Friday, February 29, 2008

Faith Alone Can Be Mild

Arcana Coelestia 8311 makes a distinction between falsities with people in evil and people in good and says some surprising things about how mild falsities can be with people who are in good.
[With people who are in good] falsities do not condemn, unless they are such falsities as are opposed to good, and destroy the very life of good. But the falsities which are not opposed to good are indeed in themselves falsities, but relatively to the good of life, to which they are not opposed, they almost put off the quality of falsity, which is done through application to good. For such falsities can be applied to good, and they can be applied to evil. If they are applied to good, they become mild; but if to evil, they become hard; for falsities can be applied to good equally as truths can be applied to evil, for all truths whatever are falsified through applications to evil.

Take as an example that faith alone saves. In itself this is a falsity, especially with the evil, who thus shut out the good of charity as contributing nothing at all to salvation. But this falsity becomes mild with those who are in the good of life, for they apply it to good, saying that faith alone saves, but that it is not faith except together with its fruit, consequently except where good is.

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