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esy a man may be in with regard to his understanding, he still may be reformed and saved, provided he shuns evils as sins, and does not confirm himself in the false doctrines of his heresy (which, as is shown elsewhere, can only be done, so as to be incapable of removal, by a wicked life] : for, hy shunning evils, the will is reformed, and by the will, the understanding also, which then first comes out of a state of darkness into a state of light. The essentials of the church are three : the acknowledgment of the Lord's Divinity, the acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word, and the life which is called charity. According to the life, which is charity, is the state of every man in regard to faith ; from the Word he acquires a knowledge of what his life ought to be ; and from the Lord he obtains reformation and salvation. If these three things had been regarded as the essentials of the church, intellectual dissensions would not have divided, but would only have varied it; as the same light produces various colors in beautiful objects, and as various precious stones give such splendid beauty to a royal crown.""*
Are not these the sentiments of genuine charity ; and of reason and truth, in addition ? Must not every attempt to impute to the enlightened mind that was the organ of expressing such heavenly sentiments, defect pf charity, egregiously fail? not a life formed according to such doctrines to be urged upon all as most truly a CHRISTIAN LIFE?
I now close this Appeal; and to avoid protracting it further, I will make no additional attempt to recommend the subjects which have been considered to the favorable attention of you to whom it is addressed, — the Reflecting of all Denominations. I will only entreat you, as becomes men of reflection and thence of candor, to weigh what has been offered in the balance of a serious and impartial judgment, and under the influence of a real love of truth ; and, in order that you may be guided aright in your decision, I would only earnestly beg of you to remember the request made in the introduction above (pp. 5, 6), - to put your minds, for the occasion, under the direction of Him, who is the Truth itself, the Light of the world. Then, and then only, may you rely, that the Holy Spirit, which He sends from the Father, will guide you into all truth. The consequence, I trust, will be, that you will be brought to the conviction, that the important Doctrines of Faith and Life which have now been presented to your consideration, are those which tend, above all others, rightly to inform the understanding and to purify the heart : that the Views which have been offered respecting the Eternal World and State, are such as carry the highest evidence of their own reality, and impress the reality of the things be
* Ib. n. 259.
longing to that world and state in the strongest manner on the human mind; and that the opinions which have been advanced respecting the accomplishment of the Second Coming of the Lord and of the Last Judgment, with the raising up of a Human Instrument for making them known, are precisely what Prophecy, rightly understood, should lead mankind to expect, and what Experience and Fact, — the experience, in our day, of the whole world, and facts which press upon the observation of all, irresistibly confirm. And even such of you as, not yet venturing to put your minds under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ, but looking for light to some different source, shall not be convinced that these sentiments are true, must yet, I trust, be satisfied, that both our doctrines and ourselves have been greatly misrepresented, and are in general much misunderstood ; that our doctrines are not altogether undeserving of attention, and that those who hold them are not altogether deserving of contempt. As to what is thought of ourselves, however, we desire to be indifferent; but the sincerest charity compels us to wish, that mankind may be led to think less unworthily of what, we are satisfied, is the Truth. But this also, we are instructed, will, sooner or later, be the case. For though it is agreeable to divine prediction, that, at the time of the Second Coming, “they should make war with the Lamb,” – should oppose the belief of the Divinity of the Lord's Humanity and of his oneness with the Father, with the other truths then to be made known; yet the same prediction assures us, that “the Lamb shall overcome them,” -shall convince them, from the Word, of their mistake: “for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings."* Happy, assuredly, are they, who yield to his dominion! Thus, happy are they, by whatever denomination they wish to be called, who practically admit the first two essentials of the New Church, prefigured, as we believe, by the New Jerusalem ; which are,The acknowledgment of the Lord in understanding and in heart; and, A life according to his commandments.
* Rev. xyii. 14.
No. 1.-Sect. VI. - PART V. Various Particulars relating to Heaven and Hell, fc., Explained. We will here as promised above, p. 366, pass under review the eignt-andtwenty " Sundry Extracts from the Writings of Baron Swedenborg,” which the writer I have chiefly followed in this Work has adduced, as supporting his churges against the Author. The more general subjects brought forward in these extracts have been examined already above, Sect. VI. Part V., and I trust it has sufficiently appeared, as there observed, “that, when considered with reference to their proper causes, and to the nature of man after death, of the circumstances in which he is placed, and of the appearances around him, all the facts must be allowed to be in perfect harmony with the statements of Scripture, and with the dictates of reason, - that the true ground of offence must be admitted to exist solely in the unfounded prejudices of our opponents, in the vague, shadowy conceptions, which, in the acknowledged absence of all specific knowledge, they had formed for, and from, themselves.” “Being, however,” as there also observed,“ desirous that every thing which our enemies censure as objectionable should be viewed in the fullest light,” we will. here consider the remainder of those Sundered Scraps. The extractor has prefixed to most of them a ridiculous or reproachful title; as, however, they all present some beautiful and important truth, I shall review them under titles more in accordance with their genuine character.
