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“Emanuel, my son's name, signifies ‘Godfather, in language expressive of the most re with us '
'- a name which should constantly spectful and affectionate regard. The work remind him of the nearness of God, and of displays superior scholarship, precocious judgthat interior, holy, and mysterious connection, ment, and a style of classic purity, which obin which, through faith, we stand with our tained for him great praise, and which was indigood and gracious God. And blessed be the cated, at the time, by the dedication to him of Lord's name! God has to this hour indeed a Greek Poetic Eulogy, in the following been with him; and may God be further with words: “ To Emanuel Swedenborg, a youth him, until he is eternally united with Him in of distinguished genius, and illustrious both by his kingdom."
his birth and the glory of his erudition, when 7. It may be mentioned here, also, that the he published his · Dissertation and Comments father of Swedenborg had an evident natural on the Maxims of Publius Syrus, and others.” tendency to a faith in the supernatural charac- In the same year he published a metrical ter of many of the occurrences of this life. Version of the Twelfth Chapter of Ecclesias“ Several of Bishop Swedberg's works,” tes, which is much admired for its spirit, elebays Sandel, “ seem to show a tendency to gance, and poetic feeling. This was succeedbehold in certain events a species of prophetic ed, in 1710, by his Ludus Heliconius, &c., a indications.” The bishop was particularly collection of miscellaneous poems in Latin, pleased to inform himself of supernatural ap- among which is an excellent ode, in celebrapearances, one of which he recorded in his tion of a great victory, gained, principally, by works, and also wrote an account of it to the undisciplined troops, under Steinbock, over Bishop of Bristol in 1710, wherein he said, their Danish invaders. The following is a that “ its truth was certain," and had been translation of it: confirmed by the personal inquiries of Field Marshal Count Steinbock. He ended his let
“ Lulled be the dissonance of war - the crash
Of blood-stained arms — and let us listen now ter to the bishop thus: “I am not inclined myself, and would be far from persuading any
To sweetest songs of jubilee. From harp
And thrilling lyre, let melodies of joy one, to credulity and superstition. But may
Ring to the stars, and every sphere of space not the all-wise God, in all ages, think it ne- Glow with th' inspiring soul of harmony. cessary, by extraordinary instances, to fix Phæbus applauds, and all the muses swell upon the minds of mankind some signal im- Our glory on their far-resounding chords. pressions of his overruling power, and of the Well may the youthful poet be abashed, truth of his holy gospel?” More may come
Who sings such mighty enterprise, — his theme out on this head, when Bishop Swedberg's
So great, so insignificant his strain!
Let Europe boast of Sweden - in the North, Autobiography is published. Here, also, we
South, East, and West, victorious. — Round the may see, in part, the prepared foundation for
Pole the genius of the son.
The seven Triones dance exultingly, 8. The subject of this memoir, from his ear- While Jove the Thunderer sanctions his decree, liest childhood, was remarkable for his great dil
Never to let the hyperborean bear
Sink in the all-o'erwhelming ocean stream; igence and usefulness ; while every thing in him tended to mature his mind in knowledge.
For when in the wave he bathes his giant limbs,
'Tis but to rise more proudly. Even now. His private character, from youth to man
The fertile Scandia wreathes her brow with hood, was altogether irreproachable. At the flowers, University of Upsala, in Sweden, he received And Victory's trophies glitter over Sweden. such an education as was calculated to form The God of battles smiles upon our race, his character to virtue, industry, and solid
And the fierce Dane sues for our mercy :-Yea. learning; particular attention being given to
The troops insidious Cimbria sent against us,
Lie scattered by a warrior young in arms. triose branches of science that were to consti
Though Swedish Charles, our hero King's afar tute his chief occupation ; such as mineralogy,
In Russian battles, his, bright valor fills the languages, mathematics, and natural philoso- The heart of Steinbock - the victorious one; phy. Thus he began his career, as a practical These names of Charles and Steinbock, like a mechanician and engineer, in the deepest study spell, of the mathematics and general physics.
