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A SYSTEMATIC AND ORDERLY EPITOME OF ALL HIS
SELECTED FROM MORE THAN THIRTY VOLUMES,
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES, WITH COPIOUS ILLUSTRATIONS
WITH AN APPROPRIATE INTRODUCTION.
A FULL LIFE OF THE AUTHOR;
A BRIEF VIEW OF ALL HIS WORKS ON SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND THEOLOGY.
“There are five classes of those who read my writings. The first reject them entirely, because they
are in another persuasion, or because they are in no faith. The second receive them as scientifics,
or as objects of mere curiosity. The third receive them intellectually, and are in some measure pleased
with them, but whenever they require an application to regulate their lives, they remain where they were
before. The fourth receive them in a persuasive manner, and are thereby led, in a certain degree, to
amend their lives and perform uses. The fifth receive them with delight, and confirm them in their
lives.” — SWEDENBORG.
CROSBY AND NICHOLS, AND OTIS CLAPP.
NEW YORK: PARTRIDGE AND BRITTAN; FOWLERS AND WELLS.
PHILADELPHIA: LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO, AND COMPANY.
CINCINNATI: TRUMAN AND SPOFFORD.
The design of this WORK is, to exhibit, in a condensed form, the Life and
Writings of the most wonderful man that ever lived. The developments of the
present age and day make this a most timely production. The great objection to
the reading of Swedenborg' has hitherto been, that his Writings are too voluminous.
Here is the substance of more than Thirty Volumes comprised in one, so far as it
could be done even in so large a volume, with the fullest Life of the Author that
has ever been published.
As a man of Science, and a PhiLOSOPHER of Nature, as a SEER and Theolo-
gian, and as a Philosopher of spirit, it is now generally conceded that he has the
most liberal demands upon the Reason and Faith of our common Humanity; and it is
certainly a desideratum to have, in ONE VOLUME, a COMPENDIUM of so vast and
wonderful an Author. But read the TABLES OF CONTENTS, and see the interesting
and all-important subjects of which he treats.
The following is an explanation of the abbreviated titles of the works referred to in this COMPENDIUM.
* It should be remarked, in respect to the quotations from the “ Spiritual Diary,” that this work is not considered the same
authority as the other writings of Swedenborg, being a posthumous publication, without the author's sanction. It is evidently a
record of his private spiritual experience as it occurred from day to day, and appears to be the first brief notes and groundwork,
from which he afterwards constructed his more matured and authorized works. If there are errors in it, they are generally sup-
posed to be corrected in his authorized publications. See another note respecting the Diary, COMPENDIUM, numbers 1139, 1140. It
should be well remembered that the whole of the Diary was written before the Last Judgment, which may serve to explain some
otherwise obscure passages in it.
An attempt is here made to present a fuller ac-to the labors of this “Great Humble Man," in
count than any yet, of the Life and Writings of whose works on these interesting subjects can be
the most extraordinary man who has ever lived. found the seeds or principles of all that is known
He was a man who has evidently done as much of the Essences, Forms, Powers and Uses of
to say the least, to benefit humanity, though not Universal Matter; and how far he was in advance
yet appreciated because of the high sphere in of Bacon, Leibnitz, Newton, La Place, Kepler,
which he labored, as any of the world's most illus- Herschel, Cuvier, or any other man, as a theorist
trious benefactors. We are aware, when we speak and author; and at the same time perfectly free
thus, that we shall not gain credence in many a mind. from all jealousies and animosities growing out of
Let truth and time, then, speak for themselves. any of them, as to who should be the greatest in
Swedenborg is evidently the most unknown man the Kingdoms of Nature. It may be said of him,
of the world. There is more to learn, and less most truly, that he set one foot of the compass
learned, of his voluminous and interminable wis- of truth in God, and with the other, swept all
dom, than the superficial, yea, than the scientific creation, both animate and inanimate.” And this
and philosophic of this world, are by any measure is particularly true, when we consider him as the
aware of. And it is a pleasing contemplation at Seer, Theologian, and Philosopher of spirit.
