Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
John said of the Lord: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth because of the bridegroom’s voice (John 3:29).
Jesus said, The children of the bridechamber cannot mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35).
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2).
The angel said to John: Come, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb, and from a mountain he showed him the holy city Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).
The time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. Blessed are they that have been called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9).
I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come, and he that willeth, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:16-17).
It is in accordance with Divine order that a new heaven should be formed before a new Church is established on earth, for the Church is both internal and external, and the internal Church makes one with the Church in heaven, thus with heaven itself; and what is internal must be formed before its external, what is external being formed afterwards by means of its internal. This is well known in the world among the clergy. Just so far as this new heaven, which constitutes the internal of the Church with man, increases, does the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church, descend from it; consequently this cannot take place in a moment, but it takes place to the extent that the falsities of the former Church are set aside. For where falsities have already been implanted what is new cannot enter until the falsities have been rooted out, and this will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity; for the Lord said: No one puts new wine into old wineskins, else the skins burst and the wine is spilled, but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved (Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38).
That these things take place only at the consummation of the age, by which is meant the end of the Church, can be seen from these words of the Lord: Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away; but when the blade sprang up, then appeared the tares also. The servants came and said, Wilt thou that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them; let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Collect first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barn. The harvest is the consummation of the age; as the tares are gathered and burned with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:24-30, 39-40).
“Wheat” means here the truths and goods of the New Church, and “tares” the falsities and evils of the former Church. … “the consummation of the age” means the end of the Church.
That there is in everything an internal and an external, and that the external depends on the internal as the body does on its soul, every single thing in the world shows when it is properly examined. In man this is manifest:-
As his entire body is from his mind, so in each thing that proceeds from man there is an internal and an external; in his every action there is the mind’s will, and in his every word the mind’s understanding, so also in his every sensation.
In every bird and beast, and even in every insect and worm, there is an internal and an external; and again in every tree, plant, and germ, and even in every stone and every particle of soil.
A few facts relating to the silk-worm, the bee, and dust, will suffice to make this clear. The internal of the silk-worm is that whereby its external is moved to weave its cocoon, and afterward to fly forth as a butterfly. The internal of the bee is that whereby its external is moved to suck honey from flowers, and to build its cells in wonderful forms. The internal of a particle of soil whereby its external is moved, is its endeavor to fecundate seed; it exhales from its little bosom something which introduces itself into the inmosts of the seed, and produces this effect; and this internal follows the growth of the seed even to new seed.
The same takes place in things of an opposite character, in which there is also an internal and an external; as in the spider, whose internal, whereby its external is moved, is the ability and consequent inclination to construct an ingenious web, at the center of which it lies in wait for the flies that fly into it, which it eats. It is the same with every noxious worm, every serpent, and every beast of the forest; as also with every impious, cunning, and treacherous man.