網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

:

rational attacks. Dialectics make no impres- mony of course proceeded from some word sion on whoever believes that man is a spir- of command; in short, from a more inscrutaitual fool, doomed by his constitution to believe ble soul. Preëstablished harmony was therein nonsense and absurdity : that is to say, in fore to Swedenborg but another name for what would be such if he dared to judge it by methodical darkness, which terminated the his reason.

This fortress, viz., the denial of thought that it professed to extend. the mind itself by both churches, is therefore 363. “ Now here we see the value of spiryet unstormed by our author's artillery; and itual sight on a difficult point. While the soul it is evident that more real and terrible means was unknown, its manner of communication must gather to battle around it, before it will with the body was necessarily occult, but when capitulate. At the same time, the longer it it is actually seen as the man himself, with all holds out, the more is the laity separated from his looks, members and garments about him, the clergy; the more the sciences and posi- then the matter took a practicai form, and he, tive knowledge claim the earth to its very the soul, was united to the body, because he walls ; the more the clerical garrison is starved wanted it to supply his sensations from, and in the sight of the abundance of natural truth; do his work in, the world. The error lay in and in the end, the more likely it is that some thinking of the soul as not a body, and not a convulsion, either mental or worldly, will man ; the power of the truth in looking from sweep away the strong offence, and substitute humanity as the way of answering the ques& people's church upon its desert site. tion. The soul, in this new view, is the com

plete man; the body is his fit natural garment. Intercourse between the Soul and Body.

The latter he puts on, by a divine necessity, 361. “ The Intercourse between the Soul and to clothe the spiritual essence from the rudethe Body is a work in which the author brings ness of this world, and to enable him to work his spiritual sight to bear upon the solution amid its inclemencies, and to gather its fruits of that old problem. In this world, the soul of wisdom, for a convenient season.

In this is unseen, excepting through the body; and case there are all the common motives for the though consciousness affirms its existence, yet union of the soul-man with the body-man, that philosophy gives it no qualities that warrant there are for our union with our clothes, with us to say what it is. In short, philosophy our houses, and with every circumstance that crushes the question, and insists that there is we draw around us to extend our lives and no what in the case. The consequence is, build up our state. This once seen, analogy that we too often regard the soul as a floating points out a thousand links between the spirand indeterminate entity of no weight to coun-itual and the natural man, every one of which terbalance the world and the senses. This is practical, and of daily force. gives rise to the doctrine of Physical Influx, 364. “ Swedenborg also illustrated the docwhich means in brief the omnipotence of out-trine of the influx of the soul into the body, ward objects and of sense, in controlling and by the analogous influx of the whole spiritual Glling the inward faculties, and even accord- world into the natural. As a scientific man, ing to many in creating them. The contrary he had already seen the law of spheres afar view is that of spiritual influx, in which the off in the doctrine of Modifications, which soul, whatever it be, is seated upon the throne recognized the manner in which the vital and of the human powers, takes from the senses other vibrations permeate the world ; in which whaterer it wills, and acts according to cir- the Word of God and the words of man - in cumstances from its own wisdom. There is a which all expressions, whether looks, voices, third system, that of Leibnitz, named preestab- acts, or things — make their way through the lished harmony, wherein neither soul nor body universe, and infect with their own life and acts upon the other, but each concurs with the power the system and its parts. But when other, and does what the other does; much as he visited the inner world, the matter came two men might move their arms or legs to time under conditions suited to experimental sciunder some ordering common to both. The ence. He now touched the reality of spheres. theory of spiritual influx is that which Swe- The scents, colors and forces environing budenborg adopts; and which he fills with his manity struck his opened senses, and he was experience.

