Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/402

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REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION

All that is good which comes of genuine charity towards the neighbour. But no one of himself can be in this good; for it is the very celestial which flows in from the Lord. This celestial continually flows in, but evils and falsities oppose its reception; that it may be received therefore it is necessary that man should remove evils, and as far as he is able falsities also, and so dispose himself to receive the influx. When, evils being removed, man receives the influx, he then receives a new voluntary and a new intellectual [faculty]; and from the new voluntary he feels delight in doing good to his neighbour for no selfish end, and from the new intellectual he apperceives delight in learning what is good and true for the sake of good and truth, and for the sake of life. Since this new intellectual and new voluntary exists by influx from the Lord, therefore he who is regenerated acknowledges and believes that the good and the truth with which he is affected are not from himself, but from the Lord; and that whatever is from himself, or from his proprium, is nothing but evil. From this it is evident what it is to be born again; and what the new voluntary and the new intellectual are. (ib. n. 5354)

Goodness of disposition manifests itself by gentleness and sweetness; by gentleness, in that it is afraid to do harm, and by sweetness, in that it loves to do good. (E. U. n. 50.)

 

Man is first in True Freedom when he becomes Regenerate.

When a man becomes regenerate he then first enters upon a state of freedom; before he was in a state of bondage. It is bondage when lusts and falsities have dominion; it is freedom when affections of good and truth bear sway. A man never perceives in any degree how the case is so long as he remains in the state of bondage; but first does so when he enters into the state of freedom. While he is in the state of bondage, that is while lusts and falsities rule, the man who is subjugated by them supposes that he is in a state of freedom; but it is a gross falsity, for at the very time he is carried along by the delight of his lusts and of the pleasures derived from them,—that is, by the delight of his loves; and because it is by a delight it appears to him as free. Every one thinks himself free while he is being led by some love,—so long as he follows whithersoever it leads; but there are diabolical spirits, in whose society and as it were torrent he is, who bear him onward. This the man imagines to be most free; and to such a degree that he even believes if be should be deprived of this state he would come into a miserable life, yea, that he would be in no life. And this he believes, not only because he does not know that there is any other life, but also from the fact that he has received the impression that no one can come into heaven