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commencement of the last century, Sweden was beginning to participate more largely in the general culture and refinement of Europe, and her eminent men travelled into the more advanced countries of the South, to make themselves acquainted with the actual state of learning and the sciences, and to impart the knowledge of recent discoveries and inventions into their native land. Swedenborg was a great traveller with this view from an early period of his life, and a certain taste for wandering always remained with him after his enthusiasm had taken another direction. The titles of some of his publications about this time will mark the bent of his studies and the activity of his mind.-Among them we find-A Proposal for a Decimal System of Money and Measures (reprinted as late as 1795)-Proofs derived from appearances in Sweden, of the depth of the Sea, and the greater force of the Tides, in the ancient world-A New Method of finding the Longitude of places, by Lunar observations (also reprinted in the latter part of his life)-Miscellaneous Observations connected with the Physical Sciences (a work in which, M. Dumas says, may be traced the first idea of the modern science of Crystallography)-On the Depreciation and Rise of the Swedish Currency (republished at Upsal in 1771).

In the unpublished portion of an introduction to Algebra, which is still extant in MS., he is said to have given the earliest account in Sweden of the Differential and Integral Calculus. During his travels he turned his attention to other objects besides science; and in the minuteness and variety of its observations on practical life, his Diary resembles that of Locke. In 1724 he was offered the vacant chair of Mathematics in the University of Upsal, but having previously accepted the office of Assessor to the Royal Board of Mines, he declined the situation.

The pursuits to which Swedenborg had hitherto chiefly devoted himself, were Geometry, Astronomy, Mechanics and Mineralogy. To perfect himself in the last with reference more immediately to the important post which he filled under the Swedish Government, was one object of his frequent travels. Chemistry, Geology and Physiology-sciences then in their infancy-had also strong attractions for him. It is curious to observe, with what felicitous divination he appears to have discerned the latent tendencies of the age

into which he had been born, and how he laid his hand, as it were by instinct, on the most improvable parts of human knowledge. Very early, however, he discovered a passion for theory and a leaning towards cosmogonical speculation; and this was strengthened by the deep religious feeling which he carried into all his studies, and which led him to seek, as their proper end, a full comprehension of the spiritual relations of the Universe. The correspondence in which at this time he was engaged with his brother in law, Eric Benzelius, afterwards Archbishop of Upsal, may also probably have quickened these aspirations after a religious consummation of his philosophy. From this time we can trace the formation in his mind of a vast plan of consecutive study-taking for its basis an exact knowledge of the great masses of unorganised matter, (with which his professional duties of course rendered him familiar)then rising from them into the regions of mechanics and chemistry, interpreted by the laws of geometry-passing on, at the next step, to human physiology-and so bending his course inwards continually, till he should open all the doors that lead to the soul, and at length contemplate the soul herself. "His object was," says Mr. Wilkinson to open a new way through natural knowledge to religious faith, and to transfer to Christianity the title deeds of the Sciences."-(P. 49.)

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The nature of the works which he henceforth published, indicate the steps of this progress. In 1734 appeared at Dresden and Leipsic, the first of three volumes folio, inscribed to the Duke of Brunswick who had liberally patronised him, under the general title of Philosophical and Mineral Works. This first volume he designated Principia, because in it he explained his views of the first principles of the Universe. In its aim it was more akin to the à priori theorising of the earlier philosophies, than to the cautious inductive methods of the eighteenth century. He adopted in a modified sense the doctrine of vortices, and placed the primal generative force, issuing immediately from the Infinite, in a conatus towards spiral motion, which from its being circular in all its dimensions, he regarded as one perpetual ens, possessed of the highest perfection, being at once most highly mechanical and most highly geometrical. This primary movement con

necting the Finite with the Infinite he called a Simple, and the entities derived from it, he further distinguished into Actives and Finites, and lastly Composites or Elementaries compounded of the former two. The Active expressed the force transmitted from the Simple; the Finite was the limit or boundary of its operation. From their junction resulted the elements of creation; the Finite constituting the superficies, the Active filling the interiors. In these refined abstractions, which would have been as suitable to the infancy as to the maturity of Science, since they do not necessarily imply any extensive acquaintance with facts, we perceive the characteristic tendency of his mind to invest all his knowledge with a theosophic character. A work on Mineralogy did not require so metaphysical an introduction.