amazed at their tidal power. As every spirit 362. “ The problem of this link had dwelt belongs to some province of the Grand Man, with his understanding from his earlier days, his presence excites correspondently that part and he had given a keen refutation of Leib- of the human body to which he answers. nitz when writing his anatomical works ; for When a liver spirit approached to Swedenhe saw that that great genius was not solving borg, he felt the influx, sometimes before the the question by his hypothesis, but only ren- spirit came in view, in his own hepatic region, dering it insuperable, by propounding as a and he knew the quality of the spirit from his solution a statement still more knotty ; since operant sphere. When one of the eye men or his preëstablished harmony required in point of the heart men came near him, his own eyes of fact a second soul to move two bodies in- or heart, sympathetically affected, told him at stead of one. For the drill effecting the har- lonce whither the new comer belonged. When evil spirits sought him, the maladies or pains as he wrote to Dr. Beyer, does no nark. to which they answered were excited for the being like the ferment in new wine, whicb time in his system; he knew therefore that precedes its purification ; for unless what is spiritually these messengers were even such wrong be winnowed, and rejected, the right diseases. Hypocrites gave him a pain in the cannot be discerned or received.' For this reateeth, because hypocrisy is spiritual toothache. son (Dec. 29, 1769) he did not stir one step to Moreover each spirit appeared in the plane defend his cause, knowing that the Lord Himof the part whereto he corresponded; for the self, our Savior, defends his church. It was cosmogony of the spiritual world is human, finally concluded at the Diet and in the Counand hence the human body is the pivot round cil, not to touch his person; a resolution owing which it plays. Nay, the body has its human in great part to the rank and character of the form from the circumpressure of the human accused, and to his relationship to many noble spiritual world, which, so to speak, deposits families, both in and out of the church. and maintains it, much as each cell of the ma- 366. “ But we must return to the beginning terial body is laid and preserved by the plan of this affair, to give the details. The party and pressure of the whole.

in Gottenburg, headed by Dean Ekebom,

found a ready instrument at Stockholm in Persecution, and Defence of his Opinions. Bishop Filenius, then president of the House

mentioned already that in of Clergy, for carrying their complaint directly this year (1769) Swedenborg had found, on before the Diet. The first obnoxious meashis return to Sweden, that his peaceful life ure taken was the stoppage of a number of was to be interrupted by misrepresentation copies of Swedenborg's work on Conjugial and persecution. It is surprising that he had Love at Nork-joping, whither he had sent proceeded so long in promulgating doctrines them from England, in anticipation of his own condemnatory of the Lutheran creed, without arrival, intending, when he came to Sweden, drawing down upon himself the vengeance of to make presents of them, as was his wont. the clergy. His works, however, were writ- They were however detained for examination, ten in Latin, and but little known in Sweden, according to a law prohibiting the introducwhich made it, for a time, not worth while to tion of books reputed contrary to the Lutheran notice them.

