Internet Sacred Text Archive

Emanuel Swedenborg Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish philosopher and scientist who, at 56, had a spiritual awakening and wrote numerous books on his theological views and related topics. He advocated a version of Christianity where works count as much as faith, with the trinity existing in Jesus, instead of three separate entities. Swedenborg derived inspiration from dreams and visions, and claimed to be able to visit heaven and hell at will. His works were widely read after his death and highly regarded by poets, writers and mystics such as Blake, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Balzac, Yeats, Jung, and William James.

The following electronic texts have been converted automatically for sacred-texts by a volunteer. Swedenborg’s writings are indexed by paragraph number. Each of the texts have been arbitrarily separated into 50-paragraph files.

Spiritual Diary
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1747-65] tr. by George Bush, John H. Smithson and James F. Buss [1883-9]

Arcana Coelestia
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56] tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10]

Apocalypse Explained
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1757-9] tr. by John Whitehead [1911]

Last Judgment Posthumous
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1757-9] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Last Judgment
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

Last Judgment Continued
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

Heaven and Hell
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John C. Ager [1900]

White Horse
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

Earths in the Universe
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

Athanasian Creed
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1759] tr. by Samuel H. Worcester [1885]

De Domino
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1760] tr. by Samuel H. Worcester [1885]

Prophets and Psalms
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1761] tr. by J.E. Schreck [1900]

De Verbo
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1762] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Divine Love
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1762-3] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Divine Wisdom
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1762-3] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Divine Love and Wisdom
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763] tr. by John C. Ager [1890]

Doctrine of Faith
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763] tr. by John F. Potts [1904]

Doctrine of Life
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763] tr. by John F. Potts [1904]

Doctrine of Sacred Scriptures
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763] tr. by John F. Potts [1904]

Doctrine of the Lord
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763] tr. by John F. Potts [1904]

Divine Providence
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1764] tr. by William Frederic Wunsch [1851]

Apocalypse Revealed
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1766] tr. by John Whitehead [1912]

by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1766] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

De Conjugio
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1766] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Conjugial Love
by Emanuel Swedenborg [1768]

God the Savior
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1768] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1769] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Brief Exposition
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1769] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

Interaction of the Soul and Body
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1769] tr. by John Whitehead [1892]

True Christian Religion
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771] tr. by John Whitehead [1906]

by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

Invitation to the New Church
by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771] tr. by John Whitehead [1914]

The Gist of Swedenborg
by Julian K. Smyth and William F. Wunsch [1920]
A little anthology of Swedenborg’s writings

Collage of sacred texts, (c) 1999, J.B. Hare, All Rights Reserved
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Open Source for the Human Soul

The Science Of Correspondence


Good | Love
Love of God
Energy / Freedom
6-D Unified Field
Good Intentions

Innocence | Peace
Truth | Wisdom
Love of Neighbor
Law / Force / Propensities
5-D Harmonic States
Eternal Truths / Rational Ideals
Form / Structure

Faith | Charity
Love of Uses
Time / Cycles / Waves
4-D Spirit
Useful Actions / Meaningful Events

Free Choice
Lower Earth / The Pit
Space / Mass
Love of Abuses
Useless Actions / Events
Love of the World
Fantasies / Vanities
Love of Self
Hatred / Greed / Lust

…all things of nature, and likewise of the human body, and also every single particular in them,
correspond to spiritual things. Hitherto, however, it has not been known
what correspondence is, although in the most ancient times this was very well known;
for the science of correspondences was then the science of sciences…
— Emanuel Swedenborg  DSS 20.

…he who grasps the idea of correspondence in its amazing sweep, and sees its infinite bearings,
will find not only in the Bible a new revelation, but the whole outward world will be changed.
Nature will become a sublime poem. Mountains and valleys, trees and forests, rivers and lakes,
and all living and moving things, will be words and letters full of heav­enly import, he will live
and move in a new earth, and beneath new heavens. Every object he beholds will re­mind him
of something spiritual. Earth will wear new charms, for all its forms of beauty are but the
counterpart of things that exist beneath the sun of a higher sky. — W. F. Evans

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth : . . .
and he will show you things to come. — JOHN xvi. 12, 13.

