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

Divine Providence


_The worshiper of self and of nature confirms himself against divine providence when he reflects that wars are permitted and the slaughter in them of so many men and the plundering of their wealth._ It is not by divine providence that wars occur, for they entail murder, plunder, violence, cruelty, and other terrible evils which are diametrically opposed to Christian charity. Yet they cannot but be permitted because the life's love of mankind, since the time of the most ancient people, meant by Adam and his wife (n. 241), has become such that it wants to rule over others and finally over all, and also to possess the wealth of the world and finally all wealth. These two loves cannot be kept in fetters, for it is according to divine providence that everyone is allowed to act in freedom in accordance with reason, as may be seen above (nn. 71-97); and apart from permissions man cannot be led from evil by the Lord and consequently cannot be reformed and saved. For unless evils were allowed to break out, man would not see them, therefore would not acknowledge them, and thus could not be induced to resist them. Evils cannot be repressed, therefore, by any act of providence; if they were, they would remain shut in, and like a disease such as cancer and gangrene, would spread and consume everything vital in man.

[2] For from birth man is like a little hell between which and heaven there is perpetual discord. No one can be withdrawn from his hell by the Lord unless he sees he is in it and desires to be led out of it. This cannot be done apart from tolerations the causes of which are laws of divine providence. As a result, minor and major wars occur, the minor between owners of estates and their neighbors, and the major between sovereigns of kingdoms and their neighbors. Except for size the only difference is that the minor conflicts are held within limits by a country's laws and the major by the law of nations; each may wish to transgress its laws, but the minor cannot, and while the major can, still the possibility has limits.

[3] Hidden in the stores of divine wisdom are several causes why the major wars of kings and rulers, involving murder, looting, violence and cruelty as they do, are not prevented by the Lord, either at their beginning or during their course, only finally when the power of one or the other has been so reduced that he is in danger of annihilation. Some of the causes have been revealed to me and among them is this: all wars, although they are civil in character, represent in heaven states of the church and are correspondences. The wars described in the Word were all of this character; so are all wars at this day. Those in the Word are the wars which the children of Israel waged with various nations, Amorites, Moabites, Philistines, Syrians, Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians. Moreover, it was when the children of Israel, who represented the church, departed from their precepts and statutes and fell into evils represented by other peoples (for each nation with which the children of Israel waged war represented a particular evil), that they were punished by that nation. For instance, when they profaned the sanctities of the church by foul idolatries they were punished by the Assyrians and Chaldeans because Assyria and Chaldea signify the profanation of what is holy. What was signified by the wars with the Philistines may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Faith_ (nn. 50-54).

[4] Wars at the present day, wherever they may occur, represent similar things. For all things which occur in the natural world correspond to spiritual things in the spiritual world, and all spiritual things are related to the church. It is not known in the world which kingdoms in Christendom represent the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Syrians, the Philistines, the Chaldeans and the Assyrians or others, with whom the children of Israel waged war; yet there are nations that do so. Moreover, the condition of the church on earth and what the evils are into which it falls and for which it is punished by wars, cannot be seen at all in the natural world, for only externals are manifest here and these do not constitute the church. This is seen, however, in the spiritual world where internal conditions appear and in these the church itself consists. There all are united according to their various states. Conflicts between them correspond to wars, which on both sides are governed by the Lord correspondentially in accordance with His divine providence.

[5] The spiritual man acknowledges that wars on earth are ruled by the Lord's divine providence. The natural man does not, except that at a celebration of a victory he may thank God on his knees for having given the victory, and except for a few words on going into battle. But when he returns into himself he ascribes the victory either to the prudence of the general or to some counsel or incident in the midst of the fighting which escaped notice and yet decided the victory.

[6] It may be seen above (n. 212) that divine providence, which is called fortune, is in the least things, even in trivial ones, and if you acknowledge divine providence in these you will certainly do so in the issues of war. Success and happy conduct of war, moreover, are in common parlance called the fortune of war, and this is divine providence, to be found especially in a general's judgments and plans, although he may at the time and also afterwards ascribe all to his own prudence. This he may do if he will, for he has full freedom to think in favor of divine providence or against it, indeed in favor of God or against Him; but let him know that no judgment or plan is from himself; it comes either from heaven or from hell, from hell by permission, from heaven by providence.


_A worshiper of self and of nature confirms himself against divine providence when he thinks, as he sees it, that victories are on the side of prudence and not always on the side of justice, and that it is immaterial whether a commander is upright or not._ Victories seem to be on the side of prudence and not always on the side of justice, because man judges by the appearance and favors one side more than the other and can by reasoning confirm what he favors. Nor does he know that the justice of a cause is spiritual in heaven and natural in the world, as was said just above, and that the two are united in a connection of things past and of things to come, known only to the Lord.

[2] It is immaterial whether the commander is an upright man or not because, as was established above (n. 250), the evil as well as the good perform uses, and by their zeal more ardently than the good. This is so especially in war because the evil man is more crafty and cunning in devising schemes than a good man, and in his love of glory takes pleasure in killing and plundering those whom he knows and declares to be the enemy. The good man has prudence and zeal for defense and rarely for attacking. This is much the same as it is with spirits of hell and angels of heaven; the spirits of hell attack and the angels of heaven defend themselves. Hence comes this conclusion that it is allowable for one to defend his country and his fellow-citizens against invading enemies even by iniquitous commanders, but not allowable to make oneself an enemy without cause. To have the seeking of glory for cause is in itself diabolical, for it comes of self-love.


The points made above (n. 237) by which the merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence have now been explained. The points which follow (n. 238) about the varieties of religion in many nations, which also serve the merely natural man for arguments against divine providence, are to be clarified next. For the merely natural man says in his heart, How can so many discordant religions exist instead of one world-wide and true religion when (as was shown above, nn. 27-45) divine providence has a heaven from mankind for its purpose? But pray, listen: all human beings who are born, however numerous and of whatever religion, can be saved if only they acknowledge God and live according to the precepts of the Decalog, which forbid committing murder, adultery, theft, and false witness because to do such things is contrary to religion and therefore contrary to God. Such persons fear God and love the neighbor. They fear God inasmuch as they think that to do such things is to act against God, and they love the neighbor because to murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness and covet the neighbor's house or wife is to act against one's neighbor. Heeding God in their lives and doing no evil to the neighbor, they are led by the Lord, and those whom He leads are also taught about God and the neighbor in accordance with their religion, for those who live in this way love to be taught, but those living otherwise have no such desire. Loving to be taught, they are also instructed by angels after death when they become spirits, and willingly receive such truths as the Word contains. Something about them may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture_ (nn. 91-97 and 104-113).


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence when he observes the religious conditions in various nations and notes that some people are totally ignorant of God, some worship the sun and moon, and some worship idols and graven images._ Those who argue from these facts against divine providence are ignorant of the arcana of heaven; these arcana are innumerable and man is acquainted with hardly any of them. Among them is this: man is not taught from heaven directly but mediately (this may be seen treated above, nn. 154-174). Because he is taught mediately, and the Gospel could not through the medium of missionaries reach all who dwell in the world, but religion could be spread in various ways to inhabitants of the remote corners of the earth, this has been effected by divine providence. For a knowledge of religion does not come to a man from himself, but through another who has either learned it from the Word or by tradition from others who have learned it, for instance that God is, heaven and hell exist, there is a life after death, and God must be worshiped for man to be blessed.

[2] See in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture_ (nn. 101-103) that religion spread throughout the world from the Ancient Word and afterwards from the Israelitish Word, and (nn. 114-118) that unless there had been a Word no one could have known about God, heaven and hell, life after death, and still less about the Lord. Once a religion is established in a nation the Lord leads that nation according to the precepts and tenets of its own religion, and He has provided that there should be precepts in every religion like those in the Decalog, that God should be worshiped, His name not be profaned, a holy day be observed, that parents be honored, murder, adultery and theft not be committed, and false witness not be spoken. A nation that regards these precepts as divine and lives according to them in religion's name is saved, as was just said (n. 253). Most nations remote from Christendom regard these laws not as civil but as divine, and hold them sacred. See in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem [about Life] from the Precepts of the Decalog,_ from beginning to end, that a man is saved by a life according to these precepts.

[3] Also among the arcana of heaven is this: in the Lord's sight the angelic heaven is like one man whose soul and life is the Lord. In each particular of his form this divine man is man, not only as to the external members and organs but as to the more numerous internal members and organs, also as to the skins, membranes, cartilages and bones; but in that man all these, both external and internal, are not material but spiritual. Further, the Lord has provided that those who cannot be reached by the Gospel but only by some form of religion shall also have a place in this divine man, that is, in heaven, by constituting the parts called skins, membranes, cartilages and bones, and like others should be in heavenly joy. For it does not matter whether their joy is that of the angels of the highest heaven or of the lowest heaven, for everyone entering heaven comes into the highest joy of his own heart; joy higher still he does not endure; he would suffocate in it.

[4] A peasant and a king may serve for comparison. A peasant may reach the height of joy when he steps out in a new suit of homespun wool or seats himself at a table with pork, a piece of beef, cheese, beer and fiery wine on it. He would feel constricted at heart if he was clothed like a king in purple, silk, gold and silver, or if a table was set for him on which were delicacies and costly viands of many kinds with noble wine. It is plain from this that the last as well as the first find heavenly happiness, each in his measure, those outside Christendom also, therefore, provided they shun evils as sins against God because these are contrary to religion.

[5] Few are entirely ignorant of God. If they have lived a moral life they are instructed after death by angels and receive what is spiritual in their moral life (see _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture,_ n. 116). The same is true of those who worship sun and moon, believing that God is there. They know no better, therefore it is not imputed to them as a sin, for the Lord says,

If you were blind (that is, if you did not know), you would have no sin (Jn 9:41).

But there are many who worship idols and graven images even in the Christian world. This, to be sure, is idolatrous, yet not with all. There are those for whom graven images serve as a means of exciting thought about God, for by an influx from heaven one who acknowledges God desires to see Him, and these, unable to raise the mind above the sensuous as those do who are inwardly spiritual, rouse it by means of statue or image. Those who do so and do not worship the image itself as God are saved if they also live by the precepts of the Decalog from religious principle.

[6] It is plain, then, that as the Lord desires the salvation of all, He has also provided that everyone who lives well may have a place in heaven. See in the work _Heaven and Hell,_ published at London, 1758 (nn. 59-102 ), in _Arcana Caelestia_ (nn. 5552-5569) and above (nn. 201-204) that heaven in the Lord's sight is like one man; that heaven accordingly corresponds to each and all things in man; and that there are also those who represent skin, membranes, cartilages and bones.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence when he sees the Mohammedan religion accepted by so many empires and kingdoms._ The fact that this form of religion is accepted by more kingdoms than Christianity is may be a stumbling-block to those who give thought to divine providence and at the same time believe that no one can be saved unless he has been born a Christian, thus where the Word is, by which the Lord is known. That form of religion is no stumbling-block, however, to those who believe that all things are of divine providence. These ask in what the providence consists and find it is in this, that Mohammedanism, acknowledges the Lord as Son of God, the wisest of men and a very great prophet who came into the world to teach men; most Mohammedans consider Him to be greater than Mohammed.

[2] That form of religion was called forth in the divine providence to destroy the idolatries of many nations. To make this fully known we will pursue some order; first, something on the origin of idolatries. Previously to that form of religion the worship of idols was general in the world. This was because the churches before the Lord's advent were all representative churches. The Israelitish church was of this character. In it the tabernacle, Aaron's garments, the sacrifices, all things of the temple in Jerusalem, the statutes also, were representative. Moreover, the ancients had a knowledge of correspondences, which is the knowledge of representations--it was the chief knowledge of their wise men. This knowledge was cultivated especially in Egypt and was the origin of Egyptian hieroglyphics. By that knowledge the ancients knew what animals of every kind signified and what trees of every kind signified, as they did what mountains, hills, rivers and fountains signified, as well as sun, moon and stars. As all their worship was representative, consisting of sheer correspondences, they worshiped on mountains and hills and in groves and gardens, regarded fountains as sacred, and in adoration of God faced the rising sun. Furthermore, they made graven images of horses, oxen, calves and lambs, and of birds, fish and serpents, and placed them in their houses and elsewhere, arranged according to the spiritual things of the church to which they corresponded or which they represented. They placed similar objects in their temples, too, to put them in mind of the holy things they signified.

[3] Later, when the knowledge of correspondences had been lost, their posterity began to worship the graven images themselves, as holy in themselves, not knowing that their forefathers had seen no holiness in them, but only that they represented holy things by correspondences and thus signified them. So arose the idolatries which filled the whole world, Africa and Europe as well as Asia with its adjacent islands. In order that all these idolatries might be uprooted, of the Lord's divine providence it was brought about that a new religion, adapted to the genius of Orientals, should start up, in which there would be something from each Testament of the Word, and which would teach that the Lord had come into the world and was a very great prophet, wisest of all, and Son of God. This was done through Mohammed, from whom the religion is called the Mohammedan religion.

