SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS

CONCERNING

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

OR

"SPIRITUAL DIARY"

By

THE RT. REV. ALFRED ACTON

(Reprinted from

NEW CHURCH LIFE,

March, 1953)

SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
CONCERNING

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA OR "SPIRITUAL DIARY"
By
THE RT. REV. ALFRED ACTON

I. The Manuscripts

According to Swedenborg's Index, the Memorabilia were contained in seven different manuscripts as follows:

1. The Word Explained. The beginning of the Memorabilia consisted in the indented passages in The W ord Explained. By far the greater num­ ber of them are included in the Index, though not quite aIl. The first of these passages to be indexed is no. 459 * including the unindented portion. It was written in the early part of December 1745, eight months after Swedenborg had received his commission as Revelator. 1 This, then, is the date of the commencement of the Memorabilia. 2. The Lost Pages. The Index also includes the spiritual experiences written on the end pages of the manuscript volumes, 2, 3 and 4 of The W ord Explained (Codices 60, 61 and 62). It would seem that in the first manuscript volume (Codex 59-nos. 1-1713), Swedenborg entered his spir­ itual experiences only in the indented passages. In the subsequent vol­ umes, however, (Codices 61, 62 and 63 t) he entered them in the blank pages on the end pages of the volumes; but when the experience was ap­ plicable as illustrating the text that was being expounded he referred to it in sorne such words as "See the end of this Tome at the sign," and then he would add sorne sign. 2 Sometimes he would also indicate the nature of the experience, as in nos. 3032, 3592, 4477, 5336. Evidence of the existence of these pages is afforded by a fragment cut off from one of them which was discovered in England many years ago. This fragment is dated February 8, 1747, thus one day prior to the date

* Preceding this, there is one other indented passage, no. 317, but this is not included in Swedenborg's Index. 1 See below, no. III. t The spiritual experiences written on the blank pages of Cod. 63 (Tom. IV) are re­ ferred to in Swedenborg's marginal notes; see The Schmidius Marginalia, p. 18. 2 There are nine such references in The Ward Explained, namely, nos. 1772, 2227, 2531, 3032, 3592, 3994n, 4477, 5336, and 5384.

.-.r .

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILlA

2

when Swedenborg abandoned The Word Explained. 3 It constitutes a part of no. 28 of the Memorabilia, and treats of spirits who are meant by Gad. No. 29, which is not preserved, deals with spirits who are meant by Asher. 4 That this fragment was taken from Tome III (Codex 61) and not from Tome IV containing the comment on Isaiah and ]eremiah, is evident from an entry made by Swedenborg in his copy of Schmidius' Biblia Sacra reading: "Concerning Gad and Asher, see experience, Tome IlL" 5 Being no. 28 of the Memorabilia, this fragment constitutes part of the lost pages containing nos. 1-148. Swedenborg continued writing his experiences on the end pages of Tome IV (Codex 63) until he left Stockholm for Rolland on ]uly 24, 1747. Either before his departure, or subsequently, he removed from Codices 60, 61 and 62 the end pages which contained his spiritual experiences and at­ tached them to the eight leaves or sixteen pages (treated of in the sub­ section that now follows) which contain nos. 149-204 of the Memorabilia. The first of these pages is numbered 64. Presumably, therefore, the pages extracted from Codices 60, 61 and 62 amounted ta sixty-three pages.

3. The End Pages of the Index Biblicus. The sixteen pages above re­ ferred ta were formerly the end pages of a volume of the Index Biblicus,6 the contents of which had been copied into another volume. The first of these pages contains the last entries of the Index Biblicus, Zea, Zelus, Zona-which are crossed off-the other fifteen pages being blank. On these fifteen pages, Swedenborg wrote the paragraphs subsequently num­ bered 149-205, the first entry being dated 1747, Aug. 19 0.S.7 and the last Oct. Il. 4. The Index Biblicus Volume (Codex 4). For the continuation of his Memorabilia, Swedenborg took a manuscript volume (Codex 4) in which he was entering his Index Biblicus. The first haH of this bulky volume was laid out to receive the entries of this Index, and most of the indexing had already been done. But since the indexing was still going on, for, as will be shawn later, Swedenborg was entering, that is, was indexing Ezekiel 24, and he could not be sure how many pages it would finally occupy, therefore, instead of continuing his Memorabilia in the middle of the vol­
See W.E. no. 8263. See Index, s.v. Gad and Asher. 5 Hyde supposed this referred to W.E. no. 7542 seq. (Bibliog. p. 114), but thcsc numbers are purely doctrinal and make no mention of spiritual expericnces. G Codex 6, being the Index of Isaiah and J eremiah. 7 That is, Old Style or the Julian Calendar observed by England and Sweden. Ail the other countries of Europe, except Russia, had adopted the New Style or Gregorian Calendar which was eleven days in advance of the Julian.
3
4

