12. In Revelation, chapter vi, it is said that
When the Lamb opened the first seal of the book, there went forth a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given to him ... When he had opened the second seal, there went forth a red horse: and to him that sat thereon a great sword was given. When he had opened the third seal, there went forth a black horse: and he that sat on him had a pair of balances (statera) in his hand. And when he had opened the fourth seal, there went forth a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death. [Rev. vi 1-5, 7, 8.]
What these things signify can only be unfolded by means of the spiritual sense; and it is fully unfolded when it is known what is signified by the opening of the seals, by a horse, and by the other particulars. By these things are described the successive states of the Church from the beginning to its end as to the understanding of the Word. The opening of the seals of the book by the Lamb signifies the manifestation of those states of the Church by the Lord. A horse signifies the understanding of the Word; the white horse the understanding of truth from the Word in the first state of the Church; the bow of him that sat upon that horse signifies the doctrine of charity and faith combating against falsities; the crown, eternal life, the reward of victory.
 The red horse signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good in the second state of the Church; the great sword signifying falsity combating against truth. The black horse signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth in the third state of the Church; the pair of balances (statera) signifying the estimation of truth so small as to be hardly appreciable. The pale horse signifies the understanding of the Word nullified from evils of life and consequent falsities in the fourth or last state of the Church; and death signifies eternal damnation.
That such is the signification of these things in the spiritual sense does not appear in the sense of the Letter or the natural sense. Therefore, unless the spiritual sense were at some time opened, the Word as to this passage, and as to the rest of Revelation, would be closed so completely that at length no one would know where its Divine sanctity lay concealed. It is equally so in respect to what is signified by the four horses and by the four chariots going forth from between the two mountains of brass, in Zechariah vi 1-8.