September 23, 2015

What Love Dictates

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What are truths of faith from love?
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  (Matt 22:37-40)
Truths of faith from love are truths which love dictates, thus which derive their being from love.  These truths are living, because the things which are from love are living.  Consequently the truths of faith from love are those which treat of love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, for these are the truths which love dictates. The whole Word is the doctrine of such truths; for in its spiritual sense the Word treats solely of things which belong to the Lord and the neighbor, thus which belong to love to the Lord and toward the neighbor. It is from this that the Word is living. This is meant by the statement that "on these two commandments hang the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 22:34-40); "the Law and the Prophets" denote the Word in its whole complex.

But truths of faith from love are not bare knowledges of such things with man in the memory, and from this in the understanding; but they are affections of life with him; for the things which a man loves and therefore does, are of his life. There are also truths of faith which do not, like the former, treat of love; but which merely confirm these truths more nearly, or more remotely. These truths of faith are called secondary truths.

For the truths of faith are like families and their generations in succession from one father. The father of these truths is the good of love from the Lord and consequently to Him, thus it is the Lord; for whether we say the Lord, or love from Him and consequently to Him, it is the same thing; because love is spiritual conjunction, and causes Him to be where the love is; for love causes him who is loved to be present in itself.

(Arcana Coelestia 9841)