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unavoidably reduces them to a mass of absurdity,—that is, if any meaning at all be attached to them; and hence, no doubt, it has come to pass, that the Trinitarian avoids attaching any meaning whatever to many of the Lord's sayings, by putting forth the assertion, that they are too mysterious to be understood, and thus he entirely closes up the doors of the understanding against all inquiry after truth.
If the examination of the relation between the Lord and the Father, of Giver and Receiver, shews that it cannot be the relation of two Persons to each other, then it follows, that the relation cannot be, in any case, a personal one, and, consequently, that the union of the Father and the Son, spoken of in the passages (2) under consideration, cannot be such a union as that which exists between distinct persons or individuals ; neither can the union existing with his disciples, which he puts in parallelism with his own union with the Father, mean a personal union with each other. Hence it is proved, that the union pointed to by the Lord must, in his case, be such a union as may exist between the constituent essentials of One Divine Person, examples of which may be consciously perceived in our own souls, by virtue of our having been created in the image and likeness of God, and especially by our having attained an interior oneness of principles, similar to that attained by, and existing with, the Lord.
Thus we are at the same time driven to the conclusion, that the Lord refers to an internal union of principles in each of his disciples, and not to their external personal union with each other, by virtue of which they form one body united with Him; and we are raised above the mere literal and parabolical sense of the expressions relating to the Father and Son, to their truly spiritual sense, so as to be able to interpret and illustrate the appearances in the former, by the realities in the latter. We say the parabolical sense ! for the Lord distinctly declared that the expressions he used in his discourse concerning the relation of Himself, the Father, and the Spirit, were “parables.” (John xvi. 25, marginal reading.)
It is admitted that the Lord intended, as a collateral use derivable from his instruction, that those readers of it who cannot rise above the mere sense of the letter, should be induced by the language he used, to cultivate a brotherly union with each other,—but this union is but an effect,—an external manifestation,—which can only come into existence in proportion as the union of principles, referred to in the spiritual sense, takes place; thus, while the literal sense inculcates an effect, the spiritual sense reveals the only cause from which such an effect can be realized; for members of the Church can only love one another in the degree that in their own souls individually, the internal and the external are united in one in the Lord ; for thus only do they become branches of the Living Vine; and the internal and external become a One in the same degree that the will and understanding become a One, through the union of the good in the former, with the true in the latter.
(To be continued.)
REMARKS “ ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF CORRESPON
DENCES REVEALED," &c., IN THE NUMBER FOR AUGUST.
To the Editor of the Intellectual Repository. SIR,
Your correspondent, R***, commences an article, on the above subject, with a few particulars concerning the “Holy Word.” He then, in paragraph 4, puts an imaginary question of great importance, viz. : “Is the Church in possession of such minute knowledge, concerning the connexion subsisting between natural and spiritual things, as to be capable of shewing, on rational and scientific grounds, why a certain natural thing corresponds to a certain spiritual thing?" To this question he gives the following answer: “I do not think it is; Swedenborg has not bequeathed to the Church any lengthened treatise on this most important subject : * * he shews most convincingly that there is a correspondence between things natural and spiritual ;
* but the additional recognition of the particular evidences of this law, he appears to have left, not to the ratiocination, but to the perception of the Church."
Now here is an assUMPTION OF A FACT, which is made the basis of all the arguments that follow! If the fact cannot be denied, those arguments must be admitted ; if the fact is mistaken, then the reasoning is fallacious; it follows that R*** is bound to give some PROOF that Swedenborg left the recognition of the particular laws of correspondence to the perception, and not to the ratiocination, of the Church.
In the absence of any proof to this effect, your readers may as justly entertain the contrary assumption, viz., that Swedenborg left the recognition of those laws to the ratiocination of the Church, on purpose to exercise the reasoning powers of her members.
It has been a common remark, that men make but one step from one extreme to another, and the truth of this remark is unequivocally demonstrated in some of the phases under which the New Church appears; a portion of her members are in the condition of persons who have turned away from an age of demonstration, and entered upon a world of ideality: the spirit of that age is a medusa which petrifies them; the genius of this, is their palladium! While the latter commands my veneration, nay, my “heart's best aspirations,” in common with theirs, the former is no gorgon to me.
It is true that the remarkable people, who once formed the sole type, on earth, of spirituality, were at enmity with the Egyptians and the Assyrians,—the types of science and rationalism ; but how did the drama end in which these three nations bore such a conspicuous part ? Ask ye
the land of Palestine, and the wind which whistles through her deserted temples and shakes the last leaf from the brow of Lebanon, will bring an answer no less full of woe, than that borne from the burning sands of Egypt, or from the shades which answer for the departed glory of Tyre and Sidon; then turn ye to the futurehearken to the prophetic enunciations of Isaiah ; ye hear him speak comfortably to Jerusalem and to that Mount Zion which he loved-hear also how he consoles Egypt and Assyria : “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptian sball serve with the Assyrian. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people; and Assyria, the work of my hands; and Israel, my inheritance.”
