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Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg



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Stuart bogg-a-life-of-swedenborg-seminar-books-london-1974 Stuart bogg-a-life-of-swedenborg-seminar-books-london-1974 Presentation Transcript

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  • This work is based on the original , Illustrated Life of Swedenborg by J. Stuart Bogg. It appeared first in the New Church Young Peoples Magazine, and subsequently became known as the Penny Life of Swedenborg. At least seven editions of the booklet were published, including a revision by the Rev. H. G. Drummond. It has now been fully revised again.Machine for raising rnjnerals:one of Swedenborgs early inven(jons.
  • 11
  • ALIFE OFSWEDENBORG ,III Seminar Books. London. 1974. III
  • Revised Edition 1974 Seminar Books are published by The New Church Enquiry Centre 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH Set in 9 point Plantin Printed by The Carnpfield Press, St. Albans Editor: Gordon Kuphal, BA Designer: G. Roland Smith, LSIA NOle: The poor quality of sorne of the illustrations is due tO the antiquity of the blocks, and not to any carelessness in printing. Obtainable from New Church House 34 John Dalton Street Manchester M2 6LE and New Church Enquiry Centre 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2THIV
  • Swedenborgs ParentsBishop Jesper Swedberg 1653-1735 Sara Behm 1666-1696 5
  • ..1 Bishop Swedberg The father of Emanuel Swedenborg 6
  • J. Swedenborgs FatherJESPER SWEDBERG, son of Daniel and Anna Isaacsson, and Swedberg described the effect on himself of the change fromfather of Emanuel Swedenborg, was born in Sweden in 1653. Uppsala to the High School of Lund: When 1 went taAccording to Swedbergs own testimony, his parents were Uppsala 1 was dressed in blue stockings, Swedish leatherpious and God-fearing, poor, honest, far from worldly pride shoes, and a simple blue mantle. 1 never ventured to goand luxury, and careful to speak the truth. He had many forward in Church, but always remained near the benches ofbrothers and sisters, and his parents regarded themselves as the common people. But in Lund 1 became as worldly­rich in the true sense of the word. minded as the rest. 1 procured for myself a long black wig, to this 1 added a large long overcoat, and above ail a scarfln the Stora Kopparberg in central Sweden was a deserted over my shoulders, such as worldly-minded people wore. Inand fiooded copper mine. Twenty-four miners, among whom my own opinion, there was no one equal to me; 1 thought ailwas Daniel Isaacsson, undertook to bring it into use again, should make room for me, and take off their hats very humblyand to enable them to do this received from the College of in my presence:Mines a grant of extensive privileges. Success crowned theirenterprise, and God blessed them so wonderfully that they Swedberg returned to Uppsala in 1674, and applied to thebecame the most opulent miners of their times . In the view Dean of the faculty for a theological scholarship. The Dean,of Swedbergs parents, their success in this venture was for Magister Brunner, looked sharply at him, crossed himself, and,the benefit of their children. When the father had a meal he asked whether he, who was dressed in such a worldly manner,often said, Thank you, my children, for this meal; for 1 and in Court costume, wished to become a minis ter of thehave dined with you, and not you with me; God gave me food Gospel. Swedberg went home, took off the offensive clothes,for your sake. and put on a simple greyish-black cloak. Brunner, on his part, looked at the inner man as weil as the outer dress.Swedberg had early and excellent instruction in the home of After two years he took Swedberg into his house as privatehis parents. Afterwards he was sent to school at Fahlun, tutor to his son. In 1682 Swedberg obtained the degree ofwhere his love of books and desire to learn overcame his Magister; in 1685 he was ordained; and the same year hedread of the teacher-an intemperate and passionate man. became Pastor to the Regiment of the Guards. Prior to this,ln the autumn of 1666, at the age of thirteen, he was sent to in 1684, he visited England where he discussed the subject ofUppsala, and three years later to Lund, where he had a Church union with Bishop Fells, and with the philologistrelative, Magister P. Holm, Professor of Oriental Languages. Bernhardi. 7
  • Page of the Schmidius Bible used by Swedenborg with his annotations While visiting France after this, Swedberg learned to respect. the excellent care which the Roman Catholic Church took of the poor and needy, noticing , how the wealthier members of the community went out in the evening into the streets and lanes, to look after the poor, the sick, and those without shelter; how distinguished ladies and countesses, dressed in common garments, sought the sick and helpless, and showed them as much mercy as they would to their own blood relations . Afterwards he went through Lorraine and Alsace to Stras­ bourg, where he was hospitably entertained by Bebel,. professor of theology and Church history, and became friendly with Sebastian Schmidius, whose translation of the Bible, published at Strasbourg in r696, was one of those used by Swedbergs son, Emanuel Swedenborg, in the preparation of his theological writings. Leaving Strasbourg in r685, Swedberg visited Heidelberg, Mannheim, Giessen and Frankfurt, meeting with various theologians. From Frankfurt he went to Holland, thence by sea to Hamburg, where he stayed with an Oriental scholar, whose Sunday afternoon doctrinal classes held with young people so delighted Swedberg that he took part in them, and wrote: 1 am unable to describe in what a godly and earnest manner this man lived. Swedberg left Hamburg after a short visit, and proceeded to Lübeck, thence to Stockholm, where he arrived on August 7th, r685. 8
  • II. Swedenborgs Parentage and early TrainingIMMEDIATELY after returning home to Sweden, Jesper On one occasion an officer, who was in the audience, went toSwedberg was appointed by King Charles XI to preach to the the King and asked him, Shall the parson speak in thisCourt; and this office he filled with frankness and sincerity. style? Education was one of the subjects which engaged his atten ­ The King answered, Did the parson confirm his sermon bytion. The schools were in a lamentable condition, and he Gods Word? determined to bring the matter before the King. Accordingly , Yes, said the officer.he delivered a sermon at Ulriksdal Castle before the King and , Then, the King replied, if the parson has Gods Word, theQueen, the Queen-Dowager, the Crown Prince, and many King has nothing to say against it.courtiers. He said: 1 will tell you, your Majesties, what Godhas spoken about you in the Old Testament, that kings In r683 Swedberg had married Sara Behm, daughter ofought to be the labourers of the Church, and princesses its Albert Behm, assessor in the College of Mines, and the thirdnurses. This word is certainly not obeyed by appointing of their nine children was Emanuel who was born in r688.certain persons to act as godfathers and godmothers in yourstead. No; you must take better hold, you must actuallypromote the education of the young, must see that the schools In his autobiography the father says: 1 am fully convincedand their teachers are doing weil, and that everything is put that children ought to be called such names as will awakenin proper order. in and remind them of the fear of God, and of everything that is orderly and righteous. . .. The name of my sonThese were bold words, but they had due effect, for the Emanuel signifies" God with us ", that he may rememberKing started collecting information about the actual condition Gods presence, and that intimate, holy, and mysteriousof the schools, decided to raise the pay of ail the teachers in conjunction with our good and gracious God, into which wethe land, and appointed Swedberg ordinary royal chaplain. are brought by faith, by which we are conjoined with HimThis rise in rank brought no increase of salary, nor was this and are in Him; and blessed be the Lords name! God has todesired by Swedberg, who continued to preach home truths this hour been with him; and may He be further with him tillto the King. he be eternally united with Him in His kingdom ! 9
