IV. Cleansing the Inside (Continued)

Man has affection for truth when he loves truth and turns away from falsity. He has an affection for good when he loves good uses and turns away from evil uses. He has an affection for bringing forth fruit when he loves to do goods and to be serviceable. All heavenly joy is in these affections and from them, and this joy cannot be described by comparisons, for it is supereminent and eternal.

Into this state the man comes who shuns evils because they are sins, and looks to the Lord; and so far as he comes into this state he turns away from and hates evils as sins, and acknowledges in heart and worships the Lord only, and His Divine in the Human. This is a summary.

When a man is in that state he is raised up from what is his own (proprium); for a man is in what is his own (proprium) when he is only in the natural external, but he is raised up from what is his own (proprium) when he is in the spiritual internal. This raising up from what is his own man perceives only by this, that he does not think evils, and that he turns away from thinking them, and takes delight in truths and in good uses. And yet if such a man advances further into that state he perceives influx by a kind of thought; but he is not withheld from thinking and willing as if from himself, for this the Lord wills for the sake of reformation. Nevertheless, man should acknowledge that nothing of good or of truth therefrom is from himself, but all is from the Lord.

It follows from this that when man shuns and turns away from evils as sins and is raised up into heaven by the Lord, he is not longer in what is his own (proprium), but in the Lord, and thus he thinks and wills goods. Again, since man acts as he thinks and wills, for every act of man goes forth from the thought of his will, it follows that when he shuns and turns away from evils he does goods from the Lord and not from self; and this is why shunning evils is doing goods.

The goods that a man does in this way are what are meant by good works; and good works in their whole complex are what are meant by charity. Man cannot be reformed unless he thinks, wills, and does as if from himself, since that which is done as if by the man himself is conjoined to him and remains with him, while that which is not done as if by the man himself, not being received in any life of sense, flows through like ether; and this is why the Lord wills that man should not only shun and turn away from evils as if of himself, but should also think, will, and do as if of himself, and yet acknowledge in heart that all these things are from the Lord. This he must acknowledge because it is the truth.

from Spiritual Life and the Word of God, Part First

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