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creation. When he mounts into the heaven, I do not hear its language. A man should not tell me that he has walked among the angels; his proof is, that his eloquence makes me one.

Shall the archangels be less majestic and sweet than the figures that have actually walked the earth? Those angels that Swedenborg paints give us no very high idea of their discipline and culture : they are all country parsons: their heaven is a fête champêtre, an evangelic picnic, or French distribution of prizes to virtuous peasants. Strange, scholastic, didactic, passionless, bloodless man, who denotes classes of souls as a botanist disposes of a carex, and visits doleful hells as a stratum of chalk or hornblende! He has no sympathy. He goes up and down the world of men, a modern Rhadamanthus in gold-headed cane and peruke ; and with nonchalance, and the air of a referee, distributes souls. The warm, many-weathered, passionate-peopled world is to bim a grammar of hieroglyphs, or an emblematic freemasons' procession. How different is Jacob Behmen! He is tremulous with emotion, and listens awe-struck, with the gentlest humanity, to the Teacher whose lessons he conveys; and when he asserts that, “ in some sort, love is greater than God,” his heart beats so high that the thumping against his leathern coat is audible across the centuries. 'Tis a great difference. Behmen is healthily and beautifully wise, notwithstanding the mystical narrowness and incommunicableness. Swedenborg is disagreeably wise, and with all his accumulated gifts, paralyzes and repels.

It is the best sign of a great nature, that it opens a foreground, and, like the breath of morning landscapes, invites us onward. Swedenborg is retrospective, nor can we divest him of his mattock and shroud. Some minds are for ever restrained from descending into nature; others are for ever prevented from ascending out of it. With a force of many men, he could never break the umbilical cord which held him to nature, and he did not rise to the platform of pure genius.

It is remarkable that this man, who, by his perception of symbols, saw the poetic construction of things, and the primary relation of mind to matter, remained entirely devoid of the whole apparatus of poetic expression, which that perception creates. He knew the grammar and rudiments of the Mother Tongue,How could he not read off one strain into music ? Was he like Saadi, who, in his vision, designed to fill his lap with the celestial flowers, as presents for his friends; but the fragrance of the roses

so intoxicated him, that the skirt dropped from his hands? or, is reporting a breach of the manners of that heavenly society? or, was it that he saw the vision intellectually, and hence that chiding of the intellectual that pervades his books ? Be it as it may, his books have no melody, no emotion, no humour, no relief to the dead prosaic level. In his profuse and accurate imagery is no pleasure, for there is no beauty. We wander forlorn in a lacklustre landscape. No bird ever sang in all these gardens of the dead. The entire want of poetry in so transcendant a mind betokens the disease, and, like a hoarse voice in a beautiful person, is a kind of warning. I think, sometimes, he will not be read longer. His great name will turn a sentence. His books have become a monument. His laurel, so largely mixed with cypress, a charnel-breath so mingles with the temple incense, that boys and maids will shun the spot.

Yet, in this immolation of genius and fame at the shrine of conscience, is a merit sublime beyond praise. He lived to purpose : he gave a verdict. He elected goodness as the clue to which the soul must cling in all this labyrinth of nature. Many opinions conflict as to the true centre. In the shipwreck, some cling to running rigging, some to cask and barrel, some to spars, some to mast; the pilot chooses with science, I plant myself here ; all will sink before this; "he comes to land who sails with me.” Do not rely on heavenly favour, or on compassion to folly, or on prudence, or on common sense, the old usage and main chance of men : nothing can keep you,-not fate, nor health, nor admirable intellect; none can keep you, but rectitude only, rectitude for ever and ever !-and, with a tenacity that never swerved in all his studies, inventions, dreams, he adheres to this brave choice. I think of him as of some transmigrating votary of Indian Legend, who says, “Though I be dog, or jackal, or pismire, in the last rudiments of nature, under what integument or ferocity, I cleave to right, as the sure ladder that leads up to man and to God."

Swedenborg has rendered a double service to mankind, which is now only beginning to be known. By the science of experiment and use, he made his first steps : he observed and published the laws of nature; and, ascending by just degrees, from events to their summits and causes, he was fired with piety at the harmonies he felt, and abandoned himself to his joy and worship. This was his first service. If the glory was too bright fer his eyes to bear, if he staggered under the trance of delight, the more excellent is the spectacle he saw, the realities of being which beam and blaze through him, and which no infirmities of the prophet are suffered to obscure; and thus he renders a second passive service to men, not less than the first,-perhaps, in the great circle of being, and in the retributions of spiritual nature, not less glorious or less beautiful to himself.

MONTAIGNE; OR, THE SCEPTIC.

reverse.

EVERY fact is related on one side to sensation, and, on the other, to morals, The game of thought is, on the appearance of one of these two sides, to find the other: given the upper, to find the under side. Nothing so thin, but has these two faces; and, when the observer has seen the obverse, he turns it over to see the

Life is a pitching of this penny,-heads or tails. We never tire of this game, because there is still a slight shudder of astonishment at the exhibition of the other face, at the contrast of the two faces. A man is flushed with success, and bethinks himself what this good luck signifies. He drives his bargain in the street; but it occurs that he also is bought and sold. He sees the beauty of a human face, and searches the cause of that beauty, which must be more beautiful. He builds his fortunes, maintains the laws, cherishes his children; but he asks himself, why? and whereto? This head and this tail are called, in the language of philosophy, Infinite and Finite ; Relative and Absolute: Apparent and Real; and many fine names beside.

