A compendium of the theological and spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; being a systematic and orderly epitome of all his religious works; selected from more than 30 v. and embracing all his fundamental principles, with copious illus. and teachings. With an appropriate introd. prefaced by a fu online

. (page 1 of 162)
Online LibraryUnknownA compendium of the theological and spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; being a systematic and orderly epitome of all his religious works; selected from more than 30 v. and embracing all his fundamental principles, with copious illus. and teachings. With an appropriate introd. prefaced by a fu → online text (page 1 of 162)
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" There are five classes of those "who read my -writings. The first reject them entirely, because they
are in another persuasion, or because they are in no faith. The second receive them as scientifics,
or as objects of mere curiosity. The third receive them intellectually, and are in some measure pleased
with them, but whenever they require an application to regulate their lives, they remain 'where they were
before. The fourth receive them in a persuasive manner, and are thereby led, in a certain degree, to
amend their lives and perform uses. The fifth receive them with deUght, and confirm them in theii

lives." — SWEDENBOKG.






185 4.


The design of this Work is, to exhibit, in a condensed form, the Life and
Writings of the most wonderful man that ever lived. The developments of the
present age and day make this a most timely production. The great objection to
the reading of Swedenborg has hitherto been, that his Writings are too voluminous.
Here is the substance of more than Thirty Volumes comprised in one, so far as it
could be done even in so large a volume, with the fullest Life of the Author that
has ever been published.

■ As a man of Science, and a Philosopher of Natm-e, as a SEER and Theolo-
gian, and as a Philosopher of spirit, it is now generally conceded that he has the
most liberal demands upon the Reason and Faith of our common Humanity ; and it is
certainly a desideratum to have, in one volume, a COMPENDIUM of so vast and
wonderful an Author. But read the Tables of Contents, and see the interesting
and all-important subjects of which he treats.

The following is an explanation of the abbreviated titles of the works referred to in this Compenditjm.

A. C. . . Arcana Ccelestia.

A. E. ... Apocalypse Explained

A. R. . . . Apocalypse Revealed.

T. C. K. . . True Christian Religion.

H. H. ... Heaven and Hell.

D. L. W. . . Divine Love and Wisdom.

D. P. ... Divine Providence.

C. L. ... Conjugial Love.

E. U. ... Earths in the Universe.
b. L. ... Divine Love.

D. W. . . . Divine Wisdom.

S. S Doctrine concerning the Sacred


L. . . . Doctrine of the Lord.

D. .... {Decalogue) DOCTRINE OF LIFE.

C Doctrine of Charity.

F. Doctrine of Faith.

H. D. . . . Heavenly Doctrine.

D. J. . Brief Exposition of the Doctrines

Of the New Jerusalem.
L. J. . . . Last Judgment. — L. J. contin.. Last

Judgment Continued.
I. S. B. . Nature of Influx between Soul and

W. H. . . . Concerning the White Horse, iier.xix.
S. D. ... Spiritual Diary.*

* It should be remarked, in respect to the quotations from the " Spiritual Diary," that this work is not considered the same
authority as the other writings of Swedenborg, being a posthumous publication, without the author's sanction. It is evidently a
record of his private spiritual experience as it occurred from day to day, and appears to be the first brief notes and groundwork,
from which he afterwards constructed his more matured and authorized works. If there are errors in it, they are generally sup-
posed to be corrected in his authorized publications. See another note respecting the Diary, Compendium, numbers 1139, 1140. U
should be well remembered that the whole of the Diary was written before the Last Judgment, which may serve to explain some
otherwise obscure passages in it.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.


An attempt is here made to present a fuller ac-
count than any yet, of the Life and Writings of
the most extraordinary man who has ever lived.
He was a man who has evidently done as much,
to say the least, to benefit humanity, though not
yet appreciated because of the hio^h sphere in
which he labored, as any of the world's most illus-
trious benefactors. We are aware, when we speak
thus, that we shall not gain credence m many a mind.
Let truth and time, then, speak for themselves,
Swedenborg is evidently the most unknown man
of the world. There is more to learn, and less
learned, of his voluminous and interminable wis-
dom, than the superficial, yea, than the scientific
and philosophic of this world, are by any measure
aware of. And it is a pleasing contemplation at
this day, to see a manifestly popular and growing
desire to know more of the great Philosopher and
Seer of the latter ages, than can be found in
Cyclopsedian, Biographical, and Theological Dic-
tionaries, most of which bear false witness against
him and his doctrines. He is still regarded by
many, as an insane visionary, or somnambulic
dreamer ; a very learned and good man, but de-
ranged on the subject of Theology. Others, and
their number is now largely increasing, are be-
ginning to regard him as a man of true spiritual
enlightenment, of enlarged ideas of God, of Na-
ture, and of the Spiritual Spheres, but still far
from correct in many of his principles and teach-
ings. Still another class, though as yet but small,
have a right appreciation of his noble genius and

