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War anJ Peace
No. 12 in a series of extracts from the
Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
THE contents of this Brief Reading are
taken from "True Christian Religion,"
(1771), "Arcana Coelestia," (1749-1756),
"Charity," (posth.), "Divine Pro,vidence,"
( 1763), "Heaven and Hell," ( 1758),
"Apocalypse Explained," (posth.). The
initials and numerals a,t the end of each
paragraph indicate the book, and section,
from which the extract is taken. '
The compiler acknowledges indebtedness
to Rev. Eric A. Sutton's Peace and W ~ r
published by the Swedenborg Society,
London, England. ,
The above named works: by Emanuel
Swedenborg, as well as his other theo-
logical writings, are offered in an Intro-
ductory Edition at 5c. per volume ( 600
pages) , postpaid, in t he following titles :
"Heaven and Hell," "Divine Providence,"
"Divine Love and Wisdom, "
Arcana Coelestia, Vol. 1
Additional copies of this Booklet, and
Catalogue may be secured free of
charge from the publishers.
SWEDENBORG FOUNDATION, INC.
51 East Forty-Second St.
New York 17, N. Y.
War anJ P eace
THE MAINTENANCE OF THE
'11T"HE Common Good consists in thes;e
things: That in the society or kingdom,
1. there be what is Divine among them;
2. that there be justice among them';
3. that there be morality among them;
4. that there be industry, knowledge, and
uprightness among them;
5. that there be the necessaries of life;
6. that there be the necessaries; for occupa-
7. that there be the necessaries for pro-
8. that there be a sufficiency of wealth, be-
cause from this are those three necessaries.
Ministries, Functions, Offices, and various
Occupations are the Goods of Use which in-
dividuals perform, from which the General
By ministries are meant priestly offices
and their duties. By functions are meant
various offices which are of a civi1 nature.
By occupations are meant employments such
*These words are italicised by the compiler as the suc-
ceading passages relate to this idea of protection.
as those of artificers, which are numerous.
By offices are meant various pursuits, busi-
nesses, and services. From these foui:;, the
commonwealth or society exists. Those who
are in ministries provide that what is Di-
vine shall be there; the various civil func-
tionaries, that justice shall be there, and also
morality, as well as industry, knowledge, and
uprightness; the various workmen [provide]
that there shall be the necessaries of life; and
merchants, that there shall be the necessaries
for occupations; soldiers, that there shall be
protection; and these last especially, and al-
so farmers, that there shall be a sufficiency
of wealth. Everyone may know that the
general good is according to these goods-
the industries and every kind.
One's own country is the neighbor accord-
ing to its spiritual, moral, and civil good.
In the idea of all, one's own country is as
one, wherefore all the laws, both of justice
and of economy, are framed as for one.
One's country, therefore, is like a man in the
concrete. It is, indeed, called a body, in
which the king is highest. Its good, which
must be consulted, is called the public good
and the common good, and it is said of the
king that [his subjects] are in the body of
his government.-c. 84'
COUNTRY AND NEIGHBOR
Ones country is the neighbor more than a
society because it c.onsists of many societies.
Hence the love towards it is of a more ex-
tensive and higher kind, and to love one's
country is to love the public welfare.
A man's country is the neighbor because
it is like a parent ; for there he was born; it
has nourished and still nourishes' him; it has
protected and still protects him from injury.
Men are bound fr.om love to do good to their
country according to its needs, some· of
which are natural while
others are spiritual ..
Natural needs regard civil life and order;
spiritual needs regard spiritual life and nr-
That every man is bound to love his coun-
try, not as he loves himself, but more than
himself, is a law inscribed on the human
heart. Hence is the universal saying, to
which every upright man subscribes, that if
ruin threatens one's country from an enemy
or any other source, it is noble to die for it
and it is glorious for a solidier to shed his
blood in her defence. This is a common say-
ing, because to such an extent ought one's
country to be loved.-T. 414
We will now say what is meant by lo·ving
the neighbor: It is not only to will and do
good to a relative, a friend, and a good man,
but also to a stranger, an enemy, and a bad
man. Charity, however, is exercised in a
i ~ e r e n t way towards the former from what
it is towards the latter. Towards a relative
and a friend it is shown in the form of direct
benefits, but towards an enemy and a wicked
pers.on, by indirect benefits, as by exhorta-
tion, discipline, and punishment, and thus by
This can be illustrated as follows:
A judge, who, according to law and jus-
tice, punishes an evil-doer, loves the neighbor;
for so he subjects him to discipline and
consults the welfare of the citizens, by se-
curing them against harm from him in the
Everyone knows that a father shows his
love towards his children by correcting them
when they do wrong. If, on the other hand,
he does ncSt correct them, he loves their
faults; and such love cannot be called charity.
