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“ Adversaria.” His “Spiritual Diary.” The Death of
CHAPTER ] 4. “ The White Horse." “ The Earths in the Universe.” New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine”
CHAPTER 15. Anecdotes
CHAPTER 16. “Doctrine of the Lord, the Sacred Scriptures, Faith, and Life”
Beyer. Republishes his “New Method of Finding the
CHAPTER 20. “ Apocalypse Revealed ” ..
CHAPTER 21. Travels. Habits. Anecdotes
CHAPTER 22. Conjugial Love"
105-113 CHAPTER 23. Attacked by Dr Ekebom. Visits France. Letter to Hartley, and Hartley's opinion of Swedenborg .
113-116 CHAPTER 24. “ Brief Exposition of the Doctrines of the New Church,” and the “Intercourse between the Soul and the Body”. 117-122
ab Indagine. His reply to Dr Ernesti. Letter to the
127-132 CHAPTER 27. “ The True Christian Religion”
133-145 CHAPTER 28. Anecdotes and Traits of Character
CHAPTER 29. Last Days on Earth
CHAPTER 30. Progress of the New Church
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF SWEDENBORG.
CHAPTER 1. His Birth and Parentage. His first Ideas of Religion,
and Scholastic Life. Authors are never wiser than when they trust to time for justice. The poor thinker, neglected by his age, unseen amid the glare of mere show and pageantry, need not fret himself. Time will roll on, the false and meretricious will sink into forgetfulness, while his true words will become accepted, and his thoughts the stars by which wise men guide their course across the dark ocean of life.
It was the lot of Emanuel Swedenborg to be cast on a shallow, sceptical, and perverse age. Living a life of the utmost purity, and teaching truths which we esteem it our great felicity to know, he had but poor thanks so far as fame and disciples went. But the dawn of his day of justice is approaching. His name, which in past times has too often been used to point a sarcasm at whatever is visionary and transcendental, has of late years been slowly rising into estimation. Here and there, one eminent man after another has spoken some brave words in honour and admiration of the great Swede. Slowly, but surely, his writings are claiming attention ; his disciples, thongh still few, are quietly earnest and enthusiastic, and ever and anon there is seen in the newspaper or periodical, the name of Swedenborg mentioned with respect, if not with reverence. Considerable curiosity exists in large circles to know more of him, of what he did, what were his doctrines, and the nature and number of his books.
To satisfy, in some measure, these queries; and, if possible, to incite a desire for an intimate personal acquaintance with the writings of Swedenborg, is the purpose of this little book.
Emanuel Swedenborg was born at Stockholm, on 29th Jan., 1688. The year is a memorable one, as being that in which outraged England drove the faithless Stuarts from the throne. His father's name was Jesper Swedberg, and his mother's Sarah Behm, both descended from families of worth and usefulness in Sweden. His father, at the time of his birth, was chaplain to a regiment of cavalry.
After passing through several offices, one of which was a professorship of theology in the University of Upsal, Jesper Swedberg was, in the year 1919, elevated to the bishoprick of Skara in West Gothland. His character stood high in Sweden. Simple, patriotic, and honest, he was, without being brilliant, a learned and industrious man. He wrote much, and published occasionally, as the following extract from his diary proves.
“I can scarcely believe that anybody in Sweden has written so much as I have done; since, I think, ten carts could scarcely carry away what I have written and printed at my own expense, and yet there is much, yea nearly as much, not printed.” Of the professions of his sons, he wisely remarks, “I have kept my sons to that profession to which God has given them inclination and liking : I have not brought up one to the clerical office, although many parents do this inconsiderately, and in a manner not justifiable, by which the Christian Church and the clerical order suffer not a little, and are brought into contempt.” Writing in this diary forty years after Emanuel's birth, he says, “ Emanuel, my son's name, signifies ‘God with us,'-a name which should constantly remind him of the nearness of God, and of that interior, holy, and mysterious connection, in which, through faith, we stand with our good and gracious God. And blessed be the Lord's name! God has, to this hour, been with him, and may God be further with him, until he is eternally united with him in his kingdom.”
Of Swedenborg's childhood we have little record. In a letter which, late in life, he addressed to Dr Beyer, he remarks, “With regard to what passed in the earliest part of my life, about which you wish to be informed :-- from my fourth to my tenth year, my thoughts were constantly engrossed by reflections on God, on salvation, and on the spiritual affections of man. I often revealed things in my discourse which filled my parents with astonishment, and made them declare at times, that certainly the angels spoke through my mouth. From my sixth to my twelfth year, it was my greatest delight to converse with the clergy concerning faith ; to whom I often observed, that charity or love is the life of faith, and that this vivifying charity or love is no other than the love of one's neighbour ; that God vouchsafes this faith to every one; but that it is adopted by those only who practise that charity. I knew of no other faith or belief at that time, than that God is the Creator and Preserver of nature; that he endues men with understanding, good inclinations, and other gifts derived from these. I knew nothing at that time of the systematic or dogmatic kind of faith, that God the Father imputes the righteousness or merits of the Son to whomsoever, and at whatever time, he wills, even to the impenitent. And had I heard of such a faith, it would have been then, as now, perfectly unintelligible to me.”