But when eminent persons like faith. Swedenborg naturally turned to his Drs. Beyer and Rosen, as well as others en- nephew, Bishop Filenius, requiring an exjoying still higher dignity in the church, be- planation of the affair, and requested the came avowed disciples and propagators of their Bishop's friendly offices to have the box sentiments, the matter became serious; and cleared. Filenius embraced and kissed him, the clergy, ever sensitive of innovation, deter- and cordially promised his assistance; notmined to crush the new doctrine in the bud. withstanding which he did every thing in his Dean Ekebum at Gottenburg was the origina- power to insure the confiscation of the books. tor of the movement. The clerical deputies When this became apparent, Swedenborg exfrom that town were instructed to complain postulated with him, and he now insisted on of Swedenborg and Dr. Beyer in the Diet. the work being revised, before it was given The tactics of his adversaries were sufficiently up. It was urged by the author, that as his cunning; he was to be put upon his trial, and treatise was “not theological, but chiefly moral,' examined ; and as, when questioned, there its revisal by clerical order was unnecessary, was no doubt that he would assert openly his and would be absurd; and that, the exercise divine commission and spiritual privileges, it of such a censorship would pave the way for would then be easy to declare himn insane, and a dark age in Sweden. Filenius was inflexiconsign him to a madhouse. One of the sen-ble, and his intentious manifest. Swedenborg, ators, (it is said Count Höpken,) disclosed to deeply aggrieved by the duplicity of the Bishhim by letter this plot, and advised him to op his relation, likened him to Judas Iscariot, quit the country. On receiving the informa- and said pointedly, in allusion to the foregoing tion, he was greatly affected, and retiring to circumstances, that he who spoke lies, lied bis garden, fell upon bis knees, and prayed also in his life. In the mean time he took that the Lord would direct him what to do. good care to distribute the work to those he A response was immediately received from an intended to receive it, bishops, senators, and angel, that he might rest securely upon his members of the royal family, from a number arm in the night,' whereby is meant that night of copies that he had himself brought home. in which the world is sunk in matters pertain- 367. “ He was now determined to clear the ing to the church. Assured by this comfort- matter up, and made inquiries among others ing message, Swedenborg, who was not allowed of the bishops, as to how the case stood with to be present at the debates on his cause, and his writings. They all told him that they knew nothing of the details of what happened, supposed the books had merely been taken care enjoyed the calm in his chamber, and let the of until his return; that they knew nothing storm rage without as much as it pleased. of any other detention ; that if such there Clamor, indeed, he knew that there was among were, Filenius had acted on his own authority. a great part of the clerical body; butó clamor,' He had indeed made a representation on the

6

subject in the Diet, but the clerical house had of it. I have declared the same in England, not received his motion, had not even regis- Holland, Germany, Denmark, and at Paris, tered it among their proceedings, and above to kings, princes, and other particular persons, all, had sanctioned no confiscation.

as well as to those in this kingdom. If the 368. “ The proceedings in the Diet, as he common report is to be believed, the chancelafterwards learned, had been somewhat as fol- lor has declared, that what I have been relows. The Bishop Filenius, who attacked citing are untruths, although the very truth. Swedenborg ‘in the first instance from a se- To say that they cannot believe and give cret dislike, but afterwards out of inveteracy,' credit to such things, therein will I excuse had gained over some members of the clerical them, for it is not in my power to place others order to his own views. He procured the ap- in the same state in which God has placed pointment of a committee of the House of me; so as to be able to convince them, by Clergy on the Swedenborgian cause. Its de- their own eyes and ears, of the truth of those liberations were kept secret. But though it deeds and things I publicly have made known. consisted of bishops and professors, this com- I have no ability to capacitate them to conmittee, after hearing evidence, ignored the verse with angels and spirits, neither to work charges of Filenius, and terminated with a miracles to dispose or force their understand. report in Swedenborg's favor ; in the course ings to comprehend what I say. When my of which they took occasion to speak of him writings are read with attention and cool reflec"very handsomely and reasonably. Filenius, tion (in which many things are to be met with howerer, gained one point; viz., that a me- heretofore unknown), it is easy enough to conmorial should be presented to the King in clude, that I could not come to such knowledge Council, requesting the attention of the Chan- but by a real vision, and by conversing with cellor of Justice to the troubles at Gottenburg. those who are in the spiritual world. This was intended to procure a censure upon This knowledge is given to me from our SaDrs. Beyer and Rosen, and indirectly upon vior, not for any private merit of mine, but for Swedenborg also. In consequence, à letter the great concern of all Christians' salvation was addressed by the Chancellor to the Con- and happiness; and as such, how can any one sistory, to desire its opinion upon the affair ; venture to assert that it is false? That these which occasioned the subject to be again agi- things may appear such as many have had no tated for two days in the Council, where the conception of, and of consequence, that they king presided.

