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tail, of heaven or hell or their inhabitants, w.thout accompanying it with such circumstances as he deemed expressive of the states of mind of those whom he wished to depict: the only difference being, that persons who have formed their guesses from their imagination, being ignorant of the true correspondences or analogies between natural things and spiritual, have. usually been very much mistaken as to the particulars of their figurative delineations. Many writers, also, have seen, that un. less the objects that appear in heaven be analogous to those which are found on earth, our idea of heaven is an idea of a mere nothing. Thus the angel Raphael is made to say, in Mil. ton's Paradise Lost,
“What surmounts the reach
"* 113 which striking lines he has exactly delineated the true state o. the case. Be it asked then; Is it reasonable to condemn Svedenburg for affirming as a fact, what in Milton we admire a. a highly provable conjecture? So likewise, I am assured, een one of our accusers has himself seen the necessity of finding some other objects wherewith to furnish heaven, beside men in their rivived material bodies; whence he once preached a sermon tu prove, that there would be a resurrection of animals as well as of human beings; an idea which is favored, also, by the great Bishop Butler: and surely to put there horses and oxen, sheep and goats, dogs and cats, to consider beasts as existing in the spiritual world in solid bodies of animal flesh and blood,
is immensely more extravagant than our idea, that such things do indeed exist there, but only as appearances. So, I suppose, every Methodist knows, that Mr. Wesley furnish. es his new earth, which he considers to be the habitation of the saints in glory, with all kinds of animals and other objects which exist in this earth, only in a much more perfect state. But surely, since all seem to be sensible, that, in some way or other, that world must contain such objects, it is far more reasonable with us, to conclude, that such things exist there as appearances, not possessing any conscious life of their own, existing only as outward figures of the states of the human in. habitants, and appearing or disappearing as those states change, than to image with our opponents, that they exist there of them. selves, real living creatures, enjoying for their own sakes the privilege of immortality. Neuson teaches us, that the privi.
* B. v 671, &c.
lege of immortality only accompanies the faculty of rationality, and the capacity of being conjoined to THE IMMORTAL by the conscious reception of his life-giving energies.
If then our two general positions are seen to be true; if it be admitted that man after death, though no longer clothed with a material body, is a real and substantial man,
if good, endowed with the most exalted wisdom, and if wicked, though inexpressibly cunning, destitute of all true rationality and ab. solutely insane ; and if it be seen that the things which exist in heaven, hell, and the intermediate world, are appearances, exhibiting sensibly the inward states of those about whom they are seen; or if it be only known, what cannot be disputed, that this is the manner in which these subjects are represented in the writings of our Author and understood by us ; – provided with satisfactory solutions of all those circumstances in his accounts of the nature of the spiritual world, which naturally at first appear strange, and which may easily be made to appear ridiculous. Refer them to their interior causes, and all pretext for ridicule disappears.
HEAVEN AND HELL; AND THE APPEARANCES IN THEM, AND
IN THE INTERMEDIATE REGION, OR WORLD OF SPIRITS.
The Existence of the Marriage- Union in Heaven, and of an
Opposite Connection in Hell. THEOLOGIANs having assumed that the eternal world is
peopled by a class of beings, as its principal and primitive inhabilants, created originally as angels; and so created, too, independently of each other, — all, at once, immediately produced rom the hand of the Creator, and none through the instrument
lity of others as their parents, according to the order of the production of all the races of living beings, without exception, with which we possess any actual acquaintance; having thus excluded the distinction of sex, or anything analogous to it, from the original order of angelic beings; they have deemed it necessary, however awkwardly, to deprive of that distinction, when drafted into the angelic ranks, the recruits drawn from the race of rational creatures on eartn, though they came into
existence here as both men and women. But when it is seen that this order of original angels, neither male nor female, is the pure creation of man, not of God; that, in reality, there is not a single angel in heaven, nor a single devil in hell, nor a single created inhabitant of the spiritual world, of whatsoever character, but what first came into being as a man or a woman in the natural region of creation; it becomes a matter of extreme difficulty to imagine, that on being transplanted into the spiritual world, they cease to be men and women, and to be connected with each other in that relation, altogether. And when, in addition to the fact, that all the inhabitants of the spiritual world are from the human race, it is seen, as we have just proved, that man after death is no less a real and substantial man than before ; and when it is further seen, as also just proved, that all things which exist before the sight, in the other world, are appearances, outwardly exhibiting the state, ideas, and inclinations, of those who dwell there; it seems scarcely possible to doubt, that they who have been men and women in this world will still be, respectively, men and women in that ; and, consequently, that there must exist pure marriage-unions in heaven, and connections of an opposite nature in hell.
This idea, however, as represented in the writings of the illustrious Swedenborg, is amongst those, against which the most violent effusions of ridicule and scorn have been directed. We will therefore here invite the Candid and Reflecting to consider, whether these outpourings of revilement are made with reason, or without.
