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world. In the midst of the poor hovels of the tradespeople it rises in all its magnificence, surrounded by a certain number of elegant though smaller mansions inhabited by the married sons and daughters of Isrolka.
“What imagination can picture of luxury and grandeur seems to be united in the splendid apartments of these houses. There is in the palace a real magazine of plate, both ancient and modern, representing a value equal to several hundreds of thousands of thalers. The finest Turkish carpets and damask draperies are found in great profusion in the rooms in common use, and these magnificent things are the pious offerings of the Sclavonian Jews.
“The park is limited by greenhouses and orangeries, which are tastefully: combined. The palace is like a princely dwelling, furnished and decorated with the most refined luxury. Viewed in the midst of the poor hovels of Sada-Gora, it appears like some fairy palace placed there by a magical power.
“Isrolka is venerated as a supernatural being. Whenever he is to show himself in the streets it is always known some hours before the event takes place. Then the windows, the doors, the streets, and the squares of the town are immediately filled by a crowd of people anxious to see him. Some climb up the roof and trees in order to behold the chief of the royal family; they expose themselves to be beaten or crushed, provided they may admire their idol.
“Isrolka is married; his sons and daughters are married very young. His sons-in-law are chosen from amongst the wealthiest people of the country. They are requircd to settle at Sada-Gora, and to build in the neighbourhood of the palace a mansion of the same kind, but smaller. The children of the family of Isrolka are brought up like young princes and princesses, and have French, German, English, and Russian governesses and tutors. .
“A great number of agents are set over the business of the house, which consists especially in the reception of presents. The morning is spent by Isrolka in giving audiences; aided by his private secretary he receives pilgrims who have been previously announced; he allows himself to be looked at for a few moments without uttering a single word, and accepts the traditional gift, which must not be less than ten florins.
“In the afternoon he takes a ride. Not very long ago his carriage was followed by a coach filled with musicians, but this musical accompaniment is discontinued ; it may probably have been forbidden by the Austrian Government.
folka in giving a been previously, anut uttering a s
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aimed him"ison, he sought his wealth
“More than forty years ago the grandfather of Isrolka made a great show in Russia, and kept a personal guard of twenty Cossacks, who used to follow his carriage. The Emperor Nicholas having by chance witnessed this display of Oriental luxury, interdicted it, and sent Isrolka into the prison of Kiew. His partizans and his wealth having opened to him the gates of the prison, he sought for a refuge at Sada-Gora. The Emperor claimed him as a Russian subject; but the gold of the family of Isrolka was stronger than the Emperor, and it prevailed in disposing twelve peasants of Buchowina to affirm by oath that the refugee was born in Sada-Gora. This corner of the earth harbours a dense colony of Jews, which in a few years has been rising from twenty-five thousand souls to about five hundred thousand. At the distance of a few leagues from this mighty and increasing population, Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Austria, shelters swarms of Israelites.
“In most kingdoms where the members of the Jewish nation are settled they have a controlling power over the press, over industry and steam, by means of their gold, and through its medium whole nations may be speedily united and transformed into an army, and so wing their way without difficulty to any locality of Europe.
“If such be the aim of the Jews they might some day alight as from the clouds on the peninsula of the Balkan and on Constantinople. If at any time it pleased Israel to take advantage of some of the important crises which revolutionary politics create in the world, with what facility would the millions of Jews flow to this new realm!
“The Jews of Roumelia are in the act of devouring a nation; they have on their flank and in their rear immense corps of elite and reserve formed by populations of Hungary, Poland, Gallicia, Germany, etc., all of the same descent, and inspired by the same national spirit. The avowed aim of these populations is to found in Roumelia and in the bordering provinces a new Palestine, until the exodus takes place which will bring back Israel to ancient Palestine."
DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF EMANUEL SWEDEN
BORG, collected, translated, and annotated, by R. L. TAFEL, M.A.,
36 Bloomsbury Street, London. 1877. THESE parts, in two volumes, containing 1382 pages large 8vo, complete the labours of Professor Tafel in bringing together all the facts that are recorded or at present attainable concerning the life and works of Swedenborg. The work, in its entirety, may be considered as exhaustive, and this to an extent which no previous labourer in the same field had conceived or desired : there is not a known circumstance connected with Swedenborg which is not filled in from every real source of information with the persons who stood around him at the time, and which is not related in fitting series to that which precedes and follows ; and, moreover, which does not serve as a point and a plane for the addition of those spiritual explanations which are the prime and the central interest in Swedenborg's career. The amount of labour implied in this achievement is something that we English have the wit to encourage and to pay for, but not the faculties to execute ; and we have to thank Professor Tafel for continuing and completing the labours of his unwearied kinsman, Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, who pointed out the way which, age by age, will lead on into further studies of Swedenborg, regarded biographically, historically, and as a cardinal man in the history of Christianity upon earth.
For this age, at any rate, the external basis on which the name and fame of Swedenborg repose, appears now in these volumes to be immovable and complete ; the diversities of opinion, for or against the sanity of Swedenborg, for or against the claims of the New Church, have a solid ground to go upon, and a final court of appeal to which to resort. Controversialists on both sides have no more any excuse for incomplete statements drawn from inaccurate data ; but the facts of the case, continually abiding a fresh issue, are once for all in court. This result every impartial thinker and investigator will accept with gratitude ; and literature will hail the placing of this monument and foundation of Swedenborg in its pale as an event of great augury for its own enlargement, and a presage of judgment and fairness in a difficult cause, in the time to come.