3

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

ume after the last entry of the Index, he started on the last page with no. 206, dated October 13, 1747, and worked backwards toward the middle of the volume, where he ended with no. 972, dated February 24, 1748.
5. A New Folio Volume. Having filled the blank pages above referred to, Swedenborg now took an unused manuscrip1. Here, for sorne reason that is not apparent, he commenced in the middle of the volume, where he entered no. 973, dated February 25, 1748, and proceeded to the end of the volume where he wrote no. 1789, dated April 1, 1748. He then turned to the first page of the volume and, commencing with no. 1749, went on to no. 3427, written in the middle of the volume. 8 No. 3422 is dated "1747, 24 Oct.," but, as 1 shaIl show in Section III, this is cIearly an error for Oct. 2 or, more likely, Oct. 4 [New S1.]. The next five paragraphs (nos. 3423-3427), which conclude the volume, are marked "in via" indicating that Swedenborg was then on the way from Amsterdam 9 ta London. Nos. 3, 4, and 5 described above are the "three books" referred to by Swedenborg when he says:. "AIl the things that are written in these three books are matters of experience" (no. 2894). In 1790, at the direction of Augustus Nordenskjold, the "three" books were bound together in a single volume,l which is now Codex 2. 6. The English Folio Volume (Codex 3). Arrived in London, Sweden­ borg, for the continuation of his Memorabilia, took a new folio volume of over five hundred pages (Codex 3). This, with the "3 books" above re­ ferred to, makes the four books referred to by Swedenborg in no. 3753 where he says: "There are also spirits who, for the ultimate of their order, have my books, which are 4 in number, wherein 1 am writing this, some one book, sorne another." Swedenborg commenced this volume with the paragraph subsequently numbered 3428. It was dated "1748, 2 Oct." rOld Style], and the entries are continued practically every day until December 1. On the 23d of the preceding month he had changed his 10dgings,2 and on the 29th or 30th of that same month, he commenced the Arcana Coelestia. After that date, the entries in Codex 3, with very few exceptions, are short, oHen consist­ ing of no more than a few lines. Moreover, many days are skipped with­ out a single entry. Thus, from December lst to September 15th, when Volume 1 of the Arcana was published, Swedenborg's entries averaged a
8 This description is based on the original Catalogue prepared by Swedenborg's heirs (3 Doc. 781). The improbability that Swedenborg would start writing in the middle of an unused volume, suggests that there were two volumes, and that when Sweden­ borg had thcm bound, the binder bound them in the wrong order. 9 See no. 1879. 13 Doc. 836. 2 Acton, Introduction to the Word Explained, p. 131.

SWEDENBORG'S'MEMORABILIA

4

trifie over one-third of a page 3 a day, while in the corresponding period preceding December 1, 1748, Swedenborg's entries averaged almost three and a third pages a day. Volume 1 of the Arcana was published in September, 1749,* and about the 16th of that month Swedenborg left London for Rolland. 1 give this date as the date of his departure from London because the entry of Sept. 15 is the last of the serially dated entries in the Memorabilia. In aIl the subsequent entries, dates occur very rarely. On leaving London, Swedenborg went first to Amsterdam, where he asked his friend Joachim Wretman, a prosperous Amsterdam merchant, to receive aIl his letters and parcels coming by post, and to forward allietters to an address which he would communicate to him. Re had previously instructed his publisher and others to address him care of ML Wretman. From Amsterdam Swedenborg went to Aix-la-Chapelle (now Aachen) where he wrote the second volume of the Arcana. The entries in his Memorabilia during his nine or ten months stay in Aix-la-Chapelle fill only forty-eight printed pages and are aIl undated. The paragraphs were subsequently numbered 4390 ta 4544. These entries filled only 151 of the 500 pages of Codex 3, leaving 349 pages yet to be written on. 7. The Quarto Volume (Codex Ill). Swedenborg left Aix-la-Chapelle in the summer of 1750 for Stockholm. There, when he would continue his Memorabilia, the volume which he had been using in Aix-la-Chapelle was not immediately available. Either it had not been unpacked, or, which seems more probable, it had been shipped together with copies of volume 1 of the Arcana from Aix-la-Chapelle by sea, and had not yet arrived. Be that as it may, when Swedenborg resumed the writing of his Memorabilia, he used a small quarto book (Codex III) of somewhat over 150 pages. 4 In this volume, only two of the paragraphs are dated, the penultimate paragraph being dated "the night between the 18th and 19th November, 1751." Raving filled his quarto volume, Swedenborg now turned back to the English Folio Volume which he had already used for his entries up to p. 151. The last written page contained only a few lines, but instead of continuing on that page, he commenced on page 152, and continued using this volume until the end of the Memorabilia in 1765. In these entries there are very few dates. It may be noted, however, that the fourth entry is dated January Il, 1752, thus -two months after the date of the penultimate paragraph in the quarto volume.
3 In this article, by "pages" 1 mean the pages of the printed Latin text. To refer to the pages of the manuscript would be misleading, as the amount of writing on each page greatly varies. * London Magazine 1749, p. 436. 4 This volume is now known as the MinoT DiaTY.

5

SH'EDENBORds MEMORABILlA

II. The Numbering of the Paragraphs
Swedenborg did not number the paragraphs at the time he wrote them. This can be plainly seen in the manuscript, where the paragraph numbers frequently overlap the initial letter of the paragraph. The paragraph numbers were added when Swedenborg was making the Index. The num­ bering vras done very hastily, and frequently Swedenborg would mistake a prominent line or some other feature for the beginning of a new paragraph when, in fact, it was the middle of a sentence. He seems to refer to this numbering when he wrote: "1 was extracting the numbers by which l had designated the things which were excerpted" (no. 3935).5

1. The Numbering and the True Sequence of the Paragraphs. The numbers do not always indicate the order in which the paragraphs were written, or the sequence intended by Swedenborg.Sometimes he woulel leave one-half or three-quarters of a page blank and continue on the op­ posite page, and then, when at the bottom of that page, would continue with paragraphs on the blank space referred to. Yet he numbered the paragraphs in the arder in which they appear. A conspicuous example of this difference between the numbering and the true sequence is seen in nos. 149-204. As noteù above (I: 3), these para­ graphs were written in a fascicle of sixteen pages which constituted the end pages of a volume of the Index Biblicus which Swedenborg had copied out. Swedenborg commenced writing on page 5 with the paragraph which he subsequently numbered 153. He contlnued to page 15, which con tains the paragraph subsequently numbered 198 "1747 Sept. S." After writing this paragraph, one-third of page 15 was left blank. His next entry was dated September 14, but for some reason (judging from the style of writ­ ing, the reason seeming to have been because he was in a great hurry), in­ stead of continuing on page 15, he turned back ta page 3 and there wrote what later became no. 152, the last few lines of which were on page 4. For his next entry, September 15, he turned back ta page 15 and continueel on page 16 where he wrote five paragraphs, the last being dated "1747, Oct. 9." This filled bath the page and the manuscript; but in the latter, page 2 was still blank. He therefore turned ta that page and there wrote the three paragraphs dated October 9 and Il and now numbered 149 to 151. The paragraphs were later numbered in the arder in which they occur, from 149-205. The arder in which they were written, however, is 153-199, 152, 200-204, 149-151. Any new edition of the Diary should print the paragraphs in the arder in which they were intended. That Swedenborg numbered them differently should have no weight in this re­ spect, for since some considerable time elapsed between Swedenborg's writ­
5

This is a literaI translation and differs from the translation in the English edition.