[4] Of the Lord's divine providence this religion was raised up and, as we said, adapted to the genius of Orientals, in order that it might destroy the idolatries of so many peoples and give them some knowledge of the Lord before they passed into the spiritual world. This religion would not have been accepted by so many kingdoms or had the power to uproot idolatries, had it not suited and met the ideas and thinking of them all. It did not acknowledge the Lord as God of heaven and earth, for the Orientals acknowledged God the Creator of the universe, but could not comprehend that He came into the world and assumed human nature, quite as Christians do not comprehend this, who therefore separate His divine from His humanity in their thinking and place His divine near the Father in heaven and His humanity they know not where.

[5] Hence it may be seen that the Mohammedan religion arose under the Lord's divine providence and that all adherents of it who acknowledge the Lord as Son of God and live according to the precepts of the Decalog, which they also have, shunning evils as sins, come into a heaven called the Mohammedan heaven. This heaven, like others, is divided into three, the highest, middle and lowest. Those who acknowledge the Lord to be one with the Father and thus the one God are in the highest heaven; in the next heaven are those who renounce a plurality of wives and live with one; and in the lowest are those who are being initiated. More about this religion may be seen in _Continuation about the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World_ (nn. 68-72), where the Mohammedans and Mohammed are treated of.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence when he sees that the Christian religion exists only in a small part of the habitable world, called Europe, and there is divided._ The Christian religion exists only in the small part of the habitable world called Europe because it was not adapted to the genius of Orientals as was a mixed one like the Mohammedan religion, as was just shown; and an unadapted religion is not received. For example, a religion which ordains that it is unlawful to take more than one wife is not received but rejected by those who for ages have been polygamists. This is true of other ordinances of the Christian religion.

[2] Nor is it material whether a smaller or a larger part of the world has received this religion, as long as there are people with whom the Word is. For those who are outside the church and do not possess the Word still have light from it, as was shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture,_ nn. 104-113. It is a marvel that where the Word is reverently read and the Lord is worshiped from it, He is present with heaven. The reason is that He is the Word and the Word is divine truth which makes heaven. The Lord therefore says:

Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Mt 18:20).

Europeans can bring this about with the Word in many parts of the habitable globe, for they trade the world over and read or teach the Word everywhere. This seems like fiction and yet is true.

[3] The Christian religion is divided because it is from the Word and the Word is written in sheer correspondences and these in large part are appearances of truth in which, nevertheless, genuine truths lie concealed. As a church's doctrine is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word which is of this character, disputes, controversies and dissensions were bound to arise over the understanding of the Word, but not over the Word itself or the Divine itself of the Lord. For it is acknowledged everywhere that the Word is holy and that the Lord possesses the divine, and these two are essentials of the church. Those, therefore, who deny the Divine of the Lord and are called Socinians have been excommunicated from the church, and those who deny the holiness of the Word are not regarded as Christians.

[4] To this let me add a remarkable item about the Word from which one may conclude that inwardly the Word is divine truth itself and inmostly the Lord. When a spirit opens the Word and touches his face or dress with it, just from the contact his face or garment shines as brightly as the moon or a star, in the sight of all, too, whom he meets. It is evidence that there is nothing holier in the world than the Word.

That the Word is written throughout in correspondences may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture,_ nn. 5-26; that the church's doctrine is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and confirmed thereby, nn. 50-61; that heresies can be wrested from the sense of the letter of the Word, but that it is harmful to confirm them, nn. 91-97; that the church is from the Word and is such as is its understanding of the Word, nn. 76-79.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence because in many kingdoms where the Christian religion is accepted there are those who arrogate divine power to themselves, want to be worshiped as gods, and also invoke dead men._ To be sure, they say that they have not arrogated divine power to themselves and do not wish to be worshiped as gods. Yet they say that they can open and close heaven, remit and retain sins, and so save and condemn men, and this is what is divine itself. Divine providence has no other purpose than reformation and hence salvation; this is its unceasing activity with everyone. And salvation can be effected only by acknowledgment of the divine of the Lord and by confidence that He brings salvation as man lives according to His commandments.

[2] Who cannot see that the usurpation of divine power is the Babylon described in the Apocalypse and the Babel spoken of here and there in the Prophets? It is also Lucifer in Isaiah 14, as is plain from verses 4 and 22 of that chapter, where are the words:

You shall speak this parable about the king of Babel (verse 4);

(Then), I will cut off the name and remnant of Babel (verse 22);

it is plain from this that this Babel is Lucifer, of whom it is said:

How you have fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! ... For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, at the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High (Isa 14:12-14).

It is well known that the same persons invoke the dead and pray to them for help. We make the assertion because such invocation was established by a papal bull, confirming the decree of the Council of Trent, in which it is openly said that the dead are to be invoked. Yet who does not know that only God is to be invoked, and not any dead person?

[3] It shall be told now why the Lord has permitted such things. Can one deny that He has done so for the sake of the end in view, namely salvation? For men know that there is no salvation without the Lord. Therefore it was necessary that the Lord should be preached from the Word and that the Christian Church should be established by this means. This could be done, however, only by leaders who would act with zeal and no others offered than those who burned with zeal out of self-love. At first this fire aroused them to preach the Lord and teach the Word. From this their first state Lucifer is called "the son of the morning" (14:12). But as they saw that they could dominate by means of the sanctities of the Word and the church, the self-love by which they were first aroused to preach the Lord broke out from within and finally exalted itself to such a height that they transferred all the Lord's divine power to themselves, leaving Him none.

[4] This could not be prevented by the Lord's divine providence, for if it had been they would have declared that the Lord is not God and that the Word is not sacred and would have made themselves Socinians and Arians, so would have destroyed the whole church. But, whatever its rulers are, the church continues among the people submissive to them. For all in this religion who approach the Lord and shun evils as sins are saved; therefore many heavenly societies are formed from them in the spiritual world. It has also been provided that there should be a nation among them that has not bowed to the yoke of such domination and that regards the Word as holy; this noble nation is the French nation.

[5] But what was done? When self-love exalted its dominion even to the Lord's throne, removing Him and setting itself on it, that love, which is Lucifer, could not but have profaned all things of the Word and the church. Lest this should happen, the Lord in His divine providence took care that they should recede from worship of Him, invoke the dead, pray to graven images of the dead, kiss their bones and kneel at their tombs, should ban the reading of the Word, appoint holy worship in masses not understood by the common people, and sell salvation for money. For if they had not done this, they would have profaned the sanctities of the Word and the church. For, as was shown in the preceding section, only those profane holy things who know them.

[6] Lest, too, they should profane the most Holy Supper it is of the Lord's divine providence that they divide it, giving the bread to the people and drinking the wine themselves. For the wine of the Supper signifies holy truth and the bread holy good; but divided the wine signifies truth profaned and the bread good adulterated. It is also of the Lord's divine providence that they should render the Holy Supper corporeal and material and give it the prime place in religion. Anyone who gives these particulars his attention and reflects on them in some enlightenment of his mind can see the amazing action of divine providence for the protection of the sanctities of the church and for the salvation of all who can be saved and are ready to be snatched from the fire, so to speak, from which they must be snatched.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence because some among those who profess the Christian religion place salvation in certain phrases which they are to think and speak and not at all in good works which they are to do._ We showed in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Faith_ that these are such as make faith alone saving and not the life of charity, thus such as separate faith from charity. It was also shown that these are meant in the Word by "Philistines," "dragon" and "goats."

[2] That such doctrine has been permitted is also of divine providence lest the divine of the Lord and the sanctity of the Word should be profaned. The divine of the Lord is not profaned when salvation is placed in these words: That God the Father may have mercy for the sake of the Son, who suffered the Cross and made satisfaction for us. For men do not then address the divine of the Lord but have in mind His human nature, which they do not acknowledge to be divine. Nor do they profane the Word, for they do not attend to the passages in which love, charity, deeds and works are mentioned. All this, they say, is involved in the faith expressed in the saying quoted. Those who confirm this tell themselves, "The law does not condemn me, neither then does evil, and good does not save because good done by me is not good." They are therefore like those who do not know any truth from the Word and consequently cannot profane it. Only those confirm the faith expressed in that saying who from self-love are in the pride of their own intelligence. Nor are these Christians at heart; they only desire to be looked on as such.

[3] It shall now be shown that the Lord's divine providence is nevertheless acting constantly to save those with whom faith separated from charity has become an article of religion. Although this faith has become an article of their religion, by the Lord's divine providence each knows that it is not faith that saves, but a life of charity with which faith makes one. For all churches in which that religion is accepted also teach that there is no salvation unless man examines himself, sees and acknowledges his sins, repents, desists from them, and begins a new life. This is read out with much zeal in the presence of all who come to the Holy Supper. In addition they are told that unless they do so, they mingle the holy with the profane and cast themselves into eternal condemnation. Indeed, in England they are told that unless they do so the devil will enter them as he did Judas and destroy them soul and body. It is plain, then, that everyone in the churches in which faith alone is accepted is nevertheless taught that evils are to be shunned as sins.

[4] Furthermore, everyone who is born a Christian is aware that evils are to be shunned as sins because the Decalog is put into the hands of every boy and girl and is taught by parents and teachers. The citizens of a kingdom and especially the common people are examined by the priest on the Decalog alone, which is recited from memory, for what they know of the Christian religion, and are also admonished to do what is commanded in it. At such times they are not told by the priest that they are not under the yoke of that law, or that they cannot do what is commanded because they cannot do anything good of themselves. Again, the Athanasian Creed has been accepted throughout the Christian world and what is said at its close is also acknowledged, namely, that the Lord will come to judge the living and the dead, and then those who have done good will enter everlasting life and those who have done evil will enter everlasting fire.

[5] In Sweden, where the religion of faith alone has been received, it is also plainly taught that faith is impossible apart from charity or good works. This is pointed out in an Appendix on things to be remembered, inserted in all copies of the Psalms, and called "Impediments or Stumbling Blocks of the Impenitent" (Obotferdigas Foerhinder), where are these words,

Those who are rich in good works thereby show that they are rich in faith, because when faith is saving it acts through charity. For justifying faith is never found alone and separate from good works, quite as no good tree is without fruit, nor the sun without light and heat, nor water without moisture.

[6] These items have been adduced to make known that although a religious formula about faith alone has been accepted, nevertheless goods of charity, which are good works, are taught everywhere and that this is by the Lord's divine providence, lest the common people be led astray by the formula. I have heard Luther, with whom I have spoken at times in the spiritual world, execrate faith alone and heard him say that when he established it he was warned by an angel of the Lord not to do it; but that he thought to himself that if he did not reject works, separation from Catholicism would not be accomplished. Therefore, contrary to the warning, he established that faith.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence in that there have been so many heresies in Christendom and still are, such as Quakerism, Moravianism, Anabaptism, and more._ For he may think to himself, If divine providence is universal in the least things and has the salvation of all for its object, it would have seen to it that one true religion should exist on the globe, not one divided and, still less, one torn by heresies. But use reason and think more deeply if you can. Can man be saved without being reformed first? For he is born into love of self and the world, and as these loves do not have any love of God and the neighbor in them except for the sake of self, he is also born into evils of every kind. Is there love or mercy in those loves? Does the man make anything of defrauding or defaming or hating another even to death, or of committing adultery with his wife, or of being cruel to him out of revenge, the while having the desire in mind to get the upper hand of all and to possess the goods of all others, thus regarding others in comparison with himself as insignificant and of little worth? To be saved, must he not first be led away from these evils and thus be reformed? As has been shown above in many places, this can be accomplished only in accordance with many laws of divine providence. For the most part these laws are unknown and yet they come of divine wisdom and at the same time of divine love, and the Lord cannot act contrary to them, for to do so would result in destroying man, not in saving him.

[2] Look over the laws which have been set forth, bring them together, and you will see. According to those laws there is no direct influx from heaven but one mediated by the Word, doctrine and preaching; and since the Word, to be divine, had to be composed wholly in correspondences, inevitably there are dissensions and heresies. The tolerance of them is also in accord with the laws of divine providence. Furthermore, when the church itself has taken for essentials what pertains only to the understanding, that is, to doctrine, and not what pertains to the will, that is, to life, and what pertains to life is not made the essentials of a church, then man is in complete darkness for understanding and wanders like one blind, striking against things constantly and falling into pits. For the will must see in the understanding and not the understanding in the will, or what is the same, the life and its love must lead the understanding to think, speak and act, and not the reverse. Were the reverse true, the understanding might out of an evil and even diabolical love seize on what comes by the senses and demand that the will do it. What has been said may show whence dissensions and heresies come.

