Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/270

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for, as this is done by means of things sensual, known, or philosophical, man is so constituted that he cannot but fall into errors. The thought of man is merely worldly, corporeal, and material; because it is from worldly, corporeal, and material things, which continually cleave to it, and upon which the ideas of his thought are founded and in which they are terminated. To think and reason therefore from these concerning things Divine is to rush into errors and perversions; and it is as impossible for a man thence to obtain faith as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The error and unsoundness of mind that come from this are called in the Word drunkenness. Indeed souls or spirits in the other life who argue about the truths of faith and against them even become as drunkards, and act like them. . . . Spirits who are in the faith of charity are clearly distinguished from those who are not. Those that are in the faith of charity do not argue about the truths of faith, but say that they are thus; and they also confirm them as far as they can by matters of sense, of knowledge, and the analysis of reason. But as soon as anything obscure arises which they do not understand they set it aside, nor do they ever suffer it to bring them into doubt; saying that there are very few things which they comprehend, and therefore to think a thing is not true because they do not comprehend it would be insane. These are they who are in charity. But those on the contrary who are not in the faith of charity desire nothing but to argue whether it is so, and to know how it is; saying that unless they know how it is they cannot believe it is so. From this merely it is instantly known that they have no faith; and the indication of it is that they not only doubt about everything, but in their heart deny; and when instructed how things are they still persist, and move all manner of scruples against them, and are never at rest, even though it were to eternity. It is these, or such as these, who in the Word are said to be drunk with wine or strong drink. As in Isaiah: "They also have erred through wine, and through strong drink have gone out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink, they err in vision. . . . All tables are full of vomit of filthiness. . . . Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand what is heard? Them that are weaned from the milk, and torn away from the breast" (xxviii. 7-9). Again in the same prophet: "How say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? . . . Where now are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now. . . . Jehovah hath mingled a spirit of perversities in the midst thereof, and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit" (xix. 11, 12, 14). A drunken man here stands for those who desire by means of know-