(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 874

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874. Here is described the first state of the regeneration of the man of this church after temptation, which state is common to all who are being regenerated, namely, that they suppose they do what is good and think what is true from themselves; and because they are as yet in great obscurity, the Lord also leaves them so to imagine. But still all the good they do and all the truth they think while in such imagination, is not the good and truth of faith. For whatever man produces of himself cannot be good, because it is from himself, that is, from a fountain which is impure and most unclean. From this impure and unclean fountain no good can ever go forth, for the man is always thinking of his own merit and righteousness; and some go so far as to despise others in comparison with themselves (as the Lord teaches in Luke 18:9-14), and others err in other ways. Man's own cupidities intermingle themselves, so that while it appears outwardly to be good, it is inwardly filthy. For this reason the good which man does in this state is not the good of faith, and the case is the same with the truth that he thinks, for although that which he thinks may be very true, yet so long as it is from what is his own it is indeed in itself the truth of faith, but the good of faith is not in it; and all truth, in order to be the truth of faith, must have in it from the Lord the good of faith. Then for the first time there are good and truth.


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