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and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."* And the Lord himself: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." It is to this testimony that Swedenborg appeals. As the "harbinger" of the Lord at his first advent preached of, and pointed to, the Word made flesh, and they who thence were led to Jesus acknowledged, that, though "John did no miracle, all things that he said of this man were true;" so does the herald of the second advent point to the Lord in his Word, and they who, guided by his directions, seek him there, will assuredly find, that, though Swedenborg did no miracle, all that he has said of the presence of the Lord therein, in the power and glory of its spiritual sense, is true also. And the one is as great a divine discovery as the other. As it was impossible for John, without illumination from above, to have known in his true character the Word in person; so was it impossible for Swedenborg, without illumination from above, to have known the true character of the written Word of God, to have seen how it makes a one with the living Word himself; being a derivation from him in the inmost of which he is, and by the opening of the internal sense of which he is bringing himself nearer than ever to mankind, and granting to them a nearer access to him. It would be idle, I admit, to talk in this manner, if the views of Scripture given in the writings of Swedenborg differed not from those of commentators in general,-if they contained nothing beyond what learning and study and piety might discover: but if they exhibit far more than this; if they present the Word in a light completely new and transcendantly glorious; if they prove that it includes throughout a regular spiritual sense, which, without superseding that of the letter, immensely exalts and dignifies the whole, displaying it to the enchanted eye of reason as well as of faith as the very Divine Truth and Wisdom,-as, without a figure, the Word of God indeed; then surely it will be conceded, that flesh and blood could not have revealed this unto him, but he must have received it by special illumination from the living Word himself.

* Luke xvi. 29, 31.

† John v. 39, 46.

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Why is this not generally seen? Because Christians in general now, like the Jews at the Lord's first advent, have their minds pre-occupied with erroneous conceptions respecting spiritual subjects: because, as the Jews were possessed with gross but darling notions respecting the earthly kingdom of the Messiah and the perpetual carnal observation of the ceremonial law, and thus were disqualified for relishing the spiritual things which he declared were contained in that law; so Christians are possessed with external but fondly cherished sentiments respecting all the great points of the religion of Jesus, and with the persuasion that it is to continue unaltered, as professed by them, till the end of the world; and are thus disqualified for relishing the truly heavenly doctrines and really spiritual ideas which are now shewn to be contained in the Word of God. Perceiving, on a slight inspection, that the views presented by Swedenborg oppose their prejudices, few take the trouble to make themselves sufficiently acquainted with his writings to be able to form anything like a correct judgment respecting their truth and credibility: yet, I apprehend, even the most prejudiced will hardly deny, that the spiritual sense opened by his instrumentality, if true, is a discovery of such importance as to be worthily referred to God. But let us hope that the reign of prejudice, though it has lasted long, will soon, in this as in so many other instances, be broken down. The Lord at his coming in the flesh was crucified; no wonder then that, when appearing again in the opening of a higher order of Truth in his Word, he should be rejected: but as he then rose again, and from his throne in heaven extended his reign over multitudes who then began to acknowledge him, so, doubtless, the hour is coming when an influence from himself in heaven will accompany his Word as opened,-when the prejudices which oppose its reception will be abolished from the minds of multitudes,-and when they will again "look upon him whom they have pierced," and accept the truth they have denied. Begin then, I intreat you, ye Candid and Reflecting, to use the freedom which, by the accomplishment of the last judgment, is restored to the human mind. Suffer, in your own breasts, the power of prejudice to reign no longer. Take the pains fairly to

estimate the views of, and from, the Word of God presented by Swedenborg, not rejecting the whole as soon as you find something that differs from your previous opinions, or that you do not immediately understand: and the result, I trust will be, that you will find them, as compared with the Word of God, testifying their own truth by evidence far more convincing than that of miracles, because by evidence that does not merely strike the senses, but reaches the understanding, and affects the heart. Then you will see that the illustrious Swedenborg must indeed have been the Human Instrument for communicating the great truths connected with the second coming of the Lord. If, with any degree of candor, you look at his character and writings without admitting this, you will find the whole an inexplicable riddle. His writings, you will see, are far too replete with superior views of Divine Truth to be the productions, in its ordinary state, of the human mind; in addition, you will perceive, that they are far too methodical in their form, too soberly as well as sublimely rational, to be the imaginations of a lunatic; and, in further addition, you will acknowledge, that their excellent moral tendency, together with the eminently amiable and virtuous character of their author, render ridiculous the notion, that they can be the offspring either of wilful imposture or of diabolical illusion. What remains, but that you accept them as the result of divine illumination,-the communications of a writer who had really been called to a holy office by the Lord? Admit this, and the mystery is solved. You will be satisfied, that this much calumniated and much mistaken man was as consistent and exalted a character as was ever known: you will confess, that having been selected as the Human Instrument for announcing the last great dispensation of gospeltruth, though differing from former similar Instruments as much as this differs from former dispensations; and being not disobedient unto the heavenly vision ;"* he pursued the course appointed him with as much steadiness and consistency, self-devotion and zeal, as marked the career of a Moses or a Paul; and your hearts will


