ALL RELIGION HAS RELATION TO LIFE, AND THE LIFE OF RELIGION IS TO DO GOOD
Every one who has any religion knows and acknowledges that he who lives well will be saved, and that he who lives wickedly will be condemned; for he knows and acknowledges that he who lives well thinks well, not only concerning God but also concerning the neighbour; but not so he who lives wickedly. The life of man is his love; and what a man loves he not Only does willingly but also thinks willingly. The reason, therefore, why it is said that the life [of religion] is to do good is, because the doing of good unites with the thinking of good; and unless they act in unison in a man, they do not form part of his life. But these things will be demonstrated in what follows.
Whosoever … shall break the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever doeth and teacheth them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
I say unto you, except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt. v 19, 20.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. vii 19, 20.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt. vii 21.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? . . . and in thy name done many wonderful works?
But then will I profess unto them, I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity…. Matt. vii 22, 23.
Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock….
But every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. Matt. vii 24, 26.
Jesus said, A sower went forth to sow … some seed fell on the hard way-side. . . some upon stony places … some among thorns … and some on to good ground….
He that was sown on good ground is he that heareth the Word and giveth heed to it; who thereupon beareth fruit and bringeth forth, one a hundred fold, another sixty fold, and another thirty fold.
When Jesus had said these words He called out, saying, Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matt. xiii 3-9, 23.
The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father . . . and then He shall reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi 27.
The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matt. xxi 43.
When the Son of Man shall come in His glory … then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory … And He shall say to the sheep on His right hand, Come, ye blessed … inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
I was naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, When saw we thee so?
But the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.
Then shall the king speak in like manner to the goats on His left hand;
And because they have not done such things, He shall say, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. xxv 31-46.
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance … And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Luke iii 8, 9.
Jesus said, Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Every one that cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them … is like a man who built a house, and laid the foundation on a rock …
But he that heareth, and doeth not is like a man, that without a foundation built an house upon the earth. Luke vi 46-49.
Jesus said, My mother and my brethren are these who hear the Word of God, and do it. Luke viii 21.
Then shall ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord open unto us; but He shall answer and say to them, I know you not whence ye are…
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. Luke xiii 25, 27.
This is the judgment (A.V. condemnation), that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light … lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, since they are wrought in God. John iii 19-21.
And they that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection [of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection] of judgment (A.V. damnation). John v 29.
We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth. John ix 31.
If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them. John xiii 17.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me … and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him …
And I will come unto him, and make my abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings. John xiv 21, 23, 24.
Jesus said, I am the [true] vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John xv 1, 2
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John xv 8.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you….
I have chosen you … that ye should bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. John xv 14, 16.
The Lord said to John, Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write;
I know thy works … I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Repent and do the first works; or else I will remove thy candlestick out of his place. Rev. ii 1, 2, 4, 5.
Unto the angel of the Church in Smyrna write; I know thy works. Rev. ii 8, 9.
To the angel of the Church in Pergamos write …
I know thy works … Repent. Rev. ii 12, 13, 16.
Unto the angel of the Church in Thyatira write …
I know thy works, and charity . . . and thy later works to be more than the first. Rev. ii 18, 19.
Unto the angel of the Church in Sardis write …
I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou
livest, but art dead.
I have not found thy works perfect before God …
Repent. Rev. iii 1, 2, 3.
To the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write …
I know thy works. Rev. iii 7, 8.
Unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans
write … I know thy works . . . Repent. Rev. iii 14, 15, 19.
I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from, henceforth … saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Rev. xiv 13.
A book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged according to those things which were written in the book, all according to their works. Rev. xx 12.
Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every one according to his works. Rev. xxii 12.
It is likewise written in the Old Testament:
Recompense them according to their work, and according to the doing of their own hands. Jer. xxv 14.
…Jehovah, whose eyes are open upon all the ways of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer. xxxii 19.
I will punish him according to his ways and reward him his works. Hosea iv 9.
Jehovah hath dealt with us according to our ways, and according to our works. Zech. i 6;
and in many places it is written that men should do the statutes, commandments and laws; as,
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them. Lev. xviii 5.
Ye shall observe all my statutes and my judgments, to do them. Lev. xix 37; xx 8; xxii 31.
Blessings are pronounced, if they do the commandments, and curses if they do them not. Lev. xxvi 4-46.
The Children of Israel were commanded to make to themselves a fringe on the borders of their garments … that they should remember all the commandments of Jehovah to do them. Num. xv 38, 39
and in a thousand other places.
That works are what make a man of the Church, and that he is saved according to them, the Lord also teaches in parables; and many of these imply that they who do good are accepted, and they who do evil are rejected, as in the parable concerning
The husbandmen in the vineyard. Matt. xxi 33-44.
The fig-tree which did not yield fruit. Luke xiii 6-9.
The talents and pounds with which the servants were to trade. Matt. xxv 14-31; Luke xix 13-25.
The Samaritan who bound up the wounds of him that was wounded by robbers. Luke x 30-37. The rich man and Lazarus. Luke xvi 19-31.
The ten virgins. Matt. xxv 1-12.
“Jesus Christ, who suffered for our salvation, ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead; and then they who have done good shall enter into life eternal, and they who have done evil into everlasting fire.”
* The Exhortation in No. 5 is repeated in Latin as No. 6, which is therefore omitted.
* The Latin word proprium means “what is one’s own”. Swedenborg uses it in a special sense involving “what is of the self”.
