< XX. The Sacred Scripture, Or The Word ^ The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine ^ XXII. The Lord >

XXI. Providence

HD 267. The government of the Lord in the heavens and in the earths is called Providence; and because all the good of love and all the truth of faith, from which is salvation, are from Him, and nothing at all from man, it is evident therefrom that the Divine Providence of the Lord is in each and all the things which conduce to the salvation of the human race. This the Lord teaches in John:--

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6);

and in another place:--

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it shall abide in the vine, so neither can ye, unless ye shall abide in Me; without Me ye cannot do anything (John 15:4, 5).

HD 268. The Divine Providence of the Lord extends to the most minute things of a man’s life; for there is only one fountain of life, which is the Lord, from whom we are, we live, and we act.

HD 269. They who think from worldly things concerning the Divine Providence, conclude from them that it is only universal, and that the particulars appertain to man. But they do not know the arcana of heaven, for they form their conclusions only from the loves of self and of the world, and their pleasures; wherefore, when they see the evil exalted to honors, and acquire wealth more than the good, and also succeed in evils according to their arts, they, say in their heart, that it would not be so if the Divine Providence were in each and all things; but they do not consider that the Divine Providence does not regard that which soon passes away, and ends with the life of man in the world, but that it regards that which remains to eternity, thus which has no end. What has no end, that is; but what has an end, that respectively is not. Let him who can, think whether a hundred thousand years are anything compared to eternity, and he will perceive that they are not; what then are some years of life in the world?

HD 270. Every one who rightly considers, may know that eminence and opulence in the world are not real divine blessings, notwithstanding man, from his pleasure in them, calls them so; for they pass away, and also seduce many, and turn them away from heaven; but that eternal life, and its happiness, are ideal blessings, which are from the Divine: this the Lord also teaches in Luke:--

Make to yourselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where the thief approacheth not, neither the moth corrupteth; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:33, 34).

HD 271. The reason why the evil succeed in evils according to their arts is, because it is according to Divine order that everyone should act what be acts from reason, and also from freedom; wherefore, unless man were left to act from freedom according to his reason, and thus unless the arts which are thence derived were to succeed, man could by no means be disposed to receive eternal life, for this is insinuated when man is in freedom, and his reason is enlightened. For no one can be compelled to good because nothing that is compelled inheres with him, for it is not his own: that becomes a man‘s own, which is done from freedom according to his reason, and that is done from freedom which is done from the will or love, and the will or love is the man himself. If a man were compelled to that which he does not will, his mind would continually incline to that which he wills; and besides, everyone strives after what is forbidden, and this from a latent cause, because he strives for freedom. Whence it is evident that unless man were kept in freedom, good could not be provided for him.

HD 272. To leave man from his own freedom also to think, to will, and, so far as the laws do not restrain him, to do evil, is called permitting.

HD 273. To be led to felicities in the world by arts, appears to man as if it were from his own prudence, but still the Divine providence continually accompanies by permitting and continually leading away from evil. But to be led to felicities in heaven is known and perceived to be not from man’s own prudence, because it is from the Lord, and is effected of His Divine providence by disposing and continually leading to good.

HD 274. That this is so, man cannot comprehend from the light of nature, for from that light he does not know the laws of Divine order.

HD 275. It is to be known that there is providence, and there is foresight; good is what is provided by the Lord, but evil is what is foreseen by the Lord. The one must accompany the other, for what comes from man is nothing but evil, but what comes from the Lord is nothing but good.


Since all the good which is provided for man by the Lord flows in, we will therefore adduce from the Arcana Coelestia the particulars there concerning Influx: and since the Lord provides all things according to Divine order, we will also adduce from that work the particulars concerning Order.