So . again, if anyone resists an insolent
enemy and in self-defence either beats him
or delivers him to the judge so as to prevent
injury to himself, yet with a disposition to
befriend the man, in this case he acts from
Wars, which have for their end the de-
fence of one's country and the ohurch, are
not inconsistent with charity. The end for
which they are undertaken will show whether
they are attended with charity or not.- T.
It is to be noted that t hose who love their
country and render it go.od services from
goodwill, after death love the Lord's King-
dom for that is their country there, and those
who love His Kingdom love the Lord, be-
cause t he Lord is the all-in-all of His King-
dom.- T. 414
It is allowable for anyone to defend his
country, and his fellow citizens, against in-
vading enemies, even (under) wicked com-
manders, but it is not allowable to become
an. enemy without ca:use. (Further) a cause
that looks to glory alone is in itself diaboli-
cal, for it is of the love of self.- P. 252
THID REASON GOD PERMIT'S WAR
It is not from the Divine Providenee that
wars exist, because they are united with mur-
ders, depredations, acts of violence, cruelties,
and other enormous evils', which are di-
ametrically opposed to Christian charity.
Still, they cannot but be permitted, because
the life's love of man since the time of the
most ancient people, meant by Adam and
his wife, has become such as to desire to
rule over others, and at length over all, and
to possess the wealth of the world, and at
length all wealth.
These two loves1 cannot be kept bound, be-
cause it is according to the Divine Providence
for everyone to be allowed to act from free-
dom according to reason; and without per-
missions man cannot be led from evil by the
Lord, and thus he cannot be reformed and
saved. Unless evils were permitted to break
out, man would not see them, thus he would
not acknowledge them, and thus he could
not be led to resist them.
Hence it is that evils cannot be repressed
by any Proviednce; or so they would remain
shut in, and like the diseases called cancer
and gangrene, they would spread and con-
sume all that is vital in man.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
It is from this cause that there ai:e lesser
and greater wars; lesser between possessors
of estates and their neighbo,rs, and the greater
between the sovereigns of kingdoms and
their neighbors; lesser or greater makes no
difference, except that a lesser one is kept
within bounds by the laws of the nation, and
a greater by the laws of nations. Moreover,
while the lesser and the greater desire to
transgress their own laws, the lesser cannot
and the greater can, though not beyond the
limits of what is possible.
·There are many causes, stored up in the
treasury of Divine Wisdom, why the greater
wars, united as they are with murders, dep-
redations, violences, and cruelties, are not
repressed by the Lord with the kings and
commanders, neither in the beginning nor in
their progress, but only at the end, when the
power of one or the other has become so
weakened that he is in danger of destruction.
Some of these causes have been revealed
to me, and among them is this:· that all wars,
however much they may belong to civil af-
fairs, represent in heaven the states of the
church, and that they are correspondences.
Such were all the wars described in the Word,
and such also are all wars at this day.
The wars described in the Word are those
which the children of Israel waged wit h · va-
rious nations, as the Amorites, the Am-
monites, the Moabites, the Philistines, the
Syrians, the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and
the Assyrians. When the children of Israel,
who represented the church, departed from
their precepts and statutes, and fell into the
evils whJ,ch were signified by those nations,
for each nation with which the children of
Israel waged war signified some particular
kind of evil, then by that nation they were
RESULT OF PROFANATION
For example, when they profaned the holy
things of the church by foul idolatries, they
were punished by the Assyrians and the
Chaldeans, because by Assyria and Chaldea
is signified the profanation of what is holy.
Similar things are represented by war:;;
of the present day, wherever they are, for
all things which take place in the natural
world correspond to spiritual things in the'
spiritual world, and all spiritual things con-
cern the church. It is not known in this
world what kingdoms in the Christian world
answer to the Moabites and Amm.onites,
what to the Syrians and Philistines, and what
to the Chaldeans and Assyrians, and the
others with whom the children of Israel
waged wars; nevertheless, there are those
which repres.ent them.
