(FA) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Faith

FA 21

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21. But it is one thing to love the neighbor on account of the good or use he is to us, and another to love him from the good or use we may be to him. Even an evil man can do the first, but only a good man the second, for a good man loves good from good, that is, he loves use from the affection of use. The difference between the two is described by the Lord in Matthew 5:42-47. Many say, "I love such a man because he loves me and does me good;" but to love anyone for this only is not to love him inwardly, unless he who so loves is himself in good, and from it loves the good of the other. In this case the man is in charity, but in the other he is in a friendship which is not charity. A man who loves the neighbor from charity conjoins himself with his good, and not with his person except insofar and for so long as he is in good. Such a man is spiritual, and loves his neighbor spiritually, whereas one who loves another from mere friendship, conjoins himself with his person, and at the same time with his evil, and after death he cannot without difficulty be separated from the personality that is in evil, but the former can. Charity effects this by means of faith, which faith is the truth; and the man who is in charity by means of the truth examines thoroughly and sees what ought to be loved, and in loving and conferring benefits he regards the quality of the other's use.


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