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Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at

Spiritual Diary


CONCERNING THE QUAKERS. Concerning the Quakers it was said and perceived that they are of such a quality that they cannot be instructed in the doctrinals of faith. They cleave to their phantasies more perniciously than any other people, not only from their thinking many things and thus being confirmed, but also because [some kind of] spirit continually flows into their thoughts and thus confirms them in the idea that the Holy Spirit speaks with them. They thus reject all doctrinals; and when they hear them spoken of by others, they say, "What does this mean?" and "what this?" as a certain one with me, whatever word I might utter, would say, "What does this mean? I do not understand this;" and he held on a long time, saying [the same thing]. Thus they are unwilling to be instructed; they reject immediately what is proposed by others, and they cannot understand it; therefore they are called by other spirits what the heathen are called by Christians. They are especially obstinate in an aversion to having the things made public which are known only among them, and also what they think. They strove with me and with the spirits which desired - but in vain - to know their secret things, and when certain representations were shown, setting forth their secrets of life, and when the spirits, as they are wont, would fain conjecture what they were, they brought forward the most abominable objections, the drift of which was that they should desist [from the investigation].


These things were represented concerning them: a woman was seen near me, with her back towards me, and the front of her person towards a kitchen fire-place, where I saw a glowing fire. A table was afterwards seen, where certain persons were seated at the right a little in front. Presently a woman [was seen] with her head covered, and having a mantle appropriate to females of rather ample dimensions, and of purple color; she was lying in a bed before the table. After a short interval the sole of the left foot on which the flesh was cut and skinless appeared; the raw flesh [distinctly] appeared as if a cutting had been made; the seat of it was the foot near the great toe, which however was not excoriated. Afterwards little dogs appeared running to me but what these things signified I do not yet know. - 1748, October 27, 28. These [spirits] flowed also into the pubes, but it was perceived and said that it was only into the bony part of that region.


THAT SPIRITS TERMINATE THEIR IDEAS IN MATERIAL THINGS. You will previously have seen 3753-1 that when I came into another place or another chamber, the spirits were immediately perceived to be estranged, not knowing where they were, and that a change of garments produced the same effect, so that they received, as it were, a different idea [in consequence] a striking proof that they terminate their ideas in material things, without which they are absent. There were two small snow-white vessels which were used about - 3753-2 and I several times perceived that certain spirits wished me to use the one, while others prompted me to use the other. Thus a certain kind of strife was perceived on the part of those above, and [it was perceived also] that those were of an infantile quality who preferred that which was handsomer and neater. By the spirits that were above I was impelled to reject the latter, and while I was held in that idea, the infantile spirits were indignant, and inclined to withdraw, but in order to their being retained it was suggested by still other spirits that I should break the other vessel. When I was held in this idea, then those spirits began to fear and to grieve, coming to me and beseeching that I would not do it. It was perceived that thus they would perhaps withdraw, and also, from their fear and grief, it was perceived that their ideas were terminated in this object, and that they could not be present, if this were taken away. Hence it appears how the ideas of spirits are terminated in material things, and it was perceived, by a certain mode of representation, that such a vessel is a kind of foot to them, which they think they lose whenever the vessel is taken away; and so in other things. - 1748, October 28. There are spirits also who have my books for an ultimate of order, which are four, and in which I am writing this [journal]. Some [prefer] one book, some another.


THAT THE DIFFUSED IDEA OF SPIRITS PRESENTS AN IDEA AS IF THERE WERE NO SOCIETY. When such spirits are present and operate as have no idea of spirits and spiritual things - like those above mentioned, who ascribe everything to their own prudence, and despise the Word and worship, saying that they are merely bonds of conscience for the vulgar - then, although they speak, it appears so diffused as to resemble an atmospheric emptiness [inane]. [There appears to be] no society, still less any order, for all such things as distinguish and determine vanish, as it were, in consequence of their idea, which is of the same quality. I then spoke with them concerning this, [saying] that although it appeared thus, yet still the utmost order was maintained by the Lord, and that it was like the case of the starry heaven, which appears to the view of man as if void of order, when yet notwithstanding this appearance, everything was in the most exact order. That no one could speak except in society, often appeared on former occasions [very] similar. - 1748, October 28.


