July 27, 2016

To Do Good From Obedience is from the Natural Man

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.  (Rev 3:20)
What It Is To Do Good From Charity
No one can do good from charity unless his spiritual mind is opened, and the spiritual mind is opened only by man's abstaining from doing evils and shunning them, and finally turning away from them because they are contrary to the Divine commandments in the Word, thus contrary to the Lord. When man so shuns and turns away from evils all things that he thinks, wills, and does, are good because they are from the Lord; for the Lord is continually present, knocks at the door, is urgent and wishes to enter, but evils oppose; therefore man must open the door by removing the evils, for it is only when evils are removed that the Lord enters and sups there (Rev. 3:20)

It is said that man opens and removes, because it is from self that man does evils; and inasmuch as the Lord is continually present, knocks at the door, and is urgent, as has been said, man has the ability to refrain from evils as if of himself; this ability is also given to every man. This is why, since man can of himself close heaven to himself he can also as if of himself open heaven, provided he thinks and wills to refrain from evils, looks to the Lord, and when he refrains acknowledges that it is from the Lord.

When, therefore, evils have been removed, whatever man does is good, since it is from the Lord; and whatever man does from the Lord is not natural-moral, but is spiritual-moral. Since, then, charity is from the love of doing good for the sake of good, thus from good, consequently from the Lord, it follows that doing good from charity is spiritual, but doing good from obedience, since it is from a love of reward, is natural. Such is the natural in which those are who are in the entrance to heaven; and to this those come who do good only from obedience, who are such as confirm in themselves, in doctrine and life, that faith produces good works as a tree does fruits.

(Apocalypse Explained 798:6)