cannot easily credit, has nothing remarkable 369. “When matters came to this pass, in it, for scarcely any thing is known respectSwedenborg at once, May 10, 1770, addressed ing them.' his majesty in a bold and characteristic memo- 370. “He concluded by throwing himself rial. He complained that he had met with upon the king's protection, and by requesting usage the like of which had been offered to the monarch to command for himself the opinnone since the establishment of Christianity in ion of the reverend clergy on his case; also Sweden, and much less since there had exist- the production of the various documents that ed liberty of conscience. lle recapitulated had passed at Gottenburg and elsewhere ; in his grievances. He said that he had been order that he, and those maligned along with attacked, calumniated and menaced, without him, might be heard in their defence, this the opportunity of defending himself; though being their right and privilege. The only truth itself had answered for him. He re- advice, he protested, that he had given to Drs. minded his majesty of an interview that had Beyer and Rosen, was to address themselves passed between them. I have already in- to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as a formed your majesty,' says he,' and bescech means to heavenly good and blessedness, for you to recall it to mind, that the Lord our he only has all power in heaven and on earth, Savior manifested himself to me in a sensible (Matt. xxviii. 18.) personal appearance; that he has commanded 371. “ 'The latter point was in truth the me to write what has been already done, and core of the controversy that was raging about what I have still to do; that he was after- him, and was one which his writings are calwards graciously pleased to endow me with the culated to provoke wherever they are dissemiprivilege of conversing with angels and spirits, nated. Is prayer to be addressed to the Faand of being in fellowship with them. I have ther, or to the Redeemer? to the invisible already declared this more than once to your Being, or to God with us? to the revealed majesty in the presence of all the royal family, Divine Face and Body, or to the unrevealed when they were graciously pleased to invite me Divine Soul? Have worship and prayer a to their table with five senators, and several definite object or not? Swedenborg ably cited other persons; this was the only subject dis- on his own side the text of scripture, the coursed of during the repast. Of this I also Augsburg Confession, the Formula Concordiæ, spoke afterwards to several other senators; and the Liturgies of his own Communion ; and more openly to their excellencies Count de and showed that wherever the church had deTessin, Count Bonde, and Count llopken, who parted from vagueness and mystery, its pracare still alive, and were satisfied with the truth tices were accordant with his views. To the

6

6

[ocr errors]

372. “

6

[ocr errors]

Son of God, born in time, every son of time on my letters and your works ;' and putting must address himself, in order to find salva- his hand on Swedenborg's shoulder, he added: tion. Were this doctrine taken away, he •We may conclude that they have found nothaverred that he would rather live in Tartary ing reprehensible in them, and that you have than in Christendom. Did the persecution written in conformity to the truth.' against him succeed, it might amount to a 374. "Throughout this affair, his adversaprobibition from the clergy against their flocks ries attempted in vain to ruffle his calmness, addressing prayer to the rsonal Savior: a by personal invective. Ile answered them dangerous issue, which probably his opponents with honest vigor, but always from the facts foresaw, and were not prepared to accept. It of the case. Against the indecent barkings does not appear that throughout the dispute, of the Dean,' he told Dr. Beyer, in a private his visions were brought upon the carpet, oth- letter, they must not throw stones to drive erwise than as furnishing the general charge them away. And he wrote to Mr. Wennof unsoundness of mind, which, as we have gren, a magistrate of Gottenburg, that as for seen, certain members of the House of Clergy certain merciless slanderers' in the clerical meditated, but did not venture to bring for- party, their expressions had fallen on the ward.

