Doc. of Faith (Dick) n. 31

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31. The cognitions of truth and good which precede faith appear to some persons as though they were related to faith; but yet they are not. Their thinking and saying that they believe is no proof that they do believe, nor that these cognitions are related to faith; for they consist only in the thought that it is so, but not in an internal acknowledgment that they are truths; and the belief that they are truths, while it is not known that they are, is a kind of persuasion far removed from internal acknowledgment. But as soon as charity is implanted then those cognitions become principles of faith, but only so far as charity is in the faith.

In the first state, before charity is perceived, faith appears to such persons as in the first place, and charity in the second; but in the next state, when charity is perceived, faith ranks in the second place and charity in the first. The first state is called reformation, and the second regeneration. When a man is in this latter state, wisdom grows in him daily, and good daily multiplies truths and makes them fruitful. The man is then like a tree which bears fruit, and in its fruit lays up seeds from which new trees are produced, and at length a garden is formed. He then becomes truly a man, and after death an angel, in whom charity constitutes the life and faith the form, which is beautiful according to the quality of the charity; but his faith is then no longer called faith, but intelligence.

From these considerations it may be evident that the all of faith is from charity, and nothing of it from itself; and also that charity produces faith, and not faith charity. The cognitions of truth which precede are precisely like provisions stored in a barn, which do not nourish a man unless, in his desire for food, he takes out the grain.

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