P. 1
B F Barrett HEAVEN REVEALED Philadelphia 1885

B F Barrett HEAVEN REVEALED Philadelphia 1885

|Views: 8|Likes:
Published by francis batt
subtitle : A popular presentation of Swedenborg's Disclosures about Heaven. ... scanning source : archive.org + optimization
subtitle : A popular presentation of Swedenborg's Disclosures about Heaven. ... scanning source : archive.org + optimization

More info:

Published by: francis batt on Jun 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

01/04/2014

pdf

text

original

WHOEVER thinks of existence in heaven as a
reality, can

hardly help asking, Do people grow

old there as

they do here on earth ? And is their

age

written on their faces, as it is on the faces of men ? And

do those who leave this world far advanced in

years, and

who enter the

society of the

blessed, forever retain the

withered form and furrowed cheeks which

they had at

the time

they left this world ? There is

really but one

question involved in these

interrogatories, and that is

one concerning the

age or

apparent age of the denizens

of heaven. Do they appear young or old ? What is

Swedenborg's answer to this

question ?

Before

adducing his

testimony, we will consider how

the

question ought to be answered. What is the verdict

of reason on the

subject, and what the inevitable con-

clusion to be drawn from the

teaching of the last

chap-

ter ?

If what has been said

concerning the

beauty of the

angels is to be

accepted as

true, it follows that

they do

not

grow old

; or, at

least, that

age does not

plow such
furrows in their faces as it does in the faces of men. For

we all

recognize something comparatively unbeautiful in

19*

222

HEAVEN REVEALED.

the wasted cheek, the lustreless

eye, and the furrowed

brow of old

age. The faces and forms of men and

women at

ninety however

pure and innocent the lives

they have led would

rarely be

thought beautiful.

They

seldom never, indeed at that

age realize our

highest

conception of the human form. What, then, might we

expect would be the

appearance of those who have been

in heaven thousands of

years, if Time laid his

palsying

hand on the bodies of

angels as it does on those ofmen ?

Why, they would be divested of

every vestige of human

comeliness. Their features and forms would

hardly be

recognized as

human, so shriveled and wasted would

they be. And if those who die at an advanced

age and

go to

heaven, are forever to bear about them the same

decrepid form and furrowed cheeks which marked their

declining years on earth, then would it, indeed, be a

calamity to live "

to a

good old

age

"

on earth. Unless

the

aged saint is to lose in heaven his wrinkles and his

decrepitude, and return to the

vigor and freshness of his

earlier

years, who would wish to remain on earth

beyond

the

age of

twenty ?
What has been

said, therefore, of the

beauty of the

angels, if

true, is conclusive evidence that

they do not

apparently grow old in heaven

; and that the

good who

die at an advanced

age, must there

rejuvenate must

return

to^the beauty and

buoyancy of their

"golden

prime."

Besides, in this world all the usual

signs of old

age,

are so

many signs of a

decaying process signs that

corporeal dissolution has

already commenced ; for what

is

decay but a

gradual dying? But there is no death in

REJUVENESCENCE IN HEAVEN.

22$

heaven, consequently no

decay. Therefore there can be

no deterioration there of

any of the

powers of

body or

of mind ;

no

blunting of the

senses, no

wasting of the

form, none of the visible

signs which in this world

pro-

claim the

coming on of

decrepid old

age.

Moreover, time cannot

properly be

predicated of that

which is

spiritual ; consequently it cannot be

predicated

of the

spiritual world, or of

spiritual beings. We can-

not

say, nor even think, that God is old

; nor that He

is older now than

He^ was ten thousand

years ago, or

younger than He will be ten thousand

years hence. We

cannot

predicate age of love or wisdom or

any of the

Divine attributes. Nor can

age be

predicated ofabsolute

Life. And God is the

only absolute Life, and the infi-

nite Fountain of life to

angels and men. And Life itself

is forever

young and

vigorous, forever fresh and new.

