(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 113

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113. To the above shall be added the following observations. It is said in the church, that no one can fulfill the law, especially since whosoever offends against one commandment of the Decalogue, offends against all. This form of speaking, however, is not such as it sounds; for this is to be understood in this manner, that whosoever from purpose or from confirmation acts against one commandment, acts against all the rest, since to act thus from purpose or from confirmation is to deny altogether that it is a sin, and he who denies it to be sin, makes light of acting against all the rest of the commandments. Who does not know, that he who is a fornicator is not therefore a murderer, a thief, or a false witness, nor even willing to be such? But he who is an adulterer from purpose and confirmation, makes light of all things relating to religion, and consequently pays no regard to murders, thefts, and false witness, not abstaining from them because they are sins, but for fear of the law or loss of reputation. The case is similar, if anyone from purpose or confirmation acts against any other commandment of the Decalogue; he then also offends against the rest, because he does not account anything a sin. It is very similar with those who are in good from the Lord. These, if from the will and understanding, or from purpose and confirmation, they abstain from one evil because it is a sin, abstain from all, and still more if they abstain from many; for whenever anyone abstains, from purpose and confirmation, from any evil, because it is a sin, he is kept by the Lord in the purpose of abstaining from the rest; wherefore if through ignorance, or any predominant lust of the body, he does an evil, it nevertheless is not imputed to him, because he did not purpose it to himself, nor confirm it with himself. A man comes into this kind of purpose, if he examines himself once or twice a year, and repents of the evil he discovers in himself. It is otherwise with him who never examines himself. It is permitted to confirm this by the following. I have met with many in the spiritual world, who have lived like other people in the natural world, feasting sumptuously, being splendidly clothed, making interest by trade like others, frequenting play houses, joking on amatory affairs as if from lust, with other things of a similar nature, and yet the angels charged such things as evils of sin in some, and did not impute them as evils in others, declaring the latter innocent, and the former guilty. On being asked the reason of such distinction, when both had indulged in like practices, they replied, that they consider all according to their purpose, intention, and end, and distinguish them accordingly; and therefore that they excuse and condemn those whom the end excuses or condemns, inasmuch as good is the end that influences all who are in heaven, and evil is the end that influences all who are in hell. From what has been said it now plainly appears, to whom sin is imputed, and to whom it is not imputed.


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