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Noble's 'Appeal': X. Appendix:

A. Section. VI.—part E.
Various Particulars relating to Heaven and Hell, &c., Explained.

we will here, as promised above, p. 341, pass under review the eight-and-twenty "Sundry Extracts from the Writings of Baron Swedenborg," which the writer 1 have chiefly followed in this Work has adduced, as supporting his charges against the Author. The more general subjects brought forward in these extracts have been examined already above, Sect. VI. Part V., and I trust it has sufficiently appeared, as there observed, "that when considered with reference to their proper causes, and to the nature of man after death, of the circumstances in which he is placed, and of the appearances around him, all the facts must be allowed to be in perfect harmony with the statements of Scripture, and with the dictates of reason,—that the true ground of offence must be admitted to exist solely in the unfounded prejudices of our opponents,—in the vague, shadowy conceptions, which, in the acknowledged absence of all specific knowledge, they had formed for, and from, themselves." "Being, however," as there also observed, "desirous that every thing which our enemies censure as objectionable should be viewed in the fullest light," we will here consider the remainder of those Sundered Scraps. The Extractor has prefixed to most of them a ridiculous or reproachful title; as, however, they all present some beautiful and important truth, I shall review them under titles more in accordance with their genuine character.

1. The state of a particular Class of Evil Spirits; and Origin of the two different modes of representing Satan in Pictures. This is one of the Memorable Relations, introduced by Swedenborg by way of appendix to the chapters of his work, intitled, "True Christian Religion, or the Universal Theology of the New Church," by way of illustrating the doctrinal subjects discussed in the body of the work: It occurs at n. 281; and it is of such length as might seem to exclude it from the class of Sundered Scraps, were it not that the explanations of the nature of appearances in the spiritual world, and of the laws of that world in general, which the Author gives elsewhere, are necessary to be known, to enable the reader to form a correct judgment of some of the particulars which it details. The design of it, as stated by its Author, is, to "mention some circumstances relative to the state of those who have confirmed themselves from the Word in false principles of doctrine, particularly of those who have been induced to do so, for the sake of defending the doctrine of justification by faith alone." All the particulars in it which could give offence, have been explained in Sect. VI., Part E., the most "curious" are specifically alluded to; and, when rightly understood, the whole is calculated to be felt as most solemnly and affectingly impressive. The opponent has cited it, apparently, for the sake of supporting his allegations as to the mildness of the hell described by Swedenborg. But it is to be recollected, that this is not a description of the fate of those who in this world have been flagrantly wicked, but of those who have passed through life with the character of men of piety, including many ministers; but who, having confirmed themselves in the notion that salvation is by faith alone, have inwardly thought lightly of evils, and have not abstained from them from a principle of religion, but merely from external morality, or perhaps only to save appearances. The state of those who in this world have lived in the practice of flagrant crimes, and have confirmed them in their spirits as allowable, such as robbery, cruelty, adultery, and the like, and the punishments which overtake them, are described by Swedenborg in the, first volume of the Arcana Coelestia, in colours sufficiently terrible to come up, one would think, even to this adversary's conceptions of the torments of hell. And even the general statement by which the relation we are now noticing, so objectionable to the extractor for its mildness, Is concluded, is such as must appear sufficiently appalling to all who retain any just feelings, and who do not think that the life of a hog or of a filthy reptile, is desirable? and inviting, because, by the hog or the reptile, its disgusting habits and filthy domicile are felt as congenial to its nature. "With respect to the hells in general," says the Author, "they consist merely of such caverns and workhouses, but differing according to their inhabitants, whether they be satans or devils. They are called satans who have lived in false persuasions and consequent evils, and they are devils who have lived in evils and consequent false persuasions." (None, it is to be observed, are in hell on account of having merely entertained false persuasions, but only when they have applied them to confirm themselves in evils.) "Satans appear, in the light of heaven, pale and livid, like corpses, and in some cases of a darkish hue, like mummies; but devils appear, in the same light, of a fiery, dusky complexion, and in some cases black like soot. But the forms and faces of them all are monstrous; and yet in their own light, which is like that of ignited charcoal, they do not appear as monsters, but as men; which appearance is conceded for the sake of consociation." We here see the origin of the two very different modes of representing Satan, and evil spirits in general, which have been adopted by painters. Some represent them under the most horrible forms that can be conceived: this results from their having a perception that their real forms—that form which they have when viewed in the light of heaven, which discovers things as they are in their true nature,—must be the form of their own evil. Others paint them with a sort of unlovely beauty; following the idea of Milton, who believing Satan to have been originally a superior angel, says, that in hell

——" his form had yet not lost All her original brightness, nor appeared Less than arch-angel ruined, and the excess Of glory obscured; "—

and this results from their having a perception, that in their own light,—a light corresponding to their phantasies and false persuasions, which "call evil good and good evil,"—they can assume a less offensive appearance. Both modes of representing them give confirmation to the statement of Swedenborg.

2. Infatuation, in the other life, of Irreligious Philosophers. Our accuser's second extract (from T. C. R. n. 80) is headed, "A farther Account of Hell;" but this is not a true description of it, as it does not give an account of hell, but of the discourse of a Satanic spirit in the world of spirits. Had it been related as a fictitious narrative, and not as a real fact, it would certainly have been commended as an admirable exposure of the absurdities inherent in the persuasions of those philosophers who ascribe all things to nature. And what can in reality be more awful than the assurance, that when such false persuasions have been confirmed by an evil life, they remain in the other life, and are then carried to the extreme of infatuation ? and that although the spirit, before he is dismissed to hell, is convinced of his folly, still, when he returns into his own inherent state, or into his own proper life, which is a life of lusts and phantasies, he forgets the instruction he had received, and plunges farther and farther into the insanity of his infatuations? (It may be useful to state, that there is an error in the translation of a sentence in this relation, as quoted in the Anti-Swedenborg, p. 91, which has been corrected in the last edition of the work from which it is taken. The satan, on being for a moment convinced of his infatuation, is represented as saying, "I have certainly lost my senses: I have seen heaven above, and heard the angels conversing there, in words and on subjects inexpressible, as I was lately wandering near this place." The last clause ought to be, "but this was when I had recently entered this world" It refers to the knowledge which is given to every one in the other life, before he is judged to his final abode, respecting the real nature of heaven and of hell, and of his own state.) This relation appears to have been quoted by the adversary, and called "a farther account of hell," farther to support his accusation against Swedenborg, of making hell inviting: though, if this Satan did not appear, at the time, very unhappy, it is to be remembered that he was not, at the time, in hell, but permitted to emerge for a specific purpose: hence, too, it was, that he seemed to be on so good terms with his female companion, both being, at the time, in a state of their externals, comparatively. The whole exhibits a picture of moral degradation that is truly appalling. But moral degradation has in it nothing repulsive in the estimation of the accuser: physical tortures are the only things which can prevent, as he thinks, hell from being attractive: why then did he not give an extract from the article immediately preceding that which he has here selected ? An account is there given of some evil spirits, who, in the world of spirits, followed a path which led to hell; and it concludes thus: "Forasmuch as their delight was to do evil, and they did evil to many in the way, they were put into a prison, and became demons: and then their pleasure was turned into pain, because they were restrained from the indulgence of their former delights, which constituted their nature, by punishments, and by the dread of punishment. And they inquired of those who were confined in the same prison, whether they were to remain there for ever; to which some replied, We have now been here for several ages, and must continue here to ages of ages; because the nature which we have contracted in the world cannot be changed, nor expelled by punishments; for though it be by them expelled for a time, yet after a short interval it returns." Why did not the accuser include this in his extracts, when he begins one at the very next line to it ? Clearly, because it would not answer his purpose; because it would have shown, that when he was representing the hell of Swedenborg as an abode of "comfort,"—as a place to which it might be worth "going on speculation,"—he was wilfully falsifying the truth.

