True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 596

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596. VII

Men this happens, a struggle ensues between the internal and the external man, and the victor then controls the other.

The reason why a struggle then ensues is that the internal man is reformed by means of truths, which enable him to see what is evil and false; and these truths are still in his external or natural man. First, therefore, there is dissension between the new will, which is above, and the old will, which is below. Since it is dissension between wills, it is between the pleasures of either, for it is well known that the flesh opposes the spirit, and the spirit the flesh, and the flesh with its lusts must be tamed, before the spirit can act and the person can become a new man. Following this dissension of the wills, a struggle, known as spiritual temptation, takes place. But this temptation or struggle is not between good and evil, but between the truths that accompany good and the falsities that accompany evil. For good is unable to struggle of itself, but does so by means of truths. Nor can evil struggle of itself, but does so by means of its falsities. This is like the will being unable to struggle of itself, but doing so by means of the understanding, which is where its truths are.

[2] A person does not feel this struggle to be anywhere but in himself, and he feels it as the pangs of conscience. Yet it is the Lord and the devil (that is, hell) who struggle in man; their struggle is to gain control of the person, to see which is to possess him. The devil, or hell, attacks the person and calls forth the evil in him, while the Lord protects him and calls forth the good in him. But although that struggle takes place in the spiritual world, at the same time it takes place in the person between the truths that accompany good and the falsities that accompany evil present within him. A person ought therefore to struggle exactly as if of himself, since he has the free will to act on the Lord's side or on the devil's. He is on the Lord's side if he holds to truths from good, on the devil's if he holds to falsities from evil. The consequence of this is that the victor, whether it is the internal or the external man who wins, controls the other. It is exactly like two enemies engaged in a struggle to determine which is to be master of the other's kingdom; the winner takes the kingdom and reduces all in it to subservience to him. In this case then, if the internal man wins, he imposes his rule and suppresses all the evils of the external man, thus continuing the process of regeneration. But if the external man wins, he imposes his rule and scatters all the good in the external* man, thus putting an end to regeneration.

* Possibly an error for 'the internal man.

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