ground like fireballs from the clouds, and King Adolphus Frederic had in the there had gone out.' In the mean time Swemean time already commanded the members denborg persevered in his own course, with of the Consistory of Gottenburg to send in an efficacious industry which neither this turan unequivocal representation of the light in moil, nor his advanced years, abated for a which the assessor's principles were regarded moment. by the Consistory. On the 2d of January, 375. “Here our narrative of the affair 1770, Dr. Beyer, as one of the members, vol- ceases. Swedenborg, before his last departure unteered a declaration on the subject, in which from Sweden, addressed a letter to the Unihe gave a manly testimony in favor of Swe-versities of Upsal, Lund, and Abo, asserting denborg and his doctrines, citing his own ex- that each of the estates of the kingdom ought perience about them, and his views of their to have its consistory, and ought not to acmoral and spiritual tendency. “Convinced knowledge the exclusive authority of that at by experience,' says he, I must in the first Gottenburg. He declared (in another place) place observe, that no man is competent to that religious matters belong to others also give a just and suitable judgment of those besides the priestly order. It appears that, writings, who has not read them, or who has notwithstanding the termination of the controread them only superficially, or with a deter- versy in his favor, his adversaries had sucmination in his heart to reject them, after hav- ceeded in enforcing a strict prohibition against ing perused, without examination, some de- the importation of his writings into Sweden, tached parts only: neither is he competent, as he found out the next year (1771). In who rejects them as soon as he finds any thing consequence of this, it was his intention to that militates against those doctrines which he send in a formal complaint to the States Genhas long cherished and acknowledged as true, eral against the Counsellor of State, the preand of which perhaps he is but too blindly sumed instrument of the prohibition ; but enamoured: nor is he competent, who is an whether he fulfilled this purpose we do not ardent, yet undiscriminating biblical scholar, know.” — Wilkinson's Biography, pp. 174–195. tures, contines his ideas to the literal expression Spiritual Phenomena. The Insane and Idiotic. or signification only: and, lastly, neither is he 376. We find also, in this year, the followcompetent, who has altogether devoted himself ing account concerning some remarkable parto sensual indulgences, and the love of the ticulars which took place with the wife of Dr. world.' He concluded his memorial as follows: Beyer, while upon her death bed. It is in a

In obedience, therefore, to your majesty's most letter to the Dr., in reply to his questionings. gracious command, that I should deliver a “ The remarkable particulars related concernfull and positive “declaration " respecting the ing your wife, in her dying hours, were wrought writings of Swedenborg, I do acknowledge it through the impression of two clergymen, who so to be my duty to declare, in all humble confi- directed and employed her thoughits in conversadence, that as far as I have proceeded in the tion, as to effect

a conjunction with such spirits as study of them, and agreeably to the gift grant, pens at times, to some people, that they are in a

she then spoke of. In the hour of death, it haped to me for investigation and judgment, I state of the spirit. The spirits, who first spoke have found in them nothing but what closely through her, were of the dragon's society, that coincides with the words of the Lord Himself, were cast out of heaven, agreeably to the predicand that they shine with a light truly divine.' tion in the Revelation, xii. They are thence

373. “ The Consistory, as a body, came to become so filled with cnmity and hatred towards no report upon Swedenborg's writings; and a Word, and all that belongs to the New Church,

our Savior, and, consequently, towards His holy short time before he left Sweden on his last that they cannot even bear to hear the name of voyage, being in the king's company, the latter Christ mentioned. When the sphere of the Lord, said to him: The Consistory has been silent proceeding from the heavens, lights on them, they

а

66

6

become as it were mad, and in a terrible rage; and inquiry. One cannot help recalling what directly seek to hide themselves in holes and cav- Swedenborg said to Hartley, that he sought erns, as spoken of in the Revelation, vi. 16. Your admission into no literary society, because he deceased wife was with me yesterday, and informed me of a variety of things concerning what she belonged to an angelic society, wherein things thought, and what she had spoken to you her hus- relating to heaven and the soul were the only band, and to the clergymen, the seducers. Were subjects of entertainment. The Royal AcadeI at this time near you, I could relate a number of my of Stockholm was not an angelic society. things on this head, which will not admit of being Whether this communication was presented sent in writing. – I remain, &c.,

to the Academy, and, if so, how it was received, “ EMANUEL SWEDENBORG. “Stockholm, October 30, 1769."

we are not aware: Swedenborg also sent it to

Dr. Hartley, with a request that his circle of 377. In the same year, also, appears the friends would investigate the subject. It bas letter to Dr. Beyer, in which he makes men- since been published as an appendix to the tion of the state of idiots and of the insane, White Horse. after death. He says:

