Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/77

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
lxix
LAST HOURS AND DEATH.

Mr. Wesley went the circuit, and on his return to London in October learned that Swedenborg had departed this life on the 29th of March preceding.

In the month of December previous he had had an attack of apoplexy, from which he did not recover. He was repeatedly visited during his last illness by Ferelius, the pastor of the Swedish Church in London, who asked him on one occasion if he thought himself about to die, and was answered in the affirmative. It was proposed to him to take the sacrament, and with his assent Ferelius was sent for to administer it. "On this occasion," writes Ferelius, "I remarked to him that, as many persons thought he had only sought fame by his new theological system (which he had attained), he would do well now to publish the truth to the world, and to recant all or any part of what he had erroneously advanced, as he had nothing more to expect from the world, which he was soon to quit forever.

"Upon hearing these words, Swedenborg raised himself half upright in bed, and placing his sound hand on his breast (one was palsied), said with great zeal and emphasis, 'As true as you see me before you, so true is every thing I have written. I could have said more had I been permitted. When you come into eternity you will see all things as I have described them, and we shall have much to say to one another concerning them.'"

When asked if he was disposed to partake of the Holy Supper, he replied:

"Thank you; you mean well, but I do not need it. However, to show the connection between the Church in Heaven and the Church on Earth, I will gladly take it."

Before administering the sacrament, Ferelius asked him if he confessed himself to be a sinner. "Certainly," he answered, "so long as I carry about with me this sinful body." Ferelius continues, "With deep and affecting devotion, and with folded hands, he confessed his unworthiness, and received the Holy Supper. After which he presented me with a copy of his great work, the Arcana Cœlestia."

He told the Shearsmiths, with whom he lived, the day he should die; and their servant said, "he was as pleased