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Divine Providence, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1764], tr. by William Frederic Wunsch [1851] at

Divine Providence


But something should be said here on how the internal man is reformed and by it the external. The internal man is not reformed solely by knowing, understanding and being wise, consequently not by thinking only; but by willing what these teach. When a person knows, understands and has the wisdom to see that heaven and hell exist and that all evil is from hell and all good from heaven, and if he then does not will evil because it is from hell but good because it is from heaven, he has taken the first step in reformation and is on the threshold from hell to heaven. When he advances farther and resolves to desist from evils, he is at the second step in reformation and is out of hell but not yet in heaven; this he beholds above him. There must be this internal for man to be reformed, but he is not reformed unless the external is reformed as well as the internal. The external is reformed by the internal when the external desists from the evils which the internal sets its will against because they are infernal, and still further reformed when the external shuns and fights against the evils. Thus the internal provides the will, the external the deed. For unless a man does the deed he wills, inwardly he does not will it, and finally he wills not to do it.

[2] One can see from these few considerations how the external man is reformed by the internal. This is also meant by the Lord's words to Peter:

Jesus said, If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me. Peter said to Him, not my feet only but my hands and head. Jesus said to him, he who has been washed has no need except to have his feet washed, and is entirely clean (Jn 13:8-10).

By "washing" spiritual washing is meant, which is purification from evils; by "washing head and hands" purifying the internal man is meant, and by "washing the feet" purifying the external. That when the internal man has been purified, the external must be, is meant by this: "He who has been washed has no need except to have his feet washed." That all purification from evils is the Lord's doing, is meant by this, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." We have shown in many places in _Arcana Caelestia_ that with the Jews washing represented purification from evils, that this is signified by "washing" in the Word, and that purification of the natural or external man is signified by the "washing of feet."


Since man has an internal and an external and each must be reformed for the man to be reformed, and since no one can be reformed unless he examines himself, sees and admits his evils, and then quits them, not only the external is to be examined, but the internal as well. If a man examines only the external he sees only what he has committed to deed, and that he has not murdered or committed adultery or stolen or borne false witness, and so on. He examines bodily evils and not those in his spirit; yet evils of the spirit are to be examined if one is to be capable of reformation. Man lives as a spirit after death and all the evils in his spirit persist. The spirit is examined only when a man attends to his thoughts, above all to his intentions, for these are thoughts from the will. There the evils exist at their source and roots, that is, in their lusts and enjoyments. Unless they are seen and acknowledged, a man is still in evils though he may not have committed them outwardly. That to think with intention is to will and do, is plain from the Lord's words:

If any one has looked on another's woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt 5:28). 152-1

Such self-examination is of the internal man, and from it the external man is truly examined.


I have often marveled that although all Christendom knows that evils must be shunned as sins and otherwise are not forgiven, and that if they are not forgiven there is no salvation, yet scarcely one person among thousands understands this. Inquiry was made about this in the spiritual world, and it was found to be so. Anyone in Christendom knows it from the exhortations, read out to those who attend the Holy Supper, in which it is publicly stated; and yet when asked whether they know it, they reply that they do not know it and have not known it. The reason is that they have paid no attention to it, and most say they have thought only about faith and salvation by faith alone. I have also marveled that "faith alone" has closed their eyes so that those who have confirmed themselves in it do not see anything in the Word when they read it about love, charity and works. It is as though they spread "faith" all over the Word, as red lead is spread over writing so that nothing underneath shows; if anything does show, it is absorbed by faith and declared to be faith.



The appearance is that man is led and taught by himself; in reality he is led and taught by the Lord alone. Those who confirm the appearance in themselves and not the reality at the same time are unable to remove evils from themselves as sins, but those who confirm the appearance and at the same time the reality can do so; for evils are removed as sins apparently by the man, but really by the Lord. The latter can be reformed, but the former cannot.

[2] All who confirm the appearance in themselves and not the reality also, are idolaters inwardly, for they are worshipers of self and the world. If they have no religion they become worshipers of nature and thus atheists; if they have some religion they become worshipers of men and of images. Such are meant now in the first commandment of the Decalog under those who worship other gods. Those, however, who confirm in themselves the appearance and also the reality become worshipers of the Lord, for He raises them out of what is their own, in which the appearance is, conducts them into the light in which the reality is and which is the reality, and gives them to perceive inwardly that they are not led and taught by themselves but by Him.

[3] The rational capacity of the two may seem much the same to many, but it differs. In those who are at once in the appearance and the reality, it is a spiritual reasoning ability, but in those in the appearance but not at the same time in the reality it is a natural reasoning ability; this can be likened to a garden in winter light, and the spiritual reasoning capacity to a garden in springtime light. But If these things more in what follows, in this order:

i. Man is led and taught by the Lord alone. ii. He is led and taught by the Lord alone through and from the angelic heaven. iii. He is led by the Lord through influx and taught through enlightenment. iv. Man is taught by the Lord through the Word and doctrine and preaching from it, thus immediately by Him alone. v. Man is led and taught in externals by the Lord to all appearance as of himself.


(i) _Man is led and taught by the Lord alone._ This flows as a general consequence from all that was demonstrated in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom;_ from what was said in Part I about the Lord's divine love and wisdom; in Part II about the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the natural world; in Part III about degrees; in Part IV about the creation of the universe; and in Part V about the creation of the human being.


Man is led and taught by the Lord alone in that he lives from the Lord alone; for his life's will is led, and his life's understanding is taught. But this is contrary to the appearance, for it seems to man that he lives of himself, and yet the truth is that he lives from the Lord and not from himself. Man cannot, however, be given a sense-perception of this while he is in the world (the appearance that he lives of himself is not taken away, for without it man is not man). This must be established by reasons, therefore, which are then to be confirmed from experience and finally from the Word.


That the human being has life from the Lord alone and not of himself is established by these considerations: 1. There is an only essence, substance and form from which all the essences, substances, and forms exist that have been created. 2. The one essence, substance and form is divine love and wisdom from which is all that is referable to love and wisdom in man. 3. It is also good itself and truth itself to which all things are referable. 4. Likewise it is life, from which is the life of all and all things of life. 5. Again the only One and very Self is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. 6. This only One and very Self is the Lord-from-eternity or Jehovah.

[2] 1. _There is an only essence, substance and form from which all the essences, substances, and forms exist that have been created._ This was demonstrated in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_ (nn.44-46). In Part II it was shown that the sun of the angelic heaven, which is from the Lord and in which He is, is the one sole substance and form from which all that has been created exists, also that nothing can exist or come into existence except from it. In Part III it was shown that all things arise from that sun by derivations according to degrees.

[3] Who does not perceive by the reason and acknowledge that there is some one essence from which is all essence, or one being from which is all being? What can exist apart from being, and what can being be from which is all other being except being itself? Being itself is also unique and is being in itself. Since this is so (and anyone perceives and acknowledges it by reason, or if not, can do so), what else follows than that this Being, the Divine itself, Jehovah, is all in all in what is or comes to be?

[4] It is the same if we say there is an only substance from which all things are, and as there is no substance without form there is a single form from which all things are. We have shown in the treatise mentioned above that the sun of the angelic heaven is that substance and form, also shown how that essence, substance and form is varied in things created.

[5] 2. _The one essence, substance and form is divine love and wisdom from which is all that is referable to love and wisdom in man._ This also was fully demonstrated in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom._ Whatever appears to live in man is referable to will and understanding in him; any-one can perceive by the reason and acknowledge that these two constitute his life. What else is "This I will," or "This I understand," or "I love this," or "I think this"? And as man wills what he loves, and thinks what he understands, all things of the will relate to love and those of the understanding to wisdom. As no one has love or wisdom from himself but only from Him who is love itself and wisdom itself, they are from the Lord-from-eternity or Jehovah. If they were not, man would be love itself and wisdom itself, thus God-from-eternity, at which the human reason itself is horrified. Can anything exist except from a prior self? Or the prior self exist except from one prior to it? And finally from a first or from underived being?

