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

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The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #200

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200. The Lord combats for man in temptations.

The Lord alone combats for man in temptations, and man does not combat at all from himself (n. 1692, 8172, 8175, 8176, 8273). Man cannot by any means combat against evils and falsities from himself, because that would be to fight against all the hells, which the Lord alone can subdue and conquer (n. 1692). The hells fight against man, and the Lord for him (n. 8159). Man combats from truths and goods, thus from the knowledges and affections thereof which are with him; but it is not man who combats, but the Lord by them (n. 1661). Man thinks that the Lord is absent in temptations, because his prayers are not heard as they are when out of them, but nevertheless the Lord is then more present with him (n. 840). In temptations man ought to combat as from himself, and not to hang down his hands and expect immediate help; but nevertheless he ought to believe that it is from the Lord (n. 1712, 8179, 8969). Man cannot otherwise receive a heavenly proprium (n. 1937, 1947, 2882, 2883, 2891). The quality of that proprium, that it is not man's, but the Lord's with him (n. 1937, 1917, 2882, 2883, 2891, 8497).

Temptation is of no avail, and productive of no good, unless a man believes, at least after the temptations, that the Lord has fought and conquered for him (n. 8969). They who place merit in works, cannot combat against evils, because they combat from their own proprium, and do not permit the Lord to combat for them (n. 9978). They who believe they have merited heaven by their temptations, are with much difficulty saved (n. 2273).

The Lord does not tempt, but liberates, and leads to good (n. 2768). Temptations appear to be from the Divine, when yet they are not (n. 4299). In what sense the petition in the Lord's prayer, "Lead us not into temptations," is to be understood, from experience (n. 1875). The Lord does not concur in temptations by permitting them, according to the idea which man has of permission (n. 2768).

In every temptation there is freedom, although it does not appear so, but the freedom is interiorly with man from the Lord, and he therefore combats and is willing to conquer, and not to be conquered, which he would not do without freedom (n. 1937, 1947, 1 2881). The Lord effects this by means of the affection of truth and good impressed on the internal man, although the man does not know it (n. 5044). For all freedom is of affection or love, and according to its quality (n. 2870, 3158, 8987, 8990, 9585, 9591).

Footnotes:

1. The printed text has 1917, a misreading of the Latin.

(References: Matthew 6:13)


  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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