Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/64

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
lvi
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.

most careless observer, well defined qualities of character. One, we say, is cunning, another is open and ingenuous, a third is vain, a fourth cruel, a fifth is refined and gentle, and a sixth is sensual and gross. These expressions have been developed on the face, by the exercise and indulgence through life of the several qualities of cunning, of frankness, of vanity, of cruelty, of refinement, or of sensuality. The features correspond with the emotions which they respectively reflect or represent.[1]

So the physical phenomena and outward events, etc., which represent the various degrees, shades and varieties of good and evil, of truth and falsity, were used in the composition of the Bible as the most universal means of making the treatment of these subjects edifying to the children of men of every age, in their varying states of spiritual darkness; and as involving a depth and comprehensiveness of meaning capable, by Divine evolution, of meeting the increasing capacity and wants of men in every stage of their upward development and future enlightenment and intelligence, in this world and in the spiritual world.

"All nature and each individual thing in nature," says Swedenborg, "has its spiritual correspondence; and in like manner each and all things in the human body. But hitherto it has been unknown what correspondence is. Yet it was very well known in the most ancient times; for to those who then lived, the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, and was so universal that all their books and manuscripts were written by correspondences. The Book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient church, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the fabulous stories of highest antiquity were nothing else.

"Also the tabernacle, with all things therein, as well

  1. The poet Spenser formulated the whole doctrine of correspondence in the following lines, written two hundred years before Swedenborg made of it a science.
     

    "So every Spirit, as it is most pure,
    And hath in it the more of heavenly light,
    So it the fairer bodie doth procure
    To habit in, and it more fairely dight
    With chearful grace and amiable sight:
    For of the Soule the bodie forme doth take;
    For Soule is forme, and doth the bodie make."