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life is the resultant of the union of carbonic acid, water, and ammonia. This is what we are all to return to at last; and this, we are told, is the gospel of science. Glorious prospect certainly! But let us examine this reasoning a little more closely, and try if we cannot discover the break which this professed man of science cannot see.
In the formation of water the whole of the constituent elements combine to form an equal weight of the compound. But this is not true with regard to protoplasm; for in its formation the so-called elements do not combine at all; they are combined and separated by a process of which we know nothing in science; in other words, we cannot by any combination of carbonic acid, water, and ammonia, make •or form organic life or protoplasm. This the Professor himself admits when he speaks of pre-existing protoplasm, and
says that we cannot make it, we can only assimilate it. Does not this fact show at once that the processes are entirely different ? Water can be formed in the laboratory by uniting the two gases, hydrogen and oxygen ; but then water is not organic life; and if we mix carbonic acid, water, and ammonia together, they will remain as dead as water; no organic life will be there exhibited. Here is the break, and a complete break it is. It is so complete, so far from the grasp
of the senses, that it can be neither measured nor weighed by the instruments of science, and this, we suppose, is the reason Professor Huxley cannot see it. But we appeal to every rational and reflective mind if there is not here a factor in the formation of organic life which these men have not grasped; for the Professor says he can see no real difference between the chemical formation of water, and the sublime and divine formation of organic life, although he knows he can make the one, but has not the most distant pretensions of having the power to make the other. This inability to produce organized from unorganized matter is the chasm which leaves the doctrine of natural evolution out in the cold, and proves it to be merely child's play. Mr. Spencer tries his hand at it and says :-“The chasm between the inorganic and the organic is being filled up.
.. The microscope has traced down organisms to simpler and simpler forms, until, in the Protogenes of Professor Hæckel, there has been reached a type distinguishable from a fragment of albumen only by its finely granular character." What does all this fine writing mean? It is difficult to imagine a man having any pretensions to scientific philosophy thinking in this manner. All the forms which we have found to have been produced by the elements, however they may outwardly resemble, have in reality no claim to be classed with organized life. A sand-ball formed by the action of water might bear a close formal resemblance to an orange, but how wide is the chasm between the one and the other! It is untrue, therefore, to say that the chasm is being filled up. The type of Protogenes, dimly distinguishable from a fragment of albumen, is therefore as different from it as the orange is from the sand-ball. And, as a distinguished chemist has said, “We find it just as easy to make a full-grown ostrich in the laboratory as to form this insignificant Protogenes which is likened unto a fragment of albumen."
How different is all this kind of reasoning from that of the wise and devout Swedenborg! He says, “No one can conceive in idea and perceive that God created the universe unless He knows something concerning the spiritual world and its Sun, and also concerning the correspondence and thence the conjunction of spiritual things with natural. . . . That there is a Sun in the spiritual world and another in the natural world, and that the spiritual world exists and subsists from its Sun, and the natural world from its sun. That the Sun of the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it, and that the sun of the natural world is pure fire. That everything which proceeds from the Sun of the spiritual world is alive, and that everything which proceeds from the sun of the natural world is dead. That hence everything which proceeds from the Sun of the spiritual world is spiritual, and everything which proceeds from the sun of the natural world is natural. That Jehovah God by the Sun, in the midst of which He is, created the spiritual world, and by this as a means, or mediately, He created the natural world. That spiritual things are substantial, and that natural things are material, and that these have existed and subsist from those, as what is posterior from what is prior, or what is exterior from what is interior. ... That in the spiritual world an idea of creation perpetually exists, since all things which there exist and happen are created in a moment by Jehovah God. From all which it is evident that the creation of the universe from the one and Infinite God can never be conceived without a previous knowledge concerning the spiritual world and its Sun, and concerning correspondence, and that in consequence hypotheses have been entertained concerning the creation of the universe founded upon naturalism, which hypotheses are foolish” (New Church Canons, chap. iv.).
H. C. BLACKBURN.
THE NORWICH TRACTS.
NORWICH is famous in our annals as the place where lived the Rev. Mr. Beaumont, the author of The Anti-Swedenborg, and where the Rev. Mr. Noble answered that pretentious work in a series of lectures, which formed first the text and then the basis of that unpretending but admirable work the Appeal. The author of the two pamphlets, * which are intended to be an exposure of Swedenborg and a refutation of Swedenborgianism, seems to belong to the same denomination as did the author of The Anti-Swedenborg; and he is not less violent in his opposition nor less scrupulous in his assertions than his more distinguished predecessor. Our readers may judge of the truthfulness of this zealous advocate for the truth from a statement which occurs in his tract on Spiritism. He classes Swedenborgians with Spiritists. on the alleged ground that " in all essentials the two agree." He quotes their books to show that Spiritists maintain that God is a result of matter; that He is a principle and not a person; that every human being is a part of God Himself, and has only to worship the God within him; that Christ has not come in the flesh; that we must have done with all laws, creeds, customs, institutions, and opinions which treat man as a fallen infernal being, naturally prone to evil, etc.. Where did he find anything of this kind in the wșitings of Swedenborg or of Swedenborgians? Yet "in all essentials the two agree." We believe there is considerable difference of opinion on these and other subjects among Spiritists; but the author of the tract accuses them broadly of holding these views; and he ought to be sufficiently acquainted with our doctrine to know that on not one of those “essentials” is there the slightest agreement between the two. There is this agreement between Spiritists and us, that we both believe in the existence of spirits and in the non-resurrection of the material body. We do not, however, hold, or desire to hold, intercourse with the dead, and do not believe we should be benefited by it if we did.
