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minds be looked for, but in the world of minds itself, — in other
terms, in the spiritual world, with which man, as to his mind,
is most intimately connected ? And what change could there
be adequate to the production of so great a change as we are
witnessing here, but the performance of the Last Judgment,
the entirely new state which is thence induced on the interme-
diate region of the spiritual world, the seat of man's most im-
mediate spiritual association, and the consequent outpouring
from heaven of new streams of light and life into the world of
nature ? The illustrious Swedenborg, so long ago, as the year
1758, declared* that, by the Last Judgment, then just accom-
plished, spiritual liberty was restored, and the state of servitude
and captivity in which men's minds were previously held, in
regard to spirtual subjects, was removed ; and in the year 1763
he added, that the efflux of divine energies from heaven into
the world, which had been in a great degree intercepted by the
presence of those called the dragon and his angels in the in-
termediate part of the spiritual world, was by their ejection,
restored. These assertions were made, when no remarkable
effects of the change had yet begun to manifest themselves
in the world, and when, consequently, they could not be cor-
roborated by acknowledged facts : but how wonderfully have they
thus been corroborated since, and what striking confirmation of
them does every day's experience now bring with it! Am I
then doing any more than anticipating the suffrage of many of
my readers, when I conclude, that our Second Proposition is
sufficiently established ;-— that independently of the assertions
of Swedenborg, there are various considerations tending to
evince, that the Last Judgment has, in the spiritual world, been .
performed Will not all acknowledge, that the spiritual cause
thus assigned for the astonishing change in the state of man-
kind is, at least, likely to be the true one ? and since no other
can be conceived that is adequate to the effect, will not the
Candid admit it to be at least highly probable, that the Last
Judgment, so long looked for and so much misunderstood, has,
at length, actually been accomplished ?

* In his work on the Last Judgment.
| In his Continuation of the former work.

A HUMAN INSTRUMENT NECESSARY, &C.

195

SECTION V.

A HUMAN INSTRUMENT NECESSARY, AND THEREFORE RAISED UP.

PART I.

Swedenborg qualified to be such an Instrument, and not unlikely

to be chosen for the purpose. I MAY now appeal to you, I apprehend, with confidence, my Reflecting and Candid readers, respecting the means by which the great events, considered in our preceding and second Sections, must be communicated to mankind. If it be true that the long expected Last Judgment has at length been performed, that the long looked for time of the Lord's second coming has at last arrived, --in what manner would it be reasonable to conclude that the important tidings should be conveyed? Are we to behold a multitude of angels in the air sounding great trumpets, and vocally calling the attention of the world to the crisis which has arrived ? In their spiritual, which, as regards this subject, is their only true sense, the prophecies which speak of such an announcement doubtless must be (and we trust have been) accomplished: - from heaven,--that is, from the Lord through heaven, the divine truths of the Holy Word must be (and we trust have been) discovered anew; for of the revelation, or communication of Divine truth, the sounding of trumpets is in the Word, the expressive symbol :— but if, as I hope, has been sufficiently proved, the second advent of the Lord was not to be of a personal nature ; if the scene of the last judg. ment was not to be in this lower world, any otherwise than as to its effects : it follows, that it was not by a visible exhibition of angels with trumpets that the annunciation was here to be made. Yet, most unquestionably, some annunciation was nec. essary. The events which have passed in our times, and which are transacting still, upon the theatre of the globe, are indeed such as proclaim, with a voice of thunder, that some most extraordinary operation from the spiritual world upon the world of nature is in action ; they are indeed such as demonstrate when looked at under the proper aspect, that the last judgment has been performed, and that the second coming of the Lord is taking place : 'thus, when the truth is distinctly proclaimed, they bear witness to it in the most decisive manner :

but they require a human announcer to give their loud voice a distinctly speaking tongue. The second coming of the Lord, also, as we have seen, is mainly effected by the re-discovery of the momentous and saving truths contained in his holy Word: among the signs of the times which we have noticed, are the loosening of the hold which erroneous sentiments had taken on the minds of men, a general change in men's modes of thinking, and such an alteration in the state of the human mind as indj. cates a preparation for the reception of juster views of divine truth than have heretofore prevailed: but still it is obviously requisite that the truth itself should be explicitly announced, and, of consequence, that a Human Instrument should be raised up for that purpose.

