March 29, 2015

When Charity is Principal

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
All who are in the Lord's kingdom are heirs; for they live from the Lord's life, which is the life of mutual love; and from this they are called sons. The Lord's sons or heirs are all who are in His life, because their life is from Him, and they are born of Him, that is, are regenerate. They who are born of anyone are heirs; and so are all who are being regenerated by the Lord, for in this case they receive His life.

In the Lord's kingdom there are those who are external, those who are interior, and those who are internal. Good spirits, who are in the first heaven, are external; angelic spirits, who are in the second heaven, are interior; and angels, who are in the third, are internal. They who are external are not so closely related or so near to the Lord, as they who are interior; nor are these so closely related or so near to the Lord, as they who are internal. The Lord, from the Divine love or mercy, wills to have all near to Himself; so that they do not stand at the doors, that is, in the first heaven; but He wills that they should be in the third; and, if it were possible, not only with Himself, but in Himself.

What pertains to doctrine does not itself make the external, still less the internal; nor with the Lord does it distinguish churches from each other, but that which does this is a life according to doctrinals, all of which, provided they are true, look to charity as their fundamental.
What is doctrine but that which teaches how a man must live?

In the Christian world it is doctrinal matters that distinguish churches; and from them men call themselves Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, or the Reformed and the Evangelical, and by other names. It is from what is doctrinal alone that they are so called; which would never be if they would make love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor the principal of faith. Doctrinal matters would then be only varieties of opinion concerning the mysteries of faith, which truly Christian men would leave to everyone to hold in accordance with his conscience, and would say in their hearts that a man is truly a Christian when he lives as a Christian, that is, as the Lord teaches. Thus from all the differing churches there would be made one church; and all the dissensions that come forth from doctrine alone would vanish; yea, all hatreds of one against another would be dissipated in a moment, and the Lord's kingdom would come upon the earth.

The Ancient Church just after the flood, although spread through many kingdoms, was yet of this character, that is, men differed much among themselves as to doctrinal matters, but still made charity the principal; and they looked upon worship, not from doctrinal matters which pertain to faith, but from charity which pertains to life. This is meant where it is said (Gen. 11:1), that they all had one lip, and their words were one.

(Arcana Coelestia 1799)

March 28, 2015

Every One has His Peculiar Life

From Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Every one has his peculiar life, thus a life distinct from that of another, is known; for there is a perpetual variety and no one thing is the same as another. Each one therefore has what is his own. This is very manifest from the faces of men, in that there is no one face just like another, and cannot be to eternity.
The reason is that there are no minds alike, and the faces are from the mind; for the face, as has been said, is the type of the mind, and the mind derives its origin and form from the life.
If a man had not his own life, just as he has his own mind and his own face, he would have no life after death distinct from that of another. Yea, neither would there be any heaven, for heaven consists of perpetually distinct individuals. Its form is solely from the varieties of souls and minds disposed in such order as to make one, and they make one from the One whose life is in all and in the single ones therein, as the soul is in man. If it were not so heaven would be dispersed because its form would be dissolved. The One, from whom all and each single individual have life, and from whom the form coheres, is the Lord. Every form in general is from various things, and is such as is their harmonious co-ordination and disposition into one. Such is the human form. Hence it is that man, consisting of so many members, viscera and organs, has no feeling within himself or from himself but that he is one.

That his own life awaits every one after death is known in the church from the Word, as from these things there:
The Son of man shall come, and then He shall reward every man according to his works (Matt. xvi. 27).
I saw the books opened, and they were judged every man according to his works (Rev. xx. 12, 13).
In the day of judgment God shall render to every man according to his deeds (Rom. ii. 5, 6; 2 Cor. v. 10).
The deeds, according to which it will be rendered to every one, are the life, because the life does them and they are according to the life.

As it has been given to me for many years to be with the angels, and to talk with those that were coming from the world, I can testify for a certainty that every one is explored there as to what his life has been; and that the life which he has contracted in the world remains with him to eternity. I have conversed with those who lived ages ago whose life was known to me from history, and have recognized that it was like the description. I have also heard from the angels that the life of no one can be changed after death, because it is organized, in accordance with his love and thence his works, and if they were changed the organization would be torn to pieces, which can never be done. And that a change in organization only takes place while in the material body, and is entirely impossible in the spiritual body, after the former is cast off.

That then is imputed to an evil man the evil of his life; and to the good man is imputed the good of his life. The imputation of evil is not accusation, crimination, inculpation, and judgment, as in the world, but the evil itself works this; for the evil, of their own free will, separate themselves from the good, because they cannot be together. The delights of the love of evil have an aversion to the delights of the love of good, and from every one his delights exhale, as do the odors from every plant on earth; for they are not absorbed and concealed by a material body as before, but flow freely forth from their loves into the spiritual aura. And as evil is there sensibly perceived as in its odor, it is this that accuses, criminates, inculpates, and judges, not before any judge, but before every one who is in good. And this is what is meant by imputation. Moreover an evil man chooses his companions, with whom he may live in his delight; and as he has an aversion to the delight of good, he of his own accord, betakes himself to his own in hell.

The imputation of good is effected in like manner. This takes place with those who in the world acknowledged that all the good in them is from the Lord and none from themselves. These are let into the interior delights of good, after they are prepared, and then the way is opened for them into heaven, to the society where its delights are homogeneous. This is done by the Lord.                                                                                    
(Conjugial Love 524)

March 27, 2015

What Order Is

From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
(1) God is order itself.

(2) He created man from order, in order, and into order.

(3) He created man's rational mind in accordance with the order of the whole spiritual world, and his body in accordance with the order of the whole natural world; and this is why man was called by the ancients a little heaven and a little cosmos.

(4) Therefore it is a law of order that man from his little heaven or his little spiritual world should govern his little cosmos or little natural world, just as God from His great heaven or spiritual world governs the great cosmos or natural world in each thing and all things of it.

(5) It is a resulting law of order that it is needful for man to lead himself into faith by means of truths from the Word, and into charity by means of good works, and so reform and regenerate himself.

