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The Chronides

Having set free the Chronides, his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and his sisters, Vesta, Ceres and Juno, Jupiter by the aid of them and their adherents entered upon a long and fierce war, first against Chronos and the Titans, and afterwards against the Cyclops and Giants, who vainly piled Pelion upon Ossa in order to scale the Olympus and restore the old order or rather disorder of things. This represents the assaults of what was then the Old Church upon the New, by the accumulation of false reasonings against the newly established Truth. But they were all finally struck down by the thunderbolts of Jove, and were cast down into Tartarus where they were imprisoned forever in adamantine chains and placed securely under Mount Aetna and other volcanoes. It is their vain efforts to break loose that cause the earth to tremble and the mountains to vomit forth fire. (Compare the "great misty rock," under which the Antediluvians are imprisoned. A. C. 1266; S. D. 3358.) Thus the final judgment overtook the Antediluvians. The imaginary heavens of the perverted celestial Church were cast down and turned into that first, deepest, and most direful of all the hells, which is described in the Coronis n. 38. But out of the celestial angels and spirits of the Most Ancient Church itself there was organized that first inmost and supreme heaven which in Greek Mythology is signified by Mount Olympus. (Compare De Verbo 7, where three mountains are spoken of, Olympus, Helicon, and Pindus. Of these "Helicon by correspondence signifies the superior heaven," while the hill known as Pindus signifies "the heaven below it.")

In the inner sense of the Graeco-Roman Theogony, Ouranos and his offspring stand for the Most Ancient Church in its purity and in its subsequent decline, while Zeus and the rest of the Olympian gods stand for the second or Ancient Church. In this new Church, though as a whole it was of a spiritual instead of celestial character, there were still three degrees or three generally reigning principles, both of truth and of good, and these are represented by the three sons and three daughters of Chronos and Rhea, who now divide the universe among them.

According to our understanding of the representative character of each of these six divinities, they arrange themselves in the following order:

 

Truth

Good

Celestial        Zeus or Jupiter Hestia or Vesta
Spiritual Poseidon or Neptune       Hera or Juno
Natural Hades or Pluto Demeter or Ceres

Jupiter, reserving for himself the supreme rule over heaven and earth, represents the inmost or celestial degree of Divine Truth in the Ancient Church, that is, the celestial sense of the Ancient Word. Neptune, who, with his chariot and horses, ruled over the sea, stands for the spiritual or intermediate degree of Truth Divine, that is, the spiritual sense of the Word in the natural; and Pluto, who ruled over the riches hidden in the earth and over the kingdom of the dead, represents the ultimate degree of Divine Truth, or the literal sense of the Word, which by itself is dead.

Associated with these three gods or degrees of truth, were three goddesses, who represent corresponding degrees of good, or affections, or general forms of the Church. Vesta, the virgin goddess of the sacred fire, is the mythological name for celestial good, the love of the Lord, the celestial Church. Juno, the queen of heaven in the Ancient Church, signifies, as we shall show, spiritual good, the lover of celestial truth, the spiritual Church, or Church specific. And Ceres, the patroness of the fruits of the earth, stands for natural good in general, good works, and the Lord's Church universal.

We regard it as more than a coincidence that Jupiter married, not Vesta, but Juno; that Neptune at one time united with Ceres, and that Pluto took for his wife Persephone, the daughter of Ceres. That is, the truths of the higher degrees were conjoined with the goods of the lower degrees, according to the universal law described in the following teaching:

The heavenly marriage is that of good with truth and of truth with good; yet not between good and truth of one and the same degree, but between good and truth of an inferior degree and of a superior; that is, not between the good of the external man and the truth of the same, but between the good of the external man and the truth of the internal, or what is the same, not between the good of the natural man and the truth thereof, but between the good of the natural man and the truth of the spiritual man; it is this conjunction which constitutes a marriage. It is similar with regard to the internal or spiritual man; there subsists no heavenly marriage between the good and truth of the spiritual man, but between the good of the spiritual man and the truth of the celestial man, for the celestial man is in a superior degree. Neither does the heavenly marriage subsist between good and truth in the celestial man, but between the good of the celestial man and the Truth Divine which proceeds from the Lord. (A. C. 3952.)

This, therefore, leaves celestial good alone unmated to any finite degree of truth, but conjoined to the Divine Truth itself, and on this account Hestia or Yesta, supreme among the goddesses, remained a Virgin. And this, again, is another proof that the Mythologies of the Ancients are not mere heaps of confused legends, but an exact and well connected system of rational Theology, in complete correspondence with the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem.


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The Chronides

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