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472. Let us now recur to a further notice of the interior value and eminent importance of Swedenborg's writings, considered both from a theological and literary point of view.
Children's Questions answered.
and worship. From the work On Heaven and Hell, he had clearly seen, that no other is acknowledged throughout heaven as the Divine Father than the Lord Jesus Christ alone, for 'he that seeth him seeth the Father.' The church was full, and humility and devotion seemed impressed upon every countenance. 473. "It is extraordinary" says Mr. WilHe addressed them like a father addressing his kinson, "how well Swedenborg has answered children, and often called them his chers en- the children's questions; those inquiries of fants, his beloved children. He said he little tongues that the parents divert, but do had baptized nearly all of them, and, as in- not satisfy. If we wished to give his theolofants, had taken them in his arms; and they, gy an experiment, we should select for its rewhen the service was over, assembled around cipients children of from five to ten years of him, and called him papa, inquiring after the age, and teach them nothing of it except in health of himself and his family. They also answer to their own inquiries. The whole testified their regard and their gratitude by scheme would be elicited presently by the sending him various presents the first flow-moving curiosity of almost infantine querists. ers of the spring, the first vegetables and fruits As a satisfaction to such like, including those of the garden, were presented to the beloved simple adults whose faculties are as those of pastor, thus reciprocating the sweetest affec- children, there is a completeness in his revelations of the mind by external emblems of tions; the first circle of intellectual wants is gratitude and love. How delightful, I thought, gratified with parental forethought; the profit is to be a pastor, when this sweet spirit of fered education, drawn forth by the pupil himreciprocation exists! where the minister, in his self, is exact and suitable; and the youthful anxiety and labor to perform the arduous du- mind runs no danger of subsequent complexities of his office, is soothed and strengthened, ty in the learning with which his easy teacher not only by the consciousness, depending on provides him. The personal Maker of the divine mercy and assistance, of having endeav- world, his name and abode; His quality as ored to do what he could for the instruction the best of men; the purpose of all things for and salvation of his flock, but by the sweet our use; the immortality not of the soul but reciprocation of acknowledgment and affection. of the man, or rather not his immortality but 470. "I afterwards was eager to embrace his straight continuance; the way in which the opportunity of enjoying some conversation people die and rise again; the great pleasantwith Oberlin on the spiritual sense of the ness of heaven for the good, and the pain of Word. But in this matter I was disappointed: hell for the naughty; the men and women he acknowledged that the Word has a spiritual living in each of the bright stars, and one day sense; but his knowledge of it seemed scanty to be our friends - these are things to satisfy and obscure. He told me, he regretted that babes of all conditions and ages. We would he had never been able to procure Sweden- back Swedenborg for comforting little ones borg's works, in which the Word is explained weeping over a lost brother or sister, against as to its spiritual sense, these works not hav-all the clergy that ever preached. We would ing been translated either into French or Ger- back him at a marriage for throwing upon the man, and the Latin copies being so scarce, that he could never procure them. The works of Swedenborg which he possessed, were the Heaven and Hell, Divine Love and Wisdom, Divine Providence, and, if I mistake not, a German translation of the Earths in the Uni
wedding ring a brighter shine of the skies. We should have confidence in him for the real events and unguarded moments that happen to men through life. However this may be, he is the first theologian with a voice that penetrates into the nursery, and becomes part of the mother's tale, or the governess's expla471. "The different biographers of Oberlin nations. Indeed he has answered none but have carefully concealed his predilection for children's questions, which are the first pure the writings of Swedenborg; they all agree, wants of knowledge. Until these were met, however, that he had peculiar views concern- no questions had been answered; and so he ing heaven and hell and the human soul. began at the beginning. He is preeminently And M. Morel, who has recently written the Gamaliel for the youngest faculties." memoirs of Oberlin, says, Oberlin had much originality in his conceptions, and his most singular ideas bore the impress of a great soul: Opening of Religions and Superstitions. he attached an emblematical sense to colors. 474. " We have not yet done with that His ardent imagination, nourished by the mys-opening or roadmaking which radiates from tical works of Swedenborg, delighted to bound his works as centre. There is no large space over the threshold of the tomb, and to expa- of thought that has not become more accessitiate in the mysterious world which awaits the ble, and we will add, more lovable, in consesoul, when separated from its earthly bonds."quence of what he wrote. Observe the broad Documents, pp. 116-120. access laid down in his works between his own
