Charity #167

By Emanuel Swedenborg

Study this Passage

/ 215  

167. Charity in the case of the Business Man.

If he looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, and carries on his business honestly, justly, and faithfully, he becomes a charity. He acts with prudence of his own, as it were, though trusting all the while in Divine Providence; consequently he is not depressed in misfortunes, nor is he filled with pride in successes. He thinks of the morrow, and yet he does not think of it. He thinks of what will have to be done on the morrow, and how it should be done; yet he does not think of the morrow, because he attributes the future to Divine Providence and not to his own prudence: even his own prudence he attributes to Divine Providence. He loves transacting business as the principal part of his occupation, and loves money as the instrument of it; and he does not make the money the principal thing, and the business the instrumental, as the majority of the Jews do. Thus he loves the work, which is in itself a good of use, and does not love the means more than the work. He does not indeed make this distinction, but they are nevertheless so distinguished when he looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins. For he shuns avarice, which is an evil, and the root of more evils. He loves the general good while loving his own good; for in this the general good lies, as the root of a tree hiding itself underground, out of which, nevertheless, the tree grows, and blossoms and bears fruit. Not that he gives the general good more, out of his own, than is due; but because the public good is also his fellow-citizen's good having its existence from the latter, and he loves his fellow-citizens from the charity of which he is a form. No one can know the hidden things of charity in himself, because he does not see them: but the Lord sees them.

/ 215  

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