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mahometans, christians, clergymen of every denomination, laity, &c., in the other world.
Baron Swedenborg called the doctrines which he delivered, “The Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem.” It is thus styled; for, according to his system, the New Jerusalem signifies the new church upon earth, which is now about to be established by the Lord, and which is particularly described, as to its glory and excellency, in Rev. xxi., and many other parts of the sacred word. The holy city, or New Jerusalem, he interpreted as descriptive of a new dispensation of heavenly truth, breaking through, and dissipating the darkness which at this day prevails on the earth. The laws of divine order,
and the economy of God's kingdom, providence, and operation, will be more clearly and fully understood; and the hearts of men will be thus opened to a nearer intercourse with heaven, and rendered admissive of the purer influences of gospel love and charity in their lives and conversation. The following extract contains the general outlines of Baron Swedenborg's theological system.—(1.) That the sacred scripture contains three distinct senses, called celestial, spiritual, and natural ; and that in each sense it is divine truth, accommodated respectively to the angels of the three heavens, and also to men on earth.”—(2.) That there is a correspondence between all things in heaven and all things
* Baron Swedenborg observes in his “Arcana Coelestia,” that there are .
in general four different styles in which the word is written. The first is what was in use in the most ancient church, who, when they mentioned
earthly and worldly things, thought of the spiritual and celestial things represented thereby; so that they not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also reduced their thoughts into a kind of historical series or arrangement. From the posterity of the most ancient church Moses received what he wrote concerning the creation, the garden of Eden, &c., till the time of Abraham. . The second style is historical, occurring in the books of Moses from the time of Abraham till the times of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the Kings; in which books the historical relations are such as they appear to be in the letter, but yet every part of them contain things altogether different in the internal sense. The third style is prophetical, which took its rise from the style of the most ancient church. This style, however, is not connected like the historical and that of the most ancient church; but is broken and interrupted, being scarcely ever intelligible but in its internal sense, wherein are contained the greatest arcana, w ich succeed each other in a beautiful and orderly connexion, having relation to the internal and external man, to various states of the ch , to heaven itself, and in their inmost sense to the Lord. The fourth style is that of the Psalms of David, which is between the prophetical and the ordinary style of speaking ; in which, under the person of David as king, the Lord is treated of in an internal sense,
in man; and that this science of correspondences is aA. to the spiritual or internal sense of the sacred scriptures, every page of which is written by correspondences; that is, by such things in the natural world as correspond unto, and signify things in the spiritual world.”—(3.) That there is a divine trinity of Father, Son, and holy Ghost, or in other words, of the all-begetting Divinity, [Divinum a quo) the divine human, and the divine proceeding, or operation; and that this trinity consisteth not of three distinct persons, but is united as body, soul, and operation in man, in the one person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who therefore is the God of heaven, and alone to be worshipped; being Creator from eternity, Redeemer in time, and Regenerator to eternity.—(4.) That redemption consisteth not in the vicarious sacrifice of the Redeemer, and an atonement to appease the divine wrath; but in a real subjugation of the powers of darkness; in a restoration of
order and good government in the spiritual world; in checking the overgrown influences of wicked spirits on the souls of men, and opening a nearer and clearer communication with the heavenly and angelic powers; in making salvation, which is regeneration, possible for all who believe on the incarnate God and keep his commandments.-(5.) That there is an universal influr from God into the souls of men. The soul, upon receiving this influx from God, transmits it through the perceptive faculties of the mind to the body. The Lord with all his divine wisdom, consequently with all the essence of faith and charity, entereth by influx into. every man, but is received by every man according to his state and form. Hence it is that good influres from God are changed by the evil nature of their recipients into their opposites; good into evil, and truth into falsehood.—(6.) That we are placed in this world, subject to the influences of two most opposite principles, of good from the Lord
* Correspondence, in a philosophic sense, is a kind of analogy that one thing bears to another, or the relation subsisting between the essence of a thing and its form, or between the cause and its effect. . Thus the whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world; the body of a man, with all its parts, corresponds to his soul; and the literal sense of the word cor
responds to the spiritual.
The natural, or material world, in which we live, as to the body, proceeds derivatively (in a sense consistent with the Mosaic account of the creation) from the spiritual world, and subsists by continual influx from it. As a spiritual thing, it is formed into a palpable and material thing, as an essence clothing itself with a form, or as a soul making to itself a body.