[6] 3. _It is also good itself and truth itself, to which all things are referable._ Everyone possessed of reason agrees and acknowledges that God is good itself and truth itself, likewise that all good and truth are from Him, therefore that any good and truth can come only from good itself and truth itself. All this is acknowledged by every rational person when he first hears it. When it is said, then, that everything of the will and understanding, of love and wisdom, or of affection and thought in a man who is led by the Lord relates to good and truth, it follows that all that such a man wills and understands or loves and has for his wisdom, or is affected by and thinks, is from the Lord. Hence anyone in the church knows that whatever good and truth a man has in himself is not good and truth except as it is from the Lord. Since this is true, all that such a man wills and thinks is from the Lord. It will be seen in following numbers that an evil man can will and think from no other source.

[7] 4. _The one essence, substance and form is likewise life, from which is the life of all and all things of life._ This we have shown in many places in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom._ At the first hearing the human reason also agrees and acknowledges that all man's life is that of the will and understanding, for if these are taken away he ceases to live, or what is the same, that all his life is one of love and thought, for if these are taken away he does not live. Inasmuch as all of the will and understanding or all of love and thought in man is from the Lord, all of his life, as we said above, is from Him.

[8] 5. _This only One and very Self is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent._ This also every Christian acknowledges from his doctrine and every gentile from his religion. In consequence, wherever he is, a man thinks that God is there and that he prays to God at hand; thinking and praying so, men cannot but think that God is everywhere, that is, omnipresent; likewise omniscient and omnipotent. Everyone praying to God, therefore, implores Him from the heart to lead him because He can lead him; thus he acknowledges the divine omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence, doing so in turning his face to the Lord; thereupon the truth flows in from the Lord.

[9] 6. This only One and very Self is the Lord-from-eternity or Jehovah. In Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord it was shown that God is one in essence and in person and that He is the Lord, and that the Divine itself, called Jehovah Father, is the Lord-from-eternity; that the Divine Human is the Son conceived by His Divine from eternity and born in the world; and that the proceeding Divine is the Holy Spirit. He is called "very Self" and "only One" because, as was said, the Lord-from-eternity or Jehovah is life itself, being love itself and wisdom itself or good itself and truth itself, from which are all things. That the Lord created all things from Himself and not from nothing may be seen in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_ nn. 282-284, 349-357. So the truth that the human being is led and taught by the Lord alone is established by reasons.


This same truth is established in angels not only by reasons but also by living perceptions, especially with angels of the third heaven. They perceive the influx of divine love and wisdom from the Lord. Perceiving it and in their wisdom aware that love and wisdom are life, they declare that they live from the Lord and not of themselves, and not only say so but love and will it so. Yet they are in the full appearance that they live of themselves, yes, more strongly in the appearance than other angels. For as was shown above (nn. 42-45) the more nearly one is united with the Lord, the more distinctly does he seem to himself to be his own, and the more plainly is he aware that he is the Lord's. For many years now it has been granted me to be in a similar simultaneous perception and appearance, and I am fully convinced that I will and think nothing from myself but that it only appears to be from myself; it has also been granted to love and will it so. The same truth may be established by much else from the spiritual world, but these two references must suffice now.


It is plain from the following passages in the Word that life is the Lord's alone.

I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, shall live (Jn 11:25).

I am the way and the truth and the life (Jn 14:6).

The Word was God . . . and in Him was life; and the life was the light of men (Jn 1:1, 4).

"The Word" in this passage is the Lord.

As the Father has life in Himself, so has he given the Son to have life in Himself (Jn 5:26).

From the following it is clear that man is led and taught by the Lord alone:

Without Me you can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

A man cannot receive anything unless it is given him from heaven (Jn 3:27).

A man cannot make one hair white or black (Mt 5:36).

By "hair" in the Word the least of all is signified.


It will be shown in what follows in an article of its own that the life of the wicked has the same source; now this will merely be illustrated by a comparison. Heat and light flow in from the sun of the world alike to trees bearing bad fruit and to trees bearing good fruit, and they are alike quickened and grow. The forms into which the heat flows make the difference, not the heat in itself. It is the same with light, which is turned into various colors according to the forms into which it flows. The colors are beautiful and gay or ugly and sombre, and yet it is the same light. It is so with the influx of spiritual heat which in itself is love, and with spiritual light which in itself is wisdom, from the sun of the spiritual world. The forms into which they flow cause diversity, but not in itself that heat which is love or that light which is wisdom. The forms into which these flow are human minds. It is clear from these considerations that man is led and taught by the Lord alone.


What the life of animals is, however, was shown above (nn. 74, 96), namely that it is a life of merely natural affection with its attendant knowledge, and a mediated life corresponding to the life of human beings in the spiritual world.


(ii) _Man is led and taught by the Lord alone through the angelic heaven and from it._ We say "through" the angelic heaven and from it, but that He does so "through" the angelic heaven is the apparent fact, while "from it" is the reality. The Lord seems to lead and teach through the angelic heaven because He appears above that heaven as a sun, but the reality is that He does so from heaven because He is in heaven as the soul is in man. For the Lord is omnipresent and not in space, as was shown above. Therefore distance is an appearance according to conjunction with Him, and the conjunction is according to the reception of love and wisdom from Him. Since no one can be conjoined to the Lord as He exists in Himself He appears to angels at a distance as a sun; nevertheless He is in the angelic heaven as the soul is in man. He is similarly in every society of heaven and in every angel, for man's soul is not only the soul of man as a whole but also of every part of him.

[2] It is according to the appearance that the Lord governs all heaven and through it the world from the sun which is from Him and in which He is (about the sun see Part II of the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_), and everyone is allowed to speak according to the appearance, cannot, in fact, do otherwise. Everyone who is not in wisdom itself is also allowed to think that the Lord rules each and all things from His sun and rules the world through the angelic heaven. Angels of the lower heavens think from the appearance, but those of the higher heavens speak indeed in keeping with the appearance but think from the reality, namely, that the Lord rules the universe from the angelic heaven, that is, from Himself.

[3] One can illustrate by the sun of the world that simple and wise speak alike but do not think alike. All speak from the appearance that the sun rises and sets. Despite speaking so the wise think it stands still, which is again the reality, as the other is the appearance. The same thing can be illustrated from appearances in the spiritual world, for space and distance appear there but are dissimilarities of affections and of resulting thoughts. The same is true of the Lord's appearing in His sun.


We shall say briefly how the Lord leads and teaches everyone from the angelic heaven. In the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_ and above in the present treatise, also in the work _Heaven and Hell,_ published in London in the year 1758, it has been made known from things seen and heard that the angelic heaven appears before the Lord as one man, and each society of heaven likewise, and it is from this that each angel or spirit is a human being in complete form. It was also shown in the treatises mentioned that heaven is not heaven from anything belonging to the angels but from their reception of divine love and wisdom from the Lord. Hence it may be evident that the Lord rules the whole angelic heaven as one man, and since heaven is itself man, it is the very image and likeness of the Lord and the Lord rules it as the soul rules its body. Since all mankind is ruled by the Lord, it is ruled by the Lord not through heaven, but from heaven, consequently by Him, for He is heaven, as we have said.


This is an arcanum of angelic wisdom, however, and therefore cannot be comprehended by man unless his spiritual mind has been opened; for such a man, who is united with the Lord, is an angel. From what has preceded he can comprehend the following:

1. Men as well as angels are in the Lord and the Lord in them according to their conjunction with Him, or, what is the same, according to their reception of love and wisdom from Him. 2. Each of them has a place allotted to him in the Lord, thus in heaven, according to the nature of the conjunction or the reception of Him. 3. Each in his place has a state of his own distinct from that of others and draws his portion from what is had in common according to his situation, function and need, quite as each part does in the human body. 4. Everyone is brought into his place by the Lord according to his life. 5. Every human being is introduced from infancy into this divine man whose soul and life is the Lord, and within it and not outside of it is led and taught from His divine love according to His divine wisdom; but as a man is not deprived of freedom, he can be led and taught only in the measure of his receptiveness as of himself. 6. Those who are receptive are conducted to their places through an infinite maze by winding paths, much as the chyle is carried through the mesentery and the lacteal vessels there to its cistern, and from this into the blood by the thoracic duct, and so to its place. 7. Those who are not receptive are parted from those within the divine man, as excrement and urine are removed from man.

These are arcana of angelic wisdom which man can comprehend to some extent; there are many more which he cannot.