THAT THERE ARE CONTRARY SUBJECTS THROUGH WHICH GOOD IS YET INSINUATED BY THE LORD. There was a certain subject within me for nearly the whole night, by means of which I experienced a sensation of the highest pleasure and happiness, continued through the night, although the evil spirits incessantly strove to rob me of that extreme delight. Afterwards the spirit that was within me towards the lower parts [of my person] went away and said, that he had infused the pleasant sensation. I also perceived that the external pleasure receded. But he yet said that he was contrary, and would have prevented the agreeable feeling. It thence appeared that the Lord makes use of opposed subjects, and also of evil ones, through which to insinuate delight, for the reason, as was said to me, that such an one has not the perception of delight, which if he had, he would then appropriate it to himself and thus take it away. From which it appears that evil spirits are also employed to confirm delights and to appropriate them to man. - 1748, October 28.


THAT EVIL SPIRITS KNOW NEITHER WHAT IS TRUE NOR WHAT IS EVIL. I spoke with evil spirits to the effect that they know neither what is evil nor what is true, and it was manifestly shown to them that whatever is true, and good, this they call false and evil, for thus they feel it and perceive it to be; wherefore they are unable to know and perceive the true and the good except as false and evil. As to what pertains to evil, they neither know it nor perceive it because they take the false for the true, and the evil for the good, because they agree with their nature; hence they know nothing, neither the true nor the good, nor the false, nor the evil. To this they could not reply, but still adhered to their phantasies; wherefore it was given to say, when it was declared to them that they could do nothing, that they would immediately say that this was false, and would be perceived by them as evil. So (:now:) if it should be said to them that they could do all things, they would think that this was true, and would perceive it as good or pleasant. They now hear and are silent. The conclusion therefore is that they know and perceive nothing. - 1748, October 28. Hence it appears that they have not life, for life consists in the understanding of what is true and the willing of what is good.


As to what pertains to the life of the body, concerning which I afterwards spoke with spirits [remarking] for instance that some were acquainted with the streets of cities, some know how to cleanse its filth, others how to make shoes, they then said that such persons still lived; but it was given to reply, that this is the life of brutes, for they know all these things and many more pertaining to their bodies than man does, and if they were so framed as to have had need of shoes, they would have made them much better than man makes his, as is evident from the nests of birds, which they construct with so much ingenuity; but inasmuch as they have no need of these things, they have no skill in them; wherefore the life of the brutes is such as it is, because they are corporeal. If they had had need of garments, they could have made them much more expertly than man, as appears from their being clad in more beautiful raiment than he is. It is hence given to conclude that such things as pertain to the body are the things which are common to the beasts.


As to what pertains to a life truly human, it is not such a life as is common to the beasts, for the beasts, in those things of which they have need, have the faculty of providing them with much more skill than man; but a life truly human is one which has respect to eternal life, and hence to the soul, for a man lives in reference to eternal life, and from those things it is that he is a man, which life consists in understanding truth and willing good, and which with evil spirits is nothing, yea, is dead, as was said. It also appears from those who come into the other life, and who have had very little of spiritual life, as they are like sticks of wood, having scarcely the least of life; yet it is [sometimes] excited with them. - 1748, October 28.


THAT MEN ARE VESSELS. Conversation was had with spirits, intimating that there are vessels in man's memory in which as their ideas are terminated they cannot at any time speak otherwise than according to vessels, which vessels are directed by good spirits, these by the angels, and all by the Lord, and also immediately by the Lord; wherefore spirits cannot speak otherwise than according to the direction of vessels, for they determine their ideas thither, and there they terminate. Spirits moreover are vessels, and then they move man to speak, and these again are excited by interior evil spirits, or by the good. - 1748, October 28.


WHAT INTERIOR THINGS ARE. Certain spirits were ignorant of what is signified by the interiors of the Word, but they were informed that its interiors signify the knowledges of faith, thence the things that are of faith, which with the prophets were represented by exterior things, as likewise everything spoken by the Lord; as for instance, that Peter signifies faith, and the like. - 1748, October 29. Thus too it was said, that the tree of knowledge signifies the interior scientifics which deceived the Most Ancient Church; that the land of Canaan and the New Jerusalem signify the heaven of the Lord; that sacrifices, Aaron's garments, and all the representatives of the Church signified the Lord, thus heaven; wherefore anyone may know what interior things are.