[3] Yet it has been provided that everyone, in whatever heresy he may be intellectually, may still be reformed and saved if he shuns evils as sins and does not confirm heretical falsities in himself. For by shunning evils as sins the will is reformed and through it the understanding is, which emerges for the first time then out of obscurity into light. There are three essentials of the church: acknowledgment of the divine of the Lord, acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word, and the life which is called charity. Everyone's faith is according to the life which is charity; from the Word he has a rational perception of what life should be; and from the Lord he has reformation and salvation. Had these three been regarded as the church's essentials, intellectual differences would not have divided it but only varied it as light varies colors in beautiful objects and as various insignia of royalty give beauty to a king's crown.


_The merely natural man confirms himself against divine providence in that Judaism still continues._ That is, after all these centuries the Jews have not been converted although they live among Christians and do not, in keeping with prophecies in the Word, confess the Lord and acknowledge Him to be the Messiah, who, as they think, was to lead them back to the land of Canaan; but they steadfastly persist in denying Him and yet it is well with them. Those who take this view, however, and thus call divine providence in question, do not know that by Jews in the Word all who are of the church and acknowledge the Lord are meant, and by the land of Canaan, into which it is said that they are to be led, the Lord's church is meant.

[2] But the Jews persist in denying the Lord because they are such that, if they received and acknowledged the divine of the Lord and the holy things of His church, they would profane them. Therefore the Lord said of them:

He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (Jn 12:40; Mt 13:14; Mk 4:12; Lu 8:10; Isa 6:9, 10).

It is said, "lest they should be converted, and I should heal them" because if they had been converted and healed they would have committed profanation, and according to the law of divine providence treated above (nn. 221-233) no one is admitted interiorly into truths of faith and goods of charity by the Lord except so far as he can be kept in them to the close of life; were he admitted, he would profane what is holy.

[3] This nation has been preserved and dispersed over much of the earth for the sake of the Word in its original language, which they hold more sacred than Christians do. The Lord's divine is in every particular of the Word, for it is divine truth joined with divine good coming from the Lord. By it the Lord is united with the church, and heaven is present, as was shown in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture_ (nn. 62-69). The Lord and heaven are present wherever the Word is read as sacred. This is the end which divine providence has pursued in the preservation and in the dispersal of the Jews over much of the world. On the nature of their lot after death see _Continuation about the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World_ (nn. 79-82).


These then are the objections listed above at n. 238 by which the natural man confirms himself against divine providence, or may do so. Still other objections, listed at n. 239, may serve the natural man for arguments against divine providence; they may occur to the minds of others, too, and excite doubts. They are the following.


_Doubt may be raised against divine providence in that the whole of Christendom worships one God under three persons, that is, three Gods, and has not known hitherto that God is one in person and in essence, in whom is the Trinity, and that this God is the Lord._ One who reasons about divine providence may ask, Are not three persons three Gods if each person by himself is God? Who can think of it otherwise? In fact, who does? Athanasius himself could not; therefore it is said in the Creed which bears his name:

Although in Christian verity we ought to acknowledge each Person as God and Lord, yet by Christian faith it is not allowable to affirm or to name three Gods or three Lords.

This can only mean that we ought to acknowledge three Gods and Lords, but it is not allowable to affirm or name three Gods and three Lords.

[2] Who can possibly have a perception of one God unless He is one in person? If it is said that such a concept is possible if one thinks of the three as having one essence, does one, indeed can one, have any other idea than that they are thus of one mind and agree, and yet are three Gods? Thinking more deeply, one asks oneself, How can the divine essence, which is infinite, be divided? Further, how can divine essence from eternity beget another and produce still another who proceeds from them both? It may be said that it is to be believed and not thought about; but who does not think about what he is told must be believed? How else can there be any acknowledgment which in its essence is faith? Was it not because of the concept of God as three persons that Socinianism and Arianism arose, which prevail in the hearts of more persons than you suppose? Belief in one God and that this God is the Lord makes the church, for in Him is the divine trinity. The truth of this may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord,_ from beginning to end.

[3] But what is thought of the Lord today? Is it not thought that He is God and Man, God from Jehovah the Father of whom He was conceived and Man from the Virgin Mary from whom He was born? Who thinks that God and Man in Him, or His Divine and His Human, are one person, and are one as soul and body are? Does anyone know this? Ask the learned in the church and they will say that they have not known it. Yet it is part of the doctrine of the church received throughout Christendom, as follows:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; and although He is God and Man yet there are not two, but there is one Christ. He is one because the divine took to itself the human; indeed He is altogether one, for He is one Person, since as soul and body make one man, so God and Man is one Christ.

This comes from the Faith or Creed of Athanasius. The learned have not known it because on reading this they have thought of the Lord not as God but only as Man.

[4] When they are asked if they know from whom the Lord was conceived, whether from God the Father or from His own Divine, they reply that He was conceived from God the Father, for this is according to Scripture. Are the Father and He not one then, like soul and body? Who can think that He was conceived from two Divines, and if from His own that this was His Father? If you ask them further what their idea of the Lord's Divine and of His Human is, they will say that His Divine is from the essence of the Father and His Human from the essence of His mother, and that His Divine is with the Father. Then, when they are asked where His Human is, they have no answer, for they separate His Divine and His Human in their thinking and make His Divine equal to the Divine of the Father and His Human like the human of another man, unaware that in doing this they separate soul and body; nor do they see the flaw in this, that then a rational man would have been born from a mother alone.

[5] As a result of the fixed idea that the Lord's humanity was like that of another man, it has come about that a Christian can with difficulty be led to think of a Divine Human, even when it is said that the Lord's soul or life from conception was and is Jehovah Himself. Now sum up the reasons and consider whether there is any other God of the universe than the Lord alone, in whom is the Divine itself, Source of all, called the Father; the Divine Human, called the Son; and the proceeding Divine, called the Holy Spirit; and thus that God is one in person and essence, and that this God is the Lord.

[6] You may persist and remark that the Lord Himself spoke of three in Matthew:

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (28:19).

But it is plain from the preceding verse and the one following that the Lord said this in order to make it known that the Divine Trinity was in Him, now glorified. For in the preceding verse He said that all power in heaven and on earth was given Him, and in the following verse that He would be with men to the end of the age, speaking of Himself alone and not of three.

[7] Now, why did divine providence permit Christians to worship the one God under three persons, that is, worship three Gods, and not know until now that God is one in essence and person, in whom is the Trinity and that this God is the Lord? Man and not the Lord was the cause. The Lord had taught it plainly in His Word, as is clear from all the passages cited in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord,_ and has also taught it in the doctrine of all the churches, in which it is said that His Divine and His Human are not two but one Person united like soul and body.

[8] The first reason why men divided the Divine and the Human and made the Divine equal to the Divine of Jehovah the Father and the Human equal to the human of another man, was that the church after its rise fell away into Babylonianism. This took to itself the Lord's divine power, and in order that it should be called human and not divine power made the Lord's human like that of another man. When later the church was reformed and faith alone was received as the one means of salvation--faith that God the Father has mercy for the sake of the Son--the Lord's Human could be viewed in no other way. For no one can approach the Lord and acknowledge Him at heart as God of heaven and earth unless he lives by His precepts. In the spiritual world, where everyone is bound to speak as he thinks, no one can so much as mention the name Jesus if he has not lived as a Christian in the world; this is by divine providence lest His name be profaned.


To make what has just been said clearer I will add what was set forth in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord_ (towards the end, nn. 60, 61), which is as follows:

"That God and Man in the Lord, according to the Creed, are not two but one Person, altogether one as soul and body are, appears clearly in many sayings of the Lord, as that the Father and He are one; that all things of the Father are His and all His the Father's; that He is in the Father and the Father in Him; that all things are given into His hand; that He has all power; that He is God of heaven and earth; that one who believes on Him has eternal life; and that the wrath of God abides on one who does not believe on Him; and further, that both the Divine and the Human were taken up into heaven; and that as to both He sits at the right hand of God, that is, is almighty; besides the numerous passages in the Word about His Divine Human which were quoted abundantly above. They all testify that God is one both in person and in essence, and in Him is the Trinity, and that this God is the Lord.

[2] "These things about the Lord are published now for the first time because it is foretold in the Apocalypse, chapters 21 and 22, that at the end of the former church a new church is to be established in which this will be the chief doctrine. This church is meant in those chapters by the New Jerusalem into which only one who acknowledges the Lord alone as God of heaven and earth can enter; this church is therefore called `the Lamb's wife'. I can also report that all heaven acknowledges the Lord alone and that one who does not is not admitted to heaven, for heaven is heaven from the Lord. This very acknowledgment made in love and faith causes men to be in the Lord and Lord in them, as He teaches in John:

In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you (14:20);

again in the same:

Abide in me, and I in you; ... I am the vine, and you are branches; he who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing; unless a man abides in me, he is cast out (15:4-6, also 17:22, 23).

[3] "This has not been seen from the Word before, because if it had been, it would not have been received. For the last judgment had not been accomplished yet, and prior to it the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven. Man is in the midst between heaven and hell; had this been seen before, therefore, the devil, that is, hell, would have plucked it from men's hearts and furthermore would have profaned it. The predominance of hell was completely broken by the last judgment which has been accomplished now; since that judgment, thus today, every man who wishes enlightenment and wisdom is able to have it."


_A doubt may be raised against divine providence in that it has been unknown hitherto that in each particular of the Word there is a spiritual meaning from which it has its holiness._ One may raise this doubt about divine providence, asking, "why has this been revealed for the first time now, and why has it been revealed through any one at all and not through a church leader?" But it is at the Lord's good pleasure whether it should be a leader or a leader's servant; He knows the one and the other. However, that sense of the Word has not been disclosed before because 1. If it had been, the church would have profaned it and thereby profaned the holiness itself of the Word. 2. Neither were the genuine truths, in which the spiritual sense of the Word resides, revealed by the Lord until the last judgment was accomplished, and a new church, meant by the Holy Jerusalem, was about to be established by the Lord. These reasons will be examined separately.

[2] 1. _The spiritual sense of the Word was not disclosed earlier because if it had been, the church would have profaned it and thereby would have profaned the holiness itself of the Word._ Not long after it was established, the church was turned into Babylon, and later into Philistia. Babylon acknowledges the Word, to be sure, and yet esteems it lightly, asserting that the Holy Spirit inspires its own highest judgment just as much as it did the prophets. They acknowledge the Word for the vicarship founded on the Lord's words to Peter, but esteem it lightly because it does not accord with their teaching. It is therefore taken from the people also and hidden in monasteries where few read it. If, therefore, the spiritual sense of the Word had been revealed, in which the Lord is present together with all angelic wisdom, the Word would have been profaned not only, as it is now, in its lowermost expression in the sense of the letter, but in its inmosts, too.

[3] Philistia, by which faith separated from charity is meant, would have profaned the spiritual sense of the Word also, because, as we have shown before, it puts salvation in certain formulas which are to be thought and spoken, and not in good works which are to be done. It thus makes saving what is not saving and also removes the understanding from what is to be believed. What would they do with the light in which the spiritual sense of the Word is? Would that not be turned into darkness? When the natural sense is, why not the spiritual sense? Does any one of them who has confirmed himself in faith separate from charity and in justification by this faith alone, want to know what good of life is, what love to the Lord and towards the neighbor is, what charity is and what the goods of charity are, what good works are and what it is to do them, or in fact what faith is essentially and what genuine truth is, constituting it? They compose volumes, establish in them only what they call faith, and declare that all the things just mentioned are present in that faith. It is clear from this that if the spiritual sense of the Word had been revealed earlier, it would come to pass according to the Lord's words in Matthew:

If your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness ( 6:23).

In the spiritual sense of the Word by "eye" the understanding is meant.

[4] 2. _Neither were the genuine truths in which the spiritual sense of the Word resides, revealed by the Lord until after the last judgment was accomplished, and a new church, meant by the Holy Jerusalem, was about to be established by the Lord._ The Lord foretold in the Apocalypse that after the last judgment was effected genuine truths were to be revealed, a new church was to be established, and the spiritual sense of the Word would be disclosed. In the small work, _The Last Judgment,_ and later in the _Continuation_ of that work, it was shown that the last judgment has been accomplished and that this is meant by the heaven and earth which would pass away (Apoc 21:1). That genuine truths are then to be revealed is foretold in these words in the Apocalypse:

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new (11:5; also 19:17, 18; 21:18-21; 22:1, 2).

At 19:11-16 it was predicted that the spiritual sense of the Word was to be revealed; it is meant by "the white horse" on which He who sat was called the Word of God and was Lord of lords and King of kings (on this see the little work _The White Horse)._ That by the Holy Jerusalem a new church is meant which was to be established then by the Lord may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord_ (nn. 62-65).

