Charity #85

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85. Birth does not make anyone the neighbour more than another, not even when it is one's mother or father; nor does education. These are estimations from natural good. Nor does kinship nor relationship make anyone a neighbour more than another, thus country does not either. One's country should be loved according to the quality of its good; but it is a duty to do good to it, and this is done by having regard for its use, since one thus has regard for the welfare of all. It is not a duty to do good to other kingdoms outside that one, because kingdom does not desire the good of another, but would like to destroy it as to wealth and power, thus also as to its protection. To love another kingdom more than one's own, therefore, by having more regard for its use, would be contrary to the good of the kingdom one is in; for which reason one's country should be loved in a higher degree.

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