547. 'Where she has a place made ready by God, that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days' signifies the state of the Church then, that meanwhile provision may be made with many until it increases to its full stature. By 'place' is signified state (n. 947); and by 'to nourish' is signified to provide that it may increase, for thus the Church is nourished. Consequently by 'to have a place made ready by God that they may nourish her' is signified the state of the Church that meanwhile provision may be made among many. By 'a thousand two hundred and sixty days' is signified to the end and the beginning (n. 491), that is, to the end of the former Church and the beginning of the New, similar to what is signified by 'the and times and half a time' (verse 14, n. 562), thus also to full stature, that is, until it comes into existence as has been provided. It is of the Lord's Divine Providence that the Church may be at first among a few and increase successively among many, because the untruths of the former Church must first be removed; for before this truths cannot be received, since the truths that are received and implanted before the untruths have been removed are not permanent, and are also rejected by the dragonists. The same sort of thing took place with the Christian Church which increased successively from few to many. Another reason is that the New Heaven must first be formed, and this is going to become one with the Church on earth. Therefore we read that:-
He saw a New Heaven, and the holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven Rev. xxi 1, 2.
It is certain that a New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, is going to come into existence, because it has been foretold in the Apocalypse (chaps. xxi, xxii); and it is also certain that the untruths of the former Church must be removed before this, because these things have been treated of in the Apocalypse as far as the twentieth chapter.