(6) It is a law of order that man by his own exertion and power should purify himself from sins, and not stand still, believing in his own impotency, and expecting God to wash his sins away in a moment.

(7) It is also a law of order that man should love God with his whole soul and with his whole heart, and his neighbor as himself, and should not wait and expect that God will in an instant put these loves into his mind and heart, as bread from a baker may be put into his mouth.
(True Christian Religion 71:2)

March 26, 2015


From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In the Word frequent mention is made of "light," and by this in the internal sense is signified the truth which is from good but in the supreme internal sense there is signified the Lord Himself, because He is good and truth itself. Moreover there actually is light in heaven, but infinitely brighter than the light on earth; and in this light spirits and angels see one another, and by means of it is displayed all the glory which is in heaven. In regard to its lucidity, this light does indeed appear like the light in the world; but still it is not like it, for it is not natural, but spiritual, having in it wisdom; so that it is nothing else than wisdom which so shines before the eyes of the angels; and therefore the wiser the angels are, the brighter is the light in which they are. Moreover this light illumines the understanding of man, especially that of a regenerate man; but it is not perceived by man so long as he is in the life of the body, because of the light of the world, which then is regnant.

Moreover the evil spirits in the other life see one another, and also see many representatives which exist in the world of spirits, and this indeed they do from the light of heaven; but their lumen is such as proceeds from a fire of coals, for the light of heaven is changed into such a lumen when it comes to them.

As regards the very origin of light, this has been from eternity from the Lord alone; for Divine good itself and Divine truth, from which light comes, is the Lord. The Divine Human, which was from eternity (John 17:5), was this light itself. And whereas this light could no longer affect the human race, which had removed itself so far from good and truth, thus from light, and had cast itself into darkness, therefore the Lord willed to put on by birth the human itself; for thus He could illumine not only the rational but also the natural things of man; for He made both the rational and the natural in Himself Divine, in order that He might also be a light to those who were in such gross darkness.

That the Lord is light, that is, good itself and truth itself, and that thus from Him is all intelligence and wisdom, consequently all salvation, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John came to bear witness of the light; he was not that light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:1, 4, 7-9).

The "Word" was the Divine truth, thus the Lord Himself as to the Divine Human, concerning which it is said that "the Word was with God, and God was the Word."

In the same Evangelist:
This is the judgment, that light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light (John 3:19);

where "light" denotes the Divine truth. Again:
Jesus said, I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

Yet a little while is the light with you; walk while ye have the light, lest darkness seize upon you; while ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light (John 12:35-36).
He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me; I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in the darkness (John 12:45-46).

In Luke:
Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel (Luke 2:30-32).

This is the prophecy of Simeon concerning the Lord when he was born.

In Matthew:
The people that sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, did light spring up (Matt. 4:16: Isa. 9:2);

from which passages it is very plain that the Lord as to the Divine good and truth in the Divine Human, is called "light." Also in the prophecies of the Old Testament, as in Isaiah:
The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame (Isa. 10:17).

I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, and I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles (Isa. 42:6).

I have given thee for a light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation, unto the end of the earth (Isa. 49:6).

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee. The gentiles shall walk to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising (Isa. 60:1, 3).

That all the light of heaven, consequently wisdom and intelligence, is from the Lord, is thus taught in John:
The holy city New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; the glory of God will enlighten it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof (Rev. 21:2, 23).

Again, speaking of the same:
There shall be no night there, and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light (Rev. 22:5).

Again in Isaiah:
The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but Jehovah shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light (Isa. 60:19-20).

"The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee" denotes that this will be the case with the things not of natural, but of spiritual light, which is signified by "Jehovah being an everlasting light." That "Jehovah" as mentioned here and elsewhere in the Old Testament, is the Lord, may be seen above.

And that He is the light of heaven He also manifested to the three disciples, Peter, James, and John, at his transfiguration, when:
His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment became as the light (Matt. 17:2).

His "face as the sun" was the Divine good; His "raiment as the light" was the Divine truth. Hence it may be known what is meant by the expression in the benediction:
Jehovah make His faces shine upon thee, and be merciful unto thee (Num. 6:25);

that the "faces of Jehovah" are mercy, peace, and good; and that the "sun" is the Divine love; thus that it is the Divine love of the Lord which appears as a sun in the heaven of angels, may also be seen above.
(Arcana Coelestia 3195)

March 25, 2015

The Accommodation of the Purely Spiritual and Celestial with Man

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28

by the "apostles" are not meant apostles, nor by "thrones," thrones, nor by "tribes," tribes, nor in fact by "twelve," twelve; but by all these terms - "apostles," "thrones," "tribes," and also by "twelve," are signified the primary things of faith; and it is from these and according to them that judgment is effected upon everyone. It was further shown that the apostles cannot judge even one man, but that all judgment is of the Lord alone.

(Arcana Coelestia 2129)

Man cannot apprehend any doctrine that is purely spiritual and celestial, that is, Divine, because it infinitely transcends his apprehension, and thus also his belief. All man's thoughts are terminated in the natural things which are connected with his senses. Whatever is not said from and according to these natural things is not comprehended, but perishes, like sight that has no bound in some ocean or universe; and therefore if doctrinal matters were set forth before a man in any other manner, they would not be at all received, and thus no respect would be entertained for them; as may be sufficiently evident from everything in the Word, where for this very reason purely Divine things themselves are set forth naturally, nay, sensuously; as that Jehovah has ears, eyes, and a face; and that He has feelings like a man, such as anger, and so forth.

This need was still greater at the time when the Lord came into the world, for then men did not know even what the celestial and the spiritual was, nor even that there was anything internal. Things merely earthly and worldly, and thus external, had full possession of their minds, as was the case with the apostles themselves, who imagined that the Lord's kingdom would be like a kingdom of this world, and therefore asked that one might sit on His right hand and another on His left, and who long thought that they should sit upon twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel; not as yet being aware that in the other life they would not have ability to judge even the smallest thing of one man.

