Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
Such, also, although they are most skilful in languages, as in the Hebrew, have, nevertheless, much more blundered [hallucinati sunt], and do still blunder, in translating the Holy Scripture, than those who have not been critics, although they may have less understood grammatical [points]; which can be demonstrated by very many considerations, although [I am aware] that in human minds there is a settled opinion to the contrary. 1951-1 - 1748, May 13.1952.
The thoughts of critics, and of those who have devoted much labor to languages and to grammatical [studies], were also, on a former occasion, represented to me as closed lines, within which there was nothing.1953.
The case is similar with those who labor much in controversies; for they propose, yea, imagine to themselves innumerable things as difficulties, and things which suit their thesis or propositions, and thus they more and more close up the interior sense, or the way to the understanding of truth and goodness, and consequently to wisdom.1954.
For the more the sense of words is regarded, the less are the words themselves attended to, as may be known to anyone in conversation, and in the reading of authors; so that the more anyone attends to the words of a speaker or of a writer, the more the perception of the sense perishes, as may be known to everyone if he attend to the subject, which happens in the degree that the attention is directed to the sense or to the words, which it has often been given to know in the case of spirits, who confessed it to be so.1955.
The case is similar in respect to controversies; [for] in proportion as the mind is intent upon controversial [disputes] the truth perishes, except the proposition which a man wishes to defend is derived from a general truth, which, however, is obscured when the mind is too intent upon controversy; for in such case the truth is obscured, inasmuch as all difficulties in a general truth cannot be shaken off, because some of them bear more remotely upon the subject, which, however, the human mind presents as very nearly connected with it; and some bear more closely upon it, which can be known if one truth only is exhibited, as this - that the Lord governs the universe, both heaven and earth, that He does no evil to anyone: myriads of objections which the human mind of [itself] cannot shake off, may be alleged against this truth, and if the mind remain long in objections it is obscured so as to doubt, and at length to deny [the truth itself], which it has been often even to learn from spirits; for in every universal truth there are myriads of myriads of truths, and as many objections; because there are as many things contrary thereto, since every truth has its contrary, which the mind, when seeing from inverse order, favors, and is thus blinded. - 1748, May 13.1956.
WITH IS MEANT BY THE BODY'S BEING PURIFIED. There are some who hold that man rises after death even as to his body, and that the body undergoes a purification, and respecting which I was today in conversation with certain spirits; and it was acknowledged that man knows no otherwise than that he enters into the other life clothed with a body; but [they remarked] that this corporeal principle thus remaining would die, and thus the natural things [pertaining to him] become wholly obsequious to the Lord, for which reason it is said that the body would be purified. - 1748, May 13.1957.
CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS WITH MOSES AND THE PROPHETS. Conversing with spirits concerning the speech [held] with Moses, they assured me that it was merely a simple speech, and not an interior thought, for it was solely in externals, such as was enjoyed by others also in the Israelitish people, which is sufficiently evident from their writings, and other indications. Interior things were unknown to them, for not being in their memory as in a common vessel, they were not within; so that they had nothing but a mere external, and such accordingly was their speech, as also their vision, that is, purely imaginative, pertaining wholly to exteriors. It is permitted to no one to penetrate the interiors, and thus by thoughts of the interiors to communicate with spirits and angels, unless in the case of those who have been previously instructed by the Lord, and are in faith towards Him. - 1748, May 14.1958.
When a communication of interiors is also given, there is not only a speech of spirits, but a knowledge also of their thoughts and affections, and at the same time a knowledge of their quality, together with a certain thought still more interior and more universal. Thus the common [receptacles], called vessels, are filled, but variously, some more scantily and some more fully, according to the good pleasures of the Lord. The interiors are in like manner purified even to communication with the angels; in which, however, nothing is perceived distinctly, but only that a thing is so and so, and that a vast multitude of such and such things are comprised in it. Thus they contain indefinite things, as do also the common vessels, so to term them, for the comprehension of the more interior angels, etc. In this way, there is a transition made from the world of spirits into the angelic heaven, for spirits are unable to know what the angels think unless it be communicated to them according to the Lord's good pleasure. - 1748, May 14.1959.
