(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 407

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407. What it is to love the neighbor shall be explained. To love the neighbor is not alone to wish well and do good to a relative, a friend, or a good man, but also to a stranger, an enemy, or a bad man. But charity is to be exercised toward the latter in one way and toward the former in another; toward a relative or friend by direct benefits; toward an enemy or a bad man by indirect benefits, which are rendered by exhortation, discipline, punishment, and consequent amendment. This may be illustrated thus: A judge who punishes an evil-doer in accordance with law and justice, loves his neighbor; for so he makes him better, and consults the welfare of the citizens that he may not do them harm. Everyone knows that a father who chastises his children when they do wrong, loves them, and that, on the other hand, he who does not chastise them therefore, loves their evils, and this cannot be called charity. Again, if a man repels an insulting enemy, and in self-defense strikes him or delivers him to the judge in order to prevent injury to himself, and yet with a disposition to be-friend the man, he acts from a charitable spirit. Wars that have as an end the defense of the country and the church, are not contrary to charity. The end in view declares whether it is charity or not.


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