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from man, rejects him, and casts him into hell, and that he is angry with him on account of his evils ; and others go still further, and affirm that God punishes man, and brings evil upon him. They also confirm this opinion from the literal sense of the Word, in which expressions occur that appear to sustain it. But these opinions are formed through ignorance of the real sense of these passages, and from a blind neglect of others, the literal sense of which teaches that God is goodness and mercy itself, and that fury is not in him.-- Isaiah 27., 4. True doctrine declares that the Lord never turns away his face from man, never rejects him, never casts anyone into hell, and is never angry. The Lord is continually withdrawing man from evil and leading him to good, but man's freedom the Lord never constrains. If man will love evil and will do perversely, the Lord does not prevent. That man should go to hell is at variance with the Divine design, but to infringe man's freedom wonld be to destroy his life and withdraw from him all that is human, reducing him to the level of a machine or a brute. Those who are in hell, cast themselves thither, and keep themselves where they are. “ This is," as Wilkinson says, “the last dogma of freewill,—that of a finite being perpetuating for ever his own evil, standing fast to selfishness without end, excluding Omnipotence in all its dispensations, and inaking the 'will not ’into an everlasting 'cannot,' to maintain itself out of heaven, and contrary to heaven."

Such then is a very general and brief abstract of the leading ideas in Swedenborg's wondrous treatise on Heaven and Hell.

We are well aware how far short we have fallen of doing justice to its merits. Let us hope that what has been said may incite many to make a persoual acquaintance with it, and then they will understand the difficulties we labour under in condensing within a few pages its multitudinous facts and its closely linked affirmative logic.

It remains only to add that the treatise on Heaven and Hell has been translated into English, French, and German. The English editions have been many, and in some cases large. The latest may be accepted as a sign of the times, being in the form of an eighteenpenny volume, a second edition of which has been called for. We lay no claim to a gift of prophecy, but we feel certain that the time is coming when Swedenborg's “ Heaven and Hell” will be the most popular and extensively read of religious books. There is much between us and that time, but come it will.


The White Horse. The Earths in the Universe. The

New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine. 1. The treatise on the White Horse mentioned in the Apocalypse, forms a tract of about twenty pages. It is an exposition of the spiritual sense of Revelation 19. 11-16. It is shown that by the heavens being opened, the White Horse, and its rider, are represented the Lord and his Word, and the quality of those to whom the internal truth of the Word is revealed. The particulars of the text are all gone into and expounded, and copious references made to the Arcana Cælestia for fuller details. It is to be noted that voluminous as are Swedenborg's theological works, they yet form one harmonious whole, bound together in the unity of truth, and mutually confirming and consolidating each other. Literature, we believe, contains no similar example of so great a mass of writing permeated with such a consistent spirit, and so little affected by the author's humours and fluctuations of mood. So far does this uniform spirit extend, that, had it been possible, we might imagine his many volumes had been struck out of thought in one short day, instead of being written continuously through a course of years.

In this small treatise we have a list of the books in our Bible which form the true Word of God. They are, in the Old Testament, the five books of Moses ; the book of Joshua; the book of Judges; the two books of Samuel; the two books of Kings; the Psalms of David ; the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; and, in the New Testament, the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and the Revelation. The rest have not the internal sense, and were not written directly from the Lord. We shall have to speak of the plenary inspiration of the Word, when we come to Swedenborg's treatise on the Sacred Scripture, and show how broad and deep is the line of distinction between the Word of God, and the writings of men. It requires but a slight acquaintance with the doctrine of correspondences to perceive that this distinction between the books contained within the boards of the authorized version of the Bible is not arbitrary ; that it is a distinction as marked and visible as that between God and man, or nature and art. Apart however from the doctrine of correspondences, the distinction may be sustained by the authority of the Jews, and the indirect testimony of many of the Fathers of the Christian Church, coupled with numerous natural reasons founded on a close critical examination of style, etc.

“The book of Job,” says Swedenborg, "was a book of the Ancient Church,” and therefore, with the exception of the first chapters of Genesis, is the oldest portion of the Bible. It has a kind of internal sense, but not like that of the Word.

The exclusion of the Epistles from the Books of the Word, is perhaps, to a new reader, the most startling of Swedenborg's announcements. For this exclusion and its reasons, we will simply qnote his own words. Writing to Dr Beyer, he says, “With regard to the writings of St Paul, and the other Apostles, I have not given them a place in my 'Arcana Cælestia,' because they are dogmatic writings merely, and are not written in the style of the Word, as are those of the Prophets, of David, of the Evangelists, and of the Revelation of St John. The style of the Word consists throughout in correspondences, and thence effects immediate communication with heaven ; but the style of these dogmatic writings is quite different, having, indeed, communication with heaven, but only mediately or indirectly. The reason why the Apostles wrote in this style, was, that the First Christian Church was then to begin through them ; cousequently, the same style as is used in the Word would not have been proper for such doctrinal tenets, which required plain and simple language, suited to the capacities of all readers. Nevertheless, the writings of the Apostles are very good books for the Church, inasmuch as they insist on the doctrine of charity, and faith from charity, as strongly as the Lord himself has done in the Gospels, and in the Revelation of St John, as will appear evidently to anyone who studies these writings with attention."

