True Christian Religion #393

Nga Emanuel Swedenborg

Studioni këtë pasazh

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393. It is an unchanging truth that faith and charity cannot be separated, if a person is to have a spiritual life and so be saved. This is a fact which falls within the grasp of any person's understanding, even if it has not been polished by vast amounts 1 of learning. Is there anyone who is not led by some inward perception to see and so to accept the idea intellectually, when he hears someone say that a person who lives a good life and holds a proper belief is saved? And is there anyone whose understanding does not reject, like a speck of dust getting into the eye, the statement that a person who holds a proper belief is saved too, even if he does not lead a good life? For his inward perception at once causes the thought to strike him, how could anyone hold a proper belief when he does not lead a good life? And what would believing be then but a painting of faith, rather than its living image? Likewise, if anyone were told that a person who lives a good life is saved even if he does not believe, does not his understanding, as he turns it over and over or considers it in his mind, see, perceive and think that neither is this a coherent statement, since leading a good life comes from God? For all good which is essentially good comes from God. Leading a good life then and not believing is like clay in the potter's hand, which cannot be formed into any vessel of use in the spiritual kingdom, but only in the natural one.

[2] Moreover, can anyone fail to see the contradiction in those two statements: the one, that a person is saved who believes but does not lead a good life, the other that a person is saved who leads a good life but does not believe? Now because at the present time it is known, yet not known, what leading a good life is - it is known what leading a good life is on the natural level, but not what it is on the spiritual level - since this concerns charity, it must be discussed. This will be done by splitting it up into a number of propositions.


1. The Latin phrase is literally 'talents and minas', the largest units of weight employed in antiquity.

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