NO ONE CAN DO GOOD, WHICH IS GOOD, FROM HIMSELF
At this day scarcely any one knows whether the good which he does is from himself or from God, because the Church has separated faith from charity, and good has relation to charity. A man gives to the poor, assists the needy, endows churches and hospitals, promotes the welfare of the Church, of his country and of his fellow citizens, diligently attends places of worship and then devoutly listens and prays, reads the Word and books of piety, and thinks about salvation; and yet he knows not whether he does such things from himself or from God. It is possible that he may do the same things from God, and he may do them from himself. If he does them from God they are good; if from himself they are not good. Indeed, there are such good deeds done from self which obviously are evil, as hypocritical good deeds which are deceitful and fraudulent.
A man can take (A.V. receive) nothing, except it be given him from heaven. John iii 27
and in the same:
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John xv 5.
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, means, that all good is from the Lord. Fruit denotes good, and, Without me ye can do nothing, means, that no one can do good from himself. Those who believe on the Lord and do good from Him are called
Sons (A.V. children) of light. John xii 36; Luke xvi 8
Sons of the bride-chamber. Mark ii 19
Sons of the resurrection. Luke xx 36
Sons of God. Luke xx 36; John i 12
Born of God. John i 13
and it is said that
They shall see God. Matt v 8;
The Lord will make His abode with them John xiv 23
They have the faith of God. Mark xi 22
Their deeds are wrought from God. John iii 21.
These things are summed up in the words:
As many as received Him [Jesus] to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:
Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John i 12, 13.
To believe on the name of the Son of God, is to believe the Word and live according to it; the will of the flesh is the proprium of man’s will, which in itself is evil; and the will of man is the proprium of his understanding, which in itself is falsity from evil. They are “born of these” who will and act, think and speak from their proprium; while they are “born of God” who do these things from the Lord. In short, that is not good which is from man, but that is good which is from the Lord.
SO FAR AS A MAN SHUNS EVILS AS SINS, SO FAR HE DOES WHAT IS GOOD NOT FROM HIMSELF, BUT FROM THE LORD
Who does not know, or may not know, that evils prevent the Lord’s entrance into man? For evil is hell, and the Lord is heaven, and hell and heaven are opposites; so far therefore as man is in one, so far he cannot be in the other; for one acts against and destroys the other.
1. If a man wills and does what is good before he shuns evils as sins, the good things which he wills and does are not good.
2. If a man thinks and speaks pious things, and does not shun evils as sins, the pious things [which he thinks and speaks] are not pious.
3. If a man has much knowledge and much wisdom and does not shun evils as sins, he is nevertheless not wise.
* The term cognitiones, here used in the Latin, is translated “cognitions” to distinguish these knowledges from those that are meant by the Latin scientifica also used in the Writings of Swedenborg.
Two of the meanings most commonly associated with cognitiones are, (i) a particular species of knowledge, as knowledges of the Word, of good and truth, or of spiritual things (A.C. 24, 3665, 9945; N.J.H.D. 51; H.H. 111, 351, 469, 474, 517, 518); and (ii) a higher type of knowledge which is from understanding and perception (A.C. 1486-7; H.H. 353).
No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one, and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt. vi 24.
How can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart,
bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things. Matt. xii 34, 35.
A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. Luke vi 43, 44.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit….
Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather it, and cast it into the fire, and it is burned. John xv 1, 2, 4-6.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye make yourselves like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous … but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matt. xxiii 27, 28.
Woe unto you … for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also. Matt. xxiii 25, 26.
Also from these words in Isaiah:
Hear the word of Jehovah, ye rulers of Sodom give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah:
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?
Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moon and sabbath . . . I cannot endure the iniquity …
Your new moon and your appointed feasts my soul hateth . . .
And when ye stretch forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil…
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red . . . they shall be as wool. Isa. i 10, 11, 13-18.
These words in brief mean, that unless a man shuns evils, none of his acts of worship, and likewise none of his works, are good; for it is said, I cannot endure the iniquity … Make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, cease to do evil.
So in Jeremiah:
Return ye every man from his evil way, and amend your doings. Jer. xxxv 15.
sRef Isa@31 @1 S2′ sRef Isa@31 @3 S2′ sRef Isa@29 @15 S2′ sRef Isa@31 @2 S2′ sRef Isa@29 @14 S2′  That such persons are not wise is taught in Isaiah:
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Isa. v 2 1.
In the same:
For there shall perish the wisdom of their wise men, and the understanding of their prudent.
Woe unto them that are profoundly wise, and whose works are done in the dark. Isa. xxix 14, 15
and elsewhere in the same:
Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong: but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah …
But He will arise against the house of the evil-doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.
For Egypt is not God, and his horses are flesh, and not spirit. Isa. xxxi 1-3.
Thus is described self-intelligence: Egypt denotes natural knowledge (scientia); the horse denotes the understanding thence derived; the chariot denotes doctrine thence derived; and the horseman denotes intelligence from the same source. Of all these it is said, Woe to them that look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah. Their destruction by evils is meant by the words, He will arise against the house of the evil-doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. That these things are from the proprium, and consequently have no life in them, is meant by Egypt being man and not God, and his horses being flesh and not spirit. Man and flesh denote man’s proprium, while God and spirit denote life from the Lord, and the horses of Egypt denote self-intelligence. There are in the Word many such passages concerning intelligence derived from oneself and that derived from the Lord, which become clear only by means of the spiritual sense.
sRef Luke@13 @27 S3′ sRef Luke@17 @10 S3′ sRef Luke@18 @13 S3′ sRef Luke@18 @14 S3′ sRef Luke@13 @26 S3′ sRef Matt@7 @23 S3′ sRef Luke@18 @11 S3′ sRef Matt@7 @21 S3′ sRef Luke@13 @25 S3′ sRef Matt@7 @22 S3′ sRef Luke@18 @12 S3′  It is evident from the following passages that no one will be saved through the good deeds that he does from self, because they are not good:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father…
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name have done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt. vii 21-23
Then shall ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open unto us …
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. Luke xiii 25-27.
