7. [To Beyer, February 1767]
Several questions have been put to me by the Herr Doctor's friend,* to which the present will serve as a dutiful answer:
1. My thought concerning the writings of Boehme and L-. I have never read them, and it was forbidden me to read dogmatic and systematic books in theology before heaven was opened to me, and this for the reason that thereby unfounded opinions and novelties might find occasion to insinuate themselves, which afterwards could be removed with difficulty. Therefore, when heaven was opened to me, I had first to learn the Hebrew language, and also correspondences, of which the whole Bible is composed, and this led me to read the whole of God's Word many times. And since God's Word is the source from which all theology must be taken, I was thereby put in a position to receive instruction from the Lord who is the Word.
2. How soon is a New Church to be expected? Answer: The Lord is now preparing a new heaven of those who believe in Him and acknowledge Him as the true God of heaven and earth, and likewise look up to Him in their lives, which means the shunning of what is evil and the doing of what is good; for it is from this heaven that the New Jerusalem is to come down (Apoc. 21:2). I see daily spirits and angels descending and ascending to the number of from 10 to 20.000 and being set in order. Gradually, as that heaven is formed, so the New Church commences and increases. The universities in Christendom are now first being instructed, and from them come new priests; for the new Heaven has no influence with the old, which keeps itself too learned in justification by faith alone.
3. As to the promised treatise on Infinity, Omnipotence, Omnipresence. Answer: Treatment of these subjects is involved in Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Providence nos. 46-54, 157; in Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, nos. 4, 17, 19, 21, 44, 69, 72, 76, 106, 156, 318; and in Apocalypse Revealed no. 961; and they will be still further treated of in the Arcana of Angelic Wisdom concerning Conjugial Love; for to write something specifically on these Divine Attributes would be to elevate the thoughts too high without the assistance of anything to support them. For this reason, the subject has been brought in in series with other matters, which fall within the understanding.**
I have read the whole of the Herr Doctor's Nya Fbrs, 5k 6fver Evangelierna I with pleasure. The interpretations of the text for the first Sunday in Advent are fine. In this connection, I will give you the signification of the manger, of John's baptism, and of Elias. The manger signified instruction from the Word, because mules and horses signify the understanding of the Word (see Apoc. Rev. n. 298). and their nourishment was in the manger. There being no room in the inn signified that there was no place of instruction in Jerusalem; for which reason it is said to the shepherds, who signified the coming Church, This shall be the sign unto you; ye shall find the babe lying in a manger (Luke 2: 12).
John's baptism prepared the heavens so that the Jewish people could continue, when God Himself came among them; and John signified every prophetic saying in the Old Testament concerning the Lord and His Advent, as also did Elias, he being the foremost of the Prophets.
Since men here are now beginning to think more of charity than before, holding firmly forth that charity and faith cannot be separated, therefore here also faith alone is beginning to be called the Herrenhyter Faith .*** Stockholm, February 1767. * Perhaps Mr. Peter Hammarberg, Dr. Beyer's brother-in-law. ** This paragraph is followed by three *'s, which would seem to indicate that at this point some part of the letter has been omitted. *** i.e., the faith taught at Herrnhut, a town in Saxony, built by Zinzendorf in 1722 for the Moravian Brethren, his followers.