* Acts xxvi. 19.

tell you, that, like them, he deserves to have his memory for ever embalmed in the grateful recollections of mankind.*


Heaven and Hell; and the Appearances in them and in the Intermediate Region or World of Spirits.

IF the character of the illustrious Swedenborg, as the divinely selected Human Instrument for announcing the second coming of the Lord, and for communicating the discoveries of Divine Truth to be then afforded, be satisfactorily established; and if the reality of his intercourse, in that character, with the spiritual world, be

*The impossibility of explaining the character of Swebenborg upon any other hypothesis than that which admits the truth of his pretensions, has been tacitly acknowledged by some of his Reviewers. The Monthly Review, for instance, though it has sometimes indulged an ill placed levity in regard to Swedenborg's writings, yet on the first publication, in English, of his treatise on Heaven and Hell, which is precisely the work of his which may most easily be distorted into matter of ridicule, spoke of the Author in the following tone of moderation: "Count Swedendorg (so it styles him) is certainly to be ranked among the wonders of the age: for though enthusiasts and visionaries have arisen at all times, it is very rare to meet with one who so calmly, yet confidently, and with so much simplicity and cool reasoning, relates the frequent interviews he has had with the world of spirits." The Reviewers then give an extract from the book; after which they say, " In whatever light we regard this author, there is something truly astonishing in him and in his writings. He was a man of eminence and distinction in his country;" &c. continuing to relate much that was honorable in his character, and concluding with an extract from the translator's preface, exhorting to the perusal of his works. (M. R. Nov. 1778.) In their account of the work entitled "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine," after a sort of abstract of its contents, they say, "Possibly, when the doctrine here taught is stripped of its peculiar garb, it will be found to mean nothing more than that real piety integrity, and goodness of heart, which all good men must plead for, and earnestly wish to see universally prevail.-We will only add, that while we cannot but consider the late Count Swedenborg as an Enthusiast of the first order, we must also regard him as a most extraordinary, and, indeed, a most WONDERFUL man?" (M. R. Vol. Ixiii. App.) We here see precisely the same feeling as the force

confirmed, as we have seen it is, by indubitable proofs of his supernatural knowledge; all the objections which are made against him on account of the particulars brought to light by him respecting the hitherto unknown state of man after death, fall at once to the ground. If those particulars are in harmony with his general system of doctrine, and his general system of doctrine, including that part of it which relates to this subject, is securely founded on the Scriptures, it is the height of absurdity to reject them, and with them the whole of his system, because they clash with some unfounded prejudices of our own. Most men avow, that, in regard to all which relates to the life of man after death, beyond the simple fact that he continues to exist, they are involved in the deepest ignorance: yet offer them any specific information on the subject, and they reject it as untrue, with a decision which would only be justifiable were they already in possession respecting it of the most accurate knowledge. Supremely interesting to an immortal as is the nature of the state on which he enters at the death of the body, the opposers of the New Church act as if it were here a high privilege to be in the dark. Allow me then now to appeal to you, my Candid and Reflecting Readers, on this much misrepresented and much misunderstood part of our Author's testimony and writings.

of truth, by another of its distinguished proclaimers, excited in one of old, whose previous habits had in like manner disqualified him for receiving it, but who, while under its influence for a moment, could not refrain from exclaiming, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts xxvi. 28.) The previous habits of the Monthly Reviewers, together with the character they had to maintain, constrained them to speak of Swedenborg as an enthusiast; while the force of truth compelled them to admit, that he was such an enthusiast as the world had never before seen. What could have made them say, "In whatever light we view this author, there is something truly astonishing in him and his writings?" What, but an inward feeling, though not acknowledged to themselves, that no other hypothesis could explain the phænomena of his case but that which the author himself assigns? without which his character and writings must ever remain an inexplicable riddle, calculated to generate all that astonishment which attends the combination of contradictions? what more extraordinary_contradiction than to talk of a CALM and COOLLY REASONING enthusiast' WHOSE DOCTRINE, too, is such as all good men must earnestly wish should become universal,—that is, is the ESSENCE OF REASON AND EXCELLENCE?

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