(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 1033

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1033. With regard to a conscience of what is right and good being given to Gentiles according to their religion, the case is this, Conscience, in general, is either true, spurious, or false. True conscience is that which is formed by the Lord of the truths of faith. When a man has been gifted with this, he fears to act contrary to the truths of faith, because he would thus act contrary to conscience. This conscience no one can receive who is not in the truths of faith, and therefore there are not very many in the Christian world who receive it, for each one sets up his own dogma as the truth of faith. But still those who are being regenerated receive conscience together with charity, for the very ground of conscience is charity. Spurious conscience is that which is formed with Gentiles from their religious worship into which they have been born and educated, to act contrary to which is to them to act contrary to conscience. When their conscience has been founded in charity and mercy, and in obedience, they are in such a state that they can receive true conscience in the other life, and they also do receive it; for they love nothing before and beyond the truth of faith. False conscience is that which is formed, not from internal but from external things, that is, not from charity but from the love of self and of the world. For there are those who seem to themselves to act contrary to conscience when they act against the neighbor, and also seem to themselves to be then inwardly pained; and yet it is for the reason that they perceive in their thought that their life, honor, fame, wealth, or gain, is thus imperiled, and therefore they themselves are injured. Some inherit such a softness of heart, some acquire it; but it is a false conscience.


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