5WEDENBORG'5 MEMORABILIA

6

ing the passages and his numbering them, it is not surprising that he took. no note of the arder in which he had written them.
III. Indexing the Memorabilia

1. The Twa Indexes. Ta understand what follows, it should be kept in mind that the sequence in which the Memorabilia were written is as fol­ lows:
Nos. 1--4544; then nos. 4545-4792 in the Quarto Volume G ; and then nos. 4545-6110 in the London and Aix-la-Chapelle Folio. Thus nos. 4545­ 4792 are duplicated. There are two Indexes, a large and a smal!. In making these Indexes it was Swedenborg's custom ta number a certain number of paragraphs and then to index them. This is shawn by the fact that the quarto vol­ ume (Codex III) is numbered from 4545 ta 4715, but the larger Index covers only up ta no. 4644. In like manner, Codex 3 is numbered from 3428 ta 6096, but the smaller Index covers only up to no. 6093. The larger Index embraces the indented paragraphs of The Ward Ex­ plained, nos. 1--4544 (ail that was then written in the London and Aix-Ia­ Chapelle volume at the time when the larger Index was made) and nos. 4545-4644 of the quarto volume, the latter number being the last ta be indexed in the larger Index. The smaller Index takes in almost the whole of Codex 3, namely, nos. 3428 ta 6093,* and then continues with the whole of the quarto volume. It may here be added that Swedenborg sometimes added a fraction to his paragraph number, -J, --;---}, -~, in arder ta give more specifie ref­ erences in his Index. Thus nos. 3428-4544 of the folio volume, and nos. 4545--4644 of the quarto volume were reduplicated. In the case of these duplications, how­ ever, the entries in the smaller Index as compared with those in the larger Index up ta no. 4122 t are very short and are invariably indexed under a single ward only. Moreover, many numbers are bunched together, and many are skipped over. In writing the smaller Index, Swedenborg took first the folio volume con­ taining nos. 3428-611o-the end of the Memorabilia. This he indexed up ta and including no. 6093-no. 6096 was probably the last paragraph writ­ ten at the time. He then turned ta the quarto volume. 7 But here he found that nos. 4545 to 4644 had already been used to designate passages
Called the Minor Diary. last paragraph of Codex 3, if numbered, would be no. 6110. t Sec below under Dates. 7 That Swedenborg indexe:' the quarto volume after the folio, is shown by the fa ct that in the Index, ail references to the quarto volume come at the end of the entries.
G

* The

7
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SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

the folio volume already indexed. Therefore, ta avoid confusion, in entering the paragraphs of the quarto volume in his Index, Swedenborg cited the pages of his manuscript, and not the paragraph numbers, although the latter had been written in, from 4545 ta 4715. This is the reason why the remaining paragraphs of the volume, which would have been 4716­ 4792, remained unnumbered. There was no need ta number them. Swedenborg does not seem ta have noticed that even sa there was dupli­ cation; for in the smaller Index, nos. 4545-4644 are used ta designate the paragraphs in the folio volume, while in the large Index, the same num­ bers are used ta designate paragraphs in the quarto volume. Dr. Tafel, in his Latin edition, avoided this confusion by preceding these numbers in the larger Index with the words "Diarium Minus."

2. The Two Indexes Compared. The smaller Index is distinguished from the greater part of the larger by the fact that aIl its en tries are short and, for the most part, are entered under a single ward only. The same is true of the latter eighth of the large Index, that is, after no. 4122, Dec. 8, 1748. This is ta be expected; for during the making of the smaller Index and the latter one-eighth of the large, Swedenborg was busily engaged on the Writings. The smaller Index is also unique in that a great many of its entries are underscored, though for what reason is not apparent. 3. The Date when the Indexes were Made. In Section V: 3 it will be shawn that the larger Index was completed up ta no. 4010 by November 28, 1748, and it is probable that Swedenborg continued the indexing until December 9, when he indexed up ta and inc1uding no. 4122; for while the entries up ta no. 4122 are very full and are indexed under several head­ ings, after no. 4122 they are very short and, for the most part, are indexed under one heading only. The last entry in this Index is no. 4644 of the quarto volume (Codex III),S but the paragraphs are numbered up ta 4715. Bearing in mind that Swedenborg numbered his paragraphs immediately preparatory ta indexing them, this would suggest that he made his last entry in the larger Index at the time he wrote no. 4715. This was probably in the spring of 1751, when Swedenborg was writing volume III of the Arcana. The paragraph that would have been numbered 4725 was written on April 9, 1751. As ta the smaller Index, which consists of 136 pages as compared with the 1007 pages of the larger Index, this may have been written at various times, but it is not improbable that it was commenced and completed in a single period. Its last entry is no. 6093; and since no. 6027 is dated March 5,1762, and no. 6097, December 30,1763, the smaller Index must have been completed by the last of these two dates.
S

The Minor Diary.

