Earth in the Universe
by Norman E. Riley
I refer to "A New Translation of Earths in the Universe" on page 192 of your April 1998 issue. Whatever Dr. Chadwick believes should be the present-day terminology, it should be noted that this is not a book on astronomy, but a book of the Word of the Lord in His Second Coming, and as such treats of the Lord, His kingdom, and our regeneration. In this respect, all forms of revelation have been founded on the terminology of the day in which they were written.
With regard to the work Earths in the Universe, one has only to look at the order in which the subjects are presented to see their significance in relation to our regeneration. By "earths" is signified churches of the Lord's kingdom, which have to be formed within us. Each church is a good and its truth, or an affection and its thought. By "universe" is meant the way in which the Lord draws together those churches within us into one whole. It will be further noted that by "ten" is signified all the remains of good and truth. Therefore the five earths, or planets, refer to the remains in our external, while the five earths of the starry heavens have reference to the remains in our internal.
At this stage we pause to ask the question, "Did Swedenborg see the spirits of those planets which have been discovered since the day this book was written?"
The answer, as far as I am concerned, is simple: What was known at that time served as the basis, containant and support of the spiritual and celestial senses.
Between the two sets of five, we note the subjects of "The Moon" and "Reasons Why the Lord Willed to be Born on our Earth and Not on Any Other." The moon signifies faith, which is formed by truth of the external, and charity or good of the internal, thus the conjunction of the external and internal. In respect to "our earth" this signifies the ultimate degree of the mind, the most gross, which means where all things come to rest, and not as sometimes interpreted as something ugly!
The descent of the Lord into the ultimate, where the knowledges of truth reside, becomes the means whereby there can be an ascent to Him, resulting in our conjunction with Him, who is the First and the Last.
Rev. Norman E. Riley