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place in the hells. For the lust derived from that love is the lust of hurting others who do not honor, venerate, and pay court to the subject of it: and when such lust prevails in every one, in a society which is restrained by no external bonds, such as the fear of the law, and of the loss of reputation, of honor, of gain, or of life, every one, under the impulse of his own evil, rushes upon another, and, so far as he prevails, enslaves the rest and reduces them under his dominion, and from a principle of delight exercises cruelty towards those who do not submit. All the hells are such societies ; wherefore every one there bears hatred in his heart against another, and from hatred bursts forth into cruelty, so far as he prevails.” * As rebellious disturbances continually exist there, since every one there desires to be greatest, and burns with hatred against others, hence come new outrages.
Thus one scene is changed for another : wherefore they who had been made slaves are taken out to help some new devil to subjugate others ; when they who do not submit, and yield implicit obedience, are again tormented by various methods. And so they go on continually. Such torments are the torments of hell, which are called infernal fire.”* Beside these general miseries, in the first volume of the Arcana Cælestia are described a number of specific inflictions which follow the perpetrators of various crirnes.
Now can any thing be conceived more truly horrible than such a state as this, to be incapable of any delight but in doing injury to others, and to have the injury thus done speedily return upon their own heads ? But our adversaries are offend. ed, that delight, under any form, should visit the breasts of infernals: yet every observer of human nature well knows, that even the most atrocious crimes are attended with delight to those who are in the love of them, and that nothing is more true than the observation of our Author, that whatever a man loves he regards as good, and feels as delightful. Thus one well acquainted with the human heart represents Satan as exclaiming,
“ Evil, be thou my good !” + Again, he makes Satan justly express the nature of evil, and its delight, in the following lines :
6. The more I see
“ — all pleasure to destroy,
To me is lost.”' But if there are any so lost in this world to all proper feeling as to think this delight of desirable attainment, could it be enjoyed without check (though even then, every one may see * Nn. 550, 553, 566, 568, 573, 574. + P. L. iv. 110. # B. ix. 119, &c.
§ Ib. 477, &c.
that it would be but a modification of misery); when it can never be gratified without an immediate retribution of shocking torment, can the most abandoned of the human race regard the state where this is inevitable without horror? Is it just to say, as has been done repeatedly,* that “ hell is so much mended by the benevolent Baron, that our paupers at least may go there with a very fair prospect of comfort ?” Will such direful pictures as have just been presented tend to make a man not much afraid of hell? Do they deprive vice of its prospect of punishment, and bereave us of the stimulant of fear ? Which is preferable, - so to represent the infernal state of misery (as is done by Swedenborg), as to make it truly terrible to every rightly constituted mind, by depicting its terrors in a manner that does not make the reason revolt at their inconsistency,; or so to represent them (as is done by my guide and his “Mahometan's Creed)," as to make them absolutely incredible, and thus to destroy the fear of hell altogether? Doubtless, much of the infidelity of the present times is owing to this, as its occasion if not its cause; and they who continue to press impossibilities as articles of Christian faith, are doing their best to aggravate that " dreadful mental disease.”
It cannot then, I apprehend, be denied, that in the general views given by Swedenborg respecting heaven and hell, there is nothing but what is obviously agreeable both to Reason and Scripture.
In conclusion, what judgment is to be rationally formed respecting the whole of Swedenborg's statements, both general and particular, respecting heaven and hell and the intermediate state or world of spirits, their inhabitants and the circumstances which attend them?
If the accounts of travelers in distant countries are read with delight; if even the minute occurrences which happened on · the journey to the travelers themselves, and the familiar anecdotes by which they illustrate the manners of the people and the character of the place, are found to possess great interest, though we never expect to visit those countries ourselves; what delight ought to attend the perusal of an authentic account of that eternal country to which we are all hastening, and with what interest should we hang over a favored traveler's detail of the familiar incidents which are there constantly occurring, and in which we must, ere long, be called to take ou: share ! That a special traveler should be empowered to communicate such information, by no means exceeds, we have seen, the bounds of rational credibility, nor even of probability. The possibility of it is abundantly evinced by the naratives of Scrip
* Anti-Swedenborg. pp. v. and 68.
ture; and the facility of it is demonstrated by the views of man's constitution, and of the laws of the spiritual world, discovered in the writings of Swedenborg. Indeed, many divines and philosophers have seen that man is by creation a subject of both worlds, the spiritual and natural. If by his spirit he belongs to the spiritual world, and he has a spirit within him while he lives in the body; it cannot be difficult for Him who is the Author of both to open the senses of his spirit even while he lives in the body; he must then be at once perceptibly amid the objects of the spiritual world, in the same manner as he will be after death; and accordingly, we have seen, it was thus that views of the spiritual world have been vouchsafed to prophets and oth
Is it at all surprising then, that such an opening of the spiritual sight should take place in an extraordinary manner, with one individual, at the era of the Lord's second coming ? Most people believe, that in the primeval ages of the world man lived in perpetual society with angels, and that it was not till he had far descended in degeneracy that it came to be the character of
angel visits” to be “ few and far between :” and most people believe, also, that in the latter ages of the world such communications will be restored, and angels will again be closely associated with men : is it then at all unreasonable to expect, that, as preparatory to such a state, should it be the purpose of Providence to produce it, - or in lieu of it, should that be without the provisions of the Divine Economy, some distinct, accurate, precise, and even familiar knowledge, respecting the eternal world, its appearances, its inhabitants, and its laws, should be communicated, through the instrumentality of one commissioned herald, to beings who belong to it, in part even now, and are soon to belong to it altogether? When man's former state, and his still unaltered nature as a subject of both worlds, are reflected on, the wonder surely is, that the world of which his better part is a native and a denizen should ever have become so shutout from him, and all particular knowledge respecting it so utterly lost, not that they should again be restored : and when could their restoration be more appropriately in place, than among the blessings attendant on the second coming of the Lord, and consequent upon the performance of the last judgment? Whilst then there is so much to give probability on this subject to the statements of Swedenborg, and nothing which, fairly estimated, detracts at all from their credibility; whilst all the particulars advanced, when their causes are understood, are found to be in the strictest agreement both with Scripture and Reason; they surely may be pressed upon the Candid and Reflecting as in the highest degree worthy of their attention, because conveying in, formation of the highest interest to man as an immortal.
