December 31, 2016

Man's Regeneration is an Image of the Lord's Glorification

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
[A]s the Lord glorified His natural, it was different in the beginning from what it was in the progression, and at the end. ... For the Lord's glorification proceeded from truth to the good of truth, and finally to good....

This was the process when the Lord made His natural Divine, and the process is similar also when the Lord regenerates man; for it pleased the Lord to make His Human Divine in the same order as that in which He makes man new.... Man's regeneration is an image of the Lord's glorification....

When the Lord makes man new He first instructs him in the truths of faith, for without the truths of faith man does not know what the Lord is, what heaven is, and what hell is, nor even that they exist; and still less does he know the innumerable things relating to the Lord, to His kingdom in heaven, and to His kingdom on earth, that is, to the church; neither does he know what and of what nature are the things opposite to these, which relate to hell.

Before he has learned these things, he cannot know what good is, by which is not meant civil good and moral good, for these are learned in the world by means of laws and statutes, and by reflections upon the morals of men, and therefore the nations outside the church also know such things; but by good is meant spiritual good, which good is called in the Word charity; and this good is in general to will and do good to others for no selfish reason, but from the delight of the affection. This good is spiritual good, and to it no man can attain except by means of the truths of faith, which are taught by the Lord by means of the Word and preachings of the Word.

After a man has been instructed in the truths of faith, he is gradually led by the Lord to will the truth, and also from willing to do it. This truth is called the good of truth, for the good of truth is truth in will and act; and it is called the good of truth because the truth which has been of doctrine then becomes of the life. At last, when the man perceives delight in willing good and in doing it from will, it is no longer called the good of truth, but good; for he is then regenerate, and no more wills and does good from truth, but truth from good; and the truth which he then does is also as it were good, for it derives its essence from its origin, which is good. ... No one who is being regenerated by the Lord can be led to these interior things until the truth with him has become good.

(extract from Arcana Coelestia 4538)