HD 276. Of Providence. Providence is the government of the Lord in the heavens and on the earth (AC 10773). The Lord, from providence, rules all things according to order, and thus providence is government according to order (AC 1755, 2447). And He rules all things either from will or from leave, or from permission; thus in various respects according to man‘s quality (AC 1755, 2447, 3704, 9940). Providence acts invisibly (AC 5508). Most things which are done from providence appeal to man as contingencies (AC 5508). Providence acts invisibly, in order that man may not be compelled to believe from visible things, and thus that his free-will may not be injured; for unless man has freedom he cannot be reformed, thus he cannot be saved (AC 1937, 1947, 2876, 2881, 3854, 5508, 5982, 6477, 8209, 8987, 9588, 10409, 10777). The Divine providence does not regard temporary things which soon pass away, but eternal things (AC 5264, 8717, 10776); illustrated (AC 6491). They who do not comprehend this, believe that opulence and eminence in the world are the only things to be provided, and call such things blessings from the Divine, when nevertheless they are not regarded as blessings by the Lord, but only as means conducive to the life of man in the world; but that those things are regarded by the Lord which conduce to man’s eternal happiness (AC 10409, 10776). They who are in the Divine providence of the Lord, are led in each and all things to eternal happiness (AC 8478, 8480). They who ascribe all things to nature and man‘s own prudence, and nothing to the Divine, do not think or comprehend this (AC 6481, 10409, 10775). The Divine providence of the Lord is not, as believed in the world, universal only, and the particulars and single thing dependent on man’s prudence (AC 8717, 10775). No universal exists but from and with single things, because single things taken together are called a universal, as particulars taken together are called a general (AC 1919, 6159, 6338, 6482-6484). Every universal is such as the single things of which it is formed, and with which it is (AC 917, 1040, 6483, 8857). The providence of the Lord is universal, because existing in the most single things (AC 1919, 2694, 4329, 5122, 5904, 6058, 6481-6486, 6490, 7004, 7007, 8717, 10774); confirmed from heaven (AC 6486). Unless the Divine providence of the Lord were universal, from and in the most single things, nothing could subsist (AC 6338). All things are disposed by it into order, and kept in order both in general and in particular (AC 6338). How the case herein is comparatively with that of a king on earth (AC 6482, 10800). Man‘s own proper prudence is like a small speck of dirt in the universe, whilst the Divine providence is respectively as the universe itself (AC 6485). This can hardly be comprehended by men in the world (AC 8717, 10775, 10780). Because many fallacies assail them, and induce blindness (AC 6481). Of a certain person in the other life, who believed from confirmation in the world, that all things were dependent on man’s own prudence, and nothing on the Divine providence; the things belonging to him appeared infernal (AC 6484). The quality of the Lord‘s providence with respect to evils (AC 6481, 6495, 6574, 10777, 10779). Evils are ruled by the Lord by the laws of permission, and they are permitted for the sake of order (AC 8700, 10778). The permission of evil by the Lord is not that of one who wills, but of one who does not will, but who cannot bring aid on account of the urgency of the end, which is salvation (AC 7887). To leave man from his own freedom to think and will evil, and so far as the laws do not forbid, to do evil, is to permit (AC 10778). Without freedom, thus without this permission, man could not be reformed, thus could not be saved, may be seen above in the doctrine of Freedom (n. 141-149). The Lord has providence and foresight, and the one does not exist without the other (AC 5195, 6489). Good is provided by the Lord, and evil foreseen (AC 5155, 5195, 6489, 10781). There is no such thing as predestination or fate (AC 6487). All are predestined to heaven, and none to hell (AC 6488). Man is under no absolute necessity from providence but has full liberty, illustrated by comparison (AC 6487). The "elect’ in the Word are they who are in the life of good, and thence of truth (AC 3755, 3900, 5057, 5058). How it is to be understood that "God would deliver one man into another‘s hand (Exod 21:13), (AC 9010). Fortune, which appears in the world wonderful in many circumstances, is an operation of the Divine providence in the ultimate of order, according to the quality of man’s state; and this may afford proof, that the Divine providence is in the most single of all things (AC 5049, 5179, 6493, 6494). This operation and its variations are from the spiritual world, proved from experience (AC 5179, 6493, 6494).