And since the

angels are

continually becoming more and

more

perfect continually being conjoined more

closely

with the Lord

continually receiving fresh increments

of life from the One

only Fountain of

life, therefore

they

must be

always advancing towards a state of ever-in-

creasing vigor, bloom and

beauty.

Such is the undeniable

testimony of reason on this

subject. Such is the conclusion

logically deduced from

known and admitted truths, and from

premises already

established. And this is

precisely what

Swedenborg has

reported from

personal observation, after

long and

open

intercourse with the heaven of

angels. Let the follow-

ing suffice for illustration :

"

Such as are

principled in mutual love, are

continually

advancing in heaven to the

spring-time of their

youth ;

224

HEAVEN REVEALED.

and the more thousands of

years they pass, they attain

to a more

joyous and

delightful spring ; and so continue

on to

eternity, with fresh increments of blessedness ac-

cording to their

respective proficiencies and

gradations
of mutual love, charity and faith. Those of the female

sex who had

departed this life broken with the infirmities

of old

age, having lived in faith towards the

Lord, in

charity towards their

neighbor, and in

conjugial love

with their husbands, after a succession of

ages appear to

advance towards the bloom of

youth, with a

beauty sur-

passing all

description ; for

goodness and

charity form

their own image in such

persons,.and express their de-

lights and beauties in

every feature of their

faces, inso-

much that

they become real forms of

charity. Certain

spirits that beheld them were astonished at the

sight.

Such is the form of

charity, which in heaven is

repre-

sented to the life

; for it is

charity that

portrays it, and

is

portrayed in

it, and that in a manner so

expressive,

that the whole

angel, more

particularly as to the

face,

appears as

charity itself in a

personal form of

exquisite

beauty affecting the soul of the

spectator with

something

of the same

grace ; by the

beauty of that form, the truths

of faith are exhibited in an

image, and are also

thereby

rendered

perceptible. Those who have lived in faith

toward the Lord, that

is, in a faith

grounded in

charity,

become such forms or such beauties in another life. All

the

angels are such forms with an infinite

variety ; and

of these heaven is

composed." A. C. n.

553.

Every candid mind must admit that this is

altogether

reasonable. And not

only so, but

any different view

would at once

appear unreasonable. And the

rejuve-

nating process in the other

world, though it

may proceed

more

rapidly than the

aging process in

this, proceeds

according to a law no less fixed or

intelligible. The
Divine wisdom and beneficence are alike reflected in both

REJUVENESCENCE IN HEA YEN.

22$

processes, and the reasonableness of the former is as

clearly discernible as that of the latter. The

spiritual

organism being perfectly plastic to the influent

life, as

that life becomes sweeter and richer, and its influx more

copious, the inevitable result must be a

growing per-

fection of the human form, and a

steady increase of hu-

man beauty.

Another

question closely allied to the one we have

just considered, is : Do those who die in

infancy or

childhood continue to

grow in the other world, as

they

would have done had

they remained

longer in this ? Or

do

they continue forever the same in stature as when

they departed this life ? Does

Swedenborg answer this

question ? If

so, how ?

How would

enlightened reason answer it ? we

again

ask, Is it reasonable to

suppose that an infant

dying

before it is able to walk, will remain to all

eternity of

the same infantile

form, and be forever carried in some

sweet mother's arms and dandled on some maternalknee?

Is it

probable nay, is it conceivable that the all-wise

and

loving Father would

permit an immortal soul to be

thus

prematurely arrested in its

growth, and

by an inci-

dent over which that soul had no control, and was there-

fore

powerless to

prevent ? For we cannot conceive of

the

spirit of a little child

developing into the

grand, ca-

pacious, wise and

loving soul of a

full-grown angel, with-

out a

corresponding change or

development of that

spiritual organism which constitutes its

body in the

spir-

itual realm. The idea is

repugnant to all our

conceptions

as well as our

knowledge of the laws of divine order.

