church on Earth from this New Heaven, which He effects by the Revelation of Truths from His own Mouth, or from His Word, and by Inspiration. VII. That this Divine Work, considered collectively, is called Redemption, without which no Man can be saved, because without it he cannot be regenerated.
are diametrically opposed to the two spiritual loves; the love of self, when predominant, being opposed to love to God, and the love of the world, when predominant, being opposed to love towards the neighbour. The love of self consists in a man's wishing well to himself only, and to no other except for the sake of himself; the case is similar with the love of the world; and where those two loves have once been inverted, they extend their ensnaring and baneful influence, just as a mortification spreads through the body till by degrees it wastes away all its parts and members: that such love has invaded churches, is very evident from the description given of Babylon, Gen. xi. 1 to 9, Isaiah xiii. xiv. xlvii. Jerem. 1. and in Daniel, chap. ii. 31 to 47, chap. iii. 1 to 7, chap. v. chap. vi. 8 to the end; chap. vii. 1 to 14; and in the Revelation, chap. xvii. and xviii. from the beginning to the end of both; and at length it exalted itself to such a height, that it not only transferred the divine power of the Lord to itself, but even strove, by every possible art, to accumulate to itself all the treasures of the world. And there is but too much reason to conclude, from certain omens and appearances of no delusive kind, that the same loves would burst forth with the same violence, in many of the rulers of the churches separated from Babylon, were it not for the limitation and consequent restriction of their power; what then must be the necessary consequence of such evil ungovernable love, but that a man under its influence will regard himself as God, and the world as heaven, and pervert every truth of the church? For real truth, which in itself is truth, cannot be known and acknowledged by the merely natural man, nor be communicated to him by God; for falling into an inverted receptacle, truth is changed into the false. But there are several other causes, beside these two loves, for the consummation of truth and goodness, and consequently for the
consummation of the church; but these are only secondary causes, and subordinate to the other two.
755. That the consummation of the age is the last time of the church, is evident from those passages in the Word where the expression occurs, as from the following: “I have heard from Jehovah a CONSUMMATION and a DECISION upon the whole land,"* Isaiah xxviii. 22: "The CONSUMMATION is decreed, righteousness is overflowed, for the Lord Jehovih of Hosts shall make a CONSUMMATION and a DECISION over all the Land," Isaiah x. 22, 23: “By the fire of the zeal of Jehovah the whole land shall be devoured, for He shall make a speedy CONSUMMATION of all them that dwell in the land," Zeph. i. 18: the church is signified by land in the above passages, because the land of Canaan is understood, where the church was established; that the church is signified by land, may be seen fully proved from many passages of the Word in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 285, 902. Again: "And over the bird of abominations shall be DESOLATION, even to CONSUMMATION and DECISION; it shall drop upon the DEVASTATION," Dan. ix. 27: that these words were spoken by Daniel in relation to the end of the present Christian Church, may be seen Matt. xxiv. 15. "Thus hath Jehovah said, The whole land shall be wASTENESS, yet will I not make A CONSUMMATION," Jerem. iv. 27: "The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet CONSUMMATED," Gen. xv. 16: "Jehovah said, 1 will go down and see whether they have made a CONSUMMATION, according to the cry which is come unto Me," Gen. xviii. 21; speaking of Sodom. The last time of the present Christian Church is also meant by the consummation of the age spoken of by the Lord in the following passages: "His disciples asked Him, What is the
In the English version of the Bible, these words are rendered a consumption, even determined, as also in Dan. ix. 27; whereby the distinction is lost between consummation and decision; but the original Hebrew favours the construction here given by our author.
sign of Thy coming, and of the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE?" Matt. xxiv. 3: "As therefore the tares are gathered together and burned in the fire, so shall it be in THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE," Matt. xiii. 40: "So shall it be at the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE; the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from the just," Matt. xiii. 49; "Jesus said to His disciples, Lo! I am with you always even to the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE,' "Matt. xxviii. 20. It is to be observed, that wasting, desolation, and decision, signify the same as consummation; but desolation signifies the consummation of truth, wasting or vastation, the consummation of good, and decision the full consummation of both; and that the fulness of time, in which the Lord came into the world, and is about to come again, is also the consummation.
756. The consummation of the age may receive illustratration from various circumstances in the natural world; for whether it be considered either as a whole, or singly, every thing on the face of the earth grows old, and wastes away, but then it is by alternate changes called the circles of things. Times, or seasons, both in general and in particular, describe such circles; in general, the year passeth from spring to summer, and through summer to autumn, and closeth in winter, and thence returns again to spring; but this is the circle of warmth; in particular, the day passeth from morning to noon, and through noon to evening, and closeth in night, and thence returns again to morning; but this is the circle of light. Every man also passes through the circle of nature; he begins life in infancy, from which he advanceth to youth and manhood, and thence to old age, and then dies: in like manner every bird of the air, and
* In the common English version of the Bible, instead of THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, these passages are translated THE END OF THE WORLD; it will however be admitted by every one who is acquainted with the original, that the former is their true signification.