5WEDENBORG'5 MEMORABILIA

8

The last paragraph ta be numbered by Swedenborg' is 6096. This, therefore, was in all probability the last paragraph that was written at the time Swedenborg completed his smaller Index. Apparently something pre­ vented him from cornpleting the Index. After no. 6096, the work con­ tinues for sorne paragraphs which, if numbered, would reach ta 6110. They were not numbered because Swedenborg did not prepare them for indexing. IV. Dates in the Memorabilia Very few of the indented passages in The Ward Explained are dated, though when undated the date can sornetimes be determined by the con­ text. The first of these indented passages to be incIuded in the Index is no. 459, the second is no. 475. This was written about the rniddle of De­ cernber, 1745; for in that passage, Swedenborg states that he has spoken with spirits "now for a period of eight rnonths alrnost continuously except during the jourmiy from London to Sweden." From no. 1003 we learn that this journey lasted for a month. In the same number, which is dated January 29, 1746, Swedenborg states that the beginning of his speech with spirits was in "the middle of April, 1745." Eight months from that time is the rniddle of Decemher, 1745.* This, then, is the date when Sweden­ borg commenced his Memorabilia. As to whether the lost paragraphs, nos. 1-148, written on the end pages of Codices 60, 61 and 62, were dated, this cannot be deterrnined with cer­ tainty, but the fact that the fragment on Gad and Asher is dated (Feb. 8, 1747) would suggest that they were. On July 24th, after having written what were afterwards numbered 1-148, Swedenborg left Stockholm for Rolland. The first paragraph he wrote there in his Memorabilia is dated August 19, 1747 Old Style, be­ cause Rolland had adopted the New Style, which was eleven days in ad­ vance. Re continued to write "Old Style" after his dates until Novem­ ber 24,1747 (no. 267), but that he did not then drop it, is seen from the fact that he repeats "OId Style" in nos. 461-467 (Jan. 11, 1748). Natu­ rally presuming that the OId Style was retained throughout the volume (nos. 149-3427), 1 was greatly perplexed by the fact that the last dated entry in the volume is October 2,1748 (no. 3422) t or possibly, October 4.

* The "eight months" must include the month of his journey, for no. 1003 was writ­ ten on January 29, nine months after April 15. t This is not strictly correct, for no. 3422 is dated "1748, 24 Oct." 1t is followed by five undated paragraphs (nos. 3423-3427) marked "in via," i.e., on the way from Hol­ land to London. "Oct. 24" is clearly an error, for on October 24, New Style or OId, Swedenborg was in England and had continued his Memorabilia in a new volume. To assume that "Oct. 24" was correct, would be to assume that, aCter entering his spiritual experiences in ninety-three pages of his new volume (nos. 3428-3671, Oct. 2­ Oct. 23, 1748), Swedenborg then turned back to the old volume, made a single entry

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SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

If Swedenborg left Rolland on October 2 (or 4) Old Style, how then ac­ count for the fact that his first entry in the volume written in London, where the Old Style was still used, is dated October 2 (nos. 3428-3440)? This long perplexed me, and the perplexity was resolved only recently when l noticed that the entry for April 12 is immediately followed by an­ other dated April 23-an interval of eleven days-the difference between Old Style and New. Throughout the volume now in question, there are very few intervals between the dates of more than two or three days. There is only one interval of eleven days (nos. 202-203), and this is marked Old Style. Clearly, then, on April 12, 1748, Swedenborg, without noting the fact, changed from Old Style to New Style. Therefore the October 2 (or 4) at the end of the volume, being New Style, was equivalent to September 21 (or 23) üld Style. Naturally, therefore, having arrived in England where the Old Style was still in use, Swedenborg could continue his Memo­ rabilia on October 2. From nos. 149-4389, that is, from August 19, 1747, to September 15, 1748, when Swedenborg left England for Aix-la-Chapelle, the paragraphs are consecutively dated, but from then on, dates are given very rarely. In some cases, however, the dates can be determined by the context. In the Aix-la-Chapelle entries (nos. 4396-4544), there is only one pas­ sage where the date of writing can be thus determined, namely, no. 4422. There Swedenborg writes that he had received a letter informing him that "in two months no more than four copies [of Arcana Coelestia] had been sold." Since the Arcana was published in September, 1749,* this passage must have been written at the end of November or early in December. The quarto volume, which followed the Aix-la-Chapelle writing, con­ tains only one date (n. 4791), but the date of two passages can be deter­ mined, namely, no. 4725 and no. 4752. No. 4725 brings in an interesting point. In Sweden, after the death of a king or queen or of sorne promi­ nent person, the body lay in state for several days, to be viewed by the public. It was then set aside (bisatties) 9 in a vault and was buried sorne months later. Thus Bishop Swedberg died on January 26, 1735. After three or four days, his body was set aside in a vault. The funeral and burial were on January 29, 1736.
in a space conveniently left blank and then returned to his English volume and, using a different style of handwriting, made further entries also dated Oct. 24 (3670-3678). Probably the "Oct. 24" in the Holland volume was meant to be October 4, Sweden­ borg omitting to cross off the "2." In the Memorabilia there are innumerable cases where Swedenborg forgets to cross off words, and several cases in which his dates are obviously wrong-and sometimes he corrects them. * London Magazine, 1749, p. 436.
9 The English translator ignores this word.

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

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In the passage in question, Swedenborg says that King .Frederick of Sweden was with him "on the 15th day after his death, and on the saine day he heard that he was being buried, bisatties." 9 This was on April 9, 1751. King Frederick died March 25, 1751, was set aside April 9, and was buried September 21. In no. 4752, Swedenborg states that he spoke with Polhem on the day the latter was being buried. Polhem died on Friday, August 31, 1751.* He was buried Monday, September 3,1751. Severallater passages in the Memorabilia give cIues as ta the date. when Swedenborg was writing. No. 4564: Swedenborg spoke with Silfwerstrom on the day he was buried. George Johannes Silfwerstrom died April 3, and was buried April 6,1752. No. 4618: Swedenborg speaks of being in company with spirits from eight to nine years. Eight years and six months from the middle of April, 1745, is October 15, 1753. No. 4727: Swedenborg speaks with Christian Wolff in the spiritual world. Wolff died April 9, 1754. No. 4788: Swedenborg sees Boneschold (not Bondschold) in the spir­ .itual world. Gustaf Boneauschold died in 1754. No. 4825: Swedenborg speaks with Cedercreutz in the spiritual world. Herman Cedercreutz died November 24, 1754. No. 4851: Swedenborg makes mention of Lars Benzelstierna in the spir­ itual world. He died June Il, 1755. No. 5099: Swedenborg speaks of meeting Eric Brahe, ten hours after his execution. Brahe was beheaded at 9.45 a.m. July 23, 1756. No. 5493 states that Erland Broman was called ta judgment on, the four th day after his death, i.e., January 23, 1757, for he died on January 19. No. 5600 speaks of Aulaeville (not Aulaevil) in the spiritual world. Peter Aulaeville died February 14, 1757. No. 5833: Swedenborg speaks with the pope "lately deceased," namely, Benedict XIV who died May 3, 1758. No. 5841: Swedenborg spoke with "the last pope" [B.enedict XIV] three weeks after his death, that is, about May 24, 1758. No. 5863: Swedenborg speaks with Vice-President [of the High Court of Appeal] [Johan) Rosenstolpe. He died July 28, 1758. No. 5976: In the spiritual world, Swedenborg speaks with Frederick Gyllenborg, who died August 25,1759. Nos. 5988 and 5993: In the spiritual world, Swedenborg speaks with Zinzendorf, who died May 9, 1760.

