(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 6705

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6705. The ancients reduced the neighbor into classes, and named each class according to the names of those who in the world appear to be especially in need; and they taught how charity was to be exercised toward those who were in one class, and how toward those in another; and in this way they reduced the doctrine, and the life according to it, into order. Hence the doctrine of their church contained the laws of life, and hence they saw of what quality was this or that man of the church whom they called "brother," but with a distinction in the internal sense in accordance with his exercise of charity from the genuine doctrine of the church, or from the doctrine as changed by himself; for as everyone desires to appear blameless, he defends his own life, and therefore either explains or changes the laws of doctrine in his own favor.


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