(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 27

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27. From comparing the one and the other, it appears at the first view, as though there was an entire conformity between them; but lest this should be the case, the reformers distinguished between the works of the law proceeding from man's purpose and will, and works of the spirit proceeding from faith as from a free and spontaneous source, which latter they called the fruits of faith, as may be seen above [n. 11. (h) (I)], and [n. 13 (a) (i) (I)], and [n. 15 (k)]. Hence, on an accurate examination and comparison, there does not appear to be any difference in the works themselves, but only in the quality of them, namely, that the latter sort proceed from man as from a passive subject, but the former as from an active subject; consequently they are spontaneous when they proceed from man's understanding, and not at the same time from his will. This is said, because man, while he does good works, cannot but be conscious that he is doing them, and consciousness is from the understanding. Nevertheless, as the Reformed likewise preach the exercise of repentance, and wrestlings with the flesh [n. 13 (d) (p) (f) (g) (h) (k)], and these cannot be done by man but from his purpose and will, and thus by him as from himself, it follows, that there is still an actual conformity.


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