… The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say,
Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
— Luke 17:20,21

… But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHVH:
I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people: and they shall teach no more everyone their neighbor,
and every man his brother, saying, Know YHVH;
for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says YHVH:
for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
— Jeremiah 31

I have been instructed that the men of the Most Ancient Church (The Golden Age)
were of a genius so heavenly that they spoke with angels of heaven,
and that they were able to speak with them by means of correspondences.
From this the state of their wisdom was rendered such that whatever they saw in this world
they thought about not only in a natural way, but spiritually also at the same time,
so that they thought unitedly with angels.  — Emanuel Swedenborg DSS 21.

The church in specific is where the Word is and where the Lord is known because of it,
so it is where divine truths from it have been revealed from heaven.
The Lord’s Church exists throughout the whole world with all people who live in good according to their religions.
All people who live in good according to their religions and acknowledge
something divine are accepted by the Lord, wherever they are. — Emanuel Swedenborg HH 308

…truths with man are what pray, and man is continually in such prayers when he lives according to truths.
— Emanuel Swedenborg AE 493

…good is the essence of truth, and truth is the form of good, and without form there can be no quality.
— Emanuel Swedenborg TCR 753.

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
— Psalms 12.6.


Copyright © 2007-2014 A. J. Coriat All rights reserved.

Life ‘Variously Received’ According to the Form of the Receiving Vessel

Lastchurch - The Eternal PurposeFrom Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

The influx from the spiritual world into man is in general of such a nature that man cannot think or will anything of himself, but everything flows in; good and truth from the Lord through heaven, thus through the angels who are with the man; evil and falsity from hell, thus through the evil spirits who are with the man; and this into the man’s thought and will. This I know will appear a very great paradox because it is contrary to the appearance; but experience itself shall declare how the matter stands.

No man, spirit, or angel ever has any life from himself, thus neither can he think and will from himself; because in thinking and willing is the life of man, and speaking and acting is the life thence derived. For there is one only life, that of the Lord, which flows into all, but is variously received, and indeed according to the quality which a man has induced on his soul by his life. Hence with the evil, goods and truths are turned into evils and falsities, but with the good they are received – goods as goods, and truths as truths. This may be compared to the light of the sun flowing into objects, which is modified and varied in them diversely according to the form of the parts, and thus is turned into colors, some sad and some cheerful. While a man lives in the world he induces a form on the purest substances of his interiors, so that it may be said that he forms his soul, that is, its quality; and according to this form is received the life of the Lord, which is the life of His love toward the universal human race.

(Arcana Coelestia 5846,5847)
March 19, 2017

Do We Underestimate God’s Intelligence?

We often describe our lives as having peaks and valleys. No one misinterprets these words as meaning geological formations. Metaphor, that is, using physical objects to represent psychological qualities is a common part of our language. It is an example of the human cognitive function of thinking in abstract terms.

Why is it that we do not ascribe this ability of abstract thought to God, who reputedly possesses Infinite Wisdom?

For instance, in Genesis 11:2, we are given a scenario in which a population of people journeyed from the east and settled into a valley in the land of Shinar. It is in this valley that the people begin the construction of a tower that would reach up into heaven itself.

This biblical story is taken as historical truth by most theologians, clergy and the laity.

But a funny thing happens when we look at this story as a metaphor. It becomes much more theological, more doctrinal, and provides a much more potent lesson that is relevant to our lives.

So let’s put on our thinking caps and move beyond our habitual minds. Let’s look at Scripture with an eye to seek out not simply historical truth but deeper, psycho-spiritual truths.

In ancient times people would turn to the east to worship God. Since the sun rose in the east, this gesture symbolized orienting oneself to God’s enlightening truth. Therefore, when we read Genesis 11:2, journeying from the “east” means people putting distance between themselves and God. In fact, it symbolizes turning one’s back on God.

Settling in a “valley” represents that they had settled into a lower form of worship with a diminished and inferior understanding of religion. In other words, the worship of God hit a new low, and had sunken to a new level.

It is from this low and inferior level of faith that they decided to build an edifice that could reach heaven. Such an edifice was founded on a worship built on incorrect and false principles. This false worship is further underscored by their choosing to build the tower with bricks. Since bricks are man-made, they signify worship made artificial, that is, a fabricated worship.

Like bricks fired and baked hard in a kiln, all false principles are forged from the “fire” of self-love and self guidance – further evidence of a people putting psychological distance between themselves and God.

