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in thought respecting worldly matters, and I had cares respecting pecuniary affairs, and when on this day I was writing a letter, so that my mind was detained in such matters, I sunk into a species of a corporeal state, and spirits could no longer speak with me.
This they said, and they became as if they were absent, in like manner as they were in former times. Thus am I able to know that spirits cannot speak with a man who is intensely studious about worldly and bodily cares; for corporeal matters are as if they drew the ideas of the mind down and immersed them in corporeal objects—March 4th, 1748." Thirty-three months would again bring us to April 1745. If we examine the works published by himself, we shall find that in the majority of instances he must have had this date in view. There are, however, one or two cases which seem discordant, but which we conceive admit of a clear and full explanation by a little further reference to the Adversaria, to which we shall draw attention before we have closed this paper.
In the treatise on Heaven and Hell, which was published in 1758, n. 1, Swedenborg says he has enjoyed the privilege of conversing with angels for the space of THIRTEEN YEARS. Thirteen from 1758 leaves 1745.
In the Earths in the Universe, published in the same year, n. 1, he says he has had the privilege twelve years, which would assign it to 1746; but if the work, as is likely, was written the year before its publication, the date would again be 1745.
In T. C. R., n. 157, Swedenborg says he has enjoyed the state of being in the spirit, and in the body at the same time, for twenty-six years, and in n. 851, for twenty-seven years. That work was published in 1771. Twenty-six from 1771 would give again 1745. And if the first number referred to was written before April, and number last referred to was written after April, that would explain the difference of statement, and bring both to 1745.
There are two places, however, in which the date given is 1744. These are Continuation of the Last Judgment, which was published in 1763, and in which he observes : “It hath pleased the Lord to open the eyes of my spirit, and keep them open for the space of nine
, teen years; it has been given to see things which are in the spiritual world, and also to describe them. I can declare that these are not visions, but sights in full wakefulness.” Nineteen from 1763 would give 1744, and in the Divine Love and Wisdom, bound up with the Ap. Exp., the author says, “I have had daily consort with them from
the year 1744, even to this tiine, which is a period of nineteen years."
And in the work on Conjugial Love, published in 1768, he writes : “He (the Lord) hath opened the interiors of my mind and spirit, by virtue of which privilege it hath been granted me to be in the spiritual world with angels, and at the same time in the natural world with men, and this now for twenty-five years. Twenty-five from 1768 would bring us to 1743."
Barely stated thus, and unaccompanied by further details, there would seem to be considerable difficulty in reconciling Swedenborg's informations respecting this important event. The bulk of special and detailed evidence is as we have seen for the date April 1745 ; yet it cannot be denied that he has also given 1744, and once at least 1743. Perhaps two remarkable paragraphs in the Adversaria will to most minds clear up the difficulty, and prevent us from concluding that Swedenborg wrote carelessly, and was not particular to a year, or that he absolutely contradicted himself. In the Adversaria, 541, he relates a very extraordinary description of what had occasionally been presented before him to elucidate the vision of the ladder seen by the patriarch Jacob. It is entitled, EXPERIENCE. It was thus, "Because here, and in the former pages, the kingdom of God has been described, and what relates to it will yet be still further described, that everyone may believe that it will indeed be of this character, I wish to make it known to every one, that it has been shown to me first in the tranquillity of sleep, and afterwards in mid-day, or in the time of wakefulness several times, so that I perceived it by sense itself in the clearest manner : that is to say, how the angels from Jehovah, the only begotten Son, descended and ascended as by a ladder. There came a voice from on high, repeated many times until it reached my ear. Also, there were innumerable heavenly spirits all together, and among them saints who had died consociated together as one body, formed as it were into one man, and the sphere which flowed from them seemed in such harmony that I could not perceive the smallest discord. This was manifested to me as plainly as objects are to the outward sense, with a clear sound and dictate as if it came from one (being), because it was a representation of the very kingdom of God. There flowed down at the same time a sweetness and happiness that no words are able to express, for they penetrated the fibres, and even the inmost marrow, and affected them in the most ineffable manner. sentation with heavenly delights and felicities I have experienced
so frequenty during the last TWO YEARS, that I forbear to mention the number of times. The Messiah from his infinite
has granted to me his servant, the most unworthy, to perceive it mani. festly, and therefore I can do no other than bear my testimony."
This was written in the early portion of 1746, and hence the representations and impressions described as having frequently occurred during the previous TWO YEARS may well be regarded as having reached back to the middle of 1744.
The other passage to which we may perhaps turn with profit upon this subject is one in which Swedenborg is illustrating, in the Adversuria, the account of the Golden Candlestick given in Numbers chap. viii., and he relates, “ That the Divine approbation was sometimes given by the appearance of the flame in the lamps of the Candlestick in the Holy Place." The flame, he says, represented LOVE, the light thence, truth; but he adds, “ before this rite of the lamps was instituted, there was also a representation of Confirmation
, by flames, which by the Divine mercy of God Messiah has appeared many times to me, diverse in size, colour, and splendour, so that hardly a day passed over during some months, when I was writing a certain small treatise, in which a flame as lively as the flame of a fire did not appear to me, which was a sign of approbation. This was BEFORE THE TIME when spirits began to speak to me with a living voice," n. 7012.