As respects the interiors of spirits, which are similar representations, but of such a quality as can scarce fall under any idea, they are indeed interior, but yet all and each signify the knowledges of faith, heaven, and the Lord. - 1748, October 29


CONCERNING THE QUAKERS. Conversation was had with Quaker spirits, who are somewhat elevated in front. They thence spoke with me saying that they were spirits from eternity, thus the Holy Spirit, to whom it was given in reply that there was no spirit from eternity, [and asking] whether they did not know that they had been men from their associating new spirits to themselves, that they too might be the Holy Spirit with them, and that there is one Only Being from eternity, the Lord Who is holy or Holiness Itself. And when I said that from Him is all Goodness and Truth, all Innocence, all Peace, and all Mercy, they then withdrew within themselves, as if there was that within (:gissna 3762-1.:) which gives them the ability to think. They said indeed at first that this was from themselves, but at length confessed that it was from another source, but whence they did not know. This, however, was their lie, for I perceived that their belief was, that they lived, thought and spoke from themselves, consequently that they could of themselves do everything, wherefore they essayed many things, but in secret, for they act in secret, so that scarcely any spirit can detect what is from them; but they cannot wholly conceal it. At length, because they said they were able to do all things, and yet were plainly shown to have been men, while yet they vaunt themselves as being saints, they were published with an open voice by myself and others as foul spirits, much more profane than the dungy, cadaverous, and most filthy spirits, and as nothing else than abominable ordure, which was said to them openly, nor could one of them reply.


These act also on the lower order of Quaker spirits, for these latter flow to them on their departure from life, as do all to their idols, and by them are they led. They still inspire and prompt them, as they did during life, to say nothing to anyone, and thus create a sphere which is more revoltingly fetid than that of other spirits, so that others cannot remain with them, but are obliged to separate, and are debarred all interaction.


It was made manifest what kind of worship they induced upon the Quakers, which is known to themselves alone, being kept carefully concealed from all others, which worship is so wicked, execrable, and abominable, that if Christians knew it, they would be wholly expelled from society and permitted to live only among the beasts of the forests.


They have a vile communion of wives; their wives saying that they are obsessed by the devil, from whom they say they cannot be liberated unless some one who is actuated by the Holy Spirit shall cohabit with them. Being then invited they sit down at a table, which was represented to me, and wait the operation of the Holy Spirit, and when they feel the operation of their own spirits, they then say that they are the ones who are prompted by the Holy Spirit to cohabit with them, which they do, and thus, as they say, the devil is cast out, and they have obtained the Holy Ghost, and thus too, they are absolved from their sins, and that by means of abominable adulteries. Their worship or holy, therefore, consists of base adulteries, and thus their women not only receive remission of sins, but these men communicate, infuse, and attribute holiness to them. Such persons as the wife prefers above others, are invited for this end, even while the husband is present. She lies in bed in the same room, and professing to be obsessed by the devil, seeks to be delivered by someone who is actuated by the Holy Spirit, and these, after awaiting the influx of the Spirit, as in their conventicles, say they are the persons, and cohabitation takes place; thus promiscuously.


As it respects the influx of their spirits, it was in some measure shown, though not perceived at the present day as formerly; formerly they were manifestly moved to a trembling, so their spirits convulsed their whole body. At this day they barely perceive a commotion at the left side of the abdomen, and in the left arm just above the palms (:formerly in the palms also:); the left side of the face also is held in a kind of exhilaration, I inquired whether they did not flow into their thoughts by a certain manifest influence; but this it is not yet permitted to know.


It was told them how abominable this was, since no less than four outrageous enormities concurred in this conduct - the first, that a community of wives involved the most detestable adulteries; the second, that they did this under the semblance of sanctity, placing that which was holy among things the most profane, and yet so that while they pretended the devil was driven away, he really entered in; that, thirdly, by thus giving remission of sins they relaxed every bond of conscience, to which it was owing that they became a viler offal than anyone could ever get conceive: fourthly, that thus spirits through men had connection with their women; for spirits never so govern man as to act the part of man in those things which are corporeal, as in speaking, in eating, in walking, in conjugal connection; such things flow in from a common [general] endeavor; they act solely into the thought, and into the cupidities, but never into such [corporeal] things; wherefore these cohabitations were much more abominable than those of the Sodomites - all which is now said to those spirits of theirs who say that they are the Holy Spirit; also that these four abominations are such as I have described, to which they make no reply, nor are they able to reply. It was also given to know that when they cohabit with women they have scarcely any sense, but are so acted by their Holy Spirit that they are almost beside themselves. Hence also they conclude whether the women have obtained the Holy Spirit, viz., when they have obtained the devil. This is their sacrament of the supper, which [in its truth] they reject, as was also represented to me.


