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1. The writer says that Swedenborg's Doctrine on "the Trinity" is, that “the one God appeared at the time of the incarnation in the form of Christ; and the Holy Spirit he regarded as the Spirit of redeemed humanity.”

Permit me to say that no such doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit is to be found in any part of Swedenborg's writings, nor anything like it. He expressly says,' that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth, proceeding from the Lord, in whom is the Father; and in the True Christian Religion (art. 139, 140), that "since the Lord is the very truth itself, therefore all that which proceeds from Hiin must be truth, and this is understood by the Comforter, who is called the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit.”

The Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit, is the Divine cause, which effects in man reformation and regeneration. But Swedenborg nowhere confounds the cause with the effect ;-nor, apart from the question of personality, is his doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit in this respect different from that of the Church of England.

2. The article says that “Swedenborg's antitrinitarian theories were similar to those of. Praxeas and Sabellius."

According to Swedenborg, Tripersonal and Trinitarian are not equivalent or synonymous terms. Swedenborg's doctrine was not Anti-Trinitarian but Anti-Tripersonal. Apart from the doctrine of Tri-Personality, he states the doctrine of the Trinity in the very words of Hooker—the Father is Divine Love, the Son Divine Wisdom, the Holy Spirit the Divine Power. Moreover, Swedenborg expressly says that, apart from the question of personality, the doctrine of the Trinity contained in the Athanasian Creed is true.

This was not the case with Sabellius. The doctrine of Sabellius concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was not only a negation of Three Divine Persons, but an assertion that these were the names of Three Divine manifestationsa doctrine nowhere to be found in the writings of Swedenborg.

It is true that Sabellius believed in only One Person in the Godhead, and that Athanasius believed in Three Persons in the Godhead. But the same argument, which would prove on this ground Swedenborg to be a Sabellian, would prove Athanasius to be a Tritheist. Sabellius believed in only One Person in the Godhead, Swedenborg believed in only One Person of the Godhead ; therefore Swedenborg was a Sabellian. The Tritheists believed in Three Persons of the God

1 “Arcana Coelestia,” art. 6993.


head : Athanasius believed in Three Persons of the Godhead; therefore Athanasius was a Tritheist. If be replied that there was no other resemblance between the doctrine of the Tritheists and that of Athanasius, than that each believed in Three Divine Persons, it may be equally replied that there is no other resemblance between the doctrine of Sabellius and that of Swedenborg, than that each believed in only One Divine Person.

3. The article says that "Swedenborg was extremely bitter against the dogma of justification by faith alone, which he looked upon as provocative of Antinomian iminorality ; but he erroneously considered belief in that dogma to be a result of belief in the doctrine of the Trinity.”

Allow me to observe that this was the opinion of Dr. Moehler, as expressed in his work upon "Symbolism," but it is equally true that it was not the opinion of Dr. Whately, for so far from considering Swedenborg to have been erroneous in this respect, the Archbishop has himself adopted the opinion of Swedenborg, in an essay which, in the Church of England, has been highly commended.

4. The article says that "Swedenborg explained that Christ had not come in person, but in the power and glory of the spiritual sense of the Holy Word."

This statement is, I am happy to say, for the most part correct, but it ought to have been added that this is no new theory of Swedenborg, but is identical with the interpretation given by Origen; that it has been transferred into the catena aurea of Thomas Aquinas, and has to this day been more or less received in the Church from the earliest times. The consequence is, that the interpretation of the 24th chapter of Matthew given by Origen and that which is given by Swedenborg are substantially the same. Of course the two as much differ from the article in the Dictionary on the Second Advent as what is spiritual differs from what is natural. But this difference has not only been considered allowable in the Church of England, but is beginning to prevail as antagonistic to the naturalism of modern theology.

5. The article says—“Swedenborg was not consciously an impostor, but a dreamy mystic, with such an overpowering self-consciousness as led him to believe that his religious speculations were special revelations, in which sense they are also accepted by his followers.”

The very objection which has been brought forward against the prophets of Scripture is here applied to the case of Swedenborg. It is founded on the identical theory which modern infidelity employs to

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undermine the whole doctrine of the prophetic spirit, namely, that of overpowering self-consciousness.

6. The article says that “Swedenborg was probably also in some degree insane, for he professed at times to be so surrounded with spirits visible to him, that he could scarcely find room in his study to move about among them.”

With regard to this statement, I will only say that although it is here so conspicuously brought forward, I have carefully read about forty volumes of his theology, and have no recollection of having once met with the statement.