To give an analysis of these three volumes, exceeding, as they do, 2000 pages, is beyond the scope of the Repository; to give more than a general idea of their contents is impracticable ; and the present writer, who has himself been, for a great part of his life, a student and small labourer in the same field, has been privileged to speak here of Professor Tafel's work, simply that he may add some opinion of the nature and success of the work now under consideration
He can only summarize that, to the best of his judgment, the labour is now over, and the work is done. Swedenborg and the contemporaries of
Swedenborg are before the reader in propria persona; the published books and unpublished manuscripts of Swedenborg have given up their present informations to round and inspire the life of the series of events; and an adequate philosophical and theological mind has presided over these matters to correct appearances, to give facts their proper value, and to make the data of Swedenborg's biography, conversation, and recorded experiences, carry everywhere the stamp of a commissioned progress, and suggest and confirm the momentous issues of the New Church.
At first sight the reader may complain of the number of small particulars which are given by the Professor, and may consider the sketches of persons who come in contact with Swedenborg, unnecessary, and excessive in detail. But a further consideration will show that, in order to ultimate justice to the subject, no line could be drawn inside of admitting all the facts, both direct and collateral, leaving to the future time the option of making its own selections from the mass. These volumes are like the building of a great pier or lighthouse in an often angry sea of popular movements and passions, with insane storms raging about it. The lighthouse, the historical man Swedenborg, is rivetted into the rock by his own proper foundations, and is an integral part of the granite base. Besides this, blocks of fact, great and small, collateral to the base, are morticed and planted round, and give their own natural strength and support to the Pharos, which stands high and strong above the washing of the mad doctors and the popular sea. This we believe to be, in a metaphor, the ground and justification of the immense collection of materials which is gathered subserviently here around the feet of Swedenborg's natural life.
In such a case it is impossible at any given time to say what is important, or unimportant, in the facts which are to hånd. On the one side, there is a body of spiritual inductions and deductions to be made from time to time. On the other, there is a large table of evidence and experiences ; and seeniingly insignificant facts may be wanted, in the course of an 'assize which is ever proceeding, to supply and suggest some part of the judgment which mankind is entitled to form respecting the mission of Swedenborg.
Therefore we hail with gratitude the prodigious particularity of Professor Tafel; and where we are least competent to use it now, we admit at once that it is justified, and must be of use. At any rate it has the use of winding up external inquiry by leaving nothing unsaid.
In these documents we do not find great additions made to the material facts of Swedenborg's history, but rather every point is authenticated, the original sources are attained wherever possible, and fresh' translations by Professor Tafel himself keep us close throughout to the text of the first narrators. These characteristics of the work are sufficient to stamp it with a judicial character. It is an exhaustive evidence-taking of all the witnesses to, about, and against Swedenborg; and a complete cross-examination of Swedenborg himself, especially as he is revealed in his worke, in his private memoranda, and in his manuscripts. Yet if there are not many new facts, there are some that are of great importance to the case. .
Among these novel additions we may mention the evidence of Baron
Tilas, from which the editor draws the conclusion that Swedenborg carefully concealed the fact that his spiritual sight had been opened from the knowledge of his own countrymen until the year 1760 ; a period of seventeen years after the event took place. This sustained silence, besides being enjoined upon him, was only possible under the conditions of great strength and sanity of character, and is, it may be presumed, unparalleled in the history of religious movements, and quite out of the lines of religious enthusiasm.
Connected with this, and about the time when the facts of Swedenborg's inner life became known in Stockholm, this substantial seer and walker in the spiritual world appeared in the Swedish Parliament, and read several memorials on important topics in public affairs. He threw down the gauntlet of his extraordinary sanity in the arena of practical life; and appeared in the lists as a Swedish patriot, while he was industriously executing the Lord's commission in His spiritual realms. Some of these memorials appear to be important for this day, and especially one which he presented on finance, where he charged the Government to enter upon the resumption of specie payments, and to withdraw the depreciated paper currency from circulation. Even here the breadth of his views is manifest, for without declaring in the abstract against a paper currency, he says that a nation which could continue to maintain a representative without a real currency would be without a parallel among the nations of the world. From which we may gather that whenever, throughout mankind, promises to pay are equivalent to payments, the paper on which the promises are written will be more valuable because more commodious and representative than gold.
Another set of facts brought into clear light are those pertaining to the date of the opening of Swedenborg's spiritual sight and spiritual faculties. This is not a mere matter of chronology, but vital in the course of the editor's narrative. It is elicited with masterly distinctness, and the result communicated in nine pages, 1118-1127, that set the question at rest, and to the writing of which years of investigation must have contributed. We commend these pages to the reader as sufficient to give him a powerful knowledge of the energy which has been put forth by Professor Tafel. The result attained is, that the opening of Swedenborg's vision was for three years, perhaps for more, a broadening state; not a matter of a date, but of an extended time; a development of openness as the Seer could bear it ; and in short, that, like all things Divine, Swedenborg's intromission into the spiritual world was a gradual and an orderly work.
This fact opens the door to a clearer perception of the inner life of Swedenborg; and leading us into a deep vein of biography hitherto inscrutable, carries us as with a guiding thread from very early indications in his works through many singular transitions of subject, style, and manner; and through perceptions always tending onwards, but altering into greater and greater clearness, into the full and final developments of his theological writings. In this series there are strange things, precisely because it is a series of evolution and metamorphosis, but the singularities rightly studied, and