(Arcana Coelestia 2553)

March 20, 2015

How Charity is to be Exercised

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Man is born not for the sake of himself but for the sake of others; that is, he is born not to live for himself alone but for others; otherwise there could be no cohesive society, nor any good therein. It is a common saying that every man is a neighbor to himself; but the doctrine of charity teaches how this is to be understood, namely, that everyone should provide for himself the necessaries of life, as food, clothing, a dwelling, and other things which are necessarily required in the social life in which he is, and this not only for himself, but also for his family, nor for the present alone, but also for the future. For unless a man acquires for himself the necessaries of life, he is not in a condition to exercise charity, since he is in want of everything. But how every man ought to be a neighbor to himself may be seen from the following comparison:  Every man ought to provide his body with food; this must be first, but the end should be that he may have a sound mind in a sound body; and every man ought to provide his mind with food, namely, with such things as pertain to intelligence and judgment; but the end should be that he may thereby be in a state to serve his fellow-citizens, society, his country, the church, and thus the Lord. He who does this provides well for himself to eternity. From this it is plain what is first in time, and what is first in end, and that the first in end is that to which all things look. It is also like building a house; first the foundation must be laid; but the foundation must be for the house, and the house for a dwelling-place. He who believes himself to be a neighbor to himself in the first place or primarily, is like one who regards the foundation, not the dwelling, as the end; and yet the dwelling is itself the first and the last end, and the house with its foundation is only a means to the end.

What it is to love the neighbor shall be explained. To love the neighbor is not alone to wish well and do good to a relative, a friend, or a good man, but also to a stranger, an enemy, or a bad man. But charity is to be exercised toward the latter in one way and toward the former in another; toward a relative or friend by direct benefits; toward an enemy or a bad man by indirect benefits, which are rendered by exhortation, discipline, punishment, and consequent amendment. This may be illustrated thus: A judge who punishes an evil-doer in accordance with law and justice, loves his neighbor; for so he makes him better, and consults the welfare of the citizens that he may not do them harm. Everyone knows that a father who chastises his children when they do wrong, loves them, and that, on the other hand, he who does not chastise them therefore, loves their evils, and this cannot be called charity. Again, if a man repels an insulting enemy, and in self-defense strikes him or delivers him to the judge in order to prevent injury to himself, and yet with a disposition to befriend the man, he acts from a charitable spirit. Wars that have as an end the defense of the country and the church, are not contrary to charity. The end in view declares whether it is charity or not.

Since, therefore, charity in its origin is good will, and good will has its seat in the internal man, it is plain that when anyone who has charity resists an enemy, punishes the guilty, and chastises the wicked, he does this by means of the external man; and therefore, after he has done it he returns to the charity that resides in his internal man, and then, so far as he can, and so far as is useful, he wishes him well, and from good will does good to him. Those who have genuine charity have a zeal for what is good, and that zeal may appear in the external man like anger and flaming fire; but its flame dies out and is quieted as soon as his adversary returns to reason. It is different with those who have no charity. Their zeal is anger and hatred; for by these their internal man is heated and set on fire.
(True Christian Religion 406-408)

March 19, 2015

Why Wars?

Selection from The Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The worshiper of himself and of nature confirms himself against Divine providence when he reflects that wars are permitted, and the consequent slaughter of so many men, and the plundering of their wealth. It is not from the Divine providence that wars exist, for they are connected with murders, plunderings, violence, cruelties, and other terrible evils, which are directly opposed to Christian charity; and yet they must needs be permitted, because, since the time of the most ancient people, meant by Adam and his wife, the life's love of man has become such that it wills to rule over others, and finally over all; also to possess the wealth of the world, and finally all wealth. These two loves cannot be kept bound, for it is according to the Divine providence that every one be allowed to act from freedom in accordance with reason; furthermore, without permissions man cannot be led from evil by the Lord, and thus be reformed and saved. For unless evils were permitted to break out man would not see them, and therefore would not acknowledge them, and thus could not be led to resist them. For this reason evils cannot be prevented by any providence; for if they were they would remain shut in, and like the diseases called cancer and gangrene would spread about and consume all that is vital in man.

For man from birth is like a little hell, between which and heaven there is perpetual discordance. No man can be withdrawn from his hell by the Lord unless he sees that he is in hell and wishes to be led out; and this cannot be done without permissions, the causes of which are laws of the Divine providence. For this reason there are wars, lesser and greater, the lesser between the possessors of estates and their neighbors, and the greater between the rulers of kingdoms and their neighbors. Between the lesser and greater there is no difference, except that the lesser are kept within bounds by the laws of the nation, and the greater by the laws of nations; also that while both the lesser and greater wish to transgress their laws, the lesser cannot, and the greater can, although not beyond its abilities.

There are many other reasons stored up in the treasury of Divine wisdom why the Lord does not check the greater wars, with their kings and commanders, connected as they are with murders, depredations, violence, and cruelties, neither in their beginning nor in their progress, but only at the close, when the power of one or the other has become so reduced that he is in danger of destruction. Some of these reasons have been revealed to me, and among them is this: that all wars, however much they may belong to civil affairs, represent in heaven the states of the church, and are correspondences. Such were all the wars described in the Word, and such also are all wars at this day. The wars described in the Word are those that the children of Israel waged with various nations, as the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Philistines, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and the Assyrians; and when the children of Israel, who represented the church, departed from their commandments and statutes and fell into the evils signified by those nations, they were punished by some nation, because each nation with which the children of Israel waged war signified some particular kind of evil. For example, when they profaned the holy things of the church by foul idolatries they were punished by the Assyrians and Chaldeans, because "Assyria" and "Chaldea" signify the profanation of what is holy.