THAT THE OPENING OF HEAVEN TO ANY SPIRIT, AND STILL MORE TO MAN, IS FULL OF DANGER. (((((((A certain not badly disposed but serious spirit spoke with me, and I perceived that heaven was opened a very little into his interiors, so that he could look in and see what of good there was there. He then began to lament and to be tormented, praying that his suffering might cease, as he could not remain in such a state on account of the anguish he experienced. From this and from certain other experiences, it may appear how dangerous it is for heaven to be opened to man, for be is liable to be tormented with remorse of conscience even unto death. - 1748, May 14.))))))) O O 1959-11960.
1960-1 WITH WAS DENOTED BY THE FIG-TREE LEAF, WITH WHICH ADAM GIRDED HIMSELF. Conversing with spirits concerning the fig-tree leaf, with which Adam girt himself around, it was confirmed to me that it signified their natural thoughts, or rational, or intellectual faith, under which were the nakednesses or filthy loves that were covered by such a fig-leaf. - 1748, May 14.1961.
1961-1 O O It is a wonderful fact, and one passing the comprehension of most persons, who regard it as a paradox, that when the heaven of the Lord looks directly upon evil, it produces this kind of torture; that is to say, when the Lord's special presence manifests itself, this kind of anguish and torment ensues, and, as Moses says, Numbers 10:35, then His "enemies are scattered," and "they that hate Him flee before His face;" when yet that manifestation brings nothing of evil, but good only, being of the most abundant clemency. Hence it may appear that man or spirit himself is the cause of his own evil, torment, and death. - 1748, May 15.1962.
CONCERNING A CERTAIN SPIRIT WHO DESIRED TO COME INTO HEAVEN. There was a certain spirit of this earth, who applied himself to my left side, and said that he earnestly desired to come into heaven; and inquired how he should get there, to whom I replied first, [by asking him] ((((((whether he had spoken with good spirits, and was able, as a first step, to come into their society, as he could afterwards be admitted into heaven. To this he replied, that they would not admit him into their society. I then said that admission into heaven pertained to the Lord alone. Concerning that spirit I was informed by others, that he belonged to a class composed of those who, when they die, and come into the other life, desire nothing else than to come into heaven, however they may have lived, or whether they have had any faith or any knowledge of faith thinking only that because they desired it they would be admitted, and considering that to be the essence of salvation. But all such are as it were infatuated, having nothing else in mind than heaven and heavenly joy.)))))) ((((But they know nothing else, and in their lifetime were inflamed with this desire, regardless whether they had faith or not; and even if they could have been admitted, besides being incapable of companionship with the celestials, they would have longed for nothing else than joy, and would never have been content, because they could not have been affected with true joy. Those of this character, therefore, suffer for a long time, till at length they forget this cupidity, and when they have forgotten it, then it is first insinuated to them what heaven is, to wit, that it embraces indefinite things in one complex, and then what heavenly joy is, to wit, that it is mutual love, whence flows the multitude of other joys. - 1748, May 15.))))1963.
WHENCE THE DIVERSITIES OF PLEASURES. In conversing with spirits on the origins nature of the great diversity of pleasures, which are so various as to be almost indefinite, some even experiencing delights in things of a contrary nature, it was said that it originates in no other source than harmony, and the harmony results from the habitual course of life from which the delight is derived. A harmony contrary to true harmony is acquired by habit, for there are those who take pleasure in discords, as there are those who delight only in concords, as is evident from a multitude of proofs. Hence whatever results from acquired harmony is a pleasure, and soothes, and from the force of habit one loves to return into it.1964.
