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THE NATURE OF FUTURE PUNISHMENT. 257
after death returns into his own life, and thus into similar evils; for the quality of the man is such as it had been in the life of the body."*
This is a very important distinction; because, though the result is, in fact, the same, yet the motive for it appears, in this view, to be entirely different. The old idea of future punishment was, that it is purely vindictive; that men having sinned in this world, were given over to punishment, after death, simply by way of retribution, and solely with reference to the past, without any present or future useful end to be attained by it. It is not strange that men's sense of justice, and still more their ideas of mercy, derived from the Gospel itself, should have disposed them to murmur aaginst such a view of the Divine government; but when this view is seen to be erroneous, one great stumbling-block is removed from the mind.
But this is not all.- In the new light now thrown upon this subject, -we are enabled to perceive that the Lord does not punish at all, nor cast any one into hell; it is their own lust of evil that draws the wicked thither, and the same lust that involves them in punishment. On this point our great authority thus speaks:—
"An opinion has prevailed with some, that God turns away His face from man, rejects him from Himself, and casts him into hell, and that He is angry with him on account of evil; and with some it is supposed still further that God punishes man and does evil to him. In this opinion they confirm themselves from the literal sense of the Word, where such expressions are used; not being aware that the spiritual sense of the Word, which explains the literal sense, is altogether otherwise; and that the genuine doctrine of the church, which is from the spiritual sense of the Word, teaohes differently, as that the Lord never turns away His face from man, nor rejects him from Himself, that He does not cast any one into hell, and that He is not angry with any one. Every man, moreover, who i3 in a state of illustration, when he reads the Word, perceives this to be so, from this consideration alone, that God is Goodness itself, Love itself, and Mercy itself; and that Goodness itself cannot do evil to any one; also, that Love itself and Mercy itself cannot reject man from itself, because that is contrary to the very essence of love and mercy, thus contrary to the very nature of the Divine Being. Man is the cause of his own evil, and in nowise the Lord. Evil with man is hell with him; for whether it be said evil or hell, it is the same thing. Now, since man is the cause of his own evil, therefore, also, he brings himself into hell, and it is not the Lord who does it. The Lord is so far from bringing man into hell, that He delivers him from hell, so far as man does not will and love to be in evil. But all of man's will remains with him after death; he who willed and loved evil in the world, also wills and loves evil in the other life, and then he no longer suffers himself to be withdrawn from it. Hence, the man who is in evil is connected with hell, and also is actually there as to his spirit, and after death desires nothing more ardently than to be where his own evil iB; wherefore man after death cast himself into hell, and not the Lord."t
• Heaven and Hell, n. 589. + Heaven and Hell, n. 545—547.
258 THE NATURE OF FUTURE PUNISHMENT.
In fact, casting into hell is not, as commonly imagined, thrusting down into a dungeon and place of torment: this is but a natural, not a spiritual idea, of hell. In a spiritual view, hell, like heaven, is a state of man's own mind; wherefore, to cast him into hell, is simply to leave him, as it were, to his own evil. Says our author—
"What casting into hell means is known to few, it being supposed to mean the casting down into a certain place, containing the devil with his crew, who there inflict torment. But the case is not so; for casting into hell is nothing else than a closing up by mere falses, which are from the evils in which men were when in the world. When thus closed up by falses, they are then in hell; and the evils and falses, in which they are, torment them." *
Such a mind may be termed an individual hell; and many such minds and spirits gathered together form the aggregate hell. The place is merely an effect of the state of mind; for in the spiritual world state produces place; the place is merely the state of mind putting itself forth in a correspondent external. Hell is called dark, because it is a state of falsity; falsity being mental darkness, as truth is mental light. It is described as fiery, on account of the burning and raging passions of its inhabitants. We thus perceive that hell is of man's producing, not God's; because it is man who, by abuse of his faculties, brings himself into that evil state of mind which is hell.