[5] It is clear, then, that the spiritual sense of the Word was to be revealed for a new church which should acknowledge and worship the Lord alone, hold His Word sacred, love divine truths and reject faith separated from charity. More about this sense of the Word may be seen in _Doctrine of the New Jerusalem about Sacred Scripture_ (nn. 5-26 and following numbers); what the spiritual sense of the Word is (nn. 5-26); that a spiritual sense exists in all of the Word in general and in detail (nn. 9-17); that by virtue of the spiritual sense the Word is divinely inspired and holy in every expression (nn. 18, 19); that until now the spiritual sense has been unknown, and why it was not revealed before (nn. 20-25); and that henceforth that sense will be open only to one who is in genuine truths from the Lord (n. 26).

[6] It may be evident from these propositions that it is by the Lord's divine providence that the spiritual sense has lain concealed from the world until the present day and been kept meanwhile in heaven with the angels, who draw their wisdom from it. This sense was known and treasured among ancient peoples who lived before Moses, but when their descendants converted the correspondences, of which their Word and hence their religion solely consisted, into various idolatries, and the Egyptians converted them into magic, by the Lord's divine providence this sense was closed up, first with the Israelites and then with Christians for the reasons given above, and is now opened for the first time for the Lord's new church.


_Doubt may arise against divine providence in that it has been unknown hitherto that to shun evils as sins is the Christian religion itself._ That this is the Christian religion itself was shown in _Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem,_ from beginning to end; and as faith separated from charity is the one obstacle to its being received, that also was treated of. We say that it has not been known that to shun evils as sins is the Christian religion itself, for it is unknown to nearly everyone; yet everyone does know it, as may be seen above (n. 258). Nearly all are ignorant of it because faith separate has obliterated knowledge of it. For this faith declares that it alone saves and not any good work, that is, any good of charity; also that men are no longer under the yoke of the law, but are free. Those who have frequently heard such teaching no longer give thought to any evil of life or any good of life. Everyone, moreover, is inclined by nature to embrace such teaching, and once he has done so he no longer thinks about the state of his life. This is why it is not known that shunning evils as sins is the Christian religion itself.

[2] That this is unknown was disclosed to me in the spiritual world. I have asked more than a thousand newcomers from the world whether they knew that to shun evils as sins is religion itself. They said that they did not and that it was a new idea which they had not heard before, but had heard that they cannot of themselves do good and that they are not under the yoke of the law. When I inquired whether they knew that a man must examine himself, see his sins, repent and begin a new life and that otherwise sins are not remitted, and if sins are not remitted, men are not saved; and when I reminded them that this was read out in a deep voice to them each time they observed the Holy Supper, they replied that they paid no attention to that but only to this, that they have remission of sins by the sacrament of the Supper and that faith effects the rest without their knowing it.

[3] I asked again, Why have you taught your children the Decalog? Was it not that they might know what evils are sins to be shunned? Was it only that they might know and believe, but do nothing? Why is it said that this is new? To this they could only reply that they know and yet do not know, and that they never think of the sixth 265-1 commandment when they commit adultery, or about the seventh when they steal or defraud secretly, and so on, and still less that such acts are contrary to divine law, thus contrary to God.

[4] When I recalled to them many things from the teachings of the churches and from the Word confirming the fact that to avoid and be averse to evils as sins is the Christian religion's very self and that one who does so has faith, they fell silent. They were convinced of it, however, when they saw that all were examined as to their life and judged according to their deeds, and no one was judged according to faith apart from life, for everyone has faith according to his life.

[5] Christendom in large part has not known this because by a law of divine providence everyone is left to act in freedom according to reason (on this, above, nn. 71-91 and nn. 101-128); and by another law no one is taught directly from heaven but by means of the Word and by doctrine and preaching from it; there are besides all the laws on permission which are also laws of divine providence. On these see above, n. 258.


_A doubt may be raised against divine providence in that it has not been known before that a man lives as a human being after death and that this has not been disclosed before._ It has been unknown because with those who do not shun evils as sins the belief lies hidden that man does not live after death. It is of no moment therefore to them whether one says that man lives after death or will rise again on the day of the last judgment. If belief in resurrection happens to visit one, he tells himself, "I shall fare no worse than others; if I go to hell I shall have the company of many and also if I pass to heaven." Yet all in whom there is any religion have an implanted recognition that they will live as human beings after death. Only those infatuated with their own intelligence think that they survive as souls but not as human beings.

It may be seen from the following that anyone in whom is any religion has an implanted recognition that he lives after death as a human being:

1. Who thinks otherwise when he is dying? 2. What eulogizer, mourning the dead, does not exalt them to heaven and place them among the angels conversing with them and sharing their joy? Some men are deified. 3. Who among the common people does not believe that when he dies, if he has lived well he will enter a heavenly paradise, be arrayed in white, and enjoy eternal life? 4. What priest does not speak so to the dying? And when he speaks so he believes it, provided he does not think of the last judgment at the time. 5. Who does not believe that his little ones are in heaven and that after death he will see his wife, whom he has loved? Who thinks that they are spectres, still less souls or minds hovering in the universe? 6. Who contradicts when something is said about the lot or state of those who have passed from time into eternal life? I have told many what the state or lot of various persons is and have never heard anyone protest that their lot is not yet determined but will be at the time of the judgment. 7. When one sees angels in paintings or statuary does he not recognize them as such? Who thinks then that they are bodiless spirits or airy entities or clouds, as do some of the erudite? 8. Papists believe that their saints are human beings in heaven and others elsewhere are; so do Mohammedans of their dead; more than others Africans do, and many other peoples do. Why then do not Reformed Christians believe it, who know it from the Word? 9. Moreover, as a result of the recognition implanted in everyone, some men aspire to the immortality of renown. The recognition is given that turn in them and makes heroes and brave men of them in war. 10. Inquiry was made in the spiritual world whether this knowledge is implanted in all men; it was found that it is in a spiritual idea attached to their internal thought, not in a natural idea attached to their external thought.

It is plain from all this that doubt should not be thrown on the Lord's divine providence on the supposition that only now has it been disclosed that the human being continues such after death. It is only the sensuous in man that wants to see and touch what is to be credited. One who does not raise his thinking above it is in the dark of night about the state of his own life.



If man were born into the love for which he was created, he would not be in evil, in fact would not know what evil is. For one who has not been in evil and is not in it, cannot know what it is; told that this or that is evil, he would not believe it. This is the state of innocence in which Adam and his wife Eve were; that state was signified by the nakedness of which they were not ashamed; the knowledge of evil subsequent to the fall is meant by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The love for which the human being was created is love to the neighbor, to wish him as well as one does oneself and even better. He is in the enjoyment of this love when he serves his neighbor quite as parents do their children. This is truly human love, for in it is what is spiritual, distinguishing it from the natural love of brute animals. Were man born into this love, he would not be born into the darkness of ignorance as everyone is now, but into some light of the knowledge and hence of the intelligence soon to be his. To be sure, he would creep on all fours at first but come erect on his feet by an implanted striving. However much he might resemble a quadruped, he would not face down to the ground but forward to heaven and come erect so that he could look up.


When love of the neighbor was turned into self-love, however, and this love increased, human love was turned into animal love, and man, from being man, became a beast, with the difference that he could think about what he sensed physically, could rationally discriminate among things, be taught, and become a civil and moral person and finally a spiritual being. For, as was said, man possesses what is spiritual and is distinguished by it from the brute animal. By it he can know what civil evil and good are, also what moral evil and good are, and if he so wills, what spiritual evil and good are also. When love for the neighbor was turned into self-love, however, man could no longer be born into the light of knowledge and intelligence but was born into the darkness of ignorance, being born on the lowest level of life, called corporeal-sensuous. From this he could be led into the interiors of the natural mind by instruction, the spiritual always attending on this. Why one is born on the lowest level of life known as corporeal-sensuous, therefore into the darkness of ignorance, will be seen in what follows.

[2] Anyone can see that love of the neighbor and self-love are opposites. Neighborly love wishes well to all from itself, but self-love wishes everyone to wish it well; neighborly love wants to serve everyone, but self-love wants all to serve it; love of the neighbor regards everyone as brother and friend, while love of self regards everyone as its servant, and if one does not serve it, as its enemy; in short, it regards only itself and others scarcely as human beings, esteeming them at heart less than one's horses and dogs. Thinking so meanly of others, it thinks nothing of doing evil to them; hence come hatred and vengeance, adultery and whoredom, theft and fraud, lying and defamation, violence and cruelty, and similar evils. Such are the evils in which man is by birth. That they are tolerated in view of the end, which is salvation, is to be shown in this order:

i. Everyone is in evil and must be led away from it to be reformed. ii. Evils cannot be removed unless they appear. iii. So far as they are removed they are remitted. iv. The toleration of evil is therefore for the sake of the end in view, namely, salvation.


(i) _Everyone is in evil and must be led away from it to be reformed._ The church knows that there is hereditary evil in man and that as a result he is in the lust of many evils. Thence it is that he cannot do good of himself, for evil does only such good as has evil in it; the evil inwardly in it is that one does good for one's own sake and thus only for the sake of appearances. It is known that hereditary evil comes from one's parents. It is said to come from Adam and his wife, but this is an error; for everyone is born into hereditary evil from his parent, and the parent from his parent, and so on; thus it is transmitted from one to another, is augmented and becomes an accumulation, and is passed to one's progeny. There is therefore nothing sound in man but all is evil. Who feels that it is evil to love himself above others? Who, then, knows that this is an evil, though it is the head of evils?

[2] Inheritance from parents, grandparents and great-grandparents is plain from much which is known in the world, from the fact, for instance, that households, families and even nations are distinguishable by the face; the face is also a type of the mind which in turn accords with the affections of one's love. Sometimes, too, the features of a grandfather recur in a grandson or a great-grandson. From the face alone I know whether a person is a Jew or not; likewise of what stock certain persons are; others no doubt know also. If the affections which spring from love are thus derived from parents and transmitted by them, evils are, for these spring from affections. But it shall be told how the resemblance comes about.

[3] Everyone's soul comes from his father and is only clothed with the body by one's mother. That the soul is from the father follows not only from what has been said above, but from many other indications, too; also from this, that the child of a black man or Moor by a white or European woman is black, and vice versa; and especially in that the soul is in the seed, for impregnation is by the seed, and the seed is what is clothed with a body by the mother. The seed is the primal form of the love in which the father is--the form of his ruling love with its nearest derivatives or the inmost affections of that love.

[4] These affections are enveloped in everyone with the honesties of moral life and with the goodnesses partly of civil and partly of spiritual life, which are the external of life even with the evil. An infant is born into this external life and is therefore lovable, but coming to boyhood and adolescence he passes from that external to the inner life and at length to his father's ruling love. If this has been evil and not been moderated and bent by various means by his teachers, it becomes his ruling love as it was his father's. Still the evil is not eradicated, but put aside; of this in what follows. Plainly, then, everyone is in evil.

277r. It is plain without explanation that man must be led away from evil in order to be reformed. For one who is in evil in the world is in evil after he has left the world. Not removed in the world, evil cannot be removed afterwards. Where a tree falls, it lies. So, too, when a man dies his life remains such as it has been. Everyone is judged according to his deeds, not that these are recounted, but he returns to them and acts as before. Death is a continuation of life with the difference that man cannot then be reformed. For reformation is effected in full, that is, in what is inmost and outmost, and what is outmost is reformed suitably to what is inmost only while man is in the world. It cannot be reformed afterwards because as it is carried along by the man after death it falls quiescent and conforms to his inner life, that is, they act as one.


(ii) _Evils cannot be removed unless they appear._ This does not mean that man must do evils in order for them to appear, but that he must examine himself, his thoughts as well as his deeds, and see what he would do if he did not fear the laws and disrepute--see especially what evils he deems allowable in his spirit and does not regard as sins, for these he still does. To enable him to examine himself, man has been given understanding, and an understanding separate from his will, in order that he may know, comprehend and acknowledge what is good and what is evil, likewise see the character of his will or what it loves and desires. To see this his understanding has been given higher and lower or interior and exterior thought, so as to see from the higher or interior what his will prompts in the lower or exterior thinking: he sees this quite as he does his face in a mirror. When he does and knows what is sin, he is able, on imploring the Lord's help, not to will it but to shun it, then to act contrary to it, if not freely, then by overcoming it through fighting it, and finally to become averse to it and abominate it. Then first does he perceive and also sense that evil is evil and good is good. This, now, is self-examination--to see one's evils, acknowledge them, confess them and thereupon desist from them.

[2] But as few know that this is the Christian religion itself, and these alone have charity and faith and are led by the Lord and do good from Him, something will be said of those who fail to examine themselves but still think that they possess religion. They are 1. Those who confess themselves guilty of all sins but do not search out any one sin in themselves. 2. Those who neglect the search on religious principle. 3. Those who in absorption with the mundane give no thought to sins and hence do not know them. 4. Those who favor them and therefore cannot know them. 5. With all these, sins do not appear and therefore cannot be removed. 6. Finally, the reason, so far unknown, will be made plain why evils cannot be removed apart from their being searched out, appearing, being acknowledged, confessed and resisted.