"" , ,

379. “From the beginning of October, 1769, “ There exist spiritual diseases and spiritual until August, 1770, he resided at his house in uses in the other life which correspond with the the environs of Stockholm. On the 23d of natural diseases and cures in this world, so that July in the latter year, on the eve of departthe correspondences effect such things when they ing for Amsterdam, he took his leave by letter happen. And as there are no natural diseases among the spirits in the spiritual world, there are

of Dr. Beyer, ' hoping that our Savior would neither any hospitals ; but instead of them there support him in good health, keep him from are spiritual madhouses, in which are those who further violence, and bless his thoughts. On theoretically denied God, and in others, such as the day that he quitted Stockholm, he called practically did the same. Those who in the world upon M. Robsahm in the bank of Sweden, of were idiots, at their arrival in the other world are which that gentleman was a director, and also foolish and idiots ; but being divested of their lodged in his hands a protest against any juexternals, and their internals opened as is the case dicial examination of his writings during his with them all, they acquire an understanding agreeable to their former quality and life, inasmuch as the absence. M. Robsahm asked him, as before actual follies and madnesses dwell in the external the other journey, whether they would ever natural man, and not in the internal spiritual.”. meet again? He answered in a gentle and Documents, p. 129, 130.

affectionate manner,

• Whether I shall return,

I do not know, but of this you may be certain, Offering to Science. Journey to Amsterdam. for the Lord has informed me of it, that I shall An Evening at Copenhagen.

not die until the book that I have just finished 378. “ At this period of his life Sweden- is printed. Should we not see each other borg made a last offering to his old associates again in this world, we shall meet in the presof the Royal Academy of Sciences of Stock-ence of the Lord if we have kept his comholm. This was couched in a letter, in which, mandments.' • He then,' says Robsahm, took after explaining some of the correspondences leave of me in as lively and cheerful a way as of the Scripture, he ended as follows : ‘Inas- if he had been a man of middle age.' And much as the science of correspondences was so he passed from his fatherland. the science of sciences and the wisdom of the 380. “On the voyage to Amsterdam, the ancients, it is important that some member of ship that carried him was detained for several your Academy should direct his attention to days by contrary winds off Elsinore, and Genthat science. He may begin, if he pleases, eral Tuxen, hearing that Swedenborg was in with the correspondences discovered in the the offing, determined to improve their acApocalypse Revealed, and proved from the quaintance, and taking a boat went off to see Word. If it be desired, I am willing to un- him. He was introduced by the Captain, who fold and publish the Egyptian hieroglyphics, opened the cabin door, and shutting it after which are nothing else than correspondences; him, left him alone with Swedenborg. The a task that no other person can accomplish.' Assessor was seated in an undress, his elbows How fixedly Swedenborg must have dwelt in on the table, and his hands supporting his face, the inward, to imagine that the Royal Acade- which was turned towards the door; his eyes my would undertake such an inquiry, or that open, and much elevated. The General at a purely spiritual explanation of the hiero- once addressed him. At this he recovered glyphics would satisfy the men of that age! himself, (for he had been in a trance or ecstaSo far as hieroglyphical interpretation has sy, as his posture showed) rose with some gone, the sense elicited is any thing but spir- confusion, advanced a few steps from the table itual ; and the less spiritual, the more accept- in visible uncertainty, and bid him welcome, able to the scientific man. Nevertheless the asking from whence he came.

Tuxen replied existing interpretations do not exclude a that he had come with an invitation from his deeper significance lying at the roots of the wife and himself, to request him to favor them symbols ; an interpretation of them not as with his company at their house; to which he parts of language, but as ciphers of nature. immediately consented, and dressed himself But the time has not yet arrived for such an alertly. The General's wife, who was indis

a

a

.

« 上一頁繼續 »