778. And upon his heads the name of blasphemy. That this signifies falsifications of the Word, is evident from the signification of heads, as denoting the knowledge of the holy things of the Word, which are falsified and adulterated; concerning which see above (n. 775): and from the signification of name, as denoting the quality of a thing and also a state; concerning which see above (n. 192, 135, 696); in this case the quality of the reasonings from the natural man, confirming the separation of faith from life; these reasonings are signified by this beast: and from the signification of blasphemy, as denoting the falsification of the Word, concerning which we shall speak presently. From these things it is clear that upon his head the name of blasphemy signifies the quality of those who, by reasonings from the natural man, confirm the separation of faith from life, and that their quality is the falsification of the Word.
The reason why blasphemy signifies the falsification of the Word is, that in what follows, by this beast is described how those who are meant by the dragon, pervert the sense of the letter of the Word by reasonings from the natural man, in order that they may confirm the doctrine of justification and salvation by faith alone without good works. This, however, cannot be done except by falsifying the Word, which in each and every part conjoins truths to goods and goods to truths, thus faith to charity and charity to faith; as was shown above (n. 775). This is why falsifications of the Word are signified by blasphemy, which is said to be the name of this beast.
 But how the Word is blasphemed by falsifying it shall be illustrated by the following example. Those who separate faith from good works say that, "God the Father removed, in fact cast away, the human race from Himself because of their evils, and that therefore His Son was sent; or that the Son Himself, being moved with compassion, came into the world, and by suffering the punishment of extreme condemnation, which was the passion of the cross, and by shedding His own blood upon it, and, lastly, by His death, reconciled mankind to the Father by thus interceding for them." Because this is among the primary doctrines held by those who separate faith from its life, which is charity, I wish to state briefly how the Divine is thereby blasphemed. He is blasphemed by this, that they believe and think that the Divine removed or cast away mankind from Himself, although God is Love itself, Mercy itself, and Goodness itself; and these are His Being (Esse). From these things it is clear that it is impossible for God to remove or cast away any one of the human race; for this would be to act contrary to His own Being (Esse), which, as was said, is that from which all love, all mercy, and all good flow. It is not possible even for any angel, or any man, who is in love, in mercy, and in good from the Lord, to act in this way; and yet their love is finite, and the Divine Love is infinite. The removal or casting away of mankind by God the Father, they call vindicative justice, of Which they have no other conception than that of a king or judge avenging an evil done to himself; consequently as being like their vengeance, in which there is bound to be something of anger. To confirm this view they quote passages from the Word, where God is called Avenger, Revenger, jealous, angry, and wrathful. These passages of the Word they thus, falsify; for such things are said in the sense of the letter of the Word, according to appearances. For a man after death, as soon as he becomes a spirit, being in evils through his life in the world, turns himself away from the Lord; and when he turns himself away from Him, and denies Him, he can no longer be under His protection except by his evil punishing him. For in evil is the punishment of evil, as in good is the reward of good. And since the punishment of evil from evil, that is, from those who are evil, appears as if it were punishment from the Divine, therefore from that appearance it is said in the Word, of the Divine, that He is angry, condemns, casts into hell, and similar things. That, nevertheless, the Lord condemns and punishes no one, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 545-550), where the subject there treated is, "That the Lord casts no one into hell, but that the spirit himself casts himself down."
From these things it is evident, how the Divine is blasphemed by the falsification of the Word. For it is thought that God is in some respect an avenger, and revengeful, that He is angry, that He casts into hell and punishes; when, nevertheless, it is evil which punishes itself, consequently hell, from which evil is, and not the Divine. The Divine is blasphemed by the falsification of the Word, also, by their believing and thinking that God the Father was willing to be reconciled to the human race by the punishment of the final condemnation, which was the passion of the cross; and thus by the blood of His Son; and that by this He was moved, and still is moved, to mercy. Who is there that has an enlightened understanding that does not see that this, also, is contrary to the Divine, and, consequently, contrary to the real truth of the Word? For what is contrary to, or against, the Divine, is blasphemy. Hence, also, wresting the sense of the letter of the Word to confirm this doctrine is blasphemy. Upon this subject, however, more will be said in what follows.
 What blasphemy therefore signifies, is evident from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned, from which we shall only adduce the following from the Evangelists. Jesus said:
"All sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. Yea, if anyone shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the future" (Matt. xii. 31, 32).
"I say unto you, 'that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men. . . . but he that shall blaspheme against the Spirit shall not have forgiveness to eternity,' but shall be in danger of eternal judgment" (Mark iii. 28, 29).
"Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven" (Luke xii. 10).
