Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/37

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xxix
SWEDENBORG'S FATHER.

for the poor and feeble, to get to heaven. He was a strict disciplinarian; he insisted upon the observance of the Sabbath, and exhibited a blunt and honest persistency in the discharge of his duties, which, though irksome to those to whom all religious restraints are irksome, and involving him in no end of trouble, pleased the King very much. One day his Majesty said to him, "You have many enemies." "True," said the chaplain, "the servant of the Lord, your Majesty, is not good for much who has not enemies." On another occasion, the King, under an impulse of gratitude for something he had done, said, "Ask what you like, and you shall have it."

"From that day," Swedberg tells us, "I became more earnest and wary in all I said or did. I asked nothing for myself nor mine, no, not the half of a stiver; but spoke to the king freely of meritorious poor men, and he always attended to my suggestions. I also pleaded for schools, colleges, and for the diffusion of religious publications. When he asked me who should be appointed to a vacant living, I named the person I thought best fitted for it, and he always got it. Hence many good men came into rich livings, to their joyful surprise, and without any suspicion of the cause. As I found every day freer access to his Majesty, I prayed with my whole heart unto God that I might not become proud nor misuse my opportunities, but that he would consecrate me to His service and glory; and that I might fulfil my every duty with watchfulness, never forgetting that Court favor is capricious, and that I was surrounded with gossips and backbiters. Moreover I laid down these two rules for myself: first, to meddle in no affairs, political or worldly, with which I had no business. And second, never to speak ill of any one, should he even be my worst enemy and persecutor."

His Episcopate over the Swedish church in Pennsylvania furnished the bishop with the occasion for publishing a little work, made up of reports from his clergy there, entitled America Illuininata, written and published in 1732 by her bishop, Dr. Jesper Swedberg, Skara, the first and only English translation of which appeared in the New Church Magazine of Boston, in the September and succeeding numbers of 1873-1874.