Good not transferable


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Good, not transferable to another" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 526"
If by imputation is meant the transference of good into any one that is in evil, it is a frivolous term, because any such transference is impossible. In the world, merits may as it were be transferred by men; that is, good may be done to children for the sake of their parents, or to the friends of any client out of favor; but the good of merit cannot be inscribed on their souls, but only be externally adjoined. The like is not possible with men as to their spiritual life, but must be implanted; and if it is not implanted by a life according to the Lord's precepts a man remains in the evil in which he was born. Before such implantation, it is impossible for any good to reach him, or if it reaches him, it is instantly struck back and rebounds like an elastic ball falling upon a rock, or it is absorbed like a diamond thrown into a bog. A man not reformed as to the spirit, is like a panther or an owl, and may be compared to a bramble and a nettle; but a man regenerated is like a sheep or a dove, and may be compared to an olive and a vine. Consider, I pray, if you are so disposed, how can a man-panther be changed into a man-sheep, or an owl into a dove, or a bramble into an olive, or a nettle into a vine, by any imputation, if by it is meant transference? In order that such a change may be effected is it not necessary that the ferine principle of the panther and the owl, or the noxious principle of the bramble and the nettle, be first taken away, and thereby the truly human and innocent principle be implanted?