It was shown in various ways how spirits, from their life in the body, have acquired to themselves harmony from different sources, as from contradicting, from plotting against conjugial love, from attempting to destroy it, and especially from various abominable things in which they take such delight that they can conceive of nothing more exquisite. These delights of theirs were occasionally communicated, as I have elsewhere remarked, being made known at one time by means of [opposite] tediums and unpleasantnesses, at another by the confessions of those who had been in them, thus evincing by lively experience in innumerable instances that their life is in acquired pleasures. Thus there are as many diversities of life as there are, and have been, and will be men and spirits, and if they were to be multiplied to eternity, still the diversities would be distinct; which was also confirmed by its being manifest from their faces and speech alone. - 1748, May 16.1965.
As to what pertains to celestial joys and pleasures derived from genuine goods and truths, they flow from the Lord alone, as the only fountain; and unless the Good and True should proceed from this only fountain, i.e. the Lord, no goodness nor truth could be given, nor could any society exist, for the universal is that which rules all the singulars and conjoins them; from which, as well as from many things besides, it may appear that the Lord alone is the Good and the True, which was spiritually confirmed in me by the angels, for they are held in that delight and that heavenly persuasion which was communicated with me, with a view to persuasion. - 1748, May 16.1966.
((((THAT EVIL SPIRITS CANNOT BE WITH THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE LORD. It was previously shown that evil spirits are pained and tortured by the angels looking intently upon them. The case is very similar with the man who is in faith, or who is held in faith by the Lord; evil spirits cannot then approach; [if they attempt it] they begin to be tormented in like manner, and desire to fly away. I have several times heard them complaining and lamenting when in the presence of faith. - 1748, May 16.))))1967.
NATURAL TRUTHS, OR TRUTHS DRAWN FROM CORPOREAL, WORLDLY, AND NATURAL SOURCES, ARE [AS IT WERE, A KIND OF] EARTHEN VESSELS FOR THE RECEPTION OF SPIRITUAL TRUTHS. I conversed with spirits respecting natural truths, intimating that men at the present day have very little concern in regard to truths, but were intent solely upon experiments, from which, for many reasons, they were unable to elicit causes, and that the truths thence deducible were not acknowledged, inasmuch as they are hidden from those who are in the extremes of the corporeal and sensual, to whom hypotheses and falsities are more congenial.1968.
It was said, moreover, that natural truths are vessels in which spiritual truths may be contained; for unless the objects or instrumental causes are adapted, the spiritual causes cannot be applied to them, as appears from many considerations, especially those drawn from the containing vessels of the whole body, as, for instance, that unless the blood-vessels with their membranes agree with the nature of the blood contained in them, they cannot hold the blood, much less can it act or be acted upon according to its nature and design. So likewise neither unless the blood-globules were such as they are, would the [animal] spirits and the life of the spirits be able to abide and live in them according to their nature and end; and thus also in all other things in the threefold kingdom and in the world. - 1748, May 16.1969.
In like manner, the heart is such a vessel of the blood and its operations, according to the whole nature and scope of its forces; and so also are all the viscera of the body, which are mere vessels formed entirely in coincidence with the nature of their operations and uses, and thus of their ends. - 1748, May 16.1970.
That truths cannot be apprehended, but are rejected among idle conceits, is evinced by one example which, though a natural verity, would scarcely be believed, to wit, that the least degree of thought and affection produces an effect upon all the organic principles of the brain which are in front of the fibrils, namely, the cortical substances; and because it affects the principles, it affects also all things of the fibers arising from them, which are myriads of myriads, and thus the whole body. Moreover, that of all those myriads, there is no portion of cortical substance, no fiber, no point of a fiber, that is altogether like another, but a continual variety reigns throughout, and thus the whole brain and the whole body with its innumerable varieties constitute one single and most subtle act of our thought, which we indeed suppose to be of infinite subtlety, but which nevertheless consists of countless varieties of persuasion and affection in each minutest point of thought. Yet who would believe these things, when notwithstanding it is simply the statement of a natural truth, which can be demonstrated as well from known philosophy as from manifold experience? - 1748, May 16.1971.
Hence it is evident how rude, obscure, and most general is everything we think, and which we deem sublimely particular.1972.
