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[279] heaven very much as Defoe leads us after his shipwrecked Crusoe. We can scarcely credit the fact that we are not traversing our lower planet; and the angels seem vastly like our common acquaintances. We seem to recognize the ‘John Smiths,’ and ‘Mr. Browns,’ and ‘the old familar faces’ of our mundane habitation. The evil principle in Swedenborg's picture is, not the colossal and massive horror of the Inferno, nor that stern wrestler with fate who darkens the canvas of Paradise Lost, but an aggregation of poor, confused spirits, seeking rest and finding none save in the unsavory atmosphere of the ‘falses.’ These small fry of devils remind us only of certain unfortunate fellow whom we have known, who seem incapable of living in good and wholesome society, and who are manifestly given over to believe a lie. Thus it is that the very ‘heavens’ and ‘hells’ of the Swedish mystic seem to be ‘of the earth, earthy.’ He brings the spiritual world into close analogy with the material one.

In this hurried paper I have neither space nor leisure to attempt an analysis of the great doctrines which underlie the ‘revelations’ of Swedenborg. His remarkably suggestive books are becoming familiar to the reading and reflecting portion of the community. They are not unworthy of study; but, in the language of another, I would say, ‘Emulate Swedenborg in his exemplary life, his learning, his virtues, his independent thought, his desire for wisdom, his love of the good and true; aim to be his equal, his superior, in these things; but call no man your master.’

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