What Charity Is, and What Faith Is

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

What Charity is, and what Faith is, with man, must now be told. Charity is an internal affection which consists in a heartfelt desire to do the neighbor good, and in this being the delight of life; and this without any reward.

On the other hand, Faith is an internal affection which consists in a heartfelt desire to know what is true and what is good, and this not for the sake of doctrine as the end in view, but for the sake of life. This affection conjoins itself with the affection of charity through the desire to do according to the truth, thus to do the truth itself.

They who are in the genuine affection of charity and faith believe that from themselves they do not desire anything good, and that from themselves they do not understand anything true; but that the will of good and the understanding of truth are from the Lord.

This then is charity, and this is faith. They who are in these have within them the kingdom of the Lord and heaven, and within them is the church; and these are they who have been regenerated by the Lord, and from Him have received a new will and a new understanding.

They who have the love of self or the love of the world as the end in view, cannot possibly be in charity and faith. They who are in these loves do not even know what charity is, and what faith is, and do not at all comprehend that to will good to the neighbor without any reward is heaven in man, and that in this affection there is happiness as great as is that of the angels, which is unutterable; for they believe that if they are deprived of the joy arising from the glory of honors and of wealth all joy ceases to be possible; when yet heavenly joy, which infinitely transcends every other joy, then first begins.

(Arcana Coelestia 8033-8037)

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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