278r. But these points will be considered one by one, for they are fundamentals of the Christian religion on man's part.

First, _of those who confess themselves guilty of all sins, but do not search out any one sin in themselves._ They say, "I am a sinner. I was born in sin. From head to foot there is nothing sound in me. I am nothing but evil. Good God, be gracious to me, pardon, cleanse and save me. Make me to walk in purity and in a right path"; and more of the kind. And yet the man does not examine himself and hence does not know any evil, and no one can shun what he is ignorant of, still less fight against it. After his confessions he also thinks that he is clean and washed, when nevertheless he is unclean and unwashed from the head to the sole of the foot. For the confession of all sins is the lulling of them all to sleep and finally blindness to them. It is like a generality devoid of anything specific, which amounts to nothing.

[2] Second: _Those who omit the search in consequence of their religion._ They are especially those who separate charity from faith. They say to themselves, "Why should I search out evil or good? Why evil, when it does not condemn me? Why good, when it does not save me? Faith alone, thought and uttered with trust and confidence, justifies and purifies from all sin, and when once I am justified, I am whole in the sight of God. I am indeed in evil, but God wipes it away the moment it is committed and it no longer appears"; and much else. But who does not see, if he opens his eyes, that these are empty words, without reality because nothing of good is in them? Who cannot think and speak so, with trust and confidence, too, even when he is thinking of hell and eternal condemnation? Does he want to know anything further about either truth or good? Of truth he says, "What is truth except that which confirms this faith?" and of good, "What is good except what is in me from this faith? And that it may be in me I will not do it as from myself, for that would be self-righteous and what is self-righteous is not good." So he neglects all until he does not know what evil is; what then is he to search out and see in himself? Is it not his state then that a pent-up fire of lusts of evil consumes the interiors of his mind and lays them waste even to the entrance? He is on guard only at the door to keep the fire from appearing. After death the door is opened and the fire appears for all to see.

[3] Third: _Those absorbed with the mundane give no thought to sins, hence do not know of any._ These love the world above all things and welcome no truth that would lead them away from any falsity in their religion. They tell themselves, "What is this to me? It is not to my way of thinking." So they reject truth on hearing it and if they listen to it smother it. They do much the same on hearing sermons; they retain some sayings but not any of the substance. Dealing in this way with truths they do not know what good is, for truth and good act as one; and from good which is not linked with truth one does not recognize evil except as one calls it good also, which is done by rationalizing from falsities. It is these who are meant by the seed which fell among thorns, of whom the Lord said:

Other seeds fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them ... These are they who hear the Word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word so that it become unfruitful (Mt 13:7, 22; Mk 4:7, 18, 19; Lu 8:7, 14).

[4] Fourth: _Those who favor sins and therefore cannot know them._ These acknowledge God and worship Him with the usual ceremonials and assure themselves that a given evil, which is a sin, is not a sin. For they color it with fallacies and appearances and thus hide its enormity. Then they indulge it and make it their friend and familiar. We say that those who acknowledge God do this, for others do not regard an evil as a sin, for one sins against God. But let examples illustrate this. A man makes an evil not to be a sin when in coveting wealth he makes some kinds of fraud allowable by reasoning which he devises. So does the man who confirms himself in plundering those who are not his enemies in a war.

[5] Fifth: _Sins do not appear in these men, therefore cannot be removed._ All evil which does not come to sight nurses itself; it is like fire in wood under ashes or like matter in an unopened wound; for all evil which is repressed increases and does not stop until it destroys all. Lest evil be repressed, therefore, everyone is allowed to think in favor of God or against God and in favor of the sanctities of the church or against them, without being punished for it in the world. Of this the Lord says in Isaiah:

From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness; wound, and scar, and fresh bruise; they have not been pressed out, nor bound up, nor softened with oil.... Wash you, make you clean, remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good. . . . Then if your sins have been as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; if they have been red like crimson, they shall be like wool. . . . But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword (Isa 1:6, 16, 17, 18, 20).

To be devoured by the sword signifies to perish by falsity of evil.

[6] Sixth: _The cause, hidden so far, why evils cannot be removed apart from their being searched out, appearing, being acknowledged, confessed and resisted._ In preceding pages we have mentioned the fact that all heaven is arranged in societies according to affections of good, and all hell in societies according to the lusts of evil opposite to the affections of good. Each person as to his spirit is in some society, in a heavenly one if in an affection of good, but in an infernal one if in some lust of evil. While living in the world man does not know this and yet as to his spirit he is in some society; otherwise he cannot live; and by it he is governed by the Lord. If he is in an infernal society, he cannot be led out of it by the Lord except according to the laws of divine providence, among which is this also, that a man shall see that he is there, want to leave, and make the effort himself to do so. One can do this while in the world but not after death, for then he remains forever in the society in which he put himself in the world. It is for this reason that man is to examine himself, see and avow his sins, do repentance, and thereupon persevere to the close of life. I might substantiate this to full belief by much experience, but this is not the place to document the experience.


(iii) _So far as evils are removed they are remitted._ It is an error of the age to believe

1. That evils are separated and in fact cast out from man when they are remitted; and 2. That the state of man's life can be changed in a moment, even to its opposite, so that from wicked he becomes good, and consequently can be led from hell and be transported straightway to heaven, and this by the Lord's sheer mercy. 3. But those who believe and suppose so, do not know at all what evil and good are and nothing at all about the state of man's life. 4. Moreover, they are wholly unaware that affections, which are of the will, are nothing other than changes and variations of the state of the purely organic substances of the mind; and that thoughts, which are of the understanding, also are; and that memory is the permanent state of these changes.

When one knows these things, one can see clearly that an evil can be removed only by successive stages, and that the remission of an evil is not complete removal of it. But all this has been said in summary form and unless the items are demonstrated may be assented to and yet not comprehended. What is not comprehended is as indistinct as a wheel spun around by the hand. The points made above are therefore to be demonstrated one by one in the order in which they were set forth.

[2] First: _It is an error of the age to believe that evils are separated and in fact cast out when they are remitted._ It has been granted me to learn from heaven that no evil into which man is born and which he has made actual in him is separated from him, but is removed so as not to appear. Earlier I shared the belief of most persons in the world that when evils are remitted they are cast out and are washed and wiped away as dirt is from the face by water. It is not like this with evils or sins. They all remain. When they are remitted on repentance, they are thrust from the center to the sides. What is in the center, being directly under view, appears as in the light of day, and what is to one side is in shadow and at times in the darkness of night. Inasmuch as evils are not separated but only removed, that is, thrust to one side, and as man can go from The center to the periphery, he can return, as it may happen, to his evils, which he supposed had been cast out. For the human being is such that he can go from one affection to another and sometimes to the opposite, and thus from one center into another; the affection in which he is at the time makes the center, for he is then in the enjoyment and light of it.

[3] Some who are raised after death into heaven by the Lord, for they have lived well, have carried with them, however, the belief that they are clean and rid of sins, therefore are not in a state of guilt. In accord with their belief they are clothed at first in white garments, for white garments signify a state purified from evils. But after a time they begin to think, as they did in the world, that they are washed, as it were, from all evil, and to glory that they are no longer sinners like other men. This can hardly be kept from being an elation of mind and a contempt of others in comparison with oneself. In order, therefore, that they may be delivered from their imaginary belief, they are sent down from heaven and let back into the evils which they pursued in the world; they are also shown that they are in hereditary evils of which they had not known. When they have been led in this way to realize that their evils have not been separated from them but only put aside, thus that in themselves they are impure, indeed nothing but evil, and that they are withheld from evils and held in goods by the Lord, and that this only seems to be their doing, they are raised again into heaven by the Lord.

[4] Second: _It is an error of the age to believe that the state of man's life can be changed in a moment, so that from wicked he can become good, and consequently can be led from hell and transported at once to heaven, and this by the Lord's direct mercy._ Those who separate charity and faith and place salvation in faith alone, commit this error. For they suppose that merely to think and speak formulas of that faith, if it is done with trust and confidence, justifies and saves one. Many think it is done instantly, too, and if not previously, can be done in the last hour of one's life. These are bound to believe that the state of man's life can be changed in a moment and that he can be saved by direct mercy. But in the last chapter of this treatise it will be seen that the Lord's mercy is mediated, that man cannot become good in a moment from being wicked, and can be led from hell and transported to heaven only by the continual activity of divine providence from infancy to the very close of life. Here it need only be said that all the laws of divine providence have the salvation and reformation of the human being for their object, in other words, the inversion of his state, which by nativity is infernal, into the opposite, which is heavenly. This can only be done progressively as man recedes from evil and its enjoyment and comes into good and its enjoyment.

[5] Third: _Those who believe in an instantaneous change do not know at all what evil and good are._ For they do not know that evil is the enjoyment of the lust of acting and thinking contrary to divine order, and good is the enjoyment of the affection for acting and thinking in accord with divine order. They do not know, either, that myriads of lusts enter into and compose each individual evil and myriads of affections enter into and compose each individual good, and that these myriads are in such order and connection in man's interiors that it is impossible to change one without changing all at the same time. Those who are ignorant of this may believe or suppose that evil, which seems to them to be a single entity, can be easily removed, and that good, which also seems to be a single entity, can be introduced in its place. Not knowing what evil and good are, they cannot but suppose that there is such a thing as instantaneous salvation and such a thing as direct mercy. That these are not possible will be seen in the last chapter of this treatise.

[6] Fourth: _Those who believe in instantaneous salvation and unmediated mercy do not know that affections, which are of the will, are nothing other than changes of state in the purely organic substances of the mind; that thoughts, which are of the understanding, are nothing other than changes and variations in the form of those substances; and that memory is the persisting state of the changes and variations._ Everyone acknowledges, on its being said, that affections and thoughts exist only in substances and their forms, which are the subjects; existing in the brain which is full of substances and forms, they are called purely organic forms. No one who thinks rationally can help laughing at the fancies of some that affections and thoughts do not have substantive bases, but are exhalations given shape by heat and light, like images apparently in the air or ether. For thought can no more exist apart from a substantial form than sight can apart from its form, the eye, or hearing apart from its form, the ear, or taste apart from its form, the tongue. If you examine the brain, you will see innumerable substances and fibres, also, and see, too, that everything in it is organized. What more is needed than this ocular proof?

[7] But one may ask, What are affection and thought then? A conclusion can be reached from each and all things in the body. In it are many viscera, each fixed in its place, and all performing their several functions by changes and variations of state and form. It is well known that they are engaged in their own activities--the stomach, the intestines, the kidneys, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the heart and the lungs, each in its particular activity. All the activities are maintained from within, and to be actuated from within means that it is by changes and variations of state and form. It may be plain then that the activities of the purely organic substances of the mind are similar, the one difference being that those of the organic substances of the body are natural, but of the mind are spiritual; plainly, also, the two make one by correspondences.

[8] The nature of the changes and variations of state and form in the organic substances of the mind, which are affections and thoughts, cannot be shown to the eye. It may, however, be seen as in a mirror by the changes of state in the lungs on speaking and singing. There is correspondence, moreover; for the sound of the voice in speaking and singing, and the articulations of the sound which are the words of speech and the modulations of song, are produced by means of the lungs; sound corresponds to affection, and speech to thought. Sound and speech are produced also from affection and thought. This is done by changes and variations in the state and form of the organic substances of the lungs, and from the lungs through the trachea or windpipe in the larynx and glottis, and then in the tongue, and finally in the lips. The first changes and variations in the state and form of the sound occur in the lungs, the second in trachea and larynx, the third in the glottis by the different openings of its orifice, the fourth in the tongue by its various positions against palate and teeth, and the fifth in the lips by the various modifications of form in them. It may be evident, then, that these consecutive changes and variations in the state of organic forms produce the sounds and their articulations which are speech and song. Inasmuch, then, as sound and speech are produced from no other source than the affections and thoughts of the mind (for they exist from them and are never apart from them), clearly the affections of the will are changes and variations in the state of the purely organic substances of the mind, and the thoughts of the understanding are changes and variations in the form of those substances, quite like those in the substances of the lungs.

[9] Since affections and thoughts are simply changes of state in the forms of the mind, memory is nothing other than the permanent state of those changes. For all changes and variations of state in organic substances are such that once they are habitual they become permanent. So the lungs are habituated to produce certain sounds in the trachea, to vary them in the glottis, articulate them by the tongue, and modify them by the mouth; once these organic activities have become habitual, they are settled in the organs and can be reproduced. These changes and variations are infinitely more perfect in the organs of the mind than in those of the body, as is evident from what was said in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_ (nn. 199-204), where we showed that all perfections increase and ascend by and according to degrees. More on this will be seen below (n. 319).


