Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/396

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

temptation combats continue, the more manifest do they become, until at length evils and falsities are regarded with horror, (ib. n. 1740.)

He who is in the combats of temptation, and conquers, acquires to himself more and more power over evil spirits, or over the diabolical crew, till at length they dare not assail him; but as often as he obtains a victory so often the Lord reduces to order the goods and truths by which he combated, and so often purifies them; and in proportion as they are purified the celestial things of love are insinuated into the exterior man, and it becomes correspondent, (ib. n. 1717.)

The Lord permits the infernals in the other life to lead the good into temptation, consequently to infuse evils and falsities; which they also do with all their might; for when they are doing this they are in their life, and in the delight of life. But then the Lord Himself immediately, and mediately through the angels, is present with those who are in temptation, and resists, by refuting the falsities of the infernal spirits, and by dissipating their evil; thence come refreshment, hope, and victory. Thus the truths of faith and the goods of charity, with those who are in the truths of good, are more inwardly implanted and more strongly confirmed; this is the means whereby spiritual life is bestowed.

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The infernal spirits to whom it is permitted thus to tease the good intend nothing but evil; for they desire with all their power to draw them down from heaven, and plunge them into hell. For to destroy any one as to his soul, thus to eternity, is the very delight of their life. But not the least is permitted them by the Lord but for the end that good may come out of it, namely, that truth and good may be formed and strengthened with those who are in temptation. In the whole spiritual world the end that proceeds from the Lord reigns, which is, that nothing at all, not even the least thing, shall exist except that good may come from it. Therefore the Lord's kingdom is called a kingdom of ends and uses. (ib. n. 6574.)

I have talked with spirits about the changes in the state of man's life, in that it is inconstant, and is borne upwards and downwards, namely, towards heaven and towards hell. But they who suffer themselves to be regenerated are carried continually upwards, and thus always into more interior heavenly societies. An extension of sphere into those societies is given by the Lord to those who are regenerated,—principally by temptations, in which there is resistance to evils and falsities; for then the Lord by means of the angels fights against evils and falsities. And so man is introduced into the societies of those