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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

a kingdom in the northern part of Europe. In conjunction with Norway it forms the Scandinavian Peninsula, occupying itself the larger part of this peninsula. Its geographical position is between lat. 55 ° 20' and 690 N. and long. 11 ° 10' and 240.10' E. and it extends not far from.1000 miles from north to south, and in its greatest breadth, 300 miles from east to west. It is bounded on the north by Norwegian Lapland, east by Russia, south by the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic, and west by the Sound, the Cattegat, and Norway. The country has the characteristic features of all northern regions. Many parts of it, especially in the north, are barren and unproductive. Its immense forests are a source of great revenue, the wood being, used not only for fuel, but entering quite generally into the construction of the exterior as well as the interior parts of all buildings, and furnishing also a profitable article for export. All the grains peculiar to northern countries- are, raised in Sweden, not only in sufficient quantity for home consumption, but also for export. In some of the metals it is very rich, and no small part of the wealth of the country comes from the working of mines of gold, silver, iron, copper, etc. The description which has been given of Norway, so far as the natural productions of the country are concerned, will apply to Sweden, and renders any minute detail in this respect unnecessary. (See Norway).

The great political divisions of Sweden are three Gothland, Svealand, and Norrland. Gothland has thirteen subdivisions, Svealand eight, and Norrland five; the whole giving an area of 167,477 square miles, and having a population of a little more than four millions and a quarter. The largest city is Stockholm, having a population in 1883 of 194,469. The only other city of considerable size in Sweden is Gothenburg, which has a population of 81,203; but there are quite a large number of cities and towns having a population of over 12,000.

I. History. The early history of Sweden is involved in great obscurity, nor do we find much in that history that will interest the general reader until we come down to the time of Gustavus Vasa, who, with great heroism, made an attack on Christian II, and succeeded in obtaining the throne in 1523. The next character that stands out prominently on the pages of Swedish history is Gistavus Adolplus, the great champion of the Protestant faith, and the powerful foe with whom Austria had, to contend during the important period of the Thirty Years War. Gulstavus was most fortunate in his counselors and statesmen, especially in his chancellor, the wise and good Oxenstiern (q.v.), who, after the death of his sovereign at the battle of Lutzen in 1662, was entrusted with the management of affairs during the minority of Christina, the daughter of Gustavus, who succeeded to the throne. Passing over a few years, we come to the period during which the celebrated Charles XII sat on the throne, whose wonderful martial exploits form one of the most brilliant pages of modern history. At the commencement of his reign the kingdom of Sweden was at the height of its power and of its glory. When he closed his administration, and, by his death, Sweden came under the dominion of his sister, Ulrica Eleonora, its prospects were far from flattering. She surrendered herself to the control of her husband, Frederick of Hesse-Cassel, whose administration of the affairs of Sweden was most unfortunate and humiliating. In making terms of peace with the enemies with whom she had been at war for so long a time, cessions of large territories which were once within the boundaries of the kingdom had to be made. Ulrica dying without issue, the throne passed into the hands of Adolphus Frederick, in fulfillment of one of the terms of peace prescribed by the empress of Russia in the treaty of 1743. His reign of twenty years was one of constant commotion and trouble. At his death, in 1771, his son Gustavus III succeeded to the crown and reigned twenty years, when he was assassinated, and his son Gustavus IV, a minor in age, came to the throne, with his uncle, the duke of Saermannland, as regent. For various reasons the young king, after a few years, was compelled to abdicate, and his uncle, the regent, under the title of Charles XIII, became king. Upon his decease, Feb. 5,1818, the French marshal Bernadotte was elected king, taking the title of Charles XIV. During his reign of twenty-six years, Sweden enjoyed a good degree of prosperity, and recovered, in considerable measure, what she had lost under the reigns of his predecessors. At his death, in 1844, his son Oscar I succeeded him and perfected the plans of his father for developing the resources of the country and adding to its material wealth. His reign lasted fifteen years (1844-59), during the last two of which, on account of his ill-health, his son and successor had acted as regent. This son, Charles XV, was king for thirteen years (1859-72). During his administration, liberal ideas gained the ascendency, and the result was the introduction into the government of many constitutional reforms. Charles died in 1872, and was succeeded by the present king, Oscar II.