For such persons are like the Pharisee
Who stood and prayed in the temple, saying that he was not as other men, an extortioner, unjust, an adulterer; that he fasted twice in the week, and gave tithes of all that he possessed. Luke xviii 11-14;
and they are also those who are called
unprofitable servants. Luke xvii 10.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS EVILS AS SINS, SO FAR HE LOVES TRUTHS
There are two universals that proceed from the Lord, Divine Good and Divine Truth: Divine Good is of His Divine Love, and Divine Truth is of His Divine Wisdom. These two in the Lord are one, and consequently proceed from Him as one; but they are not received as one by angels in the heavens and by men on earth. There are angels and men who receive more of Divine Truth than of Divine Good, and there are those who receive more of Divine Good than of Divine Truth. Hence it is that the heavens are distinguished into two kingdoms, one of which is called the celestial kingdom and the other the spiritual kingdom: the heavens that receive more of the Divine Good constitute the celestial kingdom, while those that receive more of the Divine Truth constitute the spiritual kingdom. Concerning these two kingdoms into which the heavens are distinguished, see the work on HEAVEN AND HELL Nos. 20-28.
Still, however, the angels of all the heavens are so far in wisdom and intelligence as the good with them unites with truth. The good which does not unite with truth is to them not good; and on the other hand, the truth which does not unite with good is to them not truth. From this it is evident that good conjoined with truth constitutes love and wisdom with angel and man; and since an angel is an angel from the love and wisdom with him, and similarly a man is a man, it is evident that good conjoined with truth makes an angel to be an angel of heaven, and a man to be a man of the Church.
He that hath my precepts, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me …
But he that loveth me not keepeth not my words, John xiv 21, 24;
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. John xv 10.
The precepts, words and commandments of the Lord are truths.
A priest: If he is principled in the good of the priesthood, which consists in providing for the salvation of souls, in teaching the way to heaven and in leading those whom he teaches-so far as he is principled in this good from love of it and ardent desire-he procures for himself truths which he may teach and by which he may lead. A priest, however, who is not principled in the good of the priesthood, but who is in the delight of his office from the love of self and the world, which to him is the only good, also from love of it and ardent desire, procures for himself those truths in abundance according to the influence of the delight which constitutes his good.
A soldier: If he is in the love of military service, and perceives his good to be the protection of his country or the seeking of reputation, he procures for himself from that good and according to it the knowledge relating to it; and if he is an officer, the intelligence pertaining to it. These are as truths by which the delight of his love, which is his good, is nourished and formed.
A merchant: If he has devoted himself to trade from the love of it, he acquires with pleasure all those things which, as means, enter into and compose that love. These also are as truths, whilst trading is his good.
An artisan: If he zealously applies himself to his work, and loves it as the good of his life, he purchases tools and makes himself proficient by such things as relate to the knowledge of his work and thereby he causes his work to be his good.
From these instances it is evident that truths are the means by which the good of love exists and becomes a reality; and consequently that good loves truths in order that it may exist. Hence, in the Word, by doing truth is meant, causing good to exist. This is meant by
Doing truth. John iii 21
Doing the Lord’s sayings. Luke vi 47
Doing His precepts. John xiv 24
Doing His sayings. Matt. vii 24
Doing the Word of God. Luke viii 21; and
Doing His statutes and judgments. Lev. xviii 5.
This also is meant by doing good and bearing fruit; for good or fruit is that which comes forth into existence.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS EVILS AS SINS, SO FAR HE HAS FAITH, AND IS SPIRITUAL
Faith and life are distinct from each other, like thinking and doing; and as thinking has relation to the understanding and doing to the will, it follows that faith and life are distinct from each other, like the understanding and the will. He who knows the distinction between the latter, also knows the distinction between the former; and he who knows the conjunction of the latter, also knows the conjunction of the former. Therefore something must be premised concerning the understanding and the will.
 Nothing is of greater importance to know than how the will and the understanding constitute one mind. They make one mind as good and truth make one; for there is between the will and the understanding a marriage similar to that between good and truth. The nature of this marriage was stated in some measure in the preceding article; and to this it should be added that, as good is the very being (esse) of a thing and truth is its consequent existing (existere), so the will with man is the very being (esse) of his life and the understanding is its consequent existing (existere); for good, which is of the will, forms itself in the understanding, and in a certain manner renders itself visible.
This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. John vi 28, .
To believe on the Lord is not only to think that He is, but also to do His words, as He teaches elsewhere.
Therefore they themselves confessed that they had no faith at all; and that they had persuaded themselves when in the world, that to think that a thing is so, for any reason, was to believe, or to have faith. But the faith of those who were not principled in evil was perceived to be something quite different.
This is the judgment, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John iii 19-21.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke vi 45; Matt. xii 35. By heart in the Word is meant the will of man; and because from this man thinks and speaks, it is said that of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke vi 45; Matt. xii 35
By heart in the Word is meant the will of man; and because from this man thinks and speaks, it is said that of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but . . . that which cometh forth from the heart, this defileth the man. Matt. xv 11, .
By the heart here is also meant the will.
Jesus said concerning the woman who washed His feet with ointment, that her sins were remitted, for she loved much. And later He said, Thy faith hath saved thee. Luke vii 46-50.