this day, to see a manifestly popular and growing In the present work, we have aimed at a fuller
desire to know more of the great Philosopher and presentation of him as a man of Science and Phi-
Seer of the latter ages, than can be found in losophy, than can be found in any other Biography;
Cyclopædian, Biographical, and Theological Dic- and this not only for the purpose of showing the
tionaries, most of which bear false witness against perfectly irrational character of those charges
him and his doctrines. He is still regarded by against him as a mere visionary, void of a solid un-
many, as an insane visionary, or somnambulic derstanding, and how the world is mistaken in
dreamer; a very learned and good man, but de- one of her greatest sons ; but also for the purpose
ranged on the subject of Theology. Others, and of showing how well prepared he was, in all the
their number is now largely increasing, are be- natural knowledge which man could then acquire,
ginning to regard him as a man of true spiritual for that sacred office to which he was at last
enlightenment, of enlarged ideas of God, of Na- called, as the illuminated Teacher of the New
ture, and of the Spiritual Spheres, but still far Church.
from correct in many of his principles and teach- But from the character of this Work, being
ings. Still another class, though as yet but small, more of a compilation than an original composi-
have a right appreciation of his noble genius and tion, we here make one acknowledgment for all,
of indebtedness to the various Biographers of
It is perhaps useless, to say in this Preface to a Swedenborg, especially to Wilkinson and Rich;
Life and Writings which will speak for them- also to various minor publications, such as the
selves, that he is unquestionably the most tran- " Intellectual Repository," “ New Jerusalem Mag-
scendent human luminary that has ever yet snone azine,” and other works. We would gladly have
apon our dark world. Even in Science and Philos- given the usual credit, passage by passage, for
ophy, he nobly strode a century before his time, the many extracts we have made ; but as the first
and his works evince, not of course without minor part of the work was made up before it was con-
errors, an intuitional and decided anticipation of templated to publish it as a Prefix to this “Com-
many of the more recent discoveries. He was a pendium” of his writings, it would be very diffi-
man, “ take him for all in all,” who was the most cult now to refer to the many sources, for the par
marvellously gifted of any of the sons of earth, ticular page of each publication quoted from.
both on the sides of nature and of spirit. He And as the extracts from the Biographies abcve
combined them both in his God-given grasp, and referred to involve so much that is drawn from a
there can be ne question, were it not for his theo- common source and from each other, particularly
logical character, by which many are yet hela from the “Documents concerning the Life and
from his scientific works, that he would at this Character of Swedenborg," therefore, for all suffi-
day take a foremost rank in some of the most ab- cient purposes, we have chosen to give this gen-
struse departments of natural physics and philoso- eral credit. But where long extracts occur, which
phy. His discoveries and teachings in Geology, are characterized by the author's peculiar mode
Mineralogy, Botany, Natural History, Animal and of thinking, we have, nevertheless, with the ex-
Human Physiology, Chemistry, Crystallography, ception of the first part above referred to, given
Mathematics, Mechanics, Astronomy, and Natural the particular credit as usual.
Philosophy, show how deeply the world is indebted)
PAGE Doctrines of the New Church, and Com-
SWEDENBORG, THE PHILOSOPHER OF
mencement of Persecution,
5 Intercourse between the Soul and Body, 91
Travels and first Publications,
8 Persecution, and Defence of his Opinions, 92
14 Spiritual Phenomena. The Insane and
Theories of Gravitation,
The Planetary System,
17 Offering to Science. Journey to Amster-
21 dam. An Evening at Copenhagen, 95
Philosophy of the Infinite, and the Inter- Our Opinions follow us into the next Life, 97
course between Soul and Body, 23 Testimonies to Spiritual Intercourse, 97
Travels, and Remarks on Political and True Christian Religion,
25 Mental Peculiarities. Last Sickness, 99
Economy of the Animal Kingdom, 26 His Connection with Rev. John Wesley, 100
The Blood and the Spirituous Fluid, 28 Close of his Earthly Life,
Brains, Heart and Lungs,
The Animal Kingdom,
Miscellaneous Works. Their Character Personal Testimonies and Anecdotes, 103
and Tendency, .
40 Phenomena of Spiritual Intercourse, . 105
Worship and Love of God,
42 Anecdotes, &c.,
Philosophic and Scientific Genius, . 45 Sleep, .
Habits and Manners,
Editions of the Bible made Use of by
SWEDENBORG, THE SEER, THEOLOGIAN,
AND PHILOSOPHER OF SPIRIT,
Inward Breathings, and other Indications
of a Spiritual Constitution,
Opening of Swedenborg's Spiritual Sight, 51
Swedenborg's Divine Call,
56 Concluding Reflections, .
First Preparations for his new Mission, ,
57 Qualifications for his sacred Office, 112
The Arcana Coelestia,
58 Testimony of Oberlin,
62 Children's Questions answered, . 116
The Last Judgment,
63 Opening of Religions and Superstitions, . 116
Heaven and Hell, .
