232. Would thou wert cold or hot. That this signifies that it is better that there should be no faith, or that there should be charity alone, is evident from the signification of, would thou wert cold, as being that it is better that there should be no faith, which will be shown in what follows; and from the signification of, or hot, as being that there should be charity alone. What is meant by charity alone will be explained in its place it shall be here first explained what is meant by there being no faith. With those who are in the doctrine of faith alone, there is indeed no faith, by which is meant no spiritual faith, or no faith of the church; yet such possess natural faith, which must be also called persuasive faith; for they believe that the Word is Divine, they believe in eternal life, also in the remission of sins, and in many other things; but such faith with those who are without charity is a persuasive faith, which does not differ from a faith in things unknown, heard from others in the world, and believed, although neither seen nor understood, because they are said by someone thought to be worthy of credit; thus, it is only the faith of another in themselves, and not their own. And this faith, which is not made their own by sight and understanding, is not unlike the belief of one born blind about colours and objects of sight in the world, who has also a dullness of touch, concerning which things he has strange ideas, which no one knows but himself.
This faith is called historical, and is by no means a spiritual, faith, such as the faith of the church ought to be. Spiritual faith, or the faith of the church, is entirely from charity, so that in its essence it is charity; also, things spiritual which are believed, appear in light to those who are in charity. This I declare from experience; for everyone who has lived in charity during his abode in the world, sees, in the other life, his own truth which he believes, whereas they who have been in faith alone, see nothing at all.  Nevertheless, faith merely historical, by means of thought of God, of heaven, and eternal life, has some means of degree of conjunction with heaven, but only by obscure thought, and not by the affection of charity, for this affection it has not; therefore by the affection which such persons have, which is the affection of the love of self and of the world, they are conjoined to hell. Hence it is evident that they are between heaven and hell, because they look with their eyes to heaven, and in heart to hell; to do this is to profane, and the lot of profaners in the other life is the worst of all. To profane is to believe in God, the Word, eternal life, and many things taught in the sense of the letter of the Word, and yet to live contrary to them.  This is why it is said, "Would thou wert cold or hot;" for he who is cold, that is, who is without faith, does not profane; neither does he who is hot, that is, who has charity alone. (What profanation is, and what its nature, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 169, 172; and what persuasive faith is, and its nature, n. 116-119; as also that there is no spiritual faith where there is no charity, in the small work, The Last Judgment, n. 33-39.) What charity alone is shall now be briefly stated. Charity is essentially spiritual affection, but charity alone is natural affection, and not spiritual; for charity itself, which is spiritual affection, is formed by means of truths from the Word, and in proportion as it is formed by those truths, in the same proportion it is spiritual; but charity alone, which is natural affection, is not formed by any truths from the Word, but exists with man from hearing discourses, without any regard on his part to truths, and without learning them; therefore, charity alone is also without faith, for faith is of truth, and truth of faith.