May we not regard the subject to be now entirely clear to us, as intended and explained by Swedenborg himself, and the result is this: The exact date of the full opening of his spiritual sight, and the privilege of openly conversing with the inhabitants of the spiritual world as well as with those of the natural world, was the middle of April 1745. But that he had previously during his life, and especially from the year 1743, been the subject of occasionally strange and wonderful sensations and experiences, which he afterwards knew were from the spiritual world, by the mercy of the Lord, to prepare him for the more perfect performance of his mission, and the more complete development of 1745.
A VOLUME of “ Fugitive Poems connected with Natural History and Physical Science," collected by Dr. DAUBENY, and published by Parker and Co., Oxford, goes far to disprove the theory that science and poetry are
alien from each other. Many of the poems are humorous, and cannot therefore be cited as proofs and examples of a harnionious relation between fact and fancy, but several of them treat their themes seriously, and of these we select one by Horatio Smith, which is not indeed so minutely scientific as some of the others, but is more suited to the character of our publication. It is entitled,
HYMN TO THE FLOWERS.
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
As a libation ;
Before the uprisen sun, God's listless eye,
Incense on high.
The floor of nature's temple tesselate,
Your forms create !
And rolls its perfume on the passing air,
A call to prayer.
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand,
Which God hath planned ;
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply,
Its dome the sky.
Through the green aisles, or stretched upon the sod,
The ways of God.
Each cup a pulpit, every leaf a book,
From loneliest nook.
Weep without woe, and blush without a crime,
Your love sublime.
Arrayed," the lilies cry, “in robes like ours !"
Are human flowers!
With which Thou paintest nature's wide-spread hall,
Of love to all!
Blooming o'er field and wave, by day and night,
For such a world of thought could furnish scope,
Yet fount of hope.
Posthumous glories ! angel-like collection,
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth,
And second birth.
Far from all voice of churchmen or divines,
Priests, sermons, shrines.
OUTLINES OF SWEDENBORG'S DOCTRINES : Being Dialogues on the Nature,
Design, and Evidence of his Theological Writings, with a brief Account of his Philosophical Works. New edition. London : Longman, Green, and Co. 1873.
This is a reprint, in a very handsome form, of a work of the venerable Clowes. It gives some account of Swedenborg and of his philosophical works, but treats especially of his theological writings, of which it gives an excellent outline. The volume contains, besides, an account of the New Church, written for Hunt's “History of all Religions, and extracted from that work. In the theological outline three doctrines are more particularly explained, “the doctrine concerning the Christian Lord, concerning the Sacred Scriptures, and concerning a truly Christian life.” The saintly character of the author shines through this as through all his works ; and no one can read it without feeling the sweet influence of his love even more than he perceives the gentle flow of his wisdom.
The discussion of these three subjects occupy the first dialogue. The second, which is considerably the longest, is devoted to another topic. It treats of the Church, and sets forth the author's well-known view, that the members of the New Church ought to remain in communion with the Old. It may be doubted whether the author himself, in his latest years, would have republished this part of the work at all, or without some important modification. However this may be, we would not have thought of offering any remarks upon it hard not the editor of the present edition added a note of his own, expressing the doctrine of non-separation more emphatically and in much stronger language than the author himself has done. The note is on a phrase that occurs in the account of the New Church, and is as follows :--
“ The reader is requested to observe, that by the somewhat strange and unusual expression infant church' is in no wise meant any subsequently formed religious community separated from the Church of England, for none such then existed. Indeed, a principal aim of the author (see Dialogues, p. 99) was to show that separation from the Established Church of the country was in total opposition to Swedenborg's express teaching on this particular point. By the phrase 'infant church,' then, is here simply meant a changed state of church principles in the minds of those few pious Christian men, who, like Swedenborg's own personal friend, the Rev. Thomas Hartley of Winwick, Northamptonshire, had sincerely received the doctrines of the New DisPENSATION."
Readers unacquainted or but slightly acquainted with Swedenborg's writings, will naturally accept this confident assertion as a statement of the truth, and will regard. those who have separated from the Established Church of the country, and formed a distinct communion of their own, as acting in " total opposition" to the " express teaching" of him whom they profess to receive as a teacher sent from God. Such an assertion, positively and publicly made, requires, we think, to be publicly met. We propose therefore to consider the subject, and we think it will not be difficult to show that separation from existing Church Establishments, so far from being opposed to Swedenborg's teaching, is in perfect agreement with it. We will take his testimony from his works, as far as possible in the order in which they were written.
Those who have read the Arcana Celestia, and have given any attention to the subject, must have remarked that the author's teaching throughout the whole of that voluminous work is this :
" When the Church is consummated and perishes, then the Lord always raises up & new Church, but seldom or ever from the men of the former Church, but from the Gentiles, who before were in ignorance" (2091).
In several passages this same statement is made in relation to the Christian Church.
“When any Church becomes no Church, that is, when charity perishes, and a new