409. Before the Lord came into the world scarcely anyone knew what the internal man is or what charity is, and this is why in so many places He taught brotherly love, that is, charity; and this constitutes the distinction between the Old Testament or Covenant and the New. That good ought to be done from charity to the adversary and the enemy the Lord taught in Matthew:
Ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that hurt you and persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens (Matt. 5:43-45).
And when Peter asked Him how often he should forgive one sinning against him, whether he should do so until seven times, He replied:
I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21, 22).
And I have heard from heaven that the Lord forgives to everyone his sins, and never takes vengeance nor even imputes sin, because He is love itself and good itself; nevertheless, sins are not thereby washed away, for this can be done only by repentance. For when He told Peter to forgive until seventy times seven, what will not the Lord do?