THE NEW PHILOSOPHY is intended as a medium for bringing before the public the philosophical System of Emanuel Swedenborg. This system in its full extent embraces three divisions, namely, ( i ) a knowledge of the inanimate world based on observation, and on reasoning from the facts gained thereby; ( 2 ) a knowledge of living forms gained by observation and rational deductions; (3) a knowledge of the soul and life of these living forms, and of the interior spiritual substances from which all natural substances derive their origin, which knowledge is gained by revelation from the Lord. These three are one like soul, rational mind, and body; nor can they be divided without injury to the system.
Swedenborg as a writer oh science and philosophy was widely and favorably known in the first half of the eighteenth century. When, however, from being a philosopher he became a theologian, the feeling and prejudice aroused by his teachings reacted upon his reputation as a philosopher, and soon his scientific and philosophical works were relegated to obscurity. I n these works, however, we find the most remarkable series of investigations into the interior causes of things ever presented to the world. Sixty years before Laplace produced the Nebular Hypothesis, Swedenborg presented a similar theory, yet whilst similar in its general features, it is really opposite, because Laplace derives the origin of things from the circumference, but Swedenborg begins from the centre.
To show the importance of Swedenborg's scien- tific writings to "New Church" people, and illus- trate the absolute difference between his whole system and those current at the present day, I can- not do better than compare his ideas of creation with those which were started by Laplace, Werner and Hutton.