March 18, 2015

Two Ways of Procuring the Truths which are of Faith

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There are two ways of procuring the truths which are of faith - by means of doctrinal things, and by means of the Word. When man procures them only by doctrinal things, he then has faith in those who have drawn them from the Word, and he confirms them in himself to be true because others have said so; thus he does not believe them from his own faith, but from that of others. But when he procures them for himself from the Word, and thereby confirms them in himself to be true, he then believes them because they are from the Divine, and thus believes them from faith given from the Divine.

Everyone who is within the church first procures the truths which are of faith from doctrinal things, and also must so procure them, because he has not yet sufficient strength of judgment to enable him to see them himself from the Word; but in this case these truths are to him nothing but memory-knowledges. But when he is able to view them from his own judgment, if he then does not consult the Word in order to see from it whether they are true, they remain in him as memory-knowledges; while if he does consult the Word from the affection and end of knowing truths, he then, when he has found them, procures for himself the things of faith from the genuine fountain, and they are appropriated to him from the Divine.
(Arcana Coelestia 5402)