* This would

be Monday, September 11, New Style.

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SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILlA

No. 6000: Swedenborg speaks with "a spirit who had been King of Eng­ larid, a month after his decease," i.e., about November 26, 1760, for George II died October 26, 1760. No. 6033 speaks of the King of England (George II) one and a haH years after his death. This would be April, 1762. The last date in the Memorabilia is found in the last number of the work, no. 6110: 73, namely, April 29, 1765. The Memorabilia therefore extends from December, 1745, to April, 1765-nineteen years and five months. V. Swedenborg's Activities as Reflected in the Memorabilia There are many passages in the Memorabilia from which we can see what Swedenborg was doing at the time. Thus, in no. 28, the fragment on Gad and Asher,' he informs us that on February 8, 1747, he was writ­ ing in the margin of his Schmidius' Bible "something concerning Jacob's blessings of his sons, Gen. Chap. 49."

1. Reading the W ordo Swedenborg tells us that when heaven was opened to him, he read the Word many times. 2 Traces of this consecutive reading can be seen in the early pages of the Memorabilia. Thus, on De­ cember 13, 1747, he is reading the Psalms (no. 335). On January 26, 1748, he is reading John 16 (no. 581); on the 28th, John 19 (no. 594). On February 7, he is reading Revelation 20 (no. 674). Having finished the Book of Revelation, he commenced re-reading the Ward. By May 9th, he has reached Leviticus 23 (no. 1909). On the lOth, he is reading Leviticus 26 (no. 1934); on the 15th, Numbers 10 (no. 1961 *); on the 19th, Numbers 25 (no. 1995); on the 23d, Deuteronomy 1 (no. 2054). On June 7, he is reading Deuteronomy 27 (no. 2229); on the 10th, Joshua 3 (no. 2289); on the 27th Judges 17 and 18 (no. 2411). On July 14th, he is reading l Samuel 9 (no. 2472); on the 16th, II Samuel 12 (no. 2621). By August I1th, he has reached II Kings 8 (no. 2791). 2. Indexing the Bible. The index here referred to is Index Biblicus, Codex 4 t-the latest of the Bible indices. There, not only is the Ward indexed, but its spiritual sense is explained. On August 19, 1747, Swedenborg was entering Isaiah 11 in his Index Biblicus (no. 154).3 On the 29th, he was "excerpting," to use his own
See Section 1: 2. 2 Documents, 261. * No. 1961 folJows afler no. 1959. t See Section 1: 4. 3 See Iungerich, The Schmidills M arginalia, p. 91. The fact that Swedenborg is still making en tries in Codex 4 while writing his Memorabilia, makes it clear why he com­ menced writing the Memorabilia on the last page of the volume and worked toward the middle. See above, Section 1: 4.
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SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

12

words, "the thinss contained in lsaiah 34" (no. 189). On the 31st, he was writing "something concerning the internaI and external man," that is, he was entering Isaiah 36 in his Index 4 (no. 190). While indexing Isaiah 37, to quote his own words: 5 "These things were said and shown me today by a golden hand and by the motion of my hand without a previous will, in order that these words that are being read might be understood. " On October 6th, he entered Isaiah 66 in his Index (no. 204). On the 25th, he was indexing Jeremiah 30 (no. 220). In the course of this in­ dexing, he writes: G "See what was seen 1747, October 24 X 25,* from mercy, when an image of the Last Judgment and these several details occurred." On October 9th, he was engaged in indexing Ezekiel 7 (no. 243).7 On the 12th, he indexed Ezekiel 13 (no. 245), and on the 13th, he was "explainihg," that is, expounding in his Index, the spiritual sense of Ezekiel16 (no. 246). On November 14th, he was engaged on Ezekiel 18 (nos. 249-250, describing the stupid spirits who argued with him).8 On the 28th, he was indexing Ezekiel 24.t On November 25, 1748, Swedenborg writes in his Bible Index "1747, 25 Old Style." The name of the month is eut off, and Dr. lungerich, following Dr. Tafel (3 Documents, 964), supplies September. It should, however, be November: "Meanwhile things were written by me concerning the neighbor, that they should not hold the neighbor in hatred" (no. 2111). This indicates that he is entering Leviticus into his Index. 9 It may be noted that in the Bible Index, the usual arder in which the citations occur is Isaiah to lVIalachi, the Psalms, Revelation, Exodus to Deuteronomy. 3. The Writing of the Larger Index be noted that when Swedenborg was sionally added a paragraph, usually available. Sometimes also he dated to the Memorabilia. It should first indexing his Memorabilia, he occa­ crammed into whatever space was these additions. Thus, no. 792 is

4 See ibid., p. 173. "Ibid., p. 175. G Ibid., p. 379. * The reference is to Memorabilia, no. 220. This is dated "1747, the night between 27 and 28 Oct.," but the figures are clearly an error for 24 and 25. 7 Ibid., p. 481. There Swedenborg writes: "See what was seen on Oct. 9, 1747" as to a tumult of the sea. October is clearly a slip for November. See Memorabilia, no. 243. 8 See Schmidius' Marginalia, p. 519, where, in his exposition of Ezek. 18: 22, Swe­ denborg writes: "This [is written] in the presence of spirits who were dumb; Nov. 14, 1747 Old Style. Afterwards they murmured some objections." t See Schmid. M arg., p. 528. There Swedenborg says that he experienced anguish while he was writing [his comment on Ezek. 24]. 9 See Index Biblicus, s.v. Proximus.

