123. VII. IT IS THE CONTINUAL ENDEAVOUR OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF THE LORD TO UNITE MAN TO HIMSELF AND HIMSELF TO MAN IN ORDER THAT HE MAY BE ABLE TO BESTOW UPON MAN THE FELICITIES OF ETERNAL LIFE; AND THIS CAN BE DONE ONLY SO FAR AS EVILS WITH THEIR LUSTS ARE REMOVED. It has been shown above (n. 27-45), that it is the continual endeavour of the Divine Providence of the Lord to unite man to Himself and Himself to man, and that this union is what is called reformation and regeneration, and that man has salvation from it. Who does not see that conjunction with God is life eternal and salvation? Everyone sees it who believes that men are from creation images and likenesses of God (Gen. i. 26, 27), and who knows what an image and likeness of God is.
 Can anyone of sound reason, when he thinks from his own rationality, and is willing to think from his own liberty, believe that there are three Gods, equal in essence, and that the Divine Being (Esse) or Divine Essence can be divided? That there is a Trine in the one God can be thought and comprehended, just as one can comprehend that there is a soul, a body and an out-going life from these in an angel and in a man; and as this Trine in One is in the Lord alone, it follows that conjunction must be with Him. If you make use of your rationality and at the same time of your liberty of thought you will see this truth in its own light; but you must first grant that there is a God and a heaven and that there is eternal life.
 Now since God is One, and man from creation was made an image and likeness of Him, and since through infernal love and its lusts and their delights he has come into the love of all evils; and has thereby destroyed in himself the image and likeness of God, it follows that it is the continual endeavour of the Divine Providence of the Lord to unite man to Himself and Himself to man, and thus make man to be His image. It also follows that this is to the end that the Lord may be able to bestow upon man the felicities of eternal life, for such is the nature of Divine Love.
 However, the Lord cannot bestow these upon man, nor make him an image of Himself unless man as of himself removes sins in the external man; because the Lord is not only Divine Love but also Divine Wisdom, and Divine Love does nothing but from its own Divine Wisdom and according to it. Moreover, it is according to His Divine Wisdom that man cannot be united to the Lord and thus reformed, regenerated and saved unless he is permitted to act from freedom according to reason, for by this man is man; and whatever is according to the Divine Wisdom of the Lord pertains also to His Divine Providence.