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originate in the sun, which is pure love and pure wisdom. The atmospheres which originate from the sun of the world, which is pure fire, cause those things on the earth, and in the human body, so to be held in connexion together as not to be changed except according to the laws of natural order. Hence is the difference between things in the natural world and in the spiritual world, concerning which difference more will be said in what follows.
That in the spiritual world which is above (or within] the natural world, there are also atmospheres, is evident from the light and heat there, which before the eyes and senses of the angels appear as the light and heat before the eyes and senses of men; and angels are spiritual, but men are natural, and there cannot possibly be any light and heat without atmospheres. That there are also spiritual atmo
. spheres is evident from many appearances in the spiritual world, as from the appearance of colours there, of meteors, of clouds both thin and thick, of winds, of gravities, pressures, and consequent cousistencies, which although they appear entirely similar to those things which are in the natural world, nevertheless, they are spiritual and not natural, although before the angels, because they are spiritual, they
That there are spiritual atmospheres, is also abundantly evident from the respiration of angels and spirits. For angels and spirits breathe in like manner as.men in the world; but angels breathe from their atmospheres, and men from theirs. The angels in the celestial kingdom breathe from their atmosphere which is more pure, but the angels of the spiritual kingdom breathe from their atmosphere which is less pure.
But the things which we have hitherto said concerning degrees and the atmospheres may, for the most part, appear theoretical; but all theoretical things should be drawn and concluded from the facts of experience, and also confirmed by them. For unless the facts of experience conduct, as were, the hand of man in coming to conclusions, he may easily err in theoretical things, and from some imaginary hypothesis, be carried away into false principles entirely opposed to what is true, which he can then confirm by appearances and fallacies of every kind; for false principles may be confirmed by appearances and fallacies to such a degree, that they may be believed to be the veriest truths. I wish, therefore, now to produce some facts of experience, by which not only what has been said may be confirmed, but also by which every one who has rational light may draw conclusions as to many other things.
The Substantial Realities of the Spiritual World. In the natural kingdom in which men are whilst they live in the world, and in the spiritual kingdom where the spiritual angels are, and in the celestial kingdom in which are the celestial angels, appear similar things, so much so that there is scarcely any other difference than that the things in the spiritual kingdom are more perfect than in the natural kingdom, and in the celestial kingdom still more perfect than in the spiritual kingdom.
A spirit or an angel appears in a perfect human form as a man in the world, so much so that he knows no otherwise than that he is a man of the world. He has a similar face and a similar body, and in the face similar eyes, nostrils, ears, lips, mouth, and similar hair; and in the body also a similar breast, loins, hands and feet, and also similar organs of generation; in a word, he is a man in external form altogether similar to a man in the world. He has similar lungs, because he breathes; and he has a similar heart, because it pulsates. The other inferior viscera of the body are also similar, because there are societies in heaven which equally correspond to these viscera. There is likewise a ruddiness in the face, hands, arms, and body, as though it were from blood in the arteries and veins. There are also similar fibres, nerves, and muscles, because in like manner a spirit moves his limbs as a man in the world. Moreover, he has a similar sense of sight, of hearing, of smell, and of feeling, and also a similar gift of speech and of singing; and as to his mind, he has also a similar power of imagination, of thought, of intellect, and of will, also affection and cupidity. In a word, an angel or a spirit is so similar to a man in the world, that he knows no otherwise than that he is a man of the world. * Every thing, however, about an angel is so much more perfect, that no comparison, as to intrinsic perfection, can be drawn between an angel and a man. Their garments also are similar, and variously adapted, as in the case of man, to every part of the body; different only in some respects as to colours, especially of the outer garments. The reason is, because colours signify the appearances of Truth from Good, and garments signify truths, and hence the clothing of the intellect.
They have also similar houses, in which are apartments and chambers with courts as in the world, and within there is furniture of all kinds, and various decorations and ornaments. In heaven there are palaces so magnificent that nothing in the world can be compared to them. These palaces are of a magnitude so great, and of such symmetrical and architectural beauty both without and within, and are
decorated in such a manner with gold and precious stones, that no painter on earth could possibly describe them. There are also marble houses and crystal palaces. The use of every apartment is known from its decorations. They have also, as to appearance, similar food as in the world, and various kiuds of food and drink, which are also desig. nated by their peculiar names. In the spiritual world are likewise earths, mountains, hills, plains, grassy fields, paradises or gardens, groves and woods, &c.
There are ways every where tending to various societies. These ways are guarded, and only then first appear to a spirit when he has to enter into the society for which he is prepared. There are also in that world fountains, lakes, and seas. likewise animals on the earth and birds of all kinds in the air. There also appear compound animals, such as are described in the Word, especially in the Apocalypse : in short, in the spiritual world there are not only, in appearance, similar things as in the natural world, but innumerable others; and every thing in heaven exists in such variety and harmony as to breathe forth from itself a heavenly delight. For in heaven there is a heaven in all and in every thing, in general and in every particular. Thus every external sense has its own heaven, and every thing of the internal sense has also its own heaven, and an angel is a heaven in its least form, and each one, as he has heaven in himself, has also heaven out of himself.