Created armaments, and hurled pale fear 9. In 1709, at the age of twenty-one, he
Among our foes. Steinbock! thy red right
hand took his degree of Doctor of Philosophy, for
Hath smitten down the spoiler; and in thee which occasion he published an Academical
Another Charles we honor, and rejoice Dissertation, consisting of select sentences from To hail thee hero of thy grateful country. Seneca, and Publius Syrus, the Mimic; giv- Bind the triumphal laurel round thy brow; ing parallel aphorisms and passages from Such chaplet well becomes the invincible : Erasmus, Scaliger, and other writers, and 'il- Ascend thy chariot — we will fling the palms lustrating them with his own comments. This
Before thee, while the peal of martial music
Echoes thy high celebrity around. work is a proof of his acquaintance with the
Hadst thou in olden times of fable lived, best classical writers, at an early period of I had invoked thee as a demigod. life, and of the tendency of his inind o dwell
Behold how glitteringly in northern heaven on higher subjects. It was dedicated to his Thy star exults: the name of Magnus fits
Both it and thee, inseparably linked :
syllables. As a double proof of the filial In thee, the genius of the North expands, respect which attached Swedenborg to his And all the virtue of thy ancestry.
parent, and the tender care which that parent Illustrates thee. Chief of our gallant chiefs
had lavished on his education, it possesses an - Too gallant for a song so weak as mine
Oh! could their names enshrined in monuments interest which fairly entitles it to a place in Appear, how would the eyes of Sweden kindle
our memoir. To read them! Coronets of gold for thee Were all
too little recompense ; – hereafter, *** To my most beloved parent, Jesper Swedberg, A crown of stars is all thine Own. The foempleo Doctor of Theology, and venerable Bishop of the Lies broken by thy force and heroism :. diocese of Skara, with feelings of the utmost Numerous as Denmark's sands they came yeneration and love: –
how few Returned — their princes and their soldiery
* As there is nothing more sacred and delight
ful than to follow the steps of our ancestors and Repulsed with scorp, while shuddering horror · hung
parents, and especially those in which we may
imitate as well as honor their example, I experiUpon their fight - Jove's thunderstorms as
ence no small pleasure and delight in dedicating sailed Their bands of treachery, daylight was eclipsed beloved parent
, through whose paternal kindness
these first fruits of my studies and labor to that In thickest clouds, and the pure cause of God
and guidance my mind was first trained in piety, And patriotism triumphed. Ay, the cause
knowledge, and virtue. May I grow up, with inOf Sweden's royalty, which Denmark strove How vainly -- to despoil. Our king perceived creasing years, in the imitation of those deeds
which have covered the name of my parent with Their rising hatred ; poets were forbid To sing his praise -- his praise beyond compare : Father, while I emulate
thy literary accomplish
honor and celebrity; and resemble Thee, O For this, in sooth, the land was steeped in blood; Even for this, the fire and sword laid waste
ments! How much joy did I experience when I
beheld thee present to witness my first appearance Our native soil. Then let each warrior bind Thể laurel chaplet, and the bard exult
in public! and what more suitable opportunity
could I desire for thee to witness the nascent, O'er slaughtered rebels. For the destiny
feeble abilities of thy son, humbly endeavoring to Of Charles shall yet awake the Muse's hymns.
