THE PliINCIPIA                          ORTHE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL THINGS                 10 WHICH ARE ADDED  rrHE ...
THE PRINCIPIA                            ORTHE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL THINGS                  TO WHICH ARE ADDED  rrH...
FüREWüRD.      BY PROFESSOR SIR W. F. BAERETT, F.R.S.SWEDENBORG the seer has largely obscured the fame ofSwedenborg the sa...
VI                            FOREWORD.obsolete farms of thought, its deductive and often erroneousreasoning, marks the tr...
F.OREWORD.                           Vit"it is merèly motion which produces the effect, or by means ofmotion form is fixed...
viii                     FOREWORD.    The first part of the PrincipiCl with its elaborate discussionof the authora theory ...
FOREWORD.                                IXHerschel remarks, "they saw no better way of getting out ofthe cli ffi culty th...
x                            FOREWORD.course of the magnetism and dispose themselves into the same situationand path as th...
FOREWORD.                             XI of the magnetic declillation in Paris-that is the angle enclosed between the geog...
XII                       FOREWORD.   But although the universe is based upon a common plan,yet he remarks, "how great is ...
INTRODUCTION ,1EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, the author of the present work, wasborn at Stockholm, on the 29th of January 1688, his ...
xiv                          INTRODUCTION. processes, during a prolonged visit to Germany, and published the results of hi...
IN TRODUCTION.                                xv who, basing themselves upon experiments and the principlesof Descartes, w...
XVI                        INTRODUCTION. exercise of this facnlty in cosmological speculation he endeavonred to work out a...
INTRODUCTION.                                  XVIImay be sufficieut to refer to his theory of the functionsof the brain, ...
xviii                      INTRODUCTION.saw in water the origin of the life and change manifested inthe visible wodd. The ...
INTRODUCTION.                                    XIXthe visible uuiverse by their motion, impact, and consequentrevolving ...
xx	                            INTRODUCTION.the views of the Greek philosophers and the atomic theoriesof Lucretius. 1 In ...
INTRODUCTION.                                       XXIpractically taken over one principle of ancient philosophy­primal m...
XXII                       INTRODUCTION. c1evoid of motion, re11lains sueh as it is; whatevel is at lest, produces nothing...
fNTRODUCTI01V.                             XXlllstances eternal and eternally different. ",Vhy, then, should wefeel conten...
xxiv                        INTRODUCTION.eurrent in the scientific world; although the main idea hasbeen, of course, subje...
INTRODUCTION.                                  xxvThe scientist may profess that he is not concerned withultimate origins ...
XXVI                        INTRODUCTION.by experiment; but his hypothesis was to lead up to ailissue, which we hope to sh...
INTROD UCTION.                                   xx·iitotally inclusive, and also the absolllte and primary cause.   The  ...
xxviii                           INTRODUCTION.the principle of relativity the finite implies the Infinite; thelimited theu...
INTRODUCTION.                              XXIXregarded as due to motion.         And to such refinement hasthought upon t...
xxx                             INTRODUCTION.that of a state capable of becoming kinetic in some self­representatiye, self...
INTRODUCTION.                        XXXIthe Infinite Will would realize itself in end or pmpose, in thegeneration of a un...
XXXII                     INTRODUCTION.     Motion reslllting in a universe and the subsequent cause of aIl its phenomena ...
INTRODUCTION.                                 xxxiiithere is nothing in nature that is not geometrical, thenthe origin of ...
XXXIV                  INTRODUCTION.of motion; and althollgh refnsing to take us up to theprimary source, it deals with mo...
INTRODUCTION.                                  xxxv    Matter, then, is now intelpreted in terms of electricity andis no l...
X:(XVI                             INTRODUCTION.realizing itself in al! the phenomena of the Uni verse. " Hslmiversal pres...
INTRODUCTION.                        XXXVllone, it seems to us to be a legitimate inference from hispremisses that there w...
XXXVlll                       iNTRODUCTION.alone," he says, "wbich necessitate the illference that theuniverse has a wise ...
INTRODUCTION.                                   XXXIXmoch anù nothing substantial, may yet exhibit somethingsubstantial, o...
xl                                   INTRODUCTION. passing into local motion. This entity is most perfectly active and end...
INTRODUCTION.                       xli     It is not our purpose to follow the author throllghout all  the complex detail...
xlii                             INTRODUCTION.subject to a vortical or spiral motion.                 "These spiralgyratio...
INTRODUCTION.                                          xliiiin the following terms: "This element is the most aLtenll­ated...
xliv                        /iVTRODUCTION.of light to an all pelvading medium, was doubtless knownto Swedenborg 1 through ...
INTRODUCTION.                         xlvconfusing and inconvenient not to be able to discriminatebetween matter on the on...
xlvi                            iNTRODUCTION.not found in The Pjincipia. But almost incidentally he makesa remark in the E...
INTRODUCTION.                           xlviiit not remarkable, then, how fully he is in line Vith modernresults? As we ha...
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Emanuel Swedenborg

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Em swedenborg-the-principia-or-first-principles-of-natural-things-1734-1729-two-volumes-the-swedenborg-society-1912-first-pages

  1. 1. THE PliINCIPIA ORTHE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL THINGS 10 WHICH ARE ADDED rrHE MINüR PRINCIPIA AND SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPIA DY EMANUEL SWEDENBORG TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN DY JAMES R. RENDELL, B.A., AND ISAIAH TANSLEY, B.A. WITH AN INTRODUCTION DY ISAIAH TANSLEY, B.A. AND A FOREWORD DY PROFESSOR SIR WILLIAM F. BARREir, F.R.S. VOLUME I. THE SWEDENBORG SOCIETY (INSTITUTED 1810) ! BLOOMSBURY STREET, LONDON 1912
  2. 2. THE PRINCIPIA ORTHE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL THINGS TO WHICH ARE ADDED rrHE MINÜR PRINCIPIA AND SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPIA DY El1ANUEL SvVEDENBORG TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN BY JAMES R. RENDELL, B.A., AND ISAIAH TANSLEY, B.A. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY rSAIAH TANSLEY, B.A. AND A FOREWORD BY lROFESSOR SIR WILLIAM F. BARRETT, F.R.S. VOLUME I. THE SWEDENBORG SOCIETY (INSTITUTED 1810) ! BLOOMSBURY STREET, LONDON 1912
  3. 3. FüREWüRD. BY PROFESSOR SIR W. F. BAERETT, F.R.S.SWEDENBORG the seer has largely obscured the fame ofSwedenborg the savant. And yet two-thirds of his life weredevoted to the service of science and the publication ofnumerous works, ranging over every department of naturalknowledge. The neglect of Swedenborgs scientific writings isnow being removed by the publication, under the able editorialsupervision of Ml A. li. Stroh, of Swedenborgs chief contribu­tions to science, with Introductions written by eminent livingsavants. The sumptuous Latin edition of SwedenborgsPrincipia, issued under the auspices of the Swedish RoyalAcademy of Sciences, is prefaced by an Introduction from thepen of that distinguished man Professor Svante Arrhenius,to whom in 1903 was awarded the Nobel prize forchemical physics. The present admirable English translation of the Principiawe owe to the arduous and loving labour of Ml J. R.Rendell and Ml 1. Tansley. The Introduction, writtenby the latter, was carefully read in proof both by myself andmy friend Professor Silvanus P. Thompson, D.Sc., F.R.S., and1 wish to acknowledge the courtesy with which the authoradopted most of the numerous suggestions and criticisms wemade; though the responsibility for the opinions expressedrests, of course, solely with the author. Those who may read this translation of the Principia mustremember that Swedenborg lived at a time when many of thenow recognized branches of science had no existence, and thewhole of experimental science was then an almost untroddenfield. Swedenborgs Principia, wit.h its archaic expressions and v
  4. 4. VI FOREWORD.obsolete farms of thought, its deductive and often erroneousreasoning, marks the transition from the old to the new.Swedenborg, thollgh profoundly influenced by the then newschool of Cartesian philosophy, which liberated the mind fromthe fetters imposed by. theologians, was nevertheless in manyrespects in advance of Descartes. This is strikingly shown inhis adumbrution of the nebular hypothesis which Laplace gaveto the world a century later. As l have said elsewhere 1 Descartes philosophy, moreover,led to dualism-to an unbridgeable gulf between mind andmatter, between Nature and Spirit, between the finite andthe Infinite. Swedenborg saw this, as Leibnitz did fifty yearsearlier. Leibnitz delived aB matter from infinitely minutepoints or 11wnads, each of which mirrored a phase of theuniverse, of the mind of God, between whom and the sum ofcreated 1nonads, which made up nature, Leibnitz held thereexisted a pre-established harmony. In some respects Swedenborgs conception of the physicaluniverse resembles that of Leibnitz, whose writings he hadstudied, though he did not adopt the theory of pre-establishedharmony. But Swedenborgs view of the origin of matterthough overlaid with complexities and faBacious ideas~ is morelike that to which science is tenàing at the present day. Heconceived aB matter as ultimately derived from what he telms" natural points "-which are, as it were, intermediate betweenthe finite and the infinite. From the varied aggregation andmotion of these points and their derivatives, he believed thephysicia.l universe Vas built up according to mechanical andgeometrical laws. In his P1incipia he points out how therapid motion of a minute, corpuscle can generate a line, andthe line an area, and the area a solid, and he goes on to say"a corpusclè thus moving can represent by its celerity anddirection something which previously had no existence, andwhich is quite different from the corpuscle itself: and it isevery Vay a figure, so far as our senses are concell1ed, although l ContC7npOICtr!/ Review, July 1912.
  5. 5. F.OREWORD. Vit"it is merèly motion which produces the effect, or by means ofmotion form is fixed." In the physical point Swedenborg, like Leibnitz, assertsthat aH fini te things are latent; the macrocosm is bidden in themicrocosm. In fact, some years later in his ATccma Cœlestiahe says: "The Deity is in each single thing, and this evento such an extent that there is in it a representation ofthe Eternal and Infinite. From this influx arises effort,from effort force, and from force the effect." This may corneto be the orthodox view of science-for nature is the unfold­ing and indweHing of the inscrutable creative thought ofGod. Swedenborg, in fact, considers the origin of matter to beinfinitely minute centres of fune which fill aH space, and thushe approaches the views advanced sorne thirty years later bythe Italian philosopher Boscovich. The great name ofFaraday is associated Vith much the same opinion, for heremarks: "Matter must fill aH space, or at least all space towhich gravitation ex tends, for gravitation is a property ofmàtter dependent on a certain force, and it is this force whichconstitutes matter." Science at the present day is tendingto the same view, for the once universal belief in eternalimmutable atoms, scattered in various states of aggregationthrough empty space, has been replaced by conge ries ofinfinitely minute swiftly moving electrons; which appearagain to be reducible to physical points, or centres of electricforce filling aH space, from the motion of which the funda­ mental properties of matter may eventually be deduced. Ml F. V. Very remarks in his able papel, given in Appendix A, that Swedenborg conceived of the existence of a vortex-atom, which we have been accustomed ta associate with modern ideas; but as Ml Very points out, "while the first conception of elementary particles, formed by vortical motion of a sort, is attributable to Swedenborg, he has failed to hit upon the most probable form of this motion, as far as we are able to judge from present information."