(The wars with the Philistines signifies
combats with the evil principle of faith
separated from charity. F. 50-54)
Bµt the quality of the church on earth, and
what are the evils into which it falls, and
for which it is punished by wars, cannot be
· seen at all in the natural world. In this
world, only externals, which do not consti-
tute the church, are manifest. It is seen,
however, in the spiritual world, where in-
ternals, in which the church itself is, appear;
and there all are conjoined according to
their various states.
The conflicts of these states in the -spir-
itual world correspond t\) wars; and accord-
ing to correspondence these a.re governed by
tJ:ie Lord on both sides, in accordance with
His Divine Providence.
THE GOVERNMENT OF PROVIDENCE
The spiritual man acknowledges that wars
in the world are governed by the Divine
Providence of the Lord. The natural man,
however, does not make this acknowledgment,
except that, when a festival is appointed on
account of a victory, he may give thanks on
his knees to God that He has given the vic-
tory; and excepting, also, the few words be-
fore he goes into battle. When, ho,wever, he
returns into himself, he then either ascribes
the victory to the prudence of the General
or to some measure or occurrence in .the
midst of the battle, which they had not
thought of, and by which, nevertheless, the
victory was decided.
The Divine Providence, which is called
fortune, is in the veriest singulars of even
trivial things. If you acknowledge the Di-
vine Providence in those things, you should
certainly acknowledge it in the affairs of war.
Successes, too, and the lucky' deeds of
war, are called by the common expression,
the fortune of war; and this is the Divine
Providence, especially in the counsels and
preparations of the general, even though he
then and afterwards were to ascribe the
whole to his own prudence. He may do this
if he will, for he is in full liberty to think
in favor of the Divine Pro.vidence and
against it, yea, in favor of God and against
Him. But let him know that no part of the
counsels and the preparations is from him-
self. It all inflows, either from heaven or
from hell - from hell by permission, from
heaven by Pr:ovidence.- P. 251
CHARITY UNDER ARMS
When a man sincerely, justly, and faith-
fully does the work that belongs to his of-
fice or emploment, from affection and its
delight, he is continually· in the good of use,
not only towards the community or public
but also towards individuals and private
citizens. But he cannot do• this unless he
looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins·;
for, as shown above, the, first essential of
charity is to look to the Lord and shun evils
as sins, and the second essential of charity
is to do things that are good.-<;. 158
CHARITY IN THE SOLDIER
If he lo,oks to the Lord and shuns evils as
sins, and does his work sincerely, justly, and
faithfully, he, too, becomes a [form of]
charity, for as to this there is no distinction
of persons. For he is averse to unjust dep-
redation. He abominates unjust shedding of
In battle, it is another thing. He is then
not averse to it, for he then does not think
of it, but of the foe as a foe, who desires his
blood. His fury ceases when he hears the
sound of the drum calling him to desist from
the slaughter. He looks upon the captives
after victory as the neighbor acc.ording to
the quality of their good.
Before battle he raises his mind to the
Lord and commends his life into His hand;
and when he has done this, he lets his mind
down from its elevation into the body, and
becomes thought of the Lord, of
which he is then unc.onsciCJ1Us, still remaining
in his mind, above his bravery.
then dies, he dies in the Lord.
he lives in the Lord.-c. 166
And if he
If he lives,
Since then charity, in its origin, consists
in goodwill, and goodwill has its seat in the
internal man, it is clear that :when anyone
who has charity resists an enemy, punishes
the guilty, and chastises the wicked, he does
so by means of the external man, and con-
sequently when he has done it, he returns
into the charity which is in the internal man,
and then, as far as he can or as far as it is
useful, he wishes him [i. e. the enemy, etc.]
well, and from goodwill does good to him. "
But those who have real charity have zeal ·
for what is good, and zeal in the external
man may seem like anger and flaming fire.
Yet, on the repentance of the adversary, it
is instantly extinguished and appeased. It
is otherwise with those who have no charity.
Th_eir zeal is anger and hatred, for their in-
ternal man is heated and set on fire by these
evil passions.- T. 408
LAWS OF ORDER
Order cannot be maintained without gov-
ernors who are to observe all things which
are done according to order and which are
done contrary to order, and who are to re-
ward those who live according to order and
to punish those who Hve contrary to order.
