32. Verse 9. I, John, who also am your brother and companion, signifies those who are in the good of charity, and thence in the truths of faith. It was said above (n. 5), that the apostle John represented those who are in the good of charity; and those who are in the good of charity are also in the truths of faith, because charity is the soul and life of faith; hence it is, that John calls himself the brother and companion of those in the church to whom he writes, for he wrote to the seven churches. By "brother," in the spiritual sense of the Word, is meant one who is in the good of charity; and by "companion" one who is thence in the truths of faith; for all are, as it were, in consanguinity by charity, but in affinity by faith; for charity conjoins; not so faith, except it be from charity. When faith is from charity, then charity conjoins, and faith consociates; and since they make one, therefore the Lord commanded that all should be "brethren," for he says:
One is your Teacher, Christ, but all ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8).
 The Lord, also, calls those "brethren" who are in the good of charity, or in the good of life; for He said:
My mother and my brethren are these, who hear the Word of God, and do it (Luke 8:21; Matt. 12:49; Mark 3:33-35).
By "mother," is meant the church, and by "brethren," those who are in charity; and because the good of charity is a "brother," therefore the Lord calls those who are in it "brethren," also in Matt. 25:40, and so also disciples (Matt. 28:10; John 20:17). But we do not read that the disciples called the Lord brother, because "brother" is the good which is from the Lord; this is comparatively as it is with a king, prince, and magnate, who call their relatives and neighbors brethren, but yet the latter do not in their turn call them so; for the Lord says:
One is your Teacher, Christ, but all ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8);
Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say rightly, for so I am (John 13:13).
 The sons of Israel called all those brethren who were from their father Jacob; and in a more extensive sense, those also who were from Esau; but such as were not from them they called companions. But because the Word, in its spiritual sense, treats only of those who are in the Lord's church, therefore in that sense, by "brethren," are meant those who are in the good of charity from the Lord, and by "companions," those who are in the truths of faith; as in the following passages:
Thus shall ye say everyone to his companion, and everyone to his brother, What hath Jehovah answered? (Jer. 23:35).
Ye have not proclaimed liberty everyone to his brother, and everyone to his companion (Jer. 34:17).
Let no one press his companion, nor his brother (Deut. 15:1, 2).
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say (Ps. 122:8).
Everyone helpeth his companion, and saith to his brother, Strengthen thyself (Isa. 41:6).
And in the opposite sense:
Take ye heed everyone of his companion, and trust not in any brother; for every brother will supplant, and every companion slandereth (Jer. 9:4).
I will mingle Egypt with Egypt, that one may fight against his brother, and against his companion (Isa. 19:2);
and in other places. These are adduced, that it may be known why John calls himself "brother and companion;" and that by "brother" in the Word, is meant one who is in charity or in good, and, by "companion" one who is in faith or in truth. But because charity is from faith, therefore none are called "companions" by the Lord, but "brethren" or "neighbor;" everyone also is a neighbor according to the quality of good (Luke 10:36-37).