  • ln May, 1702, Jesper Swedberg was appointed Bishop ofSkara, and in the year 1719 his wife and children wereennobled under the name of Swedenborg. Bishop Swedbergdied in 1735, and his funeral sermon was preached by JacobBenzelius, Bishop of Goteborg.At the time of his fathers death Emanuel Swedenborg wasfort y seven years old.The only record of his early days is his own. He said, in a letter to Dr. Gabriel A. Beyer, written at the age of eighty one,, From my fourth to my tenth year 1 was constantly engagedin thought upon God, salvation, and the spiritual diseases ofmen, and several times 1 revealed things at which my fatherand mother wondered, saying that angels must be speakingthrough me. From my sixth to my twelfth year 1 used todelight in conversing with clergymen about faith, sayingthat the life of faith is love, and that the love which impartslife is love to the neighbour; also, that God gives faith toeveryone, but that those only receive it who practise that love.1 knew of no other faith at that time than that God was theCreator and Preserver of nature; that He imparts under­standing and a good disposition to men, and several otherthings that follow thence. 1 knew nothing at that time of thatlearned faith which teaches that God the Father imputes therighteousness of His Son to whomsoever, and at such timesas, He chooses, even to those who have not repented, andhave not reformed their lives; and had 1 heard of such afaith, it would have been then, as it is now, beyond mycomprehension.Swedenborg as a young man
  • III. Swedenborgs Travels; Studies; Inventions; and Rules of LifeWE next learn of Swedenborgs doings from his letters to his observe the quarantine, an inquiry was made, yet I was savedbrother-in-law, Eric Benzelius, one of the most learned men from the halters with the declaration, however, that no onein Sweden, who was successively librarian at Uppsala, who attempted to do this in future would escape his doom.Professor of Theology there, Bishop of Gëteborg, Bishop ofLinkëping, and Archbishop of Uppsala. Between this Having arrived in London, Swedenborg provided himselfbrother-in-law and Swedenborg a strong mutual affection with books and instruments for the study of mathematics andexisted. science. He wrote: I study Newton daily, and am very anxious to see and hear him. Whatever is worthy of beingWriting to him in 1709, Swedenborg-then twenty-one years seen in the town. I have already examined.of age-announced his intention of visiting England in order He had a thirst for knowledge, not for its own sake but so asto improve himself in mathematics or in physics and natural to use it in the service of his country. He made a habit ofhistory. In 1710, he travelled to Gëteborg, and from there by learning the trade of every craftsman with whom he lodgedship to London. for a rime, such as bookbinding, watchmaking, the manu­ facture of mathematical instruments, and the art of engraving.In his travel journal, he said:- On the way to London, I was Turning his attention to astronomy, he computed tablesfour times in danger of my life: First, from a sand-bank on giving the dates of future eclipses of the sun and moon, andthe English coast in a dense fog, when ail considered them­ discovered a method for fin ding longitude by means of theselves lost, the keel of the vessel being within a quarter of a moon. At the same time he studied algebra and geometry,fathom of the bank; second, from the crew of a privateer, who while, for recreation, both reading the English poets andcame on board, declaring themselves to be French, while we writing his own poems.thought they were Danes; third, from an English guardshipon the following evening, which, on the strength of a report, He was two years in England, and then visited HoHand,mistook us for the privateer, whereupon it fired a whole spending most of his time in Utrecht, wherehe was abroadside into us, but without doing us any serious damage. frequent guest at the house of the Swedish Ambassador, aWhen reaching the port of London, sorne Swedes, who had great mathematician and algebraist.approached our ship in a yacht, persuaded me to sail with In Leiden he learned glass-grinding; and in Paris metthem to town, when ail on board had been commanded to De Lahire, Professor of Mathematics in the Royal College ofremain there for six weeks, the news having already spread France, and Varrignon, a celebrated geometrician and memberthat the plague had broken out in Sweden. As I did not of the Royal Society of London. II
  • Eric Benzelius In a letter, written to Eric Benzelius in 1714, Swedenborg gave a list of his mechanical inventions, fourteen in number, in hand or written out. Mentioning a few of these will show his fertility of invention: The plan of a ship which can go with its men under the surface of the sea, and do great damage to the enemys fieet. A syphon, by which a large quantity of water may be raised from any river to a higher locality in a short time. A plan for constructing sluices in places where there is no fall of water, by means of which entire ships, with their cargoes, may be raised to any height required within an hour or two. A method of synchronising the firing of a number of airguns; a device to enable an untrained person to play music; a method of mechanrcally engraving by fire on any surface; a water-clock. In 1715, Swedenborg returned ta Stockholm, and corres­ ponded with Christopher Polhem (or Polhammar), the Swedish Archimedes, who thought most highly of him and invited him to paya visit to his home at Stjarnsund. A year later he started publication of his mathematical and physical experiments and ideas, under the title of Daedallus Hyper­ boreus. King Charles XII thereupon appointed him an1 extraordinary assessor of the College of Mines, and associated him with Polhem. At the siege of Frederikshall in 1718, Swedenborg, by a system of rollers, transported two galleys, five large boats, and one sloop, over mountains and valleys for seventeen miles, thereby fo~cing the fortress to surrender to the King. 12
  • What spirit inspired Swedenborg at this time? His Rules ofLife which he wrote down for his own use were:First: DiligentIy to read and meditate upon the Word ofGod.Second: To be content under the dispensations of Godsprovidence.Third: To observe a propriety of behaviour, and preserve theconscience pure.Fourth: To obey what is commanded; to attend faithfully toones office and other duries, and in addition to makeoneself usefui to society in general.These rules were not simply good resolutions: they were theIaws of his life. Swedenborg 13
  • .Berlin -Brunswick -Brussels • Dresden .Paris _Prague1 ~ ....",;~ -~~:..
