Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/313

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217
FAITH.

 

Cognitions[1] of Truth and Good are not of Faith until a Man is ni Charity.

The cognitions of truth and good which precede faith appear to some as if they were of faith; and yet they are not. Men do not therefore believe because they think and say they believe. And these [truths] are not of faith; for it is only cognized that they are so, and not internally acknowledged that they are truths. And faith that they are truths while it is not known that they are, is a species of persuasion remote from internal acknowledgment. But as soon as charity is implanted they become cognitions of faith, yet only so far as there is charity within it. (F. n. 31.)

 

The Truths of Faith are first in Time, but Charity is first in End.

Faith, by which also truth is meant, is first in time; and charity, by which good also is meant, is first in end. And that which is first in end is actually the first, because it is primary, and so is also the first-born; but that which is first in time is not actually first, but apparently. But that this may be comprehended it shall be illustrated by comparisons; as with the creation of a temple, and of a house, the formation of a garden, and the preparation of a field. In the erection of a temple, the first thing in point of time is to lay the foundation, to build the walls, to put on the roof, and then to put in the altar, and rear the pulpit; but the first thing in end for the sake of which these things are done is the worship of God in it. In the building of a house, the first thing in time is to build its outer parts, and to furnish it with various articles of necessity; but the first thing in end is a suitable dwelling for one's self and for the others who shall be in the house. In the formation of a garden, the first thing in time is to level the ground, and prepare the soil, and plant trees, and sow the seeds of such things as will be of use; but the first thing in end is the use of their fruits. In the preparation of a field, the first thing in time is to clear the land, to plough, to harrow, and then to sow the seeds; but the first thing in end is the harvest, and so also the use. From these comparisons any one may conclude which in itself is first; for does not every one, when he would build a temple or a house, or make a garden or cultivate a field, first purpose a use, and constantly keep and turn this over in his mind while he is procuring the means to it? We conclude then that the truth of faith is first in time, but that the good of charity is first in end; and that this

  1. See note p. 284.