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faith in the lore concerning world-souls and fairies (another essential with Harris) the writings of the New Church can command but little respect : for the question straightway occurs, “If Swedenborg was so short-sighted as really not to have seen these things ; much more that is important may also have escaped his ken ; he is obsolete, limited, outmatched; bring Harris to the fore !” One of the worst thrusts at Swedenborg, in this way, may properly be here pointed out.
Inasmuch as, according to Mr. Harris, each material earth contains only one world soul, the latter in its glorification could not become both a hell and a heaven. So all shall become heavens. That belonging to our earth, strictly speaking, ought to become a hell, seeing how completely it was magnetized by the now Lost Orb, and how the death-marks in its nervespirit continually increase ; but Divine Mercy
Separates the seed-wheat from the chaff
Of peace and beauty in the life to be.” 1 Hell, therefore, is not eternal ; the doctrine (pervading the whole of Swedenborg's treatise, Heaven and Hell, and recognised generally throughout his writings) is an error! Here then, again, I must remind Mr. Berridge of his assertion that, except the doctrine concerning the existence of evil on the other earths, he did not know one of importance in which Harris stood opposed to Swedenborg.
(11.) Internal Respiration. This, of all Swedenborg's doctrines, has been the one most misunderstood and abused by the trans-sepulchral informants of Mr. Harris. The New Church teachings concerning the men of the most ancient Church have become mixed up with poetic fancies from John Milton and that doctrine of physical rehabilitation which formed the chief point of Joseph Balsamo's teaching for some thirty years of his life :: the result is the strangest of theories, one wherein planes are confounded, and matter and spirit made interconvertible. The following points in answer to Mr. Berridge's objections will make this clear.
1. Swedenborg never intended us to infer that his internal respiration was identical with that of the Adamic men.
says “there is an internal with a scarcely perceptible external, which is sufficiently good : then an internal without an external, which is better ; finally, there is an insensible one, which is angelic. But these in general ; there are still other genera, and an indefinite number of species, pertaining to different regions of the body and the determinations thence" (S. D. 3464). His own internal respiration, he there tells us, dates back from his early childhood, when saying his morning and evening prayers : afterwards, during the subsequent years, he was made conscious of it, in connection with absorbing speculations, “ in which the breathing seemed to become quiescent, as otherwise the intense study of truth is scarcely possible. Afterwards, when heaven was opened to me, and I was enabled to converse with spirits, I sometimes scarcely breathed by inspiration at all, for the space of a short hour, and merely drew in air enough to keep up the process of thinking. He further states that “the design of all this was, that every kind of state, every kind of sphere and every kind of society, particularly the more interior, might find in my own a fit respiration, which should come into play without any
reflection on my part, and that thus a medium of intercourse might be afforded with
1 Harris, "Lyric of the Golden Age," p. 112, ? As in Comus, lines 456-466.
3 See his life passim.
spirits and angels" (S. D. 3464). A still higher possibility and privilege were next attained ; namely, the reception and perception of divine truth, celestial and spiritual, not from angels nor from spirits ; but from the Lord God Himself, through His Word (Ď. P. 135). Aïl this is beautiful, rational and orderly.
2. With the Adamic Church it was as follows. Not only was there an internal respiration without anything external save a tacit one, but there was no speech of words as there is to-day. Men spake by ideas, and these were expressed by innumerable mutations of eyes, face and features, but chiefly by the lips, wherein countless series of muscular fibres, at present no longer free, came continually into play. These could set forth, signify and bepicture as many ideas in a minute, as now would demand an hour's speech; and the variations were always conformable to true order, so that one could not put on a false face or dissimulate. This respiration proceeded from the navel towards the interior region of the breast, and was varied with each man according to his state of love and faith in the Lord; for men breathed with those angels in whose company they lived. Respiring thus from within and in consociation with a higher world, they saw only spiritual and celestial things when they looked at what was terrestrial and corporeal; nur cared they but for the inward things those outward ones represented. Finally, they were not instructed in doctrines, and required neither laws, rituals nor statutes (A. C. 607, 1117, 920, 4493). This also is beautiful, rational and orderly : the difference between the two being commensurate with the difference between the most ancient Church and the Church of the second advent: the former of which was comparatively an infant, sporting in the sunlight of heaven; the latter a man in the regenerate, thoughtful maturity of intelligence and wisdom. For the New Church has to stand nearer the Lord in conscious intimacy than did even the Adamic Church of old ; it must intuitively understand in seeing, while that only instinctively knew as
3. Mr. Harris incorporates the above two views, and, by the introduction of doctrine pertaining to the plane of merely natural thought, he produces a theory at once unlovely, irrational and disorderly. The chief object of his work on the Apocalypse is to demonstrate the New Church future of Internal Respirationists. It is shown that the veil of partition between the natural lungs and the spiritual is now reduced to extreme attenuation. Under the new conditions the influx of the Holy Breath will gradually wear away this partition in those subject to it. One result will be a thorough interpervasion of the natural hy the spiritual breath. After due course of probation, extending from seven to ten years for the most part, those found faithful will receive their reward in a rebirth of the natural soul. This will bring men, according to their degree and signature, into relation with the inhabitants of the celestial, spiritual and ultimate heavens, universe and world souls, human races of earths and suns, fay races and atomic men. All the varied perfections of the previous states culminate in one in which a new nerve body is given as the habitation of the translated soul ; and which, being an epitome of the rest, and surpassing them all, is called the Great Respiration. Contemporaneously with these growths, there is the developinent of aromal vision, the evolution of expanse-sight, radiative touch, the interioration of the organ of vision into the nerve spirit, the power of penetrating " into the seminal essences of stones, into the society of the stone embodied fays”—“10 breathe with whom is to inhale longevity." Magic, finally, will be revived as a universal science.