(iii) _Man is led by the Lord through influx and taught through enlightenment._ Man is led through influx by the Lord because "being led" and "flowing in" are spoken of love and the will; and he is taught by the Lord through enlightenment because "being taught" and "enlightened" are spoken of wisdom and the understanding. It is known that every person is led by himself from his own love and according to it by others, and not by his understanding. He is led by his understanding and according to it only as his love or his will prompts the understanding, and then it can be said that his understanding is led also. Even then the understanding is not led, but the will which prompts it.

The term "influx" is used because it is commonly said that the soul flows into the body; influx is spiritual and not physical, as we showed above, and man's soul or life is his love or will. For another reason, influx is comparatively like the flow of the blood into the heart and from the heart into the lungs. We showed in the treatise Divine Love and Wisdom that the heart corresponds to the will and the lungs correspond to the understanding, and that the conjunction of the will with the understanding is like the flowing of the blood from the heart to the lungs.


Man is taught, however, through enlightenment; being taught and being enlightened are said of the understanding. For the understanding or man's internal sight is enlightened by spiritual light quite as the eye or man's external sight is by natural light. The two are also taught similarly; the internal sight, however, which is that of the understanding, by spiritual objects, and the external sight or the sight of the eye by natural objects. There is spiritual light and natural light, one like the other in outward appearance, but dissimilar in internal appearance. For natural light comes from the sun of the natural world and so is in itself dead, but spiritual light, which is from the sun of the spiritual world, is in itself living. This light, not nature's, enlightens the human intellect. Natural and rational light comes from it and not from nature's light, and is here called natural and rational because it is spiritual-natural.

[2] There are three degrees of light in the spiritual world: celestial, spiritual and spiritual-natural. Celestial light is a flaming, ruddy light and is the light of those who are in the third heaven; spiritual light is a gleaming white light and is the light of those in the middle heaven; and spiritual-natural light is like daylight in our world. This is the light of those who are in the lowest heaven and of those in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell; with the good in that world it is like the light of summer on earth and with the evil like winter's light.

It should be known, however, that light in the spiritual world has nothing in common with light in the natural world; they are as different as what is living and what is lifeless. It is plain, then, from what has been said that it is spiritual light and not the natural light before our eyes that enlightens the understanding. Man does not know this, not having known anything hitherto about spiritual light. In the work _Heaven and Hell_ we have shown (nn. 126-140) that spiritual light has its origin in divine wisdom and truth.


Having spoken about the light of heaven, we should say something about the light of hell. This also is of three degrees. The light in the lowest hell is like that from fiery coals; in the middle hell like that from the flame of a hearth; and in the highest hell like that from candles and to some like moonlight at night. All this is spiritual light and not natural, for all natural light is dead and extinguishes the understanding. As has been shown, those in hell possess the faculty of understanding called rationality; rationality itself comes from spiritual light and not from natural light. The spiritual light which they have in rationality is turned, however, into infernal light, as the light of day is into the dark of night.

[2] Nevertheless, all those in the spiritual world, whether in the heavens or the hells, see in their own light as clearly as man sees in his by day. This is because everyone's eyesight is formed to receive the light in which it finds itself. Thus the eyesight of the angels of heaven is formed to receive the light in which they see, and the sight of the spirits of hell is formed to receive their light; this is comparatively like that of birds of night and bats, which see objects at night and in the evening as clearly as other birds see them by day, for their eyes are formed to receive their light.

[3] The difference between the one light and the other appears very clearly, however, to those who look from one to the other. When, for instance, an angel of heaven looks into hell he sees only thick darkness, and when a spirit of hell looks into heaven he sees only thick darkness there. For heavenly wisdom is like thick darkness to those in hell; in turn, infernal insanity is like thick darkness to those in heaven. It is plain from all this that such as a man's understanding is, such is the light he has, and that after death everyone comes into his own light, for he sees in no other. In the spiritual world, moreover, where all are spiritual even to the body, the eyes of all are formed to see by their own light. Everyone's life-love fashions an understanding for itself and thus a light, also, for love is like the fire of life and from this comes the light of life.


As few know anything about the enlightenment in which the understanding of a man is who is taught by the Lord, something will be said of it. There is inner and outer enlightenment from the Lord, and inner and outer enlightenment from oneself. Inner enlightenment from the Lord consists in man's perceiving on first hearing something whether it is true or not; outer enlightenment consists in thought from this. Inner enlightenment from oneself is simply from confirmation and outer enlightenment merely from information. We will say something of each.

[2] By inner enlightenment from the Lord a rational person perceives about many things the moment he hears them whether they are true or not; for example, that love is the life of faith or that faith lives by love. By interior enlightenment a person also perceives that a man wills what he loves and does what he wills, consequently that to love is to do; again, that a man wills and does whatever he believes from love, and therefore to have faith is also to do; and that the impious man cannot have love for God or faith then in Him. By inner enlightenment a rational man also perceives the following truths at once on hearing them: God is one; He is omnipresent; all good is from Him; all things have relation to good and truth; all good is from good itself and all truth from truth itself. A man perceives these and other similar truths inwardly in himself on hearing them and does so because he possesses a rationality which is in heaven's enlightening light.

[3] Outer enlightenment is enlightenment of one's thought from this inner enlightenment. One's thought is in this enlightenment so far as it remains in the perception it has from inner enlightenment and so far as it possesses knowledge of good and truth, for it gets from this knowledge reasons confirming it. Thought from outer enlightenment sees a matter on both sides; on the one, it sees reasons which confirm it, and on the other, the appearances that weaken it; it dispels these and assembles the reasons.

[4] Inner enlightenment from oneself, however, is quite different. By it one regards a matter on one side only, and having confirmed it sees it in light apparently like that just spoken of, but it is a wintry light. For example, a judge who judges unjustly in view of gifts or gain, once he has confirmed the judgment by law and reason sees in it nothing but justice. Some judges see the injustice but not wanting to see it, they keep it out of sight and blind themselves and so do not see. The same is true of a judge who renders judgments out of friendship, or to gain favor, or on account of relationship.

[5] Such persons act in the same way in anything they have from a man in authority or from the mouth of a celebrity or have hatched from self-intelligence; they are blind reasoners, for they see from the falsities which they confirm; falsity closes the sight, just as truth opens it. They do not see any truth in the light of truth nor justice from a love for it but from the light of confirmation, which is an illusory light. They appear in the spiritual world like headless faces or like faces resembling human faces on wooden heads, and are called reasoning animals for rationality is potential in them. Those have outer enlightenment from themselves who think and speak solely from information impressed on the memory; of themselves they can hardly confirm anything.


Such are the differences in enlightenment and consequently in perception and thought. There is actual enlightenment by spiritual light, but it is not manifest to one in the natural world because natural light has nothing in common with spiritual light. This enlightenment has sometimes been manifested to me in the spiritual world, however, visible in those enlightened by the Lord as a luminosity around the head, aglow with the color of the human face. With those in enlightenment from themselves the luminosity was not around the head but around the mouth and over the chin.


Besides these kinds of enlightenment there is another in which it is revealed to one in what faith, intelligence and wisdom he is; he perceives this in himself, such is the revelation. He is admitted into a society where there is genuine faith and true intelligence and wisdom. There his interior rationality is opened, from which he sees the nature of his own faith, intelligence and wisdom, even to avowing it. I have seen some as they returned and heard them confessing that they had no faith although in the world they had believed they had much faith and markedly more than others; they said the same of their intelligence and wisdom. Some were in faith alone and in no charity, and some in self-intelligence.


(iv) _Man is taught by the Lord through the Word and doctrine and preaching from it, thus immediately by the Lord alone._ We said and showed above that man is led and taught by the Lord alone, and from heaven but not through heaven or any angel there. As it is by the Lord alone, it is done immediately and not mediately. How this takes place will be told now.


It was shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture_ that the Lord is the Word and that all the doctrine of the church is to be drawn from the Word. Inasmuch as the Lord is the Word the man who is taught from the Word is taught by the Lord alone. This is comprehended with difficulty and will be clarified in this order:

1. The Lord is the Word because the Word is from Him and about Him. 2. Also because the Word is divine truth together with divine good. 3. To be taught from the Word is to be taught from Him, therefore. 4. That this is done mediately through preaching does not take away its immediacy.