It is perhaps useless, to say in this Preface to a
Life and Writings which will speak for them-
selves, that he is unquestionably the most tran-
scendent human luminary that has ever yet snone
upon our dark world. Even in Science and Philos-
ophif, he nobly strode a century before his time,
and his works evince, not of course without minor
errors, an intuitional and decided anticipation of
many of the more recent discoveries. He was a
man, " take him for all in all," who was the most
marvellously girted of any of the sons of earth,
both on the sides of nature and of spirit. He
combined them both in his God-given grasp, and
there can be no question, were it not for his theo-
logical character, by which many are yet held
from his scientific works, that he would at this
day take a foremost rank in some of the most ab-
struse departments of natural physics and philoso-
Ehy. His discoveries and teachings in Geology,
lineralogy, Botany, Natural History, Animal and
Human Physiology, Chemistry, Crystallography,
Mathematics, Mechanics, Astronomy, and Natural
Philosophy, show how deeply the world is indebted

to the labors of this "Great Humble Man," in
whose works on these interesting subjects can be
found the seeds or principles of all that is known
of the Essences, Forms, Powers and Uses of
Universal Matter; and how far he was in advance
of Bacon, Leibnitz, Newton, La Place, Kepler,
Herschel, Cuvier, or any other man, as a theorist
and author ; and at the same time perfectly free
from all jealousies and animosities growing out ol
any of them, as to who should be the greatest in
the Kingdoms of Nature. It may be said of him,
most truly, that " he set one foot of the compass
of truth in God, and with the other, swept all
oreation, both animate and inanimate." And this
is particularly true, when we consider him as the
Seer, Theologian, and Philosopher of spirit.

In the present work, we have aimed at a fuller
presentation of him as a man of Science and Phi-
losophy, than can be found in any other Biography ;
and this not only for the purpose of showing the
perfectly irrational character of those charges
against him as a mere visionary, void of a solid un-
derstanding, and how the world is mistaken in
one of her greatest sons ; but also for the purpose
of showing how well prepared he was, in all the
natural knowledge which man could then acquire,
for that sacred office to which he was at last
called, as the illuminated Teacher of the New

But from the character of this Work, being
more of a compilation than an original composi-
tion, we here make one acknowledgment for all,
of indebtedness to the various Biographers of
Swedenborg, especially to Wilkinson and Rich ;
also to various minor publications, such as the
" Intellectual Repository," " New Jerusalem Mag-
azine," and other works. We would gladly have
given the usual credit, passage by passage, for
the many extracts we have made ; but as the first
part of the work was made up before it was con-
templated to publish it as a Prefix to this "Com-
pendium " of his writings, it would be very diffi-
cult now to refer to the many sources, for the par
ticular page of each publication quoted fr;>m.
And as the extracts from the Biographies abcve
referred to, involve so much that is drawn from a
common source and from each other, particularly
from the "Documents concerning the Life and
Character of Swedenborg," therefore, for all suffi-
cient purposes, we have chosen to give this gen-
eral credit. But where long extracts occur, which
are characterized by the author's peculiar mode
of thinking, we have, nevertheless, with the ex-
ception of the first part above referred to, given
the particular credit as usual.






swedenborg, the philosopher of

Nature, 5

Travels and first Publications, . . 8

The Principia, 14

Theories of Gravitation, . . .16
The Planetary System, . . .17

Magnetic Spheres, . . . .21

Philosophy of the Infinite, and the Inter-
course between Soul and Body, . . 23
Travels, and Remarks on Political and

Religious Institutions, . . .25

Economy of the Animal Kingdom, . 26

The Blood and the Spirituous Fluid, . 28
Brains, Heart and Lungs, . . .33
Posthumous Tracts, . . . .33

The Animal Kingdom, . . . .35
Miscellaneous Works. Their Character

and Tendency, . . . . .40
Woi-ship and Love of God, . . .42
Swedenborg's Style, . . . .44
Philosophic and Scientific Genius, . . 45



