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atory to such a state, should it be the purpose of Providence to produce it,-or in lieu of it, should that be without the provisions of the Divine Economy,--some distinct, accurate, precise, and even familiar knowledge, respecting the eternal world, its appearances, its inhabitants, and its laws, should be communicated, through the instrumentality of one commissioned herald, to beings who belong to it, in part, even now, and are soon to belong to it altogether? When man's former state, and his still unaltered nature as a subject of both worlds, are reflected on the wonder surely is, that the world of which his better part is a native and a denizen should ever have become so shut out from him, and all particular knowledge respecting it so utterly lost,—not that they should again be restored : and when could their restoration be more appropriately in place, than among the blessings attendant on the second coming of the Lord, and consequent upon the performance of the last judgment? Whilst then there is so much to give probability on this subject to the statements of Swedenborg, and nothing which, fairly estimated, detracts at all from their credibility; whilst all the particulars advanced when their causes are understood, are found to be in the strictest agreement both with Scripture and Reason; they surely may be pressed upon the candid and reflecting as in the highest degree worthy of their attention, because conveying information of the highest interest to man as an immortal."

LECTURE XII.

SWEDENBORG'S INTERCOURSE WITH THE SPIRITUAL

WORLD, AND HIS MEMORABLE RELATIONS.

- THEY CAME, SAYING THAT THEY HAD ALSO SEEN A VISION OF ANGELS."

Luke, xxiy. 23.

In our last lecture it was shown conclusively from the Sacred Scriptures, that men of former times had spiritual senses, which could be opened, and actually were opened in them during their abode in the natural world. Having arrived at this conclusion, we can see no possible reason for believing that men now-a-days have not these senses also, which are susceptible of being opened whenever the Lord in his wisdom sees a fit occasion for doing so. On the contrary the inference seems unavoidable that men have such senses, and that they may be opened while they are yet living in this world. We see therefore that the possibility of Swedenborg's intercourse with the spiritual world, and of his having actually seen and heard all that is recorded in his Memorable Relations, is established upon the highest possible authority.

We come now to examine the second question which was proposed in our last lecture for consideration, whether it be probable. And in order that we may settle this question fairly, we should first endeavor to learn the true meaning of these Memorable Relations

learn how they are to be understood. And having done this, we should next consider whether they be rational; -i. e. whether they be consistent with the other parts of Swedenborg's writings, with the Sacred Scriptures, and with all that we know of the laws of order, and of the spiritual or divine operations in man. For, in respect to the Sacred Oracles, we certainly should not consider it exactly fair for a man, wholly uninstructed in the truths of revelation, to open the Bible, say at the 10th chapter of Ezekiel, or at the 9th chapter of the Revelation, and, understanding those visions according to their literal sense, to infer from the strange things which he finds recorded there that the Bible is a book of silly fables, and all its believers insane men, or, at best, men with the organ of marvelousness unduly developed. We should feel ourselves warranted in saying that this were a rash conclusion, and one deduced from quite insufficient data. We should tell such a man that he ought to make himself better acquainted with the contents of this book generally—with the external and internal evidences of its divine origin-before he permits himself to pronounce such an opinion concerning the Bible. And yet (strange to tell ! this is precisely the course which has been and still continues to be pursued by many professed religionists in the Old Church, with regard to the writings of Swedenborg. Without being familiar with his writings generally, and from some things in his Memorable Relations which they may have read or heard of, but which they do not understand aright, they feel themselves authorized to sit in judgment upon these writings, and to pronounce them all visionary and foolish. This certainly is neither wise nor just.

Let us then endeavor first, to learn if we can, how the Memorable Relations of Swedenborg are to be understood. And this is clearly taught in the writings themselves. In the “True Christian Religion” n. 794, we are told "that all things which are seen in the spiritual world are created in a moment by the Lord, as houses, paradises, food and other things; and that they are created for correspondence with the interiors of the

corns.

angels and spirits, which are their affections and thoughts thence."

In another part of this same work, when Swedenborg was “meditating on the creation of the universe." with his spiritual sight opened, he tells us that an angel came to him and said:

“I will now show you how animals and vegetables of every kind were produced by God.' And he led me along into a large green field, and said, 'Look around. And I looked around, and saw birds of the most beautiful colors, some flying, some perching upon the trees, and some upon the ground, plucking little leaves from the roses; amongst the birds were also doves and swans. After these things vanished from my sight, I saw, not far from me, flocks of sheep with lambs, and of goats and kids; and round about those flocks, I saw herds of cows and calves, and also of camels and mules; and in a certain grove, stags with high horns; and also uni

After these things were seen, he said, “Tum your face towards the east.' And I saw a garden, in which were fruit-trees, as orange trees, citrons, olives, vines, fig-trees, pomegranates, and also shrubs, which bore berries. Afterwards he said, “Look now towards the south.” And I saw fields of grain of various kinds -wheat, oats, barley and beans; and round about them, beds of roses, exhibiting colors beautifully variegated; but, towards the north, groves full of chestnut-trees, palm-trees, linden-trees, plane-trees, and other trees, all in the richest foliage. When I had seen these, he said, All those things which you have seen are correspondences of the affections of the love of the angels, who are in the vicinity. And they told me to what affections every thing corresponded ; and, moreover, that not only those things, but also all the other things which are presented to our eyes as objects of sight, are correspondences; such as houses and the furniture in them, tables and meats, and clothes, and also coins of gold and silver, as also diamonds and other precious stones, with which wives and virgins in heaven are adorned. From all these things, we perceive what each one is as to love and wisdom. Those things which are in our houses,

and serve for uses, constantly remain there; but to the eyes of those who wander from one society to another, such things are changed according to consociation. These things have been shown to you, in order that you might see the whole creation in a particular type ; for God is Love itself and Wisdom itself; and the affections of his love are infinite, and the perceptions of his wisdom are infinite; and of these, all and every thing that appears upon the earth are correspondences, thence are birds and beasis, thence trees and shrubs, thence corn and other grain, thence herbs and grass of every kind; for God is not extended, but still He is in the extense every where ; thus in the universe from its firsts to its lasts; and because He is omnipresent, such correspondences of the affections of his love and wisdom are in the whole natural world ; but in our world, which is called the spiritual world, there are similar correspondences with those who receive affections and perceptions from God; the difference is, that such things, in our world, are created by God instantaneously, according to the affections of the angels; but in your world, they were created in like manner at the beginning; but it was provided, that, by generations of one from another, they should be perpetually renewed, and thus that creation should be continued. The reason why creation, in our world, is instantaneous, and in yours continued by generations, is, because the atmospheres and earths of our world are spiritual, and the atmospheres and earths of your world are natural ; and natural things were created that they might clothe spiritual things, as the skin clothes the bodies of men and animals, and the rind and bark clothe the trunks and branches of trees, the maters and meninges the brain, the coats the nerves, and the delicate membranes, the nervous fibres, &c. Thence it is, that all those things which are in your world are constant, and constantly return every year.' To this the angel added, “Relate these things, which you have seen and heard, to the inhabitants of your world, because hitherto they have been in entire ignorance concerning the spiritual world; and without some knowledge of it, no one can know, nor even guess, that crea

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