(LF) - Teachings about Life for the New Jerusalem: Drawn from the Ten Commandments

LF 111

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111. There are various and many causes that make a man moral in the outward form, but unless he is moral in the inward form also, he is nevertheless not moral. For example: if a man abstains from adulteries and whoredom from the fear of the civil law and its penalties; from the fear of losing his good name and esteem; from the fear of the consequent diseases; from the fear of his wife's tongue in his home, and the consequent inquietude of his life; from the fear of the husband's vengeance, or that of some relative; from poverty, or avarice; from disability caused either by disease, abuse, age, or impotence; nay, if he abstains from such things on account of any natural or moral law, and not at the same time on account of the spiritual law, he nevertheless is inwardly an adulterer and whoremonger, for nonetheless does he believe that such things are not sins.
As toward God, therefore, he in his spirit makes them not unlawful, and so in spirit he commits them, although not in the body in the sight of the world; and therefore after death, when he becomes a spirit, he speaks openly in favor of them. From all this it is evident that an ungodly man is able to shun evils as injurious, but only a Christian can shun them as sins.


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