imitate the genius and talents which have shone so Ah, soon return. – Oh, monarch of our love! Oh! Sun of Sweden, waste not all thy light
resplendently in thee? when thou didst behold, To illume the crescent of the Ottomans;
with an eye full of parental love and complacency,
the studies to which thou didst so tenderly prompt Thy absence we bewail, wandering in glooms Of midnight sorrow -save that these bright stars me and guide me in my childhood and youth, daily That lead us on to victory, still console
brought to greater maturity. Accept, therefore, Thy people's hearts, and bid them not despair.” public offering as a debt of filial gratitude and of
with a propitious smile, these first fruits of my
love. Accept, o excellent parent, this humble 10. The poems of Swedenborg display fancy, offering, the fruit of thy paternal kindness, which but a controlled imagination. It we may con- derives whatever it may possess of merit and of vey to the English reader such a notion of usefulness from thy paternal care and solicitude in Latin verses, they remind one of the Pope my behalf. If I were but permitted on this occaschool, in which there is generally some theme labor, no exertion too much in commemorating the
sion to celebrate thy praises, I should consider no or moral governing the flights of the muse. merits thou hast deserved of thy family and thy Under various forms, they hymn the praises country; but as I know that thou wouldst rather of patriotism, love, friendship, and filial regard, enjoy the tacit, filial regard and veneration of thy and they love mythological clothing. It is son, than have thy praises proclaimed by the voice noteworthy that we find so methodical a phi- of applause, or the trumpet of fame, I will also losopher as Swedenborg making courteous obey thee in this ; and I will only say that as often passes with the muse, as though to acknowledge knees in the presence of Almighty God, that my
as I approach the throne of mercy, and bend my the truth and import of immortal song. Still heart is penetrated with the most lively emotions, his effusions were hardly more than a polite when the prayer is uttered for thy health, welfare, recognition of poetry, that sweeter and weaker and happiness. To God, therefore, the Greatest sex of truth; for to call Swedenborg himself and Best, I pour forth my grateful thanks that thy a great poet, as Count Hopken has done, is life has been hitherto so mercifully spared ; and blind and undiscriminating. He did indeed as thy age is now advancing with rapid strides,
and its venerable signs begin to appear in thy weave great poetry at last, but it was by the hoary locks and furrowed brow, I, with many order and machinery of a stupendous intelli- others, sincerely pray that thy life may be progence, and poetry so produced is not proper longed, and that thy declining years may be blessed poetry but reason, - is not fentale but mascu- with health and peace. Spared to our heartfelt line truth.
wishes, may thy years be extended beyond those 11. There is not, however, a poem in this of thy children. To adopt the fervent exclama
De nostris annis Tibi collection, more beautiful than the academi- tion of the old Romans, cal dissertation, which assumes the pious and Jupiter augeat annos,' May Heaven lengthen thy
days even at the expense of ours. This, derrest humble form of an epistle to his father. It is Father, is the prayer of thy most dutiful and not in rhythm indeed, but there is the poetry in obedient son, it, which is so often vainly sought in measured
“ EMANUEL SWEDBERG."
Travels and first Publications. Worship and Love of God, a work of thirty 12. Swedenborg's collegiate period having years later date, which we shall have to notice thus closed, at the age of twenty-one or twenty- presently. At this time Swedenborg wrote two, according to the usual custom of his day, to his brother-in-law, that he was “ alternating he commenced his travels, by taking ship to mathematics with poetry in his studies,” an London ; during which excursion, he relates, instance of his early flexibility, and which in a letter to his brother, the following adven- sheds light upon his future deeds. tures that befell him.
15. Young Swedenborg was now on the thresh“On the voyage, my life was in danger four old of active life; and, from what his father times: first, on some shoals towards which we says, it is evident that his son was at perfect were driven, until within a quarter of a mile of liberty to choose his own profession ; for the the raging breakers, and we thought we should good bishop writes — “I have kept my sons perish. Afterwards we were chased by some to that Profession, to which God has given Danish pirates, sailing under French colors; and them inclination. I have not brought up one it was with difficulty we escaped them: the next to the Clerical office ; although many parents evening, we were fired into by a British vessel, do this inconsiderately, and in a manner not which mistook us for the pirates; but providentially, we did not suffer much damage. Lastly, in justifiable; by which the Christian Church London itself, I was exposed to a more serious and the clerical Order, suffer not a little, and danger. While we were entering the harbor, are brought into contempt.". What a blesssome of our countrymen came in a boat to us, and ing to have such a wise and discriminating persuaded me to go with them immediately into father! The profession, to which our Author the city. Now it was known in London, that an brought his great talents and integrity, was epidemic was raging in Sweden, and therefore, all that of Mining and Smelting, and various that arrived from there, were forbidden, on pain of death, to leave their ships for six weeks after their mechanical and engineering works : and his arrival : so I, having transgressed this law, came letters from abroad show, that few travel more very near being hanged, and was only freed, on usefully. Mathematics, Astronomy, and Mecondition, that if any Swede attempted the same chanics, were his favorite Sciences, and in thing again, he should not escape death.” each of them he had already made great pro
Thus was manifest the watchfulness and pro- ficiency; but his pursuit of knowledge was tecting care of Providence, to preserve the ever united with untiring zeal to benefit his young man alive, for it was not possible that his country: hence, whatever inventions, discor. stupendous labors could be thus spared from the eries, and good books he met with abroad, he world.
