April 8, 2015

The Existence of Faith From Charity - Which is Before and Which is After

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Charity produces faith as good produces truth, and as affection produces thought, likewise as fire produces light.
It is speaking wholly contrary to order and inversely, to say that faith produces charity or its goods, which are called good works. But it is to be known that charity (which in its essence is the affection of knowing, understanding, willing, and doing truth), does not come into any perception of man until it has formed itself in the thought, which is from the understanding; for it then presents itself under some form or image by which it appears before the interior sight, for the thought that a thing is so in truth is called faith. From this it is clear that charity is actually prior and faith posterior, as good is actually prior and truth posterior, or as that which produces is essentially prior to the product, and as the esse is prior to the existere, for charity is from the Lord, and is also formed first in the spiritual mind; but because charity does not appear to man before it becomes faith therefore it may be said that faith does not exist with man until it becomes charity in form. So it may be said of the existence of charity and faith with man, that they both come into existence at the same moment; for although charity produces faith, yet as they make one neither of them in respect to man's perception can exist separate from the other in regard either to degree or to quality. Thence it is evident that the conjunction of the Lord with man is like the conjunction of good with truth. Good is from the Lord, and truths are with man, but they are truths that are not yet living. But as man receives good in truths so he receives the Lord into himself and lives; and he receives in the measure in which he abstains from evils, and from the Word shuns and turns away from them, for thus he shuns and turns away from them from the Lord and not from self.
(Apocalypse Explained 795)