“In Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the Divine bodily.” - Colossians 2:6, 9
Kempton New Church

Second Law
Day 5


The Laws of the Divine Providence
Put away evils in the external man

Matthew 7:24, 26; Luke 6:46-49

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a prudent man who built his house on the rock…. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them shall be likened to a foolish man who built a house on the earth without a foundation.

From Divine Providence

DP 121. Many believe that man is purified from evils by merely believing what the Church teaches; some, that man is purified by doing good… others, by attending churches, listening to sermons, and especially by approaching the Holy Supper… and so on. Yet none of these cleanse man in the least unless he examines himself, recognizes his sins, acknowledges them, condemns himself for them and does the work of repentance by desisting from them; and unless he does all these things as of himself but still in acknowledgment from the heart that he does them from the Lord.

DP 121:2. Until he does these things, the actions just mentioned do not help at all, for they are merit-seeking or hypocritical…. But when evils have been put away the actions mentioned above are acts of their love, and they appear in heaven in the sight of angels as beautiful human beings, and as partners and companions of angels.

DP 122. But it should be fully understood that a man in doing the work of repentance ought to look to the Lord alone. If he looks to God the Father only, he cannot be purified; nor if he looks to the Father for the sake of the Son; nor if he looks to the Son as only a man. For there is one God, and He is the Lord…. In order that everyone in the work of repentance might look to the Lord alone, He instituted the Holy Supper, which confirms the remission of sins with those who repent. It does so because in that Supper, everyone is kept looking to the Lord alone.

DP 123. VII. It is the continual endeavor of the Lord’s Divine Providence 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.…

DP 123:4. This is because the Lord is not only Divine Love but also Divine Wisdom, and Divine Love does nothing except 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….

DP 124. Two interior arcana of angelic wisdom, from which the nature of the Divine Providence may be seen:

  1. The Lord in no way acts upon any particular thing in man separately but upon all things at the same time. The reason is that all things of man are linked together in such a connected series and through this connection in such a form that they act not as many but as one….

DP 124:3. The Lord also acts upon every particular thing in man singly, even most singly, but at the same time through all things of his form, yet without changing the state of any part, or of anything in particular, unless in accord with the form as a whole….

DP 124:4. 2. The Lord acts from inmost things and from ultimates at the same time. In this way all things in general and in particular are held together in a connected series… [for] all are in ultimates at the same time…. For this reason also the Lord from eternity or Jehovah came into the world and there put on the Human in ultimates… so that from first things by means of ultimates He might rule the whole world and thus save men….

Questions and Comments

  1. Why is “condemns himself” a necessary part of repentance? What does it mean, and what does it not mean?
  2. Why is it insufficient to pray to God the Father and not to the Lord?
  3. How does the Holy Supper keep us looking to the Lord alone?
  4. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful that the Lord’s continual effort is to bestow on us the felicities of eternal life? What does this teach us about how we treat each other?
  5. Why can’t the Lord just give eternal happiness to everyone? What does this teach us about how we are to love each other?
  6. The Lord never “fixes” just one thing about us but always treats us holistically. Yet He does work with us on even our smallest traits. “The Lord’s providence is universal because it is in particulars, and it is particular because it is universal” (DP 124:3e). But we, since we do not see our whole nature and how everything is interconnected are encouraged to pick out one or two evils to focus on.
  7. It is wonderful to think of the Lord being with us here in ultimates, ruling or guiding all things in us from highest loves to lowest deeds and habits.
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