AND Philosopher of Spirit, . 48

Inward Breathings, and other Indications

of a Spiritual Constitution, . . 49

Opening of Swedenborg's Spiritual Sight, 51
Swedenborg's Divine Call, . . .56
First Preparations for his new Mission, . 57
The Arcana Coelestia, . . . .58

Executed Criminals, . . . .62

The Last Judgment, . . . .63

Heaven and Hell, ... .65

Earths in the Universe, . . . .67

Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, . . 68
Spiritual Sight. Immanuel Kant, . . 69
Spiritual Intercourse, . . . .70

Spiritual Foresight, . . . .72

Political Principles and Deliberations, . 72
Sight of a Death. Contribution to Sci-
ence, ...... 74

Doctrine of the Lord, . . . .74

Divine Love and "Wisdom, . . .75
The Sacred Scripture, . . . .76

Faith, Life, and Providence, . . .78

Spiritual Diary, 78

Apocalypse, . . . . . .79

Meeting with Dr. Beyer, . . .79
Apocalypse Revealed, . . . .80

Travels, Anecdotes, &;c., . . .81
Kant's Inquiries, . . . . .83

Visit from Virgil. Deceased King, . 84
Conjugial Love, . . . . .86

Christ's Power ;ver all Flesh, . .88

Doctrines of the New Church, and Com-
mencement of Persecution, . . 88
Intercourse between the Soul and Body, 91
Persecution, and Defence of his Opinions, 92
Spiritual Phenomena. The Insane and
Idiotic, ...... 94

Offering to Science. Journey to Amster-
dam. An Evening at Copenhagen, . 95
Our Opinions follow us into the next Life, 97
Testimonies to Spiritual Intercourse, . 97
True Christian Religion, . . .98
Mental Peculiarities. Last Sickness, . 99
His Connection with Rev. John Wesley, 100
Close of his Earthly Life, . . . 101


Personal Testimonies and Anecdotes, . 103
Phenomena of Spiritual Intercourse, . 105

Anecdotes, &;c., 106

Diet, ....... 108

Sleep, .109

Conversation, • . . . . .109
Peculiarities, . . . . .109

Habits and Manners, . . . .110
Editions of the Bible made Use of by

Swedenborg, . . . . .-Ill
Character, Ill


Concluding Reflections, ....
Qualifications for his sacred Office,
Testimony of Oberlin, ....
Children's Questions answered.
Opening of Religions and Superstitions, .
Opening of History and Science, .
Harmony or Union, . . . "^ » .
The Philosophers are the Mystics,. ' .
Swedenborg wanted, . . . <


The Familiar Spirit, . . . ..

Octonary Computus, . . . .

First public Advertisement of Sweden-
borg's Writings, ....

First Reception of the Writings of Swe-
denborg, ......

Notice of the London Monthly Review, .

Extract from the Commencement of Wil-
kinson's Biography, . . . .

Testimony of Professor Gorres,

Extract from the Memoir by Rev. 0.
Prescott Hiller, .....

Testimony of the late Rev. John Clowes,


I The New Church,















1. Emanuel Swedenbouc was born at
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, January
29, 1688. He was the third child, and the
second son, of seven children. His father.
Dr. Jesper Swedberg, was for several years
chaplain of a regiment of cavalry, but was
finally made Bishop of Skara, in \Vest Goth-
land, and also superintendent of the Swedish
Lutheran churches in London, Eng., and Penn-
sylvania, U. S., their location in this country
being about the Delaware, and their station
in Philad(;l|)hia. He was a man of consider-
able learning and abilities, free from bigotry
and sectarianism, and bore an excellent pri-
vate and public cliaracter. It is said that one
of the family came to America and settled in
Canada. The bishop mentions in his diary,
" that he, his wife, and all his children, except
Catharina, were born on a Sunday."
* 2. The character of this prelate stood high
in Sweden; his voice was heard on great occa-
sions, whether to reassure the people under
the calamity of battle or pestilence, or to re-
buke the vicious manners of the upper classes,
or the faults of the king himself; he labored
with constant and vigorous patriotism to rouse
the public spirit of the country for useful and
CJu'istian objects. Swedenborg's parentage
and home were, therefore, happy omens of
his future life ; he was brought up with strict
but kindly care ; was carefully educated by
his father in all innocence and scientific learn-
ing; and enjoyed the opportunities afforded by
tlie sphere and example of family virtues, ac-
complishments, and high station, with which
he was surrounded.

