True Christian Religion #392

Par Emanuel Swedenborg

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After the chapter on faith, there follows one on charity, because faith and charity are linked like truth and good; and these two are linked like light and heat in springtime. This expression is used because spiritual light, the light radiated by the sun of the spiritual world, is in essence truth. Therefore, wherever truth is to be seen in that world, it shines with a radiance in proportion to its purity. Spiritual heat, which is also radiated by that sun, is in essence good. These statements have been made because charity and faith stand in the same relationship to each other as good and truth; and charity is all the good taken together a person does to his neighbour, and faith is all the truth taken together a person thinks about God and the things that are His.

[2] Since then the truth of faith is spiritual light, and the good of charity is spiritual heat, it follows that these two stand in the same relationship as the two things in the natural world which share these names. That is to say, when they are combined everything on earth flourishes, and in the same way when charity and faith are combined everything in the human mind flourishes, the only difference being that on earth the flowering is the result of natural heat and light, while in the human mind it is the result of spiritual heat and light. This flowering, being spiritual, is wisdom and intelligence. There is too a correspondence between the two, and for this reason the human mind, in which charity is linked with faith and faith with charity, is likened in the Word to a garden; and this is the meaning of the Garden of Eden, as was fully shown in ARCANA CAELESTIA (published in London).

[3] Furthermore it should be known that unless a discussion of charity follows that of faith, it is impossible to grasp what faith is, since, as the preceding chapter stated and showed, faith without charity is no faith, and charity without faith is no charity, and it is only the Lord who gives life to them both (355-361). It was also shown that the Lord, charity and faith make one, just as do life, the will and the understanding; and if they are separated, each of them is destroyed like a pearl collapsing into dust (362-367). Moreover charity and faith are together present in good deeds (373ff).

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