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some recommendation of the author to the favorable attention of Britons. Though himself a foreigner, he speaks of the natives of this country as follows; “ With respect to the people of England, the better sort among them are in the center of all Christians, in consequence of possessing an interior intel. lectual light. This, though not apparent to any one in the natural world, in the spiritual world is very conspicuous. They derive this light from their liberty of speaking and writing, and thus of thinking; while others who do not enjoy snch liberty have that light presented in a confused manner, because it wants an outlet. There is among them a similarity of disposition, which leads them to an intimate connection with friends of their own country, but seldom with others. They are kind in relieving each other's necessities, and love sin cerity. They are lovers of their country, and zealous for its glory,” &c., (n. 807, 808.)
14. Unfair “ Specimens of Boron Swedenborg's Commentaries on the Book of Genesis." This is a collection of carefully sundered scraps indeed. It is introduced with the learned complaint, that “the Baron has taken the liberty to new translate the text,” that is, that, writing in Latin, he did not give the text of the English Bible! Some verses he then selects from chs. ii. and v. with the spiritual sense as first briefly subjoined by the author to each yerse, omitting all the explanations which are invariably added to illustrate and exhibit the grounds of the interpretation, and when read in connection with which it will be found equally intelligible and just; yet, after having kept far the greater part of each article out of sight, the extractor is not ashamed to conclude with this sentence; “ The above specimens may suffice to give a tolerable idea of Baron Swedenborg's Arcana Cælestia ; and many will, no doubt, think with the publisher of these extracts, that the commentaries are far more mysterious than the text.” (p. 121). A tolerable idea, truly! Yes, these sundered scraps give just as tolerable an idea of the Arcana Cælestia, as a skeleton gives of a man.
15. Concerning the State and Nature of Man after Death : with a brief de wcription of the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. n. 792 — 794). All the statements contained in this extract have been abundantly vindicated in Section VI.
16. None can abide in Heaven, who have not Heaven in their own souls : given ander the description of " An Angel cast down from Heaven for professing his belief in the Personality of the Son of God.” (T. C. R. n. 110). This is one of the extractor's artful titles, by which he endeavors to convey such a false and unjust impression of what follows as may prejudice the reader at the outset. The spirit whom the extractor calls an angel, is affirmed in the relation itself to have been an angel of the dragon! and what he denominates professing his belief in the Personality of the Son of God," consisted in his affirming, “ TI God the Father and God the Son are two, and not one." (In the edition from which Mr. B. quotes, it is, “ are not one, but two persons ;" bat in the last edition it is given as here, there being in the original no mention of persons). Now whether a spirit who actually believed the Father and Son to be two Gods, and in whom that belief was so confirmed by an evil life that he was incapable of receiving a better, could be tolerated in heaven, let the reader judge. Some, perhaps, may still wonder, how an angel of the dragon could have got into heaven at all: but this wonder will not so much affect the statement of Swe denborg as the statement of Scripture which he follows. John the Revelator informs us, that “there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Rev. xii. 7, 8). But it has been shown in Sec. IV. above, (p. 151, 155) that the heaven here spoken of as occupied by the dragon and his angels, is not the proper heaven of angels, but a superior region of the intermediate world of spirits. Now as, after the judg ment, such spirits no longer found a place there, it will follow, that any who might aspire thither would be speedily cast down. This appears to have been the case, in the instance before us : and then there remains no matter of wonder whatever. However, it is not impossible, according to Swedenborg's state ments, elsewhere, for a spirit who is inwardly evil, but who yet believes himself entitled to heaven, to ascend thither for å short time, if he eagerly desires it, before he is consigned to his proper home. This is permitted in order to convince him how impossible it is for him to endure the sphere of the angelic abodes. The usual consequence is, that, the very atmosphere of the place being in utter contrariety to the quality of his life, he is immediately seized with a sense of suffocation; intolerable torments writhe his whole frame; and ho
eageriy, casts himself down. Hypocrites, however, who know how to assu:ne the appearance of angels of light can sometimes endure it a little longer. That all this is agreeable to fact ; that they who are not principled in the faith which has its orgin in charity, may indeed intrude within the angelic abodes, but that they cannot remain there is plainly taught by the Lord in his parable of the wedding-feast; at which a man without a wedding garment appeared indeed among the guests, bat was speedily cast out. See the remark on this circumstance in Sect. VI. p. 314.
