Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/85

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CUNO'S REMONSTRANCE.

long silent, nor allowed this man to write unchallenged all these things, which may or may not be true. I have listened to the judgment of many men concerning Swedenborg. Some, especially such as know the character of this man, have pitied him; others have called him visionary. A certain young scholar who had only read his De Amore Conjugiale was inclined to consider him a Socinian. I could very easily convince him that he had but turned over the leaves of his book, or had read without reflection. If ever there has been a zealous Anti-Arian and Anti-Socinian that man without doubt was Emanuel Swedenborg."

Cuno's persistent and sensible appeal, now after the lapse of a century, is as seasonable and as sensible as it ever was. No one has yet proved equal to the task to which Cuno invited the theologians of his day, nor been able to convct the oracle of the New Church in any instance of inconsistency with himself. We are not aware that the difficulty of such a task has diminished with the lapse of time.

As an ethical writer, Swedenborg has no peer in any literature outside of the Bible. No other man has so clearly defined the boundaries which divide the right from the wrong in the human conduct, nor made the path of duty so consistently plain, nor furnished so many good reasons for walking in it. It is to be regretted that the prejudices which have prevailed against him in the ecclesiasticial world, but which happily are fast fading out, have prevented his works from receiving from ethical writers the attention they deserve.

It seems hardly credible that a writer so learned and so catholic in his literary tastes and judgments as Sir James Macintosh, should have attempted to write a history of the progress of Ethical Philosophy without once mentioning the name of Swedenborg. It may even be doubted if he ever opened one of Swedenborg's works. It is yet more remarkable that the best treatise on Ethical Science that has been written prior or subsequent to Swedenborg's time, Christian Ethics, by Dr. H. Martensen, should not contain an allusion to the teachings of the greatest authority living or dead upon that subject.