591. THE INTERNAL MAN MUST FIRST BE REFORMED, AND BY MEANS OF IT THE EXTERNAL; AND THUS IS MAN REGENERATED.
That the internal man must first be regenerated, and by means of it the external, is generally conceded in the church at the present day; but "internal man" suggests nothing to the thought but faith, which faith is that God the Father imputes to men the merit and righteousness of His Son, and sends the Holy Spirit. It is believed that this faith constitutes the internal man, and that from the internal the external flows forth, which is the moral natural man, this being an appendage to the former, comparatively like the tail of a horse or cow, or like the tail of a peacock or bird of paradise which extends to the feet without being connected with them; for it is said that while charity follows that faith, the faith perishes if charity from man's will comes in. But this being the only internal man recognized in the church at the present day, there is no internal man, for no one knows whether such a faith has been bestowed upon him or not; moreover, as has been shown above, it is an impossible thing and therefore purely imaginary. From this it follows, that at the present day, among those who are confirmed in that faith there is no other internal man than that natural man which from birth overflows in evils of every kind. To this it may be added, that regeneration and sanctification are said to follow that faith of themselves, and that man's co-operation, which is the only means by which regeneration is effected, must be excluded. Therefore it is that no knowledge of regeneration in the present church is possible, when yet the Lord says that he who is not regenerated cannot see the kingdom of God.