[2] First: _The Lord is the Word because it is from Him and about Him._ No one in the church denies that the Word is from the Lord, but that it is about Him alone, while not denied, is not known. This was shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord,_ nn. 1-7, 37-44, and in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture,_ nn. 62-69, 80-90, 98-100. Inasmuch as the Word is from the Lord alone and treats of Him alone, a man is taught by the Lord when he is taught from the Word, for it is the divine Word. Who can communicate what is divine and implant it in the heart except the Divine Himself from whom it is and of whom it treats? Therefore, in speaking of His union with His disciples He says that they are to abide in Him and His words in them (Jn 15:7 ), that His words are spirit and life (Jn 6:63), and that He makes His abode with those who keep His words (Jn 14:20-24). To think from the Lord therefore is to think from the Word, and as it were, through the Word. It was shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture_ from beginning to end that all things of the Word have communication with heaven, and as the Lord is heaven, this means that all things of the Word have communication with the Lord Himself. The angels of heaven indeed have communication; this, too, is from the Lord.

[3] Second: _The Lord is the Word because it is divine truth together with divine good._ The Lord teaches that He is the Word by these words in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (1:1, 14).

This passage has been understood hitherto to mean only that God teaches men through the Word and has been explained as an hyperbole, with the implication that the Lord is not the Word itself. This is because expositors did not know that the Word is divine truth together with divine good or, what is the same, divine wisdom together with divine love. That these are the Lord Himself was shown in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom,_ Part I, and that they are the Word in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture,_ nn. 1-86.

[4] We will say briefly in what way the Lord is divine truth together with divine good. Each human being is human not because of face and body but from the good of his love and the truths of his wisdom; and because a man is a man from these, he is also his own good and his own truth or his own love and his own wisdom; without these he is not a human being. But the Lord is good itself and truth itself or, what is the same, love itself and wisdom itself; and these are the Word which in the beginning was with God and was God and which was made flesh.

[5] Third: _To be taught from the Word, then, is to be taught by the Lord Himself._ For it means that one is taught from good itself and truth itself or from love itself and wisdom itself, and, as we have said, these are the Word. But everyone is taught according to an understanding agreeing with his love; what goes beyond this does not remain. All who are taught by the Lord in the Word are instructed in a few truths while in the world but in many when they become angels. For the interiors of the Word, which are divine spiritual and divine celestial, are implanted at the time, but are not consciously possessed until a man on his death is in heaven where he is in angelic wisdom which, compared with human wisdom, thus his earlier wisdom, is ineffable. That divine spiritual and divine celestial things which constitute angelic wisdom are present in each and all things of the Word see _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture,_ nn. 5-26.

[6] Fourth: _That this teaching is done mediately through preaching does not take away the immediacy._ Inevitably the Word is taught mediately by parents, teachers, preachers, books and particularly by reading. Still it is not taught by them but by the Lord through them. Preachers, aware of this, say that they speak not from themselves but from the spirit of God and that all truth like all good is from God. They can speak it and bring it to the understanding of many, but not to anyone's heart; and what is not in the heart passes away from the understanding; by "heart" a man's love is meant. From this it is plain that man is led and taught by the Lord alone and immediately by Him when he is taught from the Word. This is a supreme arcanum of angelic wisdom.


We have shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Sacred Scripture_ (nn. 104-113) that those outside the church who do not have the Word still have light by means of it. Man has light by means of the Word and from the light has understanding, and both the wicked and the good have understanding. It follows that from light in its origin there is light in its derivatives which are perceptions and thoughts on whatever subject. The Lord says that without Him men can do nothing (Jn 15:5); that a man can receive nothing unless it is given him from heaven (Jn 3:27); and that the Father in the heavens makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt 5:45). In the Word in its spiritual sense by "sun" here, as elsewhere, is meant the divine good of divine love and by "rain" the divine truth of divine wisdom. These are extended to the evil and the good, to the unjust and the just, for if they were not, no one would possess perception and thought. It was shown above that there is only one Life from which all have life. But perception and thought are part of life; they are therefore from the same fountain from which life springs. It has been shown many times before that all the light which forms the understanding is from the sun of the spiritual world, which is the Lord.


(v) _Man is led and taught in externals by the Lord to all appearance as of himself._ This is so of man's externals, but not inwardly. No one knows how the Lord leads and teaches man inwardly, just as no one knows how the soul operates so that the eye sees, the ear hears, the tongue and mouth speak, the heart circulates the blood, the lungs breathe, the stomach digests, the liver and the pancreas distribute, the kidneys secrete, and much else. These processes do not come to man's perception or sensation. The same is true of what the Lord does in the infinitely more numerous interior substances and forms of the mind. The Lord's activity in these is not apparent to man, but many of the effects are, as well as some of the causes producing the effects. It is in the externals that man and the Lord are together, and as the externals make one with the internals, cohering as they do in one series, no disposition can be made by the Lord except in keeping with the disposition made in the externals with man's participation.

[2] Everyone knows that man thinks, wills, speaks and acts to all appearance as of himself, and everyone can see that without this appearance man would have no will and understanding, thus no affection and thought, also no reception of any good and truth from the Lord. It follows that without this appearance there would be no rational conception of God, no charity and no faith, consequently no reformation and regeneration, and therefore no salvation. Plainly, this appearance is granted to man by the Lord for the sake of all these uses and particularly that he may have the power to receive and reciprocate so that the Lord may be united to him and he to the Lord, and that through this conjunction the human being may live forever. This is "appearance" as it is meant here.



The natural man who does not believe in divine providence thinks to himself, "What can divine providence be when the wicked are promoted to honors and gain wealth more than the good, and many such things go better with those who do not believe in divine providence than with the good who believe in it? Indeed, infidels and the impious can inflict injuries, loss, misfortune and sometimes death on the believing and pious, doing so, too, by cunning and malice." He thinks therefore, "Do I not see in full daylight, as it were, in actual experience that crafty schemes prevail over fidelity and justice if only a man can make them seem trustworthy and just by a clever artfulness? What is left except necessities, consequences and the fortuitous in which there is no semblance of divine providence? Does not nature have its necessities, and are not consequences causes arising from natural or civil order, while the fortuitous comes, does it not, from unknown causes or from none?" So the natural man thinks to himself who attributes all things to nature and nothing to God, for one who ascribes nothing to God ascribes nothing to divine providence either; God and divine providence make one.

[2] But the spiritual man speaks and thinks within himself quite otherwise. Although he does not perceive the course of divine providence by any thought or feel it from any sight of it, he still knows and acknowledges providence. Inasmuch as the appearances and resulting fallacies just mentioned have blinded the understanding, and this can receive sight only when the fallacies which have induced the blindness and the falsities which have induced the darkness are dispelled, and since this can be done only by truths which have the power to dispel falsities, these truths are to be disclosed, and for distinctness let it be in this order:

i. If man perceived or felt the activity of divine providence he would not act in freedom according to reason, nor would anything appear to be his own doing. It would be the same if he foreknew events. ii. If man saw divine providence plainly, he would inject himself into the order and tenor of its course, and pervert and destroy them. iii. If man beheld divine providence plainly he would either deny God or make himself god. iv. Man can see divine providence on the back and not in the face; also in a spiritual, not a natural state.


(i) _If man perceived or felt the activity of divine providence he would not act in freedom according to reason, nor would anything appear to be his own doing. It would be the same if he foreknew events._ In given articles we made evident to the understanding that it is a law of providence that man should act in freedom according to reason; also that all which a man wills, thinks, speaks and does shall seem to be his own doing; that without this appearance a man would have nothing of his own nor be his own man. He would thus have no selfhood and nothing could be imputed to him, and in that case whether he did good or evil would not matter, and whether he believed in God or was under the persuasion of hell would be immaterial; in a word, he would not be a human being.

[2] We have now to show that man would have no liberty to act according to reason and there would be no appearance of self-activity if he perceived or felt the activity of divine providence, for if he did he would also be led by it. The Lord leads all men by His divine providence and man only seemingly leads himself, as was shown above. If, therefore, man had a lively perception or sense of being led, he would not be conscious of living life and would be moved to make sounds and act much like a graven image. If he were still conscious of living he would be led like one bound in manacles and fetters or like a yoked animal. Who does not see that man would have no freedom then? And without freedom he would be without reason, for one thinks from and in freedom; whatever he does not so think seems to him to be not from himself but from someone else. Indeed if you consider this interiorly you will perceive that he would not possess thought, still less reason, and hence would not be a human being.


