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come, and my reward is with me, that I may give to every one according to his works. Rev. xxii. 12. If there was no reciprocality with man, there would be no imputation.
106. Inasmuch as reception and reciprocality are with man, therefore the church teaches, that man should examine himself, should confess his sins before God, should desist from them, and should lead a new life : that this is taught by every church in Christendom, may be seen above, n. 3 to 8.
107. In case man had no faculty of reception, and at the same time of thinking as from himself, nothing could have been said in regard to faith, for neither is faith from man: without such faculty man would be like chaff in the wind, and would stand like somewhat inanimate, with his mouth open and his hands hanging down, expecting divine influx, thinking nothing, and doing nothing in the things which concern his salvation : he has, indeed, from himself no power of activity in those things, but still he has the power of re-acting from himself.
But this matter will be set in a clearer light in the Treatise concerning ANGELIC WISDOM.
That if any one shuns evils from any
other motive than because they are sins, he does not shun them, but only prevents their appearing in the eyes of the world.
108. There are moral men, who keep the commandments of the second table of the Decalogue, being guilty neither of theft, nor of blasphemy, nor of revenge, nor of adultery ; and such of them as persuade themselves that such things are evil, because they are hurtful to the common good of the state, and thereby contrary to the laws of humanity, they also live in the exercise of charity, sincerity, justice, and chastity. But if they practise these virtues, and shiun those evils, only because they are evils, and not at the same time because they are sins, they are still mere natural men, and with mere natural men the root of evil remains ingrafted, and is not removed ; therefore the good actions they do are not good, because done from themselves.
109. It is possible that the moral natural man may appear before men in the world altogether like the moral spiritual man, but he will not appear so before the angels in heaven; for before the angels in heaven, if he be principled in what is good, he appears as
an image of wood, and if he be principled in what is true, as an image of marble, in which is no life ; but it is otherwise with the moral spiritual man ; for the moral natural man is externally moral, and the moral spiritual man is internally moral; and what is external without what is internal is not alive ; it lives indeed, but not the life which is called life.
110. The concupiscences of evil, which form the interiors of man from his birth, are not removeable but by the Lord alone; for the Lord enters by influx from what is spiritual into what is natural, whereas man of himself ascends from whatis natural into what in spiritual, and this influx is contrary to order, and does not operate upon concupiscences to the removal of them, but incloses or shuts them in closer and closer in proportion as it confirms itself : and whereas hereditary evil thus lies concealed and shut up, after death, when man becomes a spirit, it bursts the covering with which it was covered in the world, and breaks out like an
ulcerous sore, which was only externally healed.
111. There are various and manifold causes operating to render man moral in an external form, but if he be not also moral in an internal form, he is still not moral: as for example; if a person abstains from adultery and whoredom through fear of the civil law and its penalties ; or through fear of losing his reputation, and consequently his prospects of worldly advancement; or through fear of diseases which may be thereby contracted ; or through fear of family broils, and the disturbance of his private tranquillity ; or through fear of revenge exercised by the injured party; or from motives of poverty or of avarice; or from weakness occasioned either by disease, or by excess, or by age, or by impotence; yea, if he abstains from those evils on account of any natural or moral law, and not at the same time on account of a spiritual law, he is still inwardly an adulterer and whoremonger; for he nevertheless believes that those evils are not sins, and consequently he does not make them unlawful in his spirit before God, and thus in spirit he commits them, although not before the world
in the body; wherefore after death, when he becomes a spirit, he openly speaks of them. Hence it is evident, that a wicked person may shun evils as being hurtful, but that none but a christian can shun them as being sinful.
112. The case is similar in respect to thefts and frauds of every kind; and also in respect to every kind of murder and revenge, of false witness and lies; no one can be cleansed and purified from them of himself: for there are infinite concupiscences innate in every one, which man does not see but as one simple concupiscence, whereastħe Lord sees every smallest particular in every series. In a word, man cannot regenerate himself, that is, form in himself a new heart and a new spirit; the Lord alone can do this, who is himself the reformer and regenerator.
Wherefore if man desires to make himself anew by his own prudence and intelligence, it is only like covering a.deformed face with paint, and besmearing with soap a part affected with inward" rottenness.
113. Therefore the Lord saith in Matthew, “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platte., that the outside may be clean also,” xxiii. 26;