True Christian Religion #422

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422. VIII. Real charity is dealing fairly and faithfully in whatever position, business or work one is engaged in, and with those with whom one comes into contact.

Real charity is dealing fairly and faithfully in whatever position, business or work one is engaged in, because everything a person so does is of use to the community; and use is good; and good, leaving persons out of account, is the neighbour. (It was shown above that not only the individual but also the community, [great or] 1 small, and one's country is the neighbour.) For example, if a king sets his subjects an example by his good deeds, if he desires them to live in accordance with the laws of justice, rewarding those who do so, treating all according to their deserts, if he protects them from injury and invasion, acts as father to his kingdom and in general takes thought for the prosperity of his people, he has charity in his heart and his acts are good deeds. If a priest teaches truths from the Word, and uses them to lead people to live a good life, and so to reach heaven, he is a prime example of the exercise of charity, because he takes thought for the souls of the people in his church. If a judge bases his decisions on justice and the law, and is not influenced by bribes, friendship or nepotism, he takes thought for the community in general and the individual in particular; for the community, because this keeps it obedient to the law and afraid of breaking it; for the individual, by the fact that justice triumphs over injustice. If a business man acts honestly and not fraudulently, he takes thought for the neighbour with whom he has dealings. The same is true of a workman or craftsman, if he does his work properly and honestly, without pretence or deceit. The same is true of other occupations, such as ship-captains and sailors, or farmers and servants.

फुटनोट:

1. For the insertion, cf. 412, 1.

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