  • IV. Scientific Works; Politics; Journeys Abroad; and Call to a Higher OfficeIN the service of his country Swedenborg applied himself ta the Royal College of Mines, without salary, Swedenborg wasmastering the science of mining, and in 1721 made a second in 1724 appointed an ordinary Assessor with a regularjourney abroad, visiting mines and smelting-works. He did salary.not confine his attention to mining alone, but published atthis time six works on chemistry, metallurgy, astronomical Three years later he completed his great work, in three foliomethods, dock embankments, and navigation. volumes, entitled Opera Philosophica el Mineralia, dedicated to the Duke of Brunswick. The title of the first volume of theDuring his stay in Brunswick, in 1722, the Duke paid ail his English translation was: The Principia; or, the firstexpenses and presented him with his medallion in gold and a principles of natural things, being new attempts toward apiece of plate. philosophical explanation of the elementary world. While the first part contained a philosophical argument about theOn his return to Sweden, Swedenborg divided his time existance of the finite from the infinite, solar and stellarbetween the College of Mines, the mining districts, and his vOrtices, and the phenomena of the magnet, the second partstudy, also publishing in that year a work in four parts dealt Vith the causes and mechanism of magnetic forces, andentitled Miscellaneous Observations connected with the the third with the diversities of worlds, chaos, the origin ofPhysical Sciences. planets, ether, air, tire, water, etc.The Consistory of the University of Uppsala in 1724 invited Swedenborg was an independent member of the House ofSwedenborg, for the advantage of youth and as an ornament Nobles, supporting what he thought right and useful andof the University, ta apply for the professorship of higher opposing despotism and anarchy. He was in favour of amathematics, left vacant by the death of Professor Nils constitution which set bounds to the hitherto unlimitedCelsius. This offer, however, he declined, feeling that he pOvers of the monarchy. Not satisfied with simply voting inhad neither the gift of teaching nor fluency of speech. favour of the resolutions proposed for the welfare of theWriting on this subject ta Eric Benzelius, he said My own country, Swedenborg from time ta time presented and readbusiness has been geometry, metallurgy, and chemistry; and before the Diet various Memoranda, the originals of whichthere is a great difference between these and astronomy. l t are preserved in the archives of Sweden. Among these were:would be inexcusable for me to give up a profession in which Memorandum on the state of the finances of Sweden.l think l can be of good use. Memorandum proposing to abolish the distinction made in mining districts in favour of copper ta the detriment ofHaving for eight years served as extraordinary , Assessor in iron. 15
  • Emanuel Swedenborg 1734 from Opera Philosophica et Mineralia Memorandum in favour of encouraging the production of iron in Sweden. Memorandum in favour of establishing rolling-mills in Sweden. Memorandum to the Secret Committee of the House of Nobles on the impolicy of declaring war against Russia. There is reason to believe that the Memorandum exerted a great influence, and saved the country for several years from the horrors of war. Memorandum to the Houses of the Swedish Diet, in 1755, on intoxicating liquor. In this he proposed several measures intended to lessen the consumption of spirits, and waste of grain in their distillation. In order to reduce the cases of drunkenness, he recommended that all public houses should have their only point-of-sale through a window, from which customers had ta buy their drink without being allowed to enter the house and lounge about in the tap-room. With untiring energy he pursued his studies, and undertook a third journey abroad in 1736. At this time he offered ta relinquish half of his salary so that those who performed his duties in his absence could be properly paid. In the course of this journey he visited Italy for the first time. After publishing, in Amsterdam, his treatise, Economy of tke Kingdom of the Soul, he returned to Sweden in 1740, and again visited Holland in 1743 to bring out his crowning scientific work, The Kingdom of the Soul.16
  • Swedenborg had reached the age of 55, with tastes bothphilosophical and mathematical. Now he planned newlabours, as can be seen from a prospectus issued in 1742 inwhich he listed the works he intended to publish next.With a mind enriched by human learning, devout andhumble in spirit, honoured and esteemed by the noblest menin his own and other countries, he was, however, called tosacrifice these plans in order to perform a higher service to theGod Whom he loved and worshipped.ln a letter, written in 1769, at the request of the Rev. ThomasHartley, M.A., Rector of Winwick, Northamptonshire,Swedenborg said: 1 have been called to a holy office by theLord Himself, who most mercifully appeared before me, Hisservant, in the year 1743; when He opened my sight into thespiritual world, and enabled me to converse with spirits andangels, in which state 1 have continued up to the present day.From that time 1 began to print and publish the varioussecrets that were seen by me or revealed to me about heavenand heU, the state of man after death, the true worship of God,the spiritual sense of the Word, besides many other mostimportant matters conducive to salvation and wisdom. Theonly reason for my journeys abroad has been the desire ofmaking myself useful, and of making known the secrets thatwere entrusted to me. Moreover, 1 have as much of this Swedenborgs Houseworlds wealth as 1 need, and 1 neither seek nor wish formore. 17
  • Swedenborgs Summerhouse Emanuel Swedenborg depicted on a Swedish postage stamp18
  • V. Theological Writings; Enemies and FriendsIN personal diaries Swedenborg minutely described the In another part of this prospectus Lewi~ said, , l do aver thatstruggles and temptations he had to undergo before his this gentleman (the author), with indefatigable pains andselfhood was thoroughly subdued and his pre-conceived labour, spent one whole year in studying and writing thenotions removed, and he was content to allow the Lord to act first volume of Arcana Coelestia, was at the expense of {,zoothrough him. The opening of his spiritual sight he described to print it, and also advanced {,zoo more for the printing ofas graduai; and he recorded the various stages by which he this second volume; and when he had done this he gavecame into association with the angels. He said: 1 must express orders that ail the money that should arise in the saleemploy my remaining time in writing on higher subjects, of this large work should be given towards the charge of theand not on worldly things, which are far below.... May God propagation of the Gospel. He is so far from desiring tobe so gracious as to enlighten me respecting my duty. make a gain of his labours that he will not receive one farthing back of the {,400 he has expended; and for that reason hisIn 1747 he resigned his position as Mining Assessor, and the works will come exceedingly cheap to the public.King granted him a pension of half his salary. Besides this,he had sorne income from a mining property. In the minutes It was not long before Swedenborg and his theologicalof the Royal College of Mines dated July 17th, 1747, it is publications excited attention and virulent attack. He wasrecorded that the Royal College thanked the Assessor for the unwilling to enter inta any disputes on matters of religion;minute care and fidelity with which he had attended to the but, if obliged to defend himself, he did so in a few gentleduties of his office as Assessor up to that time. words, and jf still assailed, he would say, Read attentively, and without prejudice, my writings; they will answer for me,The first announcement of his theological writings was and you will then change your ideas and your opinions.made on February 5,1750, and began thus:- Advertisementby John Lewis, printer and publisher, in Paternoster Row, He was no egotist. He kept his personality out of sight in hisnear Cheapside, London. Be it known unto ail the learnecl writings, as far as possible. When he referred to the missionand curious that this day is published the first number of entrusted ta him, it was in humility; and he never allowed hisArcana Coelesria, or Heavenly Secrets, which are in the reader to suppose that any merit attached personally to theSacred Scriptures, or Word of the Lord, laid open; as they author. He called himself Servant of the Lord Jesusare found in the sixteenth chapter of Genesis: together with Christ, and stated that he did so by command of the Lord.the wonderful things that have been seen in the world of Could there be a higher title ?spirits and in the heaven of angels.
  • Swedenborgs enemies aimed not only at destroying his Bishop Halenius, Bishop of Skara, a man notoriouslyreputation, but also &t taking his life. Attempts at assassina­ avaricious, but possessed of good natural gifts, visitedtion were twice made, but frustrated. He was, however, weil Swedenborg ont: day. Swedenborg reproved him for hisreceived by the King of Sweden, and dined at the royal avarice and injustice, and predicted that in a few months hetable. would be attacked by a severe illness, during which the Lord would seek to convert him. If you will then open yourTwo Prime Ministers of Sweden, Count Anders Johan von heart to the holy influences, he said, your conversion willHopken and Count Carl Gustaf Tessin, declared themselves be accomplished. A few months after this an officer of thehis friends, and openly visited him. One day Count von province and bishopric of Skara called, and was asked,Hopken asked him why he had published in his writings those , How is Bishop Halenius? The officer replied, He has, memorable occurrences (incidents observed in the spiritual been very il1, but he has now recovered, and is quite a differentworld) which seemed to throw so much ridicule on his man. He is kirid, benevolent, full of righteousness, anddoctrine, otherwise so rational and whether it would not be returns three-fold and sometimes four-fold what he hadbest for him to keep them to himself and not publish them previously acquired by unrighteous the world. But Swedenborg answered that he had ordersfrom the Lord to publish them; and that those who ridiculed From that time tH! his death Bishop Halenius was a warmhim on that account did him an injustice; for, said he, friend of the doctrines of the New Church, and he openly, why should l, an old man, lay myself open to ridicule for declared that the theological writings of Swedenborg were thefantasies and falsehoods? Count von Hopken added, We most precious treasures of mankind.may say of the religion which Swedenborg has developed inhis writings from the Word of God, with Gamaliel, If it beof God, it cannot be overthrown; but if it be of man, it willcome to naught.The same Senator told King Gustavus III that if the Swedesfounded a colony, the doctrine which Swedenborg hadpublished as the Doctrine of the New Church of Jesus Christought to be taught there. Thus the colonists would lookupon the love of God and charity as the only motives of theirconduct, and would be active, industrious, and intrepid indanger, convinced that what is called death is only a passagefrom this into a happier life.20
  • VI. The Arcana Coelestia Arcana Cœ!eftia QUiE IN THE work entitled Arcana Coelestia, or Heavenly Secrets was published in two sections, one of five volumes, the other ofSCRIPTURA SACRA, three volumes. The first section contains an unfolding of the internai sense of Genesis; the second, that of Exodus. The writing and publication of this great work extended over a SEU period of twelve years, 174Tto 1758, and it was first translated from the Latin original into English by the Rev. John Clowes VERRO DOMINI M.A. at one time a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rector of St. Johns Church, Manchester. SUN T. D ETE C TA: ln the introductory pages Swedenborg states that the Word Hic Primum qure in of the Old Testament includes secrets of heaven and that its G E N E s I. whole contents, in every detail, are about the Lord, His heaven, the Church, faith, and things relating to faith. These contents signify and involve spiritual and celestial things. Una cum Mirabilibus This must be so because the Word, since it is of the Lord and from the Lord, could not possibly be given without containing things of heaven, the Church and faith. For, he says, Q..uœ vifa funt , if this be denied, how can it be called the Word of the Lord, or be said to have any , life in it? From where does its lifeIn Mundo Spirituum, & in Cœlo AngeIorum. come except from those things which possess life; that is, from the fact that ail things in it, in general and in particular, concern the Lord, who is the very Life itself.... Without such life, the Word as to its letter is dead. PARS PRIMA. He illustrates this by comparing the Word with man, who has MDCCXLIX. an external and an internai: the latter is the soul, the former is the body, which, when separated from the soul, is dead. It is the soul that lives, and causes the body to live. The Word, viewed as to the letter alone, is like a body without a Title page from the first Latin edition sou!. 21
  • , It is impossible, he continued, , while the mind reads and Writing in Latin, Swedenborg gives a translation of thethinks only literally, to see that the Word is full of such Hebrew text of Genesis and Exodus; first, the completespiritual contents. Thus in the first chapters of Gencsis, ail chapter; next, its general contents; afterwards, the internaithat can be seen from the literai sense is that they deal with sense, verse by verse and clause by clause, illustrating andthe creation of the world, the Garden of Eden, and Adam. confirming by frequent quotations from other passages in theHardly anyone imagines that they deal with anything more. Word.But they contain secrets which were never revealed before.ln the following pages it will be seen that the first chapter of The first chapter of Genesis, in its general contents is shownGenesis in its internai sense deals, in general, with the to describe six successive states in the regeneration of of man or his regeneration and, specifically, with the The first state is before regeneration has begun: emptiness,Most Ancient Church, so much so, that there is not a single darkness. The first activity is the mercy of the Lord, theexpression which does not represent, signify, and involve Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. The secondsomething spiritual. state is when a division takes place between the things which are of the Lord and by contrast those which are merelySwedenborg then declares that it is impossible for anyone to mans. The former are knowledges of faith, learned fromknow that the Word has a spiritual meaning within the letter, infancy, and stored up by the Lord for the use of man when,except from the Lord. Therefore, he states, of the Lords through temptation, misfortune, or sorrow, the thingsDivine me.rcy it has been granted me now for several years to belonging to the body and the world are brought into astatebe constantly and uninterruptedly in company with spirits and of quiescence. The third state is that of repentance, when aangels, hearing them talk with each other, and talking with man begins to speak piously and devoutly from the interna!them. 1 have been permitted to hear and see things in the man, and to do good actions which he imagines originate inother life which are astonishing, and which have never before himself. They are therefore inanimate. In the fourth statecome to the knowledge of any man, nor entered into his man is affected by love and illuminated by faith; faith andimagination. 1 have been instructed there about different charity are now enkindled in his internai man, and are caliedkinds of spirits, and the state of souls after death; about hell, two lights. In the fifth state man speaks from faith, throughor the lamentable state of the unfaithful; about heaven, or the which he confirms himself in truth and goodness: the thingsmost happy state of the faithful; and particularly about the then produced by him are animate. In the sixth state, hedoctrine of faith which is acknowledged throughout ail speaks what is true and does what is good from faith andheaven; on which subjects, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, thence from love. His spirituallife is delighted and sustainedmore will be said in the following pages. by knowledge of faith and the doing of good works-called22
  • VII. Communication with the Spiritual Worldhis meat -and his naturallife by such things as belong to SOME remarkable and well-authenticated facts are recordedthe body and its senses. From this a combat or struggle about Swedenborgs communication with the spiritualarises, untillove is dominant, and he becomes a celestial man. world. These ought not to be regarded as miracles, nor should anyone judge the truth of Swedenborgs writings byIn the opening words-prefacing the internaI sense of things like these. Truth requires no miraculous support.Genesis l, as explained verse by verse-Swedenborg states The Fire at Stockholmthat in the following work, by " the Lord" is meant solely Immanuel Kant gives an account of Swedenborg and theJesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, who is calied the Lord, great tire at Stockholm, in 1759:- Swedenborg arrived atwithout other names. He is acknowledged and adored as the Gëteborg from England at four odock on Saturday, and wasLord throughout ail heaven, because He has ail power in invited to dine with a party of tifteen at the house of MLheaven and earth. He also commanded His disciples so to William Castel. About six odock Swedenborg went out, andcali Him. The Scripture references here are to John XIII returned to the company quite pale and alarmed. He said13, XIV 6, 8-11. that a dangerous tire had just broken out in Stockholm (a distance of 300 miles from Gëteborg), and that it was spreadingLater in this work is described the state of man when rising very fast. He was restless, and went out very often. He saidfrom the dead-how he passes from the life of the body into that the house of one of his friends, whom he named, wasthe life of eternity, waking, as out of a tranquil sleep, in the already in ashes, and his own in danger. At eight oclock,care of celestial angels, who love everyone. At tirst he after he had been out again he joyfully exdaimed, Thankimagines himself still to be in the world, and is ail wonder God! The tire is extinguished, the third door from my house.and astonishment when toid that he is a spirit, both because The news created great consternation and excitement inhe is entirely like a man as to his senses, desires, and thoughts, Gëteborg, many of the inhabitants having friends in Stock­and because he did not believe, during his life in the world, holm. l t was announced to the Governor the same evening,that he was a spirit, or (as is the case with sorne) that a spirit and he summoned Swedenborg on Sunday morning, andcould be what he now finds himself to be. Spirits see, hear, questioned him. Swedenborg described the tire precisely, howspeak, smell, and have a most exquisire sense of touch. In a it had begun, in what manner it had ceased, and how long itword, man loses nothing by death, but is still a man in ail continued. The Governor thought the account worthy ofrespects, although more perfect than when in the body, attention. On Monday evening a messenger, dispatched byhaving cast off his natural flesh and bones, and the imperfec­ the Board of Trade during the tire, arrived at Gëteborgtions which necessarily attend them. bringing !etters in which the tire was described as Swedenborg had described it; and the next day a royal courier arrived with full particulars, which tallied in every respect withEnough has been said to ind;ate the scope and purpose of Swedenborgs account, the tire having been extinguished atthis wonderful expository work. eight odock. 23