_It is also an error of the age to suppose that when sins are remitted they are taken away._ This is the error of those who believe that their sins are pardoned by the sacrament of the Holy Supper although they have not removed them from themselves by repentance. Those also commit this error who believe that they are saved by faith alone; those also who believe that they are saved by papal dispensations. All these believe in unmediated mercy and instant salvation. But when the statement is reversed it becomes truth, that is, when sins are removed they are also remitted. For repentance precedes pardon, and aside from repentance there is no pardon. Therefore the Lord bade His disciples:

That they should preach repentance for the remission of sins (Lu 24:27, 47),

and John preached

The baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Lu 3:3).

The Lord remits the sins of all; He does not accuse and impute; but He can take sins away only in accordance with laws of His divine providence. For when Peter asked how often he was to forgive a brother sinning against him, whether seven times, the Lord said to him:

That he should forgive not only seven times, but seventy times seven (Mt 18:21, 22).

What then will the Lord not do, who is mercy itself?


(iv) _Thus the permission of evil is for the sake of the end, namely, salvation._ It is well known that man has full liberty to think and will but not to say and do whatever he thinks and wills. He may think as an atheist, deny God and blaspheme the sanctities of Word and church. He may even want to destroy them utterly by word and deed, but this is prevented by civil, moral and ecclesiastical laws. He therefore cherishes this impiety and wickedness inwardly by thinking, willing and even intending to do it, but not doing it actually. The man who is not an atheist also has full liberty to think many evil things, things fraudulent, lascivious, revengeful and otherwise insane; he also does them at times. Who can believe that unless man had full liberty, he not only could not be saved but would even perish utterly?

[2] Now let us have the reason for this. Everyone from birth is in evils of many kinds. They are in his will, and what is in the will is loved. For what a man wills inwardly he loves, what he loves he wills, and the will's love flows into the understanding where it makes its pleasure felt and thereupon enters the thoughts and intentions. If, therefore, he were not allowed to think in accord with the love in his will, which is hereditarily implanted in him, that love would remain shut in and never be seen by him. A love of evil which does not become apparent is like an enemy in ambush, like matter in an ulcer, like poison in the blood, or corruption in the breast, which cause death when they are kept shut in. But when a person is permitted to think the evils of his life's love, even to intend doing them, they are cured by spiritual means as diseases are by natural means.

[3] It will be told now what man would be like if he were not permitted to think in accord with the enjoyment of his life's love. No longer would he be man, for he would lose his two faculties called liberty and rationality in which humanness itself consists. The enjoyment of those evils would occupy the interiors of his mind to such an extent that it would burst open the door. He could then only speak and commit the evils; his unsoundness would be manifest not only to himself but to the world; and at length he would not know how to cover his shame. In order that he may not come into this state, he is permitted to think and to will the evils of his inherited nature but not to say and commit them. Meanwhile he is learning civil, moral and spiritual things. These enter his thoughts and remove the unsoundness and he is healed by the Lord by means of them, only to the extent, however, of knowing how to guard the door unless he also acknowledges God and implores His aid for power to resist the unsoundness. Then, so far as he resists it, he does not let it into his intentions and eventually not even into his thoughts.

[4] Since man is free to think as he pleases to the end that his life's love may emerge from its hiding-place into the light of his understanding, and since he would not otherwise know anything of his own evil and consequently would not know how to shun it, it is also true that it would increase in him so much that recovery would become impossible in him and hardly be possible in his children, were he to have children, for a parent's evil is transmitted to his offspring. The Lord, however, provides that this may not occur.


The Lord could heal the understanding in every man and thus cause him to think not evil but good, and this by means of fears of different kinds, miracles, conversations with the dead, or visions and dreams. But to heal the understanding alone is to heal man only outwardly, for understanding with its thought is the external of man's life while the will with its affection is the internal. The healing of the understanding alone would therefore be like palliative healing in which the interior malignity, closed in and kept from issuing, would destroy first the near and then the remote parts till all would become mortified. The will itself must be healed, not by the influx of the understanding into it, for that is impossible, but by means of instruction and exhortation from the understanding. Were the understanding alone healed, man would become like a dead body embalmed or covered by fragrant spices and roses which would soon get such a foul odor from the body that they could not be brought near anyone's nostrils. So heavenly truths in the understanding would be affected if the evil love of the will were shut in.


Man is permitted, as was said, to think evils even to intending them in order that they may be removed by means of what is civil, moral and spiritual. This is done when he considers that they are contrary to what is just and equitable, to what is honest and decorous and to what is good and true, contrary therefore to the peace, joy and blessedness of life. By these three means the Lord heals the love of man's will, in fear at first, it is true, but with love later. Still the evils are not separated from the man and cast out, but only removed in him and put to the side. When they are and good has the center, evils do not appear, for whatever has the central place is squarely under view and is seen and perceived. It should be known, however, that even when good occupies the center man is not for that reason in good unless the evils at the side tend downward or outward. If they look upward or inward they have not been removed, but are still trying to return to the center. They tend downward and outward when man shuns his evils as sins and still more when he holds them in aversion, for then he condemns them, consigns them to hell, and makes them face that way.


Man's understanding is the recipient of both good and evil and of both truth and falsity, but not his will. His will must be either in evil or in good; it cannot be in both, for it is the man himself and in it is his life's love. But good and evil are separate in the understanding like what is internal and what is external. Thus man may be inwardly in evil and outwardly in good. Still, when he is being reformed, the two meet, and conflict and combat ensue. This is called temptation when it is severe, but when it is not severe a fermentation like that of wine or strong drink occurs. If good conquers, evil with its falsity is carried to the side, as lees, to use an analogy, fall to the bottom of a vessel. The good is like wine that becomes generous on fermentation and like strong drink which becomes clear. But if evil conquers, good with its truth is borne to the side and becomes turbid and noisome like unfermented wine or unfermented strong drink. Comparison is made with ferment because in the Word, as at Hosea 7:4, Luke 12:1 and elsewhere, "ferment" signifies falsity of evil.



In every person, good or bad, there are two faculties one of which makes the understanding and the other the will. The faculty making the understanding is the ability to understand and think, therefore is called rationality. The faculty making the will is the ability to do this freely, that is, to think and consequently to speak and act also, provided that it is not contrary to reason or rationality; for to act freely is to act as often as one wills and according as one wills. The two faculties are constant and are present from first to last in each and all things which a man thinks and does. He has them not from himself, but from the Lord. It follows that the Lord's presence in these faculties is also in the least things, indeed the very least, of man's understanding and thought, of his will and affection too, and thence of his speech and action. If you remove these faculties from even the very least thing, you will not be able to think or utter it as a human being.

[2] It has already been shown abundantly that the human being is a human being by virtue of the two faculties, enabled by them to think and speak, and to perceive goods and understand truths, not only such as are civil and moral but also such as are spiritual, and made capable, too, of being reformed and regenerated; in a word, made capable of being conjoined to the Lord and thereby of living forever. It was also shown that not only good men but evil also possess the two faculties. These faculties are in man from the Lord and are not appropriated to him as his, for what is divine cannot be appropriated but only adjoined to him and thus appear to be his, and this which is divine with the human being is in the least things pertaining to him. It follows that the Lord governs the least things in an evil man as well as in a good man. This government of His is what is called divine providence.


Inasmuch as it is a law of divine providence that man shall act from freedom according to reason, that is, from the two faculties, liberty and rationality; and a law of divine providence that what he does shall appear to be from himself and thus his own; and also a law that evils must be permitted in order that man may be led out of them, it follows that man can abuse these faculties and in freedom according to reason confirm whatever he pleases. He can make reasonable whatever he will, whether it is reasonable in itself or not. Some therefore ask, "What is truth? Can I not make true whatever I will?" Does not the world do so? Anybody can do it by reasoning. Take an utter falsity and bid a clever man confirm it, and he will. Tell him, for instance, to show that man is a beast, or that the soul is like a small spider in its web and governs the body as that does by threads, or tell him that religion is nothing but a restraining bond, and he will prove any one of these propositions until it appears to be truth. What is more easily done? For he does not know what appearance is or what falsity is which in blind faith is taken for truth.

[2] Hence it is that a man cannot see this truth, namely, that divine providence is in the very least things of the understanding and the will, or what is the same, in the very least things of the thoughts and affections of every person, wicked or good. He is perplexed especially because it seems then that evils are also from the Lord, but it will be seen in what follows that nevertheless there is not a particle of evil from the Lord but that evil is from man in that he confirms in him the appearance that he thinks, wills, speaks and acts of himself. In order that these things may be seen clearly, they will be demonstrated in this order:

i. Divine providence is universal in the least things with the evil as well as the good, and yet is not in one's evils. ii. The evil are continually leading themselves into evils, but the Lord is continually leading them away from evils. iii. The evil cannot be fully withdrawn from evil and led in good by the Lord so long as they believe their own intelligence to be everything and divine providence nothing. iv. The Lord rules hell through opposites; and rules the evil who are in the world, in hell as to their interiors, but not as to their exteriors.


(i) _Divine providence is universal in the least things with the evil as well as the good, and yet is not in one's evils._ It was shown above that divine providence is in the least things of man's thoughts and affections. This means that man can think and will nothing from himself, but that everything he thinks and wills and consequently says and does, is from influx. If it is good, it is from influx out of heaven, and if evil, from influx out of hell; or what is the same, the good is from influx from the Lord and the evil from man's proprium. I know that it is difficult to grasp this, because what flows in from heaven or from the Lord is distinguished from what flows in from hell or from man's proprium, and yet divine providence is said to be in the least of man's thoughts and affections, even so far that he can think and will nothing from himself. It appears like a contradiction to say that he can also think and will from hell and from his proprium. Yet it is not, and this will be seen in what follows, after some things have been premised which will clarify the matter.


All the angels of heaven confess that no one can think from himself but does so from the Lord, while all the spirits of hell say that no one can think from any other than himself. These spirits have been shown many times that no one of them thinks or can think from himself, but that thought flows in; it was in vain, however; they would not accept the idea. But experience will teach, first, that everything of thought and affection even with spirits of hell flows in from heaven, but that the inflowing good is turned into evil there and truth into falsity, thus everything into its opposite. This was shown in this way: a truth from the Word was sent down from heaven, was received by those uppermost in hell, and by them sent to lower hells, and on to the lowest. On the way it was turned by stages into falsity and finally into falsity the direct opposite of the truth. Those with whom it was so changed thought the falsity of themselves seemingly and knew no otherwise; still it was truth, flowing down from heaven on the way to the lowest hell, which was thus falsified and perverted. I have heard of this several times. The same thing occurs with good; as it flows down from heaven, it is changed step by step into the evil opposite to it. Hence it was plain that truth and good, proceeding from the Lord and received by those who are in falsity and evil, are completely altered and so transformed that their first form is lost. The like happens in every evil person, for as to his spirit he is in hell.


I have often been shown that no one in hell thinks from himself but through others around him, and these do not, but through others still. Thoughts and affections make their way from one society to another, but no one is aware that they do not originate with himself. Some who believed that they thought and willed of themselves were dispatched to another society and held there, and communication was cut off with the societies around to which their thoughts usually extended. Then they were told to think differently from the spirits of this society, and compel themselves to think to the contrary; they confessed that they could not.

[2] This was done with a number and with Leibnitz, too, who was also convinced that no one thinks from himself, but from others, nor do these think from themselves, but all think by an influx from heaven, and heaven by an influx from the Lord. Some, pondering this, said that it was amazing, and that hardly anyone can be led to credit it, for it is utterly contrary to the appearance, but that they still could not deny it, for it was fully demonstrated. Nevertheless, astonished as they were, they said that they are not in fault then in thinking evil; also that it seems then as if evil is from the Lord; and, again, that they do not understand how the one Lord can cause all to think so diversely. The three points will be explained in what follows.


To the experiences cited this is also to be added. When it was granted me by the Lord to speak with spirits and angels, the foregoing arcanum was at once disclosed to me. For I was told from heaven that like others I believed that I thought and willed from myself, when in fact nothing was from myself, but if it was good, it was from the Lord, and if evil from hell. That this was so, was shown me to the life by various thoughts and affections which were induced on me, and gradually I was given to perceive and feel it. Therefore, as soon as an evil afterwards entered my will or a falsity into my thought, I investigated the source of it. I inquired from whom it came. This was disclosed to me, and I was also allowed to speak with those spirits, refute them, and compel them to withdraw, thus to take back their evil and falsity and keep it to themselves, and no longer infuse anything of the kind into my thought. This has occurred a thousand times. I have remained in this state for many years, and still do. Yet I seem to myself to think and will from myself like others, with no difference, for of the Lord's providence it should so appear to everyone, as was shown above in the section on it. Newly arriving spirits wonder at this state of mine, seeing as they do only that I do not think and will from myself, and am therefore like some empty thing. But I disclosed the arcanum to them, and added that I also think more interiorly, and perceive whether what flows into my exterior thought is from heaven or from hell, reject the latter and welcome the former, yet seem to myself, like them, to be thinking and willing from myself.