The four next extracts are sundered scraps in every sense. They are taken from a relation of the Author's in the Appendix to one of the chapters in his Tr. Chr. Rel. (TCR 731—752). In this relation the Author describes how very gross and erroneous are the notions entertained of heaven by great numbers who pass by death from this world into the world of spirits; which unfounded conceptions must necessarily be removed, before even those who may be capable of becoming angels can be introduced thither. Among other modes of correcting these misapprehensions, one is, occasionally, after preparing them for the purpose, to take up into heaven, for a few days, some persons from the temporary societies in the intermediate region or world of spirits, in order that, on their return, they might make their companions acquainted with what they had learned of heaven from their own experience and observation; and an arrangement more worthy of Infinite Wisdom and Goodness cannot, surely, be conceived. The relation in question contains the narrative, which ten persons, who had thus been prepared and taken up into a society of the lowest heaven, gave on their return. But of this necessary preliminary information, the extractor gives nothing.

3. Distinctions, in Heaven, of Dress, and of Rank. The first scrap taken from this relation (T. C. R. n. 743) is headed, "The dress of the inhabitants of heaven;" but tins is a misnomer, as what follows is not an account of the dress of the inhabitants of all the societies of heaven, among which there is, as may be supposed, an indefinite variety, but of one society only, in which, as being a society of an inferior heaven, there was more approximation than in the generality to the dresses used on earth. What is meant to be held up to ridicule in the dress described, does not appear. The extractor, I suppose, must think it right that angels should appear in some dress; then why not some of them in this? Perhaps he is displeased that the chief of the society should appear with "a kind of zone, or ribband, with the ensign of his society; the ensign was, an eagle sitting on her young at the top of a tree." But how common is it in almost all writers to regard the various orders and bands of angels as distinguished by various insignia! Thus, in the following passage of his description of the assembled angelic hosts. Milton only embodies in few words what many others have both thought and said:

"Standards and gonfalons, 'twix van and rear,
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve,
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
in their glittering tissues bear imblazed
Holy memorials,
acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent." P. L. v. 589, &c.

Or is he displeased that there should be in heaven distinctions of rank ? though this too is quite in agreement with the popular belief. Angels have always been considered as marshalled into hierarchies, or holy governments; and if, Instead of Swedenborg's calling the chief of this society the prince, he had called him the archangel, the meaning of which would be precisely the same, perhaps all difficulties would have vanished. To perplex the case a little, the extractor calls the prince of this single society, "the prince of heaven;" as if Swedenborg held that the whole of heaven was subject to some prince other than the Lord. Watts also supposes there to be "governments," and various "ranks" and "stations," in heaven.

4. Heavenly Music; and the Exalted Nature of all External Enjoyments in Heaven. The extractor heads his next selection (T. C. R. n. 745), "Amusements, pastimes, &c. in heaven" All the particulars it mentions, we have vindicated in the Sect. VI. Part. II. except that we have not noticed what it states respecting angelic music and singing; for this, surely, can be thought by none to require vindication. Who that is not quite destitute of "music in his soul;" who that is at all capable of being "moved by concord of sweet sounds," or by the heavenly affections to which they correspond, can help being affected by the following description, and feeling that such singing is truly heavenly? "Every morning, from the houses round the public buildings, are heard the most sweet songs of virgins and young girls, which penetrate through the whole city. Some one affection of spiritual love is sung every morning; that is, is expressed in sound by modifications of the singing voice, or modulations; and that affection expressed in the singing is perceived as the affection itself, flowing into the minds of the hearers, and exciting them to a correspondence with it. Such is the nature of heavenly singing." Did the accuser cite this to convince the reader, that Swedenborg's ideas of heaven are unheavenly, or his own ? The extract here given is from a discourse with the strangers respecting "such of the joys of heaven as affect the bodily senses," considered distinctly from "what renders those joys satisfactory and happy." The latter subject is treated of both in the paragraph preceding, and in that following, the one presented; which is thus a carefully sundered scrap indeed. As what is there delivered is most undeniably and sublimely heavenly, wherefore it did not suit an accuser's purpose to quote from it, we will in some degree supply the deficiency. The visiting strangers were persons who had previously supposed the joys of heaven to consist chiefly in bodily pleasures; wherefore, in the prince's discourse with them, he is represented as making these remarks: "What are the delights of the bodily senses without the delights of the soul ? It is the soul which inspires them with delight. The delights of the soul [or inmost part of the human and angelic nature] are in themselves imperceptible beatitudes; but as they descend into the thoughts of the mind, and thence into the sensations of the body, they become more and more perceptible. In the thoughts of the mind they are perceived as satisfactions [faustitates], in the sensations of the body as delights [jucunda], and in the body itself as pleasures [voluptates]. Eternal happiness is derived from the latter and the former taken together; but from the latter alone a happiness results, which, not being eternal, but temporary, is quickly ended, and passes away, and sometimes is turned into unhappiness. Ye have now seen that all your joys are joys of heaven too, and far more excellent than you could possibly have conceived; but yet such joys do not inwardly affect our minds. There are three principles which enter, by influx from the Lord, as at one, into our souls: these three as one, or this trine, are love, wisdom, and use. Love and wisdom, of themselves, only exist ideally, being confined to the affections and thoughts of the mind: but in use they exist really, because they are then together in the act and operation of the body: and where they exist really, they also subsist. Since then love and wisdom exist and subsist in use, it is use which affects us: and use consists in a faithful, sincere, and diligent discharge of the duties of our functions. The love of use, and the consequent application! to it, so keep together the powers of the mind as to prevent their dissipation: thus the mind is secured from wandering about at random, and imbibing all the lusts which flow in, with their enchanting delusions, through the senses, from the body and surrounding objects, by which the truths of religion and morality, with all that is good in either, become the sport of every wind: but an application of the mind to use, keeps in and binds together those truths, and arranges the mind into a form receptible of the wisdom thence derived; when it extirpates from its outer circumference the idle ridiculous sports of falsities and vanities" (n. 744). Are not these the dictates of solid heavenly wisdom ? And connected as it is by the writer with this account of the true source of heavenly joy, and of that which imparts to external joys their capacity of affecting the angels with delight, does not all that is said of the latter become also truly rational and heavenly ?

