Extracts

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Regeneration

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Regeneration (new birth)" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 571"
There are two states into which a man must enter, and through which he must pass, that he may from natural become spiritual. The first state is called Reformation, and the other Regeneration. In the first he looks from his natural state towards the spiritual, with a great desire to attain it; in the other state he becomes a spiritual-natural man.
 The first state is formed by the truths which belong to faith, by which he looks towards charity; the other is formed by the goods of charity, from which he enters into the truths of faith; or what is the same thing, the first is a state of thought from the understanding, the other is a state of love from the will. As this latter state commences and advances, a change or turning takes place in the mind; for then the love of the will enters by influx into the understanding, acting upon, and leading it to think in concord and agreement with its love; so that in proportion as the good of love fills the first station, and the truths of faith the second, the man is spiritual, and is a new creature. He then acts from charity, and speaks from faith; he sensibly feels the good of charity, and perceives the truth of faith; he is then in the Lord, he is in peace, and thus regenerate.
 The man who, during his abode in this world, has entered into the first of these states, is in a capacity after death of being introduced into the other; but he who during the present life has not entered into the first state, cannot after death be introduced into the second, and thus cannot be regenerated.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Regeneration (new birth)" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.10": detail "Section 8403"
They who have not been instructed about man's regeneration suppose that man can be regenerated without temptation; and some that when he has undergone one temptation he is regenerated. But it is to be known that no one is regenerated without temptation, and that many temptations follow on, one after another. The reason is that regeneration takes place to the end that the life of the old man may die, and a new life which is heavenly may be insinuated. Hence it can be evident that there must needs be combat, for the life of the old man resists, and is not willing to be extinguished, and the life of the new man cannot enter except where the life of the old is extinguished. Hence it is evident that there is combat on both sides, and it is a fierce one, because it is for life. He who thinks from enlightened reason can see and perceive from this that no man can be regenerated without combat, that is, without spiritual temptation; and also that he is not regenerated by one temptation, but by many.