theology and other religions. The science of Protestantism opened in its way the spircorrespondences, the link between the worlds, itual world; and Swedenborg has gone far to comes easily into lower relations, and pro- show that the visions of Mahomet, whether claims the original unity of religious systems. fantastic or not, may have been actual repreThe Hindoo and Grecian mythologies are sentatives in the spiritual atmospheres; and translated into a Christianity as old as the he does not imitate Grotius and his successors, world, through the restoration of that universal in branding the Arabian prophet as an imposlanguage whose symbols are sun and moon, tor. Indeed he has given a clew to the leand the objects of creation. The first mani-gendary and fairy lore of all nations, so that fested word of God was the world itself; the we hope in time to make it serviceable for the meaning that lay in the world was what the combined purposes of a spiritual and natural first readers understood. They wrote their anthropology. mythologies, not in vowels and consonants, but 477. "As the world's superstitious sciences, in hieroglyphical things. Those mythologies, they are so important a field, that we reat length, were ill and perversely written, and gret to have little space to devote to them in at last the symbols overpowered the sense and their connection with Swedenborg's principles. occupied its place. But still, whatever truth There is a truth lies in them all. They are they have is to be attained by hieroglyphic in- founded severally upon certain large insights terpretation. What a field is here opened for and thaumaturgic powers, which are never missionary enterprises. The heathen may be alien to nature when harmonious man appears. led back from the entanglement of their re- Magic itself is but the evil application of the ligions, to their own ancestral truths; and science of correspondences; the prevalence of then, by a readier passage, towards the Chris-magic was a reason why that science was tian centre. The church is the heart and taken away from the earth. In our own day, lungs of the world, and by such a missionary simultaneously with the appearance of Sweenterprise, its pulses and attractions begin to denborg, these lost arts and sciences are compermeate the Asiatic and Mahometan remote- ing back, especially through mesmerism and ness, to discuss and eliminate the accretions its kindred progeny of truths. We can only of time, and to raise the whole race as a man, indicate that the student of these subjects will into warm-blooded life. No evidences, or find them amply treated from the spiritual even examples, plastered upon heathenism, side in Swedenborg's writings, and above all, will convert the barbarian, but heathenism in his Diary, where it is shown that they are itself is the unwilling witness to the Christian matters most accredited in the spiritual world. faith. The wonders of that world are palpable enough. 475. "There is something well fitted to the Perhaps, however, until our own day, no one Asiatic in Swedenborg's genius. His concep- was sufficiently aware of how wonderful Nature tion of the Grand Man, although we belive herself is going to be, when the ages are riper, scientifically original, is in singular harmony or of how certainly the height of the spiritual with the large and spheral thought of the ori- is the prophecy of the future of the natural. ental religions. Indeed, his scientific views To our Savior, this world was as plastic as are so similar to the Chinese cosmogonies, that any world need be; and to his true disciples, were it necessary to seek for the parentage of he promised the like powers, and the like obethe works of genius (which it never is,) we dience from the world. In short, he inaugumight easily build up the former out of the rated the miraculous as the order of nature, latter. There is, however, an element in him and the realization of this we look upon as the which the East has not, a more than Europe- outward measure and standard of the human an, perhaps a peculiarly Scandinavian activity, regeneration. In the mean time, the despised which demands a material world as the stern and obscure truths, by which nature already proof-place of thoughts and contemplations. emulates the spiritual, may group themselves, There is also, by consequence, a reliance on where their aims are good, round Swedenborg's personal man, which tramples out Pantheism, principles and correspondences, as round a and will be satisfied with no perfection less spirit-shaped than a personal God; and this is a side of life that the East has squandered and forgotten.
fortress sufficiently able to consolidate and protect them. But as they value self-preservation, let them resign their baser worldliness, and cease to lean upon the corrupt impotence of materialism.