  6. 6. viii FOREWORD. The first part of the PrincipiCl with its elaborate discussionof the authora theory of the sub-division and modes of motionof material entities, and the strange terms he employs­Finites, Actives, and Elementaries-together with the seriesof Elements he derives from his fivefold series of finites andactives-the first or Universal Element, the second orMagnetic Element, the third or Ethereal Element and theÊourth or Aërial Element-aU this will repel, or excite asmile, in the scientific reader. Swedenborg himself appearedto realize this as seen in the first paragraph of the Prefaceto his work. But in spite of much that we may dismiss inthe light of modern knowledge, there runs throughout thewhole work not only the true scientific spirit of an earnestseeker after truth, but a conception of the constitution ofmatter and of the structure of the universe, which may beregarded, as Mr Very remarks, "as a first daring venture intothe unknown and as the pointing out of a new road which isnow being travelled in chemistry and physics with increasingsurety that the goal is in sight." Swedenborg unfortunately does not appear to have studiedBacons NOVUrl1 OrgClnon, published more than a century before he wrote his Principia; had he done so, and freed his mind from the errors of the Aristotelian and deductive philosophy which fettered scientific inquiry in his day, there can belittle doubt that his learning and industry would have given him a high place in the history of science. As it is, his name does not even appear in the admirable chronology of physical and mathematical science compiled by Baden Powell in his History of Natuml Philosophy. The error which led ancient philosophers to argue that the circle is the most perfect of figures, that the heavenly bodies are perf8ct, and therefolC their movements must ail be performed in exact circles and with uniform motions, we find vitiating Swedenborgs reasonings. Even when the observation of the motions of the planets demonstrated that their orbits were not circular, instead of doubting the principle, as Sir John
  7. 7. FOREWORD. IXHerschel remarks, "they saw no better way of getting out ofthe cli ffi culty than by having recourse to endless combinationsof circular motions to preserve their ideal of perfection."In like manner we find Swedenborg saying in his Principia,vol. i. p. 115, that from a pTiori principles the figure of themotion of the simple will be admitted to be absolutely perfect," and the only figure which has this degree of perfection isthe circular; and if the figure of motion is conceived as beingin space then no other can be conceived than the absolutelyperfect spiral." Hence he becomes almost obsessed with theidea of spiral motion. This is well discussecl by Mr Very inAppendix A, who, in reference to Swedenborgs Cosmology,remarks on p. 626, that "it is evident that Swedenborg isstill following Descartes, and though improving on the latterscorpuscular theories, Swedenborg has failed to grasp thesnpreme significance of Keplers first law. The ellipticity ofthe planetary orbits, with the sun at one focus, instead of at thecentre, was the great fact of nature whichoverthrew theCartesiandoctrine," and with it much of Swedenborgs reasoning. Nevertheless, Swedenborg does accept Keplers first law,i.e., that the orbit of a planet is an ellipse of which the sunis in one focus, for when speaking of "magnetic spheres," he says: "This is observable in the large vortex of the sun, where the plauets describe ellipses round their centre or sun,in one focus of which the sun is situated." - Principia, vol. i. p. 256. The second part of the Principict deals with magnetism, and is chiefly occupied with a transcript of Muschenbroeks experiments on magnetism. Whilst we may dismiss Sweden­ borgs idea of a magnetic element and magnetic spheres, we find a remarkable prevision of the molecular structure of a magnet. "Magnetism," Swedenborg remarks, "consists only in the regular arrangement of the minutest parts of the magnet ; ­ "Indeed, what proof could be plainer than the one derived from ironfilings sprinkled round a magnet, which in a continuous !ine follow the
  8. 8. x FOREWORD.course of the magnetism and dispose themselves into the same situationand path as the smallest parts of the iron; and if we eould see the latterwith the help of lenses or with the naked eye, they would be seen tn bearranged in a similar manner. In filings, therefore, we see the effigy ofthe parts in the iron which are bought into a regular arder at the will ofthe magnet. If we could artificially combine steel dusl inta a solid lllassand move the magnet over it, we shollld have oeular proof that every atollltook up that position, which the smallest parts of the iron assume whenrubbed ; that is ta say, a reglllar arrangemen t. If this arrangement of theparts of the iron be disturbed either by too freqnent bendings or by taohard blows, or by fire, then the iron immediately divests itself of itsmagnetism and assumes its original character." All this might have been written by a student of thepresent day and is perfectly correct. In chapter i. of the second part of the P1incipia Sweden­borg admirably depicts the molecular arrangement of ironbefore and after magnetization, and also the lines of forcearound a magnet, or between magnets with similar or oppositepoles juxtaposed. These llImerOUs drawings show that hemust carefully have studied the curves formed by fine ironfilings sprinkled on a surface placed above the magnets. Thoughelectro-magnetism was unknown until long after, his repre­sentation of right and left handed spires round a magnet lookvery like electro-magnetic solenoids. Again, Swedenborg regarded heat and also light as producedby the" tremulation" of the minute parts of bodies and headopted the undulatory theory of light in a continuousmedium-the ether. This was the theory propounded byHuygens a little prior to Swedenborg, although the authorityof Newton and his corpuscular hypothesis long delayed thegeneral acceptance of the wave theOly of the propagation oflight. It is not necessary to dwell on Swedenborgs system ofCosmology contained in the third part of his Plincipùt, as thishas been discussed and some of Swedenborgs remarkable anticipations of modern views set forth by Prof. Arrhenius in his introduction to the Principict, already referred to. In part II. Swedenborg gives a painstaking calculation and forecast
  9. 9. FOREWORD. XI of the magnetic declillation in Paris-that is the angle enclosed between the geographical and magnetic meridian­ for 200 years in advance of his time. Unfortlll1ately the data upon which he based his calculations were then too few to enable such a forecast to be made, and accordingly, instead 0 of the declination being 36 east in the present year, as Swedenborg calculates, it is less than half this to the west. Swedenborg was, however, correct in his assumption of the rotation of the N. magnetic pole around the N. geographical pole, but the rate of this secular change was incorrectly cal­culated, although his theory and observation agreed up to the time when he wrote. One of the most interestilJg and striking chapters in thePrincipia is that entitled "The Diversity of Worlds," vol. ii. p. 162 et seq. Here it will be seen how complctely Sweden­borg has emancipated himself hom the narrow and iutoleranttheology of his own day (and long after) that regarded theBible as the only recognized authority on science, anddenounced as heletical any theory of the cosmos which didnot agree with the literaI interpretation of the Biblicai storyof creation. So far from conforming to any restricted andgeocentric conception of the universe, he levels in the thollghtof the immensity and the mystery of creation, and exclaims," How many myriads of heavens, therefore, may thele not be,how many myriads of world systems." W orlds, indeed, maywax and wane, "the coming into existence of infant heavensand earths is possible, when others are beginning to becomeold and fall into decay." Then he contemplates the vastsuccession of changes throllgh which the world has passedbefore arri ving at its present state; nevertheless, he says," in each elementary particle we see the whole process of itscreation evident and manifest, resembling the worlel, both asit exists anel sllbsists." The law of continuity, he insists,luns throughout the universe, whether in the mole cules ofmatter or in stellal systems, whether in the present life or inthe life beyond the grave.
  10. 10. XII FOREWORD. But although the universe is based upon a common plan,yet he remarks, "how great is the extent of our ignorance.Everyone measures his wisdom by his understanding of thosethings with which he is acquainted. The limit of his owninformation he considers to be the limit of aIl that is attain­able, for he is ignorant of aIl else. The bounds of his know­ledge are the bounds of his wisdom." But, he continues,there is no limit to the extent of our ignorance, "There is nota particle in our globe with the thousandth part of whosenature we are acquainted. In the mineraI, vegetable, andanimal kingdoms, what we know is nothing compared to whatwe have yet to learn; for the soul [the intellect] knows nothingof those things which the senses do not perceive." Andyet the spirit of arrogance and self-sufficiency is not unknowllamong scientific men of the present day. In his Conclusion to the Plincipia, p. 289 et seq., Sweden­borg gives a summary of his philosophy of nature, and he addsnoble words tbat were characteristic of his whole life, viz.,that it was a matter of indifference to him whether he wonpraise or censure, for he desired neither renown nor popularity,but was actuated solely by the love of truth. He has no wish,he tells us, to oppose those who impugn his statements, but ifhe sbould perchance win the assent or approbation of othershe will receive it as an indication that he has pursued the truth.The future, he adds, will show whether hill system of philos­ophy is in agreement with the phenomena of nature and, ifso, assent in due time will follow. This is the true spirit of science, and illustrates whatSir John Herschel so weIl said, that" humility of pretension,no less than confidence of hope, is what best becomes thecharacter of the true philosopher."
