« הקודםהמשך »
wbich gives them their quality ; for it is this which causes God to be in them, and conjoins them with itself in the internal man, whence natural good acts become inwardly spiritual. That this is the case, may be clearly seen from what was proved in the chapter on faith, under the following propositions: That Faith is not alive before it be conjoined with Charity : That Charity is rendered spiritual by virtue of Faith, and Faith by virtue of Charity: That Faith without Charity, not being spiritual, is not Faith; and that Charity without Faith, not being alive, is not Charity: That Faith and Charity have a mutual and reciprocal tendency to apply and be conjoined to each other: That the Lord, Charity, and Faith, constitute a One, like Life, Will, and Understanding; and that in case they are divided, each perishes, like a Pearl bruised to Powder.
655. From the proof of these propositions it may be clearly seen, that faith in one and the true God causeth good to be good even in its internal form, and on the other hand, that faith in a false god causeth good to be good only in its external form, which, considered in itself, is not good : this was the case with the faith of the heathens of old, directed towards Jupiter, Judo, and Apollo; of the Philistines towards Dagon; of other nations towards Baal and Baal-peor; of Balaam the magician towards his god; and of the Egyptians towards several gods. The effect is altogether different where faith is directed towards the Lord, “who is the true God and eternal Life,” according to Jobn, 1 Epist. v. 21 : “and in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” according to Paul, Coloss. ii. 9. What is faith towards God, but a looking to Him producing in the soul the * divine presence, and at the same time a confidence that He is at hand ready to help? And what is true faith unless it be this, accompanied with a confidence that all good is from Him, and that it is this which makes our own good to be saving good? If then this faith conjoin itself with goodness,
sentence is passed for eternal life; but it is quite otherwise if it do not conjoin itself with goodness, and more so if it conjoineth itself with evil.
656. What sort of conjunction subsisteth between charity and faith in such as believe in three gods, and yet say that they believe in one, has been already shewn, namely, that charity conjoineth itself with faith only in the external natural man, because the minds of such entertain an idea of three gods, whilst their mouths only make a confession of one God; supposing then the mind at any time to infuse itself into the confession of the mouth, it would expunge the profession of one God, and opening the lips, would give utterance to its notion of three.
657. That evil and a faith in one and the true God cannot be together, must be obvious to every one from reason : for evil is against God and faith is in favour of God; evil is of the will, and faith is of the thought, and the will entereth by influx into the understanding, causing it to think, but the understanding does not enter into the will, for it only teaches what ought to be willed and done : hence the good which such a man does, is in itself evil; it is like a polished bone containing putrid marrow; it is also like an actor on a stage, who assumes the character of some great personage ; it is also like the painted face of an antiquated harlot; and like a butterfly with silver wings, which lays its eggs on the leaves of a good tree, so that all its fruit is destroyed; it may further be compared with fragrant perfumes arising from poisonous herbs; nay, it is like a moral thief, or a pious sycophant: wherefore the good of such a person, which in itself is evil, hath its abode, as it were, in a chamber within, whilst his faith walking to and fro, and reasoning in the porch, is a mere bubble, spectre, and chimera. pears the truth of the proposition that faith passes sentence on its subject according to the good and evil with which it is conjoined.
Hence apX. Trat Thought IS IMPUTED TO NO ONE, BUT WILL.