Like things are represented by the wars of the present day, wherever they occur; for all things that take place in the natural world correspond to spiritual things in the spiritual world, and every thing spiritual has relation to the church. It is not known in this world what kingdoms in Christendom answer to the Moabites and Ammonites, what to the Syrians and Philistines, or what to the Chaldeans and Assyrians, and the others with whom the children of Israel waged war; and yet there are those that do answer to them. Moreover, what the quality of the church upon earth is and what the evils are into which it falls, and for which it is punished by wars, cannot be seen at all in the natural world; because in this world externals only are evident, and these do not constitute the church; but this is seen in the spiritual world, where internals are manifest, in which the church itself is; and there all are conjoined in accordance with their various states. The conflicts of these in the spiritual world correspond to wars; which are governed by the Lord on both sides correspondentially, in accordance with His Divine providence.

That in this world wars are governed by Divine providence the spiritual man acknowledges, but the natural man does not, except when a festival is appointed on account of a victory that he may return thanks on his knees to God that He has given the victory, also by a few words before going into battle. But when he returns into himself he ascribes the victory either to the prudence of the general or to some measure or occurrence in the midst of the battle, which they had not thought of, from which nevertheless came the victory.

The Divine providence that is called fortune is in the least particulars of even trivial things; and if in these you acknowledge the Divine providence you must certainly acknowledge it in the affairs of war. Also the successes and favorable occurrences of war are called in common language the fortune of war; and this is Divine providence, especially in the plans and preparations of the general, even although he then and afterwards may ascribe it all to his own prudence. And let him do this if he will, for he is in full liberty to think in favor of the Divine providence or against it, and even in favor of God and against Him; but let him know that no part whatever of the plan or preparation is from himself; it all flows in either from heaven or from hell,- from hell by permission, from heaven by providence.
(Angelic Wisdom Concerning The Divine Providence 251)

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)

March 17, 2015

The Word is Holy and Divine

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Word is holy and Divine from inmosts to outermosts is not evident to the man who leads himself, but is evident to the man whom the Lord leads. For the man who leads himself sees only the external of the Word, and judges from its but the man whom the Lord leads judges of the external of the Word from the holiness that is in it. The Word is like a garden, that may be called a heavenly paradise, in which are dainties and delightful things of every kind, dainties from the fruits, and delightful things from the flowers; and in the middle of it trees of life, and near them fountains of living water, and round about trees of the forest, and near them rivers. The man who leads himself judges of that paradise, which is the Word, from its circumference, where the trees of the forest are; but the man whom the Lord leads judges of it from the middle of it, where the trees of life are. The man whom the Lord leads is actually in the middle of it, and looks to the Lord; but the man who leads himself actually sits down at the circumference, and looks away from it to the world.

Again, the Word is like fruit within which there is a nutritious pulp, and in the middle of it seed vessels, in which inmostly is a living germ that germinates in good soil. Again, the Word is also like a most beautiful infant, which, except the face, is enveloped in wrappings upon wrappings; the infant itself is in the inmost heaven, the wrappings are in the lower heavens, and the general covering of the wrappings is on the earth. As the Word is such it is holy and Divine from inmosts to the externals.

(Apocalypse Explained 1072)
From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is on everyone's lips that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and is therefore holy; and yet it has not been known heretofore where in the Word its Divinity resides. For in its letter the Word appears like ordinary writing, foreign in style, neither lofty nor brilliant as the writings of the present time are in appearance. For this reason the man who worships nature instead of God or more than God, and whose thought therefore is from himself and his selfhood and not from the Lord out of heaven, may easily fall into error respecting the Word, and into contempt for it, and when reading it may say to himself, What does this and that mean? Is this Divine? Can God, whose wisdom is infinite speak thus? Wherein and wherefrom is its holiness, except from some religious notion and consequent persuasion?


Nevertheless, all this does not convince the natural man that the Word is Divine truth itself, in which there is Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he estimates it by its style, in which these are not seen by him. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style can be compared, however sublime and excellent it may seem. The style of the Word is such that there is a holiness in every sentence and in every word, and even in some places in the very letters, and thereby the Word conjoins man with the Lord and opens heaven. There are two things that go forth from the Lord, Divine love and Divine wisdom, or what is the same thing, Divine good and Divine truth. In its essence the Word is both of these; and because, as just said, it conjoins man with the Lord and opens heaven, it fills man with the goods of love and the truths of wisdom - his will with the goods of love and his understanding with the truths of wisdom; thus by means of the Word man has life. But it must be clearly understood that those only have life from the Word who read it for the purpose of drawing from it Divine truths as from their proper fountain, and at the same time for the purpose of applying to the life the truths drawn therefrom; while with those who read the Word solely with a view to gaining worldly honors and riches the opposite effect follows.

(True Christian Religion 189; 191)

March 16, 2015

The Use of the Word

From the Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
As the conjunction of the Lord with the human race by means of the Word - or that of heaven with the world, it must be told how the case is with regard to this. They who do not know the nature of the Word, cannot possibly believe that by means of it there is a conjunction of the Lord with the human race, and of heaven with the world; and still less they who despise the Word, or make no account of it. But let them know that the heavens subsist by means of Divine truth, and that without it there would be no heavens, and that the human race subsists by means of heaven; for unless heaven flowed in with man, man would not be able to think at all, thus not to will anything rationally. In order therefore that heaven may subsist, and the human race by conjunction with it, the Word has been provided by the Lord, wherein is Divine truth for angels and for men, the Word in its spiritual and celestial sense being of such a nature as to contain within it angelic wisdom itself in so surpassing a degree that it is scarcely possible for a man to form any conception of its excellence, although in the letter it appears very simple and unpolished.

From this it is evident that heaven is in its wisdom from the Word when it is being read by man, and then at the same time the man is in conjunction with heaven. To this end has such a Word been given to man. From this it follows that if this medium of conjunction were not in the world, conjunction with heaven would perish, and with this conjunction all good of the will and all truth of the understanding in man, and with these that very humanity which consociates man with man; consequently evil and falsity would be in full possession, whereby one society would perish after another. For it would be as when a man walks in thick darkness and stumbles wherever he goes; and it would be as when the head is in a delirium, in consequence of which the body is carried madly and insanely even to its destruction; and it would be as when the heart fails, causing the organs and members to cease to perform their uses, until the whole body dies.

