Charity #166

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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166. Charity in the case of the Common Soldier.

If he looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, and does his duty honestly, justly, and faithfully, he also becomes a charity; there being in this respect no distinction of persons. For he is averse to unjust plunderings; he detests unjust bloodshed. In battle it is another thing: then he is not averse to it, for then he does not think of it, but of the enemy as an enemy, who desires his blood. His fury dies away when he hears the sound of the drum calling him to cease from the slaughter. After victory he looks upon the prisoners as the neighbour according to the quality of their good. Before battle he raises his mind [animus] to the Lord, and commends his life into His hand; and after having done this, he brings his mind [animus] down again from its elevation into the body, and becomes brave; while in his mind [animus] above his bravery the thought of the Lord continues to abide, though he is not then aware of it. And then if he dies, he dies in the Lord; if he lives, he lives in the Lord.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.