658. Every man of erudition knows that there are two faculties or partsin the mind, which are, will and understanding; and yet but few know how to distinguish them aright, to examine their properties separately, and afterwards conjoin them : few therefore are able to form to themselves any notion of the mind, but what is extremely obscure; so that unless the distinct properties of the will and understanding be first described, it would be impossible to comprehend the truth of the proposition, that thought is imputed to no one, but will. The properties of each are briefly these : 1. Love itself, and the affections which belong to it, have their abode in the will; and science, intelligence, and wisdom, have their abode in the understanding; and the will inspires its love into these properties, so as to procure their favour and assent; hence it is that every man's true nature and quality depend on the nature and quality of his love, and of his intelligence thence derived. 2. It follows also from this circumstance, that all good, and likewise all evil, belong to the will, for whatsoever proceeds from love is called good, although it may be evil, this being an effect of the delight or satisfaction which constitutes the life of love : the will, by means of this delight or satisfaction, entereth into the understanding, and produceth consent. 3. The will therefore is the esse or the essence of the life of man, but the understanding is the existere or the existence thence derived; and since essence is a mere nothing unless it be in a certain form, consequently will is a mere nothing unless it be in understanding; wherefore the will assumes to itself a form in the understanding, and thus comes forth to light. 4. Love in the will is the end, and in the understanding it seeketh and findeth causes, by which it may advance on to effect; and as purpose, to which belongs intention, is in fact the end, purpose also is of the will, and by means of intention enters the under
standing, and urges it to contrive and meditate upon means, and determine on what may tend to produce the desired effects. 5. The whole proprium or self-hood of man is in the will, and this self-hood, or proprium is evil from his first birth, and becomes good by a second birth : the first birth is from his natural parents, hut the second is from the Lord. These few observations may serve to shew, that the will and the understanding have different and distinct properties, and that by creation they are joined together like esse and existere; hence, man is man primarily by virtue of will, and secondarily by virtue of understanding: and hence too it is that will is imputed to man, but not thought; of course evil and good are imputed, because as just observed, they have their residence in the will, and are thence in the thought of the understanding.
659. The reason why no evil is imputed to man which is the object of thought only, is, because he is so created as to have the capacity of understanding, and thence of thinking, either good or evil, good from the Lord, and evil from the devil, for he is in the midst between them, and has the power of choosing either one or the other by virtue of the freewill he enjoys in spiritual things, of which we have already treated in its place; and since he enjoyeth such a capacity of choosing from a free principle, he has the power of willing what is the object of his thought, or not, and what he wills is received by the will, and appropriated,* but what he doth not will is not received, and consequently not appropriated. All the evils to which a man is prone by birth are inscribed on the will of his natural man, and these, so far as he draws them forth, enter by influx into his thoughts; in like manner goods together with truths from the Lord, enter by influx from above into the thoughts, and are there poised against the former, like weights in the scales of a balance ; supposing then a man to adopt evils, they are received by the old will
See the meaning of the word appropriation, note n. 466.
and make an addition to its store ; but supposing him to adopt goods with truths, a new will and a new understanding are then formed by the Lord above the old, and in these the Lord successively implants new goods by means of truths, and by these subdues the evils that are below, removes them, and arranges all things according to order. Hence too, it is evident that the thought is a kind of purifying alembic, or excretory gland, in which hereditary evils and their defilements are separated; if then the evils which enter a man's thought were to be imputed to him, reformation and regeneration would be impracticable.
660. Since then good belongs to the will, and truth to the understanding, and many things in the world correspond to good, as fruits and uses, whilst the imputation thereof corresponds with value and price, it follows, that what has been here said of imputation will admit of comparison with all created things, since, as we before observed, all things in the universe bear relation to good and truth, and, on the other hand, to evil and the false. It will admit of comparison with the church, in that it is estimated according to its charity and faith, and not according to the ceremonial rites which are merely annexed to it. It will admit of further comparison with a minister of the church, in that he is estimated according to his will and love, and at the same time according to bis understanding on spiritual subjects, but not according to his address and apparel. It will also admit of comparison with divine worship, and the temple where it is performed, in that real and true worship is performed in the will and in the understanding, as in its temple, and the temple is called holy, not on its own account, but on account of the Divine Being, in the knowledge of whom men are there instructed. Lastly it will admit of comparison with a government, which is loved and respected when goodness reigns in it, and truth along with it, but which is not the case where truth reigns 'without goodness. Who