Insofar as any one shuns Evils as Sins he has Faith

Insofar as any one shuns Evils as Sins he has Faith

Evil which is of the life destroys the truth of faith; because evil of life belongs to the will and the truth of faith to the understanding; and the will leads the understanding and causes it to act in unity with itself. If therefore there be any truth in the understanding which does not agree with the will, when a man is left to himself, or thinks under the influence of his evil and the love of it, he either casts out such truth, or by falsification forces it into unity. It is otherwise with those who are in good which is of the life; for when left to themselves they think under the influence of good, and love the truth which is in the understanding because it agrees therewith. Thus a conjunction of faith and of life is effected like the conjunction of truth and good, each resembling the conjunction of the understanding and the will.

Hence then it follows that in the degree that a man shuns evils as sins, in the same degree he has faith, because in the same degree he is in good. This is confirmed also by its contrary, that whosoever does not shun evils as sins has not faith, because he is in evil and evil has an inward hatred against truth. Outwardly indeed it can put on a friendly appearance, and endure, yea love that truth should be in the understanding; but when the outward is put off, as is the case after death, the truth which was thus for worldly reasons received in a friendly manner is first cast off, afterwards is denied to be truth, and finally is held in aversion. (Life, n. 44, 45)

Faith is the first Principle of the Church in appearance, but Charity is actually the first

Since man does not see good in his thought,—for good as has been said is only felt, and is felt under the manifold form of delight,—and as man does not attend to the things that he feels in thought, but to those that he sees in it, therefore he calls all that which he feels with delight good; and he feels evil with delight, because this is innate from his birth, and proceeds from the love of self and of the world. This is the reason why it is not known that the good of love is the all of heaven and of the church; and that this is only from the Lord in man; and that it does not flow from the Lord into any but such as shun evils and the delights thereof as sins. This is what is meant by the Lord’s words, that the law and the prophets hang upon these two com­mandments, Thou shalt love God above all things, and thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. xxii. 35-38). And I can aver that there is not in man a grain of truth which is truth in itself except so far as it is from the good of love from the Lord; and therefore that there is not a grain of faith which is faith in itself, that is which is living, salutary, and spiritual, except so far as it is from charity which is from the Lord. Since the good of love is the all of heaven and the church, therefore the universal heaven and the church universal are arranged in order by the Lord according to the affections of love, and not according to anything of thought separated from them; for thought is affection in form, just as speech is sound in form. (AR n. 908)

How Faith is formed from Charity

It shall also be explained how faith from charity is formed. Every man has a natural mind and a spiritual mind; a natural mind for the world, and a spiritual mind for heaven. As to his understanding man is in both worlds; but not as to his will until he shuns and turns away from evils as sins. When he does this his spiritual mind also is open in respect to the will; and then spiritual heat flows thence into the natural mind from heaven,— which heat in its essence is charity,—and gives life to the know-ledges of truth and good that are therein, and out of them forms faith. It is the same as with a tree, which does not receive vegetative life until heat flows from the sun and conjoins itself with the light, as it does in the time of spring. There is moreover a full parallelism between the quickening of man with life and the vegetation of a tree, in this respect, that the one is effected by the heat of this world and the other by the heat of heaven; which is the reason why man is so often likened to a tree by the Lord. (F. n. 32)

Truth rooted in the Mind by doing it

All truth is sown in the internal man, and rooted in the ex­ternal; unless therefore the truth which is inseminated takes root in the external man,—which is effected by doing it,—it becomes like a tree set not in the ground but upon it, which on exposure to the heat of the sun withers. The man who has done the truth takes this root with him after death; but not the man who has only known and acknowledged it. (AR n. 17)

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