17. Clear Exposure of the Impossibility of the Resurrection of the Miuterial Body; cited with the assertion, that “ The following will show that the Baron, with all his faith and charity, could almost copy the language of Infidels." (T. C. R. n. 770). See above, p. 78.
18. Swedenborg's Unaffected Mention of his call to his Office; extracted under the title of " Baron Swedenborg's Egotism." For what the extractor is pleased so to denominate, see above, pp. 264, 265, and the remark at top of p. 268, and then judge of the fairness of the description.
19. Appropriate Corresponding Representations; cited as "the Harlot and the Deud Horse in the Spiritual World.” (T. C. R. n. 277). The extractor has given this relation a title which only applies to one part of it, and that the smallest. A symbolic representation is described, in which, by the appearances customary in the spiritual world, is exhibited the nature of the Word both as to its natural and its spiritual sense, the free communication of knowledge thence to such as are in states to receive it and the falsification of its truths too generally prevailing at this day, whereby the right apprehension of the Word is lost. The causes and nature of the appearances have been sufficiently explained in Sect. VI, above; and the whole, I cannot bat think, must be deemed beautiful and impressive by all those, of whose views of truth and apprehension of the Word a harlot and dead horse are not the proper symbols. Had it been Swedenborg, and not John the Divine, who relates the visions of the harlot of Babylon, and of the beast whose head was wounded unto death, thc mirth of those who ridicule the preseat relation would, doubtless, have been unbounded.
20. Concerning the Mahometans in the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. 11. 828. 830, 834). In these scraps we have marks of very careful picking and culling; and with
good reason has it been exercised ; for in the longest of the intermediate paragraphs (n. 833), the Author so strikingly and beautifully " vindicates the ways of God to man,” in having permitted the Mahometan religion to be so extensively established, that it would be difficult to read it without being convinced that it proceeded from a mind eminently instructed in the proceedings of Divine Providence. I have been assured from a person who was present, and who was too well acquainted with the subject to be liable to any mistake, that in a sermon at the Tabernacle for the Missionary Society, Dr. A. Clarke intraduced the ideas contained in this paragraph, giving them, for the most part, in the very words of Swedenborg; and that their beauty so struck the hearers, as to be the subject afterwards of much observation and admiration : what would the admiring congregation have said, had they known whence they were taken? As to the passages which the adversary has selected, they require no explanation, after what has been said on his extracts respecting the Jews, the Dutch, and the English.
21 & 22. Concerning Infants in Heaven. Under this title are given two extracts from Swedenborg's Conj. Love, n. 410, 411, 412, Au the particulars contained in them have been sufficiently explained in Sect. VI. p. 335, &e.