3. The only record we have of his child-
hood is in a letter which he wrote late in life to
Dr. Beyer. " With regard to what passed in
the earliest part of my life, about which you
wish to be informed : from my fourth to ray
tenth year, my thoughts were constantly en-
grossed by reflecting on God, on salvation,
and on the spiritual affections of man. I
often revealed things in my discourse which

filled my parents with astonishment, and made
them declare at times, that certainly the an-
gels spoke through my mouth.

4. " From my sixth to my twelfth year, it
was my greatest delight to converse with the
clergy concerning faith ; to whom I often ob-
served, that charity or love is the life of faith,
and that this vivifying charity or love is no
other than the love of one's neighbor; that
God vouchsafes this faith to every one ; but
that it is adopted by those only who pi-actise
that charity. I knew of no other faith or be-
lief at that time, than that God is the Creator
and Preserver of nature ; that he endues man
with understanding, good inclinations, and
other gifts derived from these. I knew noth-
ing at that time of the systematic or dogmatic
kind of faith, that God the Father imputes
the righteousness or merits of his Son to
whomsoever, and at whatever times, he wills,
even to the impenitent. And had I heard of
such a faith, it would have been then, as now,
perfectly unintelligible to me."

5. This information from Swedenborg him-
self shows at how early a period he was pene-
trated with that theological reform which is
all in all in his latest writings ; and when to
this it is added, that his sayings at the time
were so extraordinary that his parents used to
declare that " the angels spoke through his
mouth," we see how deeply were the prepara-
tions laid for that spiritual and mental condi-
tion which his mature years were to present.

G. In the sequel we shall have to point out
some psychological peculiarities that occurred at
" his morning and evening prayers " during his
tender years ; but at present we only note how
free his father had left his mind of Lutheran
dogmas, and how much his future course wns
indebted to this early respect which the Bishojf
paid to his son's independence. Reared as
he was under a strict ecclesiastic, it is surpris
ing that up to his twelfth year he knew notli-
ing of " the plan of salvation," whether it argute
his own inability to learn it, or his -father's
disbelief in it, or the omission of the latter,
from whatever motives, to teach it to his son.
Dr. Swedberg, however, was a serious and
earnest man, and under date of April, 1729,
he thus writes of the subject of our memoir :



" Emanuel, my son's name, signifies ' God
with us' — a name which should constantly
remind him of* the* nearness of God, and of
that interior, holy, and mysterious connection,
in which, througli faith, we stand with our
good and gracious God. And blessed be the
Lord's name ! God has to this hour indeed
been with him ; and may God be further with
him, until he is eternally united with Ilim in
his kingdom."

7. It may be mentioned here, aLso, that the
father of Swedenborg had an evident natural
tendency to a faith in the supernatural charac-
ter of many of the occurrences of this life.
" Several of Bishop Swedberg's works,"
saya Sandel, " seem to show a tendency to
behold in certain events a species of prophetic
indications." The bishop was particularly
pleased to inform himself of supernatural ap-
pearances, one of which he recorded in his
works, and also wrote an account of it to the
Bishop of Bristol in 1710, wherein he said,
that " its truth was certain," and had been
confirmed by the personal inquiries of Field
Marshal Count Steinbock. He ended his let-
ter to the bishop thus : " I am not inclined
myself, and would be far from persuading any
one, to credulity and superstition. But may
not the all-wise God, in all ages, think it ne-
cessary, by extraordinary instances, to fix
upon the minds of mankind some signal im-
pressions of his overruling power, and of the
truth of his holy gospel ? " More may come
out on this head, when Bishop Swedberg's
Autobiography is published. Here, also, we
may see, in part, the prepared foundation for
the genius of the son.

8. The subject of this memoir, from his ear-
liest childhood, was reraai'kable for his great dil-
igence and usefulness ; while every thing in
him tended to mature his mind in knowledge.
His private character, from youth to man-
hood, was altogether irreproachable. At the
University of tjpsala, in Sweden, he received
such an education as was calculated to form
his character to virtue, industry, and sohd
learning ; particular attention being given to
those branches of science that were to consti-
tute his chief occupation ; such as mineralogy,
the languages, mathematics, and natural philoso-
phy. Thus he began his career, as a practical
mechanician and engineer, in the deepest study
of the mathematics and general physics.

