Arcana Coelestia #3158

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3158. 'Tell me; and if not, tell me' means a state in which they are free to deliberate. This is evident from the sense of the words themselves. From all that has gone before it is clear that while the sense of the letter in this chapter is dealing with the betrothal and marriage of Rebekah to Isaac, the internal sense is dealing with the introduction and joining together of truth and good, for the introduction and joining together of truth and good is spiritual betrothal and spiritual marriage. In both instances a free state to deliberate is necessary. The necessity for it in betrothal and marriage is well known, but the necessity for it in the introduction and joining together of truth and good is not so well known because it is not visible to the natural man and belongs among the things that go on quite apart from any reflecting on them. Yet this activity continues moment by moment in one who is being reformed and regenerated, that is to say, he experiences a free state when truth is being joined to good.

[2] Everyone may know, if he merely stops to think, that nothing ever exists as a person's own unless it forms part of his will. That which belongs solely to the understanding does not become a person's own until it belongs also to his will, for what belongs to the will constitutes the essential being (esse) of a person's life, whereas what belongs to the understanding constitutes the manifestation (existere) of that essential being. Consent flowing from the understanding alone is not consent, but all consent springs from the will. Unless therefore the truth of faith which belongs to the understanding is received by the good of love which belongs to the will it is in no sense truth that has been acknowledged, and so is not faith. In order that it may be received by good that belongs to the will it is necessary that a free state should exist. Everything that belongs in the will looks to be free. The state itself of the will is freedom, for what I will, I choose and desire since that is what I love and acknowledge as that which is good. From this it becomes clear that the truth of faith in no sense becomes a person's own until it has been accepted by the will, that is, introduced and joined to the good there, which cannot happen except in a free state.

(References: Genesis 24:49)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3324, 4029, 4031, 4096, 4208, 4364, 5508, 5619, 6472, 7349, 9460, 10097, 10237

Heaven and Hell 603

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 23, 27, 148, 186, 200

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 900

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.