In 1734 Swedenborg published a three volume series the first of which was his Principia. The first chapter is entitled “On the means which conduce to true philosophy, and the true philosopher.” In order to introduce that chapter by offering some idea of its contents, I here give its first and last things said. By adding Bishop William Frederic Pendleton’s descriptive headings of the first and last things said respectively at the beginnings of Chapters III and IV of his book Science of Exposition, some idea of the nature of chapter I of the Principia may be obtained.
This paper will identify and discuss a unique theological principle underlying the ideas put forth in Emanuel Swedenborg’s Deliciae Sapientiae de Amore Conjugiali, Post Quas Sequunter Voluptates Insaniae de Amore Scortatorio, published in Amsterdam in 1768. Subsequent translators have rendered this title Marriage Love (Samuel Warren), Marital Love (William Wunsch), Conjugial Love (Alfred Acton and others), Love in Marriage, (David Gladish), and Married Love (Bruce Rogers). A unique book in itself (the first, for instance, of Swedenborg’s theological books to be signed by the author), it is pragmatic in its approach to the exposition of principles, yet quite complex in character. It is an ethical discussion of love in marriage, and the perversion of that love. It is practical thoughts on worldly matters. This pragmatic treatment of theological matters has provided generations of readers a rendering of New Church theology into plain religion.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is known for his claim to a continuous experience of the afterlife while still in the world. From the time that he first began having spiritual experiences he would write down brief, often rather hasty paragraphs in learned but informal NeoLatin on what he had seen and heard in the world beyond. By the end of his life Swedenborg had written over 6000 such paragraphs, to which he added an index almost half as large as the work itself.