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Good Deeds: From “Divine Providence” by Emanuel Swedenborg (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

2024-02-15
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“Whatever a man does in freedom according to his thought is appropriated to him as his and remains. The reason is that a man’s own and his freedom make one. His [individuality] is of his life, and what he does from his life he does in freedom. His [individuality] is also of his love, for love is one’s life, and what he does from his life’s love he does in freedom. We speak of his acting in freedom ‘according to his thought’ because what is of his life or love he also thinks and confirms by thought, and what is so confirmed he does in freedom then according to thought. What a man does, he does from the will by the understanding; freedom is of the will and thought is of the understanding.

A man can also act freely contrary to reason, likewise not freely in accord with reason: then nothing is appropriated to him–what he does is only of the mouth and body, not of the spirit or heart; only what is of the spirit and heart, when it is also of the mouth and body, is appropriated. […]”

“I have seen this verified by the experience of some in Heaven who thought they were without evil, being held in good as they were by the Lord. Lest they should believe that the good in which they were was their own, they were let down from Heaven and let into their evils until they acknowledged that of themselves they were in evil, and in good only from the Lord. Upon this acknowledgment they were returned to Heaven.

Be it known, therefore, that goods are appropriated to man only in that they are constantly with him from the Lord, and that as a man acknowledges this the Lord grants that good shall seem to be the man’s, that is, that it shall seem to him that he loves the neighbor or has charity, believes or has faith, does good and understands truth, thus is wise, of himself. From this an enlightened person may see the nature and the strength of the appearance in which the Lord wills man to be. The Lord wills it for salvation’s sake, for without that appearance no one can be saved. […]”
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