Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/389

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

so far then as he is now in the affection of good, truths are conjoined by the Lord to the good in him, and are stored up for use. This state is what is signified by the seven years of abundance of provision [in Gen. xli. 47-49]. These truths adjoined to good are what in the proper sense are called remains. In the degree therefore that a man suffers himself to be regenerated the remains are devoted to their use; for in that degree the Lord draws out from and lets them into the natural, that a correspondence of the exteriors with the interiors, or of the natural things with the spiritual, may be produced. This is effected in the state which is signified by the seven years of famine, (ib. n. 5342.)

In process of time the church decreases, and at last remains with a few. Those few with whom it remained at the time of the deluge were called Noah. That the true church decreases and remains with a few is evident from the other churches which have thus decreased. Those that are left are called in the Word a remnant,[1] and the left, or residue, and even in the midst or middle of the land. As it is in the universal, so it is in the particular; or as it is in the church, so is it in individuals. Unless the Lord preserved remains in every one, he must perish in eternal death; for spiritual and celestial life is in remains. In like manner in the general or universal; unless there were always some with whom the true church or true faith remained, the human race would perish. For on account of some few, as is well known, a city, nay, a whole kingdom, is preserved. They are like the heart in man: so long as the heart is sound the neighbouring viscera can live; but when this becomes feeble, wasting seizes upon all, and the man dies. The last remains are what are signified by Noah; for otherwise the whole earth was corrupt, as is declared in Gen. vi. 12. These remains in every man, and in the church, are mentioned in different places in the prophets; as in Isaiah: "He that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall he called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof" (iv. 3, 4). Here holiness is predicated of the remnant,—by which the remains of the church are signified, and also of the man of the church; for those that were left in Zion and Jerusalem could not therefore be holy because they were left. Again: "It shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God" (x. 20, 21). In Jeremiah: "In those days and in that time, saith

  1. See note, p. 145.