Thursday, March 20, 2008

Swedenborg Explains Why He Didn't Publish One of the Books He Said He Would

At different points in his life Swedenborg made lists of books that he was going to write. However, he didn't end up writing all the books that he said he was going to. People have come up with ways of explaining this. I recently ran across an instance where Swedenborg himself explains why he didn't write a certain book.

In the preface to Doctrine of the Lord (published in 1763) Swedenborg lists the theological books he has published so far and then says, “Now, by command of the Lord, who has been revealed to me, the following are to be published...” and in the list that follows he includes “Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Infinity, and Eternity” and “Angelic Wisdom concerning Life.” Neither of these books was published. In a letter to Beyer in 1767 Swedenborg explained why he didn't write the book about omnipotence.
Concerning the promised transaction on the Infinite, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. Answer: These subjects have been interspersed in Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Providence 46-54, 157; and in Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom 4, 1-7, 19, 21, 44, 69, 72, 76, 106, 156, 318; and in the Apocalypse Revealed 691; and there will be still more concerning them in the Arcana of Angelic Wisdom Concerning Conjugial Love; for to write separately concerning the Divine attributes would be to raise the thoughts too high without the assistance of anything to support them. For this reason the subjects have been dealt with in series together with other things that fall within the understanding.

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