107. To the above shall be added some particulars concerning the doctrine of love to the Lord, and the doctrine of charity, as it was held by the ancients with whom the church was, in order that the former quality of that doctrine, which at this day exists no longer, may he known. The particulars are extracted from the Arcana Coelestia (n. 7257-7263).
The good which is of love to the Lord, is called celestial good; and the good which is of love towards the neighbor, or charity, is called spiritual good. The angels who are in the inmost or third heaven, are in the good of love to the Lord, being called celestial angels; but the angels of the middle or second heaven, are in the good of love towards the neighbor, being called spiritual angels.
The doctrine of celestial good, which is that of love to the Lord, is of most wide extent, and at the same time most full of arcana; being the doctrine of the angels of the inmost or third heaven, which is such, that if it were delivered from their mouths, scarcely a thousandth part of it would be understood: the things also which it contains are ineffable. This doctrine is contained in the inmost sense of the Word; but the doctrine of spiritual love, in the internal sense.
The doctrine of spiritual good, which is that of love towards the neighbor, is also of wide extent and full of arcana, but much less so than the doctrine of celestial good, which is that of love to the Lord. That the doctrine of love towards the neighbor, or charity, is of wide extent, may appear from the fact, that it reaches to all the things which man thinks and wills, consequently to all which he speaks and does, even to the most minute particulars; and also from the fact, that charity does not exist alike with two different persons, and that no two persons are alike the neighbor.
As the doctrine of charity was so extensive, therefore the ancients, with whom it was the very doctrine of the church, distinguished charity towards the neighbor into several classes, which they again subdivided, and gave names to each class, and taught how charity was to be exercised towards those who are in one class, and towards those who are in another; and thus they reduced the doctrine and the exercises of charity into order, that they might fall distinctly into the understanding.
The names which they gave to those towards whom they were to exercise charity were many; some they called "the blind," some "the lame," some "the maimed," some "the poor," some "the miserable," and "afflicted," some "the fatherless," some "widows," but in general they called them "the hungry," to whom they should give to eat; "the thirsty," to whom they should give to drink; "strangers," whom they should take in; "the naked," whom they should clothe; "the sick," whom they should visit, and "the bound in prison," to whom they should come.
Who they were whom they meant by these particulars, has been made known already in the Arcana Coelestia, as whom they meant by "the blind" (n. 2383, 6990); by "the lame" (n. 4302); "the poor" (n. 2129, 4459, 4958, 9209, 9253, 10227); "the miserable" (n. 2129); "the afflicted" (n. 6663, 6851, 9196); "the fatherless" (n. 4844, 9198-9200) and "widows" (n. 4844, 9198, 9200); "the hungry" (n. 4958, 10227); "the thirsty" (n. 4958, 8568); "the strangers" (n. 4444, 7908, 8007, 8013, 9196, 9200); "the naked" (n. 1073, 5433, 9960); "the sick" (n. 4958, 6221, 8364, 9031); "the bound in prison" (n. 5037, 5038, 5086, 5096). It may be seen that the whole doctrine of charity is comprehended in the offices towards those who are called by the Lord "the hungry," "the thirsty," "strangers," "the naked," "the sick," and "the bound in prison" Matt. 25:34-36 and the verses following) [n. 4954-4959].
These names were given from heaven to the ancients who were of the church, and by those who were so named they understood those who were spiritually such. Their doctrine of charity not only taught who these were, but also the quality of the charity to be exercised towards each. Hence it is, that the same names are in the Word, and signify those who are such in the spiritual sense. The Word in itself is nothing but the doctrine of love to the Lord, and of charity towards the neighbor, as the Lord also teaches:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37-40).
"The law and the prophets" are the whole Word (n. 2606, 3382, 6752, 7643).
The reason why those same names are in the Word, is that the Word, which is in itself spiritual, might in its ultimate be natural; and because they who are in external worship are to exercise charity towards such as are so named, and they who are in internal worship towards such spiritually understood; thus that the simple might understand and do the Word in simplicity, and the wise, in wisdom; also, that the simple, by the externals of charity, might be initiated into its internals.