The Lord's divine providence is constantly seeking to withdraw man from evils. If a man perceived or felt this constant activity and yet was not led like one bound, would he not struggle against it continually and then either quarrel with God or mingle himself in divine providence? If he did the latter he would also make himself God; if he did the former he would free himself from constraint and deny God. Manifestly two forces would constantly be acting then against each other, the force of evil from man and the force of good from the Lord. When two opposites act against each other, one of them conquers or they both perish. In this instance if one conquers they both perish. For the evil, which is man's, does not let in good from the Lord in a moment, nor does good from the Lord cast out evil from man in a moment; if either was done in a moment no life would be left to man. These and many other harmful results would follow if man manifestly perceived or felt the operation of divine providence. This will be demonstrated clearly by examples in what follows.


Man is not given a foreknowledge of events for the same reason, namely, that he may be able to act in freedom according to reason. It is well known that man wants what he loves effected, and he guides himself to this end by reasoning. It is also known that what a man meditates in his reason comes from his love of giving it effect through thought. If, then, he knew the effect or the eventuality by divine prediction, his reason would become inactive and with it his love; for love along with reasoning ends with the effect, to begin anew. It is reason's very enjoyment to envision with love the effect in thought, not after it is attained but before it is, not in the present but as future. So man has what is called hope, which rises and declines in the reason as he beholds or awaits the event. The enjoyment is fulfilled in the event and then is forgotten along with thought about the event. The same thing would occur with an event that was foreknown.

[2] The human mind dwells always in the trine called end, cause and effect. If one of these is lacking, the mind is not possessed of its life. An affection of the will is the initiating end; the thought of the understanding is the efficient cause; and bodily action, utterance or external sensation is the effect from the end by means of the thought. Anyone sees that the human mind is not possessed of its life when it is only in an affection of the will and in naught besides, or when it is only in an effect. The mind has no life from one of these separately, therefore, but from the three together. The life of the mind would diminish and depart if an event were foretold.


As a foreknowledge of future events takes away humanness itself, which is action in freedom in accord with one's reason, no one is given to know the future; but everyone is allowed to form conclusions by the reason about the future; the reason is then fully in its own life. Accordingly man does not know his lot after death or know any event until he is on it. For if he knew, he would no longer think from his inner self how he should act or live so as to meet it, but would think only from his exterior self that he was meeting it. This state closes the interiors of his mind where the two faculties of his life, liberty and reason, especially reside. A desire to know the future is born with most persons but has its origin in a love of evil. It is taken away, therefore, from those who believe in divine providence; and trust that the Lord disposes their lot is given them. Therefore they do not desire to know it beforehand lest they inject themselves in some way into divine providence. The Lord teaches this in many sayings in Luke (12:14-48).

[2] Much from the world of the spirit can confirm that this is a law of divine providence. On entering that world after death most persons desire to know their lot. The answer they receive is that if they have lived well their lot is in heaven and if wickedly it is in hell. But as all, including the wicked, fear hell they ask what they should do and believe to get into heaven. They are answered that they are to do and believe as they will, but know that one does not do good or believe truth in hell, only in heaven. "As you can, seek what is good and true, thinking truth and doing good." Everyone is thus left to act in freedom according to reason in the spiritual world as he is in the natural world; but as one has acted in this world he acts in that, for everyone's life remains to him and so his lot awaits him, for this is his life's lot.


(ii) _If man saw divine providence plainly he would inject himself into the order and tenor of its course and pervert and destroy them._ To bring this distinctly to the perception of the rational man and also of the natural man, it will be illustrated by examples in this order:

1. External things are so connected with internal things that they make one in all that is done. 2. The human being joins the Lord only in some external things and if he did in internal things also, he would pervert and destroy the whole order and tenor of the course of divine providence.

As we said, these points will be illustrated by examples.

[2] First: _External things are so connected with internal things that they make one in all that is done._ Let this be illustrated by examples from several things in man's body. Everywhere in it are things external and internal. The external are called skins, membranes and coverings; the internal are forms variously composed and woven of nerve fibres and blood vessels. The covering over these enters into them by extensions from itself even to the inmost, so that the external or the covering unites with the internals or the organic forms of fibres and vessels. It follows that the internals act and are acted on as the external acts or is acted on. For they are all constantly bound up together.

[3] Take such a common covering in the body as the pleura, for example, which covers the chest cavity and the heart and lungs. Examine it in an anatomical view, or if you do not know anatomy consult anatomists, and you will learn that this general covering by various circumvolutions and finer and finer extensions from itself enters into the inmost parts of the lungs, even into the smallest bronchial branches and into the sacs themselves which are the beginnings of the lungs, not to mention its subsequent progress by the trachea into the larynx and toward the tongue. From this it is plain that there is a constant connection of the outmost with inmosts; the interiors from the inmosts on therefore act and are acted upon as the external acts or is acted on. For this reason when that outmost covering, the pleura, is congested, inflamed or ulcerated, the lungs labor from their inmost parts; if the disease grows worse, all action of the lungs ceases and the man dies.

[4] The same is true everywhere else in the body. For instance it is true of the peritoneum, the general covering of all the abdominal viscera, also of the coverings on such organs severally as the stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen, intestines, mesentery, kidneys, and the organs of generation in both sexes. Choose any one of these viscera, examine it yourself or consult those skilled in the science, and you will see or hear. Take the liver, for example; you will find there is a connection between the peritoneum and that organ and by its covering with its inmost parts. For the covering puts out constant extensions from itself and insertions towards the interiors and thus continues to inmosts and as a result the whole is bound together. The entire form acts or is acted upon in such manner as the covering acts or is acted upon. The same is true of the rest of the organs. For what is general and what is particular or the universal and the singular in a form act together by a marvelous connection.

[5] You will see below that what occurs in natural forms and their processes, which relate to motion and actions, occurs similarly in spiritual forms and in the changes and variations of their state, which relate to activities of the will and the understanding. Inasmuch as man joins the Lord in certain external activities and no one is deprived of the liberty of acting according to reason, the Lord can act in internals only as, together with man, He does in externals. If man does not shun and turn away from evils as sins, therefore, the external and at the same time the internal of his thought and will are infected and destroyed, comparatively as the pleura is by the disease in it called pleurisy, of which the body dies.

[6] Second: _If man were in internals at the same time he would pervert and destroy the whole order and tenor of divine providence._ Examples from the human body will illustrate this also. If man knew all the workings of the two brains into the fibres, of the fibres into the muscles and of the muscles into actions, and by this knowledge were to have the disposition of them as he disposes his deeds, would he not pervert and destroy all?

[7] If man knew how the stomach digests, and how the surrounding organs take their portion, work the blood and distribute it where needed for life, and if he had the disposing of these as he has of external activities, such as eating and drinking, would he not pervert and destroy all? When he cannot handle the external, seemingly a single thing, without destroying it by luxury and intemperance, what would he do if he had the disposal of the internals, infinite in number? Lest man enter into them by any volition and have control of them, things internal are therefore taken entirely away from the will except for the muscles, which are a covering; moreover, how these act is not known, only that they do.

[8] The same can be said of other organs. To give examples: if man had the disposing of the interiors of the eye for seeing, those of the ear for hearing, or the tongue for tasting, those of the skin for feeling, those of the heart for systolic action, of the lungs for breathing, of the mesentery to distribute the chyle, or of the kidneys for secretion, the interiors of the organs of generation for propagation, or those of the womb for perfecting an embryo, and so on, would he not pervert and destroy the ordered course of the divine providence in them in innumerable ways? As we know, man is in externals, for example sees with the eye, hears with the ear, tastes with the tongue, feels with the skin, breathes with the lungs, impregnates a wife, and so on. Is it not enough for him to know the externals and dispose them for health of body and mind? When he cannot do this, what would happen if he disposed internals also? It may be plain from this that if man saw divine providence plainly, he would inject himself into the order and tenor of its course and pervert and destroy them.


