d. If We Separate the Lord, Goodwill, and Faith, However, Instead of Being a Form That Accepts These Qualities We Are a Form That Destroys Them

If we separate the Lord from goodwill and faith, we separate the life from goodwill and faith. Then goodwill and faith either cease to exist or become deformed. (See above Section 358, on the point that the Lord is life itself.) If we acknowledge the Lord but we leave out goodwill, we acknowledge the Lord only with our lips. Our acknowledgement and confession of him is something frozen that has no faith, because the spiritual essence of faith is lacking. Goodwill is the essence of faith. If we practice goodwill but do not acknowledge that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth and is one with the Father, as he himself teaches, then our practice of goodwill is only earthly and has no eternal life within it.

People in the church know that every good thing that is truly good is from God, and therefore from the Lord who is “the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). The same is true of goodwill, because goodness and goodwill are one.

Faith separated from goodwill is not faith, because faith is the light of human life and goodwill is its heat. Therefore if goodwill is separated from faith, the situation is the same as when heat is separated from the light. Our state in that case is like the state of the world in winter when everything on earth dies away. For goodwill to be goodwill and faith to be faith, they cannot be separated any more than will and intellect can be separated. If will and intellect are separated, the intellect becomes nothing, and will soon follows. The same is the case for goodwill and faith because goodwill dwells in the will and faith in the intellect.

Separating goodwill and faith is like separating essence and form. The learned world knows that an essence without a form and a form without an essence are nothing. An essence has no quality without its form, and a form has no underlying reality without its essence. Therefore nothing can be attributed to either of them if they are separated from each other. Goodwill is the essence of faith and faith is the form of goodwill, just as goodness is the essence of truth and truth is the form of goodness, as I said just above.

These two things, goodness and truth, are in each and everything that really exists. Goodwill relates to goodness and faith relates to truth. Therefore goodwill and faith can be illustrated by comparisons with with many things in the human body and many things on earth.

A comparison with the respiration of the lungs and systolic motion of the heart provides perfect parallel. Goodwill cannot be taken away from faith any more than the heart can be taken away from the lungs. If the heartbeat stops, the lungs immediately stop breathing. On the other hand, if the lungs stop breathing, all sensation shuts down, all movement of muscles is lost, and soon the heart stops and the whole life comes to an end. This comparison provides a perfect parallel because the heart corresponds to the will and also to goodwill, while the breathing of the lungs corresponds to the intellect and also to faith, in that goodwill dwells in the will and faith dwells in the intellect, as I have said before. In the Word, “heart” and “spirit” have exactly these meanings.

Separating goodwill and faith is also perfectly parallel to separating blood and flesh. When blood is separated from flesh it is gore at first and later becomes pus. Flesh that has been separated from blood progressively rots and breeds little worms. In the spiritual meaning of “blood” means truth that is related to wisdom and faith, and “flesh” means goodness that is related to love and goodwill. This meaning of “blood” was demonstrated in Revelation Unveiled 379; this meaning of “flesh” was demonstrated in Revelation Unveiled 832.

For both goodwill and faith to be anything, they cannot be separated any more than we can separate food and water or bread and wine. If we consume food or bread without water or wine, all they do is bloat our stomach. In the form of undigested lumps, they ruin our stomach and become like rotten, foul-smelling muck inside it. If we consume water or wine without food or bread, they too bloat our stomach and swell our blood-vessels and internal passages, which become so bereft of nutrition that they emanate the body even to the point of death. This comparison as well is a perfect parallel, since in the spiritual meaning “food” and “bread” mean goodness that relates to love and goodwill, and “water” and “wine” mean truth that relates to wisdom and faith n(see Revelation Unveiled 50, 316, 778, 932).

Goodwill that is connected to faith and faith that is reciprocally connected to goodwill could be likened to a lovely young woman whose facial color is beautiful because redness and whiteness are integrated in it. This simile is also a perfect parallel because love, and therefore goodwill, glows red in the spiritual world due to the fire of the sun there, while truth, and therefore faith, shines white because of the light of that sun. Therefore goodwill that is separate from faith can be llikened to a face that is blazing red with pimples, and faith that is separate from goodwill can be likened to the pale white face of a corpse.

Faith that is separate from goodwill can also be likened to the paralysis of one side of the body, or hemiplegia. As it progresses, people die from it. It can also be likened to Saint Vitus’s or Saint Guy’s dance, which befalls people who have been bitten by a tarantula. These victims have a rtionally comparable to that of people who have faith without goodwill. In both cases they dance with a fury and think of themselves as being alive, but in fact they have no more ability to focus their reasoning and think about spiritual truths than someone lying in bed being crushed by a suffocating nightmare.

This provides adequate support for two of the topics in this chapter–the earlier one that faith without goodwill is not faith; goodwill without faith is not goodwill; and that neither of them is living unless it comes from the Lord [Sections 355-361]; and the current one, that the Lord, goodwill, and faith form a unity in the same way our life, our will, and our intellect from a unity; if we separate them, each one crumbles like a pearl that is crushed to powder [Sections 362-367].

from True Christianity, Section 367

Notes:

Sections 355-367: Published 12/19/2020-12/31/2020

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