  • The Receipt in the Bureau The Queen Dowager of Sweden Speaking to the Academician Dieudonné Thiebault, the M. Louis de Marteville, Envoy Extraordinary of the United Queen Dowager of Sweden stated that one evening Sweden­ Provinces of the Netherlands at the Court of Sweden, died in borg had come to her Court. She had taken him aside, and Stockholm in April, 1760. Some time afterwards his widow begged him to find out, from her deceased brother, the was called upon by a goldsmith, who presented a bill, Prince Royal of Prussia, what he said to her the last time shedemanding payment for a silver service which he had supplied. saw him before departing for Stockholm. She added thatThe widow knew that the bill had been paid, although she what she had said was of a nature to make it impossible thatcould not find the receipt for it. In her sorrow, and because the Prince could have repeated it to anyone, nor had it ever the amount was considerable, she asked Swedenborg to call at escaped her own lips. Sorne days after, Swedenborg returned,her house. After apologising for troubling him, she said when she was seared at cards, and requested that she would that if, as all people declared, he possessed the extraordinary grant him a private audience. To this the Queen replied thatgift of speaking with the souls of the departed, he would he might communicate what he had to say before everybody;perhaps have the kindness to ask her husband about the but Swedenborg assured her he could not disclose what hesilver service. Swedenborg did not object. Three days after, had to say in the presence of witnesses. The Queen becamehe called and informed Madame de Marteville, who had very agitated, and, giving her cards to another lady, shecompany at her house for coffee, that he had spoken to her requested the Senator von Schwerin (who was also presenthusband. The clebt had been paid seven months before his when she related the story) to accompany her. They,death, and the receipt was in a bureau in the room upstairs. accordingly went into another apartment, when she postedThe lady replied that the bureau had been cleared out, and Count von Schwerin at the door, and advanced towards thethe receipt had not been found among the papers. Swedenborg farthest extremity of it with Swedenborg, who said to her,said that her husband had described to him how, after , You took, Madame, your last leave of the Prince of Prussia,pulling out the left-hand drawer, a board would appear, your late august brother, at Charlottenburg, on such a day,which required to be drawn out, when a secret compartment and at such an hour of the afternoon. As you were passingwould be disclosed, containing his private Dutch corres­ afterwards through the long gallery in the Castle ofCharlotten­pondence as well as the receipt. On hearing this description, burg you met him again; and there he took you by the hand,the" whole company rose and accompanied the lady into the and led you to such a window, where you couId not beroom upstairs. The bureau was opened; they did as they overheard, and then said to you these words-.. . Thewere directed; the compartment was found, of which no one Queen did not repeat the words, but she protested that theyhad ever known before, and, to the great astonishment of all, were what her brother had said, and that she retained thethe papers were discovered there exactly as he had described. most perfect recollection of them.24
  • VIII. Various Writings IN the year 1758 Swedenborg travelled ta London, andln a letter addressed to Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse during his stay there, which lasted about fifteen months, theDarmstadt, Swedenborg himself said: What is reported of following theological works, written by him in Latin, werethe brother of the Queen of Sweden is true; yet it should not published in London by John Lewis, copies being presentedbe regarded as a miracle, but only as a memorable occurrence to all the English bishops and Protestant members of theof the kind related in The True Christian Religion, about House of Lords:­Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and the rest. For all these are 1. Earths in the Universe and their Inhabitants, and thesimply testimonies that 1 have been introduced by the Lord Spirits and angels there, from Things Heard and ta my spirit into the spiritual world, that 1 converse with 2. Heaven and its Wonders, and Hell, from Things Heardangels and spirits. and Seen. 3. The Last Judgment and Babylon destroyed; that ailThe Rev. Nicholas Collin, Rectar of the Swedish Church in things foretold in the Revelation have been fulfilled at thisPhiladelphia, said, Swedenborg was universally esteemed day; from Things Heard and Seen.for his various erudition in mathematics, mineralogy, etc., 4. The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine.and for his probity, benevolence, and general virtue. Being 5. The White Horse mentioned in chapter XIX of the Bookvery old when 1 saw him, he was thin and pale; but still of Revelation. Also a swnmary of those passages in Arcanaretained traces of beauty, and had something very pleasing in Coelestia relating to the Word and its spiritual or internaIhis physiognomy, and a dignity in his tall and erect stature. sense.On my requesting his aid in procuring an interview with abrother lately deceased, he answered, very properly, that the Barths in the Universe tells of the inhabitants of otherpartition wall between this and the other world could not worlds, their genius, aims, and delights as men and alsobe opened without sorne important cause, and not to gratify Cafter death) as spirits. Spirits talking to Swedenborg saidmere curiosity. that in the universe there are very many earths with human inhabitants upon them, and they were surprised that anyoneSwedenborg was always ready to talk with persons of honest thought that the heaven of the Omnipotent God consists onlyand sincere disposition who called upon him; but if his of spirits and angels who come from our earth, when thesedeclarations were received with contempt he would simply are so few that, in relation to the Omnipotence of God, theysay, Read my writings, and judge for yourself. are almost insignificant. 25
  • In Heaven and Hel! Swedenborg shows that the Lord Jesus the heaven which passed away, mentioned in RevelationChrist is the God of heaven; that there are three heavens, XXI 1. The first earth, which also passed away, means theeach consisting of innumerable societies; and that every Church in this world, which was in conjunction with that inangel is in a perfect human form. Other subjects dealt with the heavens. After the Last Judgment, revelations were madeare the Spiritual Sun; light and heat in heaven; the clothes, for the New, power, speech, wisdom, innocence, and occupationsof the angels; governments, Divine worship, writings, peace, The New Jerusalem and ùs Heavenly Doctrine is a summary oflittle children, the wise and simple, the rich and poor, also New Church doctrine.marriages in heaven, and heavenly joy and happiness. The work entitled The White Horse is a kind of summaryMans awakening from the dead and entrance into the index ta the Arcana Coelestia, prefaced by a brief explanationspiritual world in a perfect human form are described; also of the meaning of Revelation XIX 11-14, 16, in which thethe states through which he passes before his entrance into Word is described as ta its spiritual or internal sense, theheaven or into hell. White Horse representing the understanding of the Word as to its inner contents.Swedenborg also shows that the Lord rules the hells, ofwhich there are, in general, three-also divided into societies In July, 1759, Swedenborg left England for G6teborg.