HD 277. Of Influx. Of the influx of heaven into the world, and of the influx of the soul into all things of the body, from experience (AC 6053-6058, 6189-6215, 6307-6327, 6466-6495, 6598-6626). Nothing exists of or from itself, but from what is prior to itself, thus all things from the First (AC 4523, 4524, 6040, 6056). As all things existed, they also subsist, because subsistence `5 perpetual existence (AC 2886, 2888, 3627, 3628, 3648, 4523, 4524, 6040, 6056). Influx takes place according to that order (AC 7270). Hence it is plain that all things subsist perpetually from the first esse, because they exist from it (AC 4523, 4524, 6040, 6056). The all of life flows in from the First, because it is thence derived, thus from the Lord (AC 3001, 3318, 3337, 3338, 3344, 3484, 3628, 3629, 3741-3743, 4318-4320, 4417, 4524, 4882, 5847, 5986, 6325, 6468-6470, 6479, 9279, 10196). Every existere is from an esse, and nothing can exist unless its use be in it (AC 4523, 4524, 6040, 6056). All things which a man thinks and wills flow into him, from experience (AC 904, 2886-2888, 4151, 4319, 4320, 5846, 5848, 6189, 6191, 6194, 6197-6199, 6213, 7147, 10219). Man‘s ability of examining things, and of thinking and forming analytic conclusions, is from influx (AC 2888, 4319, 4320). Man could not live a moment if the influx from the spiritual world were taken away from him; but still man is in freedom, from experience (AC 2887, 5849, 5854, 6321). The life which flows in from the Lord is varied according to man’s state and according to reception (AC 2069, 5986, 6472, 7343). With the evil, the good which flows from the Lord is turned into evil, and the truth into falsity, from experience (AC 3643, 4632). The good and truth, which continually flow from the Lord, are so far received, as evil and falsity do not oppose their reception (AC 2411, 3142, 3147, 5828). All good flows in from the Lord, and all evil from hell (AC 904, 4151). At this day man believes all things to be in himself and from himself, when nevertheless they inflow, as he might know from the doctrinal of the church, that all good is from heaven, and all evil from hell (AC 4249, 6193, 6206). But if he would believe as the thing is, he would not appropriate evil to himself, but cast it back from himself into hell, neither would he make good his own, and thus would not claim any merit from it (AC 6206, 6324, 6325). How happy the state of man would then be, as he would view both good and evil from within, from the Lord (AC 6325). They who deny heaven, or know nothing about it, do not know there is any influx thence (AC 4322, 5649, 6193, 6479). What influx is, illustrated by comparisons (AC 6128, 6190, 9407). Influx is spiritual, and not physical, thus it is from the spiritual world into the natural, and not from the natural world into the spiritual (AC 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427, 5428, 5477, 6322, 9109, 9110). Influx is through the internal man, into the external, and not contrariwise (AC 1702, 1707, 1940, 1954, 5119, 5259, 5779, 6322, 9380). Because the internal man is in the spiritual world, and the external in the natural world (AC 978, 1015, 3628, 4459, 4523, 4524, 6057, 6309, 9701-9709, 10156, 10472). It appears as if influx is from externals into internals; this is a fallacy (AC 3721). Influx is into man‘s rational and through this into things scientific, and not contrariwise (AC 1495, 1707, 1940). The order of influx (AC 775, 880, 1096, 1495, 7270). There is immediate influx from the Lord, and also mediate influx through the spiritual world or heaven (AC 6063, 6307, 6472, 9682, 9683). The immediate influx from the Lord enters into the most single of all things (AC 6058, 6474-6478, 8717, 8728). Of the mediate influx of the Lord through heaven (AC 4067, 6982, 6985, 6996). It is effected through the spirits and angels who are adjoined to man (AC 697, 5846-5866). The Lord, by means of angels, flows into the ends from which, and for the sake of which, a man so thinks, wills, and acts (AC 1317, 1645, 5846, 5854). And thus into those things which are of conscience with man (AC 6207, 6213). But by means of spirits into the thoughts, and thence into the things of the memory (AC 4186, 5854, 5858, 6192, 6193, 6198, 6199, 6319). This can with difficulty be believed by man (AC 6214). The Lord inflows into firsts and at the same time into ultimates, or into inmosts and at the same time into outmosts, how (AC 5147, 5150, 6473, 7004, 7007, 7270). The influx of the Lord is into good with man, and through good into truth, and not contrariwise (AC 5482, 5649, 6027, 8685, 8701, 10153). Good gives the faculty of receiving influx from the Lord, but not truth without good (AC 8321). It is not what enters the thought, but what enters the will, that is hurtful, because this is appropriated to the man (AC 6308). The Divine in the highest is tacit and pacific, but as it descends towards lower things in man, it becomes unpacific and tumultuous, on account of the things therein being in disorder (AC 8823). The quality of the Lord’s influx with the prophets (AC 6212). There is a general influx, its quality (AC 5850). It is a continual effort of acting according to order (AC 6211). This influx takes place into the lives of animals (AC 5850). And also into the subjects of the vegetable kingdom (AC 3648). That thought is formed into speech and will into gestures with man, according to this general influx (AC 5862, 5990, 6192, 6211).