2. The treatise on the “Earths in the Universe” is formed from several of those intermediate portions of the "Arcana Cælestia,” occurring between the chapters expository of the spiritual sense of Genesis and Exodus. It forms a pamphlet of about fifty pages.

Many and prolonged have been the discussions as to whether the planets of our and other systems are, like this world, the abodes of human beings. Great as has been the progress of astronomical science, the learned are yet far from being unanimous on the question, as is evident from the recent controversy between Prof. Whewell and Sir David Brewster. Swedenborg does not entertain us with prolix reasonings as to whether or not the earths of the universe are inhabited. That was a question far too trivial for his masculine understanding. He saw that these vast spaces were not formed by the Lord, except for the highest end, the creation of a heaven of intelligent human beings, capable of satisfying the infinite desires of the Divine Love. The earths of the universe are peopled even as is our own globe, or are in course of preparation for it.

Any other idea than this is unworthy of credence, and dishonourable to the highest truths of reason and revelation.

Swedenborg was permitted to see, and hold converse with, the inhabitants of other earths, and most interesting are his relations concerning them. Wilkinson aptly remarks that the work now under consideration may be characterized as a Report on the Religion of the Universe.” Swedenborg tells us that the dwellers in these distant spheres think of the Lord and worship him. He describes the quality of their love and wisdom, and how they conduct themselves towards each other. It is a pleasant thought that we in this world are the worst of humanity, the most sensual, and the least abounding in true intelligence and spirituality. In other worlds there is sin, and its consequent suffering, arising from the same cause as with us, but neither so deep nor so wide spread. The fact of the Divine Incarnation is likewise known in other worlds, and is regarded as the great truth of faith.

Swedenborg affirms that the moon is inhabited. We know that even those scientific men who hold to the doctrine of a plurality of worlds, yield up their faith with regard to the moon, because, say they, it lacks alike water and atmosphere. To say that it has no atmosphere is very unphilosophical. The atmosphere may not be of the same density as that of our earth, but that it should have no sphere or aura around it, we cannot for a moment believe. Swedenborg tells us that the Lunarians are dwarfs, like boys of seven years old, with robust bodies and pleasant countenances. They do not speak from their lungs, on account of the attenuated nature of their atmosphere, but from a quantity of air collected in the abdomen.

It is but just to state that Swedenborg speaks of Saturn as the outermost planet of the solar system, he not being permitted to anticipate Herschel or Neptune. An opponent might make merry over this, and say, “Don't you see that Swedenborg was but a dreamer ? How could he know aught of the inhabitants of other earths when he did not even know that beyond Saturn rolled two immense worlds ?” We reply, that it would have been disorderly for him to have become possessed of such knowledge by spiritual means. " But how so?” Because it would have compelled belief in the spiritual doctrines he taught, without due thought and examination, as soon as science had established the existence of these orbs ; because miracles and prophecy are not permitted in these times, for they force and destroy man's freedom. How easy it would be for the Lord to witness to the truth of his Word by supernatural signs in the natural world! Yet he does not, although belief in his Word, and life according to it, is essential to man's highest happiness. Belief so induced would be worthless, because compelled. It may be said that this is mere special pleading, but it is not so. The laws laid down in a later work of Swedenborg's, on the “ Divine Providence,” fortify, in a most rational manner, the truth as we have endeavoured to set it forth. It is also to be remarked that natural truth must be discovered by its appropriate means, natural investigation. It was necessary that Swedenborg should be skilled in all natural science previous to his illumination, so that he Inight possess a basis for many spiritual facts which conld neither have been expressed nor made intelligible, without at the same time giving their correspondence in nature. It would have been altogether contrary to the Divine order to have taken Swedenborg in his early yonth and iguorance, and, making him a seer, have communicated natural truth to him in a supernatural manner.

3. “The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine” is a brief exposition of the leading truths of the New Church. After each of its chapters follow references, (in some cases as extensive as the chapter itself,) to the “Arcana Cælestia." These references, so numerous in Swedenborg's writings, do not form a dry and unreadable index, but may be looked on as a series of precepts pertaining to moral and spiritual life. Were we gathering a volume of gems of thought, we should find an abundance to suit our purposes in these references.

This work has been printed as a cheap pamphlet. We know of no other work which could more appropriately be placed in the hands of a stranger desiring to know, without much reading, the nature of those doctrines which Swedenborg was commissioned to reveal to the world.


Anecdotes. The trite observation that the lives of literary men are devoid of those incidents which make up a stirring and lively biography, applies with great truth to the career of Swedenborg. His quiet and unostentatious life afforded but few materials for anecdotes; hence we have but faint traces of his outward course. While writing the works we have just noticed, from 1747 to 1758, the principal portion of his time must have been passed in London. Few men in those days were capable of sympathy or communion with the elevated and spiritualized mind of Swedenborg. Yet though living as it were alone, he could not have been melancholy or desolate. Under the care and guardianship of the Lord, favoured with the company and converse of angels, and enjoying the consciousness of fulfilling high and holy duties, he had every reason to be the cheerful and contented man that contemporary testimony represents him. His evenings he used often to spend with his printer, Mr Hart, of Poppin's court, Fleet street. Mrs Lewis, his publisher's wife, knew him, and “ thought him a good and sensible man, but too apt to spiritualize things.” Beyond a few particulars such as these, we know nothing of his private life.

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