Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/309

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

It was said that in so far as a man shuns evils he desires to do good; the reason is that evils and goods are opposites, for evils are from hell and goods from heaven. So far therefore as hell, that is evil, is removed heaven draws near and the man looks to good. That it is so is very manifest from the above eight commandments of the decalogue thus viewed. Thus, I. In so far as any one does not worship other gods, in so far he worships the true God. II. In so far as any one does not take the name of God in vain, in so far he loves the things which are from God. III. In so far as any one is not willing to kill, and to act from hatred and revenge, in so far he wishes well to the neighbour. IV. In so far as any one is not willing to commit adultery, in so far he desires to live chastely with a wife. V. In so far as any one is not willing to steal, in so far he practises sincerity. VI. In so far as any one is not willing to bear false witness, in so far he is willing to think and speak the truth. VII. and VIII. In so far as any one does not covet the things that are the neighbour's, in so far he is willing that the neighbour should enjoy his own. Hence it is evident that the commandments of the decalogue contain all things which are of love to God, and of love towards the neighbour. Therefore Paul says, "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 comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighhour as thyself. Charity worketh no evil to the neighbour; therefore charity is the fulfilment of the law" (Rom. xiii. 8-10). (T. C. R n. 329, 330.)

Offending in One Commandment Offending in All.

It is affirmed that no one can fulfil the law, and the less because he who offends against one commandment of the decalogue offends against all. But this form of speech is not just as it sounds. For it is to be understood in this manner; that he who of purpose or determination acts contrary to one commandment, acts contrary to the rest; since to act from purpose and determination is entirely to deny that it is a sin, and if he is told that it is sin, to reject the admonition as of no moment. He who thus denies, and makes a sin a matter of no concern, makes light of everything that is called sin. (T. C. R. a 523.)