But it must be well known that all things, as to every particular now mentioned, are not material but spiritual, or are from a spiritual origin ; and yet spirits know no otherwise than that these things are material; the reason is, because whilst a spiritual being touches or tastes what is spiritual, it is altogether like when a material being tastes and touches what is material. Concerning this appearance I have often had a discussion with spirits, who believe that the things which they see and touch are material. I have shewn them by various methods, and from various reasons even to the life, that nothing in the spiritual world is material, but that every thing there is spiritual. I demonstrated it to them by the houses in that world, which in a moment are formed and in a moment are destroyed and dissipated ; also by their garments, which in a moment are put on, and in a moment are changed ; new garments are also given in a moment. In like manner I have demonstrated it from their dinners and repasts, shewing that the tables upon which is the food, exist in a moment, and are afterwards dissipated in a moment, and that the spirits themselves can enter into the houses through the walls, without entering in through the doors. (See John xx. 19.] There was a certain individual known to me, with whom I
conversed when his body which he had in the world was being buried, and I told him that he was now being buried, when he replied that he did not know what of him could be buried, because he had all things with him, a similar body as before, and other things similar, for he, like others, did not know otherwise than that he was still material, whereas he was now a spiritual being. He was soon instructed that his material body, which he carried about with him in the world, and which then clothed his spiritual body, was being buried.
[It appears, from the extraordinary phenomena which are taking place at the present time as to "spirit manifestations,” that the minds of men are being awakened as to the necessity of believing in the reality of the spiritual world. It must be confessed that the greater this impression becomes, the more likely men will be to inquire as to the spiritual state, and to become acquainted with what knowledge they can procure, on this momentous and eternal subject. For the more a man can know of the spiritual world, and the more vividly, from Scripture and reason, he can impress its reality and its proximity upon his mind, the more he will be likely to live for that world, that when the time of his departure comes, he may be more prepared to enter among the blessed in heaven. We may, it is thought, take it as a general rule, that if a man know nothing of the spiritual world but its bare existence, he can think but little about it, and that consequently his thoughts will be mostly occupied with this world and its concerns, and his affections, instead of being fixed upon the things that are above," will be fixed upon the things that are below. Now, as one of the objects of Swedenborg's mission was to make men rationally acquainted with the spiritual world, the above article, although not as to its import new to many of our readers, contains, nevertheless, certain particulars, and certain points of thought, which may be new to most, and tend to make them better acquainted with the realities of that world in which we are to live for ever.]-EDITOR.
ALLEGED ERRORS IN THE WRITINGS OF SWEDENBORG.
THE SEXUALITY OF PLANTS.
It was the purpose of our previous article under this head to show that there is no discrepancy or contradiction between the works written by Swedenborg before the Last Judgment, and those written after that event, respecting the future of the New Church. It would be superfluous to endeavour to prove to the intelligent readers of his writings, that the doctrine so unequivocally taught by Swedenborg is a rational doctrine; and that at least no circumstances have yet transpired in the Christian world, or on earth, which are at all adequate to prove that the New Church will not be established in the manner which he has foretold. The New Church as yet is in its merest infancy. Its establishment* on the earth cannot be said yet to have taken place. It is a thing of the future. And no power of ratiocination, no power short of revelation, can list the veil of the future to tell us what lies beyond. Nothing can be more useless, therefore, in this world of appearances, than to attempt to speculate on the question whether present developments in the Christian world are not a more reliable index to future events of the church, than what the New Church rationally regard as the revelation on this subject through Swedenborg. We take our leave of this subject, then, and pass on briefly to the alleged contradiction by Swedenborg of the facts of science, and of his own teaching concerning the universal marriage law, in the matter of the Sexuality of Plants.
And first, we may premise that Swedenborg was by no means ignorant of those facts of science on which the distinction of sex in vegetables has been predicated. Nor was he at all wanting in knowledge respecting this doctrine itself of vegetable sexuality. It is not a new doctrine in the scientific world. It was observed of certain plants, at a very early age, as of the Date Palm, that two different forms of individuals appear, only one of which bears seed. It was also observed that the seeds of the one would not mature, unless the other grew and blossomed simultaneously in its vicinity. An ancient writer † adverted to what is called the sexuality of plants, so long ago as 320 years before the Christian era. It was also distinctly alluded to by Pliny and other ancient writers afterward. As centuries elapsed facts accumulated. At length the celebrated Linnæus, a countryman and cotemporary of Swedenborg, gathered up the scattered fragments of science, and roughly constructed what is called the Sexual System of Botany.
These accumulated facts were distinctly before the mind of Swedenborg when he wrote. He frequently and pointedly alludes to them. Does he contradict them? We shall see. The declaration which he makes is, that
“ In trees and all the other subjects of the vegetable kingdom, there are not two sexes, male and female, but each particular subject is male, the earth alone, or the ground, being their common mother, and thus, as it were, a female ; for it receives the seeds of all plants, causes them to open, carries them as in a womb, at the same time provides them with nourishment, and brings them forth; that is, teems them from her womb into the open day, and afterwards clothes and supports them." — T.C. R. 585. See also to the same effect, D. L. W. 310, and Coronis 7, &c.
Before we endeavour to determine whether this is in contradiction to his own doctrine of the universal marriage law, let us first consider See A. E. 665.