When Evils Are Not Shunned From A Religious Principle

Passages from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Evils in the external man can be put away only by man’s instrumentality, because it is of the Lord’s Divine providence that whatever man hears, sees, thinks, wills, speaks, and does, seems to him to be wholly his own. Without this appearance there could be in man no reception of Divine truth, no determination towards doing good, no appropriation of love and wisdom or of charity and faith, and therefore no conjunction with the Lord, consequently no reformation and regeneration and thus salvation. Without this appearance repentance from sins, and faith even, are evidently impossible. It is also evident that without this appearance a man would not be a man, but would be devoid of natural life like a beast. Let any one who will consult his reason and see, when a man thinks about good and truth, spiritual, moral, or civil, whether there is any other appearance than that he thinks from himself; let him then accept this doctrinal, that everything good and true is from the Lord and nothing from man; and will he not acknowledge this consequence, that man must do good and think truth as if of himself, and yet must acknowledge that he does it from the Lord; and furthermore, that man must put away evils as if of himself and yet must acknowledge that he does it from the Lord?

Many are not aware that they are in evils, inasmuch as they do not do them outwardly because they fear the civil laws and the loss of reputation, and thus from custom and habit fall into the way of shunning evils as detrimental to their honor and profit. But when evils are not shunned from a religious principle, on the ground that they are sins and antagonistic to God, the lusts of evil with their enjoyments still remain, like impure waters confined and stagnant. Let such examine their thoughts and intentions, and they will find these lusts, provided they know what sins are.

This is the state of many who have confirmed themselves in faith separate from charity, who, believing that the law does not condemn them, do not even think about sins; and some question whether there are any sins in them, or if there are, whether they are sins before God, since they have been pardoned. In a like state also are natural moralists, who believe that civil and moral life with its prudence accomplishes everything and Divine providence nothing. Such also are those who strive with great eagerness after a reputation and name for honesty and sincerity for the sake of honor or gain. But those who are of this character, and who have also despised religion, become after death spirits of lusts, appearing to themselves as if they were men, but to others at a distance like treacherous forms (priapi); and like birds of night they see in the dark and not in the light.

(Divine Providence 116 – 117)

About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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