Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/311

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FAITH.

The angels who are in celestial love will not hear anything of faith, saying, "What is faith? Is it not wisdom? And what is charity? Is it not to do?" And when they are told that faith consists in believing what is not understood they turn away, saying, "He is out of his senses." It is these who are in the third heaven, and are the wisest of all. Such have they become who in the world applied the Divine truths which they heard immediately to the life, turning away from evils as infernal, and worshipping the Lord alone.

The angels also who are in spiritual love do not know what faith is. If it be mentioned they understand truth, and if charity be mentioned they understand doing the truth; and when they are told they must believe they call it a vain saying, and add, "Who does not believe truth?" They say this because in the light of their heaven they see truth; and to believe what they do not see they call either simplicity or foolishness. (D. L. W. n. 427, 428.)

The veriest faith, which saves, is trust; but there can never be this trust save in the good of life. Without the good of life there is no reception; and where there is no reception there is no trust,—unless sometimes a certain apparent trust, in disordered states of mind or body, when the lusts of the love of self and of the world are quiescent. But with those who are in evil of life, when this crisis passes or is changed, this deceptive trust entirely vanishes. For there is a trust even with the wicked. But he who would know the quality of his trust, let him examine within himself his affections, and ends, as well as the actions of his life. (A. C. n. 2982.)

 

The Essence of Faith is Charity.

It should be known that charity and faith form one, as the will and understanding; because charity belongs to the will, and faith to the understanding. In like manner charity and faith form one like affection and thought; because affection belongs to the will, and thought to the understanding. So again charity and faith form one like good and truth; because good has relation to affection which belongs to the will, and truth has relation to thought which belongs to the understanding. In a word, charity and faith constitute one like essence and form; for the essence of faith is charity, and the form of charity is faith. Hence it is evident that faith without charity is like a form without an essence, which is nothing; and that charity without faith is like an essence without a form, which likewise is nothing.