611. X. SO FAR AS MAN IS REGENERATED SINS ARE REMOVED, AND THIS REMOVAL IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
So far as man is regenerated sins are removed, because regeneration is the restraining of the flesh that it may not rule, and the subjugating of the old man with its lusts, that it may not rise up and destroy the intellectual faculty, for that would render man incapable of reformation, reformation being impossible unless man's spirit, which is above the flesh, is instructed and perfected. Who, if he still retains a sound understanding, can fail to see from all this that such a work cannot be effected in a moment but only gradually, just as man is conceived, carried in the womb, born, and educated, according to what has been shown above? For those things which pertain to the flesh or the old man are inherent in man from his birth, and build the first habitation of his mind, in which lusts have their abode like wild beasts in their caves, dwelling first in the outer courts, then by turns entering into the underground rooms, as it were, of the house, and finally ascending by steps and forming for themselves chambers. This takes place gradually, as an infant grows, becomes a boy, afterwards a youth, and then begins to think from his own understanding, and to act from his own will. Who cannot see that this house in the mind thus far built in which lusts dance with joined hands, like the ochim, tziim and satyrs, cannot be destroyed in a moment and a new house built in its place? Must not those lusts with clasped hands and so sporting themselves be first removed, and new desires, which belong to good and truth, be introduced in the place of the cupidities which belong to evil and falsity? That these things cannot be done in a moment every wise man sees from this alone, that every evil is composed of innumerable lusts, and is like a fruit which beneath the surface is full of worms with white bodies and black heads; also, that evils are numerous and joined together like the progeny of a spider when first hatched; wherefore unless one evil is brought out after another, and this until their connection is broken up, man cannot be made new. These things have been cited to make clear that so far as anyone is regenerated sins are removed.