Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/403

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
307
REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

but through miseries, poverty, and deprivation of pleasures. But it has been given me to know by much experience that this is false; of which experience, by the Lord's Divine mercy, hereafter. A man never comes into a state of freedom until he is regenerated, and is led of the Lord by the love of good and truth. When he is in this state he is for the first time able to know what freedom is; for he then knows what life is, and what the true delight of life is, and what happiness is. Before he did not even know what good is; he sometimes called that the highest good which is the deepest evil. They who from the Lord are in this state of freedom, when they see, and still more when they feel, the life of lusts and falsities, abhor it as those who see hell open before their eyes. But since to very many it is profoundly unknown what the life of freedom is, it is permitted in these few words to say what it is; namely, that the life of freedom is to be led only of the Lord. (A. C. n. 892.)

 

Ignorance of the Church at the Present Day concerning Regeneration.

So little do they who are of the church at this day know about any thing relating to regeneration that it is almost nothing. They do not even know that regeneration goes on through the whole course of life of him who is regenerated, and that it is continued in the other life; and that the mysteries of regeneration are innumerable, so that they can scarcely be known as to a ten thousandth part by the angels, and that those which the angels know are what constitute their intelligence and wisdom. The reason why those who are of the church at the present day know so little concerning regeneration is, that they talk so much about the remission of sins, and about justification; and because they believe that sins are remitted in a moment, and some that they are wiped away, as filth from the body by water; and that by faith alone, or by the confidence of a single moment, a man is justified. The men of the church so believe because they do not know what sin or evil is; if they knew this they would know that sins cannot be wiped away from any one, but that they are separated or cast aside, that they may not rise up when man is kept in good by the Lord; and that this cannot be effected unless evil be continually cast out, and this by means which are indefinite in number, and for the most part ineffable. They who have brought this opinion with them into the other life,—that by faith man is justified in a moment, and washed altogether from his sins,—are amazed when they apperceive that regeneration is effected by means indefinite in number, and ineffable; and smile at their own ignorance which they cherished in the