What is signified by sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and what by a word against the Son of man, has not yet been known in the church, and this because it has not been known what is properly to be understood by the Holy Spirit, and what by the Son of man. By the Holy Spirit is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, such as it is in heaven; thus the Word is meant, such as it is in the spiritual sense; for this is Divine truth in heaven. And by the Son of man is meant Divine truth such as it is on earth; consequently, the Word, such as it is in the natural sense; for this is Divine truth on earth. When it is known what is meant by the Holy Spirit, and what, by the Son of man, it may also be known what is signified by sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and by a word against the Son of man; as also why a word against the Son of man can be forgiven, but not sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the same as denying the Word, and also adulterating its very goods, and falsifying its very truths. On the other hand, a word against the Son of man is to interpret the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, according to appearances.
 The reason why to deny the Word is a sin which cannot be forgiven in this age nor in the future, or to eternity, and why he who does so is in danger of eternal judgment is, that those who deny the Word, deny God, deny the Lord, deny heaven and hell, and also they deny the church and all things pertaining to it. And those who deny these things are atheists, who, although with their lips they attribute the creation of the universe to some supreme entity or Deity, yet in their hearts ascribe it to nature. Such persons, because by denial they have broken every bond of connection with the Lord, cannot but be separated from heaven and conjoined to hell.
The reason why to adulterate the very goods of the Word and to falsify its very truths is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which cannot be forgiven, is, that by the Holy Spirit is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, such as it is in the heavens; thus the Word, such as it is in the spiritual sense, as was said above. In the spiritual sense there are genuine goods and truths; but in the natural sense these are clothed, as it were, and only here and there presented unclothed; therefore they are called apparent goods and truths. It is these that are adulterated and falsified; and they are said to be adulterated and falsified when they are explained in a way contrary to genuine goods and truths. For then, heaven withdraws itself, and man separates himself from it, because, as was said, real goods and truths constitute the spiritual sense of the Word, in which are the angels of heaven. For example, this is the case if the Lord and His Divine are denied, as was done by the Pharisees, who said that the Lord performed miracles from Beelzebub, and had an unclean spirit. In consequence of this denial they were said to commit sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, because against the Word; as may be seen in the preceding verses of the chapters quoted from the Evangelists. For this reason the Socinians and Arians, who, although they do not deny the Lord, yet deny His Divine, are outside heaven, and cannot be received by any angelic society. Take also another example.
 Those who exclude the goods of love and the works of charity from the means of salvation; and assume faith, exclusive of these, to be the sole means of salvation; and who also confirm this opinion, not only in doctrine but also in life, saying in their hearts, goods do not save nor evils condemn me, because I have faith - these also blaspheme the Holy Spirit; for they falsify the real good and truth of the Word, and this in a thousand passages, where love and charity, as also deeds and works, are mentioned. Moreover, as said above, in each and every part of the Word there is a marriage of good and truth, thus a marriage of charity and faith. Therefore when good or charity is taken away, that marriage perishes; and, instead of it, there is adultery, the nature and character of which will be explained elsewhere. This is why these cannot be received into heaven. The reason also is, that in place of heavenly love they have earthly love; and instead of good works they have evil works, because infernal love arises from earthly love, when the latter is separated from that which is heavenly. The case, however, is different with those who, from the doctrine of the church, and from their teachers, believe faith to be the sole means of salvation, or who merely know, but do not inwardly affirm or deny; and who, at the same time, live a good life from the Word, that is to say, because the Lord has so commanded in the Word. These do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit, for they do not adulterate the goods of the Word, or falsify its truths; therefore they have conjunction with the angels of heaven. Few also of such persons know that faith is anything else but believing in the Word. They do not grasp the dogma of justification by faith alone without the works of the law, because it transcends their understanding.
 These two examples are given in order that it may be known what is meant by sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; and that sin against the Holy Spirit is the same as denying Divine truth, thus denying the Word; and also that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to adulterate the very goods of the Word and to falsify its very truths. Let it be observed, that the good of the Word, when adulterated, is evil, and that its truth, when falsified, is falsity.
The reason why a word against the Son of man signifies to interpret the natural sense of the Word - which is the literal sense - according to appearances is, that by the Son of man is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, such as it is on earth; consequently, such as it is in the natural sense. The reason why this word is forgiven unto men is, that most things in the natural sense or sense of the letter of the Word are goods and truths clothed, and only some are unclothed, as in the spiritual sense: and also because goods and truths when clothed are called the appearances of truth. For the Word, in ultimates, is like a man clothed with a garment, who is unclothed as to his face and hands. And where the Word is thus unclothed, there its goods and truths appear unclothed, as in heaven; thus, such as they are in the spiritual sense. Therefore it is possible that, from the sense of the letter of the Word, the doctrine of genuine good and of genuine truth may be seen by those who are enlightened by the Lord, and may be confirmed by those who are not so enlightened. The reason why the Word is such in the sense of the letter is, that it may be a basis for the spiritual sense. It is also thereby accommodated to the capacity of the simple, who can only perceive those things stated, and believe and act only according to what they have perceived.