If this is not done, the human race must
perish, for, from what is hereditary, every-
one by birth wishes to command others and
to possess the goods of others, whence come
enmities, envyings, hatreds, revenges, de-
ceits, cruelties, and many other evils. Where-
fore, unless they are kept in bonds by the
laws, and by rewards suited to' their loves,
which are honors and gains for those who do
good deeds, and by punishments contrary to
their loves, which are the losses of honors, of
possessions, and of life for those who do
evil deeds, the human race would perish.-
All order is from Jehovah, that is, the Lord,
according to which all things in general and
iri particular are governed by ·Him, but with
a manifold difference in respect to such gov-
ernment, as being from Will, from Good
Pleasure, from L eave, and from Permission.
The things which are from Will and Go,od
Pleasure are from the laws of order as to
good, and so also are several things which
are from Leave, and some likewise which
are from Permission.
But when man separates himse·lf from
good, he then casts himself into the laws of
order which are of truth separate from good,
and which are such that they damn him; for
all t ruth damns man and cast s him down in-
to hell. But the Lord, out of good, that is,
out of mercy, saves him and raises him up
to heaven. Hence it is evident that it is man
who damns Himself.
EFFECT ·oF PERMISSIONS
Many t hings which come to pass of per-
mission are of this nature; as, for example,
that one devil should punish another, not to
mention numberless other cases. Such things
are from the laws of order as to truth sepa-
rate from good, for otherwise they could
not be held in any bonds (}f restraint, nor with-
held from assaulting all the upright and
good and destroying them to all eternity.
To prevent this, is the good which is held in
view· by the Lord [in the permission of such
The case in this respect is like that of a
mild and merciful king on earth who intends
and does nothing but what. is .good. Unless
he tolerated that his laws should punish the
evir" and wicked, although he punishes no
one, but rather grieves that they should be
such as to make it expedient that their evils
should punish them, his kingdom would be
left a prey fo them, which would show the
greatest want of clemency and mercy.-A.
He is in charity and in mercy who exer-
cises justice and judgment by punishing the
evil and rewarding the good. There is
charity in punishing the evil, for thus one
is moved with zeal to amend him and at .the
same time to protect others from suffering
evil from him; for thus one has regard for,
and wills well to him who is in evil or who
is an enemy, and so one has regard fOT, and
wills well to others and to the commonwealth
itself, and thus, from charity towards the
PEACE - THE GOAL IN VIEW
All peace is from good and truth.-A. 3170
Peace is the state of bles-sedness in the
heavens affecting what is good and true from
the inmosts. Hence the Lord is called, "The
Prince of ·Peace.''--'A. 5044
Peace in the heavens is like the spring in
the world, which delights all things. It is
the Celestial itself in its origin.- A. 5052
When man is in a state of peace, he is then
led by the Lord by means of good. If man
were then to lead himself, even if it were by
means of truth, he would dissipate the state
of peace.-A. 8517
Peace is that from which is all the delight
of good.-H. 285
Peac-e is the inmost of the delight from
the good of innocence.- H. 285
Peace is the Divine of the Lord inmostly
affecting the good in which are they wh.o• are
in His Kingdom·.-A. 3780
Divine peace is in the Lord, and results
from the union of the Divine Itself and the
Divine Human in Him. The Divine of
peace in heaven is from the Lord, and re•
sults from His• conjunction with the angels
of heaven, and, in particular, from the con-
junction of good and truth in every angel.
These are the origins of peace. From
then it may be manifest that peace in the
heavens is the Divine, inmostly affecting
every good there with blessedness; there-
fore it is the source of all the joy of
heaven, and is, in its essence, the Divine Joy
of the Lord's Divine Love resulting from
His conjunction with heaven and with every-
one there. This joy, perceived by the Lord
in the angels, and by the angels from the
Lord, is peace. From this, the angels have
all that is blessed, delightful, and happy, or
what is called heavenly joy.-H. 286
Peace in the highest sense denotes the
Lord, and hence it is that it inmostly affects
good and is the esse of the happiness of those
who are in good. So long as a man is in
truth and not yet in good, he is in an unquiet
state, but when he is in good he is in a tran-
quil state, thus in peace. This is because
the evil spirits cannot assault good, but flee
away at the first perception of it, whereas
they can assault truth. Hence it is that
those who a.re good are also in peace.- ,A.
