Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/390

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

Jehovah, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall he none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not he found; for I will pardon them whom I shall make a remnant" (1. 20). In Micah: "The remnant of Jacob shall he in the midst of many people as the dew from Jehovah, as the showers upon the grass" (v. 7). The remnant or remains of man, or of the church, were also represented by the tenths (tithes), which were holy. Hence too the number ten is holy; and therefore ten is predicated of remains. As in Isaiah, where the remnant is called "the seed of holiness:" "Jehovah shall remove man, and the many things left in the midst of the land; and yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be for extermination, as an oak and a holm-oak when the stem is cast forth from them: the seed of holiness is the stem thereof" (vi. 12, 13). And in Amos: "Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The city that went out a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth an hundred shall leave ten to the house of Israel" (v. 3). In these and in many other places, in the internal sense, the remains of which we have been speaking are signified, (ib. n. 468.)

When the way for remains is closed up a man is no longer man, because he can no longer be protected by the angels, but is entirely possessed of evil spirits, who seek and desire nothing else than to extinguish him as a man. (ib. n. 660.)

 

Regeneration cannot be effected suddenly.

When man is born, as to hereditary evils he is a hell in the least form; and in so far as he takes from his hereditary evils and superadds to them his own he also becomes a hell. Hence it is that from birth and from actual life the order of his life is opposite to the order of heaven; for, of his own, man loves himself more than the Lord, and the world more than heaven; when yet the life of heaven consists in loving the Lord above all things and the neighbour as one's self. It is therefore evident that the former life which is of hell must be entirely destroyed; that is, evils and falsities must be removed, to the intent that a new life which is the life of heaven may be implanted. This can in nowise be done hastily; for every evil enrooted with its falsities has connection with all evils and their falsities; and such evils and falsities are innumerable, and their connection is so manifold that it cannot be comprehended, not even by the angels, but only by the Lord. From this it is plain that the life of hell in man cannot be suddenly destroyed, for if it were suddenly done he would straightway expire; and that the life of heaven cannot be suddenly implanted, for if this were done