5. Immaculate Purity of Heavenly Society. The extractor gives this (TCR 749) under the title of "A Curious Case in Heaven." The ten visitors, who, it is to be remembered, are not angels, and, as yet, far from being such, are introduced to six virgins, who, like all in heaven, were of indescribable beauty. On approaching the strangers, however, they instantly withdrew; and on being questioned as to the reason by the angel who attended the strangers, they said, "We do not know: but we perceived something which repelled and' drove us back again." The strangers then confessed, that on the sight of suck beauties they had felt somewhat as men are too apt to do at the presence of beautiful females on earth: and this it was which was perceived by the angelic virgins, and which repelled them, though they themselves knew not the cause. Is the anecdote ridiculous ? Does not rather this little incident give a more1 exalted idea of the purity of heavenly society than could have been conveyed by the most laboured description ? The beauty of the female angels immensely exceeds all that imagination can conceive: the male angels freely enjoy their society: yet were the least improper emotion to arise in their bosoms, the innocence of the females would instantly perceive it, and it would drive them away! What innocence and chastity must reign where this never happens? Yet he who paints such innocence and chastity as inhabiting the breasts of angels, is charged, by the grossness of his accusers, with giving gross ideas of heaven ! (It is to be observed, in addition, that, owing to the statements being given as a mere sundered scrap, the parties who had the improper feelings might be supposed to be angels themselves, which is contrary to the truth.)

6. An Account of a Marriage in Heaven (TCR 747) (so headed by the Extractor), being one of the scenes to which the visitors were admitted. To this narrative, when it is believed that the institution of marriage really does exist in heaven, as has been shown in Sect. VI. Part. IV., it will be difficult to raise any objection. Everything related is in the highest degree becoming, and suitable to the place and the occasion. In the relation from which the account is taken, it is followed by a paragraph in which the significant circumstances are explained: but this, with his usual caution, the extractor omits.

7. Conjugial Cold. Some of the statements in the writings of Swedenborg are thought objectionable, merely because the terms used for expressing them are with difficulty translated into the English language, in such a manner as to retain the idea intended and yet be agreeable to the idiom of our tongue. "Conjugial cold," a translation of the Author's frigus conjugiale, is a phrase which certainly does not sound very agreeably to our ears. The term conjugial was adopted by the translator of the work De Amore Conjugiali, in preference to conjugal, for reasons which he has assigned in his preface, and which we need not here consider. But whether the phrase "conjugial cold" be pleasing or not to our ears, the thing meant by it has, unhappily, but too certain an existence; as many a neglected wife can testify. By it, the author means, that feeling of coldness or indifference towards their wives, which too often invades the breasts of men in the married state. The extract is a relation from the Appendix to one of the chapters in the work on Conjugial Love (CL 270), to illustrate the question, "In what region of the human mind doth love truly conjugial reside; and thence in what region doth conjugial cold reside ?" In it, the mind is representatively exhibited under the image of a house or palace with its various apartments; and the subject of inquiry is beautifully illustrated by other symbolic appearances. The whole conveys a highly pleasing idea of the delightful manner in which instruction on the most recondite subjects is communicated by corresponding appearances in the spiritual world; and the appropriateness of the images to the things intended to be expressed is adapted to strike every mind, not disposed to scoff at every thing truly heavenly and angelic. That a house is constantly mentioned in the Word of God as an appropriate symbol of the mind, must be obvious to every attentive reader of the sacred pages.

8. Of the Jews in the Spiritual World. (TCR 841). The relation, of which a part is extracted under this title, is such as must be allowed to wear the most striking aspect of truth, by all who are aware, that man after death is still a man, and that the circumstances in which he finds himself are inexact accord with the state of his heart and mind. By those who have had opportunity of observing what the Jews are in this world; and who also believe, what reason and Scripture would teach all to believe, that the habits of thinking and feeling which a man has confirmed in himself by the whole course of his life in this world follow him into the other, and that death does not miraculously transform a man into a being altogether dissimilar to his former self, but only strips off all that does not properly belong to him, and displays him such as, in his veriest self, he is;—by all who are acquainted with these facts, the account of the Jews in the spiritual world must be allowed to be as truly reasonable as it is faithfully characteristic. It is to be observed, however, to prevent misconception, that nearly all which is here related of the Jews refers to their state in the world of spirits, where all first appear after death, and not to their final states in heaven or hell. Nothing, also, can be more reasonable, than the means affirmed to be employed, to bring them, where practicable, to the acknowledgment of the Lord, particularly respecting the occasional appearance to them of an angel, whom they believe to be Moses, who "admonishes them to desist from the folly of expecting the Messiah, as if he were still to come among them; representing to them that Christ, who governs them and all other creatures, is the Messiah; that he, Moses, knows this to be true, and that, while in the world, he had knowledge of him." In short, the whole evinces, that, though man cannot but remain after death such as he had made himself by his life here, means are there provided by Divine Mercy to lead all, who, by their life here, have acquired any capacity for it, to heaven and the Lord; and that even Jews, low as their rank is among the families of the human race, are not, by the mere circumstance of their being Jews, excluded from salvation. In the original, two paragraphs are added which are omitted by the extractor, but which greatly add to the verisimilitude of the relation. They exhibit the manner in which the unconverted Jews adhere, in the other life, to their notions about the future coming of their Messiah and their own return to the land of Canaan. In the Intellectual Repository, Vol. iv. p. 210, &c., is an account of an interview which Mr. Hindmarsh once had with a party of Jews; and the answers he obtained from them, on the subjects respecting which the sentiments held, by them in the spiritual world are here related, present a coincidence with the statements of our Author which is not a little remarkable.

