Thursday, January 10, 2008

Justice and Judgment Needed for True Charity

Rev. Mac Frazier discusses good works. He writes,
When doing good works, it is important that we do them justly and from good judgment.
He then quotes True Christian Religion 459:13-17, a great memorable relation in which people discuss what charity is. When the people are done giving their opinions Swedenborg asks for the chance to speak. He discusses some great examples of good works done without judgment and justice and then concludes,
[Charity] is morality with faith breathed into it, piety with pity breathed into it, doing good to the upright and to the wicked, looking after one's relatives and friends in every way, giving to the poor and helping the needy, building hospitals and supporting them with gifts, endowing places of worship and doing kindnesses to their ministers, that it is the Christian brotherhood of old, or forgiving everyone his faults - all of these are splendid examples of charity, when they are done out of a love of justice combined with judgment. Otherwise they are not charity, but only like watercourses cut off from the spring that feeds them, and like branches torn from a tree. True charity consists in believing in the Lord, and acting fairly and righteously in every deed and employment. Anyone therefore who at the Lord's bidding loves justice and executes it with judgment is an image and likeness of charity.

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