“ It is an evil and adulterous generation, the greatest of authorities has said, “ which seeketh a sign :" and, assuredly it is only such a generation that could rail against the idea, of the existence of a pure Marriage-Union in heaven, and of an Opposite Connection in hell.
1. Certainly among the symptoms of corruption of manners and grossness of sentiment which are so general in the present day, there is none more conspicuous and glaring, than the low ideas, which we almost everywhere meet with, of the nature and obligation of the conjugal covenant. Everything that is found in the Scriptures on this important subject, constantly adverts to the Marriage-Union as a thing most pure, most holy, most heavenly; insomuch that, under the image of it, heaven itself is represented to us in the Word of God; yea, by this, as the only symbol worthy of the subject, is in the Sacred Records depicted the conjunction of God with the human race. On the other hand, a state of adultery is in the same Divine Word constantly spoken of as justly representing, and accurately exhibiting to our apprehension, man's infidelity to his Maker,- the
state and nature of hell itself. Evidently then, in the Divine Mind, two more direct opposites do not exist, than the lawful and unlawful connection of the sexes : Yet who is to be found, among the general bulk of society, who in his own mind views the difference as so fundamental and irreconcilable ? Who considers the true love of marriage to be essentially holy, and the love of all connections alien therefrom essentially profane? Who regards the difference between them as intrinsically inherent in the things themselves, independently of all merely arbitrary appointment? It is true that few persons conceive that there is no difference whatever between the one and the other: the utility of marriage in society is too obvious to allow
but the most desperately profligate to maintain, that the violation of its bonds is altogether a matter of indifference, or that libertine practices are free from criminality : but who supposes that the love of the one species of connection and that of the other are two perfect opposites, and that the pleasures they afford to their respective votaries are essentially different, having in reality nothing whatever in common? How many are there, in fact, who look upon marriage as but a sort of legalized adultery, and upon adultery as differing in nothing but the want of the legal sanction from marriage! Hence it is that, among the topics of revilement brought forward against the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, none is more frequently insisted on, none is more confided in, as capable of exposing them to utter derision and contempt, than this : that those doctrines affirm true marriage to be a permanent institution, true marriages to be indissoluble, even by the power of the grave; and that in regard to all who enter the heavenly kingdom, should circumstances have prevented them from finding proper partners here, they will find such there, with whom their union continually becomes more perfect, and more fraught with pure delight, through eternity. What is the law of Divine Order upon this subject, proclaimed at the beginning of creation, and confirmed most solemnly by the Lord Jesus Christ ? “ Have ye not real, that he which made them in the beginning made them a* male and a* female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh ?
Wherefore,” says the Divine Comforter of this original divine law, “ they are no more twain, but one flesh.”+ Yet because we believe this doubly authenticated statement of the Word of God; and because we believe that Jesus Christ uttered a law of eternal obligation, and spoke the plain truth, when he sealed the whole with the irreversible decree, “ What
* Scholars allow that this is the proper translation.
therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder;" we are ridiculed and reviled as giving gross ideas of heaven: Whereas all the grossness is in the minds of our accusers, many of whom it is plain, cannot form a pure thought of so sacred an institution as that of marriage; who clearly betray, by their sneers respecting it, that in the thoughts of their hearts they think it essentially the same as any impure connection ; and who thence conclude, that to regard its chaste endearments to be perpetual, is to carnalize heaven. The same parties think, t appears, that though adultery is sinful, it nevertheless is very delightful, and that to represent it as taking place in hell, is to render hell irresistibly inviting. Thus one of them actually has affirmed, that our doctrines make heaven not much better than this world, and hell not much worse.
He would have us believe, that marriage is not only not a holy, but not a happy state, insomuch that to be eternally tied to a wife is enough to render heaven not over delightful; whilst to have the privilege of keeping a harlot (such is his phraseology, which includes, as we shall see in the sequel, a gross misrepresentation), is, as he represents it, so great a happiness, as to make hell itself a place of comfort; whence (such is his decent language), paupers might go to hell on speculation, with some prospect of advantage !** So possessed is this writer with the notion, that to live with a harlot must be so delightful as amply to outweigh all other miseries, that he turns to it over and over again; and others have treated the subject in the same style. The Candid and Reflecting, I am sure, will not envy our accusers their taste ; they will not think, that heaven, as described by Swedenborg, should be turned from without disgust, because its inhabitants live in the pure love of the conjugal covenant; and that hell must be turned to with eagerness, because all who inhabit it are adulterers. I trust we shall all, presently, see rea
on to conclude, that heaven is really a place and state of holiness, as well as of happiness, though all chaste conjugal partners are there; and that hell is a place and state of misery, as well as of wickedness, notwithstanding it is full of harlots and adulterers.
In the first place, then ; How is it possible to represent the holiness of the pure and chaste conjugal connection in a strong, er light, than by describing, as the Scriptures do the Lord Himself as one of the parties in such a union, and the Church as the other? Thus we find the Lord saying to the Church,“ Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded., for thou shalt not be put to shame : for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of
* Anti-Swedenborg. p. 68.