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and when it cometh to this, is as if it had never existed; whereas spiritual life, having no end, is eternal, and may therefore be said to have a real esse or being, whereas temporal life is a state of non esse, or non-being; the difference between them is as between finite and infinite, which have no determinable ratio, for what is eternal is infinite in respect to time.
416. The reason why the kingdom of the Lord is our neighbour, that ought to be loved in the highest degree, is, because it includes both the church dispersed throughout the whole earth, which is called the communion of saints, and also heaven; whosoever then loveth the kingdom of the Lord, loveth all those throughout the whole world, who acknowledge the Lord, and live in faith towards Him and in charity towards their neighbour; and he loveth too all who are in heaven. They who love the kingdom of the Lord, love the Lord above all things, and are thus influenced more than others by love to God: for the church in heaven, and throughout the earth, is the Lord's body, the members thereof being in the Lord, and the Lord in them. Love therefore towards the kingdom of the Lord, is love towards our neighbour in all its fullness, for they who love the kingdom of the Lord, not only love the Lord above all things, but also love their neighbour as themselves: for love towards the Lord is a universal love, and is consequently in all and every thing that belongs to spiritual life, as well as in all and every thing that belongs to natural life; for that love hath its residence in man's supreme or highest principles, and the highest descend by influx into the lower, communicating life to them, just as the will entereth into the whole of the intention and thence descendeth into action, and as the understanding entereth into the whole of the thought and thence into the speech; wherefore the Lord saith," Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you," Matth.
vi. 33. That the kingdom of God, and of the heavens, is the Lord's kingdom, is plain from this passage in Daniel, "And behold, one like THE SON OF MAN came with the clouds of heaven; and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed," Daniel vii. 13, 14.
VI. THAT TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF, IS NOT TO LOVE THE PERSON OF OUR
NEIGHBOUR, BUT THE GOOD WHICH IS IN HIS
417. Every one must be sensible, that a man is not man from having a human face and a human body, but from the wisdom of his understanding and the goodness of his will, the quality of which, in proportion to its ascent upwards, causes him to be more and more a man. For man at his birth is utterly devoid of reason, more so than any animal, and becometh a man by means of instructions, which, as they are received, form his mind (mens); from and according to which, man is man. There are some beasts which resemble men as to their countenances, but which have not the faculty of understanding, nor of acting according to understanding, being determined to action merely by the instinct, which is excited by natural love; there is a difference too in this respect, that the beast expresseth only the affections of his love by sounds, whereas man expresseth his affections, when formed into thought, by speech; a beast also looketh with his face downwards to the ground, but man with his face upwards towards heaven, and in all directions round about him; whence we may conclude, that man is man only so far as his speech proceedeth from sound reason, and as he hath regard to his abode in heaven, and that he is not man so far as his speech proceedeth from perverted reason, and as he hath regard only to his abode
in this world: nevertheless in the latter case he is in power a man, though not in act, inasmuch as every one hath the power of understanding what is true, and of willing what is good; but in proportion as he is not willing to do good, and to understand truth, he can but assume the semblance of a man in externals, and play the ape.
418. The reason why good is our neighbour, is, because good belongeth to the will, and the will is the esse* of the life of man; truth in the understanding is also our neighbour, but only so far as it proceeds from good in the will; for good in the will formeth itself in the understanding, and there renders itself visible in the light of reason. That good is our neighbour, is plain from common experience, by which we learn, that every one loveth another only according to the quality of his will and of his understanding, that is, according to the good and truth that are in him; as for example; who loveth a king, a prince, a duke, a governor, a counsellor, or any person in the magistracy, or any judge, except from the judgment which is displayed in their speech and actions? or who loveth a prelate, a minister of the church, or any canonical person, except for his learning, integrity of life, and zeal for the salvation of souls? or who loveth a general of an army, or any subordinate officer, but for his courage, and the prudence by which it is governed? who loveth a merchant, but for his honesty? who a workman and servant, but for their fidelity? nay, who loveth a tree, but for its fruit? or ground, but for its fertility? or a precious stone, but for the purity of its water &c.? And, what may be considered as very extraordinary, it is not the upright man only who loveth what is good and just in another, but the unprincipled man does the same; and the reason is, because he is in no fear, in his dealings with one of such a character, of losing his reputation, his honour, or his wealth; the love of good
* See note, n. 18, concerning the Divine Esse.
ness, however, in this case, is not the love of his neighbour, for an unprincipled person hath no interior love for another, but only loves him so far as he is subservient to his own ends and purposes. To love what is good in another, from a principle of goodness in ourselves, is genuine love towards our neighbour, for in this case, our own and our neighbour's goodness mutually kiss, and conjoin themselves together.
419. He who loves good because it is good, and truth because it is true, pre-eminently loves his neighour, for he loveth the Lord, who is Good Itself and Truth Itself, who is the only source of the love of good and of truth, and consequently of our neighbour; thus love towards our neighbour is formed from a celestial origin. Whether we speak of use or of good, it is the same thing; wherefore to do uses is to do good, and according to the quantity and quality of use in the good which we do, is the quantity and quality of the good itself.
VII. THAT CHARITY AND GOOD WORKS ARE TWO DISTINCT THINGS, LIKE WILLING WHAT IS GOOD,
AND DOING WHAT IS GOOD.
420. In every man there is an internal and an external; his internal is what is called the internal man, and his external is what is called the external man. He who is unacquainted with the nature of the internal and external man, may possibly suppose, that the internal man is that which thinks and wills, and the external that which speaks and acts it is true, indeed, that speech and action belong to the external man, and thought and will to the internal, but still these are not what essentially constitute the external and internal man. According to the notion of the generality of people, the mind of man is the internal man; but the mind itself is divided into two regions; one, which is superior and interior, is the spiritual region; and the other, which is inferior and exterior, is the natural region;
the spiritual mind looketh principally into the spiritual world, and hath for its objects such things as are in that world, whether they be such as exist in heaven, or such as exist in hell, for both are in the spiritual world; but the natural mind looketh principally into the natural world, and hath for its objects such things as are in that world, whether they be good, or whether they be evil: all human action and speech proceed from the inferior region of the mind directly, and from its superior region indirectly, since the inferior region of the mind is nearer to the senses of the body, and the superior is more remote from them. In man there is this division of the mind, because he was created to be a spiritual, and at the same time a natural being, and thus to be a man, and not a beast. Hence it is evident, that the man who regardeth the world and himself in the first place, is an external man, because he is a natural man, not only in body, but in mind also; and that the man, who regardeth the things of heaven and the church in the first place, is an internal man, because he is a spiritual man, both in mind and body the reason why he is spiritual even with respect to the body, is, because his actions and speech proceed from the superior mind, which is spiritual, through the inferior mind which is natural; for it is an acknowledged truth, that effects proceed from the body, while the causes which produce them are from the mind, and that the cause is the all in the effect. That the human mind is thus divided, appears evident from this circumstance, that man hath the power to feign, to flatter, to play the hypocrite, to act a character opposite to his real one, and to assent to what another says at the same time that he ridicules it in his heart; in this case his ridicule proceeds from the superior mind, and his apparent assent from the inferior.
421. Hence may be seen in what sense it is to be understood, that charity and good works are two distinct things, like willing what is good and doing what is good, namely,