It was inquired also whether [the same things took place] with the virgins, daughters, and maid servants of others, and it was said that the fact was so. It was moreover shown through a door opening into a chamber, of which the front part appeared of a grayish color, the door to which apartment stood open, and a man was passing in and out, who, stationing himself near the wall, seemed turned into a dog, which however was not [clearly] seen. A bed was then also seen, hung with a red curtain, by all which was signified that this kind of transaction, though managed in secret, really took place; for the parents do not resist when a command of the Holy Spirit is pleaded; but inasmuch as external bonds here occur, by which they are somewhat withheld, as, for instance, [in the consideration] that these maidens are virgins, and may be married, and that therefore they ought not [prematurely] to become mothers, lest their wickednesses should become manifest before men, for they wish to appear holy, and thus blameless before others; for this reason all this is done in secret.


It hence appears that they cannot be divorced from this their profane kind of worship, both because such a profane voluptuousness is delightful to them, and because they are held in the opinion that the Holy Spirit speaks through them, and inasmuch as they have cast off all conscience [which would admonish them], that such things are supremely abominable, they cannot be instructed by others, but despise and ridicule them, and say that they do not understand [what they teach].


A man was also seen ascending and speaking upon a certain platform [plano], such as is constructed for diviners, who was said to have been one of their chiefs; this man spoke and said that he had never done such things nor thought that anything like them could occur.


These things are written in the presence of their holy spirits who are now standing by; they at first endeavored to inspire detestable things, and that too against the Lord, which impieties I do not wish to recall. It thence appears from what source such a spirit proceeds, namely, that it is from the foulest devil of all; wherefore it was said also that their hell was deeper than the hell of others, where they become the vilest offscouring; such a hell is that of their Holy Spirit.


Concerning the lives of the Quakers, I was instructed that they are like the Jews, loving riches with no other end than that they may acquire and possess them.


Of what quality those spirits are who call themselves the Holy Spirit, I was plainly given to understand from their injecting various blasphemies against the Lord; evidently therefore they proceed by no means from the Lord, but from the devil. - 1748, October 29, 30. This also [is said] in their presence; they openly injected diabolical calumnies against the Lord.


They are moreover denominated Christians. I heard them in their general meeting, and though they spoke perhaps concerning the Lord, yet the truth is, that according to their doctrinals they recognize three persons. They also acknowledge the Word, but they do not regard it, for they say that they likewise are actuated by the Holy Spirit, wherefore they have some knowledge of the Lord, and in their convention everywhere speak [of Him], but the fact is, that their spirit cannot speak otherwise than according to their doctrinals of memory, for spirits when they lead man think themselves to be the man and put on his memory, consequently [they assume] the doctrinals in their conventicles which they have derived from others, wherefore they cannot otherwise utter themselves; for this is a general law, that a spirit cannot bring forth anything contrary to their doctrinals and persuasions, or add anything of his own which is not in their memory, thence they speak [or preach] as others; but yet they care nothing for the Lord, but only for the Holy Spirit, just as the Catholics also acknowledge the Lord and preach Him, but in the other life are bitterly opposed [to Him]. So also the Quakers; when in the other life they know nothing of the Lord, and are rebellious against the Lord, setting themselves up for the Holy Spirit, concerning whom they have continually thought in their life-time, as they are continually expecting him in their meetings and elsewhere. Since such is their character, and the spirits speaking through them have identified themselves with them, it follows, that they are those who in the other life associate themselves with the former, and profess to be the Holy Spirit; consequently everyone who uniformly during life supposed that he spoke from the Holy Spirit, and that the Spirit made one person with him, cannot, in the other life, but fancy himself to be such as is the Holy Spirit.