  11. 11. INTRODUCTION ,1EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, the author of the present work, wasborn at Stockholm, on the 29th of January 1688, his fatherbeing Bishop of Skara, of West Gothland. Swedenborg waslittle, if at all, influenced by the narrow dogmatic theologyof the period; the bent of his mind was scientific; and veryearly in his life he gave evidences of quite an unusuallove of experiment and observation in the natural andphysical sciences; a fact clearly shovn in his correspondence;dating from 1709 to 1726. The fact that he invented anew form of air pump, which Professor Silvanus P. Thompsonsays was the first mercurial air pump, and an effectiveinstrument, gave suggestions for a submarine, and drew arough plan of a flying machine, showed the activity of hismind, and promised well for the future work of this restlessyoung genius. On the conclusion of his University career at Upsala hetravelled abroad. In England he met with Flamsteed, thedistinguished astronomer, made the acquaintance of Halley,and picked up all the knowledge of men and things that hecouId. Although there is no evidence that he ever met~ewton, yet he Vas a diligent and appreciative student ofhis Principia. He edited at Upsala, 1716 and 171 7, theDaedalus Hyperboreus,2 the earliest scientific magazine publishedin Sweden. As assessor of the College of Mines he made anextensive collection of observations on metals and smelting 1 The writer has to thank Professor Sir IV. F. Barrctt, F. R.S., and ProfessorSilvanus P. Thompson, D.Sc., l".R.S., for their kindness in reading the proofsof this Introduction and for tbeir valuahle snRgestions and criticisms. 2 Recently reprodnced in facsimie by Upsala University. xiii
  12. 12. xiv INTRODUCTION. processes, during a prolonged visit to Germany, and published the results of his observations at Dresden and Leipsic (1734) in three folio volumes, entitled, Opera Philosophica et J.11ineralic~, which are elaborately and profusely illustrated; the present worle being the first of these three volumes. This costly publication was printed at the expense of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Although geology as a distinct science had not taken shape in Swedenborgs day, yet he worked in this field with considerable industry and care, and wrote much on the subject. Professor Nathorst remarks "that Lhe contributions of Swedenborg and Linnœus in the geologicalfield have been less valued than they deserve is withoutdoubt due to this, that their fame in other fields was sogreat, that what they produced in geology in comparisontherewith seems relatively unimportant, and has therefore beenmuch overlooked." 1 His correspondence shows how closel)and widely he had investigated and taken note of the naturalformation and structure of Sweden, his native country. But there Vas a speculative tendency in his nature whichinstinctively led him to enter another field of thought,whither he was probably urged by an important controversywhich agitated his own University. The celebrated Descarteswas invited to Sweden in the early months of 1649 byQueen Christina. The University was then under the swayof the prevalent theology and scholastic philosophy; thesewere regularly taught, and without question. Aristotleswritings formed the text-book of the school~, al ways studiedwith the direct intent of confirming the dogmatic andprejudiced teachings of the church. But the coming of RenéDescartes introduced a contentious clement; for the priestsin session at Stockholm complained that Cartesianism hadentered the University. "But the discussion which arose,"says a writer, "was not so much concerning the limitations tobe imposed upon the leaders of the dawning natural sciences, 1 See Emanuel Swedenborg, Geologica et Epistolae. Introduction by Prof.Alfred G. Nathorst, Supcrintendent, State iruseum:for Fossil Plants, Stockholm.
  13. 13. IN TRODUCTION. xv who, basing themselves upon experiments and the principlesof Descartes, were demonstrating the laws of nature from itsown phenomena, thus destroying the structures of Aristotelian Scholasticism not only in the field of the natural sciences, buteven in that of theology itself, thus endangering religion." 1 This controversy was at its height about the time of Swedenborgs birth; but Cartesianism triurnphed over the ecclesiastical forces ranged against it, one of the results being greater freedom of thought, and the consequent awakening of a llew scientific spirit. In 1710 the first scientific society in Sweden was established, which included Swedenborg among its members. Into thls clearer and scientific atmo- sphere, then, this remarkable genius was born. But great as was the influence of Cartesianism, Swedenborgs mind was not one to be seriously affected by opinion; he was an original thinker. It ii) certain, from his early correspondence that he was particularly interested in practical astronorny; and there is evidence that his mind soon began to dwell on cosmological questions. There are no details clearly indicating how his speculations came to assume their final form as con- tained in The P?incipin; but it is certain that he was.acquainted with the cosll1ology of Descartes and the philo- sophy of Leibnitz; beyond that there is little to guide us in our investigations. That he had made extensive preparation before finally publishing his thoughts is clear from the existence in MS. of an earlier work} in which he entered into a careful and elaborate study of the problems of which he attempted an ultimate solution in the later treatise. And we wonld remark here tbat aIl the evidence goes to show that Swedenborg possessed a remarkable power of generalization, and that with this there Vas allied an active scientific imagination, an essential attribute of an investigator, as Professor Tyndall long ago felicitously remarked. In the 1 See The Cartesian Controversy at [lpsala, 1663-1689, by Alfred H.Stroh, ~I.A. 2 See The iJlinor Principùt at the end of vol. ii. of the present work.
  14. 14. XVI INTRODUCTION. exercise of this facnlty in cosmological speculation he endeavonred to work out a theory of origins both daring and unique. Ris reasoning proceeds along lines never before attempted, we believe, by any writer, his main purpose being to pro pound a theory of the evolution of our planetary system. The detaif:; of the arguments which he uses in leading up to this ultimate issue are often invol ved in considerablé obscurity ; but while mathematical analysis may find many weak links in his chain of reasoning, showing that he is some­ times lost in the maze of his own the ory, yet it will be shown hereafter that sorne of his anticipations of modern ideas are, at least, remarkable. But no theory is ever given to the world so complete as to be invulnerable. Darwins great generaliza­ tions have presented many weak points; and have been con· siderably modified by subsequent investigations. The theory of matter which held the scientific field up till recently, and.appeared to be supported by aIl the resources of chemical and mathematical analysis, has been relegated to the domain of scientific history, while the theory of an all-pervading ether, involves almost insuperable difficulties in framing a concep­ tion of its nature. But, nevertheless, it still holds that great generalizations form epochs in the ad vance of scientific ideas. As a writer says, "Science lives on facts, but it has always been great generalizations which have given them birth." 1 In the case of Swedenborgs theory, the facts which he had to work upon were necessarily few. Exact experimental pro­ cedure was little known in his day; but a mere collection of facts without the genius for seeing their connection could never advance science in any way. It is men like Kepler, Newton and Faraday, with little material to their hands, but with the power to see the correlation of phenomena, who have given great and permanent generalizations to the world. Several instances might be adduced to prove that Swede~borg had the scientific spirit for interpreting facts brought together by himself and other investigators. It l Dr Gustave Le Bon, The Bvolution of il/alter, p. 318.
  15. 15. INTRODUCTION. XVIImay be sufficieut to refer to his theory of the functionsof the brain, aud his explanatiou of the functions of theductless glands. Professor N euburger, 1 in a paper dealingwith Swedenborg and Modern Physiologists, says: "It wouldlead me too far were l to show in detail how earlySwedenborg iu these questions approached the present ideas,and how advancing science is beginning just now to verifymany of his theses in a snrprising manner." "He was thefirst," he continues, "to assign definitively the higherpsychical fnnctions and the perception of the senses to thegrey substance of the brain; he taught in harmany withmodern science that the varions motor functiolls have eachtheir special localization in the cortex eerebri, and so farth." ZAnd D. Goyder, M.D., of the Bradforà Infirmery, in a paper,read before the International Swedenborg Congress, on theDuctless Glands, says: "Swedenborg by his wonderful de­ductions anticipated many of the pre-eminent offices of theseductless glands which the medical profession of to-day areonly beginning to discover." Our purpose in calling attention to these points is tüprepare the reader to follow Swedenborg when he takeshim iuto a region of thonght which seems to have beenpeculiarly his own. His speculations lead him to consider thequestion of origins. Whatever may have been the influenceof Oartesianism upon Swedenborgs thought he certainlygoes beyond Descartes, and, in a measure, appears to bemoving in the atmosphere of ancient philosophers a For thisquestion of the origin of things, the" whence ? " and" why ? "engaged the attention and absorbed the thOllght of earlyGreek thinkers. These men endeavoured to solve theproblem of the mystery of matter. The earliest Greekphilosopher of whom we have record who tried to read theinner history of phenomena was lhales (640-550 B.e.). He l Professor of the History of Medicine, Vienna University. 2 See lhe Tmnsadions of the Intcl1wtional Swedenborg Congnss, pp. 123,124. 3 Sec his Econmny of the Animal Kingdom, vol. ii. n. 591,605. b
  16. 16. xviii INTRODUCTION.saw in water the origin of the life and change manifested inthe visible wodd. The Pythagoreans thought that the ex­planation of the wOlld must be based, not on qualitative, butquantitative grounds. The Eleatics, who had al1l0ng themsorne very keen reasoners, were practically monists; theyendeavoured " to rednce the manifold of existp,nce to a simpleultimate principle." 1 They sought an ultimate ground ofongllls. Melissus of Samos (cina 400 R.e.) reasoned in away which shows very elear/y how keenly men were inter­esting themflelvefl ill the eternal questions "V hence ?" and"why?" "If anything is," he says, "then it has either becomeor is eternal. In the former cafle, it must have arisen eitherfrom heing or from non-being. But nothing can come fromnon-being; and being cannot have arisell [rom being, for thenthere mllst have been being, before being came to be. Hencebeing did not become, it hence also is eternal." 2 Anaxagoras(b. 500 Re.) saw that to postulate an eternal ground of things,àpX~, as Anaxirnander did, withont a principle of explanation,V hy, ont of this àpX~, the phenomena of the Vorld arose, wasphilosophically unsatisfactory. He, therefore, assumed aspiritual force which he called vouç, which set up movementin the inert maSfl of things in the form of a vortex. Thiswas a distinct advance ; and the notion of a vortex or whirlingmovement was destined to be perpetuated long aftel the timeof its originator. It is interesting to observe hele the genesisof the idea of motion as acconnting for change and becoming,which has oeen so elaborated in the course and process ofthinking that it now forms the basis of modern molecnlarphysics. Democritus the atomist carried the method of interpretingthe universe farther than Anaxagoras, and introdnced theprinciple of differentiation. He couflidered primaI matter toconsist of atoms. Mendeléef puts his position as f01l0ws:" The atOllS, which are infinite in Humber and form, constitutl l Sehwegler, History of Phûosophy, p. 15. 2 Ueberweg, Histmy of Philosophy, vol. i. p. 59.
  17. 17. INTRODUCTION. XIXthe visible uuiverse by their motion, impact, and consequentrevolving motion. The variety of objects depends only on a·difference in the number, form, and order of the atoms of which they are formed, and not upon a qualitative difference of thcil atoms." 1 These remarkable propositions were pmcly intuitive conc.:eptions; experimental science being unknown in the fifth celltnry B.e. wheu Demoeritus wrote; but they are an extraordinary anticipation of the general prineiples on whieh rnoleeular physics was based, until reeently. No single philosopher has ever enuneiated a prillciple so fundamental, and so far reaehing in its effect upon the thinking consideration of things. It was lcft to Lucretius, who lived iu the days of Cicero and Cœsar, to elaborate, amplify and extenc1 the prineiples of Demoeritus. He saw that matter was in constant movernent. "He actuaUy anticipated," Bays a writer, "the modem seientifie and philosophie theory wllich reduces aU material phenomcna to motion, or to mass and motion." 2 We have then, so far, two fundamen tal points established hy these gleat thinkers, matter and motion. Practieally no advanee heyond this position had been made except in the elaboratiou of these concepts by the resources of modern experimental science and mathcmatics, until the coming of what has been termed the " new knowledge," which, while retaining the idea of motion, has reconstructed the concept of mattcr. We have gone at some length into this subject beeause it seems nccessary to understand this early phase of iuteUectual development and its bearing upon modern thought; for practicaUy the position is still this, that two things are definitely postulated-a primai matter, and motion or energy intimately assoeiated with it. We would, then, in this eonneetion, remark that while Swedenborg was undoubtedly aequainted with Cartesian eosmological physies, he was, douhtless, perfeetly familial with l Qllotcd by Ronald Co.mpbell Macfic, M.A., i1l8cience, Matter and Imnwrlality, p. 13. 2 Ibid. p. 24.
