Extracts

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Only God can fight evil

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Evil" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 2737 - 2739"
We are all held in spiritual bonds. These spiritual restraints cannot be so well described to the understanding, for they are held in such a way—as I have been enabled to observe with spirits or in the world of spirits that they are so held—that they cannot think as evilly as they incline by their own nature to think, and consequently to act. Thus by the goodness of the Lord they are kept from evil, as if they are being held away suspended from the evil. This also I have been allowed to learn from actual experience, for no sooner was the bond relaxed than the spirit was carried back into the evil, and indeed an enormous one, into both willing the evil and thinking the evil. So it is the Lord Alone Who thus withholds heaven, the world of spirits, and the human race from evil, and in fact if the bond should be relaxed, everyone would rush into enormous evil, and even into the destruction of all, likewise also into lies.
 Those bonds do not appear to spirits nor to earthly humans as bonds, but as liberties, for they do not feel that they are being thus withheld. In fact the bonds appear to them so flexible that when they were loosed and they realized then that they would rush into all evil, they begged that they should not be loosed. So spirits shrink away from the loosing of their bonds.
 As regards myself, I have now for three years consciously felt that I was withheld in such a bond that I seemed to myself to think, will, and act on my own, moreover in an aura of faith. In that aura I have for three years consciously perceived myself being withheld.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Evil" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 68"
That a man has power against evils and falses from the Divine Omnipotence, in proportion as he lives according to divine order, is owing to this, that none can resist evils and the falses thence originating but God alone; for all evils and the falses thence originating are from hell, and are there connected as one single body, just as all the varieties of good and truth are connected in heaven. For, as was observed above, the whole heaven appears before God as a single man, and, on the other hand, the whole hell as a single gigantic monster; therefore, to oppose one single evil, or one single false originating from evil, is to oppose that gigantic monster, or hell, which none can do but God, by virtue of his omnipotence: hence it is evident that unless a man approaches the omnipotent God, he has no more power of himself against evil and the falses thence originating than a fish has against the ocean, or a flea has against a whale, or a grain of sand has to oppose a falling mountain; yea, a locust might more easily withstand an elephant, and a fly a camel, than a man in such a case withstand hell. Moreover, a man has still less power against evil and the false thence originating, since he is born into evil, and evil has no power to act against itself. Hence it follows, that except a man lives according to order, that is, except he acknowledges God and his omnipotence, and protection thereby against hell; and except he further, on his part also, fights against evil in himself (for this as well as the former, is a law of order), he must of necessity sink down into hell, be overwhelmed there, and tossed and driven by the storms of various evils, one after another, like a little bark in a tempestuous sea.