Extracts

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Regeneration

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Christianity, criticisms of" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 616"
Tell me, if you can, any instance of blinder senselessness on the subject of regeneration, than what is observable in those who confirm themselves in the present belief, which teaches that faith is infused into a man when he is like a stock or a stone, and that being infused, it is followed by justification, consisting in the remission of sins, regeneration, and several other gifts; and that the man's operation is to be entirely excluded, lest it should do any violence to Christ's merit; for the firmer establishment of which doctrine they take away from man all free-will in spiritual concerns, by insisting on his absolute impotence in such matters; so that they allow to God a power of operating on his part, but none to man of co-operating on his; and thus of conjoining himself with God. But in such a case what is a man, as to regeneration, but as one bound hand and foot, after the manner of galley slaves, who are punished, and sentenced to suffer death, if they dare to free themselves from their manacles and fetters? For according to this doctrine a man is exposed to death and damnation should he dare to set himself at liberty, that is, if from a principle of free-will he should do good to his neighbor, and of himself should believe in God for the sake of salvation.