From this it is evident that when sins are remitted, that is, when they cease, faith saves. That those are called sons of God, and born of God, who are not in the proprium of their own will, and consequently not in the proprium of their own understanding, that is, who are not in evil, and falsity thence derived, and that those are they who believe on the Lord, He Himself teaches in John i 12, 13. For an explanation of this passage in John see above No. 17, at end.
THE DECALOGUE TEACHES WHAT EVILS ARE SINS
What nation throughout the whole world does not know that it is evil to steal, to commit adultery, to commit murder, and to bear false witness? If nations did not know this, and by laws did not prevent these evils from being committed, they would cease to exist, for a society, state or kingdom without these laws would perish. No one can suppose that the Israelitish nation was, beyond all others, so stupid as not to know that these were evils. One may wonder then that these laws, universally known throughout the world, should have been promulgated in so miraculous a manner from Mount Sinai by Jehovah Himself. But note: the reason why they were so miraculously promulgated was that men might know that these laws were not only civil and moral but also spiritual laws; and that to act contrary to them was not only to do evil against one’s fellow citizen and the state, but also to sin against God. Therefore these laws, by their promulgation from Mount Sinai by Jehovah, became also laws of religion. For it is evident that whatever Jehovah God commands, He commands as a principle of religion; and that it ought to be done for His sake, and for man’s sake that he may be saved.
 On account of the holiness of the tabernacle, arising from the Law in the ark, all the people of Israel were commanded to encamp about it in order, according to their tribes, and to march in order after it, when a cloud was over it by day, and a fire by night. On account of the holiness of the Law, and the presence of the Lord in it, the Lord talked with Moses from over the mercy-seat between the cherubim, and the ark was called “The Presence of Jehovah.” Further, Aaron was not permitted to enter within the veil, except with sacrifices and incense. Because the Law was the very holiness of the Church, therefore the ark was introduced into Zion by David; and it was afterwards placed in the midst of the temple at Jerusalem and constituted its sanctuary.
On account of the presence of the Lord in and about the Law, miracles were also wrought by the ark, within which was the Law. Thus the waters of Jordan were divided, and while the ark rested in the midst of the river, the people passed over on dry ground. The walls of Jericho fell because the ark was carried round them. Dagon, the god of the Philistines, fell down before it, and afterwards lay at the threshold of his temple, with his head cut off. The Bethshemites, to the number of many thousands, were smitten on account of it; besides other miracles. All these took place solely from the presence of the Lord in His Ten Words, which are the Precepts of the Decalogue.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev. iii 20.
Jehovah descended in fire on Mount Sinai, and then the mountain smoked and trembled, and there were thunders and lightnings, a thick cloud and the voice of a trumpet. Exod. xix 16-18; Deut. iv 11; v 22-26.
The people, before the descent of Jehovah, prepared and sanctified themselves three days. Exod. xix 10, 11, 15.
Bounds were set round about the Mount, lest any one should approach or touch the border of it, and die; and not even the priests were permitted to approach, but Moses only. Exod. xix 12, 13, 20-24; xxiv 1, 2.
The Law was promulgated from Mount Sinai. Exod. xx 2-17; Deut. v 6-21.
The Law was inscribed on two tables of stone, by the finger of God. Exod. xxxi 18; xxxii 15, 16; Deut. ix 10.
When Moses brought the tables down from the mountain the second time, his face shone. Exod. xxxiv 29-35.
The tables were deposited in the ark. Exod. xxv 16; xl 20; Deut. x 5; 1 Kings viii 9.
The mercy-seat was put over the ark, and the cherubim of gold placed over the mercy-seat. Exod. xxv 17-21.
The ark with the mercy-seat and the cherubim formed the inmost of the tabernacle; the golden candlestick, the golden altar of incense, and the table overlaid with gold, on which was the shewbread, formed the outer part of the tabernacle; and the curtains of fine linen, purple and scarlet, formed its outermost part. Exod. xxv 1 to end; xxvi 1 to the end; xl 17-28.
The place where the ark was, was called the Holy of holies. Exod. xxvi 33.
The whole of the people of Israel encamped round about the tabernacle in order, according to their tribes, and marched in order after it. Num. ii 1 to the end.
Then there was a cloud over the tabernacle by day, and fire by night. Exod. xl 38; Num. ix 15 to end; xiv 14; Deut. i 33.
The Lord spoke with Moses above the ark between the cherubim. Exod. xxv 22; Num. vii 89.
The ark, because of the Law which was in it, was called The Presence of Jehovah; for when the ark set forward, Moses said, Rise up, Jehovah, and when it rested, Return, Jehovah. Num. x 35, 36; and see further 2 Sam. vi. 2; Ps. cxxxii 7, 8.
On account of the holiness of the Law it was not lawful for Aaron to enter within the veil, except with sacrifices and incense. Lev. xvi 2-14 and following verses.
The ark was introduced by David into Zion with sacrifices and jubilation. 2 Sam. vi 1-19.
Uzzah died because he touched the ark. 2 Sam. vi 7.
The ark was placed in the midst of the temple at Jerusalem, where it constituted the sanctuary. 1 Kings vi 19 and following verses; viii 3-9.
Because of the presence of the Lord’s power in the Law which was in the ark, the waters of Jordan were divided, and while it rested in the middle, the people passed over on dry ground. Joshua iii 1-17; iv 5-20.
When the ark was carried about the walls of Jericho they fell down. Joshua vi 1-20.
Dagon, the god of the Philistines, fell to the ground before the ark, and afterwards lay upon the threshold of his temple, with his head cut off. 1 Sam. v 1-4.