Such would be the state of man unless heaven were conjoined with him, and heaven would not be conjoined with him unless there were the Word; or unless Divine truth were communicated immediately through angels, as in ancient times. When heaven is mentioned, the Divine also is meant, for the Divine of the Lord makes heaven; so that to be conjoined with heaven is to be conjoined with the Lord; and to be disjoined from heaven is to be disjoined from the Lord; and to be disjoined from the Lord is to perish; for the whole disposal of things for good, which is called Providence, is from this source; and were such disposal removed, all things would rush into evil, and so into devastation. From all this it can be seen what is the use of the Word; but few will believe that the Word is of such a nature and of so great a use.

(Arcana Coelestia 10452:2-4)

March 14, 2015

In Heaven - All are Forms of Charity

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  (Mark 12:29-31) KJV

The veriest truth of the church is that love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are the primary things (Mark 12:29-31).

Cupidities extinguish this truth; for those who are in a life of cupidities cannot be in a life of love and charity, for the two are exact opposites. A life of cupidities consists in loving self only, and not the neighbor except from self, or for the sake of self. Hence those who are in this life extinguish charity in themselves; and those who extinguish charity, extinguish also love to the Lord; for there is no other means of loving the Lord than charity, because the Lord is in charity. The affection of charity is heavenly affection itself, which is from the Lord alone.

From this it may be seen that the cupidities of evil extinguish the veriest truth of the church, on the extinction of which a means is devised which is called saving, namely, faith; and when this is separated from charity, truths themselves are defiled, for then it is no longer known what charity is, nor even what the neighbor is, and consequently neither what the internal of man is, nor even what heaven is. For the internal of man, and heaven in man, is charity - that is, willing well to another, to society, to one's country, to the church, to the Lord's kingdom, and thus to the Lord Himself. From this we may conclude what is the quality of the truths of the church when those things which are essential are not known, and when the things contrary to them, or cupidities, reign.
When a life of cupidities speaks concerning these truths, are not they defiled to such a degree that they can no longer be recognized?
That no one can be saved unless he has lived in the good of charity, and so has become imbued with its affections, which are to will well to others, and from willing well to do well to them; and that no one can receive the truths of faith - that is, become imbued with them and appropriate them to himself - but he who is in a life of charity .... There all are forms of charity, with beauty and goodness according to the quality of their charity; their delight, satisfaction, and happiness are from their being able to do good to others from good will. The man who has not lived in charity cannot possibly know that heaven and its joy consist in willing well and in doing well from willing well, because his heaven is willing well to himself, and from this willing well doing well to others, when yet this is hell. For heaven is distinguished from hell in this, that heaven, as above said, is doing good from good will, and hell is doing evil from ill will. They who are in love toward the neighbor do good from good will; but they who are in the love of self do evil from ill will. The reason of this is that they love no one but themselves, and others only so far as they see themselves in them, and them in themselves; they also regard these with hatred, which manifests itself as soon as they recede and are no longer theirs. This is like robbers, who so long as they are banded together love one another, but still at heart desire to kill one another, if plunder may thus be obtained.

From these things it may be seen what heaven is, that it is love toward the neighbor; and what hell is, that it is the love of self. They who are in love toward the neighbor are capable of receiving all the truths of faith, and of being imbued with them and making them their own; for in love toward the neighbor there is the all of faith, because heaven and the Lord are in it. They on the other hand who are in the love of self can in no wise receive the truths of faith, because hell is in this love; nor can they receive the truths of faith in any other way than for the sake of self-honor and gain; thus they cannot possibly become imbued with them and make them their own. But the things which they become imbued with and make their own are denials of truth, for at heart they do not believe even that there is a hell and a heaven, nor that there is a life after death, and therefore they believe nothing that is said about hell and heaven, or about a life after death, thus nothing at all that is said from the Word and from doctrine about faith and charity. When they are in worship they appear to themselves to believe, but this because it has been implanted in them from early childhood to put on this state at such a time; but as soon as they are out of worship they are also out of this state; and then thinking in themselves, they believe nothing at all, and also according to the life of their loves devise things to favor them, which they call truths, and which they confirm from the literal sense of the Word, when yet they are falsities. Such are all who in life and doctrine are in faith separate.

Be it known, moreover, that all things are in the loves, for the loves are what make the life; consequently, the Lord's life flows solely into the loves. Such therefore as are the loves, such are the lives, because such are the receptions of life. Love toward the neighbor receives the life of heaven, and the love of self receives the life of hell; thus in love toward the neighbor there is the all of heaven, and in the love of self the all of hell.

That all things are in the loves may be illustrated from many things in nature. Animals, both those that walk on the earth and those that fly in the air or swim in the water, are all impelled according to their loves, and into their loves flows whatever is conducive to their life, that is, to their sustenance, habitation, and procreation. Hence animals of every kind know their food, their abodes, and what concerns their conjugial, such as mating, building nests, laying eggs, and bringing up their young. The bees also know how to build cells, to suck honey from flowers, to fill with it the honeycombs, and to make provision for themselves against winter, and even to conduct a certain form of government under a queen; besides other marvels.
All these things are effected by influx into their loves; the effects of life being varied only by the forms of their affections. All these things are in their loves; what then would there not be in heavenly love, if man were in this? Would there not be the all of wisdom and intelligence, which is in heaven?
From this also it is that they who have lived in charity, and no others, are received into heaven; and that from charity they have the capacity of receiving and being imbued with all truths, that is, with all things of faith. But the contrary happens to those who are in faith separate, that is, in some truths and not in charity. Their loves receive such things as are in agreement with them, that is to say, the loves of self and of the world receive those things which are contrary to truths, such as are in the hells.
(Arcana Coelestia 4776)

March 12, 2015

The Two Witnesses

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
"the two witnesses," which signify the doctrine of the good of love to the Lord and of the good of charity towards the neighbor, which is the doctrine of life, which the doctrine of faith is to serve; and these doctrines will be preached at the time of the end of the church.