13

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORAB1LIA

dated "1748, 15 Feb.," but the next paragraph, unnuA1bered, is dated "1748, Sep. 8." This indicates that on September 8th, Swedenborg was entering no. 792 in his Index. Sa no. 970, dated 1748, 24 Feb., is fol­ lowed by an unnumbered paragraph dated 1748, 12 Sep.; and no. 995, dated 1748, 25 Feb., is followed by 995} dated 1748, 12 Sep., indicating that these numbers were being indexed on September 12th. It does not follow, however, that every paragraph added later indicates that it was added at the time of indexing. It may have been added saon after the paragraph was written, and even on the same day. But it may be taken for certain that when a paragraph added later is dated, the date indicated the time of the indexing. On August 21,1748, Swedenborg was writing about the representative church (no. 2877), that is, he was indexing no. 110. We can therefore be justified in supposing that he commenced indexing nos. 1-109 and the indented portions of The W ord Explained in the beginning of August, 1748. On August 22, he was cursorily reading "concerning the interiors of the Ward, as ta what the names and expressions signified" (no. 2885), that is, he was indexing nos. 114 and 115. On September 2, he was indexing no. 485 on the subject of general influx (no. 3033). On the 3rd, he indexed no. 531, as is clearly suggested by Swedenborg's own words in no. 3049. On the 12th, as already noted, he indexed from nos. 970 ta 995J:, and on the 14th, no. 1048. His statement on September 22, that "things were written concerning things ta come" (no. 3256) indicates that he was then indexing nos. 1463-1466. A day or two later he was "extracting what l had written concerning spheres" (no. 3338), that is, he was indexing nos. 1534-1538. On September 26, as he himself tells us (no. 3356), he was entering no. 1577 in his Index. He also tells us (no. 3417) that on September 30 he was indexing nos. 1719­ 1720. Ali the above dates are New Style, but after the beginning of Oc­ tober, when Swedenborg left Holland for London, he uses Old Style. In London, on October 2, he was "extracting" a passage concerning love as represented by heat (no. 3444), that is, he was indexing nos. 1855­ 1862. On the 5th, he was indexing nos. 1944-1945 concerning man's proprium, that it is nothing but evil (no. 3474); 1 and on the next day he was indexing no. 1948 concerning liberty (no. 3495). On October 17th, his Index has reached nos. 2346-2351, for on that day he says that he was writing "concerning the antidiluvians, that they had hardly any remains" (no. 3593).2 On the 19th he was indexing nos. 2455-2456 "concerning spirits who did not know there is an internaI man" (no. 3616). On the
1

2

See Index s.v. Indoles at nos. 1944-45.
Index s.v. Dolus.

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

14

same day he indexed nos. 2473-2474, on faith and good works (no. 3617). On the 27th, he was writing about the Jewish Church, that its externals signified things internaI (no. 3738), that is, was indexing no. 2877. On November 4, he indexed nos. 3118-3119, on the vileness of things natural (no. 3852). On the 7th, he was writing about spirits who pro­ gressed ta the ninth use (no. 3901), that is, was indexing nos. 3267-3286.* On the 9th, he writes: "It was observed, when 1 was taking out those things, whereby they used deceit that they might destroy me, and infuse adulteries, namely, when 1 was taking out the numbers by which 1 desig­ nated the things that were excerpted," etc. (no. 3935).3 This refers ta the indexing of nos. 3534-3536. On the 17th, Swedenborg speaks of hav­ ing written concerning good works (no. 3979). He was then indexing no. 3617. On the 19th, he indexed nos. 3656-3665, concerning the Pontiff and David (no. 3997). On the 28th, he was indexing nos. 4000-4010, on the influx of the Lord's life and on Providence (no. 4095). This is the last definite indication in the Memorabilia concerning Swe­ denborg's work on the larger Index, but it is highly probable that during the time that he was writing the early pages of the Arcana, he continued the Index up ta and including no. 4122, which was written on December 8, 1748; for up ta this point the Index entries are very full and are given under several headings, but after no. 4122, they are very short and, for the most part, are entered under one heading only. Swedenborg was tao busy writing the Arcana ta devote much time ta indexing, or even ta writ­ ing out his spiritual experiences. The rest of the larger Index covered from no. 4123 ta no. 4544 of the Folio volume, and no. 4545 ta no. 4644 of the quarto volume, a total of 166 pages. The Index from the beginning of August ta December 8, 1748, covered 1200 pages of the Memorabilia, not including the lost pages or the in­ dented passages of The Word Explained. The rest of the larger Index, nos. 4123-4644, covers 166 pages and was probably written before April 9, 175 1, the first ascertainable date after no. 4644. This is indicated by the fact that Swedenborg nUl1lbered the paragraphs up ta no. 4715 with the intention of carrying his Index ta that paragraph. For some reason. he was interrupted and stopped indexing at no. 4644. 4. The Writing of the Smaller Index. Nothing definite can be ascer­ tained concerning the til1le when Swedenborg wrote the smaller Index. It may have been written at various times, or at one time as a whole. Cer­ tainly it was completed some time in the autul1ln of 1763. The last para­

* Index, s.v.
3

Vsus.

The translation in the English edition is very different.

This is a literaI translation.

IS

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

graph indexed is no. 6093, and the last numbered paragraph is no. 6096, while the paragraph which, if numbered, would have been no. 6097, is dated 1763, 30 December.