  18. 18. xx INTRODUCTION.the views of the Greek philosophers and the atomic theoriesof Lucretius. 1 In Descartes he would find ancient groundworked over and some new conceptions imported into the same.But what René Descartes meant by matter it is not easy to see.U eberweg says that "he attributes to matter nothing butextension and modes of extension, no internaI states, no forces;pressure and impulsion must suffice for the explanation of a11material phenomena." 2 But the fo11owing words seem to takeus no fartlter in thought than the Greek notion of a mnte?,ia;p?ima. "Let us suppose, then, if you will," says Descartes,"that God divided at the beginning a11 the matter of which hehas formec1 the visible world into parts as equal as possible." 3He fnrther supposed that these material particles knockedtheir corners off by striking one against another, so that theybecame perfectly round and transparent; these were ca11ed" particles of the second kind." Out of the knocked-off cornersthere was formed a fine dust of "particles of the first kind,"which formed the fixed stars, and so on. Professor Arrhenius,4who condenses Descartes views as above, and says that hewithout doubt exercised the greatest influence upon Sweden­borgs views, seems to us to be quite mistaken when heremarks that in Swedenborgs work no other change is madein these conditions than that the number of particles isincreased and an attempt made to derive a11 of them from themathernatical point. 5 However, we are not sorry that ProfessorArrhenius has stated his view of Descartes theory, as it willenable the reader to see that, whatever the influence of thisphilosopher upon Swedenborgs thought, he nevertheless cutout a course for himself. But even if this " matter " is to be taken as gi ven in concep­tion, the question of origins still remains where it was. Having 1 See The Jj}cono1nY of thc Anim.al Kingd01n, "01. ii. n. 605. 2 His/mY of Philosophy, vol. iL p. 52. J. B. Stallo, Oonccpts of JlIoclcrn Physics,.p. 228. 3 Principlcs of Phitosophy, part iii. p. 143. 4 Principal of the Nobel Institnte for Physical Chemistry, Stockholm. • Sec Latin reprints, vii. CosmologicCi, Introduction by Svante Arrhenius, p. xxv.
  19. 19. INTRODUCTION. XXIpractically taken over one principle of ancient philosophy­primal matter, modified in idea by its association with theInfinite, Descartes also took over the complementary idea ofmotion, and enunciates the fundamental physical principlethat "all variations of matter, or all diversity of its forms,depend on motion." 1 But in this he did not advance muchbeyond Lucretius. Subsequent thinkers also, Thomas Hobbes,the philosopher, Leibnitz, Huygens, and Newton, all arguedfor a mechanical intelpretation of the universe; on theprinciple of movement alone could nature be explained. Andthe same principle characterizes the latest phase of modernmolecular physics. Swedenborg, then, was quite familial withthis doctrine, made it the basis of his own theory oforigins, and worked it out minutely in application to his ownsystem. He found the principle stated by :Musschenbroek, aDutch scientist, who was the first to publish a comprehensivetreatise on physics, and who said, "no change is induced inbodies whose cause is not motion." It may be interestingto guote the exact words of this writer in order to show,by subsequent comparison, that Swedenborg must have care­fully studied this ,vode. His words are: "Nulla autemcorporibus inducitur mutatio, cujus causa non fuerit motus,sive excitatus, sive minutus, aut suffocatus; omne enimincrementum vel decrementum, generatio, corruptio, velqualis cumque alteratio, qUŒ in corporibus contingit, a motupendet." 2 A quotation from Swedenborg will show that his view ofthe fundamental importance of motion was practicallyidentical with that of Musschenbroek. "Rational philosophy,"he says, "will Ilot admit that anything can be, or exist withoutft mode; and since a mode in limited, finite, or in physicalthings consists solely in the variation of limits, it thereforefollows that nothing can exist without motion. Whatever is ) Descartes, P1inâples ~f Philosophy, ii. 23. 2 P. v. JIusschenbroek, IlltIod. ad Philos. naturalern, vol. i. cap. l, § 18 (puù­lished li26). See note on Musschenbroek in Appendix B.
  20. 20. XXII INTRODUCTION. c1evoid of motion, re11lains sueh as it is; whatevel is at lest, produces nothing. If ûnything is to be produced, it must be produced by ft mode or by motioll ; if anything is to be changec1, it must be changed bya mode or by motion; whatever comes to pass does so by a mode that is, in physics, by motion. Nithout motion or change of place, or more generally, with­out a change of statc, no new existence, no product, no coming to pass can be conceivec1, that is, nothing is capable of existenceor change, except by motion." 1 Swedenborg, then, worked ove1 the idea of motion 1111ndeddown by his predecessors and applied it, as we shall see, in hisown way to his own theory; indeed, the C[notation jUBt givenmight almost stand as a setting forth of the func1amentalposition of modern physics. Dut while aùopting thisprinciple, as he was bonnd to do, he took np an entirelynew attitude in regard 1.0 the qnestion of a 17uttel"iaprima, the undifferentiatecl, from which has come byvarious proccsses of division and composition the cOlllplexmaterial of nature. 10 solve the mystery of the primai substance has alwaysbeen a faseinating and attractive study. And so the efforts ofchernists are directec1 towarcls the simplification of concep­tions and the tracking clown of what seems highly complex 1.0sorne simple non-complex material from which ail things arecomponnded. Ml. W. C. D. vVhctham, in a historieal refercnceto the evolution of matter, says, "Ntvertheless, throughout theseyears, on the whole sa unfavourable ta its existence, therepersistecl the idea of a eommon origin of the distinct kinds ofmatter known 1.0 cbemists. l ndeed, this idea of unity insubstance in nature seems to accord with s011le innate clesireor intimate structure of the human mind." And he continues:"As Ml Arthur Balfour weil puts it, there is no a prioTireason that l know of for expecting that thc material worldshould be a modification of a single medium, rather than acomposite structure built out of sixtYor seventy elementalY sub­ l 1h e Principia, vol. i. p. 55.
  21. 21. fNTRODUCTI01V. XXlllstances eternal and eternally different. ",Vhy, then, should wefeel content with the first hypothesis and not with the second?Yet so it is. Men of science have al ways been lestive underthe Illultiplication of entities. They have eagerly watched forany sign that the different chemical elements own a COIlllllonorigin, and are aIl compounded out of some primordial su b­stance." l Scientific men acting on the belief expressedin the above words have been enc!eavonring to prove byresearch and experiment what they believed à priori to bethe case. N ow Swedenborg, anticipating ",Volff in his work, Oos­molo,Cjù( Genelalis, hac1 a clear perception of the question oEa materùi p11:ma, although he was Ilot, of course, able to proveits existence, or even approximately do so, by experiment.But philosophical insight may have a prevision of results thatare afterwards substantiated. The following words from TheEconomy of the An~irnal Kinr;clom, a worIe published later thanThe PT1:ne~ipia, shows, at least, a remarka ble forecast of whatis now in course of being full Y estab1ished by experimenta1science. "The primary substance of the world," he says, " isthe on1y one which does Hot cOIlle within the understanding asdifferentiated. From this, as from the tlrst determining sub­stance, or the substantia prima, proceed aIl the lest as seriesor discretions. Thus, whithersoever we turn our attention,a11 things we become acquainted with are on1y discretionsoriginating in the primary substance." 2 Consequent1y thissu-estantici prima, he says, "This primarT substance of themundane system is the most universal of substances, becausethe on1y one in compound substances." 3 vVe shall haveocc41sion to refer to this proposition later in fo11owing out thedeve10pmen t of his theory. U p to recent tirnes the conception of Democritus,although gi ven to the world many centuries ago, were 1 Paper on the Evolution of Matter, by W. C. D. Whelham, M.A., F.R.S., inDaTwin and llfodeTn Science, p. 566. Cambridge University Press. 2 Vol. ii. p. s. 3 Ibid. p. 25.
  22. 22. xxiv INTRODUCTION.eurrent in the scientific world; although the main idea hasbeen, of course, subject to variation in the course of philosophiespeculation. Descartes, although introducing certain modifica­tions, held that "the matter which exists in the world iseverywhere one and the same." 1 Newton does not appear tohave held precisely this view, but the following words showthat he did not attempt to go behind an original substance." It seems probable," hesays, "that God in the beginning formedmatter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable movable particlesof such sizes and figmes, and with such other ploperties andin such proportion to space as most conduced to the end forwhich he formed them." 2 Herbert Spencer held the viewthat properties of bodies result from the variety in arrange­ment of an original discreted material. " The properties of thedifferent elements," he says, "result from differences of arrange­ment by the compounding and recompounding of ultimatehomogeneous units." 3 lhese, out of numerous opinions, suffi­ciently prove our contention expressed above, that up to thetime of those writers little change had taken place since theviews of Democritus were given to the world. But the mysteryof the origin of matter still remains where it was. lhatthere is a desire to fathom this mystery is clear to anyoneacquainted with the strivings of philosophy to get behindmatter. Even the title of an article indicates the trend ofthought in this direction, such as " The Evolution of Matter,"by Ml. W. C. D. Whetham, M.A., F.R.S., in the series ofmonographs forming the Cambridge centenary volume, DanDinand Modern Science. For the human mind will not lestsatisfied with efïects; it desires to find out causes. Seeingquite clearly that particular phenomena can be traced to somedefinite cause, the mind wants to know what is the cause ofthe collective whole. "If a cause is needed for a finite series,"it feels that the cause is " equally needed for an infinite series." 4 1 "Materia itaque in toto nnivcrso una et cadem existit," Prin. Phil. ii. 23. 2 Opticks, fourth cd., p. 375. 3 Contemporary Review, June 1872. " H. M. Gwatkin, r.-I.A., The Knau:ledge af Gad, vol. i. p. 17.
