Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/80

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friendly intercourse. I cannot better conclude this sketch of one of the most remarkable of men, than with a few extracts from these impressions.

"The office with which I was invested in my country has often made it my duty to give my opinion in difficult and delicate matters; but I do not recollect any so delicate ever before to have been submitted to my judgment as that which you have pleased to propose to me. Sentiments and persuasions which one person may entertain do not always suit others; and what may appear to me probable, manifest, certain, and incontestible, may to others seem dark, incomprehensible, and even absurd. Partly natural organization, partly education, partly professional studies, partly prejudices, partly fear of abandoning received opinions, and other causes, occasion a difference of views among men. To unite and settle them in temporal concerns is not hazardous; but in spiritual matters, when a tender conscience is to be satisfied, I have not the spirit requisite for this, and I am also bound to confess my want of knowledge. All I could say by way of preliminary on this subject regards the person of the late Assessor Swedenborg. I have not only known him these two and forty years, but also, some time since, daily frequented his company. Though a man who has lived long in the world, and in my varied career of life have had numerous opportunities of knowing men, as to their virtues and vices, their weakness or strength, I do not remember to have known any man of more uniformly virtuous character than Swedenborg. Always contented, never fretful or morose, throughout his life his mind was occupied with sublime thoughts and speculations. He was a true philosopher, and lived like one; he labored diligently, and lived frugally without sordidness, he travelled continually, and his travels cost him no more than if he had lived at home. He was gifted with a most happy genius, and a fitness for every science, which made him shine in all those which he embraced. He was without contradiction the most learned man in my country; in his youth he was a great poet. I have in my possession some remnants of his Latin poetry, which Ovid would not have been ashamed to own. In his middle age his Latin was