5. Personal Incidents. Rere and there in the 1emorabilia, Swedenborg mentions sundry personal incidents in his life in the country where he was residlng. Thus, in Rolland, on February 23, 1748, after having written concerning spirits who correspond ta one part or other of the viscera of the human body, he read in his Animal Kingdom "concerning the viscera of the body and the causes deduced therefrom" (no. 955). On March 3d, he declared for whom his Animal Kingdom had been in­ tended (no. 1145). On the next day he wrote a letter (no. 1166). On August 13th, he saw an insane woman on the street in Amsterdam (no. 2808). On the 27th, he purchased cheese 1 at an Amsterdam shop (no. 2954). On September 24th, Swedenborg dreamed concerning his Iost writings and the fireplace where they were burned (no. 3296); and on the 25th he recalls what he had written in the Animal Kingdom concerning the Iungs (no. 3321). In London, on October 10, 1748, he attended a service, apparently a funeraI service, at St. Paul's Cathedral (no. 3520). Re was then living in two rooms, in one of which were his books, and there he was accus­ tomed to do his writing (nos. 3605, 3608). On November 23, he changed his Iodgings (flyleaf of Codex 3-the folio volume commenced in London; see Section 1: 6). On J:ebruary 17, 1749, he "took sorne words from my Collection ta in­ sert in what 1 am writing," namely, the Arcana Coelestia (no. 4143). On August 24, he was "collecting seeds" (no. 4372), presumably for his garden in Rornsgatan which he had left in charge of a gardener. At the end of November, 1750, Swedenborg, in Aix-la-Chapelle, received a letter from Lewis the publisher of the Arcana C oelestia, informing him that only four copies ofthat work had been sold in two months (no. 4422). On September 3, 1751, he was present at the funeraI of Christopher Polhem (1 4752). On April 6, 1752, he was present at the funeraI of George Johannes Silfwerstrom (no. 4564). In the spring or summer of 1752, he spoke with sorne persons in a church in Stockholm, about man's life after death. They believed that man does not rise until the day of the Last Judgment, and then in his earthly body. Swedenborg vainly instructs them, they not knowing that he spoke from experience (no. 4568).
1 The Latin text reads costum (an aromatic plant) which the English translator renders aintment. The true reading is caseum (cheese).

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILlA

16

In the spring or early summer of 1759, Swedenborg in London heard, probably from Lewis, that many persons had looked into the books on Heaven and HeU, etc., and, not being pleased with them, had turned away (no. 5931). In London, Swedenborg took lodgings with an "organista," probably an organ builder,' who was opposed to the Moravians (no. 5990). In the spring or summer of 1760, in Stockholm, he spoke with a woman who had been a fellow traveler (either from London to Gothenburg, or from London to Stockholm), on things of interior wisdom which he had written in the Apocalypse Explained, and she "understood them clearly" (no. 5997).

VI. Countries in

whic~

Swedenborg wrote the Memorabilia

The indented passages of The Word Explained and nos. 1-148 of the Memorabilia were written in Sweden from December, 1746, to August, 1747. Nos. 149-3427 were written in Rolland from August, 1747, to Oc­ tober 4 (Sept. 23 Old Style), 1748. Nos. 3428-4389 were written in Eng­ land from October 2, 1748, to September 15, 1749. Nos. 4390-4544 were written in Aix-la-Chapelle from September, 1749, to the summer of 1750. Nos. 4545-4792 of the quarto volume (Codex Ill) 6 were written in Swe­ den from the summer of 1750 to near the end of 17 51. Nos. 4545-5850 were also written in Sweden from 1752 to about the middle of 1758. From about no. 4851 to about no. 5970 was written in England from the sum­ mer of 1758 to ]uly, 1759; note the use of the English word "that" in no. 5950. Some of the paragraphs after no. 5950 may have been written in Rolland while Swedenborg was en route from London to Gothenburg, where he arrived in ]uly, 1759. From about no. 5971 to about no. 6027 or beyond, was written in Sweden, from ]uly, 1759, to Mareh 5, 1762. From about no. 6050 to no. 6097 or further was written in Rolland. The rest of the work was written in Sweden.

VII. Is "The Spiritual Diary" an Appropriate Title?
1. Historie Account of the Titles. The manuseript of the Memorabilia has no title. Of this we can be sure, although no. l is among the lost pages; for this no. 1 was a paragraph written at the end of Codex 60,* and it was long after writing it that Swedenborg marked it no. 1. In his references to the work, Swedenborg uses different expressions. 1 have found eight sueh references.
5

6

The Swedish for organist is the same as the English.
See Section 1: 7.
* See Section 1: 2.

17

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

1. "Things written and dictated at the end of the present Tome" Codex 60 (WE no. 1772). 2. "Concerning Gad and Asher, see Experience, Tome III (Cod. 61) at the end" (Marginalia in Schmidius' Biblia at Gen. 49: 20).7 3. "See the Annotations concerning the spirits around me in Tome IV [Codex 62] at the end" (ibid., at Gen. 9: 12). 4. "See what was seen, 1747, Oct. 24 X 25" (Ind. Bib., S.v. Pax at Jer. 30: 6-8).t 5. "See what was seen Nov. 8 9, 1747" (Ind. Bib., s.V. Mare at Ezek. 7: 7).0 6. "My Collection" (Mem. no. 4143). 7. "Collections" (De Dom. no. 36). 8. "Collections from the Spiritual World" (Ath. no. 123).

In the original catalogue of Swedenborg's manuscripts, drawn up by his heirs, the work is called Memorabilia. In Pernety's Catalogue and like· wise in Chastanier's, it is called Collection of Memorabilia. In the first official catalogue made by the Royal Library in Stockholm, it is listed as Memorabilia. Dr. lm. J. F. Tafel, the editor of the Latin edition, was the first ta give the work the title Spiritual Diary, but to three of his seven "Parts" he added the subtitle, or Memorabilia, and to two, the subtitle, or Collection of M emorabilia. In this the English translators have not followed him. In the Potts' CONCORDANCE and in contemporary Iiterature, the work is usually referred to as The Spiritual Diary, though sometimes the title Memorabilia is used.

