Faith (pt. 23)

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
(Continued pt. 23)
V. FAITH WITHOUT CHARITY IS NOT FAITH,
AND CHARITY WITHOUT FAITH IS NOT CHARITY,
AND NEITHER HAS LIFE EXCEPT FROM THE LORD.

It has been said above that-

faith in its beginning in man is natural, and that as man draws near to the Lord it becomes spiritual; so also with charity.

But no one has known, as yet, the distinction that exists between natural and spiritual faith and charity. This great arcanum must therefore be disclosed.

There are two worlds – a natural and a spiritual.  In each world there is a sun, and from each sun heat and light go forth; but the heat and light from the sun of the spiritual world have life within them; this life is from the Lord who is the midst of that sun; while the heat and light from the sun of the natural world have nothing of life in them; they simply serve the former heat and light as receptacles for the conveying of these to man, as instrumental causes always subserve their principal causes. It must be understood, therefore, that all things spiritual are from the heat and light of the sun of the spiritual world. These are spiritual because they contain in them spirit and life; while all things natural are from the heat and light of the sun of the natural world, which viewed in themselves are without spirit and life.

Since then faith is a matter of light, and charity of heat, it is plain that so far as a man is in the heat and light that go forth from the sun of the spiritual world, he is in spiritual faith and charity; while so far as he is in the light and heat that go forth from the sun of the natural world, he is in natural faith and charity.

Evidently, therefore, as spiritual light is inwardly in natural light as in its receptacle or casket, and spiritual heat in like manner within natural heat, so also is spiritual faith inwardly in natural faith, and spiritual charity inwardly in natural charity; and this is effected in the degree that man advances from the natural to the spiritual world; and this he does so far as he believes in the Lord who is light itself, the way, the truth, and the life, as He Himself teaches.

This being so, it is clear that when man is in spiritual faith, he is also in natural faith. For as just said-

spiritual faith is inwardly in natural faith

and as faith is a matter of light, it follows that by that implanting of spiritual faith man’s natural becomes, as it were, transparent, and according to the nature of its conjunction with charity, beautifully colored. This is because charity is ruddy and faith shining white; charity is ruddy from the flame of spiritual fire, and faith shining white from the splendor of the light therefrom. The contrary happens when the spiritual is not inwardly in the natural, but the natural inwardly in the spiritual; which is the case with men who reject faith and charity. With such the internal of their mind, in which they are when left to their own thoughts, is infernal, and they think from hell, although they do not know it; while the external of the mind of such, from which they converse with their companions in the world, is in a manner spiritual, but it is filled full of such unclean things as are in hell; consequently they are in hell, for compared with the former class they are in an inverted state.

(True Christian Religion 360)

To be continued…

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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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