ORIGIN OF SABBATH
As peace in its first origin is from the un-
ion of the Divine Itself and the Divine Hu-
man in the Lord, and thence from the Lord
in His conjunction with heaven and the
church, and in the conjunction of good and
truth with everyone therein, therefore the
Sabbath, which was the most holy represen-
tative of the church, was so called from rest
or peace. Therefore, also, were commanded
the sacrifices ca)led peace-offerings. So,
too, it is said of Jehovah that from the burnt-
offerings He smelled an odor of rest. By
an odor of rest is signified a perception of
It should be known that the Divine r o v i ~
dence is universal, that is, in the veriest
singular of all things, and that they who are
in the stream of Providence are borne con-
tinually to happiness whatever may be the
appearance of the means. Those a.re in the
stream of Providence who put their trust in
the Divine and attribute all things to Him,
while those are not in the stream of Provi-
dence who trust to themselves alone and at-
tribute all things to themselves. It should
be known, too, that so far as anyone is in
the stream of Providence, so far he is in a
state of peace. Similarly, so far as anyone
is in a state of peace from the good of faith,
so far he is in the Divine Providence.-A.
Whoso·ever lives in good, and believes that
the Lord governs the universe, and that from
Rim alone comes all the good which is of
love and charity, and all the truth which is
of faith: that from Him, indeed, comes life
and that hence from Him we live and move
and have our being, is in such a state that
he can be given heavenly freedom and, there-
with, peace, for in such case he trusts only
in the Lord and counts other things. of no
concern, and is certain. that then all things
tend to his good, blessedness, and happiness
ONLY THE GOOD HAVE PEACE
But whosoe.ver believes that he governs
himself, is continually restless, being borne
along Into lusts, into solicitudes concerning
things to come, and thereby into manifold
They who are in evil have no peace. It
appears, indeed, as if ' they had rest, tran-
quillity and delight, when things succeed ac-
cording to their wishes, but all this is exter-
nal and not internal. Interiorly, they burn
with enmity, hatred, revenge, cruelty, · and
many other evil lusts, .into which also their
minds rush as soon as they see anyone who
does not favor t h e m ~ H 290
In the other life, the exteriors are suc-
cessively unfolded even to the inmost, and
peace is the inmost of every delight; it is
even within what is undelightful with the
man' who is in good.-A. 8455
When spiritual things are appropriated
to the natural man, then those things recede
. which are of the lust of evil and the persua-
sion of falsity, consequently those things
which induce restlessness; and those things
accede which are of the affection of good
and truth, consequently those things which
All restlessness arises from evil and falsity,
and all peace from good and truth.-,A. 3170
Innocence and peace are the two inmost
things of heaven. They are called inmost
because they proceed inmostly from the Lord,
for the Lord is Innocence itself and Peace
From innocence, the Lord is called the
Lamb; and from peace, He said,
"Peace I Zecve with you; My p.eace I give
unto you."-John 14:'21
And this is meant also by the peace with
which men were to salute a city or a house
when they entered it,
"Which, if worthy, pe<roe should come up-
on it, and if unworthy, the peace should re-
turn."- M atthew 10 :11-15
Hence, also, the Lord is called "The Prince
of Peace".-lsaiah 9:6
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF
EMANUEL SWEIDENBORG, the scientist,
philosopher and religious reformer, was born
in Stockholm in 1688. His father was the
Bishop of Skara. Early renowned for his
learning, and for the extraordinary versatility
of his genius Swedenborg not only antici-
pated much which is significant in modern
science and related departments, but his
writings in the fields of philosophy and psy-
chology alone den:ions.trate his right to a
p1ace among the world's great teachers.. As
a culmination to so many years' rich and
practical. experience, which, as a nobleman,
included a voice in his nation's government ,
Swedenborg in his fifty-fifth year turned from
his purely scientific and philosophical pursuits
and thereatter, with the Bible as his only
textbook, wrote on spiritual subjects alone.
He died in London in 1772 and his remains
now lie in Sweden's national cathedral at
"Swedenbor g was in many respects
the most remarkable man of his own
or any age."-- .Schafj-Herzog Ency-
c1opedia of Religious Knowledge,
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