My husband drew my attention to this gem of a number a few months ago and I was delighted to find such a thorough and orderly layout of the steps on the path to regeneration. From Apocalypse Explained 803:
1. Let him read the Word every day, one or two chapters, and learn from a master and from sermons the dogmas of his religion; and especially let him learn that God is one, and that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, that the Word is holy, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a life after death.
2. Let him learn from the Word, from a master, and from sermons, what works are sins, and that they are especially adulteries, thefts, murders, false witness, and the others mentioned in the Decalogue; likewise that lascivious and obscene thoughts are also adulteries, that frauds and illicit gains are also thefts, that hatred and revenge are also murders, and that lies and blasphemies are also false witness; and so on. Let him learn all these things from childhood to youth.
3. When man begins to think for himself, which is the case after he has grown up, it must be to him the first and chief thing to refrain from doing evils for the reason that they are sins against the Word, thus against God, and for the reason that if he does them he will gain, not life eternal, but hell; and afterwards as he grows up and becomes old he must shun them as damned, and must turn away from them in thought and intention. But in order to so refrain from them and shun and turn away from them, he must pray to the Lord for help. The sins he must refrain from and must shun and turn away from are chiefly adulteries, frauds, illicit gains, hatreds, revenges, lies, blasphemies, and elation of mind.
4. So far as man detests these evils because they are opposed to the Word, and thence opposed to God, so far there is granted him communication with the Lord, and conjunction is effected with heaven. For the Lord enters, and with the Lord heaven enters, as sins are removed; since these and their falsities are the sole hindrances. The reason is because man has been placed in the midst between heaven and hell, wherefore hell acts from the one side, and heaven from the other; therefore so far as evils that are from hell are removed, so far goods from heaven enter; for the Lord says:
“Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hear and open the door, I will come in to him (Revelation 3:20)…”
5. So far, then, as man detests these sins so far good affections enter. Then so far as he detests adulteries so far chastity enters; so far as he detests frauds and unlawful gains so far sincerity and justice enter; so far as he detests hatred and revenge so far charity enters; so far as he detests lies and blasphemies so far truth enters; and so far as he detests elation of mind so far humility before God and love of the neighbor as oneself enter; and so on. From this it follows that to shun evils is to do goods.
6. So far as a man is in these good affections he is led by the Lord and not by self; and so far as he acts from them so far he does what is good, because he does this from the Lord and not from self; and then he acts from chastity, from sincerity and justice, from charity, from truth, in humility before God; and from these no one can act from self.
7. The spiritual affections that are granted by the Lord to him who is in them and who acts from them, are the affection of knowing and understanding the truths and goods of heaven and the church, together with the affection of willing and doing them; also the affection of combating with zeal against falsities and evils and dispersing them, both with himself and with others. From this man has faith and love, and from this he has intelligence and wisdom.
8. Thus and in no other way is man reformed; and so far as he knows and believes truths, and wills and does them, so far is he regenerated, and from natural becomes spiritual.
4 thoughts on “A Spiritual Growth Plan Straight from Him”
Before I even finished reading this article, I printed it for “digestion” later. These words, I could see, are words to live by … literally
Thanks, Eden (and Derrick!)
It is indeed a gem of a number. Clear and simple, and fairly short. Thanks, Eden!
Enjoyed the article. Does anyone have a better translation of “elation of the mind”?
I’ve given some thought to “elation of the mind” and perhaps it means an unhealthy concentration on one’s successes? This is from The Doctrine of Charity #167 where it speaks of charity in the ‘man of business’.
“He is therefore not despondent in misfortune nor elated with success.”
Maybe the quote from AE #803 refers to this type of elation?
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