Extracts

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Last judgment

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Judgment, Last" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Of the Last Judgment and the Babylon which has been Destroyed": detail "Section 45 - 46"
The last judgment does not exist on the earth, but in the spiritual world, where all who have lived from the beginning of creation are together; and since it is so, it is impossible for any man to know when the last judgment is accomplished, for everyone expects it to exist on earth, accompanied by a change of all things in the visible heaven, and in the countries of the earth and in mankind who dwell there. Lest therefore the man of the church from ignorance should live in such a belief, and lest they who think of a last judgment should expect it forever, whence at length the belief of those things which are said of it in the literal sense of the Word [Bible] must perish, and lest haply therefore many should recede from their faith in the Word, it has been granted me to see with my own eyes that the last judgment is now accomplished; that the evil are cast into the hells, and the good elevated into heaven, and thus that all things are reduced into order, the spiritual equilibrium between good and evil, or between heaven and hell, being thence restored. It was granted me to see all these things with my own eyes, in order that I might be able to testify of them. This last judgment was commenced in the beginning of the year 1757, and was fully accomplished at the end of that year.
 But it ought to be known that the last judgment was effected upon those who had lived from the Lord's time to this day, but not upon those who had lived before: for a last judgment had twice before existed on this earth. This is because every judgment exists at the end of a church, and there have been two churches on this earth, one before the flood, and one after it. The church before the flood is described in the beginning of Genesis by the new creation of the heaven and the land, and by paradise; its end, by the eating of the tree of science, and the subsequent particulars; and its last judgment by the flood; the whole by mere correspondences, according to the style of the Word; in the internal or spiritual sense of which, by the creation of the heaven and the land, the institution of a new church is understood; by the paradise in Eden, its celestial wisdom; by the tree of science, and by the serpent, the scientific which destroyed it; and by the flood, the last judgment upon the men of whom it consisted. But the other church, which was after the flood, is also described in certain passages in the Word, as in Deut. xxxii, 7 to 14, and elsewhere. This church was extended through much of the Asiatic world, and was continued among the posterity of Jacob. Its end was when the Lord came into the world. A last judgment was then effected by Him upon all who belonged to that church from its first institution; and, at the same time, upon the residue of the first church. The Lord came into the world for that end, to reduce all things in the heavens into order, and all things in the countries of the earth, by means of the heavens, and at the same time to make His Human Divine; for if this had not been done, no man could have been saved.