  23. 23. INTRODUCTION. xxvThe scientist may profess that he is not concerned withultimate origins ut aU; but if he is endeavouring to trace theevolution of matter he is unmistakably trying to get behindthe ?ncdeTia pTimCl to find out how it has come to be what it nowis. Already there are evidences that the new spirit in scienceis leading men away from the old inconsistent and illogicalmaterialism and inducing the best millds in the scientificworld to seek for a more intelligent interpretation of theuniverse. Science and philosophy are not 1l0W so antagonisticas formerly. Philosophy makes use of the new materialprovided by science, and science is breathing a morephilosophical atmosphere. Science, which is mainly con­cerned with the perceptual, enters into the domain of theconceptual when formulating and discussing its theories.This fact is too frequently overlooked by scientists. Theymay not be concerned about it; but they are logicallyinvolved in its toils. Professor Karl Pearson has dealt verycleverly with this point. "Ether," he says, " is a conceptionrather than a perception. Hertz experiments, for example, donot seem to me to have specially demonstrated the perceptualexistence of the ether, but to have immensely increased thevalidity of the scientific concept ether by showing that awiàer range of perceptual expelience may be desclibed interms of it> than had hitherto been demonstrated byexperiment." 1 lnto this conceptnal region the reader of The PTincipiawill find then that Swedenborg fearlessly takes him. But hewill also find that he is by no means unmindful of theimportance of the perceptual; for in the first chapter, writingon "The means leading to true philosophy," he regardsexperience, mathematics, and reasoning as of the first import­ance. And in developing his theory of the magnet headduces a vast body of evidence from the experiments ofMusschenbroek. Swedenborg here, however, entelS a specu­lative region in which hypothesis could hardly be followed up 1 The Gramma1 of Science, p. 214. Contemporary Science Series.
  24. 24. XXVI INTRODUCTION.by experiment; but his hypothesis was to lead up to ailissue, which we hope to show later, has been confirmed bymodem research. His initial purpose, as we have said, isto trace the evolution of matter, to get behind the materiapri1na and find how it originated. A daring philosophicalatternpt, indeed, but, on that account, the more worthy ofcommendation. His mode of procedure is to postulate ac1efinite starting point without theological prejudice-theInfinite, the primary cause. « ""iVhat can be more self-con­tradictory," says a writer, "than the hypothesis of a chain ofcanses and effects, each link of which hangs on a precedinglink, wbile yet the whole chain hangs on nothing. Reason,therefore, itself points ns to the need of a first cause of theuniverse, who is at the same time a self-existing, necessary, Infinite Deing." 1 If the mind wishes to avoid the conceptionof an absolute origin it is landed in the dilemma of an eternal,self-existent, non-caused, materia pTùna from which the universe has been evolvec1. But this takes us into the regioll of the unknowable, cuts the ground frorn under manyscientific theories, and would stifte ail desire to pass beyond the domain of the perceptual into tbe region of the conceptual. Swedenborg postula,tes the Infinite, not with any theological end in view, not influenced by dogmatic prejudice, but with the freedom of a philosopher seeking to establish certain principles, and endeavouring ta reach a certain end. 10 quote his OWIl words," nothing tbat is finite can exist from itself, that is, without purpose and a cause. :For there must also be a reawn why it was finited in this way, and in no other; or why it has reaehed this limit, and no other. In other words, nothing ean exist without a cause save the Infinite . . . what is fini te, therefore, takes its origin frorn wbat is intinite, as an effect from a cause, and as a thing limited from what is in itself unlimited, yet having the power to limit aU other things." 2 And this Infinite is l Plofessor James Orr, Jhe Christian View of God, p. 96. 2 17~e Pri71cipia·, vol. i. p. 51.
  25. 25. INTROD UCTION. xx·iitotally inclusive, and also the absolllte and primary cause. The (CInfinite itself is the cause and origin of the whole finiteworle! and universe ; this Infinite is a unity in which greateror less can have no existence, and in which there aresimllltaneolisly aU things that ever can be." 1 The Infinite, then,instead of being absolllte, apart from, and having no relationto the uni verse, is intimately related thereto. But thedifficlllty encountered is the representation of this relation,the formation of a concept which, at the same time, embracesthe idea of transcene!ence ane! immanence; for the Infiniterelatively to the finite III ust be consie!ered negati vel.) andnon-quanLitavely, and as a higher order of being in whichthere are no limits or macles. The Infinite 1ll1lSt be conceiveclas imposing quantitative condit.ions upon the finite, itselfrcmaining eternally llnconditionccl. This conception is fUl1l1a­mental ta Swedcnborgs position, and he expresses himself asfollows: "Everything finite acknowlcdgcs a certain mode,by which it is what. it is and nothing else; a mode by whichit is of su ch a form and no other; a mode by whichit occllpies sucl! a space anù no oUler. Ina word aHfinite things are modified; allll thercfore they aCklll1vledgea mode prior to this modification, and accol"Cling to whichit takes place; they acknowledge also a time in whichthey are so moe!ified. Rence nothing il:; at once whatit can become except the Infinite. AIl finite thingsmust necessarily undergo different states successively; butnot so the Infinite. And thus we perceive that al! thingsexccpt the Infinite have their modification, but that in theInfinite there is no such thing as development, si11l1ly becauseRe is the first aud t.he original cause of aU moe!i fication." ZHaving stated this conception of the Infinite, Swedenborghas before him the problem of showing how the finiteconld arise from it, how matter subject to modification conldoriginate frOll1 that which is negative in this regard. Al­though tbis would seem to be an insn1erable 1roblem, yet Oll 1 lhe Principia, vol. ii. p. 151. 2 Ibid. vol. i. p. 53.
  26. 26. xxviii INTRODUCTION.the principle of relativity the finite implies the Infinite; thelimited theunlimited; the conditioned the unconditioned.But what is the nexus? How does the limited, the modi­fiable, arise from the non-llmited and the unmodifiable ? vVeare confronted with a similar problem in the antithesisbetween thought and brain substance. How does a materialimpression on nerve substance become a mental picture whichis capable at any moment of being represented, and yet hasnone of the qualities of matter? Yet there must be anexus betveen thought and matter, between the sequentand the antecedent. Though t corresponds so preciselyin its active relation to matter that a connection mustbe inferred unless the undemonstrable monistic positionbe assumed again. Now if Swedenborg fails, as it must beconfessed he does, to provic1e the material for the formation ofa definite concept, yet he makes a bold attempt to accountfor the derivation of the finite from the Infinite in a wayattempted by no other writer or philosopher. Ab initiathe Infinite is absolute and non-relative, for as yet thereis nothing to which it can come into relation. In it as theantecedent aU sequents are in potentin. "The Infinite," hesays, "is the cause and origin of the whole finite woriel and nniverse; this Infinite is a nnity in which there are simul­ taneously aU things that ever can be." 1 Either this condition,certainly profonndly difficnlt, must be granted or the quest must be abandoned. But he dic1 not abandon it; he foUows up sequents to the Infinite itself and finds in it the origin of motion, an internaI state or effort towards motion. "vVhen we lay down the position," he says, "that the first motion exists in the Infinite, it is absolutely necessary that such motion should be considered as pure and total." 2 Absolute motion then is the primary antecedent of aU sequents. vVhatever opinions may be held on the moot question of origins, there can be no doubt in the minds of those acquainted with modern results that all phenomena are 1 The PTincipict, vol. ii. p. 151. 2 Ibid. vol. i. p. 61.
  27. 27. INTRODUCTION. XXIXregarded as due to motion. And to such refinement hasthought upon the relation of motion to phenomena beencarried, that a concept of motion in relation to the constitu-tion of matter implies enormous velocities, and highlycomplex movements. The tendency of modern physics, aslong ago stated by Professor Huxley, is to reduce a11scientific problems to the motions of ultimate particlesof matter, and if a11 phenomella could be mathematicallyexpressed in terms of motion we should have a completeinterpretation of the universe. Swedenborg practica11ysays that motion is a synonym for nature. Keeping to hisposition of Infinite origins he says, "Nature is onl) a wordwhich expresses ail the motive forces proceeding from thefirst motion of the Infinite till the world was completed." 1 In the primary, infinite, absolute motion then a11 thingswere in potentict, as, analogously, a universe is potentially ina nebula. Fo11owing out bis postulate Swedenborg endeavoursto explain what is to be understood by ausolllte motion." How then," he asks, "are we to conceive of this purity andtotality in motion? Certainly in no other way, if geometrically and rationa11y understood, than as an in ternal state or effort toward motion. For if in the whole motion there are no steps in space, no moments in time, and thus no velocity, and if again there is nothing substantial as before observed, what else, according to human notions or idea, can result thence but effort. vVhen we understand space simply as it is, and consider motion as pure and apart from time, in such case the motion must be instantaneously present in every part of its own space: and thus it will he like effort itself: for in effort not only is motion everywhere present, but also its force and direction." 2 The reference which the author makes to effort makes his definition of absolute motion equivalent to state. Effort, as a matter of our experience, implies persistent motion in potentia. In effort we have no conception of velocity, but l The P1"inciJYia. The ~1cans leading to true Philosophy. 2 The P?inâpia, vol. i. p. 63.
  28. 28. xxx INTRODUCTION.that of a state capable of becoming kinetic in some self­representatiye, self-realizillg act. The concept of motion iscommonly associated with velocity, or of passing from place taplace; but potential motion as state" is the source of ail Ilself-realization as seen in the countless things made by humanhands. vVe are glad ta find sa distinguished a philosopher asHmmann Lotze takillg a sil1lilar view. Discussing motion hesays, " Still l feel that these doctrines [in rp,garcl ta l1lovement]are inadeqnate, as strongly as l am persuaded that they areeonect; they leave in obscurity a palticuJar point on which lwill not pretend to see more clearly than others. l t concernsthat transition of e, from one inner state ta another, which inacting on us produces for us the sel1lblance of a motion in c. Itmust of course be conceived as going on at times when it doesHot flct on us, or before it begins ta act on us; and at thosetimes it can be llothing but an innc? unspatial OCCU1TCiwe whichhas a ca7JClCity of appearing at sOIne late? time as motion in spaceby means oE that action upon us which it is fol the momentVithout," and again, It is certain!y my belief, though l wilillOt ilattempt a more definite proof, that mental life Vould presentinstances oE such a self-pelpetuating process, whic11 Vou Id cone­spond in their own Vay to the idea, extraordinary as it is thonghnot foreign to mechanics, oE a state of motion." 1 This lllightbe taken, Ve thillk, as a pretty fair expression of Swedel1bolgsposition in leference to alJsolute motion in the Infinite. But our anthors conception seClllS to be still further en­forceJ if we take effort as equivalent to will. For while it maybe contended that the Infinite is unknowable as not being com­mensurate with anything finite, yet agreeing with Schopenhauerthat in the uni verse there is " Will," we are bound to admitthat the finite will is anfllogous to the Infinite "Will as an efforttowards self-realization. But as the se1f·realization of finitewill in act implies end or purpose, so it is legitimute to inferfrom the evidences Eurnished on eye!y hand by science that 1 Hermann Lotze, System, of lhilosophy, J1letaphysics, n. 170. The italicsare ours.