Space forbids details such as how “the removal of the obstruction between the spiritual and the natural lungs of man, by means of which the divine
breath descends into the natural, is invariably effected through a divine fay angel from the glorified divine human body of our Lord (Ar. of Ch. iii. 39); how seven-eighths of the distance in the organic space thereof has been worn away in the last seventy years (iii. 122); how “the fire breath which proceeds through men who possess this new respiration, contains within itself a subtle principle which kills the bodies of those who resist, after a certain period has arrived” (iii. 273); how the secret of maternity should be explained by the open breathing woman as soon as the young intellect demands the solution of the birth question (iii. 472); how the food prepared by one of these open breathing women undergoes a celestial transformation (iii. 470); how the husband, attaining the new natural soul, may be instrumental in letting down a new natural soul into his wife's frame (iii. 595)—but enough! And yet it is for speaking against this fleshly teaching that Mr. Berridge calls me to account! In reply I ask what are the tendencies of the above principles ? What becomes of the simple, holy, heart-teaching of our Redeemer ‘ye must be born again” as exemplified in the lives of all truly Christian men during these last eighteen centuries ? Nay, while I deny that such a physical change can be proved as the above teachings would have us to infer is the privilege of the whole Salem-on-Erie Brotherhood, I can point to facts condemnatory of the whole system. I can prove that deluded men, through an overweening confidence in such Cagliostrianism, have suffered irreparable injury in intellect, in health and in social position. I have known minds rendered incapable of accurate thought through it (as, indeed, Harris said should be the case, iii. 100). Under the impression that through internal respiration a monition would in due time be given directing to proper books and studies, I have seen opportunities for professional culture irretrievably lost, and status also. Under the delusion that the pain felt in the body was caused by the renewing of the natural soul and nerve spirit, I have seen the legitimate remedies for disease too long neglected, at the cost of further suffering. Under the infatuation of the same thought I have seen the bond of marital co-fellowship made powerless in the presence of an adulterous influence “sensed” from within, while such an imaginary renewal of the natural soul was going on.
But what indeed shall we say of the Medium's own example in this respect :-writing love ditties from the “Lily Queen, immortal bride," when a first wife is also in another world, a second one here, and a female amanuensis his most frequent attendant? For a leader of thought it has not an orderly look. It reeks of the odoriferous narcotics of the Eastern harem rather than of the fragrant breath of the Saxon homestead. It is the emasculated, lock-shorn Samson, with his 1 It is all very well to sing with Milton how
“Oft converse with heavenly habitants Begins to cast a beam on the outward shape .
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence; but Dr. J. J, G. Wilkinson, after “ many medical visits” to Mr. Harris in 1860 (thus about seven years after the Lily-Queen intimacy began), described his chest, etc. in such a way as to show that the peculiar physical organization of the man was one which evidently had proceeded his regeneration, and, as with everybody else, was independent of it (See Robinson's "Remembrancer, another ten years have passed over, and the silence of his disciples shows, despite the philosophy of corporeal rehabilitation, that Time's decaying fingers are doing their inexorable work. He is not of the Hesper-men
Who “ when their work below is ended, pass
(Harris, L. M. Land, p. 75.)
P. 364). Now
fevered head in Delilah's lap, when, stalwart and cheerful, he ought to have been out in the field of God's work, the sinewy arm bared for labour, and his natural curls playing in the strengthening breezes of heaven.
(12.). Faust. Here Mr. Berridge writes : “ Harris does not deny or assert that Goethe published a part ii
. of Faust.” Mr. Berridge ought not to have penned this without having first turned to Mr. Harris's book. It is there distinctly written, “ The great German poem of Faust terminates after the death of Margaret, victim to the wiles of the demon Mephistopheles” (Song of Satan, lxviii). Now in the original text of the complete “Faust," this point is at page 184, where part i. ends; while the poem really terminates only at the end of page 459. It is thus clear from Mr. Harris's own words, that he knew nothing of this second portion extending over 275 additional pages ! But the Goethe-Demon laboured under the same ignorance as Mr. Harris and furnished the latter with a continuation ! ANOTHER, however, is also implicated in the same mistake, and Mr. Harris thus blaspheniously writes :
“At the same time I was conscious that the Divine Lord in His mercy was inversing the words spoken by the demon, as they were projected into the organs of my consciousness. In this manner the diabolical perversions of Divine Truth spoken by this Magician of the hells were turned against him into celestial verities” (Harris, S. of Satan, lxviii).
