375. (2) Charity and faith are only mental and perishable things, unless they are determined to works and coexist in them when possible. Has not a man a head and a body which are joined together by a neck? And in the head is there not a mind that wills and thinks, and in the body is there not power that performs and executes? Therefore if man merely wills well, or thinks from charity, and does not do good and thus perform uses, is he not like a head only, and thus like a mind only, which apart from a body cannot continue to exist? From this is not anyone able to see that charity and faith are not charity and faith so long as they are merely in the head and its mind but not in the body? For they are then like birds flying in the air without any resting-place on the earth, or like birds ready to lay, but having no nests, in which case they would drop their eggs in the air or upon the branch of some tree, and the eggs would fall to the ground and be destroyed. There can be nothing in the mind that does not have some correspondent in the body, and its correspondent may be called its embodiment. So when charity and faith occupy the mind only, they have no embodiment in the man, and may be likened to those aerial beings called specters, like Fame as painted by the ancients with a laurel about her head and a horn in her hand. Being such specters, and still being able to think, they must needs be disturbed by fantasies, which are caused by reasonings from various kinds of sophistry, almost as reeds in marshes are shaken by the wind, while beneath them shells lie at the bottom and frogs croak on the surface. Who cannot see that such things come to pass when men merely know from the Word some things about charity and faith, but do not practice them? Moreover, the Lord says:
Everyone who heareth My words and doeth them I will liken to a prudent man who built his house upon a rock, and everyone who heareth My words and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house upon the sand, or upon the ground without a foundation (Matt. 7:24, 26; Luke 6:47-49). Charity and faith with their factitious ideas when not put in practice may be compared to butterflies in the air, which a sparrow darts upon and devours as soon as he sees them. The Lord also says:
The sower went forth to sow; and some fell upon the hard way, and the birds came and devoured them up (Matt. 13:3, 4).