23. Appropriateness of Swedenborg's Language to his Subject, given as “ A Sample of Swedenborg's Learned Jargon." (Div. Love, and Wisd. n. 185). For so does this erudite and modest accuser intitle a scrap, which, when sundered, as it carefully is, from the explanations that precede and follow it, he judges, avowedly from his own experience, the ignorant may find unintelligible. The only “ hard words” used in it, however, are co-exist, continuous, and continuity, discrete, altitude latitude, prior, and posterior; the meaning of all which may be found in any dictionary, though the extractor considers any composition in which they occur to be incomprehensible “jargon.". Whatever he may think, it is not the use of scientific terms upon a profoundly scientific subject, where such terms alone are adequate to express the meaning intended, which gives to a composition the character of jargon ; but the use of any terms whatever without meaning, or without appropriate meaning: and were i disposed to retaliate, I could adduce several passages from the accuser's book which strictly
come under the definition. In the extract in question, Swedenborg is speaking of two species of degrees according to which all things in the universe are arranged, and of the difference between which he was the first to discover, though the learned in general are now beginning to acknowledge the reality of the distinction. The nature of the difference between these two kinds of degrees is explained by the author in the paragraph immediately preceding that quoted, and which even this extractor did not venture to select as bearing the character of jargon. It is as follows: “The knowledge of degrees is like a key for the opening of the causes of things, and for affording admission into them. Without this knowledge, scarce any thing respecting the nature of causes can be understood. For without this knowledge, the objects and subjects of both worlds appear as simple, as if they contained nothing within them beyond what is obvious to the eye; when, nevertheless, this, respectively to what is within it bears the proportion of but one to two thousands, yea, to myriads. The things contained within, which are not obvious to the eye, can never be disclosed without a knowledge of degrees : for the ascent from things that are exterior to such as are interior, and by these to such as are inmost, is according to degrees, - not according to continuous degrees, but to discrete degrees. Continuous degrees are those by which objects decrease from coarser to finer, or from denser to rarer; or rather, by which they increase from finer to coarser, or from rarer to denser, as in light passing into shade, or in heat passing into cold. But discrete degrees are of a quite different nature. They are like things prior (or first), things posterior (or suceeding), and things postreme (or last); or like end, cause, and effect. These degrees are said to be discrete, because that which is prior exists distinctly, that which is posterior distinctly, and that which is postreme distinctly: nevertheless, when taken together, they form one whole. The atmospheres, as they pass from highest to lowest, or from the sun to the earth, and which are called 'ethers and airs, are distinguished into such degrees : in their different degrees they are like simple substances, - substances formed by the combination of several of the former,-- and substances formed again by the combination of several of these; and these taken together, are called one compound substance. These degrees are discrete, because they exist distinctly : these are what we mean when we speak of degrees of altitude: but the former degrees are continuous, because they increase continuously (or slide from one into another by imperceptible gradations] ; these are what we mean when we speak of degrees of latitude." Now whether or not this may be at onco understood by the utterly unlearned, it will assuredly be admired by all the learned for the clearness with which it explains a subject in itself abstruce; and so far is any part of it from being jargon, — words without appropriate ideas, that the ideas conveyed in it might easily be familiarly illustrated so as to be easily intelligible to the most ignorant also ; though to do this would require many more than the few, and most appropriately chosen words in which it is here couched by the author. The same remarks are applicable to the paragraph selected by the accuser, after that here cited has, as intended by the author, been read first. (For proof that the learned of the present day are adopting the doctrine here delivered, see the Intellectual Repository, Second Series, vol. i. pp. 131, &c., where the subject is illustrated by copious extracts from Kirby and Spence's Introduction to Entomology).
24. Angels descendants of the Human Race. (Div. L. and W. n. 330). The doctrine delivered in this extract has been abundantly proved in Sect VI. Part II. This extract, though, a completely sundered scrap, is so obviously beautiful, (as, indeed, many of the others), that it is wonderful by what infatuation the extractor could think it calculated to promote his purpose. But his object in selecting the present beautiful passage, is evident, from his endeavoring, by printing part of it in Italics, to force upon that part a ridiculous meaning which the author never intended.' What he has thus marked is a clause in which the author states, that man cannot be rational unless his body be in a sound state. But can the accuser seriously believe, that it is here meant to be asserted , that every derangement of the bodily frame destroys the powers of the mind ? – that a hurt in the finger or the toe, for instance, will, in Swedenborg's estimation, deprive a man of rationality? It is sufficiently obvious from the passage Itsell, (and if it were not, it is abundantly evident from other parts of the author's writings), that his meaning is, that man cannot be rational, when the part of his body on which the exercise of his rational faculties depends ls not in a sound state, as is the case in idiots and persons delirious or insane ; and that
part is, not the leg or the stomach, nor even the lungs or the heart, but the brain. This is his plain meaning; and to insinuate the contrary, is to resort to an artifice, totally unbecoming a fair opponent.