HD 278. Of the influx of life with man in particular. There is one only fountain of life, from which all live both in heaven and in the world (AC 1954, 2021, 2536, 2658, 2886-2889, 3001, 3484, 3742, 5847, 6467). This life is from the Lord alone, illustrated by various things (AC 2886-2889, 3344, 3484, 4319, 4320, 4524, 4882, 5986, 6325, 6468-6470, 9276, 10196). The Lord is life itself, (John 1:1, 4; 5:26; 14:6). Life from the Lord flows in with angels, spirits, and men, in a wonderful manner (AC 2886-2889, 3337, 3338, 3484, 3742). The Lord flows in from His Divine love, which is of such that it wills what is its own should be a"other‘s (AC 3742, 4320). All love is such; thus the Divine love finitely more so (AC 1820, 1865, 2253, 6872). Hence life appears as if it were in man, and not as inflowing (AC 3742, 4320). Life appears as if it were in man, because the principal cause, which is life from the Lord, and the instrumental cause, which is the recipient form, act as one cause, which is felt in the instrumental (AC 6325). The chief of the wisdom and intelligence of the angels consists in perceiving and knowing that the all of life is from the Lord (AC 4318). Concerning the joy of angels perceived and shown by their discourse to me, from this that they do not live from themselves, but from the Lord (AC 6469). The evil are not willing to be convinced that life inflows (AC 3743). Doubts concerning the influx of life from the Lord cannot be removed, so long as fallacies, ignorance, and the negative reign (AC 6479). All in the church know that all good and truth is from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, and that all evil and falsity is from hell; and yet the all of life has relation to good and truth, and to evil and falsity, there being nothing of life without them (AC 2893, 4151). The doctrinal of the church derived from the Word teaches the same thing (AC 4249). Nevertheless man does not believe that life inflows (AC 4249). If communication and connection with spirits and angels were taken away, man would instantly die (AC 2887). It is evident from hence, that the all of life flows in from the first esse of life, because nothing exists from itself, but from things prior to itself, thus each and all things exist from the First; and because everything must subsist from the same source from which it first existed, since subsistence is perpetual existence (AC 4523, 4524). Angels, spirits, and men, were created to receive life, thus they are only forms recipient of life (AC 2021, 3001, 3318, 3344, 3484, 3742, 4151, 5114, 5986). Their forms are such as the quality of their reception (AC 2888, 3001, 3484, 5847, 5986, 6467, 6472). Men, spirits, and angels, are therefore such as are their forms recipient of life from the Lord (AC 2888, 5847, 5986, 6467, 6472). Man is so created, that in his inmost, and hence in those which follow in order, he can receive the Divine, and be elevated to the Divine, and be conjoined with the Divine by the good of love and the truths of faith, and on this account he lives to eternity, otherwise than beasts (AC 5114). Life from the Lord flows in also with the evil, thus also with those who are in hell (AC 2706, 3743, 4417, 10196). But they turn good into evil and truth into falsity, and thus life into spiritual death, for such as the man is, such is his reception of life (AC 4319, 4320, 4417). Goods and truths from the Lord also continually inflow with them, but they either reject, suffocate, or pervert them (AC 3743). They who are in evils, and thence in falsities, have no real life; the quality of their life (AC 726, 4623, 4747, 10284, 10286).

