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all such after death demand heaven with much confidence, but when it is discovered that they possess no love to God, and none towards their neighbour, they are assigned over to those whose office it is to give instruction in charity and faith, and if they reject the doctrines of such instructors, they are then sent away to the society of spirits of a like persuasion with themselves, amongst whom there are some who are angry with God for not giving them the rewards they expected, and call faith a mere creature of the brain. These are they who are meant in the Word by mercenaries, or hirelings, to whom the most slavish and base offices in the courts of the temple were committed: in the spiritual world they appear at a distance as if they were cutting wood.
442. It ought to be carefully observed, that charity, and faith in the Lord, are closely conjoined; so that the quality of charity depends on the quality of faith. That the Lord, Charity, and Faith, constitute a One, like Life, Will, and Understanding; and that in case they are divided, each perisheth like a pearl bruised to powder, may be seen above, n. 362; and that Charity and Faith are together in Good Works, n. 373 to 377. Hence it follows, that the quality of charity depends on that of faith, and that the quality of good works depends on the quality of faith and charity together. Now if faith be such, that a man believeth that all the good which he doeth, as of himself, is from the Lord, in this case man is the instrumental cause of good, and the Lord its principal cause, which two causes appear in man's sight as one, when nevertheless the principal cause is all in all in the instrumental: It follows then, that if man believes that all good, properly so called, is from the Lord, he will ascribe no merit to works; and as this belief is rendered more pure and perfect, in the same degree every imagination of merit will be removed from him by the Lord. Man in this state performs charitable exercises in great abundance without fear of merit, and finally perceiveth the spiritual delight of charity, and then
begins to dislike every idea of merit as obnoxious to his life. Such meritorious ideas are easily removed by the Lord from those who have imbued charity by a just and faithful discharge of the office, business, or employment in which they may be engaged, and by dealing justly and faithfully with whomsoever they may have any commerce or connection, according to the definition given above, n. 422; but it is with difficulty such ideas are removed from those, who suppose charity to consist in giving alms and assisting the indigent, for in doing these works of charity, the doer at first openly, and afterwards tacitly, desireth reward, and contracteth notions of merit and desert.
XIV. THAT MORAL LIFE, IF IT
TIME SPIRITUAL, IS CHARITY.
BE AT THE SAME
443. Every man learneth from his parents and masters to live morally, that is, to act in a civil character, and to discharge the duties of a man of honour, which duties have relation to various virtues, that are the essentials of honourable conduct; he learneth further to bring these essentials into birth by suitable outward forms, which consist in whatever regards decency and decorum of behaviour; and as he grows up, he is taught to superadd rational motives and considerations, and thus to perfect his moral character; for moral life in children, even till they approach the period of youth, is merely natural, and from that period it becomes more and more rational. Every considerate person may see plainly, that moral life is the same with the life of charity; and that this consists in a fair and upright conduct towards our neighbour, and in restraining the evils which might stain such a conduct, was shewn above, n. 435 to 438. But still in the first period of man's existence, moral life is the life of charity in its externals, that is, only its exterior and more superficial part, and not its interior. For there are four periods of life, through which man passeth from infancy to old age; the FIRST is when he acteth from and under the guidance
of others, according to the instructions he receiveth; the SECOND is when he acteth of himself, under the guidance of the understanding the THIRD is when the will acteth upon the understanding, and the understanding modifieth the will; the FOURTH is when he acteth from fixed confirmation and purpose. These periods of life however are periods of the life of man's spirit, but not in like manner of the body; for this may act morally and talk rationally, and the spirit may entertain opposite desires and thoughts. That this is the case with the natural man, is evident from dissemblers, flatterers, liars and hypocrites, who, it is plain, have a double mind, or a mind divided into two discordant parts. The case however is different with those, whose wills are influenced by what is good, and their thoughts by what is rational, and who in consequence act well, and talk rationally; these are they who are understood, in the Word, by the single in spirit, which name is given them because they have not a double or divided spirit. Hence may be seen what is properly meant by the external and internal man, and that there is no possibility of deciding on the morality of the internal man from the apparent morality of the external, because the former may be in a state opposite to the latter, and hide itself, as a tortoise doth its head in its shell, or as a serpent its head in its folds; for such a moral man, so called, is like the same robber, in a city, and in a wood, who in the former assumeth a moral character, but in the latter playeth the thief and plunderer. The case is otherwise with those, who are inwardly, or in respect to the spirit, moral, being so rendered by regeneration from the Lord; these are they who are meant by spiritual-moral persons.
444. The reason why the moral life, if it be at the same time spiritual, is a life of charity, is, because the exercises of a moral life, and those of charity, are the same: for charity consisteth in bearing good-will towards our neighbour, and in doing him good from a principle of good-will,
and the same is true of moral life. The law of spiritual life is laid down in these words of the Lord: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them, for this is the law and the prophets," Matt. vii. 12. This same law is the universal law of moral life. But to reckon up all the works of charity, and to compare them with the works of moral life, would require many pages; let it suffice then to illustrate the point in question by six commandments of the second table of the decalogue, which, it is plain to every one, are precepts of moral life, and which also contain all things relative to love towards our neighbour, as may be seen above, n. 329, 330, 331. That charity fulfilleth all the contents of those commandments, is evident from these words of Paul: "Love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law; for this, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shall not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself: love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law," Romans xiii. 8, 9, 10. They who think from the external man only, cannot but be surprized that the seven commandments of the second table of the decalogue were promulgated in so miraculous a manner, by Jehovah Himself, on Mount Sinai, when yet the same precepts were precepts of the law of civil justice in all kingdoms throughout the world, consequently in Egypt also, from which country the children of Israel were lately come forth; for without them no kingdom can subsist. But the reason why they were promulgated by Jehovah, and also written with His finger on tables of stone, was this, that they might not only be precepts of civil society, and thus of natural-moral life, but also precepts of heavenly society, and thus of spiritualmoral life; so that to act in opposition to them, is not only to act in opposition to men, but also to God.
445. If moral life be considered in its essence, it will appear that it is a life agreeable to human and divine laws at the same time; whosoever therefore liveth according to those two laws, as one, he is a truly moral man, and his life is charity. Every person, if he please, is capable of comprehending, from external-moral life, the nature and quality of charity; let him only transcribe external-moral life, such as it is in civil commerce and communication, into the internal man, that this, in will and in thought may be similar. and conformable to the actions of the external man, and he will then see charity in its type.
XV. THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF LOVE, CONTRACTED WITH A PERSON, WITHOUT REGARD TO HIS QUALITY AS TO SPIRIT, IS DETRIMENTAL AFTER DEATH. 446. By friendship of love is meant interior friendship, which is of such a sort, as not only to love the external man, in a friend, but likewise his internal, and this without examination as to the nature and quality of his internal, or spirit, in other words, as to the affections of his mind, whether they be affections of love towards the neighbour and of love to God, and thus capable of consociation with the angels of heaven, or whether they be affections of opposite loves, and thus productive of consociation with devils. Such friendship is contracted by many persons, from various causes, and for various ends. This is distinct from that external friendship, which regards the person alone, and which is intended for the various purposes of bodily and sensual gratifications, and worldly business and connections. The latter kind of friendship may be contracted with any person, even with a buffoon, who entertains the company with his jests at a great man's table. This is simply called friendship, but the former kind is called the friendship of love, because friendship is natural conjunction only, whereas love is spiritual conjunction.