Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/387

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291
REPENTANCE, REFORMATION, AND REGENERATION.

Lord, as was said, operates by means of remains. (A. C. n. 1050.)

Remains are all the states of affection for good and truth with which man is gifted by the Lord, from earliest infancy to the end of life; which states are stored for his use in the life after death. For all the states of his life successively return in the other life, and then are tempered by the states of good and of truth with which he had been gifted by the Lord. In proportion therefore as he has received more of remains in the life of the body, or more of good and truth, the more joyous and the more fair do the rest of his states appear when they return. That this is so may be seen by any one if he reflects. At his birth man has not of himself the least of good, but is totally defiled with hereditary evil; and all the good that he has, such as love for parents, nurses, and little companions, enters by influx, and this from innocence. These are goods which flow in from the Lord through the heaven of innocence and peace, which is the inmost heaven; and so man is imbued with them during his infancy. Afterwards, as he grows up, little by little this innocent and peaceful infantile good recedes; and in proportion as he is introduced into the world he enters into the pleasures derived from it, and into lusts and so into evils, and in the same proportion the celestial things or goods of his infantile age begin to disappear. But yet they remain, and by them the states are tempered which the man afterwards puts on and acquires. Without these a man can by no means be a man; for his states of lusts or of evil, if not attempered by states of affection for good, would be fiercer than those of any animal. These states of good are what are called remains; which are given and implanted in his disposition by the Lord, and this while man is unconscious of it. In the subsequent period of life he is also gifted with new states; but these are not so much states of good as of truth; for while he is growing up he is imbued with truths, and these likewise are stored up within him in his interior man. By these remains which are remains of truth, born of influx of things spiritual from the Lord, man has power to think and also to understand what the good and truth of civil and moral life are; and likewise to receive spiritual truth or the truth of faith,—but this he cannot do except through the remains of good which he has received in infancy. Man is not at all aware that there are remains, and that they are stored up in man in his interior rational; for the reason that he does not imagine that anything enters by influx, but that it is all a something natural inborn in him, so that everything is in him when an infant. But the fact is quite otherwise. Remains are spoken of here and there in the Word; and they signify those states by which man, becomes man, and this from the Lord alone. (ib. n. 1906.)