(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 480

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480. The particulars which prove that man has freedom of choice as much in spiritual things as in natural things, are innumerable. Let anyone, if he wishes, give attention to himself, and see whether he cannot, seventy times a day, or three hundred times a week, think of God, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, and Divine things, which are called the spiritual things of the church; and let him see whether in this he feels any compulsion, whether he is moved to think so by any pleasure, or even by any lust, and this whether he has faith or not. Consider also, in whatever state you may be, whether you are able to think about anything without freedom of choice, either in your conversation, or in your prayers to God, or in preaching, or even in listening. Does not freedom of choice carry every point in these actions? And still further, without freedom of choice in every particular, even to the most minute particulars, you could no more breathe than a statue; for respiration follows thought and speech therefrom in every step. I say, no more than a statue, rather no more than a beast, because a beast breathes from a natural freedom of choice, but man from a freedom of choice both in things natural and in things spiritual; for a man is not born like a beast. A beast is born with all the ideas that are attendant upon its natural love in matters pertaining to nutrition and propagation; but a man is born destitute of connate ideas, having only the capacity to know, understand, and become wise, and an inclination to love both himself and the world, and also the neighbor and God. This is why it is said that if freedom of choice were taken from man in all the particulars of his volition and thought, he could no more breathe than a statue, and why it is not said, no more than a beast.


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