1. The state of a particular Class of Evil Spirits; and Origin of the two different modes of representing Satan in Pictures. This is one of the Memorable Relations, introduced by Swedenborg by way of appendix, to the chapters of his work, entitled, “ True Christian Religion, or the Universal Theology of the New Church,” by way of illustrating the doctrinal subjects discussed in the body of the work: It occurs at n. 281; and it is of such length as might seem to exclude it from the class of Sundered Scraps, were it not that the explanations of the nature of appearances in the spiritual world, and of the laws of that world in general, which the author gives elsewhere, are necessary to be known, to enable the reader to form a correct judgment of some of the particulars which it details. The design of it, as stated by its Author, is, “ to mention some circumstances relative to the state of those who have confirined themselves from the Word in false principles of doctrine, particularly of those who have been induced to do so, for the sake of defending the doctrine of justification by faith alone.” All the particulars in it whicli could give oflence, have been explained in Sect. VI., Part V., the most "curious" are specifically alluded to in p. 355: and, when rightly understood, the whole is calculated to le felt as most solemnly and affectingly impressive. The opponent has cited it, apparently, for the sake of supporting liis allegations as to the mildness of the hell described by Swedenborg. But it is to be recollected, that this is not a description of the fate of those who in this world have been flagrantly wicked, but of those who have passed through life with the character of men of piety, including many ministers ; but who, having confirmed themselves in the notion that salvation is by faith alone, have inwardly thought lightly of evils, and have not abstained from them from a principle of religion, but merely from external morality, or perhaps only to save appearances. The state of those who in this world have lived in the practice of flagrant crimes, and have confirmed them in their spirits as allowable, such as robbery, cruelty, adultery, and the like, and the punislıments which overtake them, are described by Swedenborg in the first volume of the Arcano Cælestia, in colors sufficiently terrible to come up one would think, even to this adversary's conceptions of the forments of hell. And even the general statement by which the relation we are now 10.
ticing, so objectionable to the extractor for its mildness, is concluded, is such as must appear sufficiently appalling to all who retain any just feelings, and who do not think that the life of a hog or of a filthy reptile, is desirable and inviting, because, by the log or the reptile, its disgusting habits and filthy domicile are felt as congenial to its nature. “ With respect to the hells in general," says the Author, " they consist merely of such caverns and work houses, but differing according to their inhabitants, whether they be satans or devils. They are called satans who have lived in false persuasions and consequent evils, and they are devils who have lived in evils and consequent false persuasions. (None, it is to be observed are in hell on account of having merely entertained false persuasions, but only when they have applied them to confirm themselves in evils). “ Satans appear, in the light of heaven, pale and livid, like corpses, and in some cases of a darkish hue, like mummies : but the devils appear, in the same light, of a fiery, dusky complexion, and in some cases black like soot. But the forms and faces of them are all monstrous; and yet in their own light, which is like that of ignited charcoal, they do not appear as monsters, but as men: which appearance is conceded for the sake of consociation.” 'We here see the origin of the two very different modes of representing Satan, and evil spirits in general, which have been adopted by painters. Some represent them under the most horrible forms that can be conceived: this results from their having a perception that their real forms — that forin which they have when viewed in the liglit of heaven, which discovers things as they are in their true nature, - must be the form of their own evil. Others paint them with a sort of unlovely beauty ; following the idea of Milton, who believing Satan to have been originally a superior angel, says, that in hell
“his form had yet not lost
Of glory obscured;" and this results from their having a perception, that in their own light,light corresponding to their phantasies and false persuasions, which “call evil good and good evil," — they can assume a less offensive appearance. Both modes of representing them give confirmation to the statement of Swedenborg.