7. What Swedenborg meant by a New Church was, as the article rightly implies, not simply a new religious denomination, but a renovation of Christendom, or a new state of the Catholic Church answering to the expression—“Behold I make all things new.” But this is to he effected not merely, as the article suggests, by a new philosophy of religion, but by a new life.

It is to be regretted that in a Dictionary professing to give an account of "

errors, heresies, and sects,” it is impossible to obtain any information with regard to any one doctrine of Swedenborg; and that

; in order to acquire it the reader is compelled to refer to other sources. This is the more to be regretted, since in the advertisement describing the object of the work, the public are assured that "the writers of all the essays have endeavoured to make them sufficiently exhaustive to render it unnecessary for the majority of readers to go further for information.”

After what has been said, I make no comment upon this statement. In conclusion, you will doubtless excuse me for being so candid upon a subject materially affecting both the value of the Dictionary and the position of those clergymen in the Church of England who feel it to be their duty to study theological writings which are silently influencing the literature of the age more than those of any other author. I am, &c.,

AUGUSTUS CLISSOLD. P.S.- Will you be kind enough to do me the favour to accept the three following works accompanying this letter.

“Swedenborg and his Modern Critics,” containing the passage referred to above, in which Dr. Whately coincides with Swedenborg, and as such, is opposed to Dr. Moehler-pages 89 to 93.

“Transition," containing the interpretation of Origen, above referred to-pages 121 to 125.

"The Prophetic Spirit,” in which the theories of overpowering selfconsciousness and insanity are treated of passim.


No. I. - PETER.

“And Peter remembered the words of Jesus which He said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” - MATT. xxvi. 75.


“ O God! O Son of God! O Lord ! O Christ!
O worse than Judas ! Worse than Cain ! O God!
I Peter? I a rock? The Church be built
On such a sand as I ? I hind ? I lose ?
The gates of hell have triumphed over me !
I, first to own Him Lord, deny Him first!
Not once, not twice: I spake the lie three times.
Spake? Nay, I swore it by the truth. The truth !
And He, He called Himself the Truth ; and I,-
I swore the lie against Him by Himself!
O deepest hell engulph me, as the sea
Sucks down a broken ship! O God ! O Christ !
Would that my tongue were blistered, rooted up,-
That memory were seared, and I might cease,
Might waste existence out upon the winds,
And be forgetful, and untraceable !

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“ For this He bless'd me, gave me that new name
Which should have held me faithful ? All for this !
O how He looked unutterable love,
Gazed right into my heart with wondrous eyes,
Pressed on my shoulder His all-gentle hand,
And thrilled me to my feet the while He touched,
As though His life had flashed through all my frame,
And made nie other than I was before.
No more be called Simon,' thus He spake,

Thy name is Peter!'' Peter ? I, a rock!
And now I've sworn I never knew the man !
O Lucifer, I am thy fellow! Dashed
From heav'n, and hope, and glory, down to hell,
Because of Sin. Yet happier than thou;
For I can weep.

O Christ!

* Catch men,' He said. And I, I swore I knew Him not, and lied !

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O James, and John, what bitterness of grief,
My brothers, O my brothers, this for you!
He lov'd us three, lov'd them, lov'd me, and gave
Surpassing proofs of love and confidence.
He led us three to Jairus' house,—us three-
To hear Talitha cumi' wake the dead;
While He, the Lord of life, gave life again:
'Give her to eat,' He said, and she did eat.
He led us up that memorable Mount,-
Led James and John and me, and we beheld
The Godhead shining in His face, as bright
As gleams the noontide sun o'er Galilee;
And all His raiment radiant white as light;
The earthly substance of His form absorbed
By that almighty glory excellent,
As though His Godhead mastered, drank it in,
As fire might swallow wood and make it fire !
Elias, Moses there, I knew them both,
Though knew not how, and saw them minister
To Him, their Lord and ours,—their Lord and mine, -
And heard the awful voice from ont the cloud, -

This, My beloved Son, hear Him!' Hear Him ?
And I denied Him thrice! O God! O Christ!

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“O dread Gethsemane! O faithless fool!
O heavy eyes that could not watch one hour !
O fatal sleep that ’numbed my soul for this !
I saw the bloody dew that stained His brow;
Not even that could rouse my heart from sleep:
And yet I lov'd Him! Lov'd Him? I had giv'n
My strength, my life, far more than life, my all,
My wife, my darling babes whom He had bless'd,
My home, my hopes, myself for His dear sake,
And felt the loss unutterable joy,
To cheer, to succour Him! All toils, all woes
I'd gather to my breast as blessings gained,
So I could comfort Him! And yet, I lied !
O sin astounding! All bewild’ring sin !
Unlike my inmost thought, my deepest wish,
And yet wrought by me; perpetrated thrice !

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