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Charity: The Classes of the Neighbour
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Charity: A Study of the Classes of the Neighbour Understood in the Light of the Heavenly Doctrine for the New Church.
by Rev. Richard Keyworth.
From the Introduction
Charity, broadly speaking, falls into two categories when viewed in the light of application. There is firstly, natural charity which affects other people bodily. It will to some extent form the individual, who practices such charity, into a charity himself but does not necessarily and possibly rarely have the same effect upon the recipient. Spiritual Charity however, looks to fostering or encouraging the good, personally and abstractly. It regards primarily the soul and its salvation.
As the doctrine of charity is so extensive, therefore the ancients among whom the doctrine constituted the very doctrine of the Church, it distinguished the goods of charity towards the neighbour (that is all persons who are in good) into several classes. These they again subdivided; and they gave names to each class, and taught how charity was to be practiced towards those who were in one class; and thus they reduced the doctrine of charity and the exercise of charity into order that they might be presented distinctly to the understanding. New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #7