Abbildungen der Seite

sentative of the merely natural affections and passions, and that they must be kept subordinate to the spiritual and higher affections, by the spirit of innocence and obedience, in order that it may be happy both in this world and in the next? Whenever any ferocious, wolfish disposition manifests itself, point to the wolf snarling and endeavouring to make a victim of the lamb, as the corresponding emblem of so disorderly and unheavenly a disposition; and whenever the sweet and gentle affections are active, point to the lamb, and the wolf lying subjugated and tamed at its feet, as the hieroglyphic of that orderly and heavenly state of the dispositions and affections. In this way, we think, more moral training would be effected in regard to children, than by the reading of thousands of books. The Bible, of course, is the great source whence these emblems should be derived, the reading of which would then be attended with delight, and the science of correspondences, by which its truths are unfolded, would be easily acquired. From what has been stated, it must by no means be concluded, that we consider the painted or engraved hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt are to be contemplated in the same light as the written hieroglyphics, or correspondences, of which the letter of the Word consists; the former were merely human, symbolizing the spiritual perceptions and wisdom of the people of those remote ages of antiquity ; but the latter are DIVINE, conveying“ life and spirit” to all who “search the scriptures,” with a view to enrich their souls with the wisdom of heaven.

The reasons, therefore, are abundantly evident, why Swedenborg in the above extracts, pressed the “ science of correspondencesboth upon the attention of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, and his friends in England. It was on account of its immense use and importance in raising the church and the human race from that naturalism and sensualism in which all the higher perceptions of the human mind lie buried in respect to every thing in relation to the human soul, to the spiritual world; and above all, to the rational and spiritual understanding of God's Holy Word, and the genuine doctrines of Christianity.

Before we conclude our notice of this new supplement of Documents concerning Swedenborg, we must again advert to the letter of Ferelius. A translation of this letter, it will be remembered, was inserted in our periodical for June last, and, as stated in a note in the number for August, p. 296, objections having been alledged against the version which we then gave, it is necessary that we explain to our readers how the case is. Ferelius states, that shortly after his return to Sweden, in 1772, he was requested by the clerical order to give an account of Swedenborg, and to state what particulars he knew concerning their illustrious countryman, then recently deceased. Ferelius, accordingly, sent in a document of three sheets concerning E. Swedenborg. In his reply to Professor Tratgard's request, eight years afterwards, he states this fact, and regrets that he had not preserved a copy of it, as many particulars contained therein, had probably elapsed from his memory. The translator of Ferelius's letter having perused the document in German, (the original having been written in Swedish) considered that a few supplementary remarks were required, in order to render the letter, in certain points, uniform with Swedenborg's own testimony concerning the subjects of inquiry, and to remove any obscurity which might exist. doing, the translator certainly took upon himself a high degree of responsibility, which, however, would have been warrantable, had he enclosed the supplementary remarks in brackets; but this he omitted to do. In order, however, to satisfy all our readers upon this question, we subjoin a strictly literal translation of the said letter.

In so

Honourable and widely Celebrated Professor, ACCORDING to your request, I will communicate what I can remember respecting the last days of our celebrated countryman, the late Assessor, E. Swedenborg, who died in London, in the month of March, 1772. I performed the funeral service at his interment, in the Swedish church in that city, on the 5th of April, which was the last clerical duty I had to perform in that country. At the conclusion of the former year, he had a paralytic stroke, which lamed one side and affected his speech: this was particularly the case if the air was thick and heavy. I visited him several times, and asked him each time whether he thought he should then die. He answered in the affirmative. Upon which I observed to him, that as many persons thought that he had endeavoured only to make himself a name, or to acquire celebrity in the world by the publication of his new theological system (which indeed he had already attained), he should now be ready, in order to shew justice to the world, to recant either the whole or a part of what he had written, since he had now nothing more to expect from the world, which he was so soon about to leave for ever. Upon hearing these words from me, Swedenborg raised himself half upright in his bed, and placing his sound hand upon his breast, said, with great zeal and emphasis, “ As true as you see me before you, so true is every thing which I have written,—and I could have said more, had I been permitted. When you come into eternity you will see all things as I have stated and described them; and we shall have much to discourse about them with each other." I then asked him whether he would take the Lord's holy supper? He replied, with thankfulness, that I meant well ; but that being a member of the other world, he did not need it: he would however gladly take it in order to shew the connection and union between the church in heaven and the church on earth. He then asked me if I had read his views on the sacrament? Before administering the sacrament I inquired of him, whether he confessed himself to be a sinner ? Certainly, said he, so long as I carry about with me this sinful body. With deep and affecting devotion, with folded hands, and with his head uncovered, he confessed his own unworthiness, and received the holy supper. After which he presented me, in gratitude, with a copy of his great work, the Arcana Cælestia, of which only nine copies remained unsold, which were to be sent into Holland.

On another occasion when I visited him, I heard him, as I was ascending the stairs, speaking with great energy, as though he were addressing a considerable company; but as I came into the ante-chamber where his female attendant was sitting, I asked her who was with the Assesssor ;-she replied, that nobody was with him, and that he had been speaking in that manner for three days and nights. As I entered his chamber, he greeted me very tranquilly, and asked me to take a seat ; he then told me that he had been tempted and plagued during ten days by evil spirits which the Lord had sent to him, and that he had never before been tempted by spirits so evil as these ; but that he was now again favoured with the company of good spirits.