9. Of Divine Influx into Man. (HH 251.) This extract states, that the influx from the Lord into man passes through the forehead, and so into the whole face (meaning, the forehead and face of his spirit); and that of. the spiritual angels (or those in whom intellect predominates) takes place into-that part of the head which is occupied by the cerebrum, that being the portion, of the brain which is the seat of the intellectual faculties; whereas the celestial angels (or those in whom love predominates) act upon the part of the head which is occupied by the cerebellum, that being the portion of the brain which is the: chief seat of man's will and love. This statement may probably appear rather strange to those who do not seriously think that man is the subject of any "influx" at all: but those who, in agreement with the Scriptures, believe that man lives by an influx or communication of life flowing into his soul from moment to moment from the Lord, and that the Lord employs the angels in dispensing his gifts, who are "sent forth to minister unto them who are heirs of salvation;" will see no reason to ridicule the statement. Many philosophers have now adopted the belief, that the distinct faculties of the mind have distinct parts of the brain as their proper organs: if this be true; if it be at the same time admitted that man is the subject of influences from angelic beings; and if it be believed also that there are distinct classes of heavenly beings, suited to the "many mansions" of our heavenly "Father's house;" it then becomes certain, that the good influences experienced in each of our various mental faculties must come immediately from that class of angelic beings in whom that faculty, in all its excellence, forms the predominant characteristic. It cannot, indeed, be reasonably doubted, that the "many mansions" of our heavenly "Father's house" are equal in number to the distinct faculties of the angelic mind, which is the same as the human mind; that they exactly, in fact, correspond to each other; and hence that the "influx" by which each faculty of the human mind is directed to its proper use comes from the specific heavenly "mansion" which corresponds to it, and the inhabitants of which are preeminently distinguished by it. As then all the human faculties are distinguishable into two general classes,—those of understanding and will,—it will follow, that the same is the case with the angelic hosts in general, and that it is not without meaning that the Scripture speaks of the Lord's "angels" who are "spirits," and of "his ministers" who are "a flame of fire" (Ps. civ. 4): and it follows again, that the one class of angels operates chiefly on man's will, and the other chiefly on his understanding, and thus upon those organs of his frame which are the seats of those faculties of the mind. As to the influx from the Lord into man's forehead and face, this is stated in the extract to be, because "the forehead corresponds to man's love, and the face to the interiors of his mind;" and that they have such a correspondence, and thence have such a signification in Scripture, will appear to any one who examines the passages where they are mentioned. Now whether, from this correspondence and signification of the forehead and face, the influx from the Lord does or does not affect in a peculiar manner the face of man's spirit, let those judge who recollect what stress is laid in the Word of God on a man's setting the Lord before his face. Every one intuitively has an idea of a good man as having his face turned towards the Lord, or having the Lord before his face, and of the contrary as being the case with a wicked man; and this is the origin of the numerous phrases in use among religious people, respecting conversion and being converted. Whence can all this be, but because the influx of the Lord with his divine life of love and wisdom into man, in a peculiar manner affects the face of his spirit, and thus turns it, in those who receive that influx, towards himself? And to ridicule this, is in reality to ridicule the numerous passages of the Word of God which speak according to the appearances derived from this fact. Swedenborg does not mean to state, that the face of man, considered as to his spirit, is the seat, or receptacle, of the influx of life which flows into him from the Lord; but that, because the face corresponds to the interiors of his mind, the influx from the Lord into the interiors of the mind in a peculiar manner affects his face, and gives it the aspect of being turned towards him. As the Lord is omnipresent; and as, also, in the spiritual world, there is no real space, but only the appearance of it; this perpetual turning of the angel's face to the Lord, so as to be in the direct reception of the rays of love and wisdom which beam from him as the Sun of righteousness, by no means restrains the freedom of his motions: he can change the position of his body as he pleases: but in whatever direction he turns it, he still has a perception of the Lord as being before him. Thus what Swedenborg says, respecting the influx from the Lord into man's forehead and face, is clearly founded in Scripture, and in the very nature of things.

10. Origin of the Uncomfortable Mental Feelings attendant on Indigestion: quoted under the title of "Curious Account of Anxiety and Grief." (HH 299.) This is a paragraph from a most instructive chapter "On the Conjunction of Heaven with the Human Race," and on man's connexion with spiritual beings in general: but to understand some things contained in it, two former chapters also should be studied, in which it is shown, "That there is a Correspondence between all things of Heaven and all things of Man," and, "There is a Correspondence between Heaven and all things of the Earth." Viewed in connexion with what is there developed, the present scrap, "curious" as it may appear in its sundered state, would be found in agreement with reason and truth. Its purport is, that when undigested food lies long in the stomach, certain spirits of an evil nature, who are of a quality corresponding to such impure substances, are capable of being near the man, as to his spiritual part, from whose presence, though unperceived, arises a sense of anxiety and melancholy. Thus simply propounded, the statement may perhaps appear "curious;" yet, even thus, it assuredly is not more curious than the persuasion of the medical faculty in general and of most others; who believe that the state of the stomach exercises a direct influence on the state of the mind, and this without the interference of any spiritual agency whatever! What rank materialism is this! Yet many who are not favourers of materialism in other respects cannot fail to adopt it, when they advert to a well-known fact, and yet refuse to accept the explanation of it offered by Swedenborg. That protracted indigestion is accompanied with very distressing anxieties and depressions of mind, is universally known, and is experienced by multitudes in a very painful manner. Here is the indisputable fact. What can be the cause of it ? Is the stomach the seat of the mind ? or is there an "influx" from the stomach into the mind ? The thought is monstrous. Then how account for the fact, but by admitting the hypothesis of Swedenborg, being the only one by which the influence on the mind that undeniably operates in states of indigestion can be referred to a spiritual cause ? According to his representation of the connexion between the spiritual and natural worlds, every object and substance in the natural world affords a basis to such objects and actions of the spiritual world as correspond to its nature; thus all clean and useful objects and substances yield a basis in which, as it were, rest and terminate the spiritual spheres proceeding from the heavenly worlds and their inhabitants; and all unclean and noxious objects and substances yield a basis, in which rest and terminate the spiritual spheres proceeding from the infernal worlds and their inhabitants. Consequently, when the work of digestion does not go on properly, but the contents of the stomach Are in a disorderly state, they, like other unclean substances, will afford a basis in which rest and terminate the spiritual spheres proceeding from a certain class of evil spirits of a corresponding nature: but as this is a basis within, and, in a degree, vitally adjoined to, the man himself, the spirits from whom such spheres proceed are at the same time brought near to his spirit, whence they, and not his stomach itself, exercise an influence on his mind, and produce in him the sense of melancholy and anxiety. This is Swedenborg's view of the subject. By those who disbelieve the existence of any spiritual world, or of any connexion between the spiritual world and the natural, or of any influence exercised by spiritual beings on the mind of man, it may be laughed at; but by those who do not venture to contradict both Scripture and reason, by denying such things, it will be differently regarded. In any case it must be allowed, that to account for the otherwise unaccountable changes in the state of the human mind, from a spiritual cause, though states of the body may draw that spiritual cause into operation, is more philosophical, than to reject the spiritual cause altogether, and to suppose a direct operation of matter upon mind.

11. Public Worship, Preaching, &c., in Heaven. (HH 223.) That Swedenborg's assertion, that there are public worship and preaching in heaven, should appear ridiculous to a preacher and conductor of public worship on earth, seems not a little extraordinary. We have seen above (p. 334), that the truly pious and judicious Watts fully believed that in heaven there must be both. On the supposition that such is the fact, what our Author has said respecting it must be allowed to be worthy of the subject, and to require no vindication.