This appears to be the evident dictate both of reason and of necessity : and to these is added the confirming suffrage of experience. Never did a similar crisis in the history of the divine economy occur before, but human agency was employed to make it known. Prior to the flood, the divine purpose was communicated to Noah; who, as tradition reports, warned, though in vain, his abandoned contemporaries ; whence he is called by an Apostle " a preacher of righteousness."* When the time had arrived in which Jehovah proposed to verify to the Israelites the promise made to their fathers of putting them in possession of Canaan, a band of angels was not sent to announce the fact to the whole nation, but God revealed himself to Moses, and commissioned him to bear the tidings to his brethren. Even when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared personally on earth, and when, if ever, it might be supposed that merely human agency might have been dispensed with, he did not show himself to the people, till John the Baptist had announced his approach, and had proclaimed the kingdom of heaven to be at hand. Surely then, at his second coming, which was not to be a personal one, a Human Herald must be altogether indispensable. Had it occurred in the first ages, when Christians were looking daily, though mistakenly, for the second coming of their Lord, and when they had not yet learned to regard such an interposition as impossible, the appearance of such a herald would have been hailed with joy: and it surely ought not now to be scouted as ridiculous, by any but those, who, because mankind have lived so long under an economy different from that which prevailed before the introduction of Christianity, under an economy in which continually repeated missions of divine messengers were not required, have forgotten that such missions ever existed at all, and that, without them, Christianity itself could not have been established. It is

* 2 Peter ii. 5.

of

you to whom

however, an unquestionable truth, that how long soever the suspension may have lasted, one more example of them must he afforded ; one case more must inevitably arise, in which, without the employment again of one more such messenger, the last great purpose in the divine economy must fail to take effect, the last great predictions of holy writ must remain unfulfilled for ever. I cannot, then, think that

any this Appeal is addressed, - any of the Reflecting of any Denomination whatsoever, - can treat such an occurrence either as impossible or ridiculous : I am sure you will acknowledge, that, at the era of the second coming of the Lord, some Human Instrument or other must be divinely enlightened to declare it, and to communicate the important truths, which at that advent are, as we have seen, to be unfolded to mankind.

Of this branch, then, of the inquiry to be pursued in our present-Section, it must be quite unnecessary to go into any further discussion. That at the crisis which we are supposing and which, as was attempted to be shown in our second and last Sections, there is reason to believe has arrived, a Human Instrument must be necessary, will, I am persuaded, be generally acknowledged: the only question, then, which we have now to consider, is, whether such an Instrument was raised up in the person of the every-way respectable and truly illustrious philosopher and theologian, the Honorable Emanuel Swedenborg.

An intelligent person once asked our author, How he, from a philosopher, became a theologian ; to which he answered “In the same manner as, on being called by the Lord, fishermen became apostles.” He added, “ That he had himself been a spiritual fisherman from his youth ;" which he confirmed by showing, that in the spiritual language, formed of natural images, in which the Scriptures are written, a fisherman means a person who investigates and teaches natural truths, and afterwards spiritual truths, in a rational manner: whence the Lord when he called his first disciples from their nets, said to them, “ Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men, obviously meaning, instructors of men in the truths which relate to salvation. His interrogator expressed his satisfaction at this answer by the remark, “ That the Lord alone knows of whom to make choice for communicating to mankind the truths to be discovered at his second advent, and whether the suitable Instrument is to be found in the person of a mitred prelate, or of one of his footmen.”+ This, certainly, was the judgment * Matt. iv. 19. Mark i. 17.

1 See Swedenborg's little treatise On the intercourse between the Soul and the Body, n. 20.

both of piety and good sense. In the case before us, however, even human reason must concur in the fitness of the choice made by Divine 'Wisdom. All that is known of the illustrious Swedenborg, points him out as a man in whom was centred every thing that could qualify a human being for such an office.

In his external circumstances, there is nothing thąt can be objected against the probability of his being made the subject of a selection which must fall on some one, except that he was not a priest, or a minister of religion by profession ; but if this objection may with any appear to bear some shadow of reason, a little reflection must convince every one that it carries none of the reality. On what former occasion did the Divine Being first publish a new dispensation of his grace and truth, by the instrumentality of any who had been ministers of the former? Though Moses was the son-in-law of a gentile priest, and, from the necessity of the case, acted as a priest himself in the inauguration of Aaron into the holy office, he did not previously, nor ever professionally, belong to the order. In like manner, it was not from the priests of the Jewish Church that the Lord selected his apostles. The Baptist indeed, was the son of a priest, and entitled, by the Levitical constitutions, to exercise the office himself; but when he arrived at the age fixed for that purpose by the law, instead of taking up the function by ministering in the temple, he began in the wilderness to proclaim the advent of the Messiah : and the circumstance of his origin, instead of depriving his character of parallelism with that of Swedenborg, really, if a coincidence so unimportant be worth remarking, makes it more .perfect; since Swedenborg also was the son of a priest, the excellence of whose character is the subject of encomium with all who have had occasion to mention him, of a modern Zacharias, who, with Elizabeth his wife, “ walked in all the command. ments and ordinances of the Lord blameless,"

the good Bishop Swedberg.

But Swedenborg's intrinsic qualifications, moral and intellectual, for the discharge of such an office, were such as all must allow to be appropriate in the highest degree. In him were united the utmost integrity, piety, and innocence of manners, with the most comprehensive understanding and most extensive attainments in knowledge. The former excellences, it will generally be admitted, were necessary to prepare him for his office at all; and without the latter, it will easily be seen, ho could not have discharged it with effect. He stands not in the character of a new prophet, in the sense usually applied to that term, and as he has sometimes been denominated in derison ·

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