As a proof that Swedenborg considered the field of science to be the arena in which to display the truths of correspondence, we have the indisputable fact of his letter to the Academy of Sciences at Stockholm, begging them to entertain the subject, and to engage in the worthy pursuit; besides another letter to Mr. Hartley, of similar import. In the first-named letter, Swedenborg asserts that the correspondence discovered in the Apocalypse Revealed are demonstrated from other parts of the Word ; R*** asserts that they are not thus demonstrated, but merely familiarised to our ideas !
In support of his assertion, R*** quotes from A.C. 5620, · Honey denotes delight because it is sweet;" and from A.C. 3540, “Skin signifies things external, because skins are the outermost principles of the animal, in which its interior things are terminated;" adding, “such reasons do not fully disclose the cause of the correspondence, they rather present us with an external general similitude." Are they, then, anything more than mere analogical expressions ? and if so, what are we to think of the following passage, which your correspondent will do well to reflect on :
“Forasmuch as the rational principle derives its all from the scientifics of the natural man, from thence his reasonings are signified by bees, because as bees suck and draw their nourishment from flowers, so doth the rational principle from the scientifics of the natural man;" (Ap. Ex. 410.) to which I am prompted to add, either by the faculty of perception, or of reason, whichever R*** pleases, that the honey, thus produced, corresponds to delight, because, by the process alluded to, the scientifics of the natural man become delightful to the rational, and food for the spiritual as well, because it is sweet.
But the assertion may be repeated, that Swedenborg has not given such demonstrations—that he simply states the fact, and hence nothing but the fact can be comprehended by the natural man. Have the individuals who hold this opinion, any idea of the amazing labors of Swedenborg? Are they really aware of what he has done, that they thus treat of every thing which he did not do as impossible? Why, Sir, if he had demonstrated all the correspondences which he introduces in his writings, it is doubtful whether the last century would have witnessed their completion; he even does not give all the information which he received by experience, it being, not only unnecessary, but, on account of its extent, beyond his power. (H.H. 98.)
Your correspondent quotes the following passage from H.H. 110:* “ As to those spiritual things in heaven to which natural things in this world correspond, no one now can understand them but by a particular illumination from above ;" but the inference which he draws is not at all supported by the meaning of the words, which we will briefly examine.
First,—What is spoken of in the passage ? or, grammatically, what forms the nominative to the verb ? Plainly, “ those spiritual things in heaven."
Secondly,–What is said of “those spiritual things ?” That they cannot now be understood.
Thirdly,-Is any reason given by Swedenborg why they cannot ? There is; but R*** has not given it, although it immediately follows the words quoted : it is, BECAUSE THE Science OF CORRESPONDENCES
IS AT THIS TIME TOTALLY LOST AMONGST US.
Thus the passage so much relied on in support of the position taken, is evidently misunderstood; and instead of E.S. saying that Correspondences cannot now be understood, we find him asserting that spiritual things cannot be understood for want of the Science of Correspondences ! -a science which he was laboring to restore.
* No. 104 in R***'s article is a misprint.
In conclusion, R*** maintains “ that the knowledge of correspondences is not (to be] so obtained as a philosophical scientific;" in which I cordially agree with him, that the knowledge of the fact could not have been obtained sensually; but, having the doctrine, it certainly appears that our knowledge of its wonderful nature may be very greatly extended by observation and research; in proof of which the reader may consult the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love, 374, where the correspondence of the will and understanding with the heart and lungs is treated of, and the assertion plainly made by E.S., that Correspondences may be reasoned upon by ANY ONE who admits the necessary premises.
SWEDENBORG'S TRAVELS IN DENMARK, GERMANY,
HOLLAND, BELGIUM, FRANCE, AND ITALY.
E. Swedenborgii Itinerarium ex operibus ejus posthumis in Museo
Academie Regie Holmiensis Asservatis, nunc primum edidit Dr. J. F. Im. Tafel, &c. Stuttgardie, 1844.
London : Newbery, 6, King-street, Holborn. E. Swedenborg's Itinerary (or an account of his travels, from 1736 to
1739,) from his posthumous works preserved in the Museum of the Royal Academy at Stockholm, now first edited by Dr. Tafel, &c.
Stuttgard, 1844. Every document in relation to Swedenborg has been anxiously sought after and investigated by those who are sensible of the important claims which this distinguished writer, both as a theologian and a philosopher, has upon the attention of mankind. If Swedenborg, as an able writer in a late number (for May) of the Monthly Review states, “is to be considered (in respect to philosophy) as the Prometheus of a new era of reason,” and if, moreover, as all those who are conversant with his theological works firmly believe, he is to be considered as the divinelycommissioned messenger of a new era of Christianity, surely every thing he has written is most deserving of attention. Those who take an elevated and comprehensive view of the age in which we live, are sensibly aware that the signs and phenomena of the mental horizon powerfully indicate, that the human mind is tossed to and fro like a vessel in a storm without a pilot, a compass, and a chart,-not knowing whither to steer its course, that it may arrive at the haven of security and peace. Mankind, it must be admitted, have neither in philosophy nor