This ignorantly or deliberately false accusation is not the only one that the writer makes against Swedenborg. He repeats the old calumny that “the Baron was at one time insane, his hair stood on end, and he foamed at the mouth, stammering long before he could get out a word. While in London he pulled off his clothes, rolled
Spiritism a fue to Christianity. The Son of God: a Word about Sweden. borgians. Norwich : Fletcher & Son.
BAD MAN :
in very deep mire in a gutter, and then distributed money from his pockets to the crowd.” The new retailer of this story had seen, for be quotes, Bruce's Wesley and Swedenborg, where it is shown to be untrue, and to have been, there is good ground for believing, the malicious invention of a hostile Swedish priest, who afterwards himself became insane, But White's version of the absurd tale seems to have been more to the taste and better suited to the purpose of our Christian critic, and therefore he transfers it pure and simple from White's pages to his own.
Another and still more serious charge is brought against the teacher of this hateful theology. "What sort of man was the Baron? A
MORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY BAD. Many entries in his journal are so indecent that his biographer says had he set them forth all wise parents would keep such a book under lock and key. He kept a mistress. Now such are sentenced to damnation. He justifies adultery in certain cases.” Our Philagathos inserts this in his tract as if this man, while he was composing religious books, kept a mistress, and, consistently with such conduct, made lascivious entries in his journal, and in his writings sanctioned adultery. Let us see how the case stands.
It is reported by one of Swedenborg's friends, General Tuxen, that he once asked him if during his long life he had been able to abstain from incontinence, and he is said to have replied that when he was a young man he had a mistress while he was in Italy. There are reasons for doubting the absolutely unsupported testimony of this witness. But even supposing it to be true, what has the conduct of his youth to do with the character of his mature manhood and old age? He was more than fifty years old when he became the subject of deep religious convictions; when he gave up all his scientific studies, and with them his temporal honours and pursuits, and, in obedience to the heavenly vision with which he was favoured, entered on the spiritual work to which he was called. How under such circumstances do Christians treat those whom they call their own worthies? They do not condemn St. Augustine to the bottomless pit for the licentiousness of his youth. True, Augustine was a heathen when he gave himself up to a life of sensual pleasure. But nominal Christians may be practical heathens; and there are not wanting instances of men and women who have lived abandoned lives becoming eminent Christians. Is this man, for one spot in an otherwise blameless life, to be held up to eternal reprobation?
As regards the entries in his journal, here again there is culp ble
and cruel misrepresentation. The journal spoken of is not his ordinary diary, which extends over many years, but a small fragment in which he entered some remarkable dreams that occurred within a brief space at one particular and crucial period of his life, and which seem to have been permitted by an overruling Providence for the purpose of revealing to him, in all its vividness the awful truth, in relation to himself, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Is a man to be held accountable for his dreams? The time, too, when he was the involuntary subject of those phantoms of the brain, in some of which the subjects are repulsive, was the transition period between his natural and his spiritual life, when the old man with his lusts was making a last struggle for asserting his dominion—was excited into hostility against the new man with his affections, and brought his true character to light.
Now what are we to think of a writer who comes forward to enlighten and guide public opinion respecting the character of a religious teacher of no mean repute, repeating at second-hand, and in a way, if not intentionally deceptive, at least eminently calculated to deceive, tales which, even if true, ought to have no influence whatever with any one who desires to judge righteous judgment? The facts, if facts they be, on which these serious charges are made, belong to a period of Swedenborg's life for which so-called Swedenborgians are not accountable. Even his well-informed enemies will admit this: they occurred before Swedenborg had penned a single line of his theological works.
Swedenborg the seer and theologian was a new man; and it is as base to reproach him with his previous sins as it would be to make Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles guilty of the bloody deeds committed by Saul of Tarsus. We are here assuming that the charges which this writer brings against Swedenborg are true. But if, as we have seen, they either are not true, or are not true in the light and connection in which he places them, what are we to say of the Christian writer who parades them before a Christian public} In no other than a sectarian writer, by no other than a sectarian class of readers, would such conduct be tolerated. It is an evidence and illustration of Swedenborg's own teaching, that in the Christian Church faith has usurped the place of charity.
Yet the writer of the tracts may claim to have said nothing worse than Mr. White, in his Life of Swedenborg, has said. But Mr. White wrote two lives of Swedenborg, just about as different from each