Extracts

image_left

Faith needs charity

swedenborg

image_right
[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Faith, alone without charity" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Of the Last Judgment and the Babylon which has been Destroyed": detail "Section 36"
There is no faith, if there is no charity. It is supposed that faith exists, so long as the doctrinals of the church are believed; or that they who believe, have faith; and yet mere believing is not faith, but willing and doing what is believed, is faith. When the doctrinals of the church are merely believed, they are not in man's life, but only in his memory, and thence in the thought of his outer man; nor do they enter into his life, before they enter into his will, and thence into his actions: then for the first time does faith exist in man's spirit; for man's spirit, the life of which is his essential life, is formed from his will, and from so much of his thought as proceeds from his will; the memory of man, and the thought derived from it, being only the courtyard, by which introduction is effected.
 Whether you say the will, or the love, it is the same, since every one wills what he loves, and loves what he wills, and the will is the receptacle of love, and the intellect, whose province it is to think, is the receptacle of faith. A man may know, think, and understand many things, but those which do not accord with his will or love, he rejects from him when he is left to himself, to meditate from his own will or love, and therefore he also rejects them after the life of the body, when he lives in the spirit; for that alone remains in man's spirit which has entered into his will or love.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Faith, alone without charity" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.9": detail "Section 7778"
With regard to faith without charity, it is to be further observed, that faith which is without charity is not faith, but only the knowledge of such things as belong to faith, for the truths of faith regard charity as their ultimate end, and afterwards proceed from charity as from their first end. From this it is evident that the things which belong to faith do not exist with those who are not in charity. Yet, as is known, the knowledge of the truths of faith does exist with them. This knowledge it is which they call faith; and when the scientifics of the truth and good of faith are applied by them to confirm falsities and evils, the truths and goods of faith are no longer with them, for they draw near to falsities and evils, which they serve, for then those very falsities and evils which they confirm are regarded in them. Those things that belong to genuine faith look upwards to heaven and to the Lord, but those that belong to faith separated from charity look downwards, and when they confirm evils and falsities they look to hell: from this, too, it is evident that faith separated from charity is not faith.
 From these considerations it may appear what is meant by the damnation of faith separated from charity; it means the damnation of the falsified truth and adulterated good which belong to faith, for truth, when falsified, is no longer truth but falsity; and good, when adulterated, is no longer good but evil; and faith itself is no longer the faith of truth and good, but of falsity and evil, however it appears and sounds in the outward form.
 And, what is an arcanum, everyone has such a faith, as his life is; if, therefore, the life be damned, the faith is also, for it is the faith of falsity when the life is of evil. That this is so does not appear in the world, but is manifested in the other life, when the evil there are deprived of the knowledge of truth and good; then there come forth from evils the falsities which had lain concealed with them. With some of the evil there is a persuasion that the truth of a faith is truth. This persuasive (state) is also supposed to be faith; but it is not faith, for it is impressed from the end that it may serve as a means of acquiring gain, honours, and reputation. Those truths, so long as they serve as means, are loved for the sake of the end, which is evil, but when they are no longer of service, they are relinquished, yea, are regarded as falsities.