Divine Providence #3

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3. 1. The universe as a whole and in every detail was created out of divine love, by means of divine wisdom. I explained in Divine Love and Wisdom that the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, is essentially divine love and wisdom, and that he himself created the universe and everything in it out of himself [Divine Love and Wisdom 28-33, 52-60, 282-295]. It then follows that the universe and everything in it was created out of divine love by means of divine wisdom.

I also explained in that work that love cannot do anything apart from wisdom and that wisdom cannot do anything apart from love [Divine Love and Wisdom 401]. Love without wisdom (or our volition apart from our discernment) cannot think anything. It cannot actually see, feel, or say anything. This means that love apart from wisdom (or our volition apart from our discernment) cannot do anything. By the same token, wisdom apart from love (or our discernment apart from our volition) cannot think anything, see or sense anything, or even say anything. This means that wisdom apart from love (or our discernment apart from our volition) cannot do anything. If you take the love away, there is no longer any intention, so there is no action. If this is how things work for us when we do something, it was all the more true of the God who is love itself and wisdom itself when he created and made the universe and everything in it.

[2] Everything that meets our eyes in this world can serve to convince us that the universe and absolutely everything in it was created out of divine love by means of divine wisdom. Take any particular thing and look at it with some wisdom, and this will be clear. Look at a tree--or its seed, its fruit, its flower, or its leaf. Collect your wits and look through a good microscope and you will see incredible things; and the deeper things that you cannot see are even more incredible. Look at the design of the sequence by which a tree grows from its seed all the way to a new seed, and ask yourself, "In this whole process, is there not a constant effort toward ongoing self-propagation?" The goal it is headed for is a seed that has a new power to reproduce. If you are willing to think spiritually (and you can if you want to), surely you see wisdom in this. Then too, if you are willing to press your spiritual thinking further, surely you see that this power does not come from the seed or from our world's sun, which is nothing but fire, but that it was put into the seed by a creator God who has infinite wisdom. This is not just something that happened at its creation; it is something that has been happening constantly ever since. Maintenance is constant creation, just as enduring is a constant coming into being. This is like the way labor ceases if you take the intention out of the activity, the way speech ceases if you take thinking out of it, or the way motion ceases if you take the energy out of it, and so on. In short, if you take the cause away from the effect, the effect ceases.

[3] A force is instilled into everything that has been created. However, the force does not do anything on its own; it depends on the one who instilled it. Look at some other subject on our planet. Look at a silkworm or a bee or some little creature and examine it, first physically, then rationally, and finally spiritually. If you can think deeply, you will be stunned at everything. If you listen to the inner voice of wisdom, you will exclaim in amazement, "Can anyone fail to see Divinity here? These are the marks of divine wisdom!"

Beyond this even, if you look at the functions of everything that has been created, you will see how they follow in sequence all the way to humanity and from us to our source, the Creator. You will see how the connectedness of everything depends on the Creator's union with us; and if you are willing to admit it, the preservation of everything depends on this as well.

In what follows, you will see that divine love created everything, but that it did nothing apart from divine wisdom.

  
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Table of Contents
Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence 1-26 The Lord's Divine Providence Has as Its Goal a Heaven from the Human Race 27-45 In Everything That It Does, the Lord's Divine Providence Is Focusing on What Is Infinite and Eternal 46-69 There Are Laws of Divine Providence That People Do Not Know 70 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Act in Freedom and in Accord with Reason 71-99 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Put Aside Evils in Our Outer Nature, Regarding Them as Sins and Doing So in Apparent Autonomy, and That This Is the Only Way the Lord Can Put Aside the Evils in Our Inner Nature and in Our Outer Nature Alike 100-128 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Be Compelled by Outside Forces to Think and Intend and So to Believe and Love in Matters of Our Religion, but That We Should Guide Ourselves and Sometimes Compel Ourselves 129-153 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Be Led and Taught by the Lord, from Heaven, by Means of the Word, and Teaching and Preaching from the Word, and That This Should Happen While to All Appearances We Are Acting Independently 154-174 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Sense or Feel Anything of the Working of Divine Providence, but That We Should Still Know about It and Acknowledge It 175-190 Our Own Prudence Is Nothing--It Only Seems to Be Something, As It Should. Rather, Divine Providence Is All-Inclusive Because It Extends to the Smallest Details 191-213 Divine Providence Focuses on Eternal Matters, and Focuses on Temporal Matters Only As They Coincide with Eternal Ones 214-220 We Are Not Granted Inner Access to the Truths That Our Faith Discloses and the Good Effects of Our Caring Except As We Can Be Kept in Them to the End of Our Life 221-233 Laws of Permission Are Also Laws of Divine Providence 234-274 Evils Are Permitted for a Purpose: Salvation 275-284 Divine Providence Is for Evil People and Good People Alike 285-307 Divine Providence Does Not Charge Us with Anything Evil or Credit Us with Anything Good; Rather, Our Own Prudence Claims Both 308-321 Everyone Can Be Reformed, and There Is No Such Thing as Predestination 322-330 The Lord Cannot Act Contrary to the Laws of Divine Providence, Because to Do So Would Be to Act Contrary to His Own Divine Love and His Own Divine Wisdom, and Therefore Contrary to Himself 331-340
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Conjugial Love 87

Divine Providence 82


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


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