Charity (Coulson) n. 8

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8. 5. Consequently the "first" of charity is to look to the Lord and shun evils because they are sins.

Every good which a man does to the neighbour for the sake of the neighbour, or for the sake of truth and good, thus for the sake of what is in accordance with the Word, or for the sake of religion, thus for the sake of God, which therefore is from a spiritual love or affection, is called a good of charity, or a good work. This is not good in so far as it derives [anything] from the man, but is good in so far as it is from the Lord* through the man. The Lord does good to everyone, chiefly through others, but yet so that a man scarcely knows otherwise than that it is from himself; and therefore He quite often moves the wicked to do good to others, but from an affection of the love of self and of the world. This good is indeed of the Lord or from the Lord, but the man is not on that account rewarded. But a man is rewarded if he does good, not from a merely natural love or affection, but from a spiritual love or affection. The reward is the heavenly delight of that love and affection, which awaits him in eternity; and this in so far as he does not do it from himself, that is, in so far as he believes that all good is from the Lord, and does not place merit in it. * The Latin original has ex homine (from the man), but the context demands ex Domino (from the Lord).

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