(LF) - Teachings about Life for the New Jerusalem: Drawn from the Ten Commandments

LF 72

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72. When a man is no longer in the evil of murder, but in the good of love toward the neighbor, whatever he does is a good of this love, and therefore it is a good work. A priest who is in this good does a good work whenever he teaches and leads, because he acts from the love of saving souls. A magistrate who is in this good does a good work whenever he delivers a decision or a judgment, because he acts from the love of taking care of his country, of the community, and of his fellow-citizen. The same with a trader: if he is in this good, everything of his trading is a good work; there is in him the love of the neighbor; and his country, the community, his fellow-citizen, and also the members of his household, are the neighbor whose welfare he has care for in providing for his own. A workman also who is in this good, works faithfully from it, for others as for himself, fearing his neighbor's loss as he would his own. The reason why the doings of these men are good works, is that in proportion as anyone shuns evil, in the same proportion he does good, according to the general law stated above (n. 21), and he who shuns evil as sin, does good not from himself but from the Lord (n. 18-31). The contrary is the case with him who does not regard as sins the various kinds of murder, which are enmities, hatred, revenge, and many more. Whether he be priest, magistrate, trader, or workman, whatever he does is not a good work, because every work of his partakes of the evil that is within him; for his internal is what gives it birth. The external may be good, but only as regards others, not as regards himself.


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