The Laws of the Divine Providence
Introduction: The First Three Chapters
John 15 (Quoted in DP 30)
- Remain in Me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bring forth fruit from itself, unless it remain in the vine, no more can you, unless you remain in Me.
- I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who remains in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
- If you remain in Me, and My sayings remain in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done to you.
From Divine Providence
THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF THE LORD HAS FOR ITS END A HEAVEN FROM THE HUMAN RACE.
DP 27. Heaven is not from any angels created such from the beginning, and hell is not from any devil created an angel of light and cast down from heaven. Rather, both heaven and hell are from the human race—heaven from those who are in the love of good and thence in the understanding of truth, and hell from those who are in the love of evil and thence in the understanding of falsity. This has been proved to me by long association with angels and spirits….
DP 27:2. Now since heaven is from the human race, and heaven is an abiding with the Lord to eternity, it follows that this was the Lord’s end in creation; and since this was the end in creation, it is also the end of His Divine Providence.
The Lord did not create the universe for His own sake, but for the sake of those with whom He will be in heaven. For spiritual love is such that it wishes to give what is its own to another, and so far as it can do this, it is in its being (esse), in its peace, and in its blessedness. Spiritual love derives this property from the Lord’s Divine Love, which is such in an infinite degree.
From this it follows that the Divine Love, and consequently the Divine Providence, has for its end a heaven consisting of men who have become, and who are becoming angels, upon whom the Lord can bestow all the blessings and felicities that belong to love and wisdom, and bestow these from Himself in them. Nor can He do otherwise, for from creation there is in men the image and likeness of Himself—the image in them is wisdom, and the likeness in them is love. And the Lord in them is love united to wisdom and wisdom united to love; or what is the same, is good united to truth and truth united to good. This union was treated of in the preceding chapter.
DP 27:3. However, it is not known what heaven is in general or among many, and what it is in particular or in an individual, or what heaven is in the spiritual world and what it is in the natural world. And yet because it is important to know this, as heaven is the end of the Divine Providence, I will present this subject with some light in the following order:
- Heaven is conjunction with the Lord.
- Man by creation is such that he can be more and more nearly conjoined to the Lord.
- The more nearly a man is conjoined to the Lord the wiser he becomes.
- The more nearly a man is conjoined to the Lord the happier he becomes.
- The more nearly a man is conjoined to the Lord the more distinctly does he appear to himself to be his own [person], and yet the more evidently does he recognize that he is the Lord’s.
Questions and Comments
- The purpose of creation is a heaven from the human race! What does this imply about the purpose of our lives? What might it imply about the natural universe?
- How can we cultivate spiritual love? How can we receive something of the Lord’s wise love into us?
- How comforting it is that the Lord says that He has as His end “a heaven of those who have become or are becoming angels.” What does this imply about how we treat one another?
- The Lord seeks to be ever more closely conjoined with us and we with Him. How can we cooperate?
- The Lord wants us to feel more and more distinctly our own [person], while at the same time recognizing that we are His. What does this teach us about our conjunctions or relationships with other people, such as friends, co-workers, children and spouse?