Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/76

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EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.

nothing in the least bordering upon the enthusiast in his conversation or writings,—in the latter of which he delivers facts in the plain style of narrative, speaks of his converse with spirits and angels with the same coolness that he treats of earthly things, as being alike common to him. He proves all points of doctrine from Scripture testimony, always connects charity and good life with true faith, and is upon the whole as rational a divine as I have ever read."[1]

Swedenborg's vision does not seem to have been subject to ordinary limitations. The cases in which he saw what was occurring in different places and beyond the ordinary range of human vision are too well authenticated to be questioned. He was aware of the time when his life on earth would terminate long before his bodily health gave any such premonition. John Wesley, the eminent Methodist, received from Swedenborg the following letter in the latter part of February, 1772:

Great Bath Street, Coldbath Fields, Feb., 1772.

Sir:—I have been informed in the world of spirits that you have a strong desire to converse with me. I shall be happy to see you, if you will favor me with a visit.

I am your humble servant,

Eman. Swedenborg.

Mr. Wesley frankly acknowledged to the company present,—consisting mostly of preachers with whom he was preparing for a circuit, upon which he was about to set out,—that he had been strongly impressed with a desire to see and converse with Swedenborg, and that he had never mentioned that desire to any one. He wrote for answer that he was then closely occupied in preparing for a six months journey, but would do himself the pleasure of waiting upon Swedenborg soon after his return to London. Swedenborg replied that the proposed visit would be too late, as he should himself go into the world of spirits

on the 29th day of the next month, never more to return.

  1. Dr. Hartley was a clergyman of the church of England, Rector of Winwick in Northamptonshire, a personal acquaintance of Swedenborg, and one of the first receivers of his doctrines.