(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 525

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525. II. THAT THE TRANSCRIPTION OF THE GOOD OF ONE MAN INTO ANOTHER IS IMPOSSIBLE. The evidence of this also can be seen from the following heads in this order: 1. That every man is born in evil. 2. That by regeneration he is led into good by the Lord. 3. That this is done by a life according to His commandments. 4. Therefore good when thus implanted cannot be transcribed. FIRST: That every man is born in evil is known in the Church. It is said that this evil is by inheritance from Adam; but it is from the man's parents, it being from them that every one derives his disposition, that is, his inclination. As to this, both reason and experience bring conviction; for the parents' likeness in face, genius, and habits comes out in their children, and from them, in their descendants. It is from this that by many men families are recognized and judgment is made concerning their animi.* Therefore, the evils in which men are born are evils which the parents themselves have contracted and have conveyed to their offspring by transmission. The reason why it is believed that the guilt of Adam is inscribed on the whole human race is because few reflect upon and thus recognize any evil in themselves. Therefore they opine that it is so deeply hidden as not to appear except before God.
[2] SECOND: That by regeneration man is led into good by the Lord. The fact of regeneration and that unless one is regenerated he cannot enter heaven, is clearly evident from the Lord's words in John 3:3, 5. That regeneration is purification from evils and thus renovation of life, can be no secret in the Christian world, for reason also sees it when acknowledging that every man is born in evil, and that evil can be washed away and removed, not like dirt with soap and water, but only by repentance.
[3] THIRD: That man is led into good by the Lord by a life according to His commandments. The commandments of regeneration are the five which may be seen above, in no. 82. Among them are these: That evils are to be shunned because they are of the devil and from the devil, and that goods are to be done because they are of God and from God; and that the Lord is to be approached that He may lead men to the doing of them. Let every one take counsel with himself and consider whether man has good from any other source; and if he does not have good he does not have salvation.
[4] FOURTH: That good when thus implanted cannot be transcribed. By transcription is meant the transcription of the good of one man into another. From what was said above, it follows that by regeneration a man is made wholly new as to his spirit, and that this is effected by a life according to the Lord's commandments. Who does not see that this renovation cannot be accomplished except from time to time, in almost the same way as from seed a tree successively takes root, grows, and is perfected? Those who perceive regeneration in any other way do not know anything concerning man's state, or concerning evil and good, that the two are altogether opposite, and that good cannot be implanted except so far as evil is removed. Nor do they know that so long as one is in evil he is averse to every good which in itself is good. Therefore, were the good of one to be transferred into another who is in evil, it would be as though a lamb were thrown to a wolf, or a pearl tied to the snout of a swine. From this it is manifest that transcription is impossible.
* Throughout Swedenborg's theological and philosophical works, the word animus (plural, animi) is used to designate the external mind which man has in common with animals, as distinguished from mens designating the rational mind which is peculiar to man. Animus also means the disposition, and is sometimes so translated in the present work.


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