Yea, if the matter be stretched still farther, inasmuch as the human body, and every part of the body, corresponds to the spiritual world and to heaven, it may thence appear that there is an influx into the very least of thought. But I will not ascend to these incredible heights, because man is immersed in the depths of obscurity; but I have spoken on these points with spirits and angels, and they have confirmed them. - 1748, May 16.1973.
WHAT IS MEANT BY EVENING AND MORNING, [AND] DAY. Gen. 1. I spoke with spirits as to the import of day, and of morning and evening, Gen. 1. That day signifies time in general may be most clearly shown from the usage of the Scriptures, for that word signifies time.1974.
As to evening and morning, [it is to be known] that in all things pertaining to generation both in general and in particular the commencement is from the evening, and the progress onward to morning, as in general with those who are regenerated their evening is [a state of] misery, temptations, and despairs, from which, however, the coming forth is to the morning. The case is similar in particular instances, for in all things of regeneration the start is from evils which are turned into goods; and it is remarkable that evil spirits begin from their phantasies and cupidities to excite men, though these influences are in various modes turned into goods, as has been made known to me by a daily experience of three years' continuance. This is evening and morning even in most singular things, whence not only is regeneration, but the perception of goodness. - 1748, May 16.1976.
1976-1 CONCERNING A MOST NEFARIOUS FELLOWSHIP. Certain female spirits came to me, who were, I think, recently from the life of the body, for they were still ignorant that they were in the other life, but when the fact was shown them they could then look back and recollect. Their quality appeared at first to be good, for they assumed such an air; but when they had retired I learned from others that they were abominable, and belonged to the class of those who hold the intercourse of men and women to be not only lawful, but even holy, saying that they were born in sins, and could not refrain from this kind of indulgence, although to have such intercourse with any others than those who are wholly like-minded they regard as unclean. Yea, being unholy themselves, they went so far as to revile marriage, and to represent such connections as impure. It was said to me that there are such persons of either sex in human societies who hold to this kind of intercourse without an end of marriage, of conjugial love, or of offspring, but solely for the sake of lewdness, saying that they had thus lived a most delightful life from childhood.1977.
When I inquired as to the kind of punishment that awaited such, it was said that they were punished most severely, but the nature of the punishment they were unwilling to divulge, remarking only that it was excessively severe, being carried to a point at which they did not, as it were, live, that is, they were scarcely conscious of living, so completely had they forgotten the perpetration of such vile acts and abominations. For under the guise of sanctity they work confusion, and with the same pretence extinguish universal and principal ends, which are those of the procreation of the human race. From such confusion a grievous punishment cannot but result, and the extinction, as it were, of their spiritual life; indeed, it was said to me that they were not far from being Sodomites, wherefore let those who are conscious to themselves of such a course of life beware, for they are not spared in the other life. - 1748, May 16.1978.
What kind of punishment this confusion and commixtion of holy and profane ideas draws after it everyone may divine, for conjunctions of ideas form the mind. - 1748, May 16.1979.
One of these punishments was made manifest; it consisted in the burning of their lascivious members, as it were, in fire, and that with excruciating pain.1980.
The fact of this burning, as it were, with fire, will be considered as a paradox because it is predicated of spirits; but as all a man's susceptibilities remain [in the other life], so also his sensations, as I have said and shown elsewhere. This holds even of the sensation of fire, which a certain spirit was at first unwilling to believe, but he learned it to be so through a special experience. - 1748, May 16.1981.
THAT THE WAY TO THE INTERIORS IS IMMEDIATELY CLOSED AS SOON AS ANYTHING COMES FORTH FROM THE CUPIDITY AND THE MEMORY BY MEANS OF ONE'S OWN EFFORT. It may be said, but can be understood only by a spiritual idea, of which I have been abundantly conscious, that that which proceeds from evil and from the memory, in other words, that which is drawn by voluntary act from a man's cupidity and science, that this stops short forthwith and fails to reach the interiors. The case is the same with the sciences of the memory as with the cupidity of the body.1982.
By a spiritual idea it is perceived also how innumerable things are drawn from the memory and the genius of a man when still the man does not act by his own proper effort, and how fatuous and short-lived are the things which originate in a man's own endeavor. - 1748, May 17.1983.