But perhaps the question may still be asked—" If there are such torments in hell, as those above described, how is it that even a bad man after death can be willing to go thither?" To this question, also, our author gives a distinct answer. He says—
"It having been before shown that an evil spirit of his own.accord casts himself into hell, it may be expedient to explain briefly how this happens, when yet in hell there are such torments. From every hell there exhales a sphere of the lusts in which those are who are there. When this sphere is felt by him who is in a similar lust, he is affected in heart, and is filled with delight; for lust and its delight make one, since whatever aDy one lusts after, this is delightful to him. From this cause, the spirit turns himself in that direction, and from delight of heart burns to go thither. For he does not as yet know that there are such torments there, and even one who knows this is still inclined to proceed; for no one in the spiritual world can resist his own lust, because that lust is of his love, and the love is of his will, and the will is of his nature, and every one there acts from his nature.''t
But now some one may inquire, desiring to apply the last test of Divine liberality (if I may use the expression)--" If God is all-good, and kind even to the evil, why can He not-^since the wicked love evil and choose it in preference to good—why can He not allow them to have it and enjoy it, and thus make hell their heaven?" To this the answer is, that He will and does let them have their evil choice, and get all the
* Arcana Caleitia, n. 8232. + Heaven and Hell, n. 574.
THE NATURE OF FUTURE PUNISHMENT. 259
enjoyment out of it they can, provided only that they will not trouhle the good or each other. But observe that it is the very nature of the wicked to trouble others; others' pain is their joy, and they are in their enjoyment only when they are hurting others. Is not this the nature of hatred, of revenge, of cruelty, nay, of all self-love? and self-love is the very root and essence of all evil. Hence, the wicked cannot be allowed their enjoyment, because that enjoyment is torment to others. The Divine Being, desiring from His very goodness and benevolence to protect His creatures, whether good or bad, as far as possible, is compelled to restrain the evil—and that very restraint is torment. Hence it may be seen that evil carries pain and punishment in its very bosom and nature, and that, consequently, evil and torment cannot be separated. It follows, moreover, that hell cannot by possibility be made a heaven, because heaven means a state of mutual love, and consequent enjoyment, derived from doing good to each other. Says Swedenborg—
"It is given to every one to be in the delight of his evil, provided he does not infest those who are in the delight of good; but, since the evil cannot do otherwise than infest the good, therefore, lest they should do harm, they are removed, and cast down into their places in hell, where their delight is turned" into undelight." *
On this point hear the confession of the evil spirits themselves. Says our author—
"Some spirits ascended by permission from hell, and said to me—' You have Vrritten many things from the Lord; write some also from us.' I answered—> 'What shall I write?' They said—' Write, that every spirit, whether good or evil, is in his delight; the good in the delight of his good, and the evil in the delight of his evil.' I asked—'What more shall I write from you?' They said—' Thisi that it is allowed every one to be in his delight, even the most unclean, as they Call it, provided he does not infest good spirits and angels; but as we cannot do otherwise than infest them, we are driven away and cast down into hell, where we Buffer direful things.' I said—' Why do you infest the good i" They answered that they could not do otherwise: that it was as if fury seized them, when they saw any angel, and felt the Divine sphere around him. I then said—' Thus ye are even like wild beasts.' At hearing which, the fury came on them, which appeared like the fire of hatred; and lest they should do harm, they were remitted into hell."t
We thus perceive that the Lord is truly, as His Word declares, "kind even to the unthankful and the evil;" that He would allow the wicked—even the worst of them—the enjoyment of their delights, were it not that this is incompatible with the enjoyment of others, nay, even with the protection of man, or the preservation of the universe. Their punishments are such as they either directly bring upon themselves by
* Divine Providence, n. 324. t Divine Providence, n. 810.
260 THE NATURE OF FOTT7RE PtTNISHMEKT.
their own violence, or they are permitted as the only means of restraining them.
"The reason (says Swedenhorg) that torments in the hells are permitted by the Lord, is, because evils cannot otherwise be restrained and subdued; the only means of keeping the infernal crew in bonds, is the fear of punishment—there is no other; for without the fear of punishment and torment, evil would burst forth into madness, and the whole would be dispersed, as with a kingdom on earth where there is no law and no punishment."*
London. O. P. H.
