Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/69

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periods of human history, selected for their respective offices. Swedenborg's own testimony upon this subject, already cited, is very remarkable. Nor did he shrink from re-asserting his Divine commission on all suitable occasions.

He says in the True Christian Religion, no. 1779: "I testify in truth that the Lord manifested Himself to me His servant, and sent me to this office; and that afterwards He opened the sight of my spirit and so intromitted me into the spiritual world, and has granted me to see the heavens and the hells, and also to converse with angels and spirits, and this now continually for many years; likewise that from the first day of that calling I have not received anything whatever relating to the doctrines of that Church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I was reading the Word."

Again, in the Apocalypse Explained, no. 1183, he says: "It has been given me to perceive distinctly what comes from the Lord and what from angels; what has come from the Lord has been written, and what from the angels has not been written."

In his Invitation to The New Church he says also: "The things related by me are not miracles, but are proofs that for certain ends I have been introduced by the Lord into the spiritual world."

One might suspect this to be the language of a mad-man, perhaps, but not that of an impostor.

It was from the Lord directly, therefore, that Swedenborg claims to have received new light in regard to the interior meaning of the Word, and the key to the correspondence between its letter and its Spirit. The chief results of these communications or revelations were recorded in three distinct works.

The first, entitled Arcana Cœlestia,[1] appeared in eight quarto volumes, between the years 1749 and 1756, at the rate of about one volume a year, and was consecrated to an exposition of the internal or Spiritual Sense of the

  1. Arcana Cœlestia quæ in Scriptura Sacra, seu in Verbo Domini sunt, detecta; una cum mirabilibis, quæ visa sunt in Mundi Spirituùm et cœlo Angelorum. This work appeared without the name of the author, or the publisher, or of the place where published.