Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/84

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EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.

had some smattering of Swedenborg's philosophy, but no sympathy with his distinctive doctrines, complained of the theologians of his day for not exposing Swedenborg's "heresies." "This new teacher," he says, "who has no authority to show for his mission, denies most deliberately before the whole world, the resurrection of the flesh, . . and the whole world keeps silence. Methinks it is by no means sufficient to look upon the good and honest Swedenborg simply in the light of a madman, and meanwhile give him permission to write and print what he pleases.

"If there was an ignorant man whose impudence was proportioned to his ignorance, it was the notorious John Ch. Edelman, who has now been dead for many years. This man,—who was in comparison with the profoundly learned and pious Swedenborg, a beastly blasphemer of the Word of God and of the Church,—raised against himself whole armies of scholars, by whom he was refuted. A silly fellow like him was not worth such treatment. I am by no means able to contend with the honest Swedenborg; yet, if eleven years ago a thorough theologian had taken up his Heaven and Hell, if he had acknowledged all the good it contained and quietly refuted its errors, he had thereby made him more cautious about flooding the world with his writings, if he did not cure him of his vagaries."

Speaking again of The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, which had just been published, he recurred to this subject, "It may in truth be said of it, 'good and evil things are here mixed together.' I at least am willing, nay constrained, to confess that he has said many things of which I never thought.

"No scholar, versed in science himself, will question Swedenborg's science. It does not seem to me sufficient for a theologian, who from pride or indolence is unwilling to examine his works, to shout with Festus, 'Swedenborg is beside himself; much learning hath made him mad;' or for others who would be considered faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion to say superciliously, 'The good that Swedenborg has said is old, and the new worthless.' I admit there maybe some truth in this; still, if the theologians whose vocation it is to examine and defend the truth had acted conscientiously, they would not have kept so