12. Concerning the Hollanders in the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. n. 804, 805.) What was said on the extract respecting the Jews above, will in great part apply to this and to the next. It is to be remembered that this description of the Dutch in the spiritual world only relates to their state in the world of spirits, soon after they have left this world by death, and before they are prepared for their final states in heaven and in hell. In the world of spirits, as is expressly affirmed in the first extract, all are arranged "according to their natural affections," such as these had been on earth: hence their state in many respects is similar to what it had been on earth; only they are then in the interiors of their natural affections respectively, whence their actions, circumstances, and the appearances about them, are all such as exactly correspond to their natural affections, such as these are in their intrinsic nature. Hence they exhibit there, and this by corresponding circumstances and actions, the very types of their natural characters, every thing extraneous thereto being removed. Let then any one, with this preliminary information, and possessing an accurate knowledge of the natural and national character of the Dutch, read what is here said of them, and, instead of deeming it ridiculous, any further than as some of the traits of that character itself may be deemed ridiculous, he will, I am satisfied, acknowledge it to be just, and to be characteristic in a very high degree. But it is to be observed, that, after a longer or shorter time, all pass from the state of their natural affections, or such as were proper to them in the world, into those properly belonging to their spirit, which are quite different from the former, though agreeing with them by correspondence. All the appearances about them are then entirely changed; and those who only knew them in their former state would know them no longer.

13. Concerning the English in the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. n. 809, 810, 811.) All that is said of the last article is equally true of this, which therefore requires no further explanation. Of the truth of the painting here, every one may judge; and every one must acknowledge its exactness; though what is said of the preachers of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, though strikingly characteristic, will, for that very reason, be unacceptable to the adherents to that doctrine. The parts of the chapter which the extractor has suppressed are perhaps more obviously characteristic than what he has selected: in particular, he has withheld the handsome tribute which is paid to the superiority of the English character among the nations of Europe; which ought to afford some recommendation of the Author to the favourable attention of Britons. Though himself a foreigner, he speaks of the natives of this country as follows: "With respect to the people of England, the better sort among them are in the centre of all Christians, in consequence of possessing an interior intellectual light. This, though not apparent to any one in the natural world, in the spiritual world is very conspicuous. They derive this light from their liberty of speaking and writing, and thus of thinking: while others who do not enjoy such liberty have that light presented in a confused manner, because it wants an outlet. There is among them a similarity of disposition, which leads them to an intimate connexion with friends of their own country, but seldom with others. They are kind in relieving each other's necessities, and love sincerity. They are lovers of their country, and zealous for its glory," &c. (n. 807, 808.)

14. Unfair "Specimens of Baron Swedenborg' s Commentaries on the book of Genesis." This is a collection of carefully sundered scraps indeed. It is introduced with the learned complaint, that, "the Baron has taken the liberty to new translate the text," that is, that, writing in Latin, he did not give the text of the English Bible! Some verses he then selects from chs, ii. and v. with the spiritual sense as first briefly subjoined by the Author to each verse, omitting all the explanations which are invariably added to illustrate and exhibit the grounds of the interpretation, and when read in connexion with which it will be found equally intelligible and just; yet, after having kept far the greater part of each article out of sight, the extractor is not ashamed to conclude with this sentence: "The above specimens may suffice to give a tolerable idea of Baron Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia; and many will, no doubt, think with the publisher of these extracts, that the commentaries are far more mysterious than the text." (p. 121.) A tolerable idea, truly! Yes, these sundered scraps give just as tolerable an idea of the Arcana Coelestia, as a skeleton gives of a man.

15. Concerning the State and Nature of Man after Death: with a brief description of the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. n. 792—794.) All the statements contained in this extract have been abundantly vindicated in Section VI.

16. None can abide in Heaven, who have not Heaven in their own souls: given under the description of "An Angel cast down from Heaven for professing his belief in the Personality of the Son of God" (T. C. R. n. 110.) This is one of the extractor's artful titles, by which he endeavours to convey such a false and unjust impression of what follows as may prejudice the reader at the outset. The spirit whom the extractor calls an angel, is affirmed in the relation itself to have been an angel of the dragon! and what he denominates "professing his belief in the Personality of the Son of God," consisted in his affirming, "that God the Father and God the Son are two, and not one." (In the edition from which Mr. B. quotes, it is, "are not one, but two persona;" but in the last edition it is given as here, there being in the original no mention of persons.) Now whether a spirit who actually believed the Father and Son to be two Gods, and in whom that belief was so confirmed by an evil life that he was incapable of receiving a better, could be tolerated in heaven, let the reader judge. Some, perhaps, may still wonder, how an angel of the dragon could have got into heaven at all: but this wonder will not so much affect the statement of Swedenborg as the statement of Scripture which he follows. John the Revelator informs us, that "there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, ahd prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven" (Rev. xii. 7, 8). But it has been shown in Sect. IV. above (p. 144, 147), that the heaven here spoken of as occupied by the dragon and his angels, is not the proper heaven of angels, but a superior region of the intermediate world of spirits. Now as, after the judgment, such spirits no longer found a place there, it will follow, that any who might aspire thither would be speedily cast down. This appears to have been the case in the instance before us: and then there remains no matter of wonder whatever. However, it is not impossible, according to Swedenborg's statements elsewhere, for a spirit who is inwardly evil, but who yet believes himself entitled to Leaven, to ascend thither for a short time, if he eagerly desires it, before he is consigned to his proper home. This is permitted in order to convince him how impossible it is for him to endure the sphere of tbe angelic abodes. The usual consequence is, that, the very atmosphere of the place being in utter contrariety to the quality of his life, he is immediately seized with a sense of suffocation j intolerable torments writhe his whole frame; and he eagerly casts himself down. Hypocrites, however, who know how to assume the appearance of angels of light, can sometimes endure it a little longer. That all this is agreeable to fact; that they who are not principled in the faith which has its origin in charity, may indeed intrude within the angelic abodes, but that they cannot remain there, is plainly taught by the Lord in his parable of the wedding-feast; at which a man without a wedding-garment appeared indeed among the guests, but was speedily cast out. See the remark on this circumstance in Sect, VI. p. 314.

17. Clear Exposure of the Impossibility of the Resurrection of the Material Body; cited with the assertion that "The following will show that the Baron, with all his faith and charity, could almost copy the language of Infidels." (T. C. R. n. 770.) See above, p. 77.

18. Swedenborg's Unaffected Mention of his Call to his Office; extracted under the title of "Baron Swedenborg's Egotism." For what the extractor is pleased so to denominate, see above, pp. 263, 264, and the remark at bottom of p. 266, and then judge of the fairness of the description.