and his holy angels, of evil from hell or evil spirits. While we live in this world our spirits have their abode in the spiritual world, where we are kept in a kind of spiritual equilibrium by the continual action of those contrary powers; in consequence of which we are at perfect liberty to turn to which we please; that without this free-will in spiritual things regeneration cannot be effected.” If we submit to God we receive real life from him; if not, we receive that life from hell which is called in scripture spiritual death.-(7.) That heaven and hell are not arbitrary appointments of God. Heaven is a state, arising from the good affections of the heart, and a correspondence of the words and actions grounded on sincere love to God and man: and hellis the necessary consequence of an evil and thoughtless life, enslaved by the vile affections of self-love, and the love of the world, without being brought under the regulations of heavenly love, by a right submission of the will, the understanding, and actions, to the truth and spirit of heaven.—(8.) That there is
an intermediate state for departed souls, which is called the world of spirits; and that very few pass directly to heaven or hell. This is a state of purification to the good; but to bad spirits it is a state of separation of all the extraneous good from the radical evil which constitutes the essence of their natures.—(9.) That throughout heaven, such as are of like dispositions and qualities are consociated into particular fellowships, and such as differ in these respects are separated; so that every society in heaven consists of similar members.--(10.) That man immediately on his decease rises again in a spiritual body, which was inclosed in his material body; and that in this spiritual body he lives as a man to eternity, either in heaven or in hell, according to the quality of his past life. —(11.) That those passages in the sacred scripture, generally supposed to signify the destruction of the world by fire, &c., commonly called the last judgment, must be understood, according to the abovementioned science of correspondences, which teaches, that by the end of the world, or consummation of the age,
* Baron Swedenborg maintains that the free agency of man consists not in a liberty independent of hist in whom he lives, moves, and has his being; but it is a coutinual gift from the Fountain of all life and liberty; so that he cannot be said to uct of himself, but as of himself.
is not signified the destruction of the world, but the end, or consummation, of the present christian church, both among Roman Catholics and Protestants of every description" and denomination : that this consummation, which consists in the total falsification of the divine truth, and adulteration of the divine good of the word, has actually taken place, and, together with the establishment of a new church in place of the former, is described in the Revelations, in the internal sense of that book, in which the new church is meant, as to its internals, by the new heavens, and as to its externals, by the new earth; also by the New Jerusalem
descending from God out of
It is a leading doctrine of Baron Swedenborg, in his explanation of the other books of scripture, that one of the principal uses for which the word is given is, that it might be a medium of communication between the Lord and man; also that earth might be thereby conjoined with heaven, or human minds with angelic minds; which is effected by correspondences, and natural things with spiritual, according to which the word is written; and that in order to its being divine, [divinum verum in ultimio) it could not be written otherwise : that hence, in many parts of the
*An ingenious author, who has embraced the doctrines of the New Jerusalem church, thus explains this subject: “It may be expedient to observe that there is a last judgment, both particular and general, as it relates to an individual of the church, or to the church itself collectively considered. The last judgment, as it relates to an individual, takes place with every one when he dies; for then he passeth into another state of existence, in which, when he cometh into the full exercise of the life which he had procured to himself in the body, he is judged either to death or to life; i.e. to hell or to heaven. The last judgment, as it relates to the church collectively considered, takes place when there is no longer any genuine love and faith in it, whereby it ceaseth to be a church. Thus it was the last judgment of the representative church, which existed with the jews when the Lord came into the world; wherefore the Lord said, Now is the judgment of this world, now is the prince of this world cast out. And the apostle Peter, preaching on the day of Pentecost, applies the Fo of Joel to those times, and to the circumstances then existing, in which similar things are declared to take place as at the end of the christian church; viz, Iwonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour, and sinoke; the sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, &c. The last judgment of the christian church established by the Lord, is the accomplishment of what was foretold by the Lord in the evangelists, and by John in the revelations, which accomplishment has now taken place. This accomplishment, however, is not so manifest in the church on earth, where appearances are for a longer time kept up, as it is in the world of spirits, the intermediate state between heaven and hell,” See Notes on Swedenborg's Doctrine concerning the
lord, by Mr. Hill, -- -
letter, the word is clothed with the appearances of truths accommodated to the apprehension of the simple and unlearned; as, when evil passions are attributed to the Lord, and where it is said that he withholdeth his mercy from man, forsakes him, casts into hell, doeth evil, &c. : whereas such things do not at all belong to the Lord, but are so said in the same manner as we speak of the sun's rising and setting, and other natural phenomena, according to the appearance of things, or as they appear to the outward senses. To the taking up such appearances of truth from the letter of scripture, and making this or that point of faith derived from them the essential of the church, instead of explaining them by doctrine drawn from the genuine truths, which in other parts of the word are left naked, Baron Swedenborg ascribes the various dissensions and heresies that have arisen in the church, and which, he says, could not be prevented consistently with the preservation of man's free agency, both with respect to the exertion of his will and of his understanding. But yet, he says, every one, in whatever heresy he may be with respect to the understanding, may still be reform
ed and saved, provided he shuns evils as sins, and does not confirm heretical falses in himself; for by shunning evils assins the will is reformed, and by the will the understanding, which then first emerges out of darkness into light; that the word, in its lowest sense, is thus made the medium of salvation to those who are obedient to its precepts, whilst this sense serves to guard its internal sanctities from being violated by the wicked and profane, and is represented by the cherubim placed at the gates of Eden, and the flaming sword turning every way to guard the tree of life. His doctrine respecting differences of opinion in the church is summed up in these words: “There are three essentials of the church; an acknowledgment of the Lord's divinity, an acknowledgment of the holiness of the word, and the life which is charity. Conformable to his life, i. e. to his charity, is every man's real faith. From the word he hath the knowledge of what his life ought to be, and from the Lord he hath refor
mation and salvation. If these
three had been held as essentials of the church, intellectual dissensions would not have divided it, but would only have varied it as the light varieth colours in beau