(Continued pt. 25)
Some things shall first be stated that have been heretofore unknown in the learned world, and consequently among the ecclesiastics, as much so as things buried in the earth, and yet they are treasures of wisdom, and unless they are dug up and given to the public, man will toil in vain to arrive at any correct knowledge of God, faith, charity, and the state of his own life, as to the manner in which he should direct it and prepare it for the state of eternal life. The things heretofore unknown are as follows:
That man is a mere organ of life; that life with everything belonging to it flows in from the God of heaven, who is the Lord; that in man there are two faculties of life, which are called the will and understanding, the will the receptacle of love, and the understanding the receptacle of wisdom; so, too, the will is the receptacle of charity, and the understanding the receptacle of faith;
that everything that man wills and everything he understands flows into him from without the goods pertaining to love and charity, and the truths pertaining to wisdom and faith, from the Lord, and the opposites of these from hell; that it is provided by the Lord that man should feel in himself as his own whatever flows in from without, and should consequently bring it forth from himself as his own, although nothing of it is his; that nevertheless such things are imputed to him as his on account of his freedom of choice in which are his willing and thinking, and on account of the knowledges of good and truth given him, which enable him to choose freely whatever conduces to his temporal and his eternal life.
The man who looks askance [with an attitude or look of suspicion or disapproval] at these truths, or with half an eye only, may draw from them many insane conclusions; but he who looks at them with a straight and direct eye may draw from them many wise conclusions. That this and not the other may be done it was necessary to put forth first decisions and tenets respecting God and the Divine Trinity, and afterward to establish others respecting Faith and Charity, Freedom of Choice, and Reformation and Regeneration, as also Imputation; and then as means, Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Supper.
But in order that the present article on faith (which is, that the Lord, charity, and faith make one, like life, will, and understanding in man, and that if they are divided each perishes like a pearl reduced to powder) may be seen as truth and acknowledged, it is expedient to consider it in the following order:
- (1) The Lord with all of His Divine love, with all of His Divine wisdom, thus with all of His Divine life, flows into every man.
- (2) Consequently with the whole essence of faith and charity.
- (3) These are received by man according to his form.
- (4) But the man who divides the Lord, charity, and faith, is not a form that receives but a form that destroys them.
To be continued…