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of religious freedom, they are not very generally openly professed. There is a society of some importance existing in Sweden, of which it may be useful to give some account. It is called the Exegetic and Philanthropic Society. It was formed, in 1786, by a few receivers of the New Church doctrines. We learn from the New Jerusalem Magazine, published in London, in 1790, that the number of its members then amounted to "more than two hundred, the greatest part of whom are men holding respectable offices in the state, and of distinguished learning, and the majority of them clergymen; not to mention two distinguished princes, who have taken upon themselves the patronage of the society. Since its formation, this society has published various translations and treatises of the new doctrine in the Swedish language; but the press not being free in Sweden, their works, for the most part, have been printed in Denmark."
One of the princes, above alluded to, was his Royal Highness the Duke of Sudermania, afterwards Charles XIII., of Sweden. He was not, however, long connected with the society, the political state of the kingdom obliging him to withdraw from it. As it is uncommon to witness the head of an empire as engaged in promoting the cause of the New Church, we will introduce the speech which he delivered upon his introduction into the society at Stockholm, August 29, 1787.
"Truth is simple, it is infinite; it may be shaded; but cannot be changed; and if ignorance, prejudice, or private views hide its true meaning, these clouds are dissipated by an upright inquirer, who, being led by a superior hand, has strength enough to distinguish truth from falsehood.
"This happy period is approaching, and while unbelief is striving with superstition, truth is enabled to reassume that right among mankind which it had from the beginning of time, namely, of enlightening them concerning their real good, the road which leads to union with their author and benefactor.
"From reason, as also from what I have heard, and were it not presumptuous I would say from what I have already experienced, I am convinced that such a road exists.
"Having found, gentlemen, that your thoughts are consonant with my own, I have with pleasure accepted of your invitation to reckon myself one of your number.
"I wish to assist you in the pursuit of the aim of your meetings. Convinced that the hand of Omnipotence protects your laudable intentions, I trust that by his grace you will reap the fruits of a labour consecrated to his glory. May he bestow his blessing for this purpose, is my ardent prayer.”
We are unable to give so accurate an account of the present condition of the church in Sweden as we could wish, but we infer,
from our adversaries' account, that it is flourishing. In "Haldane's second Review of the conduct of the British and Foreign Bible Society," lately published, is the following notice of the "state of religion in Sweden," &c. :-"The pernicious spirit of the times," says Mr. Haldane, "tending to indifference, skepticism, or a spurious mysticism, has, of late, too much obtained the prevalence; and under such circumstances, Swedenborgianism makes rapid progress among all classes of society."
But a very pleasing piece of intelligence is contained in the Intellectual Repository, No. 4, 1824, which is as follows:
"A communication of a highly important character has been received from the Professor of oriental languages at Upsala, who is a member of the Royal Commission for a new translation of the Holy Bible into Swedish. He has been for thirty years studiously applying his mind to the internal sense of the WORD as revealed in the writings of Swedenborg, and at the same time, and in connexion with it, to the Hebrew and other congeneric languages of the east. The result of his labours is a work of great value to the receivers of the Heavenly Doctrines. It consists, first, of the original Hebrew of those books which together constitute the Word of God; by the side of this, verse by verse, is placed an accurate translation into Latin; and below, on the same page, the internal sense, collected from all parts of the Theological Works of our author, with critical, historical and philological remarks by the Professor himself. In his extracts from our author, on which he appears to have bestowed great labour and research, he confines himself strictly to the internal sense, without introducing the confirmation, or the explication of doctrinals; by which the internal series is preserved unbroken, or presented to the mind as a whole, and the attention is not weakened by reference to other subjects. Of this work he has sent over, as a specimen, a chapter of Genesis, and another of Isaiah.
"To accompany and complete the work, it is his intention to publish two others; one, the Representatives and Significatives of the WORD in alphabetical order; and another entitled, Spiritual and Celestial Ideas, likewise alphabetically arranged. It is supposed that THE HOLY WORD will consist of seven or eight volumes, and the others of four or five. The following is a translation of the general title:
THE WORD OF the Lord,
Or those Books of the Holy Scripture, which have an Internal Sense, explained according to that Sense, by a Revelation, which the Divine Mercy of the Lord has given to the World, through EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.-To the original Text is appended a New and most accurate Version; together with select Critical, and Philological Observations, necessary for the right apprehen
sion of the Literal, Grammatical, and Historical Sense, which is the Basis, Continent and Firmament of the the DIVINE ARCANA, which are concealed within. 1. The Pentateuch. 2. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings. 3. The Prophets. 4. The Psalms. 5. The four Gospels. 6. The Apocalypse."
