Letters (Tafel) n. 1

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1. Letter to Count Gustavius Bonde,* August 11, 1760

"You will express to him (Baron Hatzel) also my pleasure at his having derived satisfaction and light from the perusal of these writings, which is a sign of his having been in a state of enlightenment from heaven; for the matters which are there treated of cannot be comprehended without enlightenment, since they do not belong to the external but to the internal understanding. With respect to some verses in the books of Moses, which possess the property and power of introducing man to communication with spirits or enabling him to speak with them; I do not know of any verses in Scripture which have this property more than others; I only know that the Word of God is everywhere written in such a style, that when man reads it with affection and attention, spirits and angels have a part in it, and adjoin themselves to him; for the Word of God is so written that it forms a bond of union between heaven and earth (see what is written on this subject in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 303 to 310). The Lord, nevertheless, so disposes it, that spirits and men are seldom brought together so closely as to converse with one another;** for by communication with spirits men are brought into such a condition as to their souls, that they are speedily in danger of their life;*** wherefore I would dissuade all from cherishing such desires. The Lord Himself has been pleased to introduce me into converse and communication with spirits and angels for the reasons which have been explained in my writings; wherefore I am protected by the Lord Himself from the many desperate attempts and attacks of evil spirits. The way in which spirits and men are kept apart is this; spirits are kept in spiritual and men in natural thought and speech; whereby they are separated so as to make one only by correspondences; the nature of which has likewise been treated of. As long therefore as spirits are in a spiritual, and men in a natural state, they are not brought together so as to converse with one another, although they are together in affection; but when spirits converse with men they are out of their spiritual state, and in a natural state like men, and then they may bring them into danger of soul and life, as has been stated above. For this reason they have to be kept apart, so that the spirits do not know anything of man, nor man of them, although they are always together; for man cannot live unless he be associated with spirits, through whom he is connected with heaven and hell, and thereby receives his life.

["Stockholm, August 11, 1760."] * Documents Concerning Swedenborg, Vol. 2, pp. 232-233. ** In the original draft the following words are added here: "for this is more dangerous than men suppose." *** The following words are added in the original draft: "Unless the Lord Himself bring them into this condition, and take them under His care, and protect them specially, as is the case with me."

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