The like occurs in the spiritual things of the mind to what occurs in the natural things of the body for the reason that all things of the mind correspond to all things of the body. For the same reason the mind actuates the body in externals and generally does so completely. It moves the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the mouth and tongue to eat and drink, also to speak, the hands to do, the feet to walk, the generative organs to propagate. The mind not only moves the externals in these ways but the internals, too, in their whole series, outmosts from inmosts and inmosts from outmosts. Thus while moving the mouth to speak, it moves lungs, larynx, glottis, tongue and lips at the same time, each separately to its especial function, and the face suitably also.

[2] It is clear then that the same can be said of the spiritual forms of the mind as was said of the natural forms of the body, and the same can be said of the spiritual activities of the mind as was said of the natural activities of the body. Consequently the Lord orders the internals as a man does the externals, in one way if the man orders the externals of himself and in another if he orders them under the Lord and at the same time as of himself. The mind of man is also in its total organization a man, for it is his spirit which appears after death altogether as a human being as in the world; hence there are similar things in mind and body. Thus what has been said about the conjunction of externals with internals in the body is to be understood of the conjunction of externals with internals in the mind, with the sole difference that the latter is spiritual and the former is natural.


( iii) _If man beheld divine providence plainly he would either deny God or make himself god._ The merely natural man says to himself, "What is divine providence? Is it anything else or more than an expression which people get from a priest? Who sees anything of it? Is it not by prudence, wisdom, cunning and malice that all things are done in the world? Is not all else necessity or consequence? And does not much happen by chance? Does divine providence lie concealed in this? How can it do so in deceptions and schemes? Yet it is said that divine providence effects all things. Then let me see it and I will believe in it. Can one believe in it until he sees it?"

[2] So speaks the merely natural man, but the spiritual man speaks differently. Acknowledging God he also acknowledges divine providence and sees it, too. He cannot make it manifest, however, to anyone whose thought is on nature only and from nature, for such a person cannot raise his mind above nature, see anything of divine providence in its phenomena, or come to conclusions about providence from nature's laws, which are also laws of divine wisdom. If, therefore, he beheld divine providence plainly, he would sink it in nature and thus not only enshroud it in fallacies but profane it. Instead of acknowledging it he would deny it, and one who denies divine providence in his heart denies God also.

[3] Either one thinks that God governs all things or that nature does. He who thinks that God does thinks that they are ruled by love itself and wisdom itself, thus by life itself; but he who thinks that nature governs all, thinks that all things are ruled by nature's heat and light, although these in themselves are dead, coming as they do from a dead sun. Does not what is itself alive govern what is lifeless? Can what is dead govern anything? If you think that what is lifeless can give life to itself, you are mad; life must come from life.


It does not seem likely that if a man saw divine providence and its activity plainly he would deny God; it would seem that he could not but acknowledge it and thus acknowledge God. Yet the contrary is true. Divine providence never acts in keeping with the love of man's will, but constantly against it. For the human being by force of his hereditary evil is ever panting for the lowest hell, but the Lord in His providence is constantly leading him away and withdrawing him from it, first to a milder hell, then away from hell, and finally to Himself in heaven. This activity of divine providence is perpetual. If, then, man saw or felt this withdrawing and leading away, he would be angered, consider God his enemy, and deny Him on account of the evil of his selfhood. In order that man may not know of it, therefore, he is held in freedom and thereby does not know but that he leads himself.

[2] But let examples serve for illustration. By heredity man wants to become great and also rich. In the measure in which these loves are not checked he wants to become still greater and richer and finally the greatest and richest; even so he would not rest, but would want to become greater than God Himself and possess heaven itself. This lust is hidden deep in hereditary evil and consequently in man's life and in the nature of his life. Divine providence does not remove this evil in a moment; if it were removed in a moment man would cease to live; but divine providence removes it quietly and gradually without man's knowing of it. It does this by letting man act according to the thinking which he deems rational; then by various means, rational and also civil and moral, it leads him away and withdraws him so far as he can be withdrawn in freedom. Nor can evil be removed from anyone unless it comes out and is seen and acknowledged; it is like a wound which heals only when opened.

[3] If, therefore, man knew and saw that the Lord in His divine providence works in this way against his life's love, the source of his highest enjoyment, he could not but go in the opposite direction, be enraged, rebel, say harsh things, and finally, on account of his evil, brush aside the activity of divine providence, denying it and so denying God. He would do this especially if he saw success thwarted or saw himself lowered in standing or deprived of wealth.

[4] But it is to be known that the Lord in no wise leads man away from seeking position and acquiring wealth, but leads him away from the lust of seeking position solely for the sake of eminence or for his own sake, and also from acquiring wealth for its own sake or just to have it. Leading the man away, He introduces him into the love of uses so that he may regard eminence not for his own sake but for the sake of uses, thus as attached to uses and only so to himself, and not as attached to him and then to the uses; the same applies to wealth. At many places in the Word the Lord Himself teaches that He continually humbles the proud and exalts the humble; what He teaches in it is also of His divine providence.


Any other evil in which man is by heredity is dealt with in like manner, such as adultery, fraud, vengeance, blasphemy and other similar evils, none of which can be removed except as freedom to think and will them is left to man for him to remove them as if of himself. Nevertheless he can do this only as he acknowledges divine providence and prays that it may be done by it. Apart from this freedom and from divine providence at the same time, the evils would be like poison shut in and not driven out, which would spread quickly and consign all parts to death, or would be like disease of the heart itself, from which the whole body soon dies.


The truth of what has been said cannot be better known than from human lives after death in the spiritual world. Very many who had become great or wealthy in the natural world and in their eminence or riches had regarded themselves alone, at first speak of God and divine providence as though they had acknowledged them at heart, but seeing divine providence clearly then and their final lot under it, namely, for them to enter hell, they unite with devils there and not only deny God then but also blaspheme Him. Finally they reach such madness that they acknowledge the more powerful among devils as their gods and desire nothing more ardently than to become gods themselves.


Man would go contrary to God and also deny Him if he saw the activities of God's divine providence plainly, for the reason that man is in the enjoyment of self-love and this enjoyment constitutes his very life. Therefore when man is held in the enjoyment of his life he is in his freedom, for freedom and the enjoyment make one. If, then, he should perceive that he is continually being led away from his enjoyment, he would be enraged as against one who wanted to destroy his life and would hold him to be an enemy. Lest it happen, the Lord in His divine providence does not appear manifestly, but leads man by it as silently as a hidden stream or favorable current does a vessel. Consequently man does not know but that he is steadily in his own, for his freedom and his proprium make one. Hence it is plain that freedom appropriates to him what divine providence introduces, which would not take place if providence were manifest. To be appropriated means to become of one's life.


(iv) _Man can see divine providence on the back and not in the face; also in a spiritual state but not in a natural._ To see divine providence on the back but not in the face means after it acts and not before. To see it in a spiritual state and not in a natural is to see it from heaven and not from the world. All who receive influx from heaven and acknowledge divine providence, especially those who have become spiritual through reformation, on beholding events taking a wonderful course see providence as it were from an interior acknowledgment and confess it. These do not wish to see it in the face, that is, before it eventuates, fearing that their volition may intrude on something of its order and tenor.

[2] It is otherwise with those who do not admit any influx from heaven but only from the world, especially with those who have become natural by confirming appearances in themselves. They do not see anything of divine providence on the back, that is, after it eventuates, but wish to behold it in the face or before it eventuates; and as divine providence works by means, and these are provided through man or the world, they attribute providence, whether they look it in the face or on the back, to man or to nature, and so confirm themselves in the denial of it. They make this ascription of it because their understanding is closed above, that is, to heaven, and open only below, that is, to the world; one cannot see divine providence in a worldly outlook, only in a heavenly. I have wondered sometimes whether they would acknowledge divine providence if their understanding was opened above and they were to see as in the light of day that nature in itself is dead, and human intelligence in itself nothing, and that it is by influx that either appears to have being. I perceived that those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature and of human prudence would not make the acknowledgment because the natural light flowing in from below would immediately extinguish the spiritual light flowing in from above.


