(FA) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Faith

FA 19

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19. Charity and faith in a man are related to each other precisely as are the motion of the heart called systole and diastole, and that of the lungs called breathing. Moreover there is a full correspondence of these two with man's will and understanding, and therefore with charity and faith. For this reason the will and its affection are meant in the Word by the "heart," and the understanding and its thought by the "breath" [animam], and the "spirit" [spiritum], on which account to "give up the breath [animam]," or "yield up the spirit [spiritum]," means to cease to respire, or to expire. This shows that there cannot be faith without charity, nor charity without faith; faith without charity being like breathing with the lungs in the absence of a heart, which is impossible in any living being, but only in some artificial apparatus; and charity without faith being like a heart without any lungs, which can afford no conscious life; and therefore charity performs uses by means of faith, just as the heart does its work by means of the lungs. So great is the likeness between the heart and charity, and between the lungs and faith, that in the spiritual world every one is known in respect to the quality of his faith by his mere breathing, and in respect to that of his charity by the way his heart beats. For angels and spirits live by a heartbeat and breathing just as men do, and it is for this reason that they, equally with men in this world, feel, think, act, and speak.


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