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The remarks as to the books of the Holy Scriptures, and the doctrines of the New Church in relation thereto, will be fully answered, in an article expressly devoted to the subject, in this number of the Repository.
Throughout the whole of his work, the author appears to have an especial resentment against the Episcopal Church, and alleges that the greater part of our converts are from that body. In this matter, he is as much mistaken as in all the rest, at least as it respects the Church in America. They are brought in frona all religious denominations, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Church of England, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Quakers, and Socinians. In Philadelphia, there are more from the Presbyterian Church than any other.
“The Swedenburghians in America,” says Mr. W.“ have three or four ministers in this country, all of whom are in a great méa- . sure illiterate. It is believed that none of them have any pretensions even to a smattering of classical literature or physical science.” Could any one believe this bold assertion was made by one wholly unacquainted with those ministers, their education and acquirements ? Had it comported with Mr. W's plan to have obtained information before he attempted to give it, and to inquire before he made up his opinion, he would have found one of those ministers to have been, like himself, the teacher of a classical academy, a regular graduate as Master of Arts, a Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholar, and familiar with the French, German, and Spanish languages, and more than one to have some acquaintance with the Latin language, and well informed in physical science ; and that all of them were men of good English education, of more than common intelligence, and well versed in religious and spiritual subjects. Indeed, it is impossible for any person to teach as a minister of this Church, who has not applied considerable time to abstract studies, and to investigations which require much acuteness of mind, and patient, persevering attention. There are also some in the Church who can advise Mr. W. to be more careful, in the next edition of his book, to correct the Hebrew motto of his title page.
If Mr. Wilson will turn to his Selectæ e Profanis, he will find an anecdote which may be of use to him in future, if he should be again tempted to explain matters with which he is wholly unacquainted. It has this motto
Stultum est ea docere cæteros, quæ ipse expertus non es.
66 When Hannibal, on an invitation at the court of Antiochus, had attended a lecture of the Peripatetic, Phormio, on the art of war, and was asked what was his opinion of that philosopher, he replied, that he had seen many doting old men, but had never met with one who prated so idly as Phormio.”
Let this be a lesson to that learned gentleman, and all those who may be disposed to attack the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church. They form a system of deep and serious investigation, in which are well versed great numbers, originally of very plain education, but in whose hands Mr. W. would find himself a mere child as to spiritual, and perhaps Biblical knowledge. If men of reputation for learning, do not mean to expose themselves and the dignity of literature to open derision, for meddling with what they do not understand, they will either wholly pretermit, or enter into a serious and manly examination of the subject. Such an examination will convince them that it is a profound and copious study, with charms for the simple, and illumination for the wise. And I am greatly mistaken, if most of those who “ shall sit down (with the writings of this great seer) only to reason, will not on a sudden be compelled to pray.”—For piety, for extensive, accurate, minute, and perfect knowledge of the letter and spirit of the Holy WORD, for deep and sound philosophy, the works of man do not furnish an equal to the writings of Swedenborg.
J. W. C. Page 150, line 16, for “facia” read “facie."
FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH REPOSITORY.
On the untranslated passage in the Apoc. Explic. No. 1173.
My attention has been drawn to the untranslated passage of the Apoc. Explic. (1173) by the perusal of two pieces in the Intellectual Repository, No. 17 and 19.-The first by our excellent friend Mr. Hindmarsh, the other published under the signature R. B. My judgment, however, is not satisfied with the conjectural emendations and translations of either of those gentlemen.
Mr. H. requires, 1. That we should suppose E. S. omitted a whole line in making out the fair copy, which line he conjectures to be as he has stated. - 2. That the word influit should be inserted or understood in two places. 3. That “ influeret," now found in the printed text, should be changed to “influere." 4. That the punctuation should be so changed, as to strike out the comma after “ influeret,” and insert a colon after « ejus.” 5. That " et” should be stricken out before « hoc.” That E. S. made all these mistakes, can hardly be admitted. This is much more than supposing a whole line to have been omitted in the copy. But what do we obtain by these emendations, as to the meaning of the passage, as to the real information intended to be conveyed by the author ? According to Mr. H. the passage would read, “ Man knows nothing at all of what flows-in into the interiors of his mind, nor of what flows-in into the interiors of his will; but he ought to know (or it is expedient for him to know) what flowsin into the exteriors of his mind, and what flows-in into the thought of his understanding: to flow-in immediately into the exteriors of the mind, and into the thought of the understanding, is not given, for this would be to produce something without a root, and to form something without a soul.” The controverted passage then comes to this, “ that man ought to know what flows into the exteriors of his mind, and what flows into the thought of his understanding." That is, “ he should know his external thoughts and desires." Surely E. 8. never meant to state such a truism as this. Besides, this is not a translation of Mr. H.'s corrected text, for that is “de eo quod," in English “concerning that, which," and in connection it would read, “but he ought to know concerning that which flows-in into the exteriors of his mind, and that which flows-in into the thought of his understanding.” The question then very naturally occurs, what should he know concerning these ? But this we are not told.