476. "The Mahometan ereed is not unnoticed by Swedenborg, and he regards it differ- 478. "Nothing is more evident to-day, than ently from the Protestant divines. With him that the men of facts are afraid of a large it is a permitted, provisional religion, midway number of important facts. All the spiritual between Christianity and the ancient East, facts, of which there are plenty in every age, which availed to extirpate the idolatries of are denounced as superstition. The best atmany nations, and to declare some important tested spirit stories are not well received by truths, such as the unity of God, which may that scientific courtesy, which takes off its in time be united to the Christian facts. grave hat to a new beetle or a fresh vegetable Moreover, Mahometanism the old-world alkaloid. Large-wigged science behaves worse
to our ancestors than to our vermin. Evi- 480. Another synthesis effected by Swedendence on spiritual subjects is regarded as an borg is that of poetry with reason and science. impertinence by the learned; so timorous are Never were things more separate than these they, and so morbidly fearful of ghosts. If for the last thousand years. It has been a they were not afraid, they would investigate; disastrous quarrel for both parties, but especialbut nature is to them a churchyard, in which ly for science. Poetry has that in it which they must whistle their dry tunes to keep up can stand by itself; of native right, it takes their courage. They should come to Sweden- the milk and honey of every land, and solidly borg, who has made ghosts themselves into a appropriates the pictures and fruits of neverscience. As the matter stands, we are bold to say, that there is no class that so little follows its own rules of uncaring experiment and induction, or has so little respect for facts, as the hardheaded scientific men. They are attentive enough to a class of facts that nobody values, to beetles, spiders, and fossils, but as to those dear facts that common men and women, in all time and place, have found full of interest, wonder, or importance, they show them a deaf ear, and a callous heart. Science, in this, neglects its mission, which is to give us in knowledge a transcript of the world, and primarily of that in the world which is nearest and dearest to the soul.
Opening of History and Science.
failing nature. Yet apart from knowledge, it is a savage maiden, beautiful only as the landscape, whereas its proper loveliness is of the stars and the skies. Moreover in the wild state it feeds upon terrors as well as delights, upon good and evil alike, upon the monstrous equally with the divine, until its food governs its inspirations, and the bard becomes a charmer instead of a prophet. The science of correspondences puts the truth of nature and revelation into it, and sends an adequate criticism abroad with it in its wildest flights. The poet may be doubly rapt when the muse is sailing with creation. He is never so safe or so wildly joyous as when in the convoy of the heavens. Imagination is never so tasked as when it has to follow its Maker. Subtlety, 479. "Swedenborg has also conducted a novelty, freedom, frenzy are all too little nimrailroad from the 19th century to Eden; able to keep pace with that infinite wisdom sympathy from the historical to the unhistori- whose sport and play is the world. Poetry cal ages. Of all histories there is none so by gaining a science of the real, enters upon desirable, or so unattainable, as the narrative the only space where there is no limit, but of that happy state before history began. The where imagination may tire its nervous wing, day of no annals is the only portion of human yet sleep for refreshment when it will upon experience which deserves to be recorded. the humblest truths. The science which emanThe tables of goodness and happiness give cipates poetry, is none other than that of harthe kings and priests of the immemorial epoch. mony, which we call, after Swedenborg, the Paradise was its name. The re-discovery of science of correspondences. that time and country is due to Swedenborg's 481. "Science too has every thing to gain Arcana, elicited from the simple record in from its union through the same medium with Genesis. All is written there, but till Sweden-poetry. Hitherto the literary class, representborg came, no man could read it. The science ing the beauty of knowledge, have been unacof correspondences in union with spiritual ex- quainted with the scientific, contending for its perience, has opened the path to those ancient severer truth. Science has suffered from the realms. What wings for the poor gravitating exclusion. Poetry has its admitted aristocraantiquary in such disclosures as these! what cy -names for all climates, ages and sexes: a conversion of research into a key to the lost Homers, Shakspeares, and the like. Science and future happiness of the race. No matter has no names to match them. The art of if at first the discoveries are of the spiritual understanding the world has enlisted none kind; they will lead without fail to the mun- of the genius that has eagerly run towards dane account of the earliest people, and unite adorning life with song and beauty. The with the archæological sciences when reason structure of Iliads and Hamlets is more divine holds them with a firmer hand. The strata than any structure of the universe that has of the earth have been explored; Sweden- been shown by Newton or Laplace. This is borg has explored also the strata of the heav- because poetry has not become the soul of ens geology and ouranology are natural science, which in truth it should be. Whatcounterparts; and the science that lies between ever grasp has been yet attained by scientific them and unites them, will give the physical principles, has issued from the imagination as story, and the metaphysical education, of our a force; from some leak of poetry that has progenitors. Thereafter we shall never travel run into science: we ought then to open a by that road which lands civilization back to ship canal between the two through this great savagery for its origin, or carries the savage middle science of harmonies. Never till then to his first Adam in the monkey, but we shall can there be a science of fire and beauty, and see in the primitive man a creature and a so long as this is wanting, science is deprived power worthy to issue from the immediate of one clear half of its dominions. Nay, until God, though committed to nature and progress then she is not in possession of one single for his destined perfections.
complete fact, because every thing in creation | the tomb, and stands as the open gate between has its own peculiar beauty.
