Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/395

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
299
REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

that there must certainly be a conflict; for the life of the old man resists and determines not to be extinguished; and the life of the new man can only enter where the life of the old is extinct. It is plain then that there is a conflict on both sides; and an ardent conflict, because it is for life. Whoever thinks from an enlightened rational, may see and perceive from this that a man cannot be regenerated without combat, that is without spiritual temptations; and further, that he is not regenerated by one temptation, but by many. For there are very many kinds of evil which formed the delight of his former life, that is of the old life. These evils cannot all be subdued at once and together; for they cleave tenaciously, since they have been inrooted in the parents for many ages back, and are therefore innate in man, and are confirmed by actual evils from himself from infancy. All these evils are diametrically opposite to the celestial good that is to be insinuated, and which is to constitute the new life. (A. C. n. 8403.)

 

Combat may be waged even from Truth not genuine.

While man is being regenerated he is let into contests against falsities, and is then kept by the Lord in truth,—but in that truth which he had persuaded himself was truth; and from that truth he fights against falsity. He can fight even from truth not genuine if only it be such that it can be conjoined by any means with good; and it is conjoined with good by innocence, for innocence is the medium of conjunction. Hence it is that men can be regenerated within the church from any doctrine whatever; but they before others who are in genuine truths. (A. C. n. 6765.)

 

The Use of Temptations.

It should be known that with those who are regenerated a turning is effected; namely, that by truth they are led to good, and afterwards from good they are led to truth. When this turning takes place, or when the state is changed and becomes inverse to the prior state, there is mourning; for then they are let into temptation, by which those things that are their own are weakened and enfeebled, and good is insinuated, and with the good a new will, and with this a new freedom, thus a new proprium. (A C. n. 5773.)

They are evil spirits which excite evils and falsities; and unless they are excited, man scarcely cognizes that there are evils and falsities; but they are then made manifest. And the longer the