(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 426

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426. It is known that some who perform these benefactions which present to the world an image of charity, entertain the opinion and belief that they have practiced works of charity, and look upon them as many in popedom regard indulgences, as means whereby they are purified from sins, and that they are worthy, as if regenerated, to have heaven bestowed upon them, and yet they do not regard adultery, hatred, revenge, fraud, and in general the lusts of the flesh, in which they indulge at pleasure, as sins. But in that case what are these good works but painted pictures of angels in company with devils, or boxes made of lapis lazuli containing hydras? It is wholly otherwise when these benefactions are done by those who shun the evils above mentioned as hateful to charity. Nevertheless, these benefactions are advantageous in many ways, especially giving to the poor and to beggars; for thereby boys and girls, servants and maids, and in general all simple-minded persons, are initiated into charity, for these are its externals whereby such are trained in the practice of charity, for these are its rudiments, and are then like unripe fruit. But with those who are afterwards perfected in right knowledges respecting charity and faith, these acts become like ripe fruit, and then they look upon those former works, which were done in simplicity of heart, merely as what they owed to others.


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