HD 279. Of Order. The Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is the source of order, and the Divine good is the essential of order (AC 1728, 2258, 8700, 8988). The Lord is order, since the Divine good and the Divine truth are from the Lord, yea, are the Lord, in the heavens and on earth (AC 1919, 2011, 5110, 5703, 10336, 10619). Divine truths are the laws of order (AC 2447, 7995). Where order is, the Lord is present, but where order is not, the Lord is not present (AC 5703). As the Divine truth is order, and the Divine good the essential of order, therefore each and all things in the universe have relation to good and truth, that they may be anything, because they have relation to order (AC 2452, 3166, 4390, 4409, 5232, 7256, 10122, 10555). Good, because it is the essential of order, disposes truths into order, and riot vice versa (AC 3316, 3470, 4302, 5704, 5709, 6028, 6690). The entire heaven, as to all the angelic societies, is arranged by the Lord according to His Divine order, because the Divine of the Lord with the angels makes heaven (AC 3038, 7211, 9128, 9338, 10125, 10151, 10157). Hence the form of heaven is a form according to Divine order (AC 4040-4043, 6607, 9877). So far as man lives according to order, thus so far as he lives in good according to Divine truths, which are the laws of order, so far is he a man (AC 4839). Yea, as far as a man thus lives, so far he appears in the other life as a perfect and beautiful man, but so far as he does not thus live, so far he appears as a monster (AC 4839, 6605, 6626). Hence it appears that all things of Divine order are collected together in man, and that from creation he is Divine order in form (AC 4219, 4220, 4223, 4523, 4524, 5114, 5368, 6013, 6057, 6605, 6626, 9706, 10156, 10742). Every angel is in the human form because he is a recipient of Divine order from the Lord, perfect and beautiful according to reception (AC 322, 1880, 1881, 3633, 3804, 4622, 4735, 4797, 4985, 5199, 5530, 6054, 9879, 10177, 10594). The angelic heaven also in its whole complex is in the human form, because the whole heaven as to all its angelic societies, is disposed by the Lord according to Divine order (AC 2996, 2998, 3624-3629, 3636-3643, 3741-3745, 4625). Hence it is evident, that the Divine Human is the source from which all these things are derived (AC 2996-2998, 3624-3649, 3741-3745). Hence also it follows that the Lord is the only Man, and that they are men who receive the Divine from Him (AC 1894). So far as they receive it, so far they are images of the Lord (AC 8547). Man is not born into good and truth, but into evil and falsity, thus not into Divine order, but into what is contrary to order, and on this account into mere ignorance, and he ought therefore necessarily be born anew, that is regenerated, which is done by Divine truths from the Lord, and by a life according to them, to the intent that he may be inaugurated into order, and thus become a man (AC 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 3812, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10731). When the Lord regenerates man, He disposes all things with him according to order, that is, according to the form of heaven (AC 5700, 6690, 9931, 10303). The man who is led by the Lord, is led according to Divine order (AC 8512). The interiors which are of the mind are open into heaven, even to the Lord, with the man who is in Divine order, but shut with him who is not in Divine order (AC 8513). So far as man lives according to order, so far he has intelligence and wisdom (AC 2592). The Lord rules the firsts and the ultimates of order, and the firsts from the ultimates and the ultimates from the firsts; and thus keeps all things in connection and order (AC 3702, 3739, 6040, 6056, 9828). Of successive order; and of the ultimate of order, in which things successive are together in their order (AC 634, 3691, 4145, 5114, 5897, 6239, 6326, 6465, 8603, 9215, 9216, 9828, 9836, 10044, 10099, 10329, 10335). Evils and falsities are contrary to order, and still they are ruled by the Lord, not according to order, but from order (AC 4839, 7877, 10778). Evils and falsities are ruled by the laws of permission, and this is for the sake of order (AC 7877, 8700, 10778). bat is contrary to Divine order is impossible, as that a man who lives in evil can be saved from mercy alone, as likewise that the evil can be consociated with the good in the other life, and many other things (AC 8700).

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