9. NO ONE CAN FROM HIMSELF DO WHAT IS GOOD THAT IS REALLY GOOD.
That hitherto scarcely anyone knows whether the good done by him is from self or from God, is because the church has sundered faith from charity, and good is of charity. A man gives to the poor; relieves the needy; endows places of worship and hospitals; has regard for the church, his country, and his fellow citizen; is diligent in his attendance at a place of worship, where he listens and prays devoutly; reads the Word and books of piety; and thinks about salvation; and yet is not aware whether he is doing these things from himself, or from God. He may be doing the very same things from God, or he may be doing them from self. If he does them from God they are good, if from self they are not good. In fact there are goods of this kind done from self which are eminently evil, such as hypocritical goods, the purpose of which is deception and fraud.