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I was looking at the meaning of the word 'excusatory' on dictionary.com and I found this sentence in examples, which is just hard to read and understand:

'The excusatory causes which are not real are such as are not grounded in what is just, although in the appearance of what is just.' ~ The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love, Emanuel Swedenborg

That doesn't sound right, the part with 'are such as are not grounded'. Can it be written better as 'The excusatory causes which are not real are not grounded in what is just, but in the appearance of what is just'?

Is that an error at all? In the original sentence.

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    The "original" was probably written in Swedish several hundred years ago. OED doesn't explicitly say excusatory is obsolete - but they say that of excusator, from which it derives. Obviously it could be written "better" (read, "more naturally, more intelligibly") in current English, but there's nothing inherently wrong with the text you've cited. Your suggested rewrite changes the nuance of the original (which defines "unreal excusatory causes", whereas yours simply makes a statement about them). – FumbleFingers Oct 21 '15 at 15:39
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    @FumbleFingers It would be interesting to know if there were a word in Swedish, of which excusatory is a convenient translation. But once you get into justice versus the appearance of justice life does get complicated. Unless anyone is au fait with Plato's Republic I wouldn't even attempt it. – WS2 Oct 21 '15 at 17:23
  • @WS2: Actually, I get the impression from this that Swedenburg himself wrote The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love in English in 1768. Mainstream Anglophones have always used conjugal, as the full OED points out. – FumbleFingers Oct 21 '15 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers I tend to agree. As a matter of interest these are a couple of the examples the OED gives of excusatory which seems to have been a well-established notion in Swedenborg's time: 1642 E. Dering Coll. Speeches on Relig. To Rdr., Let those who are in a fault ransom themselves with excusatory defences. 1748 S. Richardson Clarissa VII. ii. 16, I hear the fellow's voice in a humble excusatory tone. 1865 Dickens Our Mutual Friend II. iii. vii. 56 Offering these excusatory words as if they reflected great credit on himself. – WS2 Oct 21 '15 at 17:36
  • Swedenborg wrote in Latin. – JEL Oct 27 '15 at 2:50
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The answer to both your questions is'No', though I would not recommend spending much time on Swedenborg these days, unless it is some sort of set book.

It would be slightly clearer if you replaced such as with those that.

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