Man is first in True Freedom when he becomes Regenerate

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 he 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 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. (AC n. 892)

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