... When the end of a church is at hand, then the interior things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, are revealed and taught. This is done that the good may be separated from the evil; there is a separation because the interior things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, which are celestial and spiritual, are received by the good, but are rejected by the evil. Moreover, the interior things of the Word, which are revealed at the end of the church, are serviceable for doctrine and life to the New Church that is also then established. That this is so is evident from this, that when the end of the Jewish Church was at hand the Lord Himself opened and taught the interior things of the Word, and especially revealed those things in the Word that had been foretold of Himself; and when these had been opened and revealed the externals of the church were abrogated, which consisted chiefly of sacrifices and rituals and statutes which shadowed forth the Lord, and represented and thence signified the interior things of the church which He was revealing. That this would be done was predicted in various passages in the prophets.

The like has been done at the present time; for it has now pleased the Lord to reveal many arcana of heaven, especially the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, which has heretofore been wholly unknown, and with that He has taught the genuine truths of doctrine. This revelation is meant by "the coming of the Lord" in Matthew 24:3, 30, 37. A revelation is necessary at the end of the church in order, as has been said, that by means of it the good may become separated from the evil, and a New Church established, and this not only in the natural world where men are, but also in the spiritual world where spirits and angels are; for in both worlds there is a church, and revelation takes place in both, and thereby separation, as also the establishment of a New Church. From this it can be seen that these words signify protection by the Lord that they be not hurt.

As regards the successive states of the churches on our globe, they have evidently been similar to the successive states of a man who is being reformed and regenerated, namely, that to become a spiritual man, he is first conceived, next is born, then grows up, and is afterwards led on further and further into intelligence and wisdom. The church, from the most ancient times to the end of the Jewish Church, progressed like a man who is conceived, born, and grows up, and is then instructed and taught; but the successive states of the church after the end of the Jewish Church, or from the time of the Lord even to the present day, have been like a man increasing in intelligence and wisdom, or becoming regenerate. For this end the interior things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, were revealed by the Lord when He was in the world; and now again, things still more interior are revealed; and in the measure that things interior are revealed can man become wiser; for to become interior is to become wiser, and to become wiser is to become interior.
(Apocalypse Explained 641)

'Spurious' Charity

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
All charity that is not conjoined with faith in one God in whom is a Divine trinity, is spurious like the charity of the present church, the faith of which is a faith in successive order in three persons of the same Divinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and being a faith in three persons, each one of whom is a self-subsistent God, it is a faith in three Gods. To such a faith charity may be joined (as has been done by its supporters), but never can be conjoined; and the charity that is only joined to faith is merely natural, and not spiritual, and is therefore a charity. The same is true of the charity of many other heresies, as the charity of those who deny a Divine trinity and thus approach God the Father only, or the Holy Spirit only, or both of these apart from God the Savior. To the faith of such, charity cannot be conjoined, or when conjoined or joined to it it is a spurious charity. It is called spurious, because it is like the offspring of an illegitimate bed, or like the son of Hagar born to Abraham, who was cast out of the house (Gen. 21:10). Such charity is like fruit upon a tree where it has not grown, but has been fastened to it with a needle; and it is like a carriage to which horses are fastened only by the reins in the driver's hands, and when they spring forward, they drag the driver from his seat, and leave the carriage behind.
(True Christian Religion 451)

March 11, 2015

All Conjunction is Wrought by Means of Affection

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... that they might be conjoined (namely, the truths and goods in the natural), is because it involves looking upon, and the affection excited thereby, for in this manner are spiritual things conjoined. Moreover, all the implantation of truth and good, and also all conjunction, is wrought by means of affection. Truths and goods that are learned, but with which the man is not affected, do indeed enter into the memory, but adhere there as lightly as a feather to a wall, which is blown away by the slightest breath of wind.

With the things which enter into the memory the case is this: Those which enter without affection fall into its shade; but those which enter with affection come into its light; and the things that are in light there are seen and appear clearly and vividly whenever a similar subject is called up; but not so those which lie hid round about in the shade. Such is the effect of the affection of love. It may be seen from this that all the implantation of truth, and the conjunction thereof with good, is effected by means of affection; and the greater the affection, the stronger the conjunction. The "ardor of affection" is here inmost affection.

But truths cannot be implanted in good and conjoined with it, except by means of the affections of truth and good, which affections well forth as from their fountains - from charity toward the neighbor, and from love to the Lord. But evils and falsities are implanted and conjoined by means of the affections of evil and falsity, which affections well forth as from their fountains, from the love of self and of the world. This being the case, and as the subject here treated of in the internal sense is the conjunction of good and truth in the natural man...
(Arcana Coelestia 4018)

March 10, 2015


Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Souls newly arrived from the world, when about to leave the company of the spiritual angels to go among spirits, and so at length to come into the society in which they had been while they lived in the body, are led about by angels to many mansions or abodes, that is, to societies which are distinct and yet conjoined with others; in some of which they are received, while in other cases they are led to still other societies, and this for an indefinite time, until they come to the society in which they had been while they lived in the body; and there they remain. From this moment they experience a new beginning of life. If the man is a dissembler, a hypocrite, or deceitful, who can assume a fictitious state, and a seemingly angelic disposition, he is sometimes received by good spirits; but after a short time he is dissociated, and then wanders about, without the angels, and begs to be received, but is rejected, and sometimes punished, and at last he is carried down among the infernals. Those who are taken up among angels after being vastated, also change their societies, and when they pass from one society to another they are dismissed with courtesy and charity, and this until they come into the angelic society which accords with the distinctive quality or genius of their charity, piety, probity, or sincere courtesy. I in like manner have been led through such "mansions," and those who dwelt there conversed with me, that I might know how the case was in regard to this matter. It was given me at the time to reflect on the changes of place, and to see that they were nothing else than changes of state, my body remaining in the same place.

