January 24, 2016

This Do, and Thou Shalt Live

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him,
Go, and do thou likewise.
(Luke 10:25-37)
From Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The conjunction of the Lord with man and the reciprocal conjunction of man with the Lord is effected by loving the neighbor as oneself and loving the Lord above all things. To love the neighbor as oneself consists solely in not acting insincerely or unjustly towards him, not holding him in hatred or burning with revenge against him, not reviling or defaming him, not committing adultery with his wife, and not doing other like things against him. Who cannot see that those who do such things do not love the neighbor as themselves? But those who do not do such things for the reason that they are evils against the neighbor and also sins against the Lord, act sincerely, justly, kindly, and faithfully in relation to the neighbor; and as the Lord does likewise, a reciprocal conjunction is effected. And when there is reciprocal conjunction, whatever a man does to the neighbor he does from the Lord; and whatever he does from the Lord is good. Then it is not the person but the good in the person that is the neighbor to him. To love the Lord above all things consists solely in doing no evil to the Word for the reason that the Lord is in the Word, or to the holy things of the church for the reason that the Lord is in the holy things of the church, or to the soul of any one, for the reason that every one's soul is in the Lord's hand. Those who shun these evils as monstrous sins love the Lord above all things. But this none can do except those who love the neighbor as themselves, for the two are joined together.
(Divine Providence 94)