918. Went forth out of the ark. That this involves also a state of freedom, is evident from what was said above (at verse 16) about going out of the ark. The quality of the freedom of the spiritual man appears from the consideration that he is ruled by the Lord through conscience. He who is ruled by conscience, or who acts according to conscience, acts freely. Nothing is more repugnant to him than to act against conscience. To act against conscience is hell to him, but to act according to conscience is heaven to him; and from this anyone may see that acting according to conscience is freedom.
The Lord rules the spiritual man through a conscience of what is good and true; and this conscience is formed, as already said, in man's understanding, and is thus separated from what is of his will. And because it is wholly separated from what is of the will, it is very evident that man never does anything good of himself; and since all the truth of faith is from the good of faith, it is evident that man never thinks anything true from himself, but that this is from the Lord alone. That he seems to do these things from himself is only an appearance; and because it is so, the really spiritual man acknowledges and believes it. From this it is evident that conscience given to the spiritual man by the Lord is as it were a new will, and thus that the man who has been created anew is endowed with a new will and from this with a new understanding.