Charity and Good Works (pt. 45)
v Doctrinal Series v
Moral life, when it is also spiritual, is a life of charity, because the practices of a moral life and of charity are the same; for charity is willing rightly towards the neighbor, and consequently acting rightly towards him; and this is also moral life. The spiritual law is this law of the Lord:
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets (Matt. 7:12).
This same law is the universal law of moral life. But to recount all the works of charity, and to compare them with the works of moral life, would fill many pages; let the six commandments of the second table of the Decalogue serve for illustration. It is evident to everyone that these are precepts of moral life. That they include everything relating to love to the neighbor… That charity is the fulfilling of all these precepts, is evident from the following in Paul:
Love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Charity worketh no ill to his neighbor; charity is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 13:8-10).
He who thinks from the external man only, cannot but wonder that the seven commandments of the second table were promulgated by Jehovah on Mount Sinai with so great a miracle; when yet these same precepts, in all the kingdoms of the world, consequently also in Egypt whence the children of Israel had lately come, were the precepts of the law of civil justice, for without them no kingdom can continue to exist. But they were promulgated by Jehovah, and were, moreover, written by His finger on tables of stone, in order that they might be not only the precepts of civil society, and therefore of natural-moral life, but also the precepts of heavenly society, and therefore of spiritual-moral life; so that acting contrary to them would be not only acting in opposition to men, but also to God.
To be continued . . .