It is not unknown in the world that all good is from heaven and all evil from hell; it is known to everyone in the church. Who that has been inaugurated into the church's priesthood does not teach that all good is from God, and that man can receive nothing of himself except it be given him from heaven? And also that the devil infuses evils into the thoughts and leads astray and incites one to commit evils? Therefore a priest who believes that he preaches out of a holy zeal, prays that the Holy Spirit may teach him, and guide his thoughts and utterances. Some say that they have sensibly perceived being acted upon, and when a sermon is praised, reply piously that they have spoken not from themselves but from God. Therefore when they see someone speak and act well, they remark he was led to do so by God; on the other hand, seeing someone speak and act wickedly, they remark he was led to do so by the devil. That there is talk of the kind in the church is known, but who believes that it is so?


Everything that a man thinks and wills, and consequently speaks and does, flows in from the one Fountain of life, and yet that one Fountain of life, namely, the Lord, is not the cause of man's thinking what is evil and false. This may be clarified by these facts in the world of nature. Heat and light proceed from the sun of the world. They flow into all visible subjects and objects, not only into subjects that are good and objects that are beautiful, but also into subjects that are evil and objects that are ugly, producing varying effects in them. They flow not only into trees that bear good fruit but into trees that bear bad fruit, and into the fruits themselves, quickening their growth. They flow into good seed and into weeds, into shrubs which have a good use and are wholesome, and into shrubs that have an evil use and are poisonous. Yet it is the same heat and the same light; there is no cause of evil in them; the cause is in the recipient subjects and objects.

[2] The same warmth that hatches eggs in which a screech-owl, a horned owl, and a viper lie acts as it does when it hatches those in which a dove, a bird of paradise and a swan lie. Put eggs of both sorts under the hen and they will be hatched by her warmth, which in itself is innocent of harm. What has the heat in common then with what is evil and noxious? The heat flowing into a marsh or a dung-hill or into decaying or dead matter acts in the same way as it does when it flows into things flavorsome and fragrant, lush and living. Who does not see that the cause is not in the heat but in the recipient subject? The same light gives pleasing colors in one object and displeasing colors in another; indeed, it grows brighter in white objects and becomes dazzling, and dims in those verging on black and becomes dusky.

[3] There is what is similar in the spiritual world. There are heat and light in it from its sun, which is the Lord, and they flow from the sun into their subjects and objects. Now the subjects and objects are angels and spirits, in particular their volitional and mental life, and the heat is divine love going forth, and the light is divine wisdom going forth. The light and heat are not the cause of the different reception of them by one and another. For the Lord says,

He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Mt 5:45).

In the highest spiritual sense by the "sun" the divine love is meant, and by the "rain" the divine wisdom.


Let me add to this the view of the angels on will and understanding in man. This is that there cannot be a grain of will or of prudence in man that is his own. They say that if there were, neither heaven nor hell would continue in existence, and all mankind would perish. The reason they give is that myriads of human beings, as many as have been born since the creation of the world, constitute heaven and hell, of which the one is under the other in such an order that each is a unit, heaven one comely humanity, and hell one monstrous humanity. If the individual had a grain of will and intelligence of his very own, that unity could not exist, but would be torn apart. Upon this that divine form would perish, which can arise and remain only as the Lord is all in all and men are nothing besides. A further reason, they say, is that to think and will actually from one's own being is the divine itself, and to think and will from God, is the truly human. The very divine cannot be appropriated to anyone, for then man would be God. Bear the above in mind, and if you wish you will have confirmation of it by angels when on death you come into the spiritual world.


It was stated above (n. 289) that when some were convinced that no one thinks from himself but from others, nor the others from themselves, but all by influx through heaven from the Lord, they remarked in their astonishment that then they are not in fault when they do evil, also that then it seems evil comes from the Lord, nor do they comprehend how the Lord can cause them all to think so differently. Since these three notions cannot but flow into the thoughts of those who regard effects only from effects and not from causes, they need to be taken up and explained by what causes them.

[2] First: _They are not in fault then in doing evil._ For if all that a person thinks flows into him from others, the fault seems to be theirs from whom it comes. Yet the fault is the recipient's, for he receives what inflows as his own and neither knows nor wants to know otherwise. For everyone wants to be his own, to be led by himself, and above all to think and will from himself; this is freedom itself, which appears as the proprium in which every person is. If he knew, therefore, that what he thinks and wills flows in from another, it would seem to him that he was bound and captive and no longer master of himself. All enjoyment in his life would thus perish, and finally his very humanness would perish.

[3] I have often seen this evidenced. It was granted some spirits to perceive and sense that they were being led by others. Thereupon they were so enraged that they were reduced almost to mental impotence. They said that they would rather be kept bound in hell than not to be allowed to think as they willed and to will as they thought. This they called being bound in their very life, which was harder and more intolerable than to be bound bodily. Not being allowed to speak and act as they thought and willed, they did not call being bound. For the enjoyment of civil and moral life, which consists in speaking and acting, itself restrains and at the same time mitigates that.

[4] Inasmuch as man does not want to know that he is led to think by others, but wants to think from himself and believes that he does so, it follows that he himself is in fault, nor can he throw off the blame so long as he loves to think what he thinks. If he does not love it, he breaks his connection with those from whom his thought flows. This occurs when he knows the thought is evil, therefore determines to avoid it and desist from it. He is then also taken by the Lord from the society in that evil and transferred to a society free of it. If, however, he recognizes the evil and does not shun it, fault is imputed to him, and he is responsible for the evil. Therefore, whatever a man believes that he does from himself is said to be done from the man, and not from the Lord.

[5] Second: _It then seems as if evil is from the Lord._ This may be thought to be the conclusion from what was shown above (n. 288), namely, that good flowing in from the Lord is turned into evil and truth into falsity in hell. But who cannot see that evil and falsity do not come of good and truth, therefore not from the Lord, but from the recipient subject or object which is in evil and falsity and which perverts and inverts what flows into it, as was amply shown above (n. 292). The source of evil and falsity in man has been pointed out frequently in the preceding pages. Moreover, an experiment was made in the spiritual world with those who believed that the Lord could remove evils in the wicked and introduce good instead, thus move the whole of hell into heaven and save all. That this is impossible, however, will be seen towards the end of this treatise, where instantaneous salvation and unmediated mercy are to be treated of.

[6] Third: _They do not comprehend how the one Lord can cause all to think so diversely._ The Lord's divine love is infinite, likewise His divine wisdom. An infinity of love and wisdom proceeds from Him, flows in with all in heaven, thence with all in hell, and from heaven and hell with all in the world. Thinking and willing therefore cannot lack in anyone, for what is infinite is limitless. The infinite things that issue from the Lord flow in not only universally but also in least things. For the divine is universal by being in least things, and the divine in least things constitutes what is called universal, as was shown above, and the divine in something least is still infinite. Hence it may be evident that the one Lord causes each person to think and will according to the person's nature and does so in accordance with laws of His providence. It was shown above (nn. 46-69) and also in the treatise _Divine Love and Wisdom_ (nn. 17-22), that everything in the Lord, or proceeding from Him, is infinite.


(ii) _The evil are continually leading themselves into evils, but the Lord is continually leading them away from evils._ The nature of divine providence with the good is more readily comprehended than its nature with the evil. As the latter is now under consideration, it will be set forth in this order:

1. In every evil there are innumerable things. 2. An evil man of himself continually leads himself more and more deeply into his evils. 3. Divine providence with the evil is a continual tolerance of evil, to the end that there may be a continual withdrawal from it. 4. Withdrawal from evil is effected by the Lord in a thousand most secret ways.


In order, then, that divine providence with the evil may be seen clearly and therefore understood, the propositions just stated are to be explained in the order in which they were presented.

First: _In every evil there are innumerable things._ To man's sight an evil appears to be a single thing. Hatred does, and revenge, theft and fraud, adultery and whoredom, pride and presumption, and the rest. It is unknown that in every evil there are innumerable things, exceeding in number the fibres and vessels in the human body. For an evil man is a hell in least form, and hell consists of myriads and myriads of spirits, each of whom is in form like a man, but a monstrous one, in whom all the fibres and vessels are inverted. A spirit himself is an evil which appears to him as one thing, but in it are innumerable things, as numerous as the lusts of that evil. For everyone, from head to foot, is his own evil or his own good. Since an evil man is such, plainly he is one evil composed of countless different evils, all severally evils, and called lusts of evil. It follows that all these, one after another, must be cured and changed by the Lord for man to be reformed, and that it can be done only by the Lord's divine providence, step by step from man's first years to his last.

[2] Every lust of evil, when it is visually presented, appears in hell like some noxious creature, a serpent, a cockatrice, a viper, a horned owl, a screech-owl, or some other; so do the lusts of evil in an evil man appear when he is viewed by angels. All these forms of lust must be changed one by one. The man himself, who appears as to his spirit like a monstrous man or devil, must be changed to appear like a comely angel, and each lust of evil changed to appear like a lamb or sheep or pigeon or turtle dove, as affections of good in angels appear in heaven when they are visually represented. Changing a serpent into a lamb, or a cockatrice into a sheep, or an owl into a dove, can be done only gradually, by uprooting evil together with its seed and implanting good seed in its place. This can only be done, however, comparatively as is done in the grafting of trees, of which the roots with some of the trunk remain, but the engrafted branch turns the sap drawn through the old root into sap that produces good fruit. The branch to be engrafted in this instance is to be had only from the Lord, who is the tree of life; this is also in keeping with the Lord's words in John 15:1-7.

[3] Second: _An evil man from himself continually leads himself more deeply into his evils._ He does so "from himself" because all evil is from man, for, as was said, he turns good, which is from the Lord, into evil. He leads himself more and more deeply into evil for the reason, essentially, that as he wills and commits evil, he enters more and more interiorly and also more and more deeply into infernal societies. Hence the enjoyment of evil increases, too, and occupies his thoughts until he feels nothing more agreeable. One who has entered more interiorly and deeply into infernal societies becomes like one bound by chains. So long as he lives in the world, however, he does not feel his chains; they seem to be made of soft wool or smooth silken threads. He loves them, for they titillate; but after death, from being soft, those chains become hard, and from being pleasant become galling.

[4] That the enjoyment of evil grows is known from thefts, robberies, plunderings, revenge, tyranny, lucre, and other evils. Who does not feel a heightening of enjoyment in them as he succeeds in them and practices them uninhibited? A thief, we know, feels such enjoyment in thefts that he cannot desist from them, and, a wonder, he loves one stolen coin more than ten that are given him. It would be similar with adultery, had it not been provided that the power to commit this evil decreases with the abuse, but with many there still remains the enjoyment of thinking and talking about it, and if nothing more, there is still the lust of touch.

[5] It is not known, however, that this heightening of enjoyment comes from a man's entering into infernal societies more and more interiorly and deeply as he perpetrates evils from the will as well as from thought. If the evils are only in the thoughts, and not in the will, he is not yet in an infernal society having that evil; he enters it when the evils are also in the will. Then, if he also thinks the evil is contrary to the precepts of the Decalog and regards these precepts as divine, he commits the evil of set purpose and by so doing plunges to a depth from which he can be brought out only by active repentance. It is to be understood that everyone as to his spirit is in the spiritual world, in one of its societies, an evil man in an infernal society and a good man in a heavenly society; sometimes, when in deep meditation one also appears there. Moreover, as sound and, along with it, speech spread on the air in the natural world, affection and thought with it spread among societies in the spiritual world; there is correspondence, too, affection corresponding to sound and thought to speech.

[7] Third: _Divine providence with the evil is a continual tolerance of evil, to the end that there may be a continual withdrawal from it._ Divine providence with evil men is continual permission because only evil can issue from their life. For whether he is in good or in evil, man cannot be in both at once, nor by turns in one and the other unless he is lukewarm. Evil of life is not introduced into the will and through this into the thought by the Lord but by man, and this is named permission.

[8] Inasmuch as everything which an evil man wills and thinks is by permission, the question arises, what in this case divine providence is, which is said to be in the least things with every person, evil or good. It consists in this, that it exercises tolerance continually for the sake of its objective, and permits what helps to the end and nothing more. It constantly observes the evils that issue by permission, separates and purifies them, and rejects what is unsuitable and discharges it by unknown ways. This is done principally in man's interior will and through it in his interior thought. Divine providence also sees to it constantly that what must be rejected and discharged is not received again by the will, since all that is received by the will is appropriated to the man; what is received by the thought, but not by the will, is set aside and banished. Such is the constant divine providence with the evil; as was said, it is a continual tolerance of evil to the end that there may be continual withdrawal from it.