THE TRINITY, AS CENTERED IN THE PERSON OF THE LORD
PART I. The General Doctrine stated, and established by Scripture.
IF I had formerly arranged this work in two principal Divisions, the second of them would begin with this Section: for, having gone through all the “curious" subjects objected against, in the sentiments held by us as those of the New Church predicted under the figure of a New Jerusalem, - being chiefly those which are connected with our Views of the Eternal World and State, - I am now to appeal to you, my Reflecting and Candid Readers, in regard to our Doctrines of Faith and Life. This is the part of the whole subject which is, in reality, of far the higher importance: it is the part of the subject, also, on which every well-disposed mind, having the Word of God to refer to, may most readily determine whether our sentiments are well founded : and it is the part of the subject in regard to which, as we think, we are able most conclusively to evince, that our sentiments are those of the Word of God itself. Were I then to adopt that course which I should most prefer, I should dwell most at length on our Doctrines of Faith and Life; and then again appeal to you to judge, whether a writer who, like the illustrious Swedenborg, was enabled to present, in so clear a light, the certain dictates of truth upon every subject in which we are most interested as Christians, and so completely to clear away the clouds which have so long hung over the doctrinal interpretation of Holy Writ: and who has done this, as he assures us, by virtue of a special illumination, bestowed on him as the Herald of the Second Advent; could possibly be deceived in this assertion, or in anything else which he advances. But, as observed above, I here am compelled to direct my course in the direction marked out for me by our opponents, and particularly by the one whom I have chiefly taken as my guide in regard to the subjects necessary to be considered. As he has filled the greatest part of his Anti-Swedenborg with observations and extracts intended to throw ridicule on the Views of the Eternal World and State presented in the writings of Swedenborg, and on the character of Swedenborg himself; and as these are also the subjects chiefly brought forward by others, and in regard to which the most unfounded aud injurious prejudices prevail; I have devoted the greater part of this Appeal to the examination of them on their own merits: and I trust it has sufficiently appeared, that, when the whole of the statements of
Swedenborg respecting them is understood, all must be admit. ted to be securely established on the immovable basis of Scripture, Reason and Fact. The opponent alluded to, however, has not left our more important doctrinal sentiments unassailed; on the contrary, he has put out all his strengh in an attempt to overthrow the most important of them all,
that which presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Being in whose single Person the whole of the Divine Trinity centers, -as being, himself, the Person of the Father, and thus the proper Object of Christian worship. Like many others, he is hostile to this doctrine, evidently, because it overturns the erroneous view of the Atonement and Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ : the true nature of which, as exhibited in the doctrines of the New Church, he likewise assails with gross misrepresentations.
He also throws some unjustifiable slurs on our sentiments in regard to the Christian Life. The same course, has been taken by most of our adversaries. These ti ree subjects then, I propose, as briefly as their importance will admit, to discuss in this and the two following Sections; and sc to conclude this Appeal.
That the doctrine of the New Jerusalem respecting the Di. vine Being and the Trinity in the Divine nature, should be fixed upon by any as an object of attack; that, on the contrary, it should not be eagerly accepted by all who assume the Christian name, as relieving them from difficulties which all ingenuous minds are well aware are not a little embarrassing ; are facts which, to us who have embraced it, would appear astonishing, were we not conscious of the power which received opinions and early prejudices always exercise over the judgment of weak and fallible man. All acknowledge, at least in words, that God is and can be but one: yet when it is affirmed, as is done by the majority, that this One God exists in Three Persons, each of whom, " by himself” (as the Athanasian Creed expresses it), is God and Lord; a perplexity and confusion are introduced into our conceptions, which many find to be distressing in the extreme. To escape from the embarrassment, numbers have rejected the idea of a Trinity in the Divine Nature altogether; and not seeing how to connect this rejection with an acknowl. edgement of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, have refused the honors of divine worship to the Saviour of the world. In the midst of these contending opinions it is, that the New Church which they who have embraced it believe to be prefigured by the New Jerusalem of the Revelation, addresses itself to the candid and reflecting. We see in Scripture too decisive evidence of the Divinity of Jesus Christ, to suffer us, with the Unitarian, to call it in question: on the other hand, we find too strong declarations of the indivisible unity of the Divine nature, to allow