25. Swedenborg's explanation of our Saviour's praying to his Father. (T. C. R. n. 110). This also is a beautiful extract. The subject is sufficiently explained in Section VII., Part II., and specifically at pp. 384, 385, 386.
26. The Divine Power always exercised agreeably to Divine Order; given under the description of " God's Power of Redemption circumscribed by Baron Swedenborg.” (T. C. R. n, 73). This is another of calumnious titles by which Mr. B. so often endeavors to excite unmerited odium against the object of his attack. The extract to which it is prefixed is truly a carefully sundered scrap. It is a single sentence taken out of the middle of a paragraph containing a closely connected discussion of three pages, and forming a sequel to a similar paragraph of three pages more; and the reasoning contained in the whole is so luminous and conclusive, as, had the extractor read it, must have convinced, one might suppose, even him. But, like many others, he has obviously turned over the pages of Swedenborg, not with a view of seriously weighing any thing they contain, but merely to look for such things as, when nakedly propounded, might be deemed“ curious ;' and as soon as his eye catches a paragraph, or even a sentence, which, taken by itself, he thinks likely to help the impression it is his object to make, he cuts it out of its connection, and presents it as a sample of the whole. Connected with what precedes and follows, the sentence here cut out only affirms, that God, potwithstanding, he is ominipotent could not, agreeably to the order which he himself has established, have redeemed mankind without assuming human nature, and raising this to complete union with his Divine Nature, in the manner in which these divine works were actually accomplished; for in the context it is shown, that the omnipotence of God is never exercised in an arbitrary manuer, but always according to the laws of his own divine order. To affirm this, however, is, in our accuser's estimation, to circumscribe God's power of redemption. According to him, the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in our nature, with his sufferings, death, and resurrection, were by no means necessary to the redemption of mankind, but man might have been saved just as well had Jesus never been born. “ To bind God with the chains of his own order, appears, to him, as to certain other objectors, “great wickedness,” and “opposed to his omnipotence.” In short,
God's power is circumscribed,” according to this theologian, if we suppose him to act from any principle of order, or from any other impulse than that of whim and caprice. Whether the holder of such notions has any right to hold up Swedenborg to derision for advancing thecontrary,- for believing, in particular, that infinite order and infinite wisdom, together with infinite power, were disa played in every step of the work of human redemption, let the Reflecting decide.
27. “ Christ's sitting at the Right Hand of God explained by Baron Swedenborg:” (T. C. R. p. 136). And a most beautiful and obviously true explanation it is. See it vindicated above, pp. 414, 415, 416.
28. The Apostles sent forth in the Spiritual World to preach the Gospel. (T. C. R. n. 791). If, as is so probable, and so congenial to the conceptions of the most intelligent mon (as we have seen in Sect. VI. pp. 333, 334, 335), there are employments in the heavenly world, varying according to the genius of the heavenly spirits, and their acquirements formed by their habits in the world; and if, according to the opinion and language of Dr. Watts there cited, there is preaching in that world, and “ lectures of divine wisdom and grace given to the younger spirits there by spirits of a more exalted station ;" then are not these precisely the employments in which we should most naturally suppose the apostles to be engaged? Accordingly, Dr. Watts scruples not to conjecture that such is the fact, and adds to the apostles the prophets also.