2. 1s the W ork a Diary? The Memorabilia consists of 2,026 printed pages. Of these pages, 1,288 or seven-elevenths of the work, are dated consecutively, while in the remaining 736 pages, being four-elevenths of the work, the dates are few and far between. This gives a strong appear­ ance of a diary, but the appearance becomes somewhat less striking if the sequence of the dates is observed. From August 19, 1747, ta November 31, 1748-about which latter date Swedenborg commenced writing the Arcana Coelestia-that is, 469 days, there are only 94 days on which Swe­ denborg fails ta make an entry; indeed, the number is probably much less, since there are many undated passages. In striking comparison with this
7

See Iungerich's The Schmidius Marginalia, p. 35.

t Ibid., p. 379. The reference is to Mem., no. 243.
S The text has "Oct." but this is dearly an error. as seen in !If emorabilia, no. 220, which is the passage referred to. 9 See ibid., p. 481.

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

18

is the fact that from December 1, 1748, to September 15, 1749,* that is, 290 days, there are 102 on which Swedenborg makes no entry. To put the matter another way, from August 19, 1747, to November 31, 1748, Swedenborg wrote an average of a little over 2-} pages a day, while from December 1, 1748, to September 15, 1749, he wrote an average of a trille over one-third of a page a day. After September 15, 1749, when Swedenborg left London for Aix-Ia­ Chapelle, ail appearance of a diary vanishes. Not only are the dates few and far between, but there must have been weeks, and even months, when Swedenborg made no entry. Thus, from September 15 (no. 4389) to No­ vember 19, 1751 (no. 4791 of the quarto volume), Swedenborg's entries amount to an average of only five pages a month, and from September 15, 1749, to April 29, 1765 (no. 6110 is the end of the MemorabiIia), he wrote an average of only four pages a month, and, excluding the year 1757 with its lengthy accounts of the Last Judgment, his average entries were only. three pages a month. Contrasting the entries made before Swedenborg commenced the Arcana with those made afterwards, from August, 1747, to November 31, 1748, Swedenborg entered an average of 74 pages a month; from December 1, 1748, to April 29, 1765-during which time Swedenborg wrote Arcana Coelestia, Heaven and HeU, and four other works, Apocalypse Explained and several small works-his entries average 4i" pages a month, or, ex­ cluding the year 1757, a trifie over 3-1 pages.
3. Why did Swedenborg date part of the Memorabilia and not aU? The question arises, Why did Swedenborg begin the Memorabilia by dating his entries after the manner of a diary or journal? and why did he stop dating them? One can only conjecture, but the conjecture may approach prob­ abiIity. Whenever Swedenborg traveled, it had been his practice to keep a jour­ nal. He had kept such a journal during his travels from 1710 to 1715. This he Ieft in Hamburg/ and apparently it was never more recovered since ail trace of it has been lost. The journals of his travels in 172 2, 1733, and 1736 are still extant. In 1743, he commenced a journal of travels, but it saon merged into a journal of dreams. And now, in 1746, when his spiritual eyes had been opened, he continued his old practice and wrote his spiritual experiences also in the form of a journal-though inter­ spersed with many passages containing doctrinal instruction. After September 15, when the first volume of the Arcana Coelestia was published, that is, after the publication of his first work as revelator, he

* This is the last of the continuous dates. The rest of the work contains only a few scattered dates. 1 Acton, Letters and Memorials of E.S., p. 94.

:/
19

SWEDENBORG'S MEMORABILIA

felt that his spiritual experiences were no longer to be recounted in a form suggestive of a personal journal, but were to be written as an exposition of the doctrine of the New Church, especially the doctrine concerning the spiritual world. That is my conjecture. 4. What is the Appropriate Title of the Work? ln considering the question of an appropriate title for the work under consideration, one should certainly ask himself the question, What title would Swedenborg have given the work had he designed to publish it? As pointed out above, he refers to it as "my Collections," "Collections from the Spiritual World," and "what was seen"-titles which are in no way suggestive of a diary or journal. The question 1 have just propounded can, 1 think, be answered with sorne degree of assurance if consideration be given to Swedenborg's practice when relating phenomena in the spiritual world. Whenever he relates such phenomena in detail, he invariably uses the word memorabile. Moreover, he uses the same word when, in the course of a doctrinal exposition, he tums aside, as it were, to relate sorne illustrative incident in the spiritual world; his usual expression being, "and here 1 will relate this memorabile," or words to that effect. This consideration, and consideration also of the fact that after the publication of the Arcana Coelestia Swedenborg abandoned the journal form, should give much weight to the suggestion that in future editions, the title "Spiritual Diary" should no longer be used, and that in its place a title should be adopted which would be in harmony not only with Swedenborg's practice but also with his own references to the work, as given above. "Memorabilia from the Spiritual World," "A Collection of Memorabilia from the' Spiritual World," "Memorabilia, Being Things Seen and Heard in the Spiritual World"; any one of these titles would be in such harmony. One objection raised to abolishing the title "Spiritual Diary," is that references in the collateralliterature of the Church, and in the Potts' CONCORDANCE are practicaIly aIl to "The Spiritual Diary," and to change the title would cause bewilderment and confusion. 1 think that no weight should be attached to this objection. Attention should be focused on the question, What is the most appropriate and descriptive title? If the title "Spiritual Diary" is not a suitable title and we still retain it in a new edition, a future generation may justly complain that we have still further. hampered its freedom of choice. For the immediate future, however, a concession might be made by adding in parentheses the words "Spiritual Diary." 1 have not touched upon arguments that have' been advanced against the title "Spiritual Diary" and its implications, because 1 prefer to rest the suggestion of a title solely on its intrinsic merits.