Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/73

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FOR WHOM HE WAS SENT.

these hidden things, and so of being adapted to every spiritual state of men on earth and in the heavens. Swedenborg would therefore claim that the highest evidence of the Divine authority of the Bible is to be found in the marvellous light of the manifold but harmonious meanings inhabiting its letter, which the devout and reverent-minded may find revealed through the knowledge of its correspondences now again made known. He teaches, too, that nature is a similar treasury of Divine wisdom, and capable of similar unfoldings,—a vast, continuous series of cause and effect within cause and effect, extending up to God Himself. So that His revealed or written Word and His Word in Nature alike descend from Him, and lead up to Him, who is the inmost and animating soul of both; not a mere undefined pervading influence, but a Divine Personal God,—an infinitely glorious Divine Man, the great Archetype, of which man was created the finite image.

While there are many to whom Swedenborg's writings have proved unintelligible, just as many fail to discern in the phenomena of their own daily experience an uninterrupted manifestation of God's infinite love and goodness; while there are many whose minds are never disturbed by those doubts and difficulties which tend to drag their victims out into the dark sea of skepticism and moral chaos; there is a class which in this age of applied science has been multiplying throughout the Christian world with fearful rapidity, for whom the writings of Swedenborg seem to have a providential mission. To those whose education and training have made it necessary for them to have a reason for the faith that is in them; who are too conscientious to profess a belief in statements which they cannot reconcile with their experience or their reason; who think the human intellect is fully competent to measure and appropriate all the truth of which man has need in this life, Swedenborg has brought unspeakable comfort and satisfadlion, by letting them see that they were the victims of their own blindness rather than, as they had allowed themselves to suppose, of the obscurity of the Scriptures. Of the already large number of this class who owe to the writings of Swedenborg the restoration of their impaired