That they reject the doctrinals of faith, and the Lord, appeared also in an open manner by means of a staff, with which they would strike the eye, which signifies that they wholly reject and hold in hatred the doctrinals of faith concerning the Lord. 1748, October 30.


Since such is their quality, and they are led by spirits who reject and have in hatred the doctrinals of faith, and thus the Lord, and as they care nothing for the Word, and discard the sacraments, it may be known what they are as to life, inasmuch as they think their promiscuous cohabitations, abominable as they are, to be prompted by the Holy Spirit; for while they are in the persuasion that the Holy Spirit speaks [in them], and commands, and they are thence sensibly moved, it follows that this extends also to their connections, and that thus they are excited by spirits to those abominations.


But I spoke with them concerning marriage - that marriages or conjugial love was the foundation of all loves, which is confirmed from the consideration, that thence is the propagation of human society and consequently of celestial societies, wherefore it has imparted to it a corporeal pleasure surpassing all others, for delights are adjoined according to the necessities of ends, and conjugial love is pleasanter and happier than any other love, so that a right conjugial union is heaven on earth, thus is celestial love, from which flow all other loves, being originally derived from the love or mercy of the Lord towards heaven, the church, and the universal human race, and descending from Him alone, (:these things now:) from which it appears how sacred marriages ought to be held. Upon hearing this they were unable to reply. Some of them who were of the lower order of spirits, came to me and said, that they had grievously sinned, and lamented that they had been such as they were. It was said that they had been among the better portion of them, and had perceived what the truth was, but from their associations were unable to say anything. - 1748, October 30.


I perceived, in an open manner, their venereal cupidities, when I saw, as I supposed, the Quaker women. - 1748, October 30.


It was observed that they are not so deceitful as others, but that there is still a kind of secret deceit [among them], while, under the influence of anger, they then openly vent their calumnies; at other times they act, as it were, craftily, but still in a clandestine manner, which they contract from their life in the body, as they thus acted with me by a secret deceit scarcely to be detected.


Thence, namely, from the Quakers, it appears how dangerous it is, in this world, for spirits to speak with men, or for men to attend to the operations of spirits upon themselves, if they are not in faith towards the Lord; if they are in faith, it is harmless, for the Lord delivers them; but if not in faith, like Quakers and Enthusiasts, they are persuaded not only that it is the Holy Spirit [who speaks] but they are excited and goaded to enormities; for almost the whole world of spirits is wicked and enthusiastic, and sedulously anxious to obsess man; but the Lord takes precautions against it, and exercises [constant] care for man. - 1748, October 30. This in the presence of spirits.


THAT A MAN CANNOT KNOW OTHERWISE THAN THAT IT IS FROM HIMSELF [THAT HE SPEAKS AND ACTS]. This was shown in a case of a spirit speaking from others, to whom it was also said, that other spirits spoke through him, and that he did not know otherwise than that it was from himself. These other spirits infuse into him their own cupidities and persuasions, so that he cannot know otherwise than that it is from himself, which when it was said, it was given to him to observe it, so that he acknowledged the fact, and thus seemed to withdraw from that society. In order that I might be aware of the same thing, it has happened now, and on many former occasions, that spirits would infuse cupidities and persuasions, and then I knew no otherwise than that it was from myself I then spoke concerning these matters, intimating that spirits could not infuse persuasions with man when he was not previously in such a persuasion, but that they could do this in regard to cupidities, and thus [beget] persuasions from cupidities, as is often the case, and thus not only excite cupidities, but also inflame them greatly; sometimes [for instance] to a high pitch of unseemly anger and insanity; which is manifest when a man is in a violent rage, and thinks of nothing else than revenge or death. Spirits are then in their delight or in their life, for [than this] there is nothing more exquisitely pleasant to them; hence man contracts the character or nature which makes him such after death, when he has become a spirit. - 1748, October 30.


The reason that spirits are unable to induce persuasions is, that they do not enjoy a corporeal memory, but put on that of man; for were spirits to retain their corporeal memory, they would so far obsess man, that he would have no more self-control or be in the enjoyment of his own life, than one actually obsessed. This is the cause also that it is not permitted a spirit to usurp a corporeal memory, for thus the human race would perish. - 1748, October 30. Neither is it allowed to spirits to have the memory of the past, which is appropriate to man only, although all and singular things which they had formerly seen and heard remain with spirits, but it is not permitted them to recall anything of them, nor can they, but the Lord alone grants at times the power of recalling what they have seen and heard, as [for instance] with some the fact that they have suffered, and the number of cases, which I heard. - 1748, October 30.


