True Christian Religion (Ager) n. 412

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412. IV. THE COLLECTIVE MAN, THAT IS, A COMMUNITY SMALLER OR GREATER, AND THE COMPOSITE MAN FORMED OF COMMUNITIES, THAT IS, ONE'S COUNTRY, IS THE NEIGHBOR THAT IS TO BE LOVED. Those who do not know what the term neighbor means in its true sense, suppose that it means nothing else than the individual man, and that loving the neighbor means conferring benefits upon him. But the neighbor and love to him have a wider meaning and a higher meaning as individuals are multiplied. Who cannot understand that loving many men in a body is loving the neighbor more than loving one individual of a body? Thus, a community smaller or greater is the neighbor because it is a collective man; and from this it follows that he who loves a community loves those of whom the community consists; therefore he who wills and acts rightly towards a community consults the good of each individual. A community is like a single man; and those who enter into it form as it were one body, and are distinct from each other like the members of one body. When the Lord and the angels from Him look down upon the earth, they see an entire community just like a single man, with a form according to the qualities of those in it. It has been granted me to see a certain community in heaven precisely as a single man, in stature like that of a man in the world. [2] That love towards a community is a fuller love to the neighbor than love towards a separate or individual man, is obvious from this, that dignities are measured out according to the kind of administration over communities, and honors are attached to offices according to the uses they promote. For in the world there are higher and lower offices subordinated according to their more or less universal government over communities; and the king is he whose government is the most universal; and each one has remuneration, glory, and the general love according to the extent of his duties, and the goods of use which he promotes. [3] Nevertheless, the rulers of this age can perform uses and consult the good of society, and not love the neighbor; as those do who perform uses and consult the good of others with reference to the world or to self, or for the sake of appearances, or that they may be thought worthy to be elevated to higher dignities. But although the character of such is not discerned in the world, it is discerned in heaven; and in consequence those who have promoted uses from love to the neighbor, are the ones placed as rulers over heavenly communities, and there enjoy splendor and honor; and yet such do not set their hearts upon these things, but upon uses. But the others, who have performed uses from love of the world and of self, are rejected.

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