y. In 1709, at the age of twenty-one, he
took his degree of Doctor of Philosophy, for
which occasion he published an Academical
Dissertation, consisting of select sentences from
Seneca, and Publius Syrus, the Mimic ; giv-
ing parallel aphorisms and passages from
Erasmus, Scaliger, and other writei's, and il-
lustrating them with his own comments. This
work is a ])roof of his acquaintance with the
best classical writers, at an early period of
life, and of the tendency of his miiiJ to dwell
on higher subjects. It was ded.<..ated to his

father, in language expressive of the most re
spectful and affectionate regard. The work
displays superior scholarship, precocious judg-
ment, and a style of classic purity, which ob-
tained for him great praise, and which was indi-
cated, at the time, by the dedication to him of
a Greek Poetic Eulogy, in the following
words : " To Emanuel Swedenborg, a youth
of distinguished genius, and illustrious both by
his birth and the glory of his erudition, when
he published his ' Dissertation and Comments
on the Maxims of Publius Syrus, and others.'"
In the same year he published a metrical
Version of the Twelfth Chapter of Ecclesias-
tes, which is much admired for its spirit, ele-
gance, and poetic feeling. This was succeed-
ed, in 1710, by his Ludus Ileliconius, &c., a
collection of miscellaneous poems in Latin,
among which is an excellent ode, in celebra-
tion of a great victory, gained, principally, by
undisciplined troops, under Steinbock, over
their Danish invaders. The following is a
translation of it : —

" Lulled be the dissonance of war — the crash
Of blood-stained arms — and let us listen now
To sweetest songs of jubilee. From harp
And thrilling lyre, let melodies of joy
Ring to the stars, and every sphere of space
Glow with th' inspiring soul of harmony.
Phoebus applauds, and all the muses swell
Our glory on their far-resounding chords.
Well may the youthful poet be abashed,
Who sings such mighty enterprise, — his theme
So great, so insignificant his strain ! —
Let Europe boast of Sweden — in the North,
South, East, and West, victorious. — Round the

The seven Triones dance exultingly.
While Jove the Thunderer sanctions his decree,
Never to let the hyperborean bear
Sink in the all-o'erwhelming ocean stream ;
For when in the wave he bathes his giant limbs,
'Tis but to rise more proudly. Even now
The fertile Scandia wreathes her brow with

And Victory's trophies glitter over Sweden.
The God of battles smiles upon our race,
And the fierce Dane sues for our mercy : — Yea,
The troops insidious Cimbria sent against us,
Lie scattered by a warrior young in arms.
Though Swedish Charles, our hero King's afar
In Russian battles, his bright valor fills
The heart of Steinbock — the victorious one ; —
These names of Charles and Steinbock, like a

Created armaments, and hurled pale fear
Among our foes. — Steinbock ! thy red right

Hath smitten down the spoiler ; and in thee
Another Charles we honor, and rejoice
To hail tliee hero of thy grateful country.
Bind the triumphal laurel round thy brow ;
Such chaplet well becomes tlie invincible :
Ascend thy chariot — we will fling the palms
Before thee, while the peal of martial music
Echoes thy high celebrity around.
Hadst thou in olden times of fable lived,
I had invoked thee as a demigod.
Behold how gbtteringly in northern heaven
Thy star exults : the name of Magnus fits


Both it and thee, inseparably linked :

In thee, the grenius of the Nortii expands,

And all the virtue of thy ancestry

Illustrates thee. Chief of our gallant chiefs —

Too gallant for a song so weak as mine —

Oh ! could their names enshrined in monuments

Appear, how would the eyes of Sweden kindle

To read them ! Coronets of gold for thee

Were all too little recompense ; — hereafter,

A crown of stars is all tliine own. The foe

Lies broken by thy force and heroism :

Numerous as Denmark's sands they came —

how few
Returned — their princes and their soldiery
Repulsed with scorn, while shuddering horror

Upon their flight — Jove's thunderstorms as-
Their bands of treachery, daylight was eclipsed
In thickest clouds, and the pure cause of God
And patriotism triumphed. Ay, the cause
Of Sweden's royalty, which Denmark strove —
How vainly — to despoil. Our king perceived
Their rising hatred ; poets were forbid
To sing his praise — his praise beyond compare :
For this, in sooth, the land was steeped in blood ;
Even for this, the fire and sword laid waste

Online LibraryUnknownA compendium of the theological and spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; being a systematic and orderly epitome of all his religious works; selected from more than 30 v. and embracing all his fundamental principles, with copious illus. and teachings. With an appropriate introd. prefaced by a fu → online text (page 1 of 162)