Stripped of its definitely miraculous character, the doctrine of the inner light may be regarded as the familiar mystical protest against formalism, literalism, and scripture-worship. Swedenborg, though selected by Emerson in his Representative Men as the typical mystic, belongs rather to the history of spiritualism than to that of mysticism as understood in this article.
SWEDENBORG (or [[Swedberg), Emanuel]] (1688-1772), Swedish scientist, philosopher and mystic, was born at Stockholm on the 29th of January 1688.
Having completed his university course at Upsala, in 1710, Swedenborg undertook a European tour, visiting England, Holland, France and Germany, studying especially natural philosophy and writing Latin verses, a collection of which he published in 1710.
Queen Ulrica elevated him and his family to the rank of nobility, by which his name was changed from Swedberg to Swedenborg, the "en" corresponding to the German "von."
There is no doubt that Swedenborg anticipated many scientific facts and positions that are usually regarded as of much more modern date.
Swedenborg knew that the machine would not fly, but suggested it as a start and was confident that the problem would be solved.
In 1901, Professor Max Neuberger of Vienna called attention to certain anticipations of modern views made by Swedenborg in relation to the functions of the brain.
It is clear that Swedenborg showed (150 years before any other scientist) that the motion of the brain was synchronous with the respiration and not with the action of the heart and the circulation of the blood, a discovery the full bearings of which are still far from being realized.
Swedenborg was a man who won the respect, confidence and love of all who came into contact with him.
As a theologian Swedenborg never attempted to preach or to found a sect.
Swedenborg wholly rejects the orthodox doctrine of atonement; and the unity of God, as opposed to his idea of the trinity of the church, is an essential feature of his teaching.
And Swedenborg is the divinely commissioned expounder of this threefold sense of the word, and so the founder of the New Church, the paraclete of the last dispensation.
Swedenborg claimed also to have learnt by his admission into the spiritual world the true states of men in the next life, the scenery and occupations of heaven and hell, the true doctrine of Providence, the origin of evil, the sanctity and perpetuity of marriage and to have been a witness of the "last judgment," or the second coming of the Lord, which is a contemporary event.
Tafel, Documents concerning the Life and Character of Swedenborg, collected, translated and annotated (3 vols., Swedenborg Society, 1875-1877); J.
Hyde, A Bibliography of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (743 pp., Swedenborg Society).
Trobridge (London, 1907); also Emanuel Swedenborg, the Spiritual Columbus, a Sketch, by U.
A useful handbook of Swedenborg's theology is the Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg by the Rev. Samuel Warren (London, 1885).
Herder's "Emanuel Swedenborg," in his Adrastea (Werke zur Phil.
Von Goerres's Emanuel Swedenborg, seine Visionen and sein Venceiltniss zur Kirche (1827); A.
See also Transactions of the International Swedenborg Congress (London, 1910), summarized in The New Church Magazine (August, 1910).
He was early attracted by the works of William Blake, whose Songs of Experience he endeavoured to interpret, and of Swedenborg, to the elucidation of whose writings he devoted the best energies of his life.
Wilkinson's preliminary discourses to these translations and his criticisms of Coleridge's comments upon Swedenborg displayed a striking aptitude not only for mystical.
He wrote an able sketch of Swedenborg for the Penny Cyclopaedia, and a standard biography, Emanuel Swedenborg (published in 1849); but interest in this subject far from exhausted his intellectual energy, which was, indeed, multiform.
Swedenborg discards a physical resurrection, as at death the eyes of men are opened to the spiritual world in which we exist now, and they continue to live essentially as they lived here, until by their affinities they are drawn to heaven or hell.
Swedenborg is usually reckoned among the theosophists, and some parts of his theory justify this inclusion; but his system as a whole has little in common with those speculative constructions of the Divine nature which form the essence of theosophy, as strictly understood.
In regard to the Trinity, Protestantism tart his- has nothing very new to say, though " Sabellianism " tors of is revived by Swedenborg and Schleiermacher.
His favourite reading was poetry and mystical philosophy: Shakespeare, Dante, George Herbert, Goethe, Berkeley, Coleridge, Swedenborg, Jakob Boehme, Plato, the new Platonists, and the religious books of the East (in translation).
The strongest influences in his development about this time were the liberating philosophy of Coleridge, the mystical visions of Swedenborg, the intimate poetry of Wordsworth, and the stimulating essays of Carlyle.
Swedenborg himself took no steps to found a church, but having given a new interpretation of Scripture, it was inevitable that those who accepted his doctrine should separate themselves and organize a society in accordance therewith.
Nordenskiold in 1786 to collect documents about Swedenborg and to publish his writings.
For many years the works of Swedenborg and his followers were proscribed, and receivers of his writings fined or deprived of office, but in 1866, when religious liberty had made progress, the cause was again taken up; in 1875 the society of " Confessors of the New Church " was formed in Stockholm, and since 1877 services have been regularly held.
There is a church in Berlin, but otherwise activity in Germany has taken shape in the German; Swedenborg Society with headquarters at Stuttgart.
The same may be said about that marvellous and many-sided genius, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who, though the son of a Swedish poet, preferred to prophesy to the world in Latin.