The man who has become spiritual by acknowledgment of God, and wise by rejection of the proprium, sees divine providence in the world as a whole and in each and all things in it. Looking at natural things, he sees it; at civil things, he sees it; at spiritual things, he sees it; and in things simultaneous as well as successive. He sees it in ends, causes, effects, uses, forms, things great and small. Above all he sees it in the salvation of men, as that Jehovah gave the Word, taught men by it about God and about heaven and hell and eternal life, and Himself came into the world to redeem men and save them. Man sees these and many other things and divine providence in them from spiritual light in natural light.

[2] The merely natural man, however, sees none of these things. He is like a man who sees a magnificent temple and hears a preacher enlightened in divine things, but once home asserts that he saw only a stone building and heard nothing but sounds made. Again, he is like a near-sighted man who steps into a garden remarkable for fruits of every sort and who reports on getting home that he saw only woods and trees. Moreover, when such persons, having become spirits after death, are taken up into the angelic heaven where all objects are in forms representative of love and wisdom, they see none of them, not even that they exist. I have seen this happen with a number who denied the Lord's divine providence.


Many constant things exist, created that inconstant things may exist. Such constants are the ordained changes in the rising and setting of sun, moon and stars; their obscurations by interpositions called eclipses; the heat and light from them; the seasons of the year, called spring, summer, autumn and winter; the times of the day, morning, noon, evening and night; also atmospheres, waters and lands, viewed in themselves; the vegetative force in the plant kingdom, that and the reproductive in the animal kingdom; likewise what is constantly produced when these forces are set in action in accord with the laws of order. These and many more things existing from the creation are provided so that infinitely varying things may exist, for what varies can exist only in what is constant, fixed and certain.

[2] Examples will illustrate this. The varieties of vegetation would not be possible unless sunrise and sunset and the resulting heat and light were constant. Harmonies are infinitely varied, and would not exist unless the atmospheres were constant in their laws and the ear in its form. Varieties of vision, which are also infinite, would not exist unless the ether in its laws and the eye in its organization were constant; equally so, colors, unless light was constant. The same is true of thoughts, words and actions, which are of infinite variety too; they could not exist, either, unless the organic forms of the body were constant. Must not a house be steady for a variety of things to be done in it by a person? So must a temple be for the various acts of worship, preaching, instruction and devout meditation to be possible in it. So in much else.

[3] As for the varieties found in the constant, fixed and certain, they go on to infinity and have no end; no one thing in the whole universe or in any part of it is ever precisely the same as another, nor can be in the progress of things to eternity. Who disposes these varieties which proceed to infinity and eternity so that they have order unless it is He who created what is constant to the end that they may exist in it? And who can dispose the infinite varieties of life among men but He who is life itself, that is, love itself and wisdom itself? Except by His divine providence, which is like a continual creation, can the infinite affections of men and their thoughts thence and thus the men themselves be disposed so as to make one? Evil affections and the thoughts from them to make one devil which is hell, and good affections and the thoughts from them one Lord in heaven? We have said and shown several times before that the whole angelic heaven is like one man in the Lord's sight, an image and likeness of Him, and all hell over against it like one monstrous man. This has been said because some natural men seize on arguments for their madness in favor of nature and of one's own prudence from even the constant and fixed which must exist for the variable to exist in it.



That there is no such thing as one's own prudence is contrary to appearances and therefore to the belief of many. Because it is, one who believes, on the strength of the appearance, that human prudence does all things, cannot be convinced except by reasons to be had from a more profound investigation and to be gathered from causes. The appearance is an effect, and causes disclose how it arises. By way of introduction something will be said about the common faith on the subject. Contrary to the appearance the church teaches that love and faith are not from man but from God, so also wisdom and intelligence, therefore prudence also, and in general all good and truth. When this teaching is accepted, one must also agree that there is no such thing as one's own prudence, but there only appears to be. Prudence comes only from intelligence and wisdom and both of these only from the understanding and its grasp of truth and good. All this is accepted and believed by those who acknowledge divine providence, but not by those who only acknowledge human prudence.

[2] Now, either what the church teaches is true, that all wisdom and prudence are from God, or what the world teaches, that they are from man. Can these views be reconciled in any other way than this, that what the church teaches is the truth, and what the world teaches is the appearance? For the church establishes its teaching from the Word, but the world its teaching from the proprium; and the Word is God's, and the proprium is man's. Because prudence is from God and not from man a Christian in his devotions, prays God to lead his thoughts, purposes and actions, and also adds that by himself he cannot. Again, seeing someone doing good, he says the person has been led to it by God; and so about much else. Can anyone speak so unless he inwardly believes it? To believe it inwardly comes from heaven. But when a man deliberates and gathers arguments in favor of human prudence he can believe the contrary, and this is from the world. The internal faith prevails with those who acknowledge God in their hearts; the external faith with those who do not acknowledge Him at heart, however much they may with the lips.


We said that a person who believes, on the strength of the appearance, that human prudence does all things, can be convinced only by reasons to be had from a more profound investigation and gathered from causes. In order, then, that the reasons gathered from causes may be plain to the understanding, let them be put forward in due order as follows:

i. All man's thoughts are from affections of his life's love; there are and can he no thoughts apart from them. ii. The affections of the life's love are known to the Lord alone. iii. Through His divine providence the Lord leads the affections of the life's love of man and at the same time the thoughts, too, from which human prudence comes. iv. By His divine providence the Lord assembles the affections of all mankind into one form--the human form. v. Heaven and hell, which are from mankind, are therefore in such a form. vi. Those who have acknowledged nature alone and human prudence alone make up hell, and those who have acknowledged God and His divine providence make up heaven. vii. All this can be effected only as it appears to man that he thinks from himself and disposes by himself.


( i ) _All man's thoughts are from affections of his life's love; there are and can be no thoughts apart from them._ It has been shown above in this treatise and also in the one entitled _Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom,_ Parts I and V particularly, what the life's love and the affections and the thoughts from them are essentially, and what the sensations and actions arising from them in the body are. Inasmuch as these are the causes from which human prudence issues as an effect, something needs to be said about them here also. For what has been written earlier elsewhere cannot be as closely connected with what is written later as it will be if the same things are recalled and placed with both in view.

[2] Earlier in this treatise, and in that just mentioned about _Divine Love and Wisdom,_ it was shown that in the Lord are divine love and wisdom; that these two are life itself; that from the two man has will and understanding, will from the divine love and understanding from the divine wisdom; that heart and lungs in the body correspond to these two; that this may make plain that as the pulsation of the heart along with the respiration of the lungs rules the whole man as to the body, so the will together with the understanding rules him as to his mind; that thus there are two principles of life in everyone, one natural and the other spiritual, and that the natural principle of life is the heartbeat, and the spiritual is the will of the mind; that each adjoins a consort to itself with which it cohabits and performs the functions of life; and that the heart joins the lungs to itself, and the will the understanding to itself.

[3] Now, as the soul of the will is love, and the soul of the understanding is wisdom, both of them from the Lord, love is the life of everyone and is such life as it has in union with wisdom; or what is the same, the will is the life of everyone and is such life as it has in conjunction with the understanding. More on the subject may be seen above in this treatise and especially in _Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom,_ Parts I and V.


It was also demonstrated in the treatises mentioned that the life's love produces subordinate loves from itself, called affections; that these are exterior and interior; and that taken together they make one dominion or kingdom as it were, in which the life's love is lord or king. It was also shown that these subordinate loves or affections adjoin consorts to themselves, each its own, the interior affections consorts called perceptions, and the exterior consorts called knowledges, and each cohabits with its consort and performs the functions of its life. In each instance, it was shown, the union is like that of life's very being with life's coming forth, which is such that the one is nothing without the other; for what is life's being unless it is active and what is life's activity if it is not from life's very being? The conjunction in life, it was likewise shown, is like that of sound and harmony, of sound and utterance, too, in general like that of the heart's pulsation and the respiration of the lungs, a union, again, such that one without the other is nothing and each becomes something in union with the other. Union must either be in them or come about by them.