 And because the Divine truths in the sense of the letter of the Word are, for the most part, appearances of truth, and because the simple in faith and heart cannot be raised above them, therefore it is not sin and blasphemy to interpret the Word according to appearances, provided that principles are not formed from them, and confirmed to the destruction of Divine truth in its true sense. For example, where it is said:
"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John i. 29).
And in Matthew:
"This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins" (xxvi. 28).
Also in the Apocalypse:
"Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb" (xii. 7, 11).
When from these and similar passages, it is simply believed that the Lord suffered the passion of the cross on account of our sins, and that by this and by His blood He redeemed us from hell, because this is an apparent truth, and can be said and believed, therefore it does not condemn the simple in faith and in heart. But to establish a principle from these things, and to confirm it so far as to insist that God the Father was in this way reconciled to man, and is still so reconciled, and that by his faith alone man is justified and saved, without the goods of charity which are good works - and to be in that principle not only in doctrine but also in life - this cannot be forgiven.
 From these things it is evident that by blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is signified the falsification of the Word even to the destruction of Divine truth in its true sense. The reason therefore why the name of blasphemy signifies the falsification of Divine truth, thus of the Word is, that it is called blasphemy when any one speaks against God. And to speak against God is to speak against Divine truth; for Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is what, in the Word, is meant by God; and against Divine Good, which is meant by Jehovah, and also by the Lord. And because it is blasphemy to speak against God, thus also against the Word, this being Divine truth, therefore it follows that blasphemy is to falsify the Word. For those who falsify it make the truth of the Word to be false; and the false continually speaks against the true, in fact, assaults it. This then is why by blasphemy is signified the falsification of the Word, even to the destruction of its real good and its real truth.
 The same is said concerning the scarlet beast in a subsequent part of the Apocalypse, where it is said:
"The woman who sat upon the scarlet beast, was full of names of blasphemy" (xvii. 3).
By that beast and by the woman sitting upon it, is there meant Babylon; and by the names of blasphemy are meant the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth as contained in the Word; and these, as stated, are blasphemies against the Lord.
 That blasphemies signify to believe and speak wickedly and falsely concerning God, and concerning Divine truth, is also evident from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:
"Jehovah said, Be not afraid on account of the words which thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. And Hezekiah the king prayed, and said, Hear, O Jehovah, all the words of Sennacherib, who hath sent to blaspheme the living God. And Jehovah spake concerning him, Whom hast thou blasphemed and calumniated, and against whom hast thou exalted the voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. By the hand of thy servants thou hast blasphemed the Lord" (xxxvii. 6, 15, 17, 23, 24).
From these words, also, it is clear that blasphemy is said of false speaking against God. For by the king of Assyria, who at that time was Sennacherib, is signified the Rational; but in this place is meant the Rational perverted, which speaks against Divine truth, treats it opprobriously, and wrests it by falsities. This is also to falsify it, as said above. The falsities which he spoke against Divine truth are signified by the things mentioned in verses 10-13, 24, 25, all of which were not only blasphemies against God, but also falsifications of Divine truth.
 It is said in Moses, that:
"The soul which doeth ought with a high hand, and blasphemeth Jehovah, by despising the word of Jehovah and making his precept vain, shall be utterly cut off, his iniquity upon him" (Num. xv. 30, 31).
The subject there treated of is concerning those who, contrary to the precepts of God given through Moses, act not only by error or mistake, but also from fixed purpose; as is evident from the 23rd and following verses of that chapter. But in this case, the subject is concerning those who act against them from fixed purpose, which is meant by acting with a high hand. And because to act against the precept is to act against Divine truth, and to act purposely against this is to act from the intention of the will, and thence to speak what is false, which is actual adulteration and falsification of the Word, therefore it is said that such a one blasphemes Jehovah. And because this is the same thing as sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it is said, that this soul shall be utterly cut off, his iniquity upon him; his iniquity upon him, signifying that it cannot be forgiven.
 That blasphemy is spoken of evil speaking and of false speaking concerning God, consequently, concerning Divine truth, there is not leisure to confirm here by the many passages which might be adduced from the Word; not only because every one can see that blasphemy is nothing else in the spiritual sense, but also because the kinds thereof are so various. Wherefore in human languages, and also in the Hebrew, there are various names by which the different kinds of blasphemy of God and of Divine truth are expressed, such as those that in Latin are termed calumny, contumely, ignominy, opprobrium, reproach, rebuke, jesting, scoffing, mocking, and several others; each of which is mentioned with a generic and specific difference in the Word. To explore and expound these, however, would require many pages.