The Bethshemites, to the number of many thousands were smitten on account of the ark. 1 Sam. vi 19,
Num. x 33; Deut. iv 13, 23; v 2, 3; ix 9; Joshua iii 11; I Kings viii 21; Rev. xi 19; and in many other places.
The Law was called a Covenant because a covenant signifies conjunction. Therefore it is said of the Lord that
He will be for a covenant to the people. Isa. xlii 6; xlix 8.
He is also called The angel of the covenant. Mal. iii 1
and His blood, The blood of the covenant. Matt. xxvi 28; Zech. ix 11; Exod. xxiv 4-10.
Therefore the Word is called The Old Covenant and The New Covenant; for covenants are entered into for the sake of love, of friendship, of association, and thus of conjunction.
There were ten curtains of the tabernacle. Exod. xxvi 1
The Lord said, that a man about to receive a kingdom called ten servants, and gave them ten pounds to trade with. Luke xix 13;
The Lord likened the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins. Matt. xxv 1;
The dragon is described as having ten horns, and upon his horns ten diadems. Rev. xii 3;
and in like manner the beast coming up out of the sea. Rev. xiii 1.
and also another beast. Rev. xvii 3, 7
and likewise the beast in Daniel vii 7, 20, 24.
The like is signified by ten, in Lev. xxvi 26; Zech. viii 23; and elsewhere.
Hence there are tithes, by which is signified something from all.
ALL KINDS OF MURDER, ADULTERY, THEFT, AND FALSE WITNESS, WITH THEIR LUST, ARE EVILS WHICH OUGHT TO BE SHUNNED AS SINS
It is well known that the Law of Sinai was written upon two tables, and that the first table contains those things which relate to God and the other, those things which relate to man. That the first table contains all things relating to God, and the other, all things relating to man, does not appear in the Letter. Nevertheless all things are in them; and therefore they are also called the Ten Words, by which are signified all truths in epitome, as may be seen just above, No. 61. But how all things are therein cannot be explained in a few words. It may, however, be comprehended from what was adduced in THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE No. 67, which should be referred to. Hence it is said, all kinds of murder, adultery, theft, and false witness.
 On account of this thought, from this religious persuasion of his, the man is in the lust of all these evils, and only refrains from doing them on account of the world. Such a man, therefore, after death, although he had not committed murder, adultery, theft and false witness, still lusts to do them; and further, he does them when the external which he had in the world is taken away from him. Every lust remains with man after death. Hence it is that such persons act in unity with hell, and cannot but have their lot with those who are in hell.
 Another lot, however, awaits those who, because to do these things is against God, do not will to kill, to commit adultery, to steal and to bear false witness. After some combat against these evils they do not will them, and consequently they do not lust to do them, saying in their hearts that they are sins, in themselves infernal and diabolical. These, after death, when the external which they had for use in the world is taken away from them, act in unity with heaven; and because they are in the Lord, they also come into heaven.
The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matt. xxi 43
and also by these words:
When the Lord of the vineyard cometh … He will . . . destroy the wicked ones, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen who shall return Him the fruits in their time. Matt. xxi 40, 41
and by these:
I say unto you that many shall come from the east and the west … and from the north and the south … and shall recline in the kingdom of God; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness. Matt. viii 11, 12; Luke xiii 29.
A certain rich man came to Jesus, and asked Him what he should do to inherit eternal life: to whom Jesus replied, Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not defraud; honour thy father and mother. He answering said, All these have I kept from my youth. Jesus looked upon him, and loved him; and yet He said . . . One thing thou lackest; go, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor; thus thou shalt have treasure in the heavens; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark x 17-22.
 It is said that Jesus loved him. This was because he said that he had kept the commandments from his youth. But, because he lacked three things, namely, that he had not removed his heart from riches, that he had not fought against lusts, and that he had not yet acknowledged the Lord to be God, therefore the Lord said that he should sell all that he had, by which is meant that he should remove his heart from riches; that he should bear the cross, by which is meant that he should fight against lusts; and that he should follow Him, by which is meant that he should acknowledge the Lord to be God. The Lord spoke these words, as He did all His words, by correspondences (see THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, No. 17). For no one can shun evils as sins unless he acknowledges the Lord and approaches Him; and unless he fights against evils, and thereby removes lusts. But more will be said on this subject in the article concerning combats against evils.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS ALL KINDS OF MURDER AS SINS, SO FAR HE HAS LOVE TOWARDS THE NEIGHBOUR
By all kinds of murder are meant also all kinds of enmity, hatred, and revenge, which breathe a murderous purpose, for in them murder lies concealed, as fire in wood beneath the ashes. Infernal fire is nothing else; and hence come the expressions, to be inflamed with hatred and to burn with revenge. This is murder in the natural sense. But in the spiritual sense, murder means every method of killing and destroying the souls of men; and these methods are varied and manifold. In the supreme sense, however, by murder is meant to hate the Lord. These three kinds of murder make one and are closely linked together; for whoever wills to kill the body of a man in the world, wills also to kill his soul after death. He also wills to kill the Lord, for he burns with anger against Him and desires to blot out His name.
While man is in the world, he is in the midst between hell and heaven: beneath is hell, and above is heaven; and he is kept in freedom to turn himself either to hell or to heaven. If he turns himself to hell, he turns away from heaven; but if he turns himself to heaven, he turns away from hell. Or, what is the same, while man is in the world, he stands in the midst between the Lord and the devil, and is kept in freedom to turn himself either to the one or to the other. If he turns himself to the devil, he turns away from the Lord; but if he turns himself to the Lord, he turns away from the devil. Or, what is the same, while man is in the world, he is in the midst between evil and good, and is kept in freedom to turn himself either to the one or to the other. If he turns himself to evil, he turns away from good; but if he turns himself to good, he turns away from evil.