When he was in health I once paid him a visit in company with a Danish clergyman : we found him sitting in the middle of the room, at a round table, writing. The Hebrew Bible, which appeared to constitute his whole library, was lying before him. After he had greeted us, he pointed to the opposite side of the table, and said, “ Just now the apostle Peter was here and stood there; and it is not long since all the apostles were with me; indeed, they often visit me." In this manner he spoke without reserve ; but he never sought to make proselytes. He told us, that he contemplated writing a book in which he would prove, from the writings of the apostles that the Lord is the true and only God, and that there is none besides him. To the question, how it was that nobody besides himself enjoyed such revelations and intercourse with spirits, he replied, that every man could, at the present time, have this intercourse, as well as in the times of the Old Testament; but that the true hindrance why it is not so now, is the sensual state into which mankind have fallen. With other news, which on one occasion I received from Sweden through the post, was the announcement of the death of Swedenborg's sister, the widow Lundstedt. I communicated this information to a Swedish gentleman, whose name was Meier, who was travelling in England at that time, and who happened to be at my house when the news came. This person went immediately to Swedenborg, and conveyed the intelligence of the death of his sister. When he returned he said, that he thought Swedenborg's declaration respecting his intercourse with the dead could not be true, since he knew nothing of the death of his sister. The next time I saw the old man I mentioned this to him, when he said, “ that of such cases he had no knowledge, since he did not desire to know them.” The celebrated Springer, who still lives in London, told Swedenborg on one occasion that a distinguished Swedish gentleman, who, I believe, was a brother of the present Count Höpken, one of the counsellors of state, was dead. Some days afterwards, when they met again, the Assessor said to him—" It is true, Hopken is dead! I have spoken with him, and he told me that you and he were companions together at Upsala, and that you afterwards entertained views partly similar and partly dissimilar concerning political subjects. He also told him several anecdotes, which Springer acknowledged to be true, and declared, at the same time, that it was his firm conviction that Swedenborg could not have acquired the information from any other source than from above; on this account he became a Swedenborgian.

When Assessor Swedenborg, on one occasion, was about to depart from London to Sweden, and had already agreed with a captain for the voyage, he came down to the water-side to take a bed at the inn of a Swedish landlord of the name of Bergstrom, who is still living, and who undertook to supply provisions for Swedenborg during the passage. Amongst other things, Bergstrom asked how much ground coffee he should pack up for him, as he took a certain portion of it daily; when Swedenborg replied, for six days, Mr. B. observed that that quantity would be too little, since (he thought) it was impossible to make the voyage in six days to Stockholm. Swedenborg then said, “Provide for seven days.” What happened? In six days the ship arrived off Dalaron, and on the seventh in Stockholm. The captain who was an Englishman, after his return to London, said, that he had never in all his life had so prosperous a voyage, for the wind was favourable to every turn of the vessel.

Although Swedenborg went sometimes to the Swedish church, and afterwards dined with me, or with some other Swede, he told us that he had no peace in the church on account of spirits, who contradicted what the preacher said, especially when he spoke of three persons in the Godhead, which amounted, in reality, to three Gods. After my return from England, in 1772, I was requested by the clerical order, through their president, to give an account of Swedenborg, in a manner similar to your present request, which I did in three sheets : but I have since regretted that I did not keep a copy of what I then communicated.

P.S. Many may suppose that Assessor Swedenborg was a very singular and eccentric person ; this was by no means the case. On the contrary, he was very agreeable and complaisant in company; he entered into conversation on every subject; and accommodated himself to the ideas of the company; and he never spoke on his own writings and doctrines but when he was asked some questions concerning them, when he always spoke as freely as he had written. If, however, he observed that any person desired to ask impertinent questions, or to ridicule him, he immediately gave such an answer, that the impertinent questioner must be silent, without becoming any the wiser. Sköfde, March 31, 1780.




EVERY one who has embraced the doctrines of the New Church, sees with unfeigned pleasure any fresh ray of light which beams on the darkness of the present Christian church, and draws hopes from every circumstance which occurs likely to lead thinking men to reflect upon the prevailing religious tenets. Such has been the effect upon my mind of the circumstances I am about to introduce to your notice, and

which may not inappropriately furnish an accompaniment to a kindred article in your November number.

In a recent charge delivered by the Bishop of London to the clergy of his diocese, we find him declaring, that “justification commences with baptism ;" upon which dogma the Record, the recognised journal of the Evangelical clergy, remarks as follows:

“ His (the Lord bishop's) statement, that it justification) 'begins in baptism,' we believe to be both unscriptural and also opposed to the teaching of our church."

Again, in the same charge, his lordship says, that it is an error for any individual believer to suppose that justification is applied to himself, “ by a simple and internal act of faith, without the intervention of the sacraments ordained by Christ, and generally necessary for salvation” [and, his lordship means, administered only by a clergy descended from the apostles by an unbroken line of episcopal ordination.]

Now hear the opinion of the Record upon this part of the charge.-“We think it our duty to assert in the face of the church, that this is a very heretical opinion indeed, und directly opposes, and makes of none effect, innumerable as plain and clear passages as are to be found in the Word of God.”

Here, then, we have the most learned bishop in the Protestant Church, and the Evangelical clergy, at issue concerning the first elements of Christianity! While both parties in this dispute are striving to avoid the errors into which they suppose the Oxford Tractarians have fallen, they differ from each other as much in doctrine as they do from the doctrines of Puseyism.

From these extracts it may be seen, that the apple of discord is fairly thrown amongst the high and mighty lords of the established church! May thinking men of all denominations be led, ere long, to see the truth, and gratefully to enjoy and acknowledge it, in the new dispensation! Such is the humble prayer of

Βετα. .


A Treatise on the Scriptural Doctrines of Redemption and Salvation ;

and shewing that the Doctrine of Justification by Faith alone is the Abomination of Desolation. By JAMES MACARA. Edinburgh: Guthrie and Tait; London: Hodson, 112, Fleet Street; Man

chester : Heywood, Queen Ann's Street. We have perused this treatise with much pleasure, and can sincerely

« ZurückWeiter »