  29. 29. INTRODUCTION. XXXIthe Infinite Will would realize itself in end or pmpose, in thegeneration of a uni verse, in which it would find itself realized,and self-reflected. It is true enough that the mechanical ornecessitalian evolutionist pretends to see neither method norpurpose in the process by which wc are assured an amœba,through countless ages, c1evelopcd into homo sapiens. But,assuming that this was the case, such plocess must bave takenplace along definite lines terminating in a definite organism.If this does not imply end or pllIP0se, then language musthave another meaning and the laws of logic must be a delusion.Either the universe in al! its details is merely fortuitous, or acontrolling, directi ve factor III ust he acknovledged to enter into the calculation. On this point Sir Oliver Lodge has the following: "Take the oligin of species by the pelsistence of favoulable variations," he says; "how is the appearance of these same favourable variations accounted for? Except by artificial selection not at aIl. Given their appearance, their development by struggle and inheritance, and survival can be explained; but that they arase spontaneously, by random change without pur pose, is an assertion which cannot be justihed. Does anyonü think that the skill of the beaver, the instinct of the bee, the genius of a man, arose by chance, and that its presence is accounted for by handing down and by survival ? vVhat struggle for existence will explain the advent of Beethoven? vVbat pitiflll necessity for earning a living as .a drarnatist will cduce for us a Shakespeare? Tbese things are beyond science of the orthodox type: then let it !Je silent _and den) nothing in the uni verse till it has at least made an honest effort ta comprehenc1 the whole." 1 This is a rebuke which c10gmatic scientists might take ta heart; for if chance has no place in the cosmos then we must assnme that there is a rational order in it, that it is a unity, that thcre is an adjustment of means to ends, that, on all the evidence, thought is behind phenomena and is indeed the necessary P1Ù1S ·of all else, as put by the late ProfessaI T. H. Green, of Oxford. 1 11lun und the Unive7se, p. 39.
  30. 30. XXXII INTRODUCTION. Motion reslllting in a universe and the subsequent cause of aIl its phenomena implies this p1ius, or we should be brought to the unthinkable position that aIl sueh motion is fortuitous, uneolltrolled, and undireeted. It is highly interesting to be able to quote Professor G. F. Fitzgerald, who very signifieantly uses words which completely support the above remarks. "What," he says, "is the inner aspect of motion? In the only places where ve can hope to answer that question, in our brains, the internaI aspect of motion is thought. Is it not reasonable to hold with the great and good Bishop Berkeley that thought underlies all motion." 1 We welcome these words because they state a principle a pTioTi, based on no positive experimental evidence, and yet expressiug an undoubted truth. We are glad to quote them, more especially because ProfessorFitzgerald, in a report on Swedenborgs PTincipia, drawn up by request of the Swedenborg Society, condemns Swedenborg because he bases his system on à, P?iOTi principles! As amatter of fact the words above quoted might be Swedenborgs.For "the internaI aspect" of Infinite "motion is thought."Effort or conatus in the Infinite seeking for realization coulddo so only because thought was the p1ius of such realization.We hale wri tten as above in order to take the reader anotherstep with Swedenborg in the working out of his principles. In an earlier work he developed his idea of motion inconsiderable detai!. This was a laborious preparation forThe PTincipia; this work he left in MS.; it has now beentranslated, and will be found under the title The .1}fin01P1ineipia, forming a part of volume II. of the present worleIn this essay he expresses himself perhaps a little more fullyon the primary question than in the later treatise; but hetakes over his main ideas with him in writing the pub­lished .York. Geometry or mathematics he regards as havinga similar origin. "Those who desire to semch out thematter," he says, "will find that natural philosophy andgeometry hae the saille origin. If according to our thesis, 1 Helmholtz jJ[emoiicû Leetuie.
  31. 31. INTRODUCTION. xxxiiithere is nothing in nature that is not geometrical, thenthe origin of nature and geometry must be acknowledgeclto be the same." l Argning, therefore, that from the llon­perceptual geometrical point, thc line, the area, and the solidare plOduced, he concludes that the primalY result of innnitemotion, effort or conntns realizing itself was a point. "We,therefore," he says, " carry our reasoning through these infinitiesup to a certain primarily existing entity or point. For we canonly define this point as having originated from iofinite motionin an infinitely small space; conseqnently from such infinitysomething definite existed, that is, the first natural point fromwh ich aIl other things derive their origin; and together wi ththis very point geometry, or nature bounded by geometricallaws, was born. This point seems to be something between theInfinite and the finite." 2 In Jhe P1ineipia, the later work, he remarks: "Thus does rational philosophy first acknow ledge something produced from the Infinite, and some simple as the oligin of entities notsimple. This first entity, or this simple, we call the natural point." 3 This point is the medium between the Infinite and the finite; it is llndifferentiated; it is pure and perfect motion, or effort toward motion, a centre of potential motion; energy in potentia. This is the primaIT result of the Infinite realizing itself. But it may be objected that this renders the origill of things no less incomprehensible than bef0re. But let it be born in mincI that Swedenborg, while endeavouring to trace matter to its origin, makes use of the principle of motion which, as we have previously pointed out, is the basis of modern conceptions in physics. And it may be further objected that the author takes us into the region of the unsubstantial. vVe would reply that in this he has distinctly anticipated modern ideas. Fol modern physical science takes us completely into the unsubstantial, non-perceptual regiotl 1 The Ninor P1incipict, vol. ii. of PrincipiCt, p. 298. 2 Ibid. p. 300. 3 Vol. i. pp. 53, 54.
  32. 32. XXXIV INTRODUCTION.of motion; and althollgh refnsing to take us up to theprimary source, it deals with motion absolutely as a workingprinciple. "Matter," says Dr Gnstave Le Bon, "may be con­sidered as a particnlar form of energy." 1 He remarks further :" I have shown that one of the most constant products of thedissociation of matter was the so-called palticle of electricity,deprived, according to the latest researches, of ail mate rialsupport." 2 And let the reader consider carefnlly the foHowingwords by another scientific writer: "It often happens that ininverting a problem the truth ùrops out. Copernicus, insteadof assuming that the snn moveù ronnd the worlJ, succeededbetter by assuming that the world moved ronnd the snn.Kant, also, instead of assnllling that Imowledge mnst conformto objects, inverted the idea br assnming that objects lllnstconforrn to onr lmow ledge. In a similar fashion it is nowproposed to invert the conception of matter and electricitythat we have so far gained. Insteat! of assuming that cor­puscles are particles of matter possessillg the properties ofnegative electricity, we shall assume, ilstead, that corpllsclesare particles of negative electricity possessing the propertiesof matter. It will be seen that tilis new way of 100 king atthings will lead to new knowledge. lt is proposed in thischapter to show by argnments addnced from facts that J.1attelis meule 1/p of Eleetrieity and notMng z,ut Eleetricity." 3 AndSir Oliver Lodge says: "1. The theOl) that an electric chargemust possess the eq ni valent of inertia was clearly estaLlished byJ. ,r. Thomson in the Philosophical Magazine for April 1881. "2. The discovery of masses ",maller than atoms was madeexperimentally by J. J. Thomson, and communicated tosection A of the British Association at Dover in 1899. "3. The thesis that the corpuscles so discovered consisted wllOlly of electrical charges was sustained by many people,and was clinched by the experiments of Kauffmann in 1902." 4 1 The Evolution of FOICCS, p. 80. 2 Ibid. p. 29. 3 Robert Kennedy Duucau, Proressor or Chemistry in Washington andJefferson College, The New Rnowlcdgc, p. 179. • The Ethel of "paer, pp. 95, 96.
  33. 33. INTRODUCTION. xxxv Matter, then, is now intelpreted in terms of electricity andis no longer a substantial entity, but is resolved into motion,or electric charges which are considered to be a form ofmotion.! ,Vhen, therefore, Swedenborg saw in motion theoligin and completion of things he had a wonderful previsionof the truth. The point oliginating from potential motion in the Infinite iskinetic, and, as we shall see, gives rise to a universe. Infinite,Vill has now realized itself, and has become kinetic in an entity.If matter is electricity and nothing more, and electricity be a form of motion, then the universe in its complex details is electricity, or a form of motion. If this be the case, and at presen t the18 seems no reason to dou bt the tru th of it, th en we owe it to modern science that we are in a positiou to apprehencl conceptnally what Swedenborg means by infinite, absolute motion in potentia realizing itself in a point and in a universe that is consequently and necessarily interpreted in terms of motion. The nexus between the finite and the Infinite becomes now a possible concept. Although this may be met with a direct uegative, we nevertheless can bring forward a philosopher who in certain ultimate (ol!cln~ions is faidy il! line with Swedenborg. Herbert Spencer, after a profound and profuse analysis of the human faculties and the il capacities, and after blockillg ont a vast region in the snpposecl world of knowledge as actnally unknowable, finds himself bound to make au admission. He states, aud states in no uncertain tenns, that there is a Power behind ail phenomena. "lbus," he says, "the consciousness of an Inscrutable Power manifested to uS in ail phenolllclla, has been growing ever clearer; and must be eveutually freecl from its imperfections," 2 Oonsciousness of a thing illlplies the formation of a concept; and Spencers statement amounts to the formation of a concept of an Inscrutal)le Power. This Power tben is a manifestecl Power, a Power 1 TIt;s j, not regardeù hy Prof. Silvanns P. Thomson as proved. 2 Fi1st P";j/(ipic." p, lOS,
  34. 34. X:(XVI INTRODUCTION.realizing itself in al! the phenomena of the Uni verse. " Hslmiversal presence," he says, "is the absolute fact withoutwhich there can be 110 relative facts." 1 Let us take thisPower as equivalent to the Infinite with which Swedenborgsets out. Further, let us see what Spencer has to say inregard to this Power now designated an "Inscrutable Exist ­ence." "But one trutli," he says, " must grow ever clearer-the truth that there is an Inscrutable Existence everywherelilanifested, to which he can neither fiud nor conceive beginningor end. Amid the mysteries which become the more mysteriousthe more they are thought about, there still remains the oneabsolute certainty that he is evel in presence of an Infiniteal1d Eternal energy from which aU things proceed." 2 Fromthese words it is legitimate to illfer that the Power or InscrutableExistence postulated is the source of " the Infinite and Eternal:Euergy from which all things proceed," that this energy ormotion in potentin in this Inscrutable Existence becomestinetic, or motion in action, in giving rise to the universe. There is, then, a remarkable paraUel between Spencer andSwedenborg here. Swedenborg postnlates an Infinite whichhe says is "ntterly incomprehensible," 3 Spencer assumes anInscrutable Existence." Swedenborg says that in the point,which is the primary result of motion in the Infinite, or in itsmotion, is the very quality or actual power of producing otherfinites, and indeed in succession al! those which collectivelyiorm the Vorld" ; 4 "in the primitive force of which al! thingsare latent." 5 Spencer says that al! things proceed from ., auInfinite and Eternal Energy." In both cases the nniverse has come into existence from motion. Spencer evidently does Hot 1uestion the reasonableness of assuming a nexus; neither do we, with snch a critical philosopher as an illustrions example before liS. Spencer having c1eliberately committed himself to this position, which we think both a reasonable and necesstlry 1 rS!Jcholo{J1J, vol. ii. cap. xix. cnd. 2 Ecclesiastùxû lnstitutioils, p. 843. 3 lhe Piincipia, vol. i. p. 63. ·1 The rli,wipia, vol. i. p. 79. 5 [bitl. vol. ii. p. 164.
