Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/380

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION

the will to the understanding and then regeneration begins. (ib. n. 589.)

 

A Sign of Reformation and Non-Reformation.

The Lord continually flows into man with good, and into good with truth; and man either receives it or does not receive it. If he receives it, it is well with him; but if he does not receive it, it is ill with him. If when he does not receive he feels something of anxiety, there is hope that he may be reformed; but if he does not feel anything of anxiety, the hope vanishes. For with every man there are two spirits from hell, and two angels from heaven; for, because man is born into sin, he can in nowise live unless on the one hand he communicates with hell, and on the other with heaven; all his life is therefrom. When a man is grown up, and begins to govern himself from himself,—that is, when he appears to himself to will and to act from his own judgment, and to think and form conclusions concerning matters of faith from his own understanding,—if then he betakes himself to evils the two spirits from hell approach, and the two angels from heaven withdraw a little; and if he turns himself to good, the two angels from heaven draw near, and the two spirits from hell are removed. When therefore a man betakes himself to evils, as is the case with most in youth, if any anxiety is felt when he reflects upon the wrong he has done, it is a sign that he will still receive influx through the angels from heaven, and also a sign that he will afterwards suffer himself to be reformed; but if nothing of anxiety is felt when he reflects upon the wrong he has done, it is a sign that he is no longer willing to receive influx through the angels from heaven, and a sign also that he will not afterwards suffer himself to be reformed. (A. C. n. 5470.)

 

The Course of Regeneration and of Progress to true Wisdom.

Few, if any, know how man is brought to true wisdom. Intelligence is not wisdom, but leads to wisdom; for to understand what is true and good is not to be true and good, but to be wise is to be so. Wisdom is predicated only of the life, meaning that such is the character of the man. He is introduced to wisdom or life by knowing and cognizing [truth] or by knowledges and cognitions.[1] Every man has two parts, the will and the under-

  1. By the terms scire and noscere (or nosse) and cognoscere, the author throughout his writings expresses an important distinction in the process of the acquisition of truth, which it is difficult to convey by words in common use in our language,