(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 374

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374. (1) Charity is willing well and good works are doing well from willing well. Charity and works are distinct from each other like will and action, or like the mind's affection and the body's operation; consequently like the internal man and the external; and these two are related to each other like cause and effect, since the causes of all things are formed in the internal man, and from this are all effects produced in the external. Therefore charity, since it belongs to the internal man, is willing well; and works, since they belong to the external man, are doing well from willing well. [2] Nevertheless between the good willing of different persons there is infinite diversity; for while everything that one person does to favor another is believed or appears to flow forth from goodwill or benevolence, yet no one knows whether the good deeds spring from charity or not, still less whether they spring from genuine or from spurious charity. This infinite diversity between the good-will of different persons originates in the end, intention, and consequent purpose; these are inwardly concealed in the will to do good, and from them is derived the quality of everyone's will. The will also searches the understanding for the means and modes of attaining its ends, which are effects, and in the understanding it comes into the light which enables it to see not only the reasons but also the opportunities for determining itself to action in the proper time and manner, and thus producing its effects, which are works; and at the same time in the understanding it brings itself into the power to act. From this it follows that works belong essentially to the will, formally to the understanding, and actually to the body. Thus does charity descend into good works. [3] This may be illustrated by comparison with a tree. Man himself, in all that belongs to him, is like a tree. In the seed of this tree there are concealed, as it were, the end, intention, and purpose of producing fruit; in these respects the seed corresponds to the will in man, which contains these three things, as stated above. Again, the seed from its interiors shoots up from the earth, clothes itself with branches, branchlets, and leaves, and so provides itself with means to it, end, which is the fruit; in all this the tree corresponds to the understanding in man. Finally, when the time comes and there is opportunity for determination, the tree blossoms and yields fruits, these corresponding to good works in man, in that evidently they are essentially from the seed, formally from the branchlets and leaves, and actually from the wood of the tree. [4] This may also be illustrated by comparison with a temple. Man is a temple of God, according to Paul (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21, 22). As a temple of God man's end, intention, and purpose are salvation and eternal life; in these there is a correspondence with the will, which contains these three things. Afterwards he acquires doctrinals of faith and charity from parents, teachers, and preachers, and when he comes into the exercise of his own judgment, from the Word and doctrinal works, all of which are means to the end; and these there is a correspondence with the understanding. Finally there comes a determination to uses, according to doctrinals as means, and this is effected by bodily acts, which are called good works. Thus the end through mediate causes produces effects, which are essentially of the end, formally of the doctrines of the church, and actually of the uses. Thus does man become a temple of God.


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