TREATISE ON THE WHITE HORSE
That “a horse” should signify the understanding of truth, and, in the opposite sense reasonings, which appear as if they were the result of understanding, in confirmation of falsity, must needs appear strange at this day; I will therefore bring together still more passages from the Word, where the horse is mentioned. Thus in the following:-
Is Thy wrath against the sea, O Jehovah, that Thou ridest on Thine horses? Thy chariots are salvation. Thou hast trodden the sea with Thine horses, the mire of the waters (Hab. iii. 8, 15).
The hoofs of the horses of Jehovah are counted as rocks (Isa. v. 28).
At Thy rebuke both the chariot and the horse have fallen into a deep sleep (Ps. lxxvi. 7).
I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will overthrow the chariot, and those that ride in it, and the horses and their riders shall come down (Hag. ii. 22).
I will cut off the horse from Jerusalem; but to the Gentiles He will speak peace (Zech. ix. 10).
In these passages “horse” signifies the understanding of the truth of the church; and “chariot” doctrine thence derived; and “they who ride in the chariots, and on the horses,” signify those who are in understanding, and in doctrine from the Word. But this may appear yet more evident from the following passages:-
Gather yourselves on every side, to My sacrifice; ye shall be filled at My table with horse and with chariot; thus will I set My glory among the Gentiles (Ezek. xxxix. 17, 20, 21).
Gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them (Apoc. xix. 17, 18).
It treats there of the New Church about to be established by the Lord, and that the understanding of the Word will then be opened, and they will be instructed in the doctrine of truth therefrom; otherwise would it not be ludicrous, that “they would be filled at the Lord’s table with horse and chariot, and would eat the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them”? In addition to these, the signification of horse and chariot is evident from the following:-
Gird Thy sword, O Mighty One, mount, ride upon the Word of truth (Ps. xlv. 4, 6).
Sing ye, extol Him that rideth on the clouds (Ps. lxviii. 5).
Jehovah is riding upon a cloud (Isa. xix. 1).
Sing ye praises unto the Lord, who rideth on the heaven of heavens, which was of old (Ps. lxviii. 33, 34).
God rode upon a cherub (Ps. xviii. 11).
Then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the land (Isa. lviii. 14; Deut. xxxii. 12, 13).
I will make Ephraim to ride (Hos. x. 11).
In these places “to ride” signifies to instruct and be instructed in the truths of doctrine, and so to be wise. “The high places of the land” signify the sublimer truths of the church, and “Ephraim” also signifies the understanding of the Word. The like are signified by the “horses” and “chariots” in Zechariah:-
Four chariots went out from between mountains of brass, four horses were attached to them, that were red, black, white and grizzled; these are called “spirits,” and they are said to have gone forth from standing before the Lord of the whole land (Zech. vi. 1-8, 15).
And also by these in the Apocalypse:-
When the Lamb opened the seals of the book, there went forth in order horses, the first a white horse, the second a red horse, the third a black horse, and the fourth a pale horse (vi. 1-8).
By the “book” the seals of which the Lamb opened, is meant the Word, and from this Word it is evident that nothing but the understanding of it could go forth; for what else could be meant by “horses going forth from an open book”?
From the same expressions in an opposite sense it is evident that “horse” signifies the understanding of truth, and “chariot” doctrine; and in that opposite sense, however, “a horse” signifies the understanding of truth when falsified by reasonings; and “a chariot,” the doctrine or heresy thence derived; as in the following:-
Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and look not unto the Holy One of Israel; for Egypt is man and not God, and his horses flesh and not spirit (Isa. xxxi. 1, 3).
Then shalt thou set him as king over Israel whom Jehovah shall choose. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor bring back the people unto Egypt, to multiply horses (Deut. xvii. 14-16).
These things are said, because “Egypt” represents the natural man, who by reasonings drawn from the bodily senses, perverts the truths of the Word. For what else could be meant by “the horses of Egypt are flesh and not spirit,” and by “the king shall not multiply horses,” but falsities of religion:-
Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon a horse (Hos. xiv. 4). Some trust in a chariot, and some in horses, but we will glory in the name of our God (Ps. xx. 8).
A horse is a lying thing for safety (Ps. xxxiii. 17).
Thus saith the Holy One of Israel, in confidence shall be your strength; but ye said, No; we will flee upon a horse, we will ride upon the swift (Isa. xxx. 15, 16).