This is No. 19 above. See also Nos. 20-22 which follow there.
I know . . . that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Rev. iii 15, 16.
It is otherwise with him who does not regard as sins every kind of murder, such as enmity, hatred, revenge, and many others. Whether he is a priest, a magistrate, a merchant, or a workman, whatever he does is not a good work, because his every deed partakes of the evil which is within him. For it is his internal which produces the work: the external may be good, but only for others, not for himself.
If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Agree with thine adversary … whiles thou art in the way with him; lest … the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto you, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Matt. v 23-26.
To be reconciled to a brother is to shun enmity, hatred and revenge; and it is clear that it is to shun it as a sin. The Lord also teaches in Matthew:
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matt. vii 12.
Thus, you should not do evil. He teaches this frequently in other places. The Lord also teaches that to kill means to be angry with a brother or a neighbour without a cause, and to account him an enemy. Matt. v 21, 22.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS ALL KINDS OF ADULTERY AS SINS, SO FAR HE LOVES CHASTITY
In the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, by committing adultery in the natural sense is meant not only to commit whoredom, but also to commit obscene acts, to speak lascivious words, and to think filthy thoughts. But in the spiritual sense, by committing adultery is meant to adulterate the goods of the Word and to falsify its truths; while in the supreme sense, by committing adultery is meant to deny the Lord’s Divinity and to profane the Word. These are all the kinds of adultery. The natural man may know from rational light (lumen) that by committing adultery is also meant to commit obscene acts, to speak lascivious words and to think filthy thoughts; but he does not know, that by committing adultery is also meant to adulterate the goods of the Word and to falsify its truths; still less does he know that it means to deny the Lord’s Divinity and to profane the Word. Consequently he does not know that adultery is so great an evil that it may be called devilishness itself; for whoever is in natural adultery is also in spiritual adultery, and conversely. That this is so will be shown in a particular treatise on MARRIAGE.* But they who do not regard adulteries as sins, both in faith and in life, are at the same time in adulteries of every kind.
* De Conjugio, a little work, written c. 1767, and first published in 1860.
An English translation appears in POSTHUMOUS THEOLOGICAL WORKS Vol. II. The work De Amore Conjugiali was published in 1768.
Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a strange woman (A.V. a woman) to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. v 27, 28.
Babylon … made all nations drink of the wine … of her fornication. Rev. xiv 8.
The angel said … I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication. Rev. xvii 1, 2.
Babylon hath made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. Rev. xviii 3.
God hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication. Rev. xix 2.
Fornication is spoken of in relation to Babylon, because by Babylon are meant those who arrogate to themselves the Lord’s Divine power, and profane the Word by adulterating and falsifying it. Therefore also Babylon is called
The mother of fornications and abominations of the earth. Rev. xvii 5.
sRef Ezek@23 @11 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @10 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @12 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @14 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @13 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @9 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @6 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @5 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @7 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @4 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @8 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @17 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @16 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @3 S2′ sRef Jer@23 @14 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @2 S2′ sRef Ezek@23 @15 S2′  The same is signified by whoredom in the Prophets; as in Jeremiah:
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible stubbornness: they commit adultery, and walk in lies. Jer. xxiii 14.
Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth … One played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours . . . she bestowed her whoredoms upon them . . . Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt. The other corrupted her love more than the former, and her whoredoms more than the whoredoms of her sister. … She increased her whoredoms . . . she loved the Chaldeans … the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom. Ezek. xxiii 2-17.
These words relate to the Israelitish and Jewish Church, which are here called the daughters of one mother. By their whoredoms are meant the adulterations and falsifications of the Word; and as in the Word by Egypt is signified knowledge, by Assyria reasoning, by Chaldea the profanation of truth, and by Babylon the profanation of good, therefore it is said that they committed whoredom with those nations. sRef Jer@3 @2 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @26 S3′ sRef Jer@3 @8 S3′ sRef Jer@3 @9 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @35 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @32 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @28 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @33 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @15 S3′ sRef Jer@3 @6 S3′ sRef Ezek@16 @29 S3′  The like is said concerning, Jerusalem, by which is signified the Church as to doctrine, in Ezekiel:
Jerusalem, thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by …
Thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredom…
Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians because thou wast insatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them…
Thou hast multiplied thy fornication unto Chaldea, the land of merchandise …
An adulterous wife which taketh strangers instead of her husband.
They all give their gift to their whores; but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers . . . that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.
Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of Jehovah. Ezek. xvi 15, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35.
That by Jerusalem is meant the Church may be seen in THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE LORD Nos. 62, 63. The like is signified by whoredoms in
Isa. xxiii 17 18; lvii 3; Jer. iii 2, 6, 8, 9; v 1, 7; xiii 27 xxi 23; Micah i 7; Nahum iii 4; Hosea iv 10, 11 Lev. xx 5; Num. xiv 33; xv 39; and elsewhere.
For the same reason also the Jewish nation was called by the Lord
An adulterous generation. Matt. xii 39; xvi 4; Mark viii 38.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS ALL KINDS OF THEFT AS SINS, SO FAR HE LOVES SINCERITY
By stealing, in the natural sense, is meant not only to commit theft and robbery, but also to defraud, and under any pretence to take away from another his goods. But by stealing, in the spiritual sense, is meant to deprive another of the truths of his faith and the goods of his charity. In the supreme sense, by stealing is meant to take away from the Lord what is His and to attribute it to oneself, and thus to claim for oneself righteousness and merit. These comprise all kinds of theft; and they also make one, as do all kinds of adultery and murder, spoken of above. They make one, because one kind is involved in the other.
