Letters (Acton) n. 2

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2. [Letter to Dr. Beyer, April 15, 1766]

Most Reverend Herr Doctor:

Yesterday I had the pleasure of the Herr Doctor's letter of March 18, and this week will betake myself to London, and am thinking of being back in Sweden at the end of next July or the beginning of August, when I shall again have the pleasure of talking with the Herr Doctor in Gothenburg. From Herr Doctor's letter, I note that the 1st, 2nd, and 8th volumes of Arcana Celestia have not been received, when yet, in London, at the same person's place,* there are still some complete copies. As soon as I get there, I shall inquire how this came about, and will dispatch the volumes that are missing, or instead, a complete set, and this without any payment whatsoever. As regards the writings of the Apostles and Paul, I have not quoted them in the Arcana Coelestia for the reason that they are doctrinal writings, and so are not written in the style of the Word as are the Prophets, David, the Gospels, and the Apocalypse. The style of the Word consists wholly of correspondences, and therefore they effect immediately communication with heaven, while in doctrinal writings, there is another style, which does indeed have communication with heaven but mediately. The reason why they were so written by the Apostles, was that, by them, the New Christian Church should have its beginning, and therefore doctrinal matters could not be written in the style of the Word but only in a way which could be understood more clearly and intimately. The Apostles' writings are nevertheless good church-books and maintain the doctrine of charity and the faith thereof, just as strongly as does the Lord Himself in the Gospels and the Apocalypse, as can be clearly seen and discovered if one has his mind thereon when reading them. That Paul's words concerning justification by faith (Rom. 3:28)** are incorrectly understood, is shown in Apocalypsis Revalata n. 417. It may thus be also seen that the doctrine concerning faith alone justifying, which constitutes the present day theology in the churches of the Reformed, is built on an entirely false foundation. After my most dutiful greetings to friends of the Herr Doctor and myself, I remain, with high regard the most reverend Herr Doctor's obedient servant Em. Swedenborg

Amsterdam April 15, 1766

* Presumably Swedenborg learned from where G. F. Beyer or his Agents had procured the odd volumes of the Arcana Coelestia. ** "Man is justified by faith without the works of the law."

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