For Heaven's Sake, by Brian Kingslake

from Brian Kingslake, "For heaven's sake. Forty-six variants on the theme: how to react to the conditions of life on earth in such as way as to prepare oneself for life in the kingdom of heaven (Christopher: North Quincy, MA, 1974)

Table of  Contents


For Heaven's Sake!

by Rev. Brian Kingslake


"The Lord's Divine Providence has for its end a heaven of angels from the human race." - Swedenborg

When my grandfather died in the early twenties, a number of his books were dumped upon our household, including a leather bound set of the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Though I was only in my teens, these old tomes fascinated me, at first for their antiquarian interest, but afterwards because of the extraordinary nature of their contents.

Swedenborg (who was born in Stockholm in 1688 and died in London in 1772) claimed that during the last twenty-eight years of his life he had had his inner consciousness opened by the Lord into the Spiritual World, so that he could live with angels and spirits like one of them, visiting with them in their homes, conversing with them, and sharing their love and wisdom to a very high degree.

I discussed the matter excitedly with my father, and we concluded that, since there was no hint of insanity in these works, here was obviously a case of "either - or." Either Swedenborg's claims were basically true (even literally true) or he must have possessed the most vivid imagination of anyone who had ever lived! Now, according to my reading, Swedenborg had in all other areas a rather prosaic imagination. He was conspicuous as a trained observer in the scientific field, with monumental works to his credit in mineralogy, cosmology, anatomy and physiology, which displayed a marvelous power of inductive reasoning from empirical data, but little if any of the kind of creative imagination which one associates with Dante, Milton or Blake.

As I read on, I became more and more convinced of the value of these formidable volumes. In fact, they changed the course of my thinking and of my life, leading me in the end to enter the ministry of the "Church of the New Jerusalem" or "New Church" which bases its beliefs on Swedenborg's theological and philosophical works.

My object in writing "For Heaven's Sake!" has not been specifically to promulgate Swedenborg's doctrines, although the insights the book contains have been developed within the framework of his theological system. My sole purpose has been to help the reader in his spiritual growth. I have therefore drawn very largely on my own forty years' experience as a pastor, in England, South Africa and the U.S.A. Each chapter is complete in itself, and can be read separately, as for instance when you are in bed before dropping off to sleep; but there is a general sequence of thought throughout the whole book. I have not hesitated to repeat the main points over and over again, to drive them home; in fact, the volume could be regarded as "forty-six variations on a theme," the theme being: How to react to the conditions of life on earth, in such a way as to prepare oneself for life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Brian Kingslake

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