R. B. proposes to erase “t," at the end of « influeret,” and expunge the succeeding “et.” But this emendation has marred the whole sentence. For E. S. has no reference to the man of the New Church in particular, but to the common nature and constitution of man.
Upon a careful view of the passage, and the different conjectural translations, it appears to me that the first conjecture stated in the prefatory note to the sixth volume of the English Apoc. Explic. is much nearer to the meaning of the author, than either of the other two. It is a rule, not to be departed from in construction, never to insert or strike out any thing, in a controverted passage, if it be possible to obtain an intelligible and consistent meaning without so doing. It is a violent expedient, and not to be resorted to but in the greatest necessity. In this case, I think the author may be closely translated, and plainly understood, without inserting or striking out a word or letter.
The principal difficulty arises from the word " sciturus.” The editors of the translation state the suggestion of a learned friend, that we should derive it from “scisco," and not from 6 scio.” Mr. H. says neither "scisco," nor any of its inflections is to be found in the author's theological works. There being no index verborum to the writings, it is difficult to say how this is. But it will be found, on a careful investigation, that 6 scio” is used in a variety of senses, and indeed that it has a meaning exclusively ascribed to " scisco."-It is so stated in the third class of acceptations of the word “scio," in Morrell's Ainsworth, and in Littleton from Livy. In the Thesaurus of Basil. Fabr. Soranus by Gessner, Leipsic, 1726, it is rendered in one of its acceptations by cognosco, intelligo, in another by tenere audita, and the German word mercken, which signifies to observe, perceive, take notice of, be sensible of. In the Gradus ad Parnass. we have as parallel words to "scio," in some of its uses, cognosco, teneo, intelligo. In a Thesaurus Ciceronianus, by Marcellus Squarcialupus, we have, among other explanations of “scio," as used by Cicero, habeo, teneo, cognosco, mihi conscius sum, mihi certus sum de aliqua re. Plautus says, “ quæ quasi per nebulam scimus." “ Which we see or perceive as through a cloud." These would sufficiently authorize, (and especially where the passage requires, or consistently with good sense admits,) the meaning which the learned friend mentioned in the prefatory note has suggested. And we may take any one of the following words, viz. 6 conclude, determine, judge, pronounce, think, perceive," as a legitimate construction of " scio," in the controverted passage. Indeed we ought so to render“ sciturus," in a prior passage of the Apoc. Explic. No 1138, although Mr. H. has referred to this passage as authority for a different signification. The passage (No. 1138) would then read thus, “ As to what concerns the first law, which is, that man from sense and perception should not otherwise (aliter) conclude (sciturus sit) than that life is in him.”It is remarkable that we sometimes use the word “know," in English, in a sense analogous. For when we say man can from his senses “ know no other,” we mean, he can come to no other
conclusion. By “ know," in this case, we do not mean ".certa scientia,” for that can have place in matters of absolute verity only. In this sense a man can never know that which is false; though from appearance he may conclude a thing to be as it in reality is not. . I would therefore prefer this rendering of No. 1138 as more exact than the one given in the printed translation. This construction is strengthened by the word "aliter;" which in strictness should be rendered “ otherwise,” not" no other," as it is given in the printed translation, on account of its being a mode of speech better consorting with the word “know,” which the translator adopted in the rendering of sciturus,"—being thus driven to an incorrect translation of " aliter,” whereas if he had taken the word “conclude or perceive” he would have rendered “ aliter" more exactly.
With respect to derivative verbs in sco, it may be questioned whether they have a preterite, or any of the tenses derived from the preterite. They are not as commonly called “ inceptives,” they are sometimes called “ inchoatives,” but they in fact signify an increasing action, or continued effect. Creo, signifies to create, cresco to grow, that is a continued or increasing creation. Mons tumet, non tumescit, fluctus tumet ac tumescit. (Dum fluunt per verbum in Sco explicantur, says Scaliger, de causis linguæ Latinæ.) In the following passages, the meaning is perfectly plain, although it would furnish grammarians, inclined to dispute, with a fruitful subject of controversy, to settle whether á scivi and scitum” are from scio or scisco. But would it be
any other than an idle dispute -For scivi and scitum, and why not sciturus, have the meaning of " to know or decide or conclude," according to the context-and this whether we read E. Swedenborg or Ausonius.
Felicem Scivi non qui, quod vellet, haberet :
Sed qui per fatum non data non cuperet.-Auson. (I pronounced, judged, concluded to be happy, not him who might have whatever he desired, but him who should not crave what was not given by Providence.)
Antiquis opinionibus scitum est. (It is settled or determined by ancient opinions.)
Perhaps the termination in sco should not be considered as characterizing a different verb, but as another mode of the same primitive root, resembling the form of the Hebrew verb called