(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 443

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Every man is taught by his parents and teachers to live morally, that is, to act the part of a good citizen, to discharge the duties of an honorable life (which relate to the various virtues that are the essentials of an honorable life), and to bring them forth through the formalities of an honorable life, which are called proprieties; and as he advances in years he is taught to add to these what is rational, and thereby to perfect what is moral in his life. For in children, even to early youth, moral life is natural, and becomes afterwards more and more rational. Anyone who reflects well upon it can see that a moral life is the same as a life of charity, and that this is to act rightly towards the neighbor, and to so regulate the life as to preserve it from contamination by evils; this follows from what has been shown above (n. 435-438). And yet, in the first period of life, a moral life is a life of charity in outermosts, that is, it is merely the outer and foremost part of it, not the inner part.
[2] For there are four periods of life through which man passes from infancy to old age; the first is when he acts from others according to instructions; the second, when he acts from himself, under the guidance of the understanding; the third, when the will acts upon the understanding, and the understanding regulates the will; and the fourth, when he acts from confirmed principle and deliberate purpose. But these periods of life are the periods of the life of a man's spirit, not in like manner of his body; for the body can act morally and speak rationally while its spirit is willing and thinking opposite things. That this is the nature of the natural man is obvious in the case of pretenders, flatterers, liars, and hypocrites. These evidently enjoy a double mind, that is, their minds are divided into two discordant minds. It is otherwise with those who will rightly and think rationally, and consequently act rightly and talk rationally. These are meant in the Word by the "simple in spirit;" they are called simple, because they are not double-minded.
[3] From all this it can be seen what is meant specifically by the external man; also that, from the morality of the external man, no one can form any conclusion as to the morality of the internal, since this may be turned in an opposite direction, and may hide itself as a tortoise hides its head within its shell, or as a serpent hides its head in its coil. For such a so-called moral man is like a robber in a city and in a forest, acting the part of a moral person in the city, but of a plunderer in the forest. It is wholly otherwise with those who are moral inwardly or in the spirit, which they become through regeneration by the Lord. These are meant by the spiritually-moral.


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