CONCERNING THE QUAKERS. It was observed that as often as other spirits wished to explore their doctrinals and the secrets of their worship, and would fain instruct them, so often they would turn away on various pretences, speaking of other things, drawing attention to other subjects, even to those that were unseemly, and thus putting away inquiry; for they are unwilling to speak with others either concerning their own doctrinals or those of others. Yet they desire to hear concerning [the tenets] of others, but still in such a way as not have them impressed upon themselves or be persuaded by them, thus intelligently, so that the other party who speaks should not observe [that they give any heed to it]. Their sphere, arising from their aversion to speak of such things for fear of disclosing their doctrinals or their secrets, is such that other spirits can by no means be with them, as they are indignant and angry that they should practice such concealment, and so avert themselves, since spirits when they cannot penetrate the secrets of others, cannot tolerate them, for they are intensely curious. Wherefore the Quaker spirits live apart from others.


The first outgoing [or emanation] of their Holy Spirit, which consists of Quakers is, that they seem to themselves and others to wander in thick woods like woodland swine. They are seen in great numbers by spirits, and it was said to me by an angelic interpreter that they thus wander about in thick forests, like forest swine. This is from their life, because they are avaricious and live in such nastinesses, like swine. It was said however that they were not boars, but she-swine. - 1748, November 1.


THAT ONE IS LESS FREE IN PROPORTION AS HE THINKS HIMSELF FREE. It was perceived and noted from former experience that spirits, while they speak or think through another, infuse largely their cupidities and persuasions into the other spirit, from whence he supposes that he speaks and thinks from himself; for whoever acts from cupidity and persuasion, he thinks he does it from himself and in freedom. From experience also [it was evident] that spirits speaking through another consider that other through whom they speak as nothing. Hence it appears that he who supposes that he thinks and speaks from himself, and is thus in entire freedom, is then in fact in the deepest bondage, and in the eyes of other spirits is as nothing, scarcely even a slave, for they can use him as a mere lifeless instrument. But still spirits are indignant and angry that this should be said, being willing indeed to be deemed by others viler than slaves, provided that they are their own masters in their own eyes wherefore he is in a much better state who perceives that others induce upon him thoughts and discourse.


But with those who are in faith, that is, who are led by the Lord, the case is altogether different. To them it is given to know that they have nothing of their own, but that everything is of the Lord through the angels, and because good affections with the persuasion of truth and good are insinuated into them, while reflection is not at the same time given, then it seems to them that it is from themselves, knowing nothing else, so that it appears to them that they are in a full state of liberty. But as soon as anyone begins to claim good and truth for himself, the Lord knows it, reflection is given him, and by various lively experiences he is instructed that it is not from himself, but from the Lord, so that he is at length brought into a state of truth, and thus again enjoys the happiest liberty. This is what is [truly] called liberty. - 1748, October 31.


These are things which now from the lively experience of several years I have fully learned, so that they are among the matters which from particular instruction I am amply assured of.


The spirits who are above in front, and who are evil, grieved when these things were heard by them, being unwilling that the fact should be so. With these I spoke, [saying] that they might know, as well from others who speak through them, as from those through whom they themselves speak, that the fact is thus; and since it is, and they are the slaves of others by whom they are held for nothing, and who infuse evils, is it not better that they should be led by good spirits, thus by the Lord, with which happiness is conjoined, since otherwise they are tormented by an inward repugnance. But they still persist [in their conceits], inasmuch as though they know the fact to be so, they still wish not to know it. - 1748, October 31.


