January 6, 2017

When Civil Laws were made Laws of Religion

From Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
[O]ne must not kill, must not commit adultery, must not steal, must not bear false witness. These precepts are civil laws of justice in all kingdoms on earth, for without them no kingdom could stand.

But by some they are obeyed from fear of legal penalties, by some from civil obedience, and by some from religion also; and those by whom they are obeyed from religion also, are saved. 
The reason is because then God is in them, and the man in whom God is, is saved.

Who does not see that with the sons of Israel, before their departure from Egypt, it was among their laws that one must not kill, or commit adultery, or steal, or bear false witness? for without these laws their community or society could not have stood. And yet the same laws were promulgated by Jehovah God upon Mount Sinai with a stupendous miracle; but the cause of this promulgation was that these same laws might be made laws of religion also; thus that men might obey them not only for the sake of the good of society but also for the sake of God; and that when they obeyed them from religion for the sake of God, they might be saved.

(Conjugial Love 351)