As

easily can we conceive of the luscious

qualities of

P

226

HEAVEN REVEALED.

the

full-grown and

ripened peach or

orange existing in

the

germ of that fruit soon as the flower has fallen

; or

of these

qualities becoming fully developed there, with-

out a

corresponding growth and

development ofthe

germ

itself. Far more reasonable is it to believe that the Lord

has made

provision for the

growth of the

spiritual body

after the material has been

sloughed off, that the soul

may not be arrested in its

development by the mere inci-

dent of

bodily death. The body grows on earth to the

full stature of manhood by the

steady accretion of ma-

terial substance

; what should hinder its

growth in heaven

to the full stature of

angelhood by a similar accretion

of

spiritual substance ? The

spiritual body while

yet in

the flesh, grows with the

material, indeed it is the

growth of the

spiritual which causes that of the material

;

what then is to hinder its continued

growth after it leaves

the flesh ? It is not natural but

spiritual substance that

feeds the soul while in the natural

body ; and will it not

have the same food, and the same means of

growth there-

fore, after this

body dies ?

It is clear

enough, then, what the verdict of reason is

on this

subject. Now listen to the

testimony of him

whose

spiritual eyes and ears were

opened, and who was

able, therefore, to

testify

"

from

things seen and heard."

"

Many persons may imagine that infants remain such

in

heaven, and exist as infants

among the

angels. They

who do not know what constitutes an

angel, may have

confirmed themselves in this

opinion from the

images

sometimes seen in churches where

angels are exhibited

as infants. But the case is

altogether otherwise. Intel-

ligence and wisdom constitute an

angel ; and so

long as

infants have not

intelligence and wisdom, they are not

REJUVENESCENCE IN HEAVEN.

22/

angels, although they are with

angels. But when

they

become intelligent and wise, then for the first time

they

become angels. Yea, a

thing that I have wondered at,

they then no

longer appear as

infants, but as adults

;

for

they are then no

longer of an infantile

genius, but

of a more mature

angelic genius.* Intelligence and wis-

dom produce this effect. As infants are

perfected in in-

telligence and wisdom, they appear more mature, thus
as

youths and

young men, because

intelligence and wis-

dom are real

spiritual nourishment. For this reason the

things which nourish their minds nourish their bodies

also, and this from

correspondence ; for the form of

the

body is but the external form of the interiors.

"

It is to be observed that infants in heaven do not ad-

vance in

age beyond the

period of

early manhood ; and

there

they stop forever

\i. e. so far as

apparent progress

in

age is

concerned]. That I

might be assured of this,

it was

granted me to converse with some who were edu-

cated as infants in

heaven, and who had

grown up there;
with some also when they were infants, and afterwards

with the same when they had become

young men ; and

I heard from them the

progress of their life from one

age

to another." H. H. n.

340.

And so we find

that, on this as on other

subjects, Swe-

denborg's revealings

"

from

things heard and seen "

are

in

perfect agreement with the intuitions of the

highest

reason, and with all that is known of the wisdom and

dealings of Providence and of the laws of divine order.

It is

impossible to conceive of

any different view of the

subject, which will so

completely satisfy the demands of

sober reason and an

enlightened understanding.

In view of such sublime

revealings, what a

precious

boon is heaven !

yet a boon which all are made

capable

of

attaining, and which it is the Lord's ceaseless desire

228

HEAVEN REVEALED.

and effort to

help us to attain. There flows forever the

stream ofthe water of

life, and forever increases in

crystal

clearness. There the fountains ofwisdom are ever fresh,

and the flame of love burns with

ever-increasing fervor.

There beauty never fades, but ever

grows more fresh and

fair. There none

grow old, but all

rejuvenate ;

all who

have

passed on earth their manhood's

prime, are forever

advancing towards

younger, yet still

riper life. Old

age

puts off its wrinkles there, and returns to the

vigor and

bloom of

early manhood. There

joys never

decay, and

the warm current of

bounding life

gushes forth with

perennial freshness. And the

simple yet all-sufficient

reason is, that the

angels are forever

becoming more and

more

receptive ofthe Divine Life forever

drawing nearer

and nearer, or

becoming more and more like, Him who

is the one eternal Source of all

wisdom, beauty, life and

joy.

XIX.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->