“ You will perhaps say,” he remarks, as if again he were addressing this accuser, “that we shall have no need of their teaching when we get to heaven; for we shall be near God himself, and shall receive all immediately from him. But hath the Scripture anywhere excluded the assistance of our fellow-spirits? God can teach us here on earth immediately by his own Spirit, without the use of books and letters, without the help of prophets aud ministers, men of like passions with ourselves; and yet he chooses rather to do it in an instrumental way, and makes his creatures in the lower world the means of our instruction under the superior influence of his own Spirit. And why may he not use the same methods to communicate knowledge to spirits that newly arrive at that upper
world? There we shall see the patriarchs of the old world, and prophets of the old dispensation, as well as the apostles and evangelists of Christ and his gospel. - There Paul and Moses shall join together to give us an account of the Jewish law, and read wondrous and entertaining lectures on the types and figures of that economy, and still lead our thoughts to the glorious antitype with surprising encomiums of the blessed Jesus.. Paul shall unfold the dark places of his own writings, better than he himself once understood them; and Moses shall become an interpreter of his own law, who knew so little of the mystery and beauty of it on earth himself.”, (Vol. ii. pp. 425, 426). Now when Swe denborg affirms, only that part of what Watts here so confidently anticipates is true, is it to be deemed less credible, than when proposed with so many additions by Watts ? But the scene of the specific preaching of the apostles mentioned by Swedenborg, is not in heaven, but in the intermediate region or world of spirits. We have however, amply seen, in Sect, IV., Part III., that this intermediate region was to be the scene of the last judgment, and, of course, that, at that time, great and extraordinary operations were there to be accomplished. One of these operations, it is declared by the Lord himself, should be “ the sending of his angels, who should gather together his elect from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark xiii. 27). Is there the least improbability in supposing, that at least among these angels might be the twelve apostles ? And how were they to ascertain who were the elect, and to gather them together? What means so likely, as by proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, - by announcing the fact, that he had taken to him his great power, and would reign, as the only God of heaven and earth? Thus, in every point of view, there is much that confirms the probability of Swedenborg's statement on this subject; and nothing on which the shadow of an argument can be raised against it. But it will not be generally believed, so long as the inward incredulity which is now so general in regard to the existence of any spiritual world whatever, continues to exert its torpifying influence on the human mind. Where this prevails, and among those in whom it does not break out into open denial, it is all very well to talk of such things, so long as they are only proposed, as by Watts, in the way of conjecture and speculation: suggestion thus offered may be admired as ingenious, pretty, and plausible: but rise from the language of conjecture to that of knowledge; affirm that the views proposed are not to be played with as the creations of fancy, but to be acted upon as the realities of fact; and the inward spirit of incredulity at once rises in rebellion, shuts the mind against the admission of the thought, and proceeding from rejection to aggression, pronounces with dogmatism, that what appeared beautiful regarded as a fiction, is absurdity when regarded as a truth.
With this remark, I conclude my examination of the extracts from our author, given in the Anti-Swedenborg. I trust it will be seen by the generality of those whose minds are not entirely closed by a confirmed state of such incredulity, that all the statements which have been noticed, are perfectly in accordance with the assertions of Scripture, and with the dictates of reason also, when Reason is aware of the two truths which Scripture and Reason equally testify, that man after death is a real man as before, and that all the circumstances in which he then finds himself, are outward expressions of his in ward state. It must also be seen by all, that however I may have succeeded in the vindication of the extracts, the manner in which they have been selected by our adversary is in the highest degree partial and unjust; that they by no means afford a fair opportunity of judging of the writings of the illustrious Swedenborg.
But I have one other remark to make, which is perhaps of some importance : it is, That even they who may be of opinion, that such statements as some of those which we have been considering, had no other origin than the imagination of the writer, will not be justified, on this account, in rejecting, indiscriminately, the whole of his writings. I have known several, whose prejudices against supernatural communications were so strong, that they could not believe the reality of those of Swedenborg; who yet were immediately satisfied, on looking into his works, of that the greatest injustice is done him in the estimate formed of him by the religious world at large; and who became fully convinced of the truth of his general views of doctrine. It can absolutely be denied by none, that in all his writings are delivered sentiments of the highest importance, proposed and discussed in the most luminous and truly rational manner, and with a clearness of evidence which those who are not deterred froin seriously attending to it by