Harmony or Union.
two worlds of life. The letter of the Word has audibly communed with the spirit, and man, in the twain voices, hears the harmonies 482. "The works of Swedenborg proclaim of God. The Bible has done what no book this marriage of the rational with the imagina- could do for it, namely, proved its own divinitive powers. His works are the first fruits of ty. The marriage of the soul and the body it. He shows by a series of wonderful exam- has been solemnized in the conscious spirit; ples that the highest imaginations are the human reason has become the mean of a sumerest scientific truths. We could expect no pernatural revelation; the senses and the soul other. It seems eminently reasonable that have been at one in a soul with spiritual the human powers at their full stretch and in senses; and a mortal has entered the spiritual their lustiest life, should touch the facts that world, has seen it by doctrine, and underthe living God has made, more nearly and stood it by sight. There is no apparent conreally than crawling and commonplace sensu- trariety so great but may henceforth be overalism can. If you want to understand a bee-come. Orthodoxy and oddity, reason and tle, look at it with all imagination through the mystery, have met without confusion, and glass of the universe; translate it into a min- have kissed each other in the streets. The eral, into a vegetable, and into a man; run it eldest religions have been placed at the feet along its own line of genera and species, and of the youngest. Science and superstition, let it catch illumination from them all; and philosophy and reality, the golden age and the when you have enlarged it from this associated iron, and many other natures seemingly as empire, its atomic theory will be palpable and distant, have been shown the way of peace by distinct; and every habit, limb and entrail the mission of Swedenborg; and more is yet will be a self-evident proposition. At any to hope. It remains, after this recapitulation, rate the whole world will stand up for it. to show, in a few words, that each existing Creation itself, in this science of correspond-sphere already contained within itself a longences, is the method of study. The order of ing and an earnest of the atonement which is things gives the terms of the mighty syllo- thus individually begun, and which the human gism. The four seasons are laws of thought race must carry forward. that apply to every thing; spring, summer, autumn and winter are one formula that dissects it for you. A stone or a man put fairly 484. "But first we will set before the readthrough their logic buds, blossoms, fruits and er one topic of importance in regard to Swewinters. The mineral, the vegetable and the denborg, we mean, his often alleged mysticism. animal are another of these formulas. Using Now he is called a mystic by some, because them so, they unlock another cabinet of 'truths he speaks of things of the other world, which in every thing, for every thing contains them. would be a reason, were it valid, for calling The bones, for example, are the mineral man; the angels mystics. The phrase is occasionalthe organs are the vegetable; the nerves and ly founded also upon his interpretation of the the muscles are the animal; the lungs the Scripture according to another sense than that atmospheric; and the brains are the solar; discoverable from the letter. But here again, and so forth. These it is true are analogies, if the letter speaks to one set of faculties, and and not correspondences, but analogies are the spirit to another, and if both discourses the direct offspring of correspondences. The are distinct and divine, and mutually harmonscientific world knows that truths of this kind ic, there is no mysticism, but mere reality. have already made natural history into a more Swedenborg is the only theologian who is not living science; and we advertise them that mystical, the only one who craves plain expemore potential harmonies still lie in that sci-rience for every sphere, the only one who inence of correspondences which Swedenborg sists that words shall answer to outward facts, supplied; and whose leading function it is, to whether in this world or the next. There is extend analogies from the natural to the spir- nothing more mystical in the sight of an angel, itual, and to bring the light of a personal deity working through all nature to a personal spirit in man, to bear upon every form which variegates and constitutes the world.
The Philosophers are the Mystics.
