80. IN PROPORTION AS ANY ONE SHUNS THEFTS OF EVERY KIND AS SINS, IN THE SAME PROPORTION HE LOVES SINCERITY.
To "steal," in the natural sense, means not only to commit theft and robbery, but also to defraud, and under some pretext take from another his goods. But in the spiritual sense to "steal" means to deprive another of his truths of faith and his goods of charity. And in the highest sense to "steal" means to take away from the Lord that which is His, and attribute it to one's self, and thus to claim righteousness and merit for one's self. These are the "thefts of every kind." And they also make a one, as do adulteries of every kind, and murders of every kind, of which we have already treated. The reason why they make a one is that they are one within another.