He that walketh in righteousness and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth oppression for gain, that shaketh his hands from holding a bribe; that stoppeth his ears from hearing bloods, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
He shall dwell on high. Isa. xxxiii 15, 16.
Jehovah, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness …
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour. Ps. xv 1-3.
Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
I will in the morning destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city. Ps. ci 6-8.
Unless a man is inwardly sincere, just, faithful and upright, he still remains insincere, unjust, unfaithful and not upright. This the Lord teaches in these words:
Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. v 20.
By the righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, is meant interior righteousness in which the man is principled who is in the Lord. That such a man is in the Lord, He Himself teaches in John:
The glory which thou gavest me I have given them that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one…
That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John xvii 22, 23, 26.
From this it is evident that they are perfect when the Lord is in them. These are they who are called
The pure in heart, who shall see God; and, the perfect, as their Father which is in heaven. Matt. v 8, 48.
 As to his understanding a man may be in his spiritual mind, and thence in heaven; but as to his will he cannot be in his spiritual mind, and thence in heaven, unless he shuns evils as sins. Moreover, if he is not in heaven as to his will also, he is still not in heaven; for the will draws the understanding downwards, and causes it to be just as natural and animal as itself.
 Man may be compared to a garden, the understanding to light, and the will to heat. During winter a garden is in light and not at the same time in heat; but during summer it is in light and heat together. The man therefore who is only in the light of the understanding is like a garden in wintertime; but he who is in the light of the understanding, and at the same time in the warmth of the will, is like a garden in summer-time. Moreover, the understanding enjoys wisdom from spiritual light, and the will loves from spiritual heat; for spiritual light is Divine Wisdom, and spiritual heat is Divine Love.
 So long as a man does not shun evils as sins, the lusts of evils close up the interiors of the natural mind on the part of the will. They are as a thick veil there, and as a dark cloud beneath the spiritual mind, preventing it from being opened. But as soon as a man shuns evils as sins, then the Lord flows in from heaven, removes the veil, disperses the cloud and opens the spiritual mind, and thus introduces the man into heaven.
 So long as the lusts of evils close up the interiors of the natural mind, as was just said, so long a man is in hell; but as soon as these lusts are dispersed by the Lord, the man is in heaven. Moreover, so long as the lusts of evils close up the interiors of the natural mind, so long is he a natural man; but as soon as these lusts are dispersed by the Lord, he becomes a spiritual man. Further, so long as the lusts of evils close up the interiors of the natural mind, so long a man is an animal, differing only in this respect that he can think and speak, even of such things as he does not see with his eyes, a power which he derives from the faculty of elevating the understanding into the light of heaven; but as soon as these lusts are dispersed by the Lord, the man is a man, because he then thinks what is true in the understanding, from what is good in the will. Again, so long as the lusts of evils close up the interiors of the natural mind, so long man is like a garden in winter-time; but as soon as these lusts are dispersed by the Lord, he is like a garden in summer-time.
sRef Ezek@11 @19 S6′ sRef Matt@22 @37 S6′ sRef Ezek@36 @26 S6′ sRef Ezek@36 @27 S6′  The conjunction of the will and the understanding in man is meant in the Word by the heart and soul, and by the heart and spirit; as where it is said that God should be loved.
With all the heart, and with all the soul. Matt. xxii 37;
and that God would give
A new heart, and a new spirit. Ezek, xi 19; xxxvi 26, 27;
where by the heart is meant the will and its love; and by the soul and spirit, the understanding and its wisdom.
SO FAR AS ANY ONE SHUNS ALL KINDS OF FALSE WITNESS AS SINS, SO FAR HE LOVES WHAT IS TRUE (veritas)
By bearing false witness, in the natural sense, is meant not only to act as a false witness, but also to practise lying and defamation. By bearing false witness, in the spiritual sense, is meant to say and to persuade others that what is false is true, and that what is evil is good, and conversely. But in the supreme sense, by bearing false witness is meant to blaspheme the Lord and the Word. These are what constitute bearing false witness in the threefold sense. That they make one in the man who testifies falsely, who tells a lie, and who defames another, may be evident from what was shown in THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, Nos. 5-7 and following numbers, and No. 57, regarding the threefold sense of all that is contained in the Word.
A sower went out to sow … and as he sowed, some fell by the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
And some fell upon stony places; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no root.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred-fold. Luke viii 5-8; Matt. xiii 3-8; Mark iv 3-8.
The sower here is the Lord, and the seed is His Word, thus truth; the seed by the way-side is with those who do [not] care about truth; and the seed upon stony places is with those who care for truth, but not for its own sake, and thus not interiorly. The seed among thorns is with those who are in the lusts of evil; but the seed in the good ground is with those who from the Lord love the truths which are in the Word, and who from Him practise them, and thus bring forth fruit. That this is the meaning of these things is evident from the Lord’s explanation of them, Matthew xiii 19-23; Mark iv 14-20; and Luke viii 11-15.
From these considerations it is clear that the truth of the Word cannot take root with those who do not care about truth; nor with those who love truth outwardly but not inwardly; nor with those who are in the lusts of evil; but with those in whom the lusts of evil have been dispersed by the Lord. With these the seed, that is, truth, becomes rooted in their spiritual mind; concerning this see above, No. 86 at the end.
Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word …
Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings …
Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, The temple of Jehovah, The temple of Jehovah, are these …
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely …
And come and stand before me in this house, whereon is called my name, and say, We are delivered, to do all these abominations?
