The Third Round: Charity from a Logopraxis perspective (3 mins)


The sections in their order:-

I. The first of charity is to look to the Lord and shun evils as sins.

II. The second of charity is to do uses to the neighbour.

III. The neighbour to whom uses are to be done, in the natural sense, is the fellow-citizen, society less and greater, one’s own country, and the human race. There are spiritual uses and there are civil uses.

IV. Uses to the neighbour ought to be done according to his spiritual good, and thence his moral, civil, and natural good; consequently, the neighbour that is to be loved, in the spiritual sense, is good.

V. Every one loves the neighbour from the good of charity in himself; consequently, the quality of one’s charity is like that of the charity which he himself is.

VI. Man is born that he may become charity; but he cannot become this unless he perpetually wills and does the good of charity from affection and its delight.

VII. Every man who looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, if he sincerely, justly, and faithfully performs the work that belongs to his office and employment, becomes charity in form.

VIII. The signs of charity are all things that pertain to worship.

IX. The benefactions of charity are all the goods that a man who is charity does, freely, outside of his calling.

X. The obligations of charity are all things that a man ought to do besides those above mentioned.

XI. There are diversions of charity, which are the various delights and pleasures of the bodily senses, useful for mental recreation.

XII. Charity and faith make one. There is no church where there is no truth of faith; and no religion where there is no good of charity.

[The following notes are on the margin of the M.S.]:-

Appendix:- Concerning the lot after death of those who are in faith separated from charity.

The sins should be enumerated of which a man is not conscious if he does not examine himself, but either confirms them in himself, or does not regard them as sins, and so continually does them, from hereditary [inclination], on account of their delights,-from the Decalogue, and from reason; which [sins] might be enumerated to the number of fifty or a hundred, civil as well as spiritual, etc.

On the benefactions of charity

Charity 185. (IV.) No one is saved through these benefactions, but through the Charity from which they are done, and which is therefore in those benefactions. These benefactions are outside of a man, but charity is within him; and everyone is saved according to the quality of good or charity in him.After death, very many, who in the world thought about their salvation, when they see that they are alive, and hear that there is a heaven and a hell, protest that they have done goods, have given to the poor, assisted the needy, made some offerings to pious uses. But it is said to them, “From what source have you done these things? Have you shunned evils as sins? Have you thought about them?” Some answer that they have had faith. But it is replied, “If you have not thought within you of evils as sins, how can you have faith? Faith and evil do not conjoin themselves together.” Inquiry is therefore made respecting a man’s life in his calling; whether he has performed the uses of his calling for the sake of reputation, honor, and gain, as his chief goods, and thus for himself; or whether he has done them for the sake of the neighbour. Many say they have not thus distinguished them. It is answered, “If you have looked to God and shunned evils as sins, then these two have of themselves become distinct, for the Lord distinguishes them.” And as far as they have not done this, they have acted from evil and not from good. In the spiritual world the very affection of each one is communicated, and its quality is shown; and such as he is as to affection, such are all the things that proceed from him. In this way he is led to the society where his affection is.

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.


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Liz Coggins
Liz Coggins
3 months ago

Thank you David