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fore deciding for a subjective explanation of the seer's experiences.

For example, there was his clairvoyance of the Stockholm fire. In September, 1759, Swedenborg was one of a party of sixteen guests at the house of Mr. William Castel, at Gottenburg (three hundred miles from Stockholm), where he had arrived from England at 4 P.M.

About six o'clock Swedenborg went out, and returned to the company quite pale and alarmed. He said that a dangerous fire had just broken out in Stockholm, at the Södermalm (Gottenburg is about fifty German miles from Stockholm), and that it was spreading very fast. He said that the house of one of his friends, whom he named, was already in ashes; and that his own was in danger. At eight o'clock, after he had been out again, he joyfully exclaimed, “Thank God! the fire is extinguished; the third door from my house !” . This news occasioned great commotion throughout the whole city. ... It was announced to the Governor the same evening. On Sunday morning Swedenborg was summoned to the Governor, who questioned him concerning the disaster. Swedenborg described the fire precisely, how it had begun and in what manner it had ceased, and how long it had continued. On the same day the news spread through the city, and as the Governor thought it worthy of attention, the consternation was considerably increased; because many were in trouble on account of their friends and property. ... On Monday evening a messenger arrived at Gottenburg, who was despatched by the Board of Trade during the time of the fire. In the letters brought by him, the fire was described precisely in the manner stated by Swedenborg. On Tuesday morning a Royal Courier arrived at the Governor's with the melancholy intelligence of the fire, of the losses which it had occasioned, and of the houses it had damaged and ruined, not in the least differing from that which Swedenborg had given at the very time when it happened; for the fire was extinguished at eight o'clock.

This, of course, is evidence of some supernormal faculty, but not of communication with the dead. The best piece of evidence for this latter in Swedenborg's case is the following story, which was verified by a friend of Kant's, who was on the spot:

Madame Herteville (Marteville), the widow of the Dutch Ambassador in Stockholm, some time after the death of her husband, was called upon by Croon, a goldsmith, to pay for a silver service which her husband had purchased from him. The widow was convinced that her late husband had been much too precise and orderly not to have paid this debt, yet she was unable to find this receipt. In her sorrow, and because the amount was considerable, she requested Mr. Swedenborg to call at her house. After apologising to him for troubling him, she said that if, as all people say, he possessed the extraordinary gift of conversing with the souls of the departed, he would perhaps have the kindness to ask her husband how it was about the silver service. Swedenborg did not at all object to comply with her request. ‘hree days afterwards, the said lady had company at he: house for coffee. Swedenborg called and in his cool way informed her that he had conversed with her husband. The debt had been paid several months before his decease, and the receipt was in a bureau in the room upstairs. The lady replied that the bureau had been quite cleared out, and that the receipt was not found among all the papers. Swedenborg said that her husband had described to him how, after pulling out the left-hand

* Borowsky's “Darstellung des Lebens und Charakters Immanuel Kants,” Königsberg, 1804, pp. 211-25. Translation in “Dreams of a Spirit Seer," pp. 158-9 (Appendix). Letter from Kant to Charlotte von Knobloch. Kant was wrong about the date; the fire occurred on July 29, 1759. But the evidence seems strong that the clairvoyance was really contemporary with the fire (Tafel's "Documents Concerning Swedenborg," vol. ii., part i., p. 628).

drawer, a board would appear, which required to be drawn out, when a secret compartment would be disclosed, containing his private Dutch correspondence as well as the receipt. Upon hearing this description the whole company arose and accompanied the lady into the room upstairs. The bureau was opened; they did as they were directed; the compartment was found, of which no one was ever known before; and to the great astonishment of all, the papers were discovered there, in accordance with his description."

These are quoted, not as proof of Swedenborg's powers--for in a matter of this sort we require much more than one or two instances—but to show that there was at least evidence sufficient to impress a mind of the calibre of Kant's, after careful sifting; for Kant went to a good deal of trouble to verify the accounts as far as possible. It is true that he modified or retracted his favourable opinion later, but it was on metaphysical grounds of the a priori impossibility of knowing anything about either pre-existence or postexistence. So long as he contemplated the facts without a priori prejudice, he believed. Indeed, in his “Lectures on Psychology,” he adopted a Swedenborgian view of man as existing in two worlds at the same time, and it is on record that he wished his halfhostile “Dreams of a Spirit Seer" to be omitted from a collection of his minor writings.

While agreeing that Swedenborg probably had genuine supernormal powers, and that his works, or many

1 “Dreams of a Spirit Seer,” Appendix, pp. 157-8. There is a rather similar test case in Jung Stilling's “Theory of Pneumatology,” p. 92. The man who received the proof from Swedenborg was an intimate friend of Stilling's.

Kant's "Werke,” Edition Hartenstein, Band viii., 812.

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of them, display much originality and are worthy of study, we cannot but admit that some of the entries in his Spiritual Diary are very incoherent, and suggest mental disorder; e.g. “I seemed to move quickly down a staircase. I only lightly touched the steps, but reached the bottom safely. There came a voice from my dear father: 'You are creating alarm, Emanuel!' He said it was wrong, but would let it pass. This denotes that yesterday I had made too free use of the cross of Christ.” 1 But the Diary was not written for publication, and such things may have had meanings that were rational enough to the writer.

And there is the story, repeated by John Wesley, of Swedenborg's stripping and rolling in the mire, as described by Brockmer, with whom he was lodging.? But it turns out that Brockmer was not an eye-witness, but was only repeating hearsay; moreover, he afterwards denied having said anything of the kind to Mr. Wesley. And our other informant, Father Mathesius, who also bases on Brockmer, was an opponent of Swedenborg, and obviously an unreliable person. The story may therefore be dismissed as at least not proven.

It has also been said that Swedenborg was all intellect and little love; a man with "a small heart under the government of a large head.” But here again there is another side. We are told that his landlady's children were fonder of him than of their own parents; and if, as it partly appears, this was largely due to


* White's “Life of Swedenborg,” p. 124. 'Ibid., p. 131

•R. L. Tafel's “Documents Concerning Swedenboog," vol. ii., part 2, pp. 584-612.

Swedenborg's liberality in buying sweets for them, it was his wisdom rather than his affection that was at fault. And on the æsthetic side we may note that he was fond of music, and in his early days frequently acted as deputy organist at his father's church.

In worldly matters he was shrewd and thrifty as to expenditure on himself; simple in tastes, living largely on bread, milk, and coffee of which he was very fond —and apparently tasting wine only twice in his life. He must have spent more money on the production of his books, which fell almost dead from the press, than on his own sustenance and pleasure. On the whole, even if he did lose mental balance temporarily—which may happen to anyone in fever, such as he is said to have been suffering from on one occasion—we cannot reasonably attribute continued madness to him during the next twenty-seven years of his life. He usually dated his seership from 1745, regarding the experiences of 1743 and 1744 as preparation.

Although brought up in orthodox theology, Swedenborg was so deeply versed in science (for those times), and so cognisant that the physical universe is one Universe, in which everything is related to everything else, that it was natural to him to extend this principle of continuity and relation to the spiritual world. And his personal experiences confirmed this. He saw the next stage to be very like this one. Souls at death do not become completely good or completely bad at once; they do not go straight to heaven or hell. They enter at death an intermediate state which he calls the World of Spirits. The period of their stay there is not fixed:

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