Among the marvelous things in the other life are, - First, the fact that societies of spirits and angels appear distinct from one another as to situation, although places and distances in that life are nothing else than varieties of state. Second, that the situations and distances are determined by their relation to the human body, so that those who are on the right appear on the right whichever way the body is turned; and the case is the same with those who are on the left and in all other directions. Third, that no spirits or angels are at so great a distance away that they cannot be seen; and yet no more come into view than so many as the Lord permits. Fourth, that spirits of whom others are thinking - for example, such as had been in some manner known to them in the life of the body - when the Lord permits it, are present in a moment, and so closely that they are at the ear, in touch, or else at some distance, greater or less, no matter should they be thousands of miles away, or even among the stars. The reason is that distance of place has no effect in the other life. Fifth, that with the angels there is no idea of time. These things are so in the world of spirits, and are still more completely so in heaven. How much more then must this be the case before the Lord, to whom all both generally and individually cannot but be most present, and under His view and providence. These things seem incredible, but yet they are true.

I was in a society where there was tranquillity, that is, a society of those whose state was tranquil, approximating in a measure to a state of peace, but it was not peace. I spoke there of the state of infants; and also of place, saying that change of place and distance is only an appearance, according to the state of each one, and according to his change of state. When I was translated thither, the spirits around me appeared to be removed, and to be seen below me; and yet I could hear them speaking.

As regards the situation in which spirits are in the world of spirits, and angels in heaven, the case is this. The angels are at the Lord's right hand; on His left are evil spirits; in front are those of a middle kind; at the back are the malignant; above the head are those of a self-exalted spirit who aspire to high things; under the feet are the hells which correspond to those who are on high. Thus all have their situation determined relatively to the Lord; in all directions and at all altitudes, in a horizontal plane and in a vertical one, and in every oblique direction. Their situation is constant, and does not vary to eternity. The heavens there constitute as it were one man, which is therefore called the Grand Man; to which all things that are in man correspond; concerning which correspondence, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter. It is from this that there is a like situation of all things around each angel; and with each man to whom heaven is opened by the Lord; for the Lord's presence is attended with this. It would not be so unless the Lord were omnipresent in heaven.

The case is the very same with men, as to their souls, which are constantly bound to some society of spirits and of angels. They too have a situation in the kingdom of the Lord according to the nature of their life, and according to their state. It matters not that they are distant from each other on earth even though it were many thousands of miles - still they can be together in the same society - those who live in charity in an angelic society, and those who live in hatred and such evils in an infernal society. In like manner it matters not that there be many together on earth in one place, for still they are all distinct in accordance with the nature of their life and of their state, and each one may be in a different society. Men who are distant from each other some hundreds or thousands of miles, when they appear to the internal sense may be so near each other that some of them may touch, according to their situation. Thus if there were a number of persons on earth whose spiritual sight was opened, they might be together and converse together, though one was in India and another in Europe, which also has been shown me. Thus are all men on earth, both generally and individually, most closely present to the Lord, and under His view and providence.
(Arcana Coelestia 1273 - 1277)

March 9, 2015

Rituals which are Nothing More than Mere Matters of Memory-knowledge

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In the Ancient Church all those were called Philistines - who talked much about faith, and declared that salvation is in faith, and yet had no life of faith. Therefore they preeminently were called "the uncircumcised," which means those who are devoid of charity.  That they were called "the uncircumcised" may be seen in 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 2 Sam. 1:20, and in other places.

Because they were such, they could not but make the knowledges of faith matters of memory; for the knowledges of spiritual and celestial things and the very mysteries of faith themselves become nothing but matters of memory, when the man who is skilled in them is devoid of charity. The things of the memory are like things dead unless the man is such that from conscience he lives according to them. When he does this, then at the same time as they are things of memory they are also things of life; and only then do they remain with him for his use and salvation after the life of the body.
Knowledges [scientiae et cognitiones] are nothing to a man in the other life, even though he may have known all the arcana that have ever been revealed, unless they have affected his life.
In Joel:
What are ye to Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Will ye render a recompense upon Me? very speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head. Inasmuch as ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable good things; the sons also of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the sons of the Javanites, that ye might cause them to remove far from their border (Joel 3:4-6).

Here it is evident what is meant by the Philistines, and by "all Philistia," or all "the borders" of it. "Silver and gold" here are the spiritual and celestial things of faith; "desirable good things" are the knowledges of them. That they "carried them into their temples," is that they possessed and proclaimed them; and that they "sold the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem," signifies that they had no love and no faith; "Judah" in the Word is the celestial of faith, and "Jerusalem" is the spiritual of faith thence derived, which were "removed far from their borders."

They are not said to have been "begotten" by those who were of Egypt, but to have "gone forth" from them, because they are not such as reason from natural memory-knowledges concerning spiritual and celestial things, and thereby frame doctrinals for themselves-like those treated of before - but they are such as learn the knowledges of faith from others, and know and retain them in the memory, with no other end in view than such as they have in learning other things which they care nothing about except merely to know them, and except for the reason that they may thereby be advanced to honors, or some other such reason. So distinct is this mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith from the memory-knowledge of natural things, that they have scarcely anything in common; and therefore it is said, not that they were "born," but that they "went forth" from them. Such being the character of the "Philistines," they cannot but pervert even the knowledges of faith by reasonings from them, and thence form for themselves false doctrinals; and therefore they are among those who can with difficulty be regenerated and receive charity, both because they are uncircumcised in heart, and because principles of falsity, and consequently the life of their understanding, prevent and oppose.
(Note Genesis 10:13,14; Arcana Coelestia 1197 - 1198)

March 8, 2015

Spiritual Man and Natural Man Should Make a One

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Every man has an internal and an external; his internal is called the internal man, and his external the external man; but what the internal man is, and what the external, is known to few. The internal man is the same as the spiritual man, and the external is the same as the natural man; the spiritual man is that which understands and is wise from those things which are of the light of heaven, but the natural man from those things which are of the light of the world (concerning which two lights see AC 3138). For in heaven there are nothing but spiritual things, whereas in the world there are nothing but natural things. Man has been so created that in him spiritual things and natural things, that is, his spiritual and natural man, should agree or make a one; but in this case the spiritual man ought to dispose all things in the natural, and the natural ought to obey, as a servant his lord.

