Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/397

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
301
REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

angels who are more interior. And into whatever societies he has once been introduced, there he remains; and thence also he receives a more extended and more elevated faculty of perception, (ib. n. 6611.)

 

How Temptations are excited by Evil Spirits.

Scarcely any one in the Christian world at this day knows whence temptations arise. He who undergoes them believes no otherwise than that they are torments arising from the evils which are interiorly within man, and which render him first unquiet, then anxious, and finally torment him; and he is not at all aware that they are effected by evil spirits who are with him. He is unaware of this fact because he does not believe that he is in fellowship with spirits while he lives in the world, and scarcely that there is any spirit with him; when yet as to his interiors man is continually in the society of spirits and angels. As regards temptations, they take place when a man is in the process of regeneration; for no one can be regenerated unless he also undergoes temptations. And they then arise through evil spirits who are about him; for man is then let into the state of evil in which he is,—that is, in which that which constitutes his very proprium is,—and when he comes into this state evil or infernal spirits encompass him; and when they apperceive that he is interiorly protected by angels the evil spirits excite the falsities which he had thought, and the evils that he had done; but the angels from within defend him. It is this combat which is perceived in man as temptation; but so obscurely that he scarcely knows but that it is merely an anxiety. For man, especially one who believes nothing about influx, is in a state entirely unenlightened, and scarcely apperceives a thousandth part of the things concerning which the evil spirits and angels contend; and yet at that time a contest is being waged concerning the man, and concerning his eternal salvation; and it is waged from the man, that is, from the things and concerning the things that are in the man. That this is the case it has been given me most certainly to know. I have heard the combat; I have perceived the influx; I have seen the spirits and the angels; and then and afterwards have talked with them even on that subject. Temptations, as was said, arise chiefly when a man is becoming spiritual; for then he spiritually apprehends the truths of doctrine. The man is often ignorant of this, and yet the angels with him see the spiritual things in his natural; for his interiors are then open towards heaven. And hence it is that the man who is regenerated, after his life in the world is among