CONCERNING A QUAKER HOUSEHOLD. Their household appointments were exhibited to me in sleep. There is a kitchen of ample dimensions, in which beds are arranged one above another. In the upper one they lie when they retire to rest. A man was seen to convey himself thither and to lie down. A maid-servant approached and laid herself by his side, but he turned away from her transversely [across the bed], as did also the others. Afterwards certain others were seen to lie down, all of them disrobed. In the bed below no one lay. Lower still under this bed were laid their children, but these were boys. In the same kitchen, on one side was seen a miserable wheel moved by water. In the center were covered casks, but whether containing warm water I did not observe. A fire seized the covers of the casks, but they said it could be easily extinguished, and cared nothing about it. When I awoke I recollected the dream, and him who lay in the upper bed, who also then awoke from sleep, and spoke with me both concerning the wheel and the kitchen casks, so that I was thence able to know that their households were ordered as I have described. What the beds signify I do not yet know, except that they agree with their religion, thus that the lying together in the upper bed has reference to their religion; also that the lower bed in which no one lay, unless my father and myself, signified the Word which was below. As to the couch still lower, where their children [reposed], I do not yet know [its import]. The miserable wheel driven by water signifies their spiritual things. The fire that caught upon the covers of the casks, which they did not heed, signifies celestial things. What was in the casks I do not know. 3790-1 - 1748, November 1.


CONCERNING IDEAL REPRESENTATION. In a state intermediate between sleeping and waking, but verging nearer to sleep, there was remarkably represented a tooth. It was not in the form of a tooth, nor of anything similar to a tooth. When in the waking state I could not know still less express, what it was, but simply that a tooth was perceived, which, according as the desire was, was turned into something resembling coagulated milk. This was from the speech of the celestials, that they desired that natural things should become such, they being signified by the tooth. It thence appeared what kind of an idea is given, which in that state, and thus by interior spirits, is well known as to what it is, although there was no form or appearance of a tooth, but solely the perception of one, that it might thence be known that natural things were signified. There was also something broad and as a plane represented for a tooth.


Certain spirits supposed themselves in their sleep about to attack me; they dreamt also, as I did, that they would lay siege to a certain castle, upon the capture of which they would attack me. Awaking from the dream, I spoke with them, and they also deemed themselves awake, speaking of the castle which they were to besiege, after which they would seize and plunder me. They supposed themselves to be altogether awake, which I perceived from them, but I said to them that they were yet dreaming, though they were scarcely sensible of the fact, yet they said that the thing had so taken place. At length, I think, they acknowledged that it was in a dream. Such is the life of such, that while dreaming they imagine themselves to be altogether awake, and such phantasies do they have. - 1748, November 1.


CONCERNING THE QUAKERS. Quaker spirits have been for some days with me, who boast of being the Holy Spirit, and some have been sent into the world of spirits, of whom it was said to those [there] that they were Quakers, and others wished to show them where they had been and what they had been on earth; for this is easy in the other life when the Lord permits it. From their presence with me for several days it was given to perceive of what quality they are, namely, that they vaunt themselves of having existed from eternity, and of being the Holy Spirit. They care for nothing less than the Lord, against whom, as far as the bond of restraint was loosened, they inveighed contumaciously, but subtly, from the nature which they had contracted of saying nothing openly; wherefore their deceit was evinced to consist in this, that they dare not divulge their thoughts, but as far as possible act in secret. They are continually in fear that some one may hear; wherefore they besought that they might be alone, when they would speak freely. The subtlety therefore operates in a secret manner, their nature withholding them [from publicity] because they wish to practice concealment. This kind of deceit differs from others.


Because they were before spoken with respecting their communion of wives, and their detestable and abominable adultery, they tried by every means to make it out to be lawful, and as far as they could, in their concealed way, they did it, and that also which was indifferent they made a matter of conscience, that thus they might excuse their abominable adulteries, sometimes insinuating that they were wives, and that they could thus [properly] dispose of them; and then again [professing] that it was a compact, and that marriages are contracted by compact. But it was given to insinuate that the primary bond of conscience is that of marriage, as not only is the propagation of the human race the principal seminary of terrestrial societies, and thence of celestial, but also that thence all consociations derive their origin; but also it is sufficiently apparent that conjugial love is the principle of all loves and thence of consociations,


for all consanguinities and affinities on earth derive their origins from marriage, from whence parents, children, brothers, sisters, relations, kindreds, receive their denomination, whether nearer or more remote; in like manner in the heavens, where the love of the Lord towards heaven and the church is compared to a marriage; whence conjugial love is the [fundamental] principle and thence all loves draw their origin and are derived, and form consanguinities and affinities, which are similar derivations of loves. Hence now it appears that the primary bond of conscience is founded in conjugial love.