In the same year with the Principia, he put forth a small treatise intended to develope more fully some of its views, containing a philosophical argument on the Infinite and on the intercourse between the Soul and the Body-which has been translated into English with some introductory remarks by Mr. Wilkinson.* This argument advances him a step nearer to the high questions of Theology and Spiritual Psychology. He assumes the consciousness of the Infinite as a part of the original constitution of the human mind, though we are unable to comprehend it. We can show, he says, ' quod sit,' not quale sit.' But there is a further difficulty-to conceive the relation of the Infinite to the Finite-how one can act on the other-since they are incommensurable quantities, and one is to the other, as though it did not exist. How, then, are we to account for their connexion? There must be a nexus between them and this nexus cannot be finite, otherwise it would be as all other finites, and the difficulty would only be thrown one step further back; neither can it be infinite, for by the supposition, the Infinite cannot act directly on the Finite. The nexus, therefore, to accomplish its purpose, must be of a mixed nature, and partake at once of

*The full title of the work in Latin is as follows: Prodromus Philosophiæ ratiocinantis de Infinito, et Causa Finali Creationis: deque Mechanismo Operationis Animæ et Corporis. Dresdæ et Lipsiæ, 1734;' which Mr. Wilkinson has rendered 'Outlines of a Philosophical Argument on the Infinite, etc.'

the Finite and the Infinite. Of this nexus, as of the Infinite itself, we simply see that it must exist. Of its quality we know nothing. Nevertheless, we can discern thus much-that the Infinite must be the final and the efficient cause of everything that exists-the whole intervening system of means which connect the first primitive with the last effect, deriving their energy and working from it alone. Creation then exists by and for the Infinite. All other ends are subordinate to this final end. Now, viewing Creation as a descending fluxion of effects, while the Infinite has no limits, the proper Finite has two -a prior and a posterior. But the pure Simple, in which the primal force of Creation exits, has only one limit― viz. towards the Finite: towards the Infinite, it is without a limit. In this Simple, then, on the à priori_side of Creation, we find the nexus of the Finite and the Infinite. If again we pursue Creation to its last effect in Man, we find that he too, on one side of his being, touches on the Infinite. For though his nature bodily and mental is finite, yet through his power of knowing, adoring and loving the Infinite, he has access to it, and is open towards it. So long as his nature is in harmony with God, he connects the Finite and the Infinite. On both sides, therefore, of Creation, à priori and à posteriori, we find a nexus with the Infinite. Thus far the argument of Swedenborg has kept to the ground of Natural Religion: from this point, it plunges at once into the dogmas of a traditional Theology. This union with God-he proceeds-is the normal condition of humanity. So it existed in Eden. But the union was dissolved by the Fall; and it has been taken up and knit together again through the incarnation of Christ, who by that event brought Humanity into direct contact with Deity. His redemption is available for all, whether his name be known to them or not, whose minds recognise the existence of the Infinite; for inasmuch as they recognise the Infinite, they virtually recognise Christ. Swedenborg winds up his argument in the following way. All things in Creation are subordinate to man. All effects run up into and centre in him. He is the end and crown of Creation. As Christ by becoming flesh thus outwardly and visibly links man's nature with the Infinite-we have in Revelation a clear confirmation of the previous assump

tion of Reason-that the Universe exists for the Infinitethat it is embraced in the Infinite-that the Infinite is its first cause and final end.

This argument on the Infinite has been extolled as a masterpiece of abstract reasoning. We confess it does not appear so to us. The reasoning is more specious than solid. It yields if we touch it. We perceive on the slightest analysis of the argument, that it only disguises the original difficulty in a new form of words. For whatever be the difficulty in conceiving a direct connexion of the Finite with the Infinite, it is certainly not diminished -to us it is rather increased-by the assumption of a nexus between them which is at once finite and infinite, for the two predicates destroy one another, and only leave a negation where we were promised an idea. Again, we cannot but ask, how the fact of Christ's incarnation reunites the links between God and Man, dissolved by the Fall-especially for those who know not Christ, and to whom therefore he cannot furnish either motive or example. The break was a moral one; it cannot be made good by a historical event. There is something very mechanical in Swedenborg's conception of this transaction. He takes a type for a process, and confounds an illustration with an agency. Unless the whole of humanity past, present and to come, had been centred in Christ, his incarnation could not have been availing for universal redemption even in the mechanical sense here understood.* His argument on the Soul, though imperfectly developed, is to us clearer and more worthy of thought than that on the Infinite. The Soul, he admits, is finite, naturally mortal, and governed like the body by mechanical and geometric laws. For the laws of causes are discovered in their effects, and the visible phænomena of body suggest the invisible phænomena of mind, which are anterior to them and operate through them. In the descending order of Creation there is an intellectual agency which precedes all corporeal manifestation. In accordance with his general theory already explained, Swedenborg described the Soul as an Active enclosed within space by Finites-i. e. by

*Perhaps this was the idea in Swedenborg's mind; for according to him, -as we shall see, when we come to speak of his Theology in its whole extent -the essence of Humanity dwelt in Christ.

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