19. Appropriate Corresponding Representations; cited as "The Harlot and the Dead Horse in the Spiritual World." (T. C. R. n. 277.) The extractor has given this relation a title which only applies to one part of it, and that the smallest. A symbolic representation is described, in which, by the appearances customary in the spiritual world, is exhibited the nature of the Word both as to its natural and its spiritual sense, the free communication of knowledge thence to such as are in states to receive it, and the falsification of its truths too generally prevailing at this day, whereby the right apprehension of the Word is lost. The causes and nature of the appearances have been sufficiently explained in Sect. VI. above: and the whole, I cannot but think, must be deemed beautiful and impressive by all those, of whose views of truth and apprehension of the Word a harlot and dead horse are not the proper symbols. Had it been Swedenborg, and not John the Divine, who relates the visions of the harlot of Babylon, and of the beast whose head was wounded unto death, the mirth of those who ridicule the present relation would, doubtless, have been unbounded.

20. Concerning the Mahometans in the Spiritual World. (T. C. R. n. 828, 830, 834.) In these scraps we have marks of very careful picking and culling; and with good reason has it been exercised; for in the longest of the intermediate paragraphs (n. 833), the Author so strikingly and beautifully "vindicates the ways of God to man," in having permitted the Mahometan religion to be so extensively established, that it would be difficult to read it without being convinced that it proceeded from a mind eminently instructed in the proceedings of Divine Providence. I have been assured from a person who was present, and who was too well acquainted with the subject to be liable to any mistake, that in a sermon at the Tabernacle for the Missionary Society, Dr. A. Clarke introduced the ideas contained in this paragraph, giving them, for the most part, in the very words of Swedenborg, and that their beauty so struck the hearers, as to be the subject afterwards of much observation and admiration; what would the admiring congregation have said, had they known whence they were taken ? As to the passages which the adversary has selected, they require no explanation, after what has been said on his extracts respecting the Jews, the Dutch, and the English.

21 & 22. Concerning Infants in Heaven. Under this title are given two extracts from Swedenborg's Conj. Love, n. 410, 411, 412. All the particulars contained in them have been sufficiently explained in Sect. VI. p. 335, &c.

23. Appropriateness of Swedenborg's Language to his Subject; given as "A Sample of Swedenborg's Learned Jargon." (Div. Love and Wisd. n. 185.) For so does this erudite and modest accuser entitle a scrap, which, when sundered, as it carefully is, from the explanations that precede and follow it, he judges, avowedly from his own experience, the ignorant may find unintelligible. The only "hard words" used in it, however, are co-exist, continuous, and continuity, discrete, altitude, latitude, prior, and posterior; the meaning of all which may be found in any dictionary, though the extractor considers any composition in which they occur to be incomprehensible "jargon." Whatever he may think, it is not the use of scientific terms upon a profoundly scientific subject, where such terms alone are adequate to express the meaning intended, which gives to a composition the character of jargon; but the use of any terms whatever without meaning, or without appropriate meaning: and, were I disposed to retaliate, I could adduce several passages from the accuser's book which strictly come under the definition. In the extract in question, Swedenborg is speaking of two species of degrees according to which all things in the. universe are arranged, and of the difference between which he was the first discoverer, though the learned in general are now beginning to acknowledge: the reality of the distinction. The nature of the difference between these two kinds of degrees is explained by the author in the paragraph immediately preceding that quoted, and which even this extractor did not venture to select as bearing the character of jargon. It is as follows: "The knowledge of degrees is like a key for the opening of the causes of things, and for affording admission into them. Without this knowledge, scarce any thing respecting the nature of causes can be understood. For without this knowledge, the objects and subjects of both worlds appear as simple, as if they contained nothing within them beyond what is obvious to the eye; when, nevertheless, this, respectively to what is within it, bears the proportion of but one to thousands, yea, to myriads. The things contained within, "which are not obvious to the eye, can never be disclosed without a knowledge of degrees: for the ascent from things that are exterior to such as are interior, and by these to such as are inmost, is according to degrees,—not according to continuous degrees, but to discrete degrees. Continuous degrees are those by which objects decrease from coarser to finer, or from denser to rarer; or rather, by which they increase from finer to coarser, or from rarer to denser, as in light passing into shade, or in heat passing into cold. But discrete degrees are of a quite different nature. They are like things prior (or first), things posterior (or succeeding), and things postreme (or last); or like end, cause, and effect. These degrees are said to be discrete, because that which is prior exists distinctly, that which is posterior distinctly, and that which is postreme distinctly: nevertheless, when taken together, they form one whole. The atmospheres, as they pass from highest to lowest, or from the sun to the earth; and which are called ethers and airs, are distinguished into such degrees: in their different degrees they are like simple substances,—substances formed by the combination of several of the former,—and substances formed again by the combination of several of these; and these, taken together, are called one compound substance. These degrees are discrete, because they exist distinctly; these are what we mean when we speak of degrees of altitude; but the former degrees are continuous, because they increase continuously [or slide from one into another by imperceptible gradations]: these are what we mean when we speak of degrees of latitude." Now whether or not this may be at once understood by the utterly unlearned, it will assuredly be admired by all the learned for the clearness with which it explains a subject in itself abstruse; and so far is any part of it from being jargon,—words without appropriate ideas,—that the ideas conveyed in it might easily be familiarly illustrated so as to be easily intelligible to the most ignorant also; though to do this would require many more than the few, and most appropriately chosen words in which it is here couched by the author. The same remarks are applicable to the paragraphs selected by the accuser, after that here cited has, as intended by the author, been read first. (For proof that the learned of the present day are adopting the doctrine here delivered, see the Intellectual Repository, Second Series, vol. i. pp. 131, &c., where the subject is illustrated by copious extracts from Kirby and Spence's Introduction to Entomology.)

24. Angels descendants of the Human Race. (Div. L. and W. n. 330) The doctrine delivered in this extract has been abundantly proved in Sect. VI. Part II. This extract, though a completely sundered scrap, is so obviously beautiful, (as, indeed, are many of the others,) that it is wonderful by what infatuation the extractor could think it calculated to promote his purpose. But his object in selecting the present beautiful passage, is evident, from his endeavouring, by printing part of it in Italics, to force upon that part a ridiculous meaning which the author never intended. What he has thus marked is a clause in which the author states, that man cannot be rational unless his body be in a sound state. But can the accuser seriously believe, that it is here meant to be asserted, that every derangement of the bodily frame destroys the powers of the mind ?—that a hurt in the finger or the toe, for instance, will, in Swedenborg's estimation, deprive a man of rationality ? It is sufficiently obvious from the passage itself, (and if it were not, it is abundantly evident from other parts of the author's writings), that his meaning is, that man cannot be rational, when the part of his body on which the exercise of his rational faculties depends is not in a sound state, as is the case in idiots and persons delirious or insane; and that part is, not the leg or the stomach, nor even the lungs or the heart, but the brain. This is his plain meaning; and to insinuate the contrary, is to resort to an artifice, totally unbecoming a fair opponent.