Jehovah shall make the house of Judah as a horse of glory; and the riders on horses shall be ashamed (Zech. x. 3-5).
I will bring against Tyre the king of Babel, with horse, and with chariot, and with horsemen; by reason of the abundance of horses, their dust shall cover thee, thy walls shall shake at the voice of the horsemen and of the chariot; with the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets (Ezek. xxvi. 7-11).
In the Word, “Tyre” signifies the church as to the knowledges of good and truth; and “the king of Babel” their falsification and profanation; and on this account it is said that “he would come with horse, and with chariot, and with horsemen, and that by reason of the abundance of horses their dust should cover it”:-
Woe to the city of bloods, the whole is full of a lie, and the neighing horse and the bounding chariot (Nah. iii. 1-4).
“A city of blood” signifies doctrine from the falsified truths of the Word. Besides in other passages, as (Isa. v. 26, 28; Jer. vi. 23; viii. 16; xlvi. 4, 9; l. 37, 38, 43; Ezek. xvii. 15; xxiii. 5, 20; Hab. i. 6, 8-10; Ps. lxvi. 11, 12; cxlvii. 10). The understanding of the truth of the Word, falsified and destroyed, is also signified by “the red, the black, and the pale horses” in the Apocalypse (vi. 4, 5, 8). Since, then, the understanding of truth is signified by “a horse,” and in the opposite sense the understanding of falsity, it may appear from this what the quality of the Word is in its spiritual sense.
It is known, that in Egypt there were hieroglyphics, and that they were inscribed on the columns and walls of the temples and other buildings; and that no one at this day is able to determine their signification. Those hieroglyphics were no other than the correspondences of natural and spiritual things, to which science the Egyptians more than any people in Asia applied themselves, and according to which the oldest peoples of Greece formed their fables; for this, and this only, was the most ancient style of composition; to which I will add this new information, that all things seen by spirits and angels in the spiritual world are solely correspondences; and the whole Sacred Scripture is on this account written by correspondences, that by it, because it is such, it might be the means of conjunction between the men of the church and the angels of heaven. But as the Egyptians, and with them the people of the kingdoms of Asia, began to convert these correspondences into idolatries, to which the sons of Israel were prone, these latter were forbidden to make any use of them. This is evident from the first commandment of the Decalogue, which says:-
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah am thy God (Deut. v. 8, 9).
Besides many passages elsewhere. From that time, the science of correspondences became obliterated, and successively to such an extent, that at this day it is scarcely known that it ever existed, and that it is anything. But because the Lord is now about to establish the New Church, which will be founded on the Word, and which is meant by the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse; it has pleased the Lord to reveal this science, and thus to open the Word what it is interiorly in its bosom or spiritual sense. This I have done in the works entitled Arcana Coelestia, published at London, and The Apocalypse Revealed, published at Amsterdam. As the science of correspondences was esteemed by the ancients, the science of sciences, and constituted their wisdom, it is of importance for some of your Academy to devote his attention to that science; and this may be done especially from the correspondences disclosed in The Apocalypse Revealed and demonstrated from the Word. Should it be desired, I am willing to unfold the meaning of the EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS, which are nothing else but correspondences, and give them to the public, which cannot be done by any one else.
END OF THE APPENDIX.
The following paragraph is from the Advertisement prefixed to the translation of the “Appendix,” published at London, 1824, by T. Goyder.
“The history of this little work may be given in a few words: It was originally written in Latin, and sent by the author under the title of ‘An Appendix to the Treatise on the White Horse,’ to the Rev. Thomas Hartley. By this gentleman a copy was sent to Dr. Messiter, a name well known to the readers of the New Doctrines. After his decease, it came into the possession of his eldest daughter, along with his other papers; and I am indebted to her kindness for the copy, from which this translation has been made.”
To this it may be added, that the original edition contains the particulars of the receipt of the “Appendix” by the Rev. T. Hartley, which have likewise been printed in the New Jerusalem Magazine, August, 1840: Boston, U. S. The Latin has been printed only in “Swedenborg’s Drommar,” published by G. E. Klemming, Stockholm, 1859, pp. 73-77. The paragraphs are numbered in the present edition for convenience of reference, but there are no numbers in the original.
The Latin original is preserved in the Royal Library in Stockholm, to which it has been, transferred from the Library of Count Engestrom. See “Documents Concerning Swedenborg,” Vol. II. p. 751.