In addition to the above account of the state of the New Church in Europe, we find, in the Intellectual Repository, a letter from a highly respectable gentleman in the south of Africa. He left England, some years since, for the Cape of Good Hope, and now occupies a large estate at Port Frances, near Albany, in that colony. He says to his correspondent,-"I am happy to inform you that I have always retained my decided attachment to the New Church doctrines, and feel more rooted and grounded in them than ever; so much so, that I have commenced preaching them at the Kowie, in the same house as is used by the Methodists. Their preachers only attend once on the sabbath, sometimes in the morning, at others in the evening; and in their absence, I do the duty, and always give them a lecture principally extracted from the sermons of Rev. Mr. Clowes. I have delivered about twenty lectures.-The Government is building a large church at Graham's Town; but I am of opinion, by the time it is finished, there will be but a small congregation, as there are so many different sects established already, that there will be but few left for the Established Church. The inhabitants are but few, and they have the Methodists one congregation, Baptists two, Independents one, Roman Catholics one; and I shall not fail to try the New Church; and when I return to Cape-Town, I mean to try what I can do there: as I feel convinced the doctrines only want to be known to be embraced,—I mean by the sincere seeker after truth. I have many years ago predicted that two-thirds of the Methodists will embrace them; as I have always considered them in earnest, and they only want a few points to be cleared up amongst them. If the preachers in general do not embrace these doctrines, I think they will lose two-thirds of their members, as well as many of their preachers."
NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE.
For the New Jerusalem Magazine.
LIFE OF SWEDENBORG.
It is believed that a sketch of the life of Swedenborg may be both interesting and useful to many readers of the New Jerusalem Magazine. On becoming acquainted with the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, we naturally turn our attention towards the individual who, under Providence, has been the medium of communicating these doctrines to the church, and announcing the second advent of the Lord. We think that a just view of his character will enable us better to understand the truths he has communicated; that a knowledge of his early life, of the gradual development of those faculties which were elevated into the light and heat of heaven, will assist us in our pursuit after spiritual truths by which to regulate our lives.
We have in our possession a variety of interesting matter relating to Swedenborg, which was first published in England soon after his death. This matter consists of letters written by Swedenborg to different people, extracts from his diary, accounts given of him by his contemporaries, and well authenticated accounts of his intercourse with the inhabitants of the spiritual world. With regard, however, to his spiritual intercourse, we shall not encumber the pages of the Magazine with documents to prove that he had daily intercourse with spirits and angels, as our object is to furnish useful information to those who are inclining to the New Church, rather than external evidences to convince the skeptical. As little is known, to most of the readers of the doctrines of the New Church, of Swedenborg's philosophical works, which were written previously to his illumination, we shall endeavour to give
VOL. I.-NO. VIII.
some general idea of their character. But we are sensible of being unable to give any thing like a full and satisfactory view of their contents; neither would the limits of the Magazine, were we equal to the task, enable us to do justice to the subject. But our end will be, in part, accomplished, if it can be made to appear that there was a gradual preparation of his mind for the office which he was afterwards to fill. Swedenborg's progress in philosophy was in exact ratio to his advancement in regeneration, and it would appear that, at the time of his illumination, the constitution of his mind was so restored to the order and condition in which man was originally created, that there was not sufficient evil remaining in him unsubdued, to obstruct his view of the spiritual world.
In the present number we shall give some account of the earlier part of Swedenborg's life. In future numbers, we shall continue the subject of his life and notice some of the works written previously to his illumination, furnish many interesting facts relative to his intercourse with the spiritual world, and make extracts from his letters, his diary, &c. It will be impossible, from the variety of matter and the limits to which it is to be subjected, to observe that order and arrangement which the subject deserves; but we trust that any facts relative to Swedenborg, not generally known in this country, will be acceptable to all the readers of the Magazine; and that they will not be averse to seeing a repetition of some things with which they have already become acquainted, when it is considered that very many subscribers to the Magazine have heard but little of the man, and who, doubtless, wish to hear But we will resume our subject.
Swedenborg was a native of Sweden. Little is known of his ancestors. His grandfather was a Miner at Fahlun. His father, Jesper Swedberg, was born in 1653, was bishop of Skara, in West Gothland, and was, at one time, chaplain of a regiment of cavalry. He was also for many years superintendent of the Swedish mission in England and America. He is represented as a man of learning and abilities, and of an amiable private character. He was ennobled in 1719, by the name of Swedenborg, and his descendants were introduced into the House of Nobles in 1720. He died in 1735. He has left a volume of sermons, and also a poem on the luxury and vanity of the age.
Emanuel Swedberg was born in Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1688. He was named Swedenborg when he was elevated to the rank of nobility, together with his sisters, in 1719. The title of Baron has been frequently attributed to him, probably from the fact of his having been ennobled. But he had no such title. In Sweden, exclusively of the princes of the blood, there are but three ranks of nobility; to the lowest of which no title is attached, but