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charity is to do good, and the second not to do evil; but the case is altogether the reverse, it being the first part of charity to put away evil, and the second to do good. For it is a universal law in the spiritual world, and thence too in the natural world, that so far as a person willeth no evil, he willeth what is good; consequently, so far as he turneth himself away from hell, whence all evil ascendeth, he turneth himself towards heaven, whence all good descendeth; and therefore, so far as any one rejects the devil, he is accepted by the Lord. It is impossible for any person to stand between both, turning his neck about, and praying at the same time to one and to the other; for these are they of whom the Lord spake, when He said, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot; so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth," Rev. iii. 15, 16. How is it possible for an officer to stand wavering with his troops between two armies, and to take part with both? How is it possible for any one to be in evil against his neighbour, and at the same time in good towards him? In such a case, does not evil lurk within the good? And although in such its hidden state it may not appear in outward acts, yet it will shew itself in many particulars, if they be duly attended to. The Lord saith, “No man can serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and mammon," Luke xvi. 13.
438. No one, however, is able, by his own power and his own strength, to purify himself from evils, and yet such purification cannot be effected without the power and strength of man as his own*; for without this, no one
* See the Memorable Relation, n. 48, where it is shewn, that by man's being created an image of God, is meant, his reception of life, that is, of love and wisdom, from God; and by his being created a likeness of God, is meant, his possessing and exercising such life, that is, such love and wisdom, as his own, but yet in dependence on the Divine Giver: this appearance of possessing and
would be able to fight against the flesh and its lusts, which nevertheless is required of all; nay, no one would even think of any such fight or warfare, and thus would abandon his mind (animus) to evils of every kind, being restrained from their actual perpetration by worldly laws and worldly punishments only; thus he would inwardly be like a tiger, a leopard, and a serpent, which never reflect on the cruelties they exercise in the gratification of their lusts and loves. It is plain then, that man, being endowed with reason, and thereby exalted above the beasts, ought to resist evils by virtue of the power and strength given him of the Lord, which in every respect of feeling and of sense appear to him as his own; and this appearance is communicated to every man by the Lord, for the sake of regeneration, imputation, conjunction, and salvation.
XIII. THAT IN PERFORMING THE EXERCISES OF CHA
RITY, MAN DOTH NOT ASCRIBE MERIT TO WORKS, WHILST HE BELIEVETH THAT ALL GOOD IS FROM THE LORD.
439. To ascribe merit to works which are done for the sake of salvation, is hurtful; for there are many latent evils concealed in such a supposal of merit, of which the doer of the works is entirely ignorant: those latent evils are a denial of the influx and operation of God in man; a confident presumption on our own power in all that concerns salvation; a faith and dependance on ourselves, and not on God; self-justification; salvation by virtue of our own exercising them as his own being necessary, in order that he may use them to the working out his salvation, by uniting himself with God, which is then effected when he useth aright the grace and power that he receiveth from God, as if they were his own belongings, but yet in, and after such use and exertion, thankfully ascribeth all the property and merit thereof to the Divine Giver. Our author plainly shews, in many parts of his works, that unless man thus possessed and exercised the divine grace and power, in appearance as his own, he would be nothing better than a mere machine, consequently, incapable of reformation, salvation, and eternal life.
strength; annihilation of the divine grace and mercy; the rejection of reformation and regeneration by divine means; in particular, a derogating from the merit and righteousness of the Lord God the Saviour, and an appropriation thereof to ourselves; besides a continual looking to reward, or recompence, which is then the first and last end regarded; a suffocation and extinction of love to the Lord and of love towards our neighbour; a total ignorance and imperceptibility of the delight of heavenly love, which is without an idea of merit, and a sensation of the delight of self-love only for they who put recompence in the first place and salvation in the second, and thus respect the latter for the sake of the former, invert all order, and immerse the interior desires of their minds in their own self-hood or proprium, and defile them in the body with the evil lusts of the flesh. Hence it is, that the good which regards merit, appears in the sight of angels like rust, and the good which doth not regard merit, like purple. That good ought not to be done with a view to recompence, the Lord teacheth in the following passage: "If ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ze? But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil," Luke vi. 33 to 36. That man cannot do good, which is really and in its own nature good, except from the Lord, is taught in John: "Abide in Me, and 1 in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, so neither can ye, except ye abide in Me; for without Me ye can do nothing," chap. xv. 4, 5 and in another place, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven," chap. iii. 27.
440. But for men to think that they shall go to heaven, and that for this purpose they must do good, this is not to regard recompence as an end, and to ascribe merit to works, for even they who love their neighbour as themselves, and God
above all things, think in this manner, which they do from a belief in these words of the Lord; "that their reward shall be great in heaven," Matt. v. 11, 12, chap. vi. 1, chap. x. 41, 42, Luke vi. 23, 35, chap. xiv. 12, 13, 14, John iv. 36; "that they who have done good shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world," Matt. xxv. 34; "that every man shall be rewarded according to his works," Matt. xvi. 27, John v. 29, Rev. xiv. 13, chap. xx. 12, 13, Jer. xxv. 14, xxxii. 19, Hosea iv. 2, Zech. i. 6; and in many other places. Such persons are not influenced by a confidence in the reward to which merit entitles them, but by a belief in the promise made of grace. To these, the delight of doing good to their neighbour is a reward, which is the same delight that the angels of heaven experience, and is a spiritual delight, which is eternal, and infinitely superior to every natural delight. They who are in the enjoyment of this delight, are unwilling to hear of merit, for they love to do good, and in this perceive true blessedness; and it grieves them to have it supposed that they do good for the sake of recompence: they are like such as do good to their friends for the sake of friendship; to a brother, because he is a brother; to a wife and children, because they are wife and children; to their country, because it is their country; and thus whose actions are dictated by friendship and love. All persons who do good to others bear testimony to the superior excellence of such motives, by endeavouring to persuade them that they do it for their sakes, and not for their own.
441. But the case is very different with those, who in their works consider recompence as the only end worth regard such persons are like those who make professions of friendship for the sake of gain and interest, and who also make presents, do kind offices, and give proofs of love, as if it proceeded from their hearts, and yet, when they are disappointed in their expectations, they turn their backs on
their pretended favourite, renounce the obligations of friendship, and join the enemies and haters of him whom they seemed to love. Such persons are also like nurses, who suckle infants merely for the sake of reward, and kiss and fondle them whilst their parents are present; but as soon as they perceive that their extravagant expectations of recompence are not all immediately gratified, they then leave the poor infants to shift for themselves, become regardless of their cries, and use them in the most severe and barbarous manner. They are also like those, who, in their regard for their country, are influenced by the love of self and the love of the world; who make professions of a readiness to serve her, even at the expence of their fortunes and their lives; and yet if they are disappointed of the honours and emoluments which they expected as rewards for their patriotism, they begin to abuse their ungrateful country, and take part with her enemies. They are also like shepherds who feed sheep for wages only, which if they do not receive at the appointed time, they drive away the flock from the pasture into the wilderness. Like unto these are those priests, who do the duties of their ministerial function merely out of regard to the emoluments annexed to it, and who, it is very plain, on that account, care little about the salvation of the souls of those committed to their charge. The case is the same in respect to those magistrates, who look only to the honours and profits arising from their functions; when these do good, it is not out of any regard to the public welfare, but with a view to selfish and worldly gratifications, which they consider as their only good. Many other instances, to the same purport, might be adduced; for the end, or object regarded, is the grand point in which all other considerations center, and mediatory causes belonging to the office or function, in case they do not promote that end, are renounced and disclaimed. So it is with those who require recompence as a reward of merit in the concerns of salvation;