Bitumen was used for the mortar. Bitumen is a sulfurous or inflammable substance. It denotes the passion of self-love that can burn in people’s hearts. Self-love is in opposition to loving God and the neighbor. Only true spiritual love keeps things connected and glued. Therefore, the mortar (bitumen), which represented the quality of their selfish love, could not hold their edifice of perverted doctrine and worship together. As a result, they became a confounded people and were at variance with each other.

If you do not think that God would stack levels of deeper meaning within the words of Holy Scripture then you are most certainly underestimating the true nature of Infinite Wisdom.


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A personal God for thinking about

Spiritual Questions & Answers

Discovering inner health and transformation

Personal GodMany people believe there is a higher spiritual energy they call God that transcends the mundane material world. This for them is not a personal God but rather a higher power that ensures there is order in nature the laws of which can be discovered by science.

Idea of a personal God

Another view is that God is the origin for all that is humanly good in the universe — the  higher principles of ethical living, human virtue, creative inspiration, depth of the human soul and its capacity for wisdom and compassion and so on.

Those who favour a personal God suggest that any idea of God as as an infinite force or abstract law behind the facts of science, that is anything other than a Divine person, actually makes God something less than we ourselves.

It is argued that without our sense of God’s human dimension there would be no point to looking for the benefit of communication through prayer and no chance of sensing God’s personal presence.

But if God is to be thought of as a personal God ie divinely human, is God merely an image of us or are we an image of God?

Literal or symbolic understanding of God

David Wulff has pointed out that many religious people interpret images and rituals in a symbolic way. Many others, however, interpret such things in a literal manner. Most Evangelical Christians will say that the whole Bible should be taken as factually true, but even they will accept that ‘the mountains skipped like rams’ (Psalm 114:4) is not a factual description of a major earthquake; it’s a poetic metaphor.

But where do you draw the line? How much is factual? Did Jesus do miracles? Was his a virgin birth? And so we find different attitudes towards the Christ of history: either a view that the truth about the Divine needs to be metaphorically or figuratively expressed (if it is to be communicated at all) or an acceptance that Christ was literally ‘the Son of God’. Do we have to have to believe in the Chirst of history as divine in order to be able to relate to a personal God?

The interpretation of Christ by Carl Gustav Jung as a central archetype is an example of the symbolic orientation. This is because Christ’s quality is said to be intimately related and continuous with the figure of the Father. This is probably an easier position to accept because Jung was not talking about any God but rather our image of God: he was writing as a psychologist and not a theologian.

There are many mainstream Christians who although not requiring that all the events and sayings in the Bible are literally true, nevertheless,

“… just want so much to be told that at least this one really happened, that at least this one saying was really uttered by Jesus. They do not want to hear that stories are legends or that they emerged from the consciousness of the primitive church.” (James Barr)

Personal God of church dogma

Apparently a lot of Christians are still prepared to go along with church dogma about Jesus as part of a Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Others are searching for a more rational understanding. For example in their rejection of what they see as an illogical doctrine of the Trinity, Unitarians deny that Jesus is their personal God.

A different so-called Christian heresy, Monarchianism, which began before AD 200, also rejected the Trinity, holding that there is only one God, not three divine persons of the Godhead. It saw Trinitarian belief as polytheism. Instead it claimed that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all one being, simply performing three different roles, like an actor playing several parts and thus implied that the Father suffered on the cross.

Swedenborg’s idea of a personal God

Something similar to this view of a personal God is found in Swedenborg’s books. Here we find a new concept that of Divine Humanity, a central feature of God, which became fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

According to this view, in Jesus, God took on a human nature, which could bring the Divine into more direct contact with every individual member of his human family. Jesus was to grow up as a normal human being. He could grow weary, become angry and weep. But because his paternal heredity was divine, he never gave in to temptation but grew in love and wisdom. The tendencies towards being self-centered, that he had along with us, were gradually removed, until he fulfilled his divine potential.

And so the position is that before the days of Jesus there was no direct link or bridge between the infinite and the finite, between the perfect and the imperfect. But after his life he was fully human and fully divine and a more direct link was established so that people could approach the Lord Jesus in prayer as the one person of God in whom there is a heart of compassion (symbolised by Father), a head of wisdom (symbolised by Son) and hands of power (symbolised by Holy Spirit).

“Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair ” (Blaise Pascal)

Copyright 2011 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

Posted on24th November 2012CategoriesMeaning of life, ReligionTags,, , , , , ,, , , , , ,, , , , , ,  Leave a comment