It was also craftily insinuated by them, that the procreation of offspring still took place, notwithstanding the communion of wives. But it was answered that in like manner there was procreation of offspring among the Sodomites; but how abominable this was, they knew [full well]. - 1748, November 1.


CONCERNING QUAKER SPIRITS. The bond of restraint was loosened to Quaker spirits, who declare themselves to be the Holy Spirit; and they at first rushed by phantasies upon a chance innocent person who was with me, but because they acted by phantasies, as they were wont to do during life, they could not excite him, but they seemed to themselves to see him, and thus to ill-use him. Such a phantasy may be called an illusive phantasy, when they think it is really a person, while yet it is nothing else than their phantasy in place of persons, and which to those who are not aware of the truth appears as if it were the reality; but when the Lord grants he knows that it is only the image of their phantasy, that induces a likeness as if it were the persons himself; so that there is no other subject, but only a phantasy formed to his semblance, which is also an aerial phantasy, such as are the illusions of these spirits agreeing to their nature, because they boast themselves of being the Holy Spirit, and this some believe, and thus that they are from eternity.


When they attempted to evil entreat the formed phantasy by casting it into the abyss, then by raising it up, aiming to dash it in the way against the rocks, and also by impelling it to adulteries, then the abominable sphere of their adultery was manifestly perceived by spirits and by myself, which [sphere] is diabolical, for there is nothing in it but adultery; and whenever it finds any subject, they endeavor to affect him with this sphere of adultery. The whole sphere is as it were such; such is the sphere of their Holy Spirit, which has, for a sufficiently long time, breathed itself forth from them.


From a higher place in front, where they were, they were cast into a depth in front, before the right foot, and thence especially in a vile sphere of adultery exhaled from them, which, because it was diabolical, is no farther to be mentioned, nor is it permitted to have it in memory.


Being inspected when in the deep, they appeared as if they were all hair, so that they were nothing else than a certain hairy something, which signifies that they were made up of merely a filthy natural.


3753-1 Alluding to No. 3608-3610, where the fact is mentioned. It is worthy of notice, that Swedenborg here speaks as if he expected that what he wrote would come before other eyes than his own. -Tr.

3753-2 We leave a blank for the original word "the" as to the purport of which we are ignorant, it being unknown to the Latin tongue. -Tr.

3762-1 A Swedish word signifying properly slippery, i. e. bland, feigned.

3790-1 What is here and elsewhere said of the Quakers is doubtless calculated, at first blush, to create an impression unfavorable to the charity and liberality of Swedenborg as the teacher of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church. It will probably be difficult for many readers to conceive how the principles of the Quakers, which are usually seen to ultimate themselves in a harmless, gentle, and blameless life, can be justly liable to such imputations as are virtually cast upon them by the tenor of these narratives. But it is important to remark that Swedenborg's disclosures have reference to the interior life and soul of every system of doctrines professing to be an embodiment of the truths of inspiration. "The nature and quality," says he, "of the Lord's church on the earth, cannot be seen by any man so long as he lives in the world; and still less, how, in process of time, it hath declined from good to evil; the reason whereof is, because man, during his life in the world is in externals, and only sees what is before his natural eyes: but the quality of the church as to spiritual things, which constitute its internals, is not apparent in the world, although in heaven it appears as in clear daylight. - (Last Judgement, No. 41.) It is also to be observed that according to the tenor of his revelations, the Last Judgment was executed in the spiritual world - the first, or intermediate state after death - upon those who had not previously been consigned, by the character of their lives, to heaven or hell. Consequently the really good of this and every other sect had been previously put in possession of celestial bliss, and it is plainly to be inferred from what he says of Penn, that his condition was good, for he disclaimed all participation in the enormities ascribed to multitudes that bore the Quaker name. But surely we may suppose that the spirit of Penn actuated many of his followers, and that their state is equally good. Let then what is here said of the Quakers be understood of those only to whom it fairly applies. These are they who during their life in the world had lived in external sanctity, destitute of that which is internal, who had been just and sincere in obedience to civil and moral laws, but not in obedience to those which are divine, and who had consequently been external or natural men, and not internal or spiritual men. It may safely be presumed that such persons have always existed among the Quakers, as well as in other religious bodies. -Tr.

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