was sure to send home, accompanied with 13. After spending a year in London and models and suggestions of his own. Oxford, he says in another letter,
16. His versatility of talents is seen by his “I went to Holland, and saw its chief cities. attachment to Mathematical and Philosophical At Utrecht I tarried a long time, while Congress researches, as manifested in the publication of was sitting, and Ambassadors were gathering from his Essays on these subjects, in a Periodical nearly all the Courts of Europe. Thence I went Work which he edited, called — “DÆDALUS into France, passing through Brussels, &c., to HYPERBOREUS ;” or, experimental · MatheParis. llere, and at Versailles, I spent a year; matics and Physics ; which was issued from then I went by public coach to Hamburg, and 1716 to 1718, inclusive. In the Preface of thence to Pomerania and Greefswalde, where I his Works, he showed how little he valued remained some time, while - Charles the Twelfth was coming from Bender to Stralsund. When the what the world calls “ Impossibilities;” for he siege begun, I departed in a small vessel, together even then thought of vessels for navigating with a lady by the name of Feif; and by Divine the Air, and spoke of them as among the Providence was restored to my own country, after things which the Age required : indeed, he more than four years' absence.”
was imbued with the very spirit of our Steam, 14. During this journey, he appears to Railroad, and Telegraphic Era : as we shall have composed a small volume of Fables and perceive in his works hereafter to be exam. Allegories, in Latin Prose, under the title of ined. “THE NORTHERN Muse,” sporting with the 17. In 1716, at the age of twenty-eight, he deeds of Heroes and Heroines, after the man- was invited by Polheim, “the Archimedes of ner of Ovid. They shadow forth the virtues Sweden,” and Counsellor of the Chamber of and exploits of certain Scandinavians; or, as Commerce, and Commander of the order of he calls them, “ kings and great people.” the Polar Star, to go with him to Lund, and This work was published in 1715, at the age meet Charles XII. (who had just escaped from of twenty-seven, and in the same year, his Stralsund,) and engage in such works as deOration on the return of Charles XII. from manded the exercise of his practical skill; as Turkey. In this work there is evidence of an instance of which, the fact may be stated, an acute faculty of observation, of consider that young Swedenborg contrived to transport, able power of fancy and humor, and especial-(on rolling machines of his own invention,) ly of a regard to the forms of mythological over valleys and mountains, two galleys, five lore. In the latter respect it suggests the large boats, and a sloop, from Stromstadt to
Iderfjol, (which dirides Sweden from Norway who wrote on the higher branches of the subon the south,) a distance of fourteen miles; by ject; but for its excellence, clearness, and which means, the King was able to carry on practicability. It is comprised in Ten Books, his plans, and, under cover of the galleys and and treats on the following subjects : Book one boats, to transport on pontoons, his heavy contains the Definitions and Explanations of artillery, to the very walls of Frederickshall
. the Terms employed, and the simple ArithIt was under those circumstances, that Charles metical Processes. Book two, The Mechanibecame acquainted with our Author, and took cal Powers, the Lever, Pulley, Inclined Plane, him under his royal patronage, expressing a &c., with a variety of Problems. Book three, wish that he should become Polheim's assist- Laws of Proportion; also numerous Probant, and eventually his successor. Swedenborg, lems. Book four, Geometrical Theorems, without solicitation, had his choice of two of- Stereometry, and Specific Gravity. Books five fices; either a Professorship in the University and six, The Properties of the Parabola and of Upsala, or Extraordinary Assessor of the Hyperbola, with numerous other Problems. Board of Mines, which was a Constitutional Book seven, Theory of Projectiles and ArtilDepartment of the Government, having in-lery, with many Problems. Books eight, spection over the Mines and Metallic Works, nine, and ten, On Adfected Roots and the Inembracing the whole mineral wealth of tegral and Differential Calculus. This proSweden : he preferred the latter, and a warrant found Work was followed by his New Method was made out accordingly, and signed by the of Finding the Longitude of Places by Lunar King, who also wrote a letter to the College Observations, of Mines, ordering, that Swedenborg should 20. Here we may observe, that from cerhave a seat and voice in the Institution, when- tain Letters, written by Swedenborg, it apever he could be present, and especially, when pears that he was far from being satisfied any business of a mechanical nature was to with his position and prospects ; although he be considered.