CONCERNING MEMORY. I have learned from experience that there is an interior from which is excited the memory of material and corporeal ideas, and that such a memory remains also with spirits from which, at the good pleasure of the Lord, those things that have been stored up in the memory of sensual ideas are excited. That there is such a memory, and that it is more perfect than the memory of the body, is a fact which has been forced upon me by many proofs; yea, even that which man supposes forgotten is still lodged in that memory, though buried up in sensuals. The same thing may be inferred from dreams and other indications. But beside this memory, there is a memory still more interior, namely, of spiritual ideas, by the and of which thought and speech may be carried on, and this it is by which that [first] interior memory is excited. By means of that spiritual memory spirits possess a great advantage over men, so that they can think much more subtly and distinctly; thus their faculties are vastly augmented in comparison with what they were in the life of the body. This was confirmed by an abundant experience, concerning which elsewhere. - 1748, May 17.1984.
And because a spirit can speak in, or in connection with, a man, and does not know other than that he is the man himself, he cannot possibly know otherwise than that he has the memory of sensual things which he had in the life of the body. On this head I have several times conversed with spirits, and because they knew not otherwise, they insisted that it was so; of which see elsewhere. - 1748, May 17.1985.
THAT THE PLACE OR SITUATION WHERE SPIRITS ARE SEEN IS APPARENT ONLY. (((((I have observed that spirits according to their genius and disposition, and also according to their state of mind [animi] or mind [mentis], obtain a situation relative to the human body, as, for instance, at the right, at the left, on the sides, above, below, afar off, near by, all which are mere appearances, as has been often shown me, and likewise today while speaking with spirits on that subject; [for I noticed] that while I turned myself to the same side relatively they appeared present, and so everywhere, when yet they were [in fact] only in one place;))))) ((((it was said also that myriads could appear in the same place, when yet there was not a single one of them there. It was moreover observed that those who were at a considerable distance from me, either below or above, sometimes seemed to themselves to be in a moment in the nearest proximity to me, at which they greatly wondered; as also that those who were below seemed suddenly above, and so on. - 1748. May 17.1986.
It was observed that neither spirit nor angel was in the least degree, or for a moment of time, out of the place which was allotted him by his genius, quality, and state, which allotment was so accurate that there was no error in the minutest point, which is an arcanum of the Lord. - 1748, May 17.1987.
CONCERNING THOSE AT THIS DAY WHO ARE, AS IT WERE, [A REMNANT] OF THE ANCIENT CHURCH. There are still some who retain and preserve much of the Ancient Church, and who are especially distinguished by that feature of it by which they perceive whether anything is good. For this reason they are also rejected of others, who suppose that they are to be classed with enthusiasts, when yet this was a peculiarity of the Ancient Church that they had a perception of what was good, and thus of what they should do, acknowledging the operation of spirits, but recognizing in themselves that only of the Lord's spirit, and rejecting others. These persons, however, are mostly of an inferior condition, not easily admitting learned men among them, wherefore they think in simplicity, and give but a limited range to their thoughts. These are happy in the other life, and they were seen by me in front, towards the higher part of the forehead, at some distance; and they could perceive more fully and profoundly what was thought than other spirits, so that I could not converse with them in a like manner [as with others], but only by means of a greater fullness of thought, which the others said they did not understand; indicating that they are not far from heaven.1987_1/2.
How it was with them in the life of the body was shown me, as usual, by their utterance of the Lord's Prayer, in which their understanding of it was communicated to me; this was so simple as hardly to extend beyond the sense of the letter, but yet such as not to be closed as with others, but still soft, easily opened, and thus intelligible to the angels, as if each idea, though sensual as to the words, could serve for a vessel. - 1748, May 18.1988.