25. Swedenborg's explanation of our Saviour's praying to his Father. (T. C. R. n. 110.) This also is a beautiful extract. The subject is sufficiently explained in Section VII., Part II., and specifically at pp. 374, 375, 376.

26. The Divine Power always exercised agreeably to Divine Order; given under the description of "God's Power of Redemption circumscribed by Baron Swedenborg" (T. C. R. n. 73.) This is another of the calumnious titles by which Mr. B. so often endeavours to excite unmerited odium against the object of his attack. The extract to which it is prefixed is truly a carefully sundered scrap. It is a single sentence taken out of the middle of a paragraph containing a closely connected discussion of three pages, and forming a sequel to a similar paragraph of three pages more; and the reasoning contained in the whole is so luminous and conclusive, as, had the extractor read it, must have convinced, one might suppose, even him. But, like many others, he has obviously turned over the pages of Swedenborg, not with a view of seriously weighing any thing they contain, but merely to look for such things as, when nakedly propounded, might be deemed "curious;" and as soon as his eye catches a paragraph, or even a sentence, which, taken by itself, he thinks likely to help the impression it is his object to make, he outs it out of its connection, and presents it as a sample of the whole. Connected with what precedes and follows, the sentence here cut out only affirms, that God, notwithstanding he is omnipotent, could not, agreeably to the order which he himself has established, have redeemed mankind without assuming human nature, and raising this to complete union with his Divine Nature, in the manner in which these divine works were actually accomplished; for in the context it is shown, that the omnipotence of God is never exercised in an arbitrary manner, but always according to the laws of his own divine order. To affirm this, however, is, in our accuser's estimation, to circumscribe God's power of redemption. According to him, the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in our nature, with his sufferings, death, and resurrection, were by no means necessary to the redemption of mankind, but man might have been saved just as well had Jesus never been born. "To bind God with the chains of his own order, appears" to him, as to certain other objectors, "great wickedness," and "opposed to his omnipotence." In short, "God's power is circumscribed," according to this theologian, if we suppose him to act from any principle of order, or from any other impulse than that of whim and caprice. Whether the holder of such notions has any right to hold up Swedenborg to derision for advancing the contrary,—for believing, in particular, that infinite order and infinite wisdom, together with infinite power, were displayed in every step of the work of human redemption; let the Reflecting decide.

27. "Christ's sitting at the Right Hand of God explained by Baron Swedenborg" (T. C. R. p. 136.) And a most beautiful and obviously true explanation it is. See it vindicated above, pp. 415, 416, 417.

28. The Apostles sent forth in the Spiritual World to preach the Gospel. (T. C. R. n. 791.) If, as is so probable, and so congenial to the conceptions of the most intelligent men (as we have seen in Sect. VI. pp. 333, 334, 335), there are employments in the heavenly world, varying according to the genius of the heavenly spirits and their acquirements formed by their habits in the world; and if, according to the opinion and language of Dr. Watts there cited, there is preaching in that world, and "lectures of divine wisdom and grace given to the younger spirits there by spirits of a more exalted station," then are not these precisely the employments in which we should most naturally suppose the apostles to be engaged ? Accordingly, Dr. Watts scruples not to conjecture that such is the fact, and adds to the apostles the prophets also. "You will perhaps say," he remarks, as if again he were addressing this accuser, "that we shall have no need of their teaching when we get to heaven! for we shall be near God himself, and shall receive all immediately from him. But hath the Scripture anywhere excluded the assistance of our fellow-spirits; God can teach us here on earth immediately by his own Spirit, without the use of books and letters, without the help of prophets and ministers, men of like passions with ourselves; and yet he chooses rather to do it in an instrumental way, and makes his creatures in the lower world the means of our instruction under the superior influence of his own Spirit. And why may he not use the same methods to communicate knowledge to spirits that newly arrive at that upper world ? There we shall see the patriarchs of the old world, and prophets of the old dispensation, as well as the apostles and; evangelists of Christ and his gospel.—There Paul and Moses shall join together to give us an account of the Jewish law, and read wondrous and entertaining lectures on the types and figures of that economy, and still lead our thoughts to the glorious antitype with surprising encomiums of the blessed Jesus. Paul shall unfold the dark places of his own writings, better than he himself once understood them; and Moses shall become an interpreter of his own law, who knew so little of the mystery and beauty of it on earth himself." (Vol. ii. pp. 425, 426.) Now when Swedenborg affirms, only that part of what Watts here so confidently anticipates is true, is it to be deemed less credible, than when proposed with so many additions by Watts ? But the scene of the specific preaching of the apostles mentioned by Swedenborg, is not in heaven, but in the intermediate region or world of spirits. We have, however, amply seen, in Sec. IV., Part III., that this intermediate region was to be the scene of the last judgment, and, of course, that, at that time, great and extraordinary operations were there to be accomplished. One of these operations, it is declared by the Lord himself, should be, "the sending of his angels, who should gather together his elect from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark xiii. 27.) Is there the least improbability in supposing, that at least among these angels might be the twelve apostles ? And how were they to ascertain who were the elect, and to gather them together ? What means so likely, as by proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,—by announcing the fact, that he had taken to him his great power, and would reign, as the only God of heaven and earth ? Thus, in every point of view, there is much that confirms the probability of Swedenborg's statement on this subject; and nothing on which the shadow of an argument can be raised against it. But it will not be generally believed, so long as the inward incredulity which is now so general in regard to the existence of any spiritual world whatever, continues to exert its torpifying influence on the human mind. Where this prevails, and among those in whom it does not break out into open denial, it is all very well to talk of such things, so long as they are only proposed, as by Watts, in the way of conjecture and speculation: suggestions thus offered may be admired as ingenious, pretty, and plausible: but rise from the language of conjecture to that of knowledge; affirm that the views proposed are not to be played with as the creations of fancy, but to be acted upon as the realities of fact; and the inward spirit of incredulity at once rises in rebellion, shuts the mind against the admission of the thought, and, proceeding from rejection to aggression, pronounces with dogmatism, that what appeared beautiful regarded as a fiction, is absurdity when regarded as a truth.

With this remark, I conclude my examination of the extracts from our author, given in the Anti-Swedenborg. I trust it will be seen by the generality of those whose minds are not entirely closed by a confirmed state of such incredulity, that all the statements which have been noticed, are perfectly in accordance with the assertions of Scripture, and with the dictates of reason also, when Reason is aware of the two truths which Scripture and Reason equally testify, that man after death is a real man as before, and that all the circumstances in which he then finds himself, are outward expressions of his inward state. It must also be seen by all, that however I may have succeeded in the vindication of the extracts, the manner in which they have been selected by our adversary is in the highest degree partial and unjust;—that they by no means afford a fair opportunity of judging of the writings of the illustrious Swedenborg.