-acting against the three heavens, which likewise re-act While there, the fire at Stockholm occurred, which wasagainst the hells. From this results spiritual equilibrium, in mentioned in the last section. Swedenborg returned towhich man is maintained by the Lord, so that he may enjoy Stockholm the next month, and took an active part in thethe liberty of choosing his final state. The man who wills and affairs of the Diet, presenting a Memorandum in favour of aloves evil casts himself into hell after death-this casting return to a pure metallic currency. l t concluded thus:down is not done by the Lord. , As a member of the Diet, l consider myself in dutY bound to submit ail this in humility for the consideration of the variousThe Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed describes the Houses of the Diet, as l am obliged, according to my ability,Judgment in the World of Spirits, which was carried out by ta reftect upon and to submit for consideration everythingthe Lord in 1757 on ail people of the Christian Church, also that may be for the public good of the country. The subjecton Mohammedans and Gentiles, when those represented by which l have discussed above is the most important of ail, asthe sheep and the goats were separated (Matthew XXV 31-32). the general welfare of the country depends on it, for theThe sheep represent those who are in truths and at the same currency in a country is like the blood in the body, on whichtime in good, that is, those with whom charity and faith depends its life, health, strength, and defence. He pressedmake one; but the goats represent those who are in truths and home this subject in further memoranda ta the Diet and tanot in good, thus, who have a faith of the intellect but not of the King.the heart. The first heaven, whièb passed away, was theChurch in the spiritual world, composed of professing About this time Swedenborg wrote The Apocalypse ExplainedChristians, Mohammedans, and Gentiles, who had lived in according la the Spiritual Sense, which was not publishedthe world in external sanctity but not in internaI sanctity­ during his lifetime; treatises concerning the Lord and thewho were only apparently just and sincere for the sake of Athanasian Creed; also SU1l1maries of the InternaI Sense of thecivil and morallaws, but not for the sake of Divine laws. Ali Prophetic Books and the Psalms of the Old Testament.people like this who lived after the Lords coming constituted26 Swedenborg 1768
  • IX. Further Travels and Publications SWEDENBORG went to Amsterdam in 1762 to publish thefollowing works: Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning theLord, Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem, Doctrine ofthe New Jerusalel1l concerning Faith, Angelic Wisdol1l concerningthe Divine Love and Wisdom, Angelic l17isdol1l concerning theDivine Providence. In 1764 he returned to Stockholm,revisiting Amsterdam in 1765 for the purpose of printingthere The Apocalypse Revealed. In 1766 he returned toStockholm, and spent the whole of the following year there,leaving early in 1768 to print in Amsterdam Conjugal Loveand its Opposites, also the Brief Exposition of the Doctrine ofthe New Church. In May of the same year he left Amsterdamfor Paris, on his way to London, where he arrived in June,remaining three months, and publishing The Intercourse ofthe Soul and the Body.Early in the autumn he returned to Stockholm, and duringthe first six months of 1770 was preparing the first draft ofThe True Christian Religion, which was published in June1771. In this latter work, Swedenborg stated that then wasthe time of the Second Coming of the Lord-a coming, not inPerson, but in the Word, which is from Him and is thusHimself.While Swedenborg was at Elsinore, on his way to Holland, inthe spring of 1768, General Christian Tuxen paid him a visit,as he very much wanted to make Swedenborgs acquaintance.The General wrote: 1 took an opportunity of asking himhow a man who was confident that he was serious in his dutytowards God and his neighbour could be certain whether hewas on the right road to salvation or not. 1 was answeredthat this was very easy, and that such a man need onlyexamine himself and his own thoughts in the light of theTen Commandments. For instance, whether he loves andfears God; whether he is happy in seeing the welfare Cfothers, and does not envy them; whether, on having received 27
  • a great injury from others, which excited him to anger and Swedenborg he said to him, The Consistories have re­revenge, he afterwards changes his sentiments because God mained silent in the subject of my letters and your writings .has said that vengeance belongs to Him, and so on, then he Laying his hand on Swedenborgs sl:oulder, he added,may rest assured that he is on the road to heaven. But, when , We may conclude, then, that they have not found anythinghe discovers himself to be actuated by contrary sentiments, reprehensible in them, and that you have written in accordancethen he is on the road to hel!. This led me to think of myself with the truth .as weil as for others. However, Dr. Gabriel Beyer, Professor of Greek and NotaryCarl Robsahm, Treasurer of the Bank in Stockholm, who in the Consistory of Goteborg, responded for himself to thewas intimately acquainted with Swedenborg du ring the Kings letter: In obedience to Your Royal Majestys mostlatter part of his life wrote as follows:- On Swedenborgs gracious command that l should deliver a full and positivedeparture for London the last time but one, l met him just as declaration, l acknowledge it to be my duty ta declare, in ailhe was starting, and asked how he-who would soon be humble confidence, that as far as l have proceeded, and in theeighty years old-eould dare tO undertake so long a journey, light of the gift bestowed upon me for investigation andand whether we should meet again in this world? "Do not judgment, l have found in the above-named writings oftrouble yourself about that," said he. "If you live, we shall Swedenborg nothing which does not closely co:ncide withcertainly meet again; for l shal1 have to undertake another the Word from the Lords mouth, and shines with a lightjourney like this." , truly Divine. The Rev. Thomas Hart1ey, M.A., Rector of Winwick,Dr. Husband Messiter, an eminent physician, Swedenborgs Northamptonshire, was a friend of Swedenborg. 