Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/50

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"He possessed a sound judgment upon all occasions; he saw everything clearly, and expressed himself well on all subjects. The most solid and the best written memorials presented to the Diet of 1761 on matters of finance were from his pen."

Two or three appeals on this subject have been preserved. One of them closes with the following paragraph:

"If any country could exist by means of a paper currency, which is a substitute for, but is not, money, it would be a country without a parallel."

Swedenborg also labored earnestly in the Diet to check intemperance. On the fly-leaf of one of his books was found the following, in his hand-writing: "The immoderate use of spirituous liquors will be the ruin of the Swedish people." He proposed several measures to the Diet intended to lessen the consumption of spirits, and the waste of grain in their distillation. In order to diminish the number of drunkards, he recommended, in one of his memorials to the Diet, that "all public houses in town should be like bakers' shops, with an opening in the window through which those who desired might purchase whiskey or brandy, without being allowed to enter the house and lounge about in the tap-room."

Another of his propositions, which was adopted by the Diet, was to limit the distillation of whiskey, and to raise it in price by farming out the right of distilling it. "If the distilling of whiskey," he says in his memorial to the Diet, "were farmed out in every judicial district, and also in the towns, to the highest bidder, a considerable revenue might be obtained for the country, and the consumption of grain might also be reduced; that is, if the consumption of whiskey cannot be done away with altogether, which would be more desirable for the country's welfare and morality than all the income which could be realized from so pernicious a drink."