Emanuel Swedenborg Part 2 -- By: Harry Bultema

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 096:384 (Oct 1939)
Article: Emanuel Swedenborg Part 2
Author: Harry Bultema


Emanuel Swedenborg
Part 2

Harry Bultema

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1939)

A False Prophet

16) There is throughout a pantheistic vein in the system of Swedenborg

This is nearly always the concomitant of false mysticism. Time and again he uses the words emanation and influx from the divine life into human life. In regard to the incarnation he held views which were a century ahead of the Pantheistic school of Hegel and Schleiermacher in Germany: God uniting Himself with mankind in Christ. In the language of Barrett, the dogmatician of the Swedenborgians, Christ is “Divinity in organic union with humanity, God invested with our infirm nature; God living, laboring and suffering as man among men; God able to come to us through the medium of his Divine humanity, as the invisible soul of your friend comes to you through the medium of his visible body.” There was with Swedenborg not only a dimming of the heavy lines of demarcation between the Infinite and the finite, but often a complete obliteration of these lines. He had the philosophical pride of intellect and in addition to this the hauteur of a first-class scientist and inventor for that day, and still added to that, the consciousness of a “seer,” who had conversed with Jesus and many celebrities in heaven; consequently his bold spirit did not stop for any doctrinal difficulty nor for any line of separation between the Creator and the creature. On paper everything was possible to him. On paper he threw his magic spells and his wild vagaries, but this John the Baptist of modern infidelity did, like the real John the Baptist,

no miracle. Plenty of magic he had, but no miracle to attest his visions.

17) Swedenborg was the wildest visionary

A little treatise of about fifty pages of celestial secrets entitled “Earths in the Universe” will substantiate this statement. Astronomers and other men of learning have often discussed the question whether other planets like our own are inhabited. The “seer” does not entertain us with prolix reasonings but apodictically and with an air of authoritativeness he asserts that all the planets are inhabited. He could speak with authority, since he had visited them and conversed with their inhabitants, as White tells us, and Wilkinson remarks that the work under consideration may be characterized as a “Report on the Religion of the Universe.”

In spite of the fact that scientists give many reasons for the inhabitability of the moon, seeing it lacks alike water and atmosphere, the “seer” has met the Lunarians or Moonites. They are dwarfs, like boys of seven, with robust bodies and pleasant faces, ...

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