577. From the foregoing it also follows, that the Lord is unceasingly in the act of regenerating man, because He is unceasingly in the act of saving him, and no one can be saved unless he is regenerated, according to the Lord's own words in John:
Except a man be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:5-6).
Regeneration, therefore, is the means of salvation, while charity and faith are the means of regeneration. To say that regeneration follows the faith of the present church, which leaves out man's co-operation, is vanity of vanities.  The action and cooperation here described may be seen in everything that is in any state of activity and mobility. Such is the action and cooperation of the heart and of every artery thereof; the heart acts, and the arteries by their sheaths or coats cooperate; hence circulation. It is the same with the lungs. The air acts by its incumbent weight according to the height of the atmosphere, and at first the ribs cooperate with the lungs, and immediately after the lungs with the ribs; from which there is respiration in every membrane of the body. Thus the meninges of the brain, the pleura, the peritoneum, the diaphragm and the other parts which cover the viscera and enter into their composition, act and are acted upon, and thus they cooperate; for they are elastic; and from this is their existence and subsistence. It is the same in every fiber and nerve, and in every muscle, and even in every cartilage; in everyone of these, as is known, there is action and cooperation.  There is such a cooperation also in every sense; for the sensories of the body, like the motor organs, consist of fibers, membranes, and muscles; but to describe the co-operative action of each, is needless; for it is known that light acts upon the eye, sound upon the ear, odor upon the nostrils, and taste upon the tongue, and that the organs adapt themselves thereto; from which there is sensation. Who cannot see from all this, that unless there were such action and cooperation with the influent life in the spiritual organism of the brain, will and thought could not exist? For life from the Lord flows into that organism, and because of this cooperation, man has a perception of what he thinks, and in like manner of what is there considered, concluded upon, and defined into act. If life were to act merely, and man were not to co-operate as if of himself, he could no more think than a stock, or than a temple while the minister is preaching in it. The temple may indeed, owing to the reverberation of the sound from its doors, have a sense, as it were, of the echo, but not of the discourse. So would man be, did he not co-operate with the Lord in respect to charity and faith.