[2] Consider, for example, sound. One who thinks that sound is something if there is nothing distinctive in it is much mistaken. It also corresponds to affection in man, and as something distinctive is always in it the affection of a person's love is known from the sound of his voice in speaking, and his thought is known from the varied sounds which speech is. Hence the wiser angels perceive just from the sound of his voice a man's life's love together with some of the affections which are its derivatives. This has been remarked that it may be known that no affection is possible without its thought, and no thought without its affection. More on the subject can be seen above in this treatise and in _Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom._


Inasmuch as the life's love has its enjoyment, and its wisdom its pleasure, and likewise every affection, which is essentially a lesser love derived from the life's love like a stream from its source or a branch from a tree or an artery from the heart, therefore every affection has its enjoyment and the perception or thought from it its pleasure. Consequently these enjoyments and pleasures make man's life. What is life without joy and pleasure? It is not animated at all, but inanimate. Reduce enjoyment and pleasure and you grow cold and torpid; take them away and you expire and die. Vital heat comes from the enjoyments of the affections and the pleasures of the perceptions and thoughts.

[2] As every affection has its enjoyment and the thought thence its pleasure, it may be plain whence good and truth are and what they are essentially. Whatever is the enjoyment of one's affection is one's good, and one's truth is what is pleasant to the thought from that affection. For everyone calls that good which he feels in the love of his will to be enjoyable, and calls that truth which he then perceives in the wisdom of his understanding to be pleasant. The enjoyable and the pleasant both flow out from the life's love as water does from a spring or blood from the heart; together they are like an element or the atmosphere in which man's whole mind is.

[3] The two, enjoyment and pleasure, are spiritual in the mind and natural in the body, and in each make man's life. From this it is plain what it is in man that is called good, and what it is that is called truth; likewise what it is in man that is called evil and false; whatever destroys the enjoyment of his affection is evil to him, and what destroys the pleasure of his thought thence is false to him. It is plain, moreover, that evil on account of the enjoyment in it and falsity on account of the pleasure in it may be called good and truth and believed to be good and truth. Goods and truths are indeed changes and variations of state in the forms of the mind, but they are perceived and have life only through the enjoyments and pleasures they have to give. This is noted to make known what affection and thought are in their life.


Inasmuch as it is not the body but man's mind that thinks and that does so from the enjoyment of one's affection, and inasmuch as man's mind is his spirit which lives after death, man's spirit is nothing else than affection and thought therefrom. It is altogether plain from spirits and angels in the spiritual world that thought cannot exist apart from affection, for they all think from the affections of their life's love; the enjoyments of these affections attend each as his atmosphere, and all are united by these spheres exhaled from the affections by their thoughts. The character of each one is known also by the sphere of his life. It may be seen from this that all thought is from an affection and is the form of that affection. The same applies to the relationship between will and understanding, good and truth, and charity and faith.


(ii) _The affections of the life's love of man are known to the Lord alone._ Man knows his thoughts and his intentions in them because he sees them in himself, and as all prudence is from them, he sees this, too, within him. Then if his life's love is self-love, he comes to take pride in his own intelligence, ascribes prudence to himself, gathers arguments in support of it, and thus recedes from acknowledging divine providence. Much the same happens if love of the world is his life's love, but he does not then recede to the same extent. It is plain from this that these two loves ascribe all things to man and to his prudence and when interiorly examined ascribe nothing to God and to His providence. When persons who do this happen to hear that the reality is that there is no such thing as human prudence, but that divine providence alone governs all things, they laugh at this if they are outright atheists; if they hold something of religion in remembrance and are told that all wisdom is from God, they assent on first hearing it, but inwardly in their spirit deny it. Such especially are priests who love themselves more than God, and the world more than heaven, or what is the same, worship God for position's or riches' sake, and yet have been preaching that charity and faith, all good and truth, all wisdom, too, and in fact prudence are from God and none of them from man.

[2] In the spiritual world I once heard two priests debating with a certain royal ambassador about human prudence whether it is from God or from man, and the debate was heated. The three believed alike at heart, namely, that human prudence does all and divine providence nothing, but the priests in their theological zeal at the moment asserted that there was nothing of wisdom and prudence from man. When the ambassador retorted that there was nothing of thought then, either, they said "yes, nothing of thought." But as angels perceived that the three believed alike, they bade the ambassador, "Put on priestly robes, believe yourself to be a priest, and then speak." He robed himself, believed he was a priest, and thereupon declared in a deep voice that never could there be wisdom or prudence in man save from God. He defended this with the customary eloquence filled with rational arguments. Then the two priests were told, "Put off your robes, put on those of political ministers, and believe that that is what you are." They did so, thought then from their interior selves, and gave voice to the arguments they had entertained inwardly before in favor of human prudence and against divine providence. Upon this the three, believing alike, became warm friends and set out together on the path of one's own prudence, which leads to hell.


It was shown above that man can have no thought except from some affection of his life's love and that the thought is nothing other than the form of the affection. Now, man sees his thought but cannot see his affection, which he feels; it is therefore from sight which dwells on the appearance, and not from affection which does not come into sight but into feeling, that he concludes that one's own prudence does all things. For affection shows itself only in a certain enjoyment of thought and in pleasure ever reasoning about it. This pleasure and enjoyment make one with the thought in those who, from self-love or love of the world, believe in one's own prudence. The thought glides along in its enjoyment like a ship in a river current to which the skipper does not attend, attending only to the sails he spreads.


Man can indeed reflect on what his external affection finds enjoyable when it is also an enjoyment of a bodily sense, but he still does not reflect that that enjoyment comes from the enjoyment of his affection in thought. For example, when a lecher sees a lewd woman his eyes light with a lascivious fire and from this he feels a physical pleasure; he does not, however, feel his affection's enjoyment or that of the lust in his thought, only a strong desire more nearly physical. The same is true of the robber in a forest at sight of travelers and of the pirate at sea on sighting vessels, and so on. Obviously a man's enjoyments govern his thoughts, and the thoughts are nothing apart from them; but he thinks he has only the thoughts, when nevertheless these are affections put into forms by his life's love so that they appear in the light; for all affection has heat for its element and thought has light.

[2] The external affections of thought manifest themselves in bodily sensation, and sometimes in the thought of the mind, but the internal affections of the thought from which the external exist never make themselves manifest to man. Of these he knows no more than a rider asleep in a carriage does of the road or than one feels the rotation of the earth. Now, when man knows nothing of the things beyond number that take place in the interiors of his mind, and the few external things which come to the sight of his thought are produced from the interiors, and the interiors are governed by the Lord alone through His divine providence and the few external by the Lord also together with man, how can anyone assert that one's own prudence does all things? Were you to see just one idea laid open, you would see astounding things, more than tongue can tell.

[3] It is clear from the endless things in the body that there are so many things in the mind's interiors that the number cannot be given, and nothing of them comes to sight or sense except only a much simplified action. Yet to the action thousands of motor or muscular fibres contribute, and thousands of nerve fibres, thousands of blood-vessels, thousands of cells in the lungs which must cooperate in every action, thousands in the brains and in the spinal cord, and many more things still in the spiritual man which is the human mind, in which all things are forms of affections and of perceptions and thoughts from the affections. Does not the soul, which disposes the interiors, dispose the actions also which spring from them? Man's soul is nothing else than the love of his will and the resulting love of his understanding; such as this love is the whole man is, becoming so according to the disposition he makes of his externals in which he and the Lord are together. Therefore, if he attributes all things to himself and to nature, self-love becomes the soul; but if he attributes all things to the Lord, love to the Lord becomes the soul; this love is heavenly, the other infernal.


Inasmuch as the enjoyments of his affections, from inmosts down through interiors to exteriors and finally to outermost things in the body, bear man along as wave and wind bear a ship; and inasmuch as nothing of this is apparent to man except what takes place in the outermost things of the mind and the body, how can he claim for himself what is divine on the strength merely of the fact that those few outermost things seem to be his own? Even less should he claim what is divine for himself, knowing from the Word that a man can receive nothing of himself unless it is given by heaven; and knowing from reason that this appearance has been granted him in order to live as a human being, see what is good and evil, choose between them, and appropriate his choice to himself that he may be united reciprocally with the Lord, be reformed, regenerated and saved, and live forever. It has been stated and shown above that this appearance has been granted to man in order that he may act in freedom according to reason, thus as of himself, and not drop his hands and await influx. From all this it follows that proposition iii to be demonstrated has been confirmed: _Through His divine providence the Lord leads the affections of the life's love of man and at the same time the thoughts, too, from which human prudence comes._


152-1 See footnote at n. 111.

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