  35. 35. INTRODUCTION. XXXVllone, it seems to us to be a legitimate inference from hispremisses that there was a reason why the "Infinite andEternal Energy" proceeded in such a way from the" Inscrut­able Existence" as to produce a universe in which sciencefinds a rational order. Swedenborg differs hOll! the ordinary scientist in fearlesslyslating what his opinion is in regard to end or pnrpose ; and thefollowing words are worth careful consideration and though:,. " If then it be admitted," he says, " that the first simple wasproduced by motion hom the Infinite, we are at the sametime bound to suppose, that in the producillg cause there wassomething of will that it should be produced; something ofan active quality, which procluced it; and something intelligentproducing it thus and not otherwise, or in this particularmanner and in no other; in a word, something inflnitelyintelligent, provident, powerful, and productive. Rence thisfirst point could not come into being by chauce, nor by itself,but by something which exists by itself; in which sOlnethingthere must also be a kind of will, an agency, and an under­standing that the production takes place thus and not otller­wise. There must likewise be sOllle provident design, thatthe effect produced be successi vely 11l0dified in a particularway and no other; and that by this series, certain particularcontingellcies and no others should arise. AlI this 111uSt ofnecessity have been in some way present in this first modeand motion: for in this particular and first motion of theIn fini te, things future and coming ta pass can be consideredin nu other way thall as if they were present and already inexistence." 1 This is a clear and lucid statement of a position from whichthere seelllS ta us to be no escape except by a direct negation.Vithout recnrring to our previous argument on this poillt yewill, as a conclusiolI, quote words by a modern writer who, indiscussing the design argnment, consic1ers that particular pieceof reasoning as too narrow. "It is uot the marks of purpose l The P;incipia, p. 55.
  36. 36. XXXVlll iNTRODUCTION.alone," he says, "wbich necessitate the illference that theuniverse has a wise and intelligent author, but everythingwbich bespeaks order, plan, arrangement, barmony, beauty;rationality in the connection and system of thillgS. It is theproof of the presence of th01(r;ht in tbe world-w batever shapethat may take. The assumption on whicb the whole ofscience proceeds-and cannot but proceed-in its investiga­tions is, tbat the system it is studying is intelligible-tbatthere is an intelligible unit y of things. It acJmits of beingreduced to terms of thOllght. Thele is a settled andestablished order on which the investigator can depend." 1 Thefirst natural point which Swedenborg discusses isindivisible; to divide it would be to annihilate it. Thisnecessarily follows from the fact tbat it is pure motion. :Follow­ing out Swedenborgs tbeOly we find that a simple fil1ltercsults from the point or points. Motion becomes embodiedin a finited entity, which "derives its existence from tbemotion of tbe points among themselves; and is thus the firstsubstantial." 2 From this sllbstantial ail other finites arederived; it therefore entelS into and permeates all existences;and he lemarks, "if ail filst substances of which compoundsconsist, were resolvec1, there would remain in the universeonly simples or points." 3 The conception of motionstill follows up tbis finite. It is motion which finitesand limits. "An aggregate of points cannot be finited or terrninated except by motion." 4 Motion dominates every ­where in Swedenborgs principles. It is motion which givesrise ta a second finite from the first. And here he makes thesignificant remark that, "it is motion which gives both figureand space." 5 Referring back to his treatment of the firstnatural point we find that this idea is more fully enlargedupon in a way that calls to mind certain modern conceptions."Motion itself," he says, "which is merelya quality and a 1 ProfessaI James Orr, The C1Uistian View of Gad an,/ the TVorld, p. 102. 2 lhe P;incipia, vol. i. p. 80. 3 Ibid. p. 82. • Iuid. p. 84. 5 Ibid. l. 107.
  37. 37. INTRODUCTION. XXXIXmoch anù nothing substantial, may yet exhibit somethingsubstantial, or the resemblance of what is so, provided thereis anything substantial put in motion. If some small bodyis moved in the direction of a line or circle, there is im­mediately produced by the motion the sem blance of a line ora circle; although there is nothing substantial ln it, exceptthat small body in the place which it occupies. If now themotion be very rapid, so that in a moment the body isplesent in innumerable places, during that moment it makesall that space, wherever it is present, substantial. By motionalone, therefore, something resembling what is substantial caube produced." 1 Elsewhere 2 he puts the matter in full eldetail. "Let us imagine," he says, "some small corpuscle, oraggregate of small parts, to be moved very rapidly, either ina circle or otherwise. This motion will give rise immediatelyto a figure or form different from the original one. A veryrapid motion proceeding from one point to another will giverise to a line; the lllovement of the line laterally describesan area; and the motion of the area from one position to alower marks out a solid, although merely the very rapid andreciprocal fluxion of a corpuscle, lille or elrea is involveù.Sa, too, if the same corpuscle revolves round a centre with avery rapid circular motion, a circle will be described; if asemicircular line rota tes on a diameter, a complete surface willbe represented; and so on, as is weil known. A corpuscleth us moving can represent fonn by its celerity and direction,or something which previollsly had no existence, and which isquite different from the corpuscle itself; and :it is in everyway a figure so far as our senses and touch are concerned,although it is mcrely motion which produces the effect; or bymeans of motion form is fixed." 2 He returns to this later when, in the development of histheory, he shows that the filst finite becomes an active force by l The Principia, vol. i. [J. ;5. 2 GCftœin Points bcaring on the Filst Piincipies of Natumi Things at the end ofvol. ii. of the present issue, l. 5:35.
  38. 38. xl INTRODUCTION. passing into local motion. This entity is most perfectly active and endowed Vith a considerable power of acting upon the nearest finites. In this acti le there is nothing su bstantial with the exception of that one which alone is in a state of motion. On the ba.sis of this assumption he says " A surfacemay be represented by motion just as if it consistecl ofsubstantia]s only." 1 N ow we want to connect this up with some eonsidcrationswhich show that Swedenborg in the above statements is in linewith modern conceptions. If, as Sir Oliver Lodge says," elec­tricity is the fundamental substance out of which atoms of allsorts are built up "2 ; and if e]ectricity is a form of motion thenwhat we are accustomed to regard as line, surface or solid aremotion and nothing more, and Swedenborgs contention thatby motion a surface or solid can be fonned, is definitely proved;for bis first finite or substantial 1s thc aggregate of points whichthemsel ves are pure motion. We think the patallel we havedrawn above is fairly complete. A. surface, says Swedenborg, can be rcpresented by motion,and it is pletty weil establisbed that motion imparts rigidity.A circulaI flexible chail! becomes a rigid wheel by motion. Itis saie! that a jet of Vatel moving with a high velocity cannot becut thlough with a sword. It !lIay a]so be assumed that watelfalling over a barri el in an extlemely thin sheet, moving with thevelocity of light, would be impenetrable even by a shell homa Dreae!nought. A circulaI disc of tissue paper, if its tensioncoule! be maintained, and caused to makc a hundred thousandrevolutions pel second, vould eut through steel as though itVere butter. Motion imparts ligidity.3 Mertz 4 says: "Two ofthe most suggesti ve ideas by which physical science bas benefitedin the nineteenth century are the successful explauation of thedead pressure of gases by a rapid transitional, and of the rigidityof solid bodies by a rapid rotati onal motion of matter." l lhe Prineipia, vol. i. p. 139. 2 ilfodem Vie-les of Eleetrieity. 3 See furthcr, Spinning Top_~, by Prof~ssor J. Pel1Y, F.R.S. 4 Histoi"y ~f Seientijic llwught, vol. ii. p. 6.
  39. 39. INTRODUCTION. xli It is not our purpose to follow the author throllghout all the complex details of his finites and actives; we lefer the reader to Appendix A, where the subject is carefully dis­ cussed with certain cletails, in which it is shown that Swedenborg was not always clear and accurate in his cal­ culation of the spiral and other motions of his actives. But we would remark, here, that the first finites or substantials by effort towards axillary and local motion become confluent and form a second finite. A further advance is now made, and v"e find that by the first t1nite passing into local motion we have an Active, desig­ nated the Active of the first Finite. An active and a passive are the fundamentals by which a1l subsequent results are workecl out. By thus compounding and recompounding of finites we arrive at a series of elements. 1 vVe have, then, actives origillating out of first substantialsand passives, which are filst substantials not rllnllillg into local motion, but acted upon. There results from this what the author designates a first element. "Before anythingelementary can exist," he says, "it is necessary that in the world there should be two things, one active and theothel passive; one which is perpetllally in local motion,another which is Ilot in Jocal motion. . . . These twin-bornentities, which are so averse to each other, coalesce into onefigure The particle thus ploJuced l call the first element­ary lt is composed of second finities and of actives of thefilst finite." 2 This elementary particle has a vortical motion;it is a compendium of the whoJe world-system. Tt c1elives itsinherent motion from the points which in a final analysisleally compose it. It might perhaps be cornpared to a vortexring. SuhsequentJy, there arises a second elementary particle,designatecl the magnetic element. This consists of thirdfinites on the surface and actives of the second and thirdfinites in the internai space. These elementary pUlticles arp, 1 See allthors preface, vol. i. 2 lhe P"incipia, vol. i. pp. 156, 15i, 158.
  40. 40. xlii INTRODUCTION.subject to a vortical or spiral motion. "These spiralgyrations," lie says, "which arise from a certain active centre,~ may, in what fo11ows, call vorticles, and every gyrationround its own proper centre, a single vorticle," 1 and hefnrther compares this to the motion of our planetary system."The motion of one large system is latent in a least system." 2He also says fllrther that: "In every vorticle round themagnet there are probably minute particles moving about thecentre and revolving round an axis; such as is the case inevery vortex in the heavens." 3 As we have previously endeavoured to show that Sweden­borg anticipated certain modern ideas, so we will draw thereaders attention to a singular resemblance, in the furtheldevelopment of his theory, to the modern conception of matter.}3ut we would remark in passing that it should be now quiteevidellt that there is hardly any resemblance between theparticles of Descartes and the finites, actives and elementariesof Swec1en borg. Let HS give a summary of Descartes positionas put by George I~ewes : "The suustance which fi11s an space,"he says, "according to Descartes must be assumed as dividedinto equal angular parts. This substance being set in motionthe parts arc gJouncZ into a SphcTical jOT1n, and the COT1W7S thns1ubbed off like jilings, 01 saWd1tst, fonu a second and moresubtle kind of substance. There is beside a third kind ofsnbstance, coarser and less fitted for motion. The first kindmakes IllminoHs bodies, sucll as the sun and the fixed stars;the second makes the transparent substance of the skies, etc."The only resemulance that we can trace in the partieles ofDescartes to the finites of Svvedenborg is that they are subjectto whirling movements or vonices. vVe now cOllle to consider more specifically Swedenborgsconception of the nature of matter-points, primat) sub­stant,ial. Ol tirst finite, trom this derivative finites and activesresulting from free motion amongst these, and then the prùnwYclement fOrlned of second tlnites aud aetie~. This he defines 1 Tite PTillcipia, vol. i. l. 2n. , Ihid. p. 22:3. 3 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 15:3.