65 Opening of History and Science, 118
Earths in the Universe, .
67 Harmony or Union,
Doctrine of the New Jerusalem,
68 The Philosophers are the Mystics,.
Spiritual Sight. Immanuel Kant, 69 Swedenborg wanted,
Political Principles and Deliberations, 72
Sight of a Death. Contribution to Sci- The Familiar Spirit,
74 Octonary Computus,
Doctrine of the Lord,
74 First public Advertisement of Sweden-
Divine Love and Wisdom,
75 borg's Writings,
The Sacred Scripture,
76 First Reception of the Writings of Swe-
Faith, Life, and Providence,
78 Notice of the London Monthly Review, . 126
79 Extract from the Commencement of Wil-
Meeting with Dr. Beyer,
79 kinson's Biography,
80 Testimony of Professor Gorres, · 127
Travels, Anecdotes, &c.,
81 Extract from the Memoir by Rev. O.
83 Prescott Hiller, .
Visit from Virgil. Deceased King, 84 Testimony of the late Rev. John Clowes,
Christ's Power'.ver all Flesh,
88 The New Church, .
filled my parents with astonishment, and made
them declare at times, that certainly the anSWEDENBORG, THE PHILOSOPHER OF gels spoke through my mouth. NATURE 4. * From my sixth to my twelfth year,
it was my greatest delight to converse with the 1. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG was born at clergy concerning faith ; to whom I often obStockholm, the capital of Sweden, January served, that charity or love is the life of faith, 29, 1688. He was the third child, and the and that this vivifying charity or love is no second son, of seven children. His father, other than the love of one's neighbor; that Dr. Jesper Swedberg, was for several years God vouchsafes this faith to every one; but chaplain of a regiment of cavalry, but was that it is adopted by those only who practise finally made Bishop of Skara, in West Goth- that charity. I knew of no other faith or beland, and also superintendent of the Swedish lief at that time, than that God is the Creator Lutheran churches in London, Eng., and Penn- and Preserver of nature ; that he endues man sylvania, U. S., their location in this country with understanding, good inclinations, and being about the Delaware, and their station other gifts derived from these. I knew nothin Philadelphia. He was a man of considering at that time of the systematic or dogmatic able learning and abilities, free from bigotry kind of faith, that God the Father imputes and sectarianism, and bore an excellent pri- the righteousness or merits of his Son to vate and public character. It is said that one whomsoever, and at whatever times, he wills, of the family came to America and settled in even to the impenitent. And had I heard of Canada. The bishop mentions in his diary, such a faith, it would have been then, as now, " that he, his wife, and all his children, except perfectly unintelligible to me.” Catharina, were born on a Sunday.”
5. This information from Swedenborg him2. The character of this prelate stood high self shows at how early a period he was penein Sweden; his voice was heard on great occa- trated with that theological reform which is sions, whether to reassure the people under all in all in his latest writings; and when to the calamity of battle or pestilence, or to re- this it is added, that his sayings at the time buke the vicious manners of the upper classes, were so extraordinary that his parents used to or the faults of the king himself; he labored declare that “the angels spoke through his with constant and vigorous patriotism to rouse mouth,” we see how deeply were the preparathe public spirit of the country for useful and tions laid for that spiritual and mental condiChristian objects. Swedenborg's parentage tion which his mature years were to present. and home were, therefore, happy omens of 6. In the sequel we shall have to point out his future life; he was brought up with strict some psychological peculiarities that occurred at but kindly care; was carefully educated by his morning and evening prayers " during his his father in all innocence and scientific learn- tender years; but at present we only note how ing; and enjoyed the opportunities afforded by free his father had left his mind of Lutheran the sphere and example of family virtues, ac- dogmas, and how much his future course was complishments, and high station, with which indebted to this early respect which the Bishop he was surrounded.
paid to his son's independence. Reared as 3. The only record we have of his child- he was under a strict ecclesiastic, it is surpris hood is in a letter which he wrote late in life to ing that up to his twelfth year he knew nothDr. Beyer. “ With regard to what passed in ing of the plan of salvation,” whether it argue : the earliest part of my life, about which you his own inability to learn it, or his father's wish to be informed: from my fourth to my disbelief in it, or the omission of the latter, tenth year, my thoughts were constantly en- from whatever motives, to teach it to his son. grossed by reflecting on God, on salvation, Dr. Swedberg, however, was a serious and and on the spiritual affections of man. I earnest man, and under date of April, 1729, often revealed things in my discourse which he thus writes of the subject of our memoir :