But I have one other remark to make, which is perhaps of some importance: it is, That even they who may be of opinion, that such statements as some of those which we have been considering, had no other origin than the imagination of the writer, will not be justified, on this account, in rejecting, indiscriminately, the whole of his writings. I have known several, whose prejudices against supernatural communications were so strong, that they could not believe the reality of those of Swedenborg; who yet were immediately satisfied, on looking into his works, that the greatest injustice is done him in the estimate formed of him by the religious world at large; and who became fully convinced of the truth of his general views of doctrine. It can absolutely be denied by none, that in all his writings are delivered sentiments of the highest importance, proposed and discussed in the most luminous and truly rational manner, and with a clearness of evidence which those who are not deterred from seriously attending to it by extraneous considerations, find it very difficult to resist: is it then the part of a rational man, under the influence of merely extraneous considerations, to refuse to avail himself of what is indisputably excellent, and to reject the whole for what he regards as a blemish in certain parts ? On the supposition that those parts are merely the offspring of imagination, they must have been the products, not of a light or disordered mind, but of a meditation so profound, that the subjects of it occasionally became embodied as realities. If also, the having received such impressions, whether real or not, is a sufficient reason for rejecting the whole of his writings and sentiments, with them must be rejected the writings and sentiments of many others, who were regarded with the highest esteem in their life-time, and who have since retained, and retain still, a large share of influence over the opinions of mankind. Even deists have been of this number. The story of Lord Herbert of Cherbury is well known; who was encouraged, as he believed, by a supernatural appearance, to publish his book against the Christian religion. Among the great geniuses who arose on the revival of learning, few were more distinguished than the celebrated Cardan. This man believed, and most solemnly affirms, that he had frequent communication with spirits: yet none of the learned allege this as a reason for rejecting his writings in toto, or for refusing to look at the valuable things which they are admitted to contain. Abundance of similar instances might be adduced; but I will content myself with that of the famous Luther. If we are not to accept the doctrines of the New Church, because their propounder avers that he had spiritual communications; we ought never to have separated from the Church of Rome, because the greatest of the Reformers asserts the same thing. Many statements respecting Luther's supernatural intercourses, contained in his own works, might be quoted: but we will take a specimen of a Memorable Relation of his from his book De Missa Privata et Unct. Sacerd. [It may be seen complete in the edition of his works printed at Wittenberg in 1588, tom. vii. p. 479. In the later editions some parts of it have been omitted; but I have ascertained that it is contained, with only the omission of the words describing the devil's voice, in the copy of Luther's works in the library of the Royal Institution, tom. vii. p. 228].

"Awaking from a sound sleep a few nights ago," says Luther, "the devil, who, I assure you, has made me pass many an uneasy one, began to speak to me as follows. 'Listen to me, O learned man! Do you know that, for these fifteen years, you have been in the daily habit of saying private masses: Now what if all this time you have committed daily acts of idolatry, and, instead of the body and blood of Christ, have adored, and exhibited to others to adore, nothing but plain bread and wine?' I instantly replied, 'I am an anointed priest, ordained by a bishop; I acted according to the command of my superiors; why then should I not be said to have truly consecrated, as I pronounced the words attentively, and said mass most devoutly?' 'Very true,' said the devil, 'but the very Turks and heathens perform their rites in their temples from a principle of obedience, as well as you. But what if your ordination and consecration were both false, like that of the Turks and Samaritans?' Here," says Luther, "my heart began to beat, and the cold sweat to ooze out from every pore. The devil put forth his whole argumentative force; and he has a deep and strong voice. Nor can such an altercation continue long; on the contrary, question and answer pass in an instant. It was then I plainly perceived how it sometimes happens that people are found dead in their beds. He can destroy the human frame when and where he chooses: nay, so oppress the soul as to force it from the body, as he has often nearly done mine; so that I am convinced both Empson and OEcolampadius were killed in this manner; for no human being, unassisted by God, can withstand it."—He goes on to relate, at considerable length, the remainder of the dispute; and what is not a little extraordinary, he gives the devil the right side of the argument, and is convinced by him of the idolatrous nature of private masses.

Now that there was some illusion in this statement of Luther's will be generally thought. Admitting there to be any reality in it whatever, it certainly was not the devil, considered as the sovereign of hell, with whom he held the conversation; nor was it with all hell, considered as one aggregate power, in which sense the devil is spoken of in Scripture. According, however, to Swedenborg's statements, it is by no means impossible that some spirit or other discoursed with Luther on this occasion, whom he, judging of the case from his own previously formed opinions, might suppose to be the devil. But even on the supposition that it was an evil spirit, or a devil, the relation is very incongruous: the sentiments delivered are by no means in perfect accordance, as is strictly the case in all Swedenborg's relations, with the imputed character of the speaker. But let the incongruity be ever so extreme; or even supposing the whole, as will now be the judgment of most, to be the mere offspring of imagination; will any assert that the writings of Luther are therefore to be rejected altogether? that it was absolutely wrong, under such a guide, to forsake the Romish communion ? that it is impossible justly to regard him, as he has been hitherto extensively regarded, as an extraordinary instrument in the hands of Providence for good ? They who hesitate at coming to such conclusions in regard to Luther, ought to beware how they adopt similar ones in regard to Swedenborg. This observation would be true, were his statements equally incongruous: much more is it true, when, as just remarked, there is none of his Memorable Relations which does not wear much more of the character of consistency and probability than does this Memorable Relation of Luther's.

The case altogether stands exactly thus:

Luther affirms that he had supernatural communications, of which he relates many instances:

Swedenborg affirms that he, also, had supernatural communications; and he gives such explanations of the nature of the spiritual world, and of man as possessing a spiritual part as well as a natural part, as clearly account for his own spiritual experience, and for Luther's also:

Luther, notwithstanding his relations of his supernatural communications, is regarded by all Protestants as entitled to the utmost respect as a theological leader and writer:

Consequently, Swedenborg, whose writings on no subject are less rational than those of Luther, and on many are far more so, is entitled to at least an equal degree of respect from the Christian world.

The above relation, with other similar statements, has lately been published by the Catholics as a tract, under the title of Martin Luther's Conference with the Devil, by way of throwing ridicule on Luther and the Reformation; in exactly the same manner as our opponents, by their "Sundry Extracts," endeavour to throw ridicule on Swedenborg and the New Church; and if these succeed in their object, the Catholics, most certainly, ought to succeed in theirs.

I only add, to prevent misconception, that while in these last paragraphs I have reasoned upon the supposition, that Swedenborg's statements respecting his spiritual intercourse might only originate in imagination, I by no mean a intend to admit, that in my own estimation, formed from an examination of all the circumstances of the case, there is any possibility of such having been the fact. And though I am of opinion that they who think so, may, nevertheless, read his writings with advantage, I am satisfied that few of those who shall thus come to the conviction that his writings are true in part, will fail to conclude in the end, that they are true altogether.

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