Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/82

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age which is due, and due only, to a sound understanding and eminent capacity.

In a subsequent letter to the same person Count von Höpken says farther:—

"The late Swedenborg was a pattern of sincerity, virtue and piety, and at the same time, in my opinion, the most learned man in this kingdom; but all these qualities, which are so many evidences of an honest, virtuous, and pious life, do not at the same time prove that he could not err like other men. What to my judgment may appear evident, convincing and indisputable, may to others appear obscure, complicated and problematical,—so different are our intellectual faculties as well as our education and circumstances; and hence proceed all the diversities of opinion prevailing among men, which are never to be reconciled. I agree with you, sir, in this, that the Swedenborgian system is more comprehensible by our reason and less complicated than other systems; and while it forms virtuous men and citizens, it prevents at the same time all kinds of enthusiasm and superstition,—both of which occasion so many and such cruel vexations or ridiculous singularities in the world. And from the present state of religion, more or less everywhere conspicuous according to the more or less free form of government, I am perfectly convinced that the interpolations which men have profusely inserted into religion have nearly effected a total corruption or revolution; and when this is seen, the Swedenborgian system will become more general, more agreeable, and more intelligible than at present."

No judgment of Swedenborg as a teacher of spiritual truths will deserve to be final or conclusive, that does not take proper notice of one feature of his illuminated writings, which has never failed, we believe, to impress every one who has given them careful consideration. They embrace some thirty octavo volumes; they deal almost exclusively with spiritual topics and with abstract ideas; they are not indebted to any pre-existing literature, save the Bible, nor to any science or other repository of accumulated human learning, for a single page of their contents; they unfold and give minute details of realms into which no human imagination has, so far as we know,