  41. 41. INTRODUCTION. xliiiin the following terms: "This element is the most aLtenll­ated, the first and most Ilniversal of onr mundane system andof the universe in general. It consists of the smallest elemen­tar) parts. In every system, both the greatest and the leastspaces are occupied by this element. All thing» in the starrys)stem appear, as it were, present by means of il. Tt is byvirtue of this element, therefore, that lI"e can contemplatethe remotest stars and also the plunets by their reflectedlight." l Tt will be seen that this cOllesponds to whatis now termed the luminiferous and all pervasive ethe1.Again: "That it is the most llniversal element may be COll­cluded Ù, ]Jii01"i, becallse it is the origin of all subsequentelements; because, also, it consists of the smallest constitllentparts, can occupy the smallest spaces, and be present whereno other element can." 2 And earlier he says: "Recause thisfirst element is the most universal, passing through all thevortices, and is a con tiguous medium between the eye and thesun as well as all the stars of the hea Yens, it follows thatit is the 1l10st universal element of our own solar vortex." 3Swedenborg, in addition to this primary element, endeavours toaccount for three other", a magne tic element, a third which hedesignates ether, and a fourth the air element. All theseelements result from finites, alld are dimensionally clifferent.To the two latter he assigns different functions. Themagnetic element is the cause of magnetic phenomena, andthe other the medium for the propagation of light and heat. Although, withont prejudice, we desire to give Swedenborga very high place as a speculative scientist, still we do notregard his statements as sacrosallct; fol while some of hisdeductions touch modern science at lIHllY points, others are questionable in the light of rigid scieutific proof. J3ut if his third element is open to qnestioll as the medium of light, t,hereis a remarkable resemblance between his first element and the ether of modern themy, known as the Illlniniferolls ether.The unclulatory theory of light, wllich ascrihes the phenomenon 1 The Prinl.ipia. vol. i. 11.187,188. 2 l/Jid. pp. 187. 3 [birl. pp. 181, 182.
  42. 42. xliv /iVTRODUCTION.of light to an all pelvading medium, was doubtless knownto Swedenborg 1 through the writings of Huygens- whodied when the former Vas seven years old-a theory takenup by Euler and established on a sound basis by Young. 2When he published his J11iscellaneous Observations connecteclVJith the Physiwl Sciences, he seems to have been feeling hisway toward his tbeories. He then appeared to have theidea that light Vas a particle that cou Id run between etherparticles. 3 Later, however, in the same work, he says that"according to the corpuscular hypothesis it follows that lightis nothing more than undulation of the rays, or than vibrationof the ether." 4 And in reference to light and sensation heputs the matter in quite a modern form : " As, therefore, sensa­tion must be tbe reslllt of sorne kind of motion, and as everyminute motion is ulldlllatory and vibratory, l therefore thinkthat we may properly assume that vision is due to the un­dulation of rays in the membranes of the eye." 5 Seven yearslater he wrote the l1fino1 P1incipia, where he speaks of un­d111atory pressure as the cause of the sensation of light, whilein 174 9 he conceives a third element as the ligh t medium. But the tendeney of modern speculation is to trace allphellomena to the ether. Whether it is the source of gravita­tion is not yet detennined. Light, as Clerk Maxwell showed, isan electromagnetic disturbance of the ether. Ether is notgross matter; and it answers to none of the tests of matter.Sir Oliver Lodge says : "1 should prefer to say that ether isnot matter at aIl. Tt may be the subtance or substratumor mate rial of which nwtter is composed, but it would be l From the very beginning Swedenborg taught that light is proctuccd by thcullctnlatory motion of an elastic ether, and that colours are produccd by thcmodification of this motion in the material objects receivinl; it. He devclopcdand modified the theory frolll tilllC to time, but that it was originally derivcdfrom the older workcrs, from Descartes, Huyghens or Hooke, is clear fromSwedenborgs eadier works.-Alfred H. Stroh in a preface to Swedenborgs111isccllcmea de Rebus ncttumlibus, p. xxxiv. 2 Thomas Yonng "as born in Somersetshire in 1773. His "Course ofLectures on National Philosophy" Vas publishect in 1807. 3 Jlùcellanemls ObsCivatioi/s, p. 86. • Ibid. pp. 104, 105. 5 P, 105.
  43. 43. INTRODUCTION. xlvconfusing and inconvenient not to be able to discriminatebetween matter on the one hand and ether on the other." 1 Although we would strongly object to ascribe to Swedenborgmore than his cluc, yet we venture to say that, as in otherdepartments of science already indicated, so in this he had aremarkable power of drawing deductions and arriving at con­clusions since established by the observations and experimentsof modern scientific men, and in the light of our remarksabove, and quotations from authorities, we concluc1e that whatSwedenborg designates the first clement is the equivalent ofwhat science caUs ether. It is ail pervading, extends throughaU space, and is the medium by which light from the remoteststars reaches us. His mind seems to have continued to dwellupon this subject ; for seven years after the publication of TheP1incipia we find him again writing on the question of thesubstanIia p1i1n(~ and discussing the question of series anddegrees in accounting for the derivation of this primal sub­stance. He would seem to have been influenced in this ne"line of though t by the writings of W 01ff,2 his cqntell1porary.At the time of writing his P1incipia he had not met withthe works of this distinguished thinker, for he remarks at theclose of this treatise: "The principles laid down in the presentwork had been formulated and committed to paper two yearsbefore I had an opportunity of consulting his works." 3 In1741 he published his Econo111Y of the Animal Kingdmn,and it 1S in this work that the influence of vVolff becomesevident. Indeed, he makes specific references to theCoslnologia Generalis. And we must assume that this changeof attitude towards, or perhaps his mental advance in physicalquestions, was due to the study of this book, and the freshdomain of thought opened up before him by his anatomicalstudies in his search for the nature of the soul. However thatmay be, we now find him discussing the nature of an1Cts, a term l The Ether of Space, p. 108. 2 Born at Breslau, 16i9 ; died nt Halle, li54. 3 Jhe P1iaâpia, vol. ii., Conclusion.
  44. 44. xlvi iNTRODUCTION.not found in The Pjincipia. But almost incidentally he makesa remark in the Ecol101ny of the Animal Kingdom which seemsta us of the greatest importance in arriving at the fundamentalconnotation of the phrase "First Element" nsed in ThePiinci)n:a. Speaking of the first aura he remarks as follows :"No impression upon it is los t, but passes unimpaired into thewhole atmosphere, showing that there is a perfect agreementof all its parts and that each part corresponds in its characterto the whole uni verse, not ta mention other characteristics ofwhich l have spoken in lnY Principia, part i. chap, vi., wherel have called this aura the jiTst clement of the woT!cl.1 Nowthe quotations hotn the later work which we shall give showthat this aura or, first element of the world, has acquired inthe developrnent of his mind characteristics with w hich he had not endowed it in the earlier treatise. "The first aura of the lorld is not matter for neither weight nor lightness can be predicated of it; but on the contrary active jorce, the origin of weight and lightness in terrestrial bodies. "2 Again," The first aura of the world has no inertia, no materiality, sa far as materiality involves inertness and gravity.3 And a fmther significant remark is the following: "This aura is the very and most perfect force of nature and form ... it knows nothing of resistance or of weight." 4 The characlelistics of ether as shawn above could hardI,) be ex ­ pressed more succinctly. Swedenborg, then, by a killd of intuition had a prevision of what modern science by exten ­ si ve research if estabk:hing on a very firm basis. For it is now agreed "that ether is a substance ycry different from malter, that it has no weight, is immaterial in the USIHll acceptation of that word, and fonlls the imponderable world." 5 Notice noV the following remark of Swedenborg. " The first aura is the matter from which other t!rings are derived. 6 Js 1 The Economy of the A" ilnal Kingdmn, part ii. JI. 312. 2 ibid. lart ii. n. 3D. 3 Ibid. parI: ii. II. 11)6. • Ibid. palot i. n. 638. 5 Dr Gustave Le Bou, Jhe EvoluNou of 11fattcr, p. 91. 6 The E,;onoJnY 1tilo Aiiilllal Khlg,/oln, part i. n. 636.
  45. 45. INTRODUCTION. xlviiit not remarkable, then, how fully he is in line Vith modernresults? As we have seen he regards the first aura, the firstelement, the universal all-pervading substance, as the originof the material universe. And Sir Oliver Lodge says: "AHmass is lllaSi> of the ether, ail momentum, momentulll of theether; and ail kinetic energy, kinetic energy of the ether." 1 Passing from the apparent iden ti ty of Sweden borgs firstelement or aura with the ether we have now ta considcrour authors ideas of motion in relation ta the modern con­ception of the atam. We would beg the readcr ta dismissfrom his mind the supposition that we hold a blicf forSwedenborg; we simply desire ta make it evident, that, asin the case of Democritus, Lucretius, Dalton, Faraday, andothers, we find the anticipation of modern ideas, sa also inSwedenborg do we find a prevision of certain modern con­ceptions. Amid much that is entirely out of date in hisscientific works there are ta he found great ideas which sa farresemble presellt scientific beliefs that we might almost suppose them ta have beeu worked over in the course of modern in­ vestigation, did we not know that his orks are plactically ullknown ta t.he Vorld of science. Jhe history of the utOlll goes back ta the time of Dell1Gcritus, who held that the plennm of space, in contrast ta the void, consists of indi visible, primitive particles or atoms which are distinguished from one another, not by their intrinsic qualities, but only geometrically, by their form, position andarrangement. These atoms are ail subject ta motion. Centuries sa litt.le change in fUlldamental ideas of the atom ; and it Vas reserved for Dalton ta place it in, what was supposed to be, an assurecl position. Human thought, however, is not a fixed quantity, old ideas form a suggestive region out of which the mind evolves new conceptions. The desire ta trace back the eighty or sa elementary substances ta an original simple undifferentiated matter caused thillkers ta !Je seeptical about atoms as simple, un changeable, indivisible 1 Ethe; ~f Space, p. lOï.

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