(End of Part I.)
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG AND CARL VON LINNE. f
Evert scholar knows that Swedenborg and Linne were countrymen and contemporaries. But whether these celebrated men of learning were personally acquainted, or stood upon a familiar and friendly footing, —whether their scientific views, their philosophical principles, and their religious faith, were correspondent or dissentient, is quite unknown. Their history teljs us nothing specific in this respect. To judge from the many learned works they published during their life-time, their scientific spheres were somewhat different. Swedenborg, who studied all that came within the horizon of the knowledge of his time, had certainly also studied botany and horticulture, but more for pleasure than ex pro/esso. That he was not ignorant of the Linnean sexual system, is at least to be inferred from some statements in his theological works. In his younger years Linne had studied mineralogy; but what he thought on subjects purely philosophical, moral, theological, and ecclesiastical, we cannot conclude from his "Philosophia Botanica," nor from the fact that, some years before his death, he was appointed a member of the Committee for translating the Bible into Swedish. J The world has therefore been for a long time in ignorance of Linne's real belief in religious matters.
But some lustrums ago we were enabled to acquire, from a trustworthy source, some definite idea of his moral and religious nature. Now we have the means of discerning whether he was a good Christian or only a Deist, a true spiritualist or a hardened materialist; an! this information will, I think, be welcome to all who wish to know the inward personal and religious character of the distinguished botanist.
• Heaven and Hell, n. 581.
+ Better known in this country by his Latinised name, Linnaeus.—Ed. J See "Egenhitadiga Anteckningar af Carl Linnrcus, om sig sjelf." Upsala, 1823. pp. 66.
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG AND CARL VON LINNE. 261
Linne had left to the care and for the study of his son, and successor as professor in botany at Upsala, Carl von Linne, jun., a manuscript, which for a long time was supposed to be lost, but which recently was accidentally found, and deposited in the Academical Library at Upsala. This document, known under the name of "Nemesis Divina," because it principally inculcates the doctrine of a divine retribution, also informs the reader of Linne's moral principles and whole religious faith. A renowned Swedish botanist, Professor Elias Fries, at Upsala, has published a great part of this "Nemesis Divina," in an academical programme of the 16th June, 1848. He tells us further, that all traces of this manuscript of Linne the father had vanished after the death of Linne the son, and was fruitlessly sought after in Sweden and England, whither all Linne's manuscripts and botanical collections were transported; but that a few years ago the lost document was found in the library of the late Dr. Acrell, whose father, Professor Acrell at Upsala, had been administrator in the house of the deceased younger Linne, and probably had considered it a duty to conceal this literary treasure from the eyes of curiosity, and that the now regained manuscript consists of 203 loose leaves in 8vo.
As proofs and testimonies of the truth of his doctrine on the Divine retribution, Linne has cited a multitude of examples of his contem. poraries and acquaintances, even among the members of the A cademical Consistory at Upsala, the retribution and punishment of whom he very exactly and circumstantially describes. This Linnean "Nemesis Divina" has an obvious resemblance to Swedenborg's " Diarium Spirituale," and may in some respects be compared with it Both are written, not for their authors' contemporaries, but for posterity. Both are designed to prove the retribution or punishment of evil and had actions, the one ("Nemesis Divina") in this life, the other ("Diarium Spirituale") in the future; so that the latter seems to be almost a continuation or a supplement to the former. Swedenborg sees and tells us how bad kings ministers, popes, bishops, clergymen, laics, and some of his deceased friends are punished after death,—Linne shows how on this side the tomb the fearful hand of Nemesis has grasped many of them.
To give the reader an idea of this remarkable document, we impart here some few extracts from-it, which are borrowed from the abovementioned programme of Fries. Linne says in the preface—
"My only Son!—You are come into a land which you do not know. You do not see the Proprietor, but you are astonished at his magnificence. You see all go on silently, as if no one saw or heard it. You see the most beautiful lilies suffocated by the weeds. But a just God dwells here, who does justice to every one. Innocue vivito, Numen adest. There was a time when I doubted whether