Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/386

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

insomuch that things present involve things future, and things future when they become present do the same, and this to eternity; for the Lord foresees all things and provides all things, and His foresight and providence is to eternity, and so eternal. For the Divine which alone is His in itself is infinite, and what is infinite in respect to duration is eternal. Hence it is that whatever the Lord disposes and ordains is eternal. Thus is it done with those whom the Lord regenerates; the regeneration of man begins in the world, and continues to eternity; for man is always being perfected when he becomes an angel. There are in man things external, internal, and inmost; these are all disposed and arranged in order, together and successively, for the reception of things that follow to eternity. (A. C. n. 10,048.)

 

Regeneration is effected by means op Remains.

Man is called a living soul from a living principle that is within him. No man can live at all, still less live as a man, if he have not something living within him; that is, unless he has something of innocence, charity, and mercy, or something therefrom that is similar to or emulative of them. This [germ] of innocence, charity, and mercy, man receives from the Lord during infancy and childhood; as may be seen from the state of infancy and also from the state of childhood. What man then receives is treasured up within him, and is called in the Word remains;[1] which are of the Lord alone in man, and furnish him with the capacity of becoming truly man on his arrival at adult age. That the states of innocence, charity, and mercy which man has in infancy and during the years of childhood, enable him to become man, is evident from the consideration that, unlike the brutes, he is not born into any exercise of life, but has everything to learn; and what he learns becomes by use habitual, and thus as it were natural to him. He cannot even walk or speak without being taught; and so with all the other actions which habit renders as it were natural to him. So it is also with the states of innocence, charity, and mercy, with which likewise he becomes imbued in infancy; and unless they were present with him he would be much viler than a brute. But these are states which a man does not learn, but receives as a gift from the Lord, and which the Lord preserves in him; and these together with the truths of faith are what are called remains, and are of the Lord alone. In proportion as in adult age a man extinguishes these states he becomes dead; and when he is regenerated these are the beginnings of regeneration. In these he is led; for the

  1. See note, p. 145.