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that they are formally distinct, like the mind-which thinks and wills, and the body by which the mind speaks and acts; and that they are essentially distinct, because the mind is distinguished into two regions, air interior which is spiritual, and an exterior which is natural, as was shewn above; so that if works proceed from the spiritual mind, they proceed from its good-will, which is charity, but if from the natural mind, they proceed from its good-will, which is not charity, although it may appear like it in its external form, and yet not be charity in its internal form; and charity in the mere external form bears indeed the specious appearance of charity, but still is devoid of its essence. This may be comparatively illustrated by the case of seeds sown in the ground, from each of which there sprouts forth a young shoot or set, either profitable or unprofitable, according to the nature and quality of the seed. This is likewise the case with spiritual seed, which is the truth of the church derived from the Word: from this doctrine is formed, which is profitable in case it is formed of genuine truths, but unprofitable in case it is formed of truths falsified. Exactly similar to these cases is that of charity, as derived from a principle of good-will, whether the good-will be for the sake of self and the world, or for the sake of our neighbour in a confined or extensive sense; if it be for the sake of self and the world, it is spurious charity, but if for the sake of our neighbour, it is genuine. More however may be seen on this subject in the chapter on faith, particularly in the articles where it is shewn, That Charity consisteth in willing what is Good, and that Good Works consist in doing what is Good, from a principle of Good-Will, n. 374: And that Charity and Faith are mere mental and perishable Things, unless they be determined to Works, and co-exist there, whensoever it is practicable, n. 375, 376.
VIII. THAT CHARITY ITSELF CONSISTETH IN ACTING JUSTLY AND FAITHFULLY, IN WHATSOEVER OFFICE, BUSINESS, AND EMPLOYMENT A PERSON IS ENGAGED, AND WITH WHOMSOEVER HE HATH ANY COMMERCE AND CONNECTION.
422. The reason why charity itself consisteth in acting justly and faithfully, in whatsoever office, business, and employment a person is engaged, is, because every thing so done is of use to society, and use is good, and good, in a sense abstracted from persons, is our neighbour; and it was shewn above, that not only individual men, but also a society of men, and a man's country in general, are his neighbour. But take an instance: a king who sets his subjects an example of well-doing, is desirous that they should live according to the laws of justice, recompenses those that do so live, regards every one according to his merit, secures them against injuries and invasions, acts as the father of his kingdom, and provides for the common prosperity of his people, such a king hath charity in his heart, and his actions are good works. A priest who teacheth truths from the Word, and by these leadeth his flock to good of life, and so to heaven; such a priest, inasmuch as he provideth for the welfare of the souls of those who belong to his church, is pre-eminently in the exercise of charity. A judge who judges according to justice and law, and is not biassed in his judgment by bribes, friendship, or relationship, provideth for the well-being both of society and of individuals; of society, since it is thus kept in obedience to the law, and under fear of transgression; and of individuals, because justice is enabled to triumph over injustice. A merchant or trader who acts from a principle of sincerity, and not of deceit or fraud, provideth for the welfare of his neighbour with whom he is engaged in business. The same is true of a workman and artificer, if he does his work uprightly and sincerely,
and not fraudulently and with deceit. So also in all other cases, as with captains and sailors, farmers and servants.
423. The reason why this is charity itself, is, because charity may be defined as consisting in doing good to our neighbour daily and continually, not only to our neighbour individually, but to our neighbour collectively; and this cannot be effected, but by a man's doing what is good and just, in whatsoever office, business, and employment he is engaged, and with whomsoever he hath any commerce and connection; for this he does daily, and when he is not in its immediate. exercise, still it is continually present in his mind, and is the object of his thoughts and intentions. The man who thus exerciseth charity, becometh more and more charity in form; for justice and fidelity form his mind, and their exercises his body; so that in process of time, by virtue of the form thus acquired, he willeth nothing, and thinketh nothing, but what hath some relation to charity. Such persons become at length like those described in the Word, of whom it is said, that they have the law written in their hearts. Such also place no merit in their works, for they never think of merit, but of their duty only, which as good citizens they are bound to perform. Man, however, can by no means of himself act from a principle of spiritual righteousness and fidelity; for every one derives from his parents an hereditary disposition to do what is good and just for the sake of himself and of the world, but not for the sake of goodness and justice; wherefore none but they who worship the Lord, and act from Him at the same time that they act of themselves, acquire spiritual charity, and are imbued with it by exercise.
424. There are many who act justly and faithfully in their functions, and in so doing perform works of charity, who yet do not possess any charity in themselves; but these are they in whom the love of self and of the world is predominent, and not the love of heaven; and if it happen that this
latter hath any place in them, it is in subjection to the former, like a slave under his master, or like a common soldier under his captain, and like a porter standing in the gate.
IX. THAT ELEEMOSYNARY ACTS OF CHARITY CONSIST IN GIVING TO THE POOR, AND IN RELIEVING THE INDIGENT, BUT WITH PRUDENCE.
425. It is necessary to distinguish between the offices of charity and its eleemosynary acts; by the offices of charity are meant those exercises which proceed immediately from charity itself, and which, as hath just been shewn, are connected principally with the function or employment, in which each man is engaged; but by eleemosynary acts of charity are meant those aids and assistances which a man lendeth to his neighbour, independent of the ordinary duties of his station. They are called eleemosynary acts, because, in doing them, a man is left to his own liberty and pleasure, and when they are done, they are regarded by the person who receives them, in no other light than as eleemosynary, and are dispensed according to the reasons and intentions which influence the mind of the benefactor. It is a prevailing notion, that charity consisteth solely in giving to the poor, relieving the indigent, providing for widows and orphans, contributing towards the building of hospitals and other edifices for the reception of the sick, the stranger, and the fatherless, but particularly in the building, ornamenting, and endowing of churches; many things however of this sort have no proper connection with charity, but are extraneous to it. They who suppose charity itself to consist in such actions, must of necessity suppose them to be meritorious, and howsoever they may in word disclaim all regard to merit, yet in their hearts they cannot but entertain a belief that they are entitled to it. This is evident from what is observed of such persons after death; for they then begin to reckon up their works, and to demand salvation as
a reward and recompence for what they have done; an inquiry however is then made into the ground and origin of their works, and into their consequent quality and if it be found, that they proceeded either from vain-glory, from a desire of fame, from bare munificence, from friendship, from mere natural inclination, or from hypocrisy, they are then judged according to that origin, for the quality of the origin is in the works. But genuine charity proceedeth from those who are thoroughly imbued with it from the justice and the judgment of their works, which they do without regarding recompence as an end and motive for the doing of them, according to what the Lord saith, Luke xiv. 12, 13, 14; these also call the things above-mentioned eleemosynary acts, and likewise duties, although, with them, they are works of charity.
426. It is well known, that some, who have done such eleemosynary acts as appear in the eyes of men like images of charity, imagine and believe that they have been practising works of charity, and regard them, as many do papal indulgences, as things, for the sake of which they are purified from their sins, and are to be presented with the kingdom of heaven, like the truly regenerate; when nevertheless they make light of adultery, hatred, revenge, fraud, and in general all the lusts of the flesh, which they indulge in at pleasure. But in such a case, what are their good works, but like painted images of angels in company with devils? or like boxes made of lapis lazuli, that within are full of hydras? The case however is changed, where those eleemosynary acts are done by persons, who shun the abovementioned evils as abominable and detestable in the sight of charity. Nevertheless such acts, particularly the giving of alms to poor persons and beggars, have in many respects their uses and advantages; for it is by these acts that young people of both sexes, men-servants and maid-servants, and, in general, all persons of simple character and condition, are