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That so far as any one shuns false witness of every kind as sin, so far he loves
87. By bearing false witness, in a natural sense, is not only meant to act in the character of a false witness, but also to lie and to defame: by bearing false witness in a spiritual sense is meant, to assert and endeavour to persuade others, that what is false is true, and that what is evil is good, and vice versa: but in a supreme sense by bearing false witness is meant to blaspheme the Lord and the Word: this it is to bear false witness in a threefold sense. That these several kinds of false witness make one with every man who acts as a false witness, who tells a lie, and defames his neighbour, may appear from what was shewn in the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, in relation to the threefold sense of all that is contained in the Word, n. 5, 6, 7, and 57.
SS. Inasmuch as a lie and truth are two opposites, it follows, that so far as any one shuns a lie as sin, so far he loves truth.
89. So far as any one loves truth, so far he is desirous to know it, and so far he is in heart affected when he finds it; nor can any other attain unto wisdom; and so far as he loves to do the truth, so far he is made sensible of the pleasantness of the light in which the truth is. The case is similar in respect to the subjects spoken of above; as in respect to sincerity and justice with him who shuns thefts of every kind; in respect to chastity and purity with him who shuns adulteries of every kind; and in respect to love and charity with him who shuns murders of every kind, &c. But he who is in the opposites knows nothing concerning these virtues, when yet they contain every thing that deserves the name of reality.
90. It is truth which is meant by seed in the field, concerning which the Lord speaks in these words, "A sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some fell by the way side, which was trodden under foot, and the fowls of heaven devoured it ; and some fell upon stony ground, but as soon as it was sprung up it withered away, because it lacked moisture; and some fell into the midst of thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it; and
other fell upon good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred fold." Luke viii. 5 to 8. Matt. xiii. 3 to 8. Mark iv. 3 to 8. The sower here is the Lord, and the seed is his Word, consequently it is truth; the seed by the wayside is with those who have no concern about truths; the seed on stony ground is with those who have a concern about truth, but not for its own sake, consequently who have no inward concern about it; the seed in the midst of thorns is with those who are in the concupiscences of evil; but the seed in the good ground is with those, who by virtue of the Lord's influence love the truths contained in the Word, and practise them in dependence on the Lord, and thus bring forth fruit. That this is the meaning of the parable, appears from the Lord's explication of it, Matt. xiii. 19 to 23. Luke viii. 11 to 15. that the truth of the root with those, who have no concern about truth: nor with those, who love truth outwardly and not inwardly; nor with those, who are in the concupiscences of evil; but with those, in whom the concupiscences of evil are dispersed by the
Mark iv. 14 to 20.
Hence it is evident
Word cannot take
Lord. Seed, that is truth, is rooted in the last in their spiritual mind, concerning which mind see above, n. 86.
91. It is a prevailing notion at this day, that salvation consists in believing this or that doctrine of the church, and has no connexion with doing the commandments of the decalogue, (which are, not to kill, not to commit adultery, not to steal, not to bear false witness, both in a confined and extended sense,) for it is urged, that works are not regarded, but faith from God; when nevertheless the truth is, that so far as any one is in those evils, so far he is void of faith, as was shewn above, n. 42 to 52. For consult your reason, and consider well, whether any murderer, adulterer, thief, and false witness, so long as he is in the concupiscence of such evils, can have faith; and further, whether the concupiscence of such evils can possibly be otherwise dispersed than by not willing to do them because they are sins, that is, because they are infernal and diabolical: wherefore, whosoever supposes that salvation consists in believing this or that church doctrine, and is still in the concupiscence of murder, of adultery, of theft, and of false witness, must needs come un
der the description of that foolish one mentioned by our Lord in Matthew, chap. vii. 26. Such a church is thus described in Jeremiah, "Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there his word: Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your works; trust ye not in the words of a lie, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, are these. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear by a lie, and come and stand before me in this house, on which my name is named, and say, we are delivered, whilst ye do those abominations? Is this house become a den of robbers? Behold, even I have seen, saith Jehovah." vii. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11.
That it is not possible for any one to shun evils as sins, so that he may hold them inwardly in aversion, except by combats against them.
92. Ir must appear plain to every one, both from the Word and from doctrine thence deduced, that the proprium, or self of man, is by birth evil, and that