9224. The firstborn of thy sons thou shalt give to Me. That this signifies that also all the things of faith which are procured through these are to be ascribed to the Lord, and not to self, is evident from the signification of "the firstborn of the sons," as being all things of the faith of the church (see n. 2435, 6344, 7035, 7039, 7778, 8042); and from the signification of "giving unto Me" as being to ascribe to the Lord, for by "Jehovah" in the Word is meant the Lord. All the things of faith, which are signified by "the firstborn of the sons," are those which are from the good of charity, for faith comes forth from this good, because whether truths are taken from the Word or from the doctrine of the church, they cannot possibly become truths of faith unless there is good in which they may be implanted. The reason is that it is the understanding which first receives truths, because it sees them and introduces them to the will; and when they are in the will, then they are in the man, for the will is the man himself. Wherefore he who supposes that faith is faith with man before he wills these truths, and from willing does them, is very much mistaken. Previous to this the very truths of faith have no life. Everything that belongs to the will is called "good," because it is loved. Thus truth becomes good, or faith becomes charity, in the will.
 There are two controversies which have infested the church from the earliest times; the one is whether faith or charity is the firstborn of the church; the other, whether faith separate from charity is saving. These controversies have arisen because, before a man has been regenerated, he perceives the truths which must be of faith; but not the good which is of charity. For the truths of faith enter by an external way, namely, by the hearing, and are stored up in the memory, and from this appear in the understanding. But the good of charity flows in by an internal way, namely, through the internal man out of heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, and therefore does not become a matter of perception until the truths which are called the truths of faith begin to be loved for the sake of a good use, and for the sake of life; and this takes place when they become of the will. From this then it is that faith was said to be the firstborn of the church, and also had attributed to it the right of primogeniture, that is, the right of priority and superiority over the good of charity; when yet the good of charity is actually prior and superior, and the truth of faith only apparently so (n. 3325, 3494, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3701, 4925, 4926, 4928, 4930, 4977, 5351, 6256, 6269, 6272, 6273).
 The reason why the man of the church has been in obscurity on these subjects, is that he did not perceive that all things in the universe bear relation to truth and to good, and that they must bear relation to both in order to be anything. Neither did he perceive that there are two faculties in man, called the understanding and the will, and that truth bears relation to the understanding, and good to the will; and that unless there is this relation to both, nothing is appropriated to the man. As these things have been in obscurity, and yet the ideas of man's thought are founded upon such things, the error could not be made plain to the natural man; although if it had once been made plain, the man of the church would have seen, as in clear light from the Word, that the Lord Himself has said countless things about the good of charity; and that this good is the chief thing of the church; and that faith is not anywhere except in this good. The good of charity is to do what is good from the will of what is good. He would also have seen the errors that have been brought in by the doctrine of faith separate from charity; as, that a man can will evil and believe truth, consequently that truth can agree with evil; also that faith can make the life of heaven with a man whose life is infernal, and consequently that the one life can be transferred into the other; thus that those who are in hell can be raised into heaven, and live among the angels a life contrary to their former life; not considering that to live a life contrary to that with which the man has imbued himself in the world, is to be deprived of life, and that those who attempt this are like men in the death agony, who end their life in dreadful suffering. Such errors, and very many others, are brought in by the doctrine of faith separate from charity.