I conversed with them concerning perception, [from which it appeared] that to those who are in true faith it is such that they not only acknowledge that they neither do nor can think of themselves, nor are disposed to: consequently neither to act [from themselves]; for action follows entirely the will, but also they perceive that each single thing is from the Lord, for they are continually held in that thought, wherefore according to the Lord's good pleasure they perceive what is in any thought, whence it is, from what spirits, of what quality they are when it is suggested, what are their cogitations, what they speak or think with each other, what are their affections with their varieties, what the influxes of the angels, besides innumerable other things; for they are altogether like spirits in the other life, which the spirits often confessed concerning me, not knowing that I was in the body. - 1748, May 18.1989.
THAT EXTERNAL SENSES DISAPPEAR IN THE HEAVENS. It was represented by a spiritual idea that external senses perish in order [or one after the other] as they penetrate interiors, or, which is the same, as they ascend towards superiors, insomuch that if a style is filled with mere poetical names, as Parnassus, its fountain, Pegasus, and the like, those who employ those terms in writing know that they signify things pertaining to scientifics, which sense when it passes away, then comes the sense of the letter, which sense also perishes, and is succeeded by a higher, and when this disappears then comes one still more interior, and so on. Such is the penetration and ascension of senses while they penetrate or ascend towards interiors, until at length nothing remains but the pure, true, and good in the inmost heaven, originating from the Lord, who is the essence of all things. - 1748, May 18.1990.
CONCERNING THE STATE OF CERTAIN SOULS AFTER DEATH. (((((((The greater part of mankind, and indeed nearly all, are ignorant of what constitutes the happiness of the blessed after death, because they have no perception on the subject. Within their ignorance lies entirely concealed the nature of interior and inmost blessedness and felicity, so that it is only from corporeal delights and joys, from sensual and worldly things that they have any perception. Hence they regard the things of which they are ignorant as of no account, when yet corporeal and worldly joys are worthless, foul, putrescent, and the like.)))))))1991.
Just to mention the simplest forms of the blessedness of certain souls, I may remark that some who in their innocence and simplicity have delighted in pleasant gardens, groves, and the like, where there was nothing lascivious to occupy their minds, those in the other life seem to themselves to walk in similar pleasant scenes, and to enjoy exquisite delight in connection with numerous associates. From these things a conclusion may be drawn as to others, but this is the first degree of the delight of the blessed, which contains within itself innumerable interior delights. - 1748, May 18. Other enjoyments succeed afterwards, thus in order and through degrees.1992.
HOW GOOD IS TURNED INTO EVIL BY SPIRITS. Some turn good into evil from deceit, some from some other prompting, so that there is a variety of causes; but I may here just allude to one method by which good is turned into evil among spirits who are scarcely aware of the fact; that is the case of those who have become weary of their wives, and thence have taken, as it were, a disgust even towards conjugial love, as when something of a delightful or pleasant nature which is of conjugial love comes to them, and of which they weary, then immediately that pleasing and delightful thing is turned with them unconsciously into what is tedious and nauseating, thus into the contrary, concerning which I conversed with spirits. The case is the same in regard to other pleasures and delights. - 1748, May 18.1993.
Wherefore there are three general causes, so far as I have yet learned, by which good is turned into evil, to wit, from deceit, from art, and from a nature contracted, as has been made known to me from experience.1994.
The case is the same in regard to the false and the true, namely, that the true is turned into the false, which takes place either from deceit, although they know the truth; or from art, in that a peculiar delight is taken in being able to pervert, which is accounted a sign of ingenuity; or from nature, inasmuch as in the life of the body they were persuaded concerning falsity, and had acquired a faith of the false, as the Gentiles, who are much more easily saved than those who act from deceit and art.1995.
HOW THE ANGELS ARE AFFECTED BY THOSE THINGS THAT ARE EVIL AND BASE. By experience it was given me to know and to perceive how the angels have a sensation of those things in man which are vile, and consequently evil; for when I read respecting the scortation of the people with Baal-peor, Num. 25, an angelic perception was given which was communicated to me, and which was such that I perceived nothing foul or filthy, but only somewhat mild, which cannot be described. Compared with earthly things it resembled those that are sharply angular, and thus pungent, when their sharp angles and points are rubbed off. - 1748, May 19.1996.
