Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/378

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

hell. But so great is the Lord's mercy that every moment, yea, every least part of a moment, he is lifted up and withheld from rushing thither. This is the case even with the good; but with a difference according to their life of charity and faith. Thus the Lord continually fights with man and for man against hell; although it does not so appear to man. That it is so it has been given me to know by much experience. (A. C. n. 2406.)

 

Why Man is born in Ignorance.

If man were imbued with no hereditary evil the rational would be born immediately from the marriage of the celestial things of the internal man with its spiritual things; and through the rational the knowing [faculty] would be born, so that man would have within him all the rational, and all the knowing [faculty], at the moment of his coming into the world. For this would be according to the order of influx; as may be concluded from the fact that all animals whatsoever are born into all the knowing faculty which is necessary and conducive to their sustenance, their protection, their habitation, and their procreation; because their nature is in accordance with order. Why not then man, if order had not been destroyed in him? For he alone is born into no knowledge! The cause of his being so born is hereditary evil, derived from father and mother; in consequence of which all his faculties are in a contrary direction relative to what is true and good, and cannot be brought into forms corresponding to them by immediate influx of what is celestial and spiritual from the Lord. This is the reason why the rational of man must be formed in a way or a manner altogether different; namely, by knowledges and cognitions insinuated through the senses, thus flowing in by an external way, and therefore in inverted order. Man is thus miraculously rendered rational by the Lord, (A. C. n. 1902.)

 

Reformation and Regeneration.

There are two states into and through which a man must pass while from natural he is becoming spiritual. The first state is called Reformation; and the second Regeneration. In the first state man looks from his natural condition to a spiritual, and desires it; in the second state he becomes spiritual-natural. The first state is formed by means of truths,—which must become truths of faith,—through which he looks to charity; the second is formed by means of the goods of charity, and by these he enters into the truths of faith. Or what is the same, the first is