II. Religion. Christianity was first introduced d into Sweden in the year 830 by Anschar, a monk of Corbey, Westphalia, although the Swedish historians assert that many of the people embraced the Gospel still earlier, and that in 813 a church was erected at Linkoping by Herbert, a, Saxon- ecclesiastic. The labors of Anschar were followed up by his successor, Rembert, who founded several churches, but gained few converts. Several of Rembert's successors failed to prosecute the work, and Christianity became almost extinct; and it was not until 1026 that Sweden became a Christian state. The Reformation commenced in Sweden in 1524 under Gustavus I, who secretly encouraged the preaching of Lutheran doctrines, in order, when he had formed a party of sufficient strength, to seize the revenues of this dominant Church and abolish its worship. One of the most popular and able missionaries of t1he Reformation was Olaf Petri, who published the New Test. in the Swedish language. The bishops called upon the king to suppress the translation, who treated their proposal with indifference, and consented to a public disputation at Upsala between the Romish and Protestant parties. This controversy tended to open the eves of the people to the errors of the Romish creed, and they welcomed the missionaries to their houses. Gustavus seized at once two thirds of the whole ecclesiastical revenues, and authorized the clergy to marry and mix with the world. He also declared himself a Lutheran, nominated Lutherans to the vacant sees, and placed Lutherans in the parish churches. In the course of two years the Romish worship was solemnly and universally abolished, and the Confession of Augsburg was received as the only rule of faith. John, who succeeded to the throne in 1569, had married Catharine of Poland, a Roman Catholic, and soon displayed a decided leaning towards the old faith. In the fervor of his zeal he prepared a new liturgy, entitled "Liturgy of the Swedish Church, Conformable to the Catholic and Orthodox Church." This liturgy was rejected by the mass of the clergy of both churches, and even the papal sanction was refused. Still, the king so far prevailed as to induce the Swedish Church to revise its liturgy, and to declare all opposed to revision guilty of schism. On his death, his brother Charles became regent, and one of his first acts was to induce the Synod of Upsala (1593) to abolish the liturgy prepared by the late king and depose those ecclesiastics who had defended it. Sigismunld, hearing of these proceedings, came to Sweden and inaugurated violent measures in behalf of the Romish faith, which were so generally opposed by clergy and people that he returned in disgust to Poland. Charles took up the work of reform, caused a decree to be published in 1600 that the Confession of Augsburg should be the only rule of faith in Sweden, that all Romish priests should leave the country in six weeks, and prescribing general conformity under penalty of banishment. Under queen Christina the Church sank into a deplorable condition of spiritual declension and decay. There was a religious awakening, however, under the preaching of Ulstadius, who suffered for his zeal by a long imprisonment. To put an end to what was called in ridicule Pietism, an act was passed in 1713, and a still: more stringent one in 1726, prohibiting, under heavy penalties, all private religious meetings or conventicles. These harsh measures and the desire for true spirituality led a number of the people to seek permission to have the old books used in the churches of their parishes, or to have regularly ordained pastors serve them, promising themselves to maintain them, in addition to paying all dues, as formerly, to the parish priest. This was refused, and they withdrew from the worship of the national Church, enduring many disabilities, as denial of marriage, fines, and penalties. It was not till 1873 that dissenting ministers were allowed to marry.

The established Church of Sweden is Lutheran, all sects of Christians, however, being tolerated. The king nominates the archbishop and the bishops from a list of names presented to him by the ecclesiastical authorities. The archbishop of Upsala is the head of the Swedish Church, having under him eleven bishops. All ecclesiastical matters of importance are subject to the decision of the king. A revolution in religious matters is now going on in Sweden, which cannot fail, in time, to make itself felt in its influence on the future destiny of the national Church. Especially prosperous have been the missionary operations of- the Baptists under the labors of the Rev. Andreas Wiberg and his fellow-laborers. Thousands of converts have been gathered into Baptist churches, and the work of evangelization seems to be but in its infancy.

In 1854 the Rev. O. P. Petersen was commissioned by the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to open missions in the Scandinavian missionary; he had, as an assistant missionary, Peter Larssen, who went to Sweden and visited several families at Calmar. A mission was begun in 1864 at Wishy, in the island of Gothland, and from that time the work has been very prosperous. The General Conference of 1876 ordered the Swedish mission to be organized into an Annual Conference, which was effected under the presidency of bishop Andrews at Upsala, Aug. 7, 1876. The following is a summary of the statistics of the mission for 1889: Number of ministers, 63; local preachers, 117; Sunday-schools, 202; teachers and officers, 1097; Sunday-school scholars, 14,417; members and probationers, 15,786; churches, 84; probable value of churches, $197,534.

