77. Everyone is able, from his faculty called rationality, to understand that this or that good is useful to society, and that this or that evil is harmful to it; for example, that justice, sincerity and the chastity of marriage are useful to society, and that injustice, insincerity and adulterous relations with the wives of others are harmful to it; consequently that these evils in themselves are injuries, and that these goods in themselves are benefits. Who, therefore, if he be so disposed, cannot make these things matters of his own reason? He has rationality and he has liberty; and so far as he, for the reasons mentioned, shuns these evils in himself his rationality and liberty are uncovered and become apparent; they assume control of his affairs and grant him perception and power; and so far as he acts thus, he regards these goods as a friend regards friends.
 In view of these considerations a man from his faculty called rationality is able to form conclusions regarding the goods which are useful to society in the spiritual world, and regarding the evils which are harmful there, if in place of evils he understands sins, and in place of goods, the works of charity. This also a man is able to make a matter of his reason, if he be so disposed, since he has rationality and liberty; and so far as he shuns these evils as sins, his rationality and liberty are uncovered and become apparent; they assume control of his affairs and grant him perception and power; and so far as he acts thus, he regards the good works of charity as a neighbour regards the neighbour, from mutual love.
 Now because the Lord, for the sake of reception and conjunction, wills that whatever a man does freely according to reason should appear to him to be his own, and as this is in accordance with reason itself, it follows that man can will to act thus from reason, because it constitutes his eternal happiness; and that he can do so from the Divine power of the Lord when this is invoked.