enjoyed to its full extent, the King's patronage 18. Swedenborg was never married ; which and friendship; for he complains, — “That was not owing to any indifference towards the his labors are not appreciated, that his proother sex, for he esteemed the company of ductions are looked down upon by a number an intellectual woman, as one of the most of political blockheads, as mere scholastic exagreeable pleasures. Here, however, it may ercises, which ought to stand back, while their be proper to mention an interesting circum- presumptuous finesse and intrigues step forstance in the life of our Author, who was not ward.” And we find that a majority in our only Polheim's coadjutor, and pupil in Math-day look upon the Arts and Sciences in a ematics and Mechanics, but was a sojourner similar manner; which is one great reason at his house. Emerentia, the second daughter why they and Humanity do not progress more of Polheim, was a beautiful and an accom- rapidly. plished young lady; and it is not at all strange 21. In 1719, the family of_Swedberg was that Swedenborg should become attached to ennobled, by Queen Ulrica Eleonora, from her ; nor that the King should persuade her which time our Author bore the name of father to give him his daughter in marriage: SWEDENBORG, (by which his nobility was but when Swedenborg perceived that his love signified, and he took his seat with the was unreciprocated, and that Emerentia was Nobles of THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER, in unhappy under her written agreement to the TRIENNIAL ASSEMBLIES OF THE STATES : marry him at some future day, he freely re- but his new rank conferred no title, beyond linquished his claims, and left the house with the change of his name ; nor was he a Baron, a determination never to enter into the mar- or Count, as some have supposed. In Sweden riage covenant; and considering the nature of he was always spoken of as the Assessor Swehis studies, and the life of prodigious concen- denborg. tration and labor he was thenceforth to lead, 22. In 1719, he published four Works, first, demanding the quiet of a single life, and the A Proposal for firing the Value of Coins, and absence of ordinary impediments to solitary determining the Measures of Sweden, so as to and public energy, we are rationally satisfied suppress Fractions, and facilitate Calculations : with his self-imposed celibacy; thus Providence after which, he was commanded by his Sovoverruled it for greater good: he could not then ereign to draw up an Octonary Computus, (a have entered into a marriage, which would mode of computing by eighths) which he have corresponded to his subsequent state. completed in a few days, with its application
19. In 1718, at the age of thirty, he fur- to the received divisions of Coins, Weights, and nished additional proofs of his talents and in- Measures : a disquisition on Cubes and Squares, dustry, by publishing an “ Introduction to and a new and easy way of extracting Roots ; Algebra," under the title of “ The Art of all illustrated by appropriate examples. It Rules ;” which was honorably reviewed in may here be mentioned that he had the honor the “ Literary Transactions of Sweden ; " not of introducing the Differential Calculus into only that the Author was the only Swede, Sweden ; also that he wrote to Norberg, the
Biographer of Charles XII., that this King, of Sweden," he published the following in a conversation with him and Polheim, not works at Amsterdam: 1. “Some Specimens only proposed, but actually produced in his of Works on the Principles of Natural Phiown handwriting, a Decimal Mode of Numera- losophy, comprising new Attempts to explain tion, founded on ciphers up to 64: and as he the Phenomena of Chemistry and Physics by gave this specimen to our Author, he ob- Geometry;" 2. “Observations and Discoverserved, " that he who knows nothing of the ies respecting Iron and Fire, and particularly Science of Mathematics, does not deserve to respecting the Elemental Nature of Fire, with be considered a rational man : a sentiment, a new Construction of Stoves ;” 3. “ A New adds Swedenborg, truly worthy of a king. Method of finding the Longitude of Places, 2. His next Works were, “A Treatise on on Land, or at Sea, by Lunar Observations;' the Motion and Position of the Earth and 4. "A New Mechanical Plan of constructing Planets. 3. Arguments derived from the vari- Docks and Dikes ;” 5. “A Mode of Discovous Appearances in the North of Europe, in ering the Powers of Vessels, by the applicafavor of the Depth of the Waters and great- cation of Mechanical Principles;" 6."New er Tides of the Sea, in the Ancient World. Rules for maintaining Heat in Rooms ;” 7. 4. On Docks, Sluices and Salt Works." “ Remarks on the Primeval Ocean;" 8.“ An