[9] Of these activities man knows scarcely anything, for he does not perceive them. The chief reason why he does not, is that the evils come from the lusts of his life's love, and are not felt to be evils but enjoyments, to which one does not give thought. Who gives thought to the enjoyments of his love? His thought floats along in them like a skiff carried along by the current of a stream; and he perceives a fragrant air which he inhales with a deep breath. Only in one's external thought does one have a sense of the enjoyments, but even in it he pays no attention to them unless he knows well that they are evil. More will be said on this in what follows.

[10] Fourth: _Withdrawal from evil is effected by the Lord in a thousand most secret ways._ Only some of these have been disclosed to me, and only the most general ones. For instance, the enjoyments of lusts, of which man knows nothing, are let by clusters and bundles into the interior thoughts of his spirit and thence into his exterior thoughts, where they appear in a feeling of pleasure, delight or longing, and mingle with his natural and sensuous enjoyments. There the means to separation and purification and the ways of withdrawal and unburdening are to be found. The means are chiefly the enjoyments of meditation, thought and reflection on ends that are uses. Such ends are as numerous as the particulars and details of one's business or occupation. Just as numerous are the enjoyments of reflection on such an end as that one shall appear to be a civil and moral and also a spiritual person, no matter what interposes which is unenjoyable. These enjoyments, being those of one's love in the external man, are the means to the separation, purification, expulsion and withdrawal of the enjoyments of the lusts in the internal man.

[11] Take, for example, an unjust judge who regards gain or friendship as the end or use of his office. Inwardly he is constantly in those ends, but outwardly must act as one learned in the law and just. He is constantly in the enjoyment of meditation, thought, reflection and intent to bend and turn a decision and adapt and adjust it so that it may still seem to be in conformity with the laws and resemble justice. He does not know that his inward enjoyment consists in craftiness, defrauding, deceit, clandestine theft, and many other evils, and that this enjoyment, made up of so many enjoyments of the lusts of evil, governs each and all things of his external thought, in which he enjoys appearing just and sincere. Into the external enjoyment the internal enjoyment is let down, the two are mingled as food is in the stomach, and thereupon the internal enjoyments are separated, purified, and withdrawn. Still this is true only of the more grievous enjoyments of the lusts of evil.

[12] For in an evil man the only separation, purification and withdrawal possible is of the more grievous evils from the less grievous.

In a good man, however, separation, purification and withdrawal is possible not only of the more grievous evils but also of the less grievous. This is effected by the enjoyments of the affections of what is good and true, and of what is just and sincere, affections into which one comes so far as he regards evils as sins and therefore avoids and is averse to them, and still more as he fights against them. It is by these means that the Lord purifies all who are saved. He purifies them by external means also, such as fame and standing and sometimes wealth, but put into these means by the Lord are the enjoyments of affections of good and truth, by which they are directed and fitted to become enjoyments of love for the neighbor.

[13] If one saw the enjoyments of the lusts of evil assembled in some form, or perceived them distinctly by some sense, he would see and perceive that they are too numerous for definition. For hell in its entirety is nothing but the form of all the lusts of evil, and no one lust in it is quite similar to or the same as another, nor can be to eternity. Of these countless lusts man knows scarcely anything, and even less how they are connected with one another. Yet the Lord in His divine providence continually allows them to come forth, for them to be drawn away, and this is done in perfect order and sequence. For the evil man is a hell in miniature, and the good man a heaven in miniature.

[14] The withdrawal from evils, which the Lord effects in a thousand highly secret ways, may best be seen and concluded about from the secret activities of the soul in the body. Man knows that he examines the food he is about to eat, perceives what it is by its odor, hungers for it, tastes it, chews it, and by the tongue rolls it down into the esophagus and so into the stomach. But then there are the hidden activities of the soul of which he knows nothing, for he has no sensation of them. The stomach rolls about the food it receives, opens and breaks it up by solvents, that is, digests it, and offers fit portions to the little mouths opening in it and to veins which imbibe it. Some it sends to the blood, some to the lymphatic vessels, some to the lacteal vessels of the mesentery, and some down to the intestines. Then the chyle, conveyed through the thoracic duct from its cistern in the mesentery, is carried to the vena cava, and so to the heart. From the heart it is carried into the lungs, from them through the left ventricle of the heart into the aorta, and from this by its branches to viscera throughout the body and also to the kidneys. In each organ separation and purification of the blood are effected and removal of the heterogeneous, not to mention how the heart sends its blood up to the brain after purification in the lungs, which is done by the arteries called carotids, and how the brain returns the blood, now vivified, to the vena cava just above where the thoracic duct brings in the chyle, and so back again to the heart.

[15] These and countless other activities are secret operations of the soul in the body. Man has no sense of them, and unless he is acquainted with the science of anatomy, knows nothing of them. Yet similar activities take place in the interiors of the human mind. Nothing can take place in the body except from the mind, for man's mind is his spirit, and his spirit is equally man; the sole difference being that what is done in the body is done naturally, while what is done in the mind is done spiritually; there is all similarity. Plainly, then, divine providence operates with every man in a thousand hidden ways, and its incessant care is to cleanse him, since its purpose is to save him. Plainly, too, nothing more is incumbent on man than to remove evils in the outward man; the Lord sees to the rest, when He is implored.


(iii) _The evil cannot be fully withdrawn from evil and led in good by the Lord so long as they believe their own intelligence to be everything and divine providence nothing._ It would seem that man could withdraw himself from evil provided he thought that this or that was contrary to the common good, or to what is useful, or to national or international law, and this an evil as well as a good man can do if by birth or through practice he is such that he can think clearly within himself, analysing and reasoning. But even then he is not capable of withdrawing himself from evil. The faculty of understanding and of perceiving, even abstractly, has indeed been given everyone by the Lord, to the evil as well as to the good, as has been shown above in many places, and yet man cannot deliver himself from evil by means of this faculty. For evil comes of the will, and the understanding influences the will only with light, enlightening and instructing. If the heat of the will, that is, man's love, is hot with the lust of evil, it is cold towards the affection of good, therefore does not receive the light but either repels or extinguishes it, or by some fabricated falsity turns it into evil. The light is then like winter light, which is as clear as the light in summer and remains as clear even when it flows into frozen trees. But this can be seen better in the following order:

1. When the will is in evil, one's own intelligence sees only falsity, and neither desires to see, nor can see, anything else. 2. If then one's own intelligence is confronted with truth, it either turns away from it or falsifies it. 3. Divine providence continually causes man to see truth, and also gives him affection for perceiving and receiving it. 4. Through this means man is withdrawn from evil, not by himself, but by the Lord.


For these things to be made apparent to the rational man, whether he is evil or good, thus whether he is in the light of winter or in the light of summer (for colors appear the same in them), they are to be explained in due order.

First: _When the will is in evil, one's own intelligence sees only falsity, and neither desires nor is able to see anything else._ This has often been demonstrated in the spiritual world. Everyone, on becoming a spirit, which takes place after death when he puts off the material body and puts on the spiritual, is introduced by turns into the two states of his life, the external and the internal. In the external state he speaks and acts rationally, quite as a rational and wise man does in the world; he can also instruct others in much that pertains to moral and civil life, and if he has been a preacher he can also give instruction in the spiritual life. But when he is brought from this external state into his internal state, and the external is put to sleep and the internal awakes, the scene changes if he is evil. From being rational he becomes sensuous, and from being wise he becomes insane. For he thinks then from the evil of his will and its enjoyments, thus from his own intelligence, and sees only falsity and does nothing but evil, believing that evil is wisdom and that cunning is prudence. From his own intelligence he believes himself to be a deity and with all his mind sucks up nefarious ways.

[2] I have often seen instances of such insanity. I have also seen spirits introduced into these alternating states two or three times within an hour, and it was granted them to see and also acknowledge their insanities. Nevertheless they were unwilling to remain in a rational and moral state, but voluntarily returned to their internal sensuous and insane state. They loved this more than the other because the enjoyment of their life's love was in it. Who can believe that an evil man is such beneath his outward appearance and that he undergoes such a transformation when he enters on his internal state? This one experience makes plain the nature of one's own intelligence when one thinks and acts from the evil of one's will. It is otherwise with the good. When they are admitted from their external state into their internal state, they become still wiser and still more moral.

[3] Second: _If then one's own intelligence is confronted with truth, it either turns away from it or falsifies it._ The human being has a volitional and an intellectual proprium. The volitional proprium is evil, and the intellectual proprium is falsity derived from evil; the latter is meant by "the will of man" and the former by "the will of the flesh" in John 1:13. The volitional proprium is in essence self-love, and the intellectual proprium is the pride coming of that love. The two are like married partners, and their union is called the marriage of evil and falsity. Into this union each evil spirit is admitted before he enters hell; he then does not know what good is; he calls his evil good, because that is what he feels to be enjoyable. He also turns away from truth then and has no desire to see it, because he sees the falsity which accords with his evil as the eye beholds what is beautiful, and hears it as the ear hears what is harmonious.

[4] Third: _Divine providence continually causes man to see truth and also gives him affection for perceiving and receiving it._ For divine providence acts from within and flows thence into the exteriors, that is, flows from what is spiritual into what is in the natural man, by the light of heaven enlightening his understanding and by the heat of heaven quickening his will. The light of heaven in essence is divine wisdom, and the heat of heaven in essence is divine love. From divine wisdom nothing can flow but truth, and from divine love nothing but good. With good the Lord bestows an affection in the understanding for seeing and also perceiving and receiving truth. Man thus becomes man not only in external aspect but in internal aspect, too. Everyone desires to appear a rational and spiritual man, and knows he so desires in order that others may believe him to be truly man. If then he is rational and spiritual in external form only, and not at the same time in his internal form, is he man? Is he different from a player on the stage or from an ape with an almost human face? May one not know from this that only he is a human being who is inwardly what he desires others to think he is? One who acknowledges the one fact must admit the other. Man's own intelligence can induce the human form only on externals, but divine providence induces it on internals and thence on externals. When it has been so induced, a man does not only appear to be a man; he is one.

[5] Fourth: _Through this means man is withdrawn from evil, not by himself, but by the Lord._ When divine providence gives man to see truth and to be affected by it, he can be withdrawn from evil for the reason that truth points the way and dictates; doing what truth dictates, the will unites with truth and within itself turns it into good, for it becomes something one loves, and what is loved is good. All reformation is effected through truth, not without it, for without truth the will continues in its evil, and should it consult the understanding, is not instructed, rather the evil is confirmed by falsities.

[6] With regard to intelligence, this seems to the good man as well as to an evil man to be his and proper to him. Like an evil man, he is also bound to act from intelligence as if it were his own. But one who believes in divine providence is withdrawn from evil, and one who does not believe in it is not withdrawn; he believes who acknowledges that evil is sin and desires to be withdrawn from it, and he does not believe who does not so acknowledge and desire. The difference between the two kinds of intelligence is like that between what is believed to exist in itself and what is believed not to exist in itself but to appear as if it did. It is also like the difference between an external without an internal similar to it and an external with a similar internal. Thus it is like the difference between impersonations of kings, princes or generals by mimes and actors through word and bearing, and actual kings, princes or generals. The latter are such in fact as well as outwardly, but the former only outwardly, and when the exterior is laid off, are known only as comedians, actors or players.


(iv) _The Lord governs hell by means of opposites, and those in the world who are evil He governs in hell as to their interiors but not as to their exteriors._ One who does not know the character of heaven and hell cannot know at all that of man's mind; his mind is his spirit which survives death. For the mind or spirit of man is altogether in form what heaven or hell is. The only difference is that one is vast and the other very small, or one is archetype and the other a copy. As to his mind or spirit, accordingly, the human being is either heaven or hell in least form, heaven if he is led by the Lord, and hell if he is led by his proprium. Inasmuch as it has been granted me to know what heaven and hell are, and it is important to know what the human being is in respect to his mind or spirit, I will describe both heaven and hell briefly.


All who are in heaven are nothing other than affections of good and thoughts thence of truth, and all who are in hell are nothing other than lusts of evil and imaginations thence of falsity. These are so arranged respectively that the lusts of evil and the imaginings of falsity in hell are precisely opposite to the affections of good and the thoughts of truth in heaven. Therefore hell is under heaven and diametrically opposite, that is, the two are like two men lying in opposite directions, or standing, invertedly, like men at the antipodes, only the soles of their feet meeting and their heels hitting. At times hell also appears to be so situated or inverted relatively to heaven, for the reason that those in hell make lusts of evil the head and affections of good the feet, while those in heaven make affections of good the head and lusts of evil the soles of the feet; hence the mutual opposition. When it is said that in heaven there are affections of good and thoughts of truth from them, and in hell lusts of evil and imaginations of falsity from them, the meaning is that there are spirits and angels who are such. For everyone is his affection or his lust, an angel of heaven his affection and a spirit of hell his lust.


265-1 Swedenborg follows the numbering of the Commandments customary with Lutherans, as with Roman Catholics.

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