Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher, and mystic.
Emanuel Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions, beginning on Easter Weekend, on 6 April 1744.
It culminated in a “spiritual awakening” in which he received a revelation that he was appointed by Jesus Christ to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity.
According to The Heavenly Doctrine, the Lord had opened Swedenborg’s spiritual eyes so that from then on, he could freely visit heaven and hell to converse with angels, demons, and other spirits and the Last Judgment had already occurred the year before, in 1757.
For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works and several unpublished theological works.
Emanuel Swedenborg explicitly rejected the common explanation of the Trinity as a Trinity of Persons, which he said was not taught in the early Christian Church.
Instead, he explained in his theological writings how the Divine Trinity exists in One Person, in One God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Swedenborg also rejected the doctrine of salvation through faith alone, since he considered both faith and charity necessary for salvation, not one without the other.
Swedenborg’s theological writings have elicited a range of responses.
Toward the end of Swedenborg’s life, small reading groups formed in England and Sweden to study the truth they saw in his teachings, and several writers were influenced by him.
Including William Blake, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, August Strindberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Balzac, William Butler Yeats, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jorge Luis Borges, and Carl Jung.
In the two centuries since Swedenborg’s death, various interpretations of Swedenborg’s theology have been made, and he has also been scrutinized in biographies and psychological studies.
Emanuel Swedenborg Quotes:
1. “Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own”
2. “Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want, and do.”
3. “The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.”
4. “The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth.”
5. “In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions”
6. “for heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgment of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.”
7. “A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies. Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. Warmth from the sun is the fertile agent. The same is true in spiritual and heavenly affairs, which are typically represented in the Word by objects found in nature and human culture.”
8. “for every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.”
9. “The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth.”
10. “Love comes into being through useful service to others.”
11. “This new church is the crown of all the churches that have ever existed on this planet because it will worship the one God, who can be seen, within whom is the God that cannot be seen, like a soul in a body.”
12. “Some hells present an appearance like the ruins of houses and cities after conflagrations, in which infernal spirits dwell and hide themselves. In the milder hells, there is an appearance of rude huts, in some cases contiguous in the form of a city with lanes and streets.”