23. And here again, we hear him lament- Elucidation of a Law of Hydrostatics, demoning that his country does not appreciate his strating the Power of the deepest Waters of labors, nor take any interest in the mechani- the Deluge, and their Action on the Rocks, cal and mathematical sciences : he further says, and other Substances, at the Bottom of their truly, “In every age there is an abundance Bed ;” 9. “A New Mechanical Plan of conof persons, who follow the beaten track, and structing Docks, whereby Vessels may be reremain in the old way; while there are a few paired in Harbors that are not reached by the who bring forward inventions, founded on Tides ;” 10.“. A New Construction of Dams, reason and argument. I find that Pluto and or Moles, for arresting the Course of Rivers, Envy possess the Hyperboreans, (people of Torrents," &e. the north ;) and that a man will prosper bet- 25. The air-tight stove, which has come ter among them by acting the idiot, than by into very extensive use in this country, for a remaining a man of understanding.” The few years past, was patented, it is believed, world around him was in the midnight of the by Dr. Orr, of Washington city. The validPast; but he clearly saw, in the distribution ity of the patent was tried in one of our of human talent, that there was no just pro- courts of justice, in this city, and the case was portion kept up between antiquity and genius ; dismissed, on the ground that the specifications and he labored for the New Era, which is now of the patent were not sufficiently explicit. dawning upon the earth, the day of the It appears that the principle of this stove was great installation of arts, sciences, philosophy, discovered and made known by Swedenborg and religion. His ardent pursuit of geolo- more than a century ago. gy, (then a new science), was converting it- 26. From Amsterdam, in 1722, at the age self into speculations about the universe ; and of thirty-four, he went to Leipsic, when he all his works, up to this date, display great published his “ Miscellaneous Observations industry, fertile plans, a belief in the penetra- about Natural Things, Especially about Minbility of problems usually given up by the erals, Iron, and Fire, on the Strata of Mounlearned, - a gradual and experimental faculty, tains: and an Essay on Crystallization.” and an absence of immaturity. In regard to This work demonstrated a rare power of colgeneral truths, he gave the evidence of a slowly- lecting facts, of applying principles, and of apprehending, persevering, and, at last, thor- making them useful to mankind. (The exoughly comprehending mind. His filial love penses of this journey were defrayed by the was very strong, and his energy and fidelity Duke of Brunswick, who made Swedenborg in business were more useful to him, than many valuable presents, as tokens of favor, family connection, or clever courtiership. His friendship, and benevolence.) In this work, religious belief does not any where appear as our author began his travels into future ages, yet; but from his books and letters, it is cer- and intrepidly attempted to scale the heights tain that his mind was not inactive on the of Nature, that he might see its connection greatest of all subjects, and that he was a with spirits. He approached the fortress of plain believer in revelations, though probably mineral truth, with geometry on one hand, and not without his conjectures as to its meaning mechanics on the other; while the laws of and import. Such was Swedenborg in the pure science were to be the interpreters of the spring and flower of his long manhood. facts of chemistry and physics.“ The begin
24. In 1721, at the age of thirty-three, he ning of nature,” he says, “ is identical with visited Holland for the second time, with a the beginning of geometry:” he therefore atspecific view to professional objects, to examine tempted to traverse chemical essence and the mines and smelting works, and to study combination by the fixed truths of mathematthe natural sciences; and, besides being a ics, and to carry the pure sciences into those contributor to “ The Literary Transactions which are mixed, — interpreting the latter by