2. Infatuation, in the other life, of Irreligious Philosophers. Our accuser's second extract (from T. C. R. n. 60) is headed, “ A farther Account of llell ;" but this is not a true description of it, as it does not give an account of hell, but of the discourse of a Satanic spirit in the world of spirits. Had it been related as a fictitious narrative, and not as a real fact, it would certainly have been commended as an admirable exposure of the absurdities inherent in the persuasions of those philosophers who ascribe all things to nature. And what can in reality be more awful than the assurance, that when such falsc per: suasions have been confirmed by an evil life, they remain in the other life, and are then carried to the extreme of infatuation ? and that although the spirit, before he is dismissed to hell, is convinced of his folly, still, when he returns into his own inherent state, or into his own proper life which is a life, of lusts and phantasies, he forgets the instruction he had received, and plunges farthier and farther into the insanity of his infatuations ? (It may be useful to state, that there is an error in the translation of a sentence in this relation, as quoted in the Anti-Swedenborg, p. 91, which has been corrected in the last edition of the work from which it takén. The satan, on being for a moment convinced of his infatuation, is represented as saying, “I have certainly lost my senses: ! have seen heaven above, and heard the angels conversing there, in words and on subjects inexpressible, as I was lately usandering near this place." This last clause ought to be," but this was when I had recently entered this world." fers to the knowledge which is given to every one in the other life, before he is judged to his final abode, respecting the real nature of heaven and of hell, and of his own state). This relation appears to have been quoted by the adversary, and called a farther account of hell,” farther to support his accusation against Swedenborg, of making hell inviting: though, if this Satan did not appear, at the time very unhappy, it is to be remembered that he was not, at the time in hell, but permitted to emerge for a specific purpose; hence, too, it was, that he seemed to be on so good terms with his female companion, both being, at the time, in a state of their externals, comparatively. The whole ex. hibits a pictůre of moral degradation that is truly appalling. But moral deg
radation has in it nothing repulsive in the estimation of the accuser; physical tortures are the only things which can prevent, as he thiuks, hell from being attractive; why then did he not give an extract from the article immediately preceding that which he has there selected ? An account is there given of some evil spirits, who, in the world of spirits, followed a path which led to hell; and it concludes thus; “ Forasmuch as their delight was to do evil, and they did evil to many in the way, they were put into a prison, and became demons ; and thien their pleasure was turned into pain, because they were restrained from the indulgence of their former delights, which constituted their nature, by punishments, and by the dread of punishment. And they inquired of those who were confined in the same prison, whether they were to remain there for. ever; to which some replied, We have now been here for several ages, and must continue here to ages of ages; because the nature which we contracted in the world cannot be changed, nor expelled by punishments; for though it be by them expelled for a time, yet after a short interval it returns.'
Why did not the accuser include this in his extracts, when he begins one at the very next line to it? Clearly, because it wouid not answer his purpose ; because it would have shown, that when he was representing the hell of Swedenborg as an abode of "comfort,"' - as a place to which it might be worth “ going on speculation,”—he was wilfully falsifying the truth.
The four next extracts are sundered scraps in every sense. They are taken from a relation of the Author's in the Appendix to one of the chapters in his Tr. Chr. Rel. (n. 731 — 752). In this relation the Author describes how very gross and erroneous are the notions entertained of heaven by great numbers who pass by death from this world into the world of spirits ; which unfounded conceptions must necessarily be removed, before even those who may be capable of becoming angels can be introduced thither. Among other modes of correcting these misapprehensions, one is, occasionally, after preparing them for the purpose, to take up into heaven, for a few days, some persons from the temporary societies in the intermediate region or world of spirits, in order that, on their return, they might make their companions acquainted with what they had learned of heaven from their own experience and observation; and an arrangement more worthy of Infinite Wisdom and Goodness cannot, surely, be conceived. The relation in question contains the narrative which ten persons, who had thus been prepared and taken up into a society of the wwest heaven, gave on their return. But of this necessary preliminary information, the extractor gives nothing.
3. Distinctions, in Heaven of Dress, and of Rank. The first scrap taken from this relation (T. C. R. n. 743) is headed, “ The dress of the inhabitants of heaven;" but this is a misnomer, as what follows is not an account of the dress of the inhabitants of all the societies of heaven, among which there is, as may be supposed, an indetinite variety, but of one society only, in which, as being a society of an inferior heaven, there was more approximation than in the generality to the dresses used on earth. What is meant to be held up to ridicule in the dress described, does not appear. The extractor, I suppose, must think it right that angels should appear in some dress; then why not some of them in this ? Perhaps he is displeased that the chief of the society should appear with “a kind of zone, or ribband, with the ensign of his society; the ensign was, an eagle sitting on her young at the top of a tree.” But how common is it in almost all writers to regard the various orders and bands of angels as distinguished by various insignia ! Thus in the following passage of his discription of the assembled angelic hosts, Milton only embodies in few words what many others have both thought and said;
“Standards and gonfalons, 'twixt van and rear,
P. L. v. 599,
&c. Or is he displeased that there should be in heaven distinctions of rank? though this too is quite in agreement with the popular belief. Angels have always been considered as marshalled into hierarchies, or holy governments; and if, instead of Swedenborg's calling the chief of this society the prince, he had called him the archangel, the meaning of which would be precisely the same, perhaps all difficulties would have vanished. To perplex the case a little, the