III. Education. To the credit of Sweden it is to be said that she has provided most liberally for the education of the young. There is a common school system, instruction being gratuitous, and children not attending the regular government schools are obliged to furnish certificates that they are under the tuition of private teachers. The result of all this careful and systematic attention to education is that seldom is a Swede found who cannot read and write. The higher seats of learning are well patronized. The University of Upsala takes high rank among the literary institutions of Northern Europe. Its home is in the town from which it takes its name Upsala, forty-five miles north-west of Stockholm, a place of some 20,000 inhabitants. The attendance of students is large; as high sometimes as 1500, who gather here not only to pursue the regular course of collegiate study, but to listen to lectures from the professors of theology law, medicine, and philosophy. The university has a valuable library of over 150,000 volumes, several museums and collections, a botanical garden, and an observatory. Both the army and the navy are well represented by schools, the former having two well-conducted institutions, one at Carlberg and another at Marieberg, designed especially for the training of officers of the engineering and artillery departments, and the latter having a school for naval cadets at Stockholm, There are to be found in Sweden-as there are in all countries where the people are well educated-in all towns and villages, libraries, museums of art, etc., societies for the promotion of science and literature, publications in the form of newspapers and periodicals of many kinds, so that the diffusion of knowledge is wide- spread and healthy.

IV. Literature. See Adlerfeldt, Histoire Militaire De Charles Xii (Paris, 1741, 3 vols. 12mo); Brown, Memoirs of the Sovereign of Sweden and Denmark (Lond. 1804, 3 vols. 8vo); Arndt, Erinnerungen aus. Schweden (Berlin, 1818, 8vo); Dunham, History of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (Lond. 1833-34, 3 vols. 12mo); Gall, Reise durch Schweden in 1836 (Bremen, 1838, 2 vols. 12mo); Laing, Tour in Sweden in 1838 (Lond. 1839, 8vo); Sylvanus, Rambles in Sweden and Gothland, with Etchings by the Way-side (ibid. 1847, 8vo); Tham, Beskrifung ofver Sveriges Rike (Stockh. 1849-56,7 vols. 8vo); Marryatt, Year in Sweden and Gothland (Lond, 1862, 8vo).

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [2]

A kingdom of Northern Europe, occupying the eastern portion of the great Scandinavian Peninsula, bounded W. by Norway, E. by Russian Finland, Gulf of Bothnia, and the Baltic, and on the N. stretches across the Arctic circle between Norway (NW.) and Russia (NE.), while its southern serrated shores are washed by the Skager-Rack, Cattegat, and Baltic. From the mountain-barrier of Norway the country slopes down in broad terrace-like plains to the sea, intersected by many useful rivers and diversified by numerous lakes, of which Lakes Wenner, Wetter, and Mälar (properly an arm of the sea) are the largest, and lying under forest to the extent of nearly one-half its area; is divided into three great divisions: 1, Norrland in the N., a wide and wild tract of mountainous country, thickly forested, infested by the wolf, bear, and lynx, in summer the home of the wood-cutter, and sparsely inhabited by Lapps. 2, Svealand or Sweden proper occupies the centre, and is the region of the great lakes and of the principal mineral wealth (iron, copper, &c.) of the country. 3, Gothland, the southern portion, embraces the fertile plains sloping to the Cattegat, and is the chief agricultural district, besides possessing iron and coal. Climate is fairly dry, with a warm summer and long cold winter. Agriculture (potatoes, grain, rye, beet), although scarcely 8 per cent. of the land is under cultivation, is the principal industry, and with dairy-farming, stock-raising, &c., gives employment to more than one-half of the people; mining and timber-felling are only less important; chief industries are iron-works, sugar-refineries, cotton-mills, &c.; principal exports timber (much the largest), iron, steel, butter, &c., while textiles and dry-goods are the chiefly needed imports. Transit is greatly facilitated by the numerous canals and by the rivers and lakes. Railways and telegraphs are well developed in proportion to the population. As in Norway, the national religion is Lutheranism; education is free and compulsory. Government is vested in the king, who with the advice of a council controls the executive, and two legislative chambers which have equal powers, but the members of the one are elected for nine years by provincial councils, while those of the other are elected by the suffrages of the people, receive salaries, and sit only for three years. The national debt amounts to 14½ million pounds. In the 14th century the country became an appanage of the Danish crown, and continued as such until freedom was again won in the 16th century by the patriot king, Gustavus Vasa. By the 17th century had extended her rule across the seas into certain portions of the empire, but selling these in the beginning of the 18th century, fell from her rank as a first-rate power. In 1814Norway was annexed, and the two countries, each enjoying complete autonomy, are now united under one crown.