This blasphemy is deepened in some of these “ celestial verities” thus affirmed to have been produced in their present form by “the Divine Lord”; here are two :
“ Christ was like Moses, like Mahomet too
A moral teacher who made much ado
Of Nature's veil. I read its living heart.”
And Margaret, the spirit, will outgrow
(Harris, Song of Satan, lxx.) Gentle reader, is not this “striking” ?–Methinks it displays a morbid irreverence only equalled by that stupendous impudence which led the same writer to say of another of his books
Something it hath for every mental state,
(Harris, Lyric of the Golden Age, 6.) (13.) Here little need be said. It is now evident that as long as a man consents to remain the mere Medium of angels or spirits, he is like to be a dupe to himself, and a blind guide to others. Swedenborg rose above all this before he wrote a single doctrine as such : not a single line of doctrine as such was ever afterwards written by him from point so low as even the highest angelical. By remaining a spirit-subject, Harris (as we have seen) cannot but adulterate the truths of science, theology and life : by refusing such bondage Swedenborg was enabled to stand a freeman in the verifying light of the divine influx while intent upon the holy Word. Harris was positive against spirit-infusion only when preaching, and singularly enough, his sermons are almost undefiled of his general mediumistic extravagances. Nor does it avail at this point that Mr. Berridge should seek to silence me by quoting “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the fiesh is of God.” We have seen on Mr. Harris's own evidence, that Joseph Balsamo did this very thing! A knowledge of the history of
the period when St. John wrote the passage in question would have shown Mr. Berridge that St. John did not contemplate trans-sepulchral spirits in this text, but rather a class of men whose minds had been poisoned by a doctrine of devils (for there were Joseph Balsamos in those days also) and who were gradually undermining the faith of the simple-minded Christian believers that Christ had come in the flesh.
(14.) Conclusion. Here Mr. Berridge writes as if Harrisism would fain rest in amity with the receivers of the New Church faith. Enough has been seen to show that this is impossible. There can be no pact of amity between Truth and Error. Mr. Harris knows this, and it would be difficult to find an opponent from the trinitarian side who has dealt out so much uncharitable insinuation as he has towards those Mr. Berridge alludes to. He has talked of “the sexless plant of conventional Swedenborgianism” and affirmed it to be “the development of the religious idea which minds of frigid temperament have evolved from their own internal states" : he says “ the readers of Swedenborg attempt to construct a new church by preserving old states," and tells how “cold minds, unimpregnated through conjugial union with a noble wifely essence, have given birth both in America and England to the ecclesiastical unions that fondly arrogate the title New Jerusalem ; or if others of a warmer genius have been involved in such creations, they haye been led captive through persuasive arts, and a mistaken sense of the importance of external organisations and ceremonies” (A. of Ch. iii. 425-427). Mr. Berridge speaks
of Arcades ambos, but arcades omnes were the true phrase if the above statements held good.
But we are told of“ one who was saved from infidelity solely by means of Harris's writings.” Have none been driven into infidelity by them? Years ago, Harris led me to close my Swedenborg and my Harris too; as the Editor of the Recipient can testify from a letter of the time : and in that Recipient I just notice a letter from some one else in the same predicament; mark his reasoning : “ If he [Swedenborg] mistook appearances for realities, how can we be sure that his successor has not done so ? May they not both have penetrated, or rather have been intromitted, only into the outer circles of the spiritual plane, and not into the sublimer glories of the third Heavens ?” This was after reading Mr. Harris's statement that Swedenborg, in describing certain things of the spiritual world, had “mistaken appearances for realities” (Robinson's Recipient, i. 217, and the A. of Ch. i. 510). Similar consequences must follow in numerous other cases; as where Harris says he saw his father in the spiritual world thirty years after death and little change had so far taken place (a passage in direct opposition to Swedenborg's declaration that twenty years at most are now sufficient before the final transition) : so again with the Last Judgment which Swedenborg says took place in 1757 ; “why I was in another Last Judgment myself in 1857,” says the imitative medium Mr. Harris ! What, exactly 100
Mr. Berridge is now answered, I trust satisfactorily. I need only remark
1 Mr. White in his Life of Swedenborg (ii. 7) has a fling at our author because in another book he says thirty years (H. and H. 426). But that other book, on Mr. White's own admission, is “a dish of cream from the Arcana Celestia," which latter was published before 1757. True ; and therefore although the H. and H. was not printed until the year following, many of its chapters must have been copied out just previously or pending the Last Judgment, prior to which time vastation could not have been effected so speerlily.
? In first paper I omitted to state that the statistics of Salem-on-Erie were from the Recipient for July 1869 ; since which time no data have appeared in the Harrisite organ.
years after ?