Divine Providence #27

Divine Providence (Dole translation)

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27. The Lord's Divine Providence Has as Its Goal a Heaven from the Human Race

I have explained elsewhere that heaven did not originate in angels who were created angels at the beginning, and that hell did not originate in a devil who was created an angel of light and was cast down from heaven. Rather, both heaven and hell are from the human race. Heaven is made up of people who are involved in a love for what is good and a consequent discernment of what is true, and hell of people who are involved in a love for what is evil and a discernment of what is false. I have been given convincing evidence of this through long-term association with angels and spirits, and would refer you to Heaven and Hell 311-316, the booklet The Last Judgment 14-27, and the whole of Supplements on the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World.

[2] Since heaven comes from the human race, then, and since heaven is living with the Lord forever, it follows that this was the Lord's goal for creation. Further, since this was the goal of creation, it is the goal of the Lord's divine providence.

The Lord did not create the universe for his own sake but for the sake of people he would be with in heaven. By its very nature, spiritual love wants to share what it has with others, and to the extent that it can do so, it is totally present, experiencing its peace and bliss. Spiritual love gets this quality from the Lord's divine love, which is like this in infinite measure.

It then follows that divine love (and therefore divine providence) has the goal of a heaven made up of people who have become angels and are becoming angels, people with whom it can share all the bliss and joy of love and wisdom, giving them these blessings from the Lord's own presence within them. He cannot help doing this, because his image and likeness is in us from creation. His image in us is wisdom and his likeness in us is love; and the Lord within us is love united to wisdom and wisdom united to love, or goodness united to truth and truth united to goodness, which is the same thing. (See the preceding section for a description of this union.)

[3] However, people do not know what heaven is in general or in groups of people and what heaven is in particular or in an individual. They do not know what heaven is in the spiritual world and what it is in the physical world, either; and yet it is important to know about these matters. Consequently, I want to shed some light on this, in the following sequence.

1. Heaven is union with the Lord.

2. Our nature from creation enables us to be more and more closely united to the Lord.

3. The more closely we are united to the Lord, the wiser we become.

4. The more closely we are united to the Lord, the happier we become.

5. The more closely we are united to the Lord, the more clearly we seem to have our own identity, and yet the more obvious it is to us that we belong to the Lord.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 630

Divine Providence 58, 123, 202, 253, 323

Other New Christian Commentary

Providence 1

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Heaven Is Conjunction with the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord's Providence
An overview of how the Lord's providence guides all of us toward greatness and provides for our eternal happiness.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.