In this section our speaker gets a visitor—that sounds nice.
In fact, it's an angel who comes to him, to warn him about the sorry end he's heading for (i.e., hell and damnation).
Rather than being afraid, our morbidly curious speaker wants a sneak peek at his future punishment, so the angel obliges.
They go through a stable first, then through a church (that doesn't speak very highly of churches), and finally down into a vault, which has a mill in it.
They go through the mill and come to a cave, and then they make their way through a cavern until they come face to face with "a void boundless" (7.3).
The speaker and the angel hang on to tree roots, dangling over this void—sounds like a good time.
Our speaker's impatient to see if Heaven ("Providence") is around here somewhere, but the angel tells him that he's doing to see what's coming to him very soon.
Then, little by little, an abyss comes into view—black and shiny.
Giant spiders are down there, chasing after the corrupted shapes of animals, which are running around everywhere. The speaker calls these "Devils" and "powers of the air" (7.4).
The speaker wants to know where he's going to end up, and the angel points out a space right between the black and white spiders—sounds cozy.
Then the speaker sees a giant serpent moving through the blackness below. Its forehead is striped like a tiger's, only in purple and green. It opens its mouth and moves toward the speaker and the angel.
Seeing this, the angel heads back toward the mill. When he does, and the speaker is alone, the scene totally changes.
The speaker is now sitting on a moonlit riverbank, listening to a harper playing a theme called "The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind." It sounds pretty catchy to us.
The speaker goes in search of the angel, who is surprised that the speaker managed to escape from the giant serpent.
The speaker tells him what happened when the angel left, and then suggests that they go and take a sneak peek at the angel's fate.
The angel laughs and tries to brush him off, but the speaker grabs the angel and flies west.
They head toward the sun and the speaker puts on white clothes. He breaks out all of Swedenborg's books and then heads to a spot in the universe just past Saturn. This is where the angel's going to end up, says the speaker.
They see a stable and church, and the speaker heads to the altar.
He opens up a Bible, which becomes a "deep pit," and they both go down into it (7.10). Don't worry; it's not just you. Things are getting weird here—even for Blake.
They see seven brick houses in the pit and go into one of them.
In the house are a bunch of monkeys, chained up and trying to attack each other. The weak ones that get caught suffer pretty horrible fates (like being raped and eaten).
Some monkeys are even eating their own tails. Eww.
The place is getting stinky, so they take off into the mill. Wait—that's why you leave the room?
The speaker has a skeleton in his hand, which turns out to be Analytics by Aristotle.
The angel gets annoyed with the speaker, and the speaker gets equally annoyed with the angel. He says that it's a waste of time to talk to someone who is into Aristotle's Analytics.
The speaker thinks that angels are full of themselves. They think that they know everything.
His next point is that Swedenborg thinks that he's up to something new, but it's just a tired old rehash of other books.
Swedenborg's like a man who has a pet monkey. No, this isn't a Ross from Friends comparison. The idea is that, since he's smarter than a monkey, he thinks he's smarter than everyone else—not so.
Swedenborg has "not written one new truth," says the speaker. In fact, "he has written all the old falsehoods" (7.16).
This is because Swedenborg only consulted with angels when writing his books. He never bothered to get the devils' side of things.
Basically, then, Swedenborg is just restating superficial ideas. In an apt metaphor, he "only holds a candle in sunshine" (7.20). Ooo—take that, Swedie.