or of God himself, than in the sight of any object of nature; nor are the inductions founded upon either sight to be called mystical, if those based upon the other are scientific. 483. "Swedenborg's inseparable life and It would be mystical if the sight were not doctrine are then a new conjugal force intro- sight, but some philosophical intuition, but if duced into experience, recalling to mind his good eyes are the seers, it is no matter whether own prediction, that marriage will be the re- their optic nerves are of spiritual flesh-glass, or storer of the ages, and will lead down to the of natural, there is no mystery in the case. earth a still youngest child of God, or a new This is a view which must commend Swedencelestial church. We have seen that already a borg to the countrymen of Bacon and Locke, grand reconciliation is prepared. Through for so practically does he assent to the inducdeath an arrow of light is shot, and it quits tive plan, as to extend its sphere to the highest
of beings; regarding God himself as unknow- | vulgar apprehensions; it cannot shake them able unless he shows himself in experience off, though it cannot adopt them. What and history; for our Savior's life upon earth would it not give to be rid of mesmerism, or is the base of theology, because it is the natu- even of magic and astrology, which it has ral history of God. Without this base of never known how to exterminate? This is divine facts, Deity might have been the God hopeless now. These griffins of knowledge of the soul, but never the God of the sciences, have bitten into its substance, and must either which are the new kingdom that will absorb become sciences, or science dies of them. the earth. And so also without experiment The positive school is precisely that which of the spiritual world, the sciences must have can least resist the invasion of supernaturalbeen closed at the top, whereas that experi-ism. Many materialists already have fallen ment carries them up through a tangible heaven before it, and sunk, as might be expected, into to the same God who appeared in history, and a peculiar unreasoning superstition. Nothing who is the Alpha and Omega of knowledge. can save them but attention to spiritual expeIt puts us out of patience to hear the enter-riences. Add to which, that the scientific men, prising traveller to a far country, termed a with their deep breaths and fixed objects, are mystic, for giving a plain account of things taking the path to seership in their own bodies; heard and seen, while Grub Street philoso- they are running after Swedenborg, and will phers, who never stir from their tripod stools, ere long breathe in the same place as he; for and make heavens out of their own heads, science itself is the appointed Seer of the claim the whole of daylight for themselves, and Future. even talk of their spiritual experiences, meaning only their sedentary straining to find out facts without the trouble of going to them.
'Old experience doth attain
To something of prophetic strain.'
488. "Again, if we turn to the arts, electric 485. "We therefore now study the science telegraphs make spiritual presence between of God, because Jesus Christ has lived upon distant places: London and Edinburgh comthe earth, and Jesus Christ is God; we study mune in spaceless conversations. Another the spiritual world, because one of us has medium, glowing hotter with world friendships, been there, and reported it; and we study the will give mutual sight to the ends of the earth. natural world, because it is given to us, and Only sink into the air mine of community, and our senses are given to it, in short, because India and England shall be permanent natuwe did not make it, but it is a divine fact. ral apparitions to each other. The mirage is Whatever we have made ourselves, we do not a true signpost of this consummation. Disstudy, which is a sufficient demolition of sub-tance is dying, and will be only represented jective knowledge. Thus from the spheres a in the altitude of the human perceptions. blackness is departing. Mystery, the mother Magnetism itself, in its instant rounds, derides of the abominations and harlots of the earth, and despises it; the very stones appear to is unrolling from theology, philosophy and each other by its spiritual communications; science; and soon the practical, the only sub- and shall men, who are one in a nobler maglime, will be all in all. For time will not netism, be reproved by the friendships of the wait long, after marrying the mind to expe- ground? rience, before the importance of daily life will not only suggest but allow or disallow every theory, upon whatever subject put forth.
489. "As for reason, and philosophy, its representative, it is an ambidextrous power, and shifts either way at the bidding of experience. Sound reason is affirmative already, being the kindest of the sciences; but meta486. "And to revert to the fact that the physical reason also turns to the rising sun, old world contains a promise of the opening and will give supernaturalism an exaggerated Swedenborg commenced, a slight survey proves truth, when it comes as current coin from it. The lowest experience of all time is rife the sciences. If there is little to hope from in spiritual intercourse already; man believes this philosophy, there is nothing to fear, for it it in his fears and hopes, even where his edu- is always the wind of a more real power, the cation is against it; almost every family has slave of sterner faculties than its own. its legends, and nothing but the wanting cour- 490. "Turn we again to poetry, where inage to divulge them keeps back this supernat- deed the ground is ready, and samples of the uralism from forming a library of itself. Yea, tillage are native to the soil. Nothing but the and every mourner, by a freshly-opened grave, greatest misfortune has kept the poets from shoots with untamable love towards departed friends, and bespeaks them, while the genius of grief is on him, as persons of real and presentable stuff. At such a clever time, burial services are but the background on which the heart delineates its native skies. This is the sense of universal mankind.
487. "Science, too, is infected with these
Swedenborg and the normal spiritual world. This man is the luminous pier of all the bards that have arched the ages with their rainbows. From blind Mæonides through blind Milton, the last span of double-sighted poesy reposes upon Swedenborg. Not one of the great ones but has longed to see his day; not one, but has visited the spirit world, as the theme of