Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/315

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FAITH. ' 219 left to himself, or thinks under the influence of his evil and the love of it, he either casts out such truth, or by falsification forces it into unity. It is otherwise with those who are in good which is of the life; for when left to themselves they think under the influence of good, and love the truth which is in the understanding because it agrees therewith. Thus a conjunction of faith and of life is effected like the conjunction of truth and good, each resembling the conjunction of the understanding and the will.

Hence then it follows that in the degree that a man shuns evils as sins, in the same degree he has faith, because in the same degree he is in good. This is confirmed also by its contrary, that whosoever does not shun evils as sins has not faith, because he is in evil and evil has an inward hatred against truth. Outwardly indeed it can put on a friendly appearance, and endure, yea love that truth should be in the understanding; but when the outward is put off, as is the case after death, the truth which was thus for worldly reasons received in a friendly manner is first cast off, afterwards is denied to be truth, and finally is held in aversion. (Life, n. 44, 45.)

Faith is the first Principle of the Church in appearance, BUT Charity is actually the first.

There are two things which constitute the church; namely, charity and faith. Charity is of affection, and faith is of thought thence derived. The very essence of the thought is the affection; for without an affection no one can think, everything of life which is in the thought being from affection. It is therefore evident that the first principle of the church is affection, which is of charity or love; and the reason why faith is called the first principle of the church is because it first appears. For what a man believes, that he thinks and in thought sees; while that by which a man is spiritually affected he does not think, nor therefore see it in thought, but he perceives it by a certain sense which has no reference to sight, but to another sensitive principle which is called the sensitive principle of delight. And since this delight is spiritual and above the sense of natural delight, man does not perceive it except when he has become spiritual, that is when he is regenerated by the Lord. Hence it is that those things which belong to faith, and so to sight, are believed to be the first things of the church, although they are so only in appearance. This therefore is called the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. iii. 14), because in the letter, the Word is written according to the appearance. For the appearance in the letter is for the simple; but spiritual men like the angels are