Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/310

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FAITH.

 

What Faith is.

Faith is an internal acknowledgment of truth. . . . They have an internal acknowledgment of truth who are in spiritual affection for truth. As the angels are in such affection, they entirely reject the notion that the understanding must be under obedience to faith. For they say, "What is it to believe, and not see whether the thing is true?" And if any one says that it is nevertheless to be believed, they respond, "Dost thou think thyself a God, in whom I am to believe? or think me insane, that I am to believe a saying in which I do not see the truth? Make me then to see." And so the dogmatist withdraws. Angelic wisdom consists solely in the fact, that they see and comprehend what they think.

There is a spiritual intuition, of which few have any cognizance, which, with those who are in spiritual affection for truth, flows in and inwardly dictates that what is heard or read is true, or not true. They have this intuition who read the Word in illustration from the Lord. To be in illustration is nothing else than to be in the perception and thence in internal acknowledgment that this or that is true. These are they that are said to be "taught of Jehovah," in Isaiah liv. 13; John vi. 45; and of whom it is said in Jeremiah, "Behold, the days come, . . . that I will make a new covenant; . . . this shall be the covenant; . . . I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts: . . . and they shall no more teach every man his neighhour, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah; for they shall all know Me" (xxxi. 31, 33, 34).

From these considerations it is plain that faith and truth are one; and therefore the ancients, who, more than we, were in thought from affection concerning truths, spoke of truth instead of faith. Hence also it is that in the Hebrew language truth and faith are one word, which is Amuna, or Amen. (F. n. 1, 4–6.)