1 have,professional attendant, sent sorne of Swedenborgs wrote Hart1ey, conversed with him at different times; and,publications to the Professor of Divinity at Edinburgh. He in company with a gentleman of a learned profession and ofdid this at Swedenborgs request and, in writing to the extensive intel1ectual abilities (Dr. Messiter), we have had aProfessor, said, As l have had the honour of being frequently confirmation from his own mouth (of his open vision of theadmitted to the authors company when he was in London, spiritual world), and have received his testimony, and doand to converse with him on various points of learning, l will both of us consider this our acquaintance with the author andventure to affirm that there are no parts of mathematical, his writings among the greatest blessings of our lives.philosophical, or medical knowledge-nay, l believe l mightjustly say, of human literature-to which he is in the least a There are few records of Swedenborgs personal appearance.stranger ; yet so total1y insensible is he of his own merit that l He was above middle height and of dignified bearing. Hisam confident he does not know that he has any. eyes-which were blue-are described as beautiful even in old age. The portrait found in Opera Philosophica et MineraliaSorne time before Swedenborgs last journey to London, he engraved at the age of forty-six, is stated to be a good likeness.addressed a petition to King Adolphus Frederic. He asked the He was neat in dress, frugal in diet. Late in life his usualKing to have letters of instruction sent to the Consistories of food was coffee with milk, bread and butter; he ate fish andthe kingdom, ordering them to examine his writings, and meat occasional1y. The dress he usual1y wore was a suit ofgive their opinion about them. This was done, but the black velvet, and a pair of long ruffies; he also wore a curious­Consistories delayed their report. When the King met hilted sword, and carried a gold-headed stick.28
  • x. Swedenborg and Wesley; Swedenborgs Closing HoursTOWARDS the end of February 1772, Mr. Samuel Smith and Dr. Arvid Ferelius, the pastor of the Swedish Church inother Methodist preachers were with the Rev. John Wesley, London, described the closing hours of Swedenborgs life:taking instructions and assisting him in the preparations for Our late celebrated countryman, Assessor Emanuelthe nationwide circuit that he was about to begin. While Swedenborg, died in the month of March, 1772, and wasthey were engaged in this, a letter came to Wesley which he buried by me on April 5th. Towards the close of the yearread with evident astonishment; and after a pause he read the (1771) he was touched by paralysis on one side. 1 visited himletter to those who were with him. Smith afterwards recalled several times, and asked him each time whether he had anthat the letter ran roughly as follows: idea that he was to die this time; upon which he answeredSir, "Yes." Upon this 1 observed to him that, as quite a number1 have been informed in the world of spirits that you have a of people thought that his sole purpose in promulgating hisstrong des ire to converse with me. 1 shall be happy tosee you new theological system had been to make himself a name, orif you will favour me with a visit. to acquire celebrity-which object, indeed, he had thereby1 am, Sir, your humble servant, attained-if such had been the case he ought now to do theEmanuel Swedenborg. world the justice to· retract it, either in whole or in part; especially as he could not expect to derive any additionalWesley frankly admitted to his companions that he had felt advantage from this world, which he would soon leave. Hea very strong desire to meet Swedenborg, but had never thereupon half rose in his bed, and laying his sound handmentioned this to anyone. He sent an answer explainirtg upon his breast, said, with sorne manifestation of zeal, " Asthat he was now deeply involved in his preparations for a true as you see me before your eyes, so true is everythingjourney that would last six months, but that he would cali on that 1 have written, and 1 could have said more had it beenSwedenborg soon after returnil1g to London. Smith learned permitted. When you enter eternity you will see everything,afterwards that Swedenborg wrote in reply that the visit and then you and 1 shall have much to talk about." ,promised by Wesley would come too late, as Swedenborgwould enter the world of spirits on the twenty-ninth day ofthe next month, never to return. , When 1 asked him whether he was willing to receive the Lords Supper, he replied, "With thankfulness." 1 thenWesley went on circuit, as he had arranged, and on his asked whether he acknowledged himse1f to be a sinner. Hereturn to London he was informed that Swedenborg had replied, "Certainly, as long as 1 carry about this sinfulindeed left this life on March 29th. Smith was led by these body." With much devotion, folding his hands and un­circumstances to examine the writings of Swedenborg and, covering his head, he read the confession of sins, and,eventually, to his conviction that the doctrines taught were received the Holy Sacrament .from heaven.
  • Richard Shearsmith, in whose house in Clerkenwe11 Sweden­borg lodged and died, declared himself ready to attest(on oath, if required) thar, from the first day of Swedenborgscoming to reside at his house, to the last day of his life, healways conducted himself in the most rational, prudent,pious and Christian-like manner. When the day of hisdeparture iuto the other life arrived, in the course of theday he asked Shearsmith and his wife what time it was. Theyreplied, It is nearly five in the afternoon. He said That isgood. Thank you. God bless you. He then wished themfarewell, saying that his time was come, and calmly passedaway a few minutes after.The Rey. Thomas Hartley said, in a letter ta the Rey. JohnClowes, M.A., The great Swedenborg was a man ofuncommon humility, and so far from affecting to be thehead of a sect that his yoluminous writings in divinitycontinued almost ta the end of his life to be anonymouspublications. Our author ever kept the Holy Scriptures inYiew; they were his light and guide, his shield and buckler ona11 occasions. His reasonings are grounded on their authority,and he is abundantly copious in the proofs he draws fromthem in support of whatever doctrine he advances. On thisfoundation he builds, and a surer can no one lay.
  • XI. Sweden Honours Her Son Emanuel Swedenborgs remains were interred in the smallSwedish Church, London Swedish Church (now demolished) near the Tower of London, where they remained for almost 140 years. Then the Swedish government approached the British government for . permission to remove the remains to Sweden, and on April 7th and 8th 1909 the coffin was taken by train ta Dartmouth and thence by sea in the frigate Fylgia to its final resting ­ place-a sarcophagus in Uppsala Cathedral, unveiled by t~ ~Ui- .- . 1 "­ King Gustav V on November 19th 19IO. ~..a."..=, .:l EMANUEL SWEDENBORG ...... - 1 1 In the words of the Rev. R. R. Rodgers, spoken on the deck of the Fylgia " Swedenborg was great in science, greater in philosophy, but greatest of ail as a theologian and an expositor ml MDCLXXXVIII-MDCCLXXII rmJ J of the Word of God. «« ... /1 - .1 il J ~1", Sarcophagus in Uppsala Cathedral 31
  • Uppsala Cathedral The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are published by The Swedenborg Society 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC lA 2TH and by The Swedenborg Foundation Inc. 139 East 23rd Street New York, N.Y. 10010, USA Translations have been made into Many languages. Swedenborgs sketch for his carly invention of a f1ying machine.32
  • C i1)