Each man is born with a predisposition to one or the other of these sides of nature; and it will easily happen that men will be found devoted to one or the other. One class has the perception of difference, and is conversant with facts and surfaces; cities and persons ; and the bringing certain things to pass ;-—the men of talent and action. Another class have the perception of identity, and are men of faith and philosophy, men of genius.

Each of these riders drives too fast. Plotinus believes only in philosophers ; Fenelon, in saints; Pindar and Byron, in poets. Read the haughty language in which Plato and the Platonists speak of all men who are not devoted to their own shining abstractions: other men are rats and mice. The literary class is usually proud and exclusive. The correspondence of Pope and Swift describes mankind around them as monsters; and that of Goethe and Schiller, in our own time, is scarcely more kind.

It is easy to see how this arrogance comes. The genius is a genius by the first look he casts on any object. Is his eye creative ? Does he not rest in angles and colours, but beholds the design,-he will presently undervalue the actual object. In powerful moments his thought has dissolved the works of art and nature into their causes, so that the works appear heavy and faulty. He has a conception of beauty which the sculptor cannot embody. Picture, statue, temple, railroad, steam-engine, existed first in the artist's mind, without flaw, mistake, or friction, which impair the executed models. So did the church, the state, college, court, social circle, and all the institutions. It is not strange that these men, remembering what they have seen and hoped of ideas, should affirm disdainfully the superiority of ideas. Having at some time seen that the happy soul will carry all the arts in power, they say, Why cumber ourselves with superfluous realizations ? and, like dreaming beggars, they assume to speak and act as if these values were already substantiated.

On the other part, the men of toil and trade and luxury,—the animal world, including the animal in the philosopher and poet also, -and the practical world, including the painful drudgeries which are never excused to philosopher or poet any more than to the rest-weigh heavily on the other side. The trade in our streets believes in no metaphysical causes, thinks nothing of the force which necessitated traders and a trading planet to exist : no, but sticks to cotton, sugar, wool, and salt. The ward meetings, on election days, are not softened by any misgivings of the value of these ballotings. Hot life is streaming in a single direction. To the men of this world, to the animal strength and spirits, to the men of practical power, whilst immersed in it, the man of ideas appears out of his reason. They alone have reason.

Things always bring their own philosophy with them, that is, prudence. No man acquires property without acquiring it with a little arithmetic also. In England, the richest country that ever existed, property stands for more, compared with personal ability, than any other. After dinner a man believes less, denies more: verities have lost some charm. After-dinner arithmetic is the only science : ideas are disturbing, incendiary follies of young men repudiated by the solid portion of society: and a man comes to be valued by his athletic and animal qualities. Spence relates that Mr. Pope was with Sir Godfrey Kneller one day when his nephew, a Guinea trader, came in. Nephew,” said Sir Godfrey, “you have the honour of seeing the two greatest men in the world.” “ I don't know how great men you may be," said the Guinea man, “ but I don't like

your

looks. I have often bought a man much better than both of you, all muscles and bones, for ten guineas.” Thus, the men of senses revenge themselves on the professors, and repay scorn for scorn. The first had leaped to conclusions not yet ripe, and say more than is true ; the others make themselves merry with the philosopher, and weigh man by the pound.—They believe that mustard bites the tongue, that pepper is hot, frictionmatches are incendiary, revolvers to be avoided, and suspenders hold up pantaloons; that there is much sentiment in a chest of tea ; and a man will be eloquent, if you give him good wine. Are you tender and scrupulous, you must eat more mince-pie. They hold that Luther had milk in him when he said,

Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib, und Gesang,
Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang;

and when he advised a young scholar, perplexed with fore-ordination and free-will, to get well drunk. “The nerves," says Cabanis,

they are the man.” My neighbour, a jolly farmer, in the tavern bar-room, thinks that the use of money is sure and speedy spending. “For his part,” he says, “ he puts his down his neck, and gets the good of it."

The inconvenience of this way of thinking is, that it runs into indifferentism, and then into disgust. Life is eating us up. We shall be fables presently. Keep cool: it will be all one a hundred years hence. Life's well enough; but we shall be glad to get out of it, and they will all be glad to have us. Why should we fret and drudge ? Our meat will taste to-morrow as it did yesterday, and we may at last have had enough of it. “Ah," said my languid gentleman at Oxford, “ there's nothing new or true—and no matter."

With a little more bitterness, the cynic moans : our life is like an ass led to market by a bundle of hay being carried before him: he sees nothing but the bundle of hay. “ There is so much trouble in coming into the world,” said Lord Bolingbroke," and so much more, as well as meanness, in going out of it, that 'tis hardly worth while to be here at all.” I knew a philosopher of this kidney,

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