(CONCERNING MUSIC - WHAT KIND OF EFFECT IT PRODUCES UPON SPIRITS. It has twice happened that I have heard in the streets music from stringed instruments [viol och hakbrade, i.e. violin and harp], which so soothed the spirits that they scarcely knew but that they were in heaven, for they were exhilarated to such a degree as to be, as it were, transported out of themselves. I perceived their delight, which was abundant; and even now, while I write, that music of strings and pulsatile chords is continued. The spirits are so changed by it that they seem scarcely the same.1997.
Wherefore, speaking jocularly with them, I said it was no wonder that the evil spirit that infested Saul was so changed when he heard David playing upon the harp, seeing how much they were changed [from a similar cause]. They replied that they were in such a state that they could now neither think nor do anything whatever of evil, because the delight they experienced penetrated their interiors. - 1748, May 19.1998.
And it is remarkable that the angels were affected with pleasure from the same cause; but only when I paid less attention to it, so that I did not mix with it the delights of the spirits communicated to me, but when I, as it were, heard nothing. So also in other things, [I noticed that] the angels paid greater attention in proportion as I paid less. - 1748, May 19. The reason was, that corporeal things were then conjoined, as the thoughts of the spirits were almost corporeal.)1999.
HOW THE CASE IS IN REGARD TO THE EXCITEMENTS OF CUPIDITIES WITH THOSE WHO ARE IN FAITH. I conversed with good spirits, who supposed that I might be thinking something of evil, saying that such was my quality, consequently that I was not pure. but it was given me to reply that the truth of the case was like that of an image in a looking-glass, which is supposed by those who know no better to be the very person himself and not an image, when still the fact is not so; for cupidity and evil is excited by evil spirits, and when one is in faith nothing adheres or is imputed to him, but [evil] is turned into good; for nothing of this kind is excited with him who is in faith except for an end, namely, of reformation and regeneration. The idea is, as it were, an image which works an illusion, and presents an appearance of the person himself, when yet it is nothing else than the phantasies of spirits which are communicated, and thus form a semblance of the person himself. With this response, as the spirits were good and faithful, they were abundantly satisfied. - 1748, May 19.2000.
THAT NOT THE VERY LEAST MOTION IS EVER MADE BY MAN APART FROM A STATED LAW. I have sometimes observed that nothing ever existed but by the operation of a fixed law, not even the least thing, as, for instance, the casual occurrence of anything to the eye, the movement of my hand, etc. But I then perceived also that I might be persuaded concerning it by an influx from heaven, so that in fact I was persuaded; for the heavens are in such a persuasion, and that nothing, not even the slightest occurrence takes place but in consequence of the will, the good pleasure, or the permission of the Lord, thus perpetually from a fixed law, as may be sufficiently manifest from one experience only, to wit, that there could not appear to me any representative image, nor could any voice be heard, unless entirely according to a law from which there could not be the least imaginable deviation. Thus all and singular things are ordered with reference to ends, and those ends to a [still ulterior] end. - 1748, May 19.
1951-1 Mr. Smithson, from whose translation we copy Nos. 1950-1955, here inserts the following note: "From these observations of the author, it must not be supposed that a thorough grammatical and philological knowledge of the Hebrew and of other languages is to be disregarded or lightly esteemed, because accuracy and certainty can only be obtained by such means. But the author's observations relate to those who make that which is formal and secondary essential and primary, or who make intelligence and wisdom consist in such things as are but the lowest means of acquiring them."
1959-1 Dr. Tafel remarks that he has transposed Nos. 1960 and 1961, which he has indicated by the dotted circlets. This is evidently required by the connection.
1960-1 Dr. Tafel remarks that he has transposed Nos. 1960 and 1961, which he has indicated by the dotted circlets. This is evidently required by the connection.
1961-1 Dr. Tafel remarks that he has transposed Nos. 1960 and 1961, which he has indicated by the dotted circlets. This is evidently required by the connection.
1976-1 No. 1975 is wanting in the original.