Is this house … become a den of robbers … ? Behold, even I have seen it, saith Jehovah. Jer. vii 2-4; 9-11.
NO ONE CAN SHUN EVILS AS SINS, SO AS TO HOLD THEM INWARDLY IN AVERSION, EXCEPT BY COMBATS AGAINST THEM
Every one knows from the Word and from doctrine thence derived, that the proprium of man is evil from birth; and consequently from innate lust he loves evils, and is borne along into them, from the desire to revenge, to defraud, to defame, and to commit adultery. Moreover, if he does not think that these evils are sins, and does not resist them on that account, he commits them as often as occasion presents itself and his reputation and interest are not endangered. Further, if a man has no religious principles, he commits these evils from a feeling of delight.
I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John xii 24;
also by these words:
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life (anima) shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel’s, the same shall save it. Mark viii 34-35.
By the cross is meant temptation,
as also in Matt. x 38; xvi 24; Mark x 21; Luke xiv 27;
by life is meant the life of man’s proprium,
as also in Matt. x 39; xvi 25; Luke ix 24; and especially in John xii 25;
which is also the life of the flesh that profiteth nothing, John vi 63. Concerning combats against evils and victories over them, the Lord speaks to all the Churches in the Revelation:
To the Church in Ephesus: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Rev. ii 7.
To the Church in Smyrna: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Rev. ii 11.
To the Church in Pergamos: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Rev. ii 17.
To the Church in Thyatira: He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations …
… and the morning star. Rev. ii 26-28.
To the Church in Sardis: [He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels. Rev. iii 5.
To the Church in Philadelphia]: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God … and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of God, which is the New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from God, and my new name. Rev. iii 12.
To the Church in Laodicea: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne. Rev. iii 21.
MAN OUGHT TO SHUN EVILS AS SINS, AND TO FIGHT AGAINST THEM, AS OF* HIMSELF
It is of Divine order that man should act from freedom according to reason, since to act from freedom according to reason is to act from oneself. Nevertheless these two faculties, Freedom and Reason, are not man’s own, but are the Lord’s within him; and so far as he is a man, they are not taken away from him, since without them he cannot be reformed; for without them he cannot do the work of repentance, he cannot fight against evils, and afterwards bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Now, since man has freedom and reason from the Lord, and man acts from them, it follows that he does not act from himself, but as from himself.(a)
* “a” usually means “from” or “by”; but when used of man it may be translated “of”, as “a se”, “of himself”.
(a) That man has freedom from the Lord may be seen above Nos. 19-20; and in the work on HEAVEN AND HELL Nos. 589-596, 597-603. What freedom is may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM, published in London, 1758, Nos. 141-149. Author’s Note.
Abide in me, and I in you. John xv 4.
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. John xv 5.
At that day ye shall know that [I am in my Father, and] ye in me, and I in you. John xiv 20.
That the Lord is in the truths and in the goods which man receives, and which are in him, He also teaches:
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you… If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. John xv 7, 10.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me … and I will love him … and will make my abode with him. John xiv 21, 23.
Thus the Lord dwells in what is His own with man, and man in those things which are from the Lord, and thus in the Lord.
Jesus said, Except ye repent, ye shall all perish. Luke xiii 3, 5.
Jesus said, The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel. Mark i 15.
Jesus said, I came to call… sinners to repentance. Luke v 32.
Jesus said to the Churches, Repent. Rev. ii 5, 16, 21; 22; iii 3
They repented not of their deeds. Rev. xvi 11.
Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke vi 46-49.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John xiii 17.
Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. John xv 14.
Whosoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. v 19.
Every one who heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man. Matt. vii 24.
Bring forth…fruits meet for repentance. Matt. iii 8.
Make the tree good, and his fruit good. Matt. xii 33.
The kingdom … shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof. Matt. xxi 43.
Every tree that bringeth not forth [good] fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matt. vii 19;
and repeated many times elsewhere.
From these passages it is evident that man ought to act of himself, but from the power of the Lord, for which he should pray, and this is to act as from himself.
The Son of Man shall come … and reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi 27.
They shall come forth that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John v 29.
Their works do follow them. Rev. xiv 13.
They were judged every man according to their works. Rev. xx 13.
Behold I come … and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work. Rev. xxii 12.
If there were not with man the power to reciprocate, there could be no imputation.
IF ANY ONE SHUNS EVILS FOR ANY OTHER REASON THAN BECAUSE THEY ARE SINS, HE DOES NOT SHUN THEM, BUT ONLY PREVENTS THEM FROM APPEARING BEFORE THE WORLD
There are moral men who keep the commandments of the Second table of the Decalogue, who do not defraud, who do not blaspheme who do not revenge, who do not commit adultery; and such of them as confirm in themselves that these things are evil, because they are hurtful to the state and so are contrary to the laws of humanity, also practise charity, sincerity, justice and chastity. However, if they do these good works and shun those evils only because they are evils and not at the same time because they are sins, they are still merely natural men; and with those who are merely natural, the root of evil remains implanted, and is not removed. Therefore, the good works which they do are not good, because they are of themselves.
only been superficially healed.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside . . . may be clean also. Matt. xxiii 26;
and in Isaiah:
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil …
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa. i 16, 18.
1. With every one, Christian charity consists in his performing faithfully the duties of his calling; for thus, if he shuns evils as sins, he daily does what is good, and is himself his own use in the common body; thus also the common good is provided for, as well as that of each individual in particular.
2. Other works are not properly works of charity, but are either its signs, or its benefactions, or its obligations.