But by the fall the natural man began to exalt itself above the spiritual man, and thus inverted Divine order itself; hence the natural man separated itself from the spiritual, and no longer possessed any spiritual things, except such as could enter as through chinks, and confer the capacity of thinking and speaking. But in order that spiritual things might again flow into the natural man, this had to be regenerated by the Lord; that is, truth out of the natural man must be initiated and conjoined with good in the rational; and when this is effected, spiritual things come to the natural man, for then the light of heaven flows in and enlightens the things in the natural man, and causes them to receive light; the goods therein the heat of light, that is, love and charity; and the truth the rays of light, that is, faith; and in this way natural good and natural truth receive spiritual things. In this case natural good is all the delight and pleasure that come from having as an end the being of service to what is spiritual, thus to the neighbor, still more to the public weal, and still more to the Lord's kingdom, and above all to the Lord; and natural truth is all the doctrine and memory-knowledge that has as an end to be wise, that is, the doing of these things.
(AC 3167)

March 7, 2015

The Initiation and Conjunction of Good and Truth

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... nothing is ever man's, as his, unless it is of his will; what is only of the understanding does not become man's until it becomes of the will also; for what is of the will constitutes the being [esse] of a man's life; but what is of the understanding constitutes the coming forth [existere] of his life thence derived. Consent from the understanding alone is not consent, but all consent is from the will; wherefore unless the truth of faith which is of the understanding is received by the good of love which is of the will, it is not at all truth which is acknowledged, and thus it is not faith. But in order that truth may be received by the good which is of the will, it is necessary that there be a free state. All that is of the will appears free; the very state of willing is liberty; for that which I will, that I choose, that I long for, because I love it and acknowledge it as good. All this shows that truth, which is of faith, never becomes man's as his until it has been received by the will, that is, until it has been initiated and conjoined with the good there; and that this cannot be effected except in a free state.
(Arcana Coelestia 3158)

March 4, 2015

Noah Awakens from His Wine

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matt 7:1-5 KJV)

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (Gen 9:22-27 KJV)
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. "Ham" and "Canaan" have the same signification here as before; "Ham" the church corrupted; "Canaan" worship in externals without internal worship; "saw the nakedness of his father" signifies that he observed the errors and perversions mentioned above; "and told his two brethren without" signifies that he derided. They are called his "brethren" because he professed faith.

That "Ham" signifies the church corrupted, is evident from what has been said before about Ham. A church is said to be corrupted when it acknowledges the Word and has a certain worship like that of a true church, but yet separates faith from charity, thus from its essential and from its life, whereby faith becomes a kind of dead affair; the result of which necessarily is that the church is corrupted. What the men of the church then become, is evident from the consideration that they can have no conscience; for conscience that is really conscience cannot possibly exist except from charity. Charity is what makes conscience, that is, the Lord through charity. What else is conscience than not to do evil to anyone in anyway; that is, to do well to all in every way? Thus conscience belongs to charity, and never to faith separated from charity. If such persons have any conscience, it is a false conscience; and because they are without conscience, they rush into all wickedness, so far as outward bonds are relaxed. They do not even know what charity is, except that it is a word significant of something. And as they are without charity, they do not know what faith is. When questioned, they can only answer that it is a kind of thinking; some, that it is confidence; others, that it is the knowledges of faith; a few, that it is life according to these knowledges, and scarcely any that it is a life of charity or of mutual love. And if this is said to them, and opportunity is given them for reflection, they answer only that all love begins from self, and that he is worse than a heathen who does not take care of himself and his own family. They therefore study nothing but themselves and the world. Hence it comes to pass that they live in their Own, the nature of which has been described before. These are they who are called "Ham."

That they who are here called "Ham" and "Canaan" that is, those who separate faith from charity and hence make worship consist in externals alone, cannot know what and whence is conscience, needs to be briefly shown. Conscience is formed by means of the truths of faith, for that which a man has heard, acknowledged, and believed makes the conscience in him; and afterwards to act contrary to this is to him to act contrary to conscience, as may be sufficiently evident to everyone; so that unless it is the truths of faith that a man hears, acknowledges, and believes, he cannot possibly have a true conscience. For it is through the truths of faith (the Lord working in charity) that man is regenerated, and therefore it is through the truths of faith that he receives conscience, conscience being the new man himself. From this it is evident that the truths of faith are the means by which this may take place, that is, that the man may live according to what faith teaches, the principal of which is to love the Lord above all things, and the neighbor as himself. If he does not so live, what is his faith but an empty affair, and a mere high-sounding word, or a thing that is separated from heavenly life, and in which when thus separated there is no possible salvation?

[2] For to believe that no matter how a man lives, he may yet be saved provided he has faith, is to say that he may be saved if he has no charity, and no conscience (that is, if he passes his life in hatred, revenge, robbery, adultery, in a word, in all things contrary to charity and conscience) provided only that he has faith, even if it be but at the hour of death. Let such persons consider, when they are in such a false principle, what truth of faith there is that can form their conscience, and whether it be not what is false. If they suppose that they have anything of conscience, it must be only outward bonds - such as fear of the law, of loss of honor, of gain, or of reputation for the sake of these - that make, with them, what they call conscience, and which lead them not to injure the neighbor, but to do him good. But as this is not conscience, because not charity, therefore when these restraints are loosened or taken away, such persons rush into most wicked and obscene things. Very different is the case with those who, although they have declared that faith alone saves, have still lived a life of charity; for in their faith there has been charity from the Lord.
(Arcana Coelestia 1075 - 1077)

March 1, 2015

Wisdom BEGOTTEN of Charity

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Everything is called wisdom that is begotten of charity, because it comes by means of charity from the Lord, from whom is all wisdom, for He is wisdom itself. Hence comes true intelligence, and hence comes true memory-knowledge, and hence comes true knowledge, which are all sons of charity, that is, sons of the Lord through charity. And because they are sons of the Lord through charity, wisdom is predicated of each of them, for wisdom is in each of them, and they draw their life from it, and this in such a manner that neither intelligence, nor memory-knowledge, nor knowledge, has life except from the wisdom which is of charity, which is of the Lord.
(Arcana Coelestia 1226)