February 21, 2017

When There is No Charity in Worship

Selections from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
From faith separated from charity no other worship can come forth; for the internal man is charity, never faith without charity; so that he who is destitute of charity can have no other worship than external worship without internal.  And because such worship comes forth from faith separated from charity ...  he observed errors and perversions ... for they who are of this character see nothing else in a man; whereas - very differently - those who are in the faith of charity observe what is good, and if they see anything evil and false, they excuse it, and if they can, try to amend it in him....

Where there is no charity, there is the love of self, and therefore hatred against all who do not favor self. Consequently such persons see in the neighbor only what is evil, and if they see anything good, they either perceive it as nothing, or put a bad interpretation upon it.  It is just the other way with those who are in charity.

By this difference these two kinds of men are distinguished from one another, especially when they come into the other life; for then with those who are in no charity, the feeling of hatred shines forth from every single thing; they desire to examine everyone, and even to judge him; nor do they desire anything more than to find out what is evil, constantly cherishing the disposition to condemn, punish, and torment. But they who are in charity scarcely see the evil of another, but observe all his goods and truths, and put a good interpretation on what is evil and false. Such are all the angels, which they have from the Lord, who bends all evil into good.

(from Arcana Coelestia 1078, 1079)