Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/382

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thing in the natural, and also in the rational, have their progressions from a beginning to an end; and when at the end, they then commence from a kind of new beginning, namely, from that end to which they tended in the former state, to a further end, and so on; and at length the order is inverted, and what was last then becomes first. As, for instance, while man is being regenerated, both as to the rational and as to the natural, then the periods of the first state are from truths, which are of faith, to goods which are of charity; and the truths of faith then apparently act the first part, and the goods of charity the second, for the truths of faith look to the goods of charity as an end; these periods continue until the man is regenerated. Afterwards charity, which was the end, becomes the beginning; and from this new states begin, which proceed both ways, namely, more towards interior things, but also towards exterior things; towards interior things up to love to the Lord, and towards exterior things to the truths of faith, and even to natural truths, and to sensual truths,—which are then successively brought into correspondence with the goods of charity and love in the rational, and so into heavenly order. These are what are meant by progressions and derivations continued even to the last. Such progressions and derivations are perpetual with the man who is being regenerated, from his infancy to the end of his life in the world; and afterwards also to eternity. And yet he can never be so regenerated that it can be said he is in any wise perfect; for there are things innumerable, yea, indefinite in number, which are to be regenerated, both in the rational and in the natural; and every one of them has offshoots indefinite in number, that is, progressions and derivations towards things interior and things exterior. This is entirely unknown to man, but the Lord takes cognizance of each and all things, and provides for every moment. If only for the least moment He were to intermit His providence, all progressions would, be disturbed; for what is prior looks to what follows, in a continual series, and produces successive series of consequences to eternity. Whence it is evident that the Divine foresight and providence is in the most single things; and unless it were so, or if it were only universal, the human race would perish. (A. C. n. 5122.)

With respect to the regeneration of the spiritual man, the case is this: He is first instructed in the truths which belong to faith, and is then kept by the Lord in an affection for truth. The good of faith, which is charity towards the neighbour, is at the same time insinuated into him, but so that he scarcely knows it, for it lies concealed in the affection for truth; and this to the end that the truth which is of faith may be conjoined with the good which is of charity. In process of time his affection for the