Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
 The spiritual man, on the other hand, speaks and thinks within himself quite differently. Although he has no perception in his thought, and is not sensible by his eyesight, of the Divine Providence in its course, still he knows and acknowledges it. Now since the appearances and consequent fallacies mentioned above have blinded the understanding, and this can receive no sight unless the fallacies which induced the blindness and the falsities which induced the darkness are dispelled, and since this cannot be done except by truths which have in them the power of dispelling falsities, therefore these truths shall be disclosed; and for the sake of distinctness this shall be done in the following order:
 It will now be shown that a man would have no liberty to act according to reason, and that nothing would appear to him to be as from himself if he perceived and felt the operation of the Divine Providence; since, if he perceived and felt it, he would also be led by it. For the Lord leads all by means of His Divine Providence, and it is only an appearance that a man leads himself, as was also shown above. Therefore, if a man had a lively perception and feeling of being led he would not be conscious of life: and he would then be moved to utter sounds and to act much like a graven image. If he were still conscious of life he would be led like one bound hand and foot, or like a beast of burden yoked to a cart. Who does not see that a man would then have no freedom? If he had no freedom he would have no reason, for everyone thinks from freedom and in freedom; and whatever he does not think from freedom and in freedom appears to him to be not from himself but from another. Indeed, if you consider this interiorly you will perceive that he would have no thought, still less any reason; and consequently he would not be a man.
 The mind of man is continually in these three things, called end, cause, and effect. If one of these is wanting the human mind is not in its life. The affection of the will is the originating end (a quo); the thought of the understanding is the operative cause (per quam); and the action of the body, as the speech of the mouth, or external sensation, is the effect of the end by means of the thought. It is clear to anyone that the human mind is not in its life when it is in nothing beyond the affection of the will, and similarly when it is only in the effect. Therefore, the mind has no life from one of these separately, but only from the three conjointly. This activity of the mind would diminish and pass away if the event were foretold.
 That this is a law of the Divine Providence may be confirmed by many things from the spiritual world. Most persons when they enter that world after death desire to know their lot. They are told that if they have lived well their lot is in heaven, and if they have lived wickedly it is in hell. But as all, even the wicked, fear hell, they ask what they should do and what they should believe to enter heaven. They are told that they may do and believe as they will; but that they should know that in hell good is not done and truth is not believed, but only in heaven. To each one the answer is: "Seek out what is good and what is true; then think the truth and do the good, if you are able." So in the spiritual world as in the natural world all are left to act from freedom according to reason; but as they have acted in this world so do they act in the spiritual world. His own life awaits everyone and consequently his own lot, for the lot pertains to the life.
1. There is such a connection between external and internal things that they make one in every operation.
2. Man is associated with the Lord only in certain externals; and if he were at the same time in internals he would pervert and destroy the whole order and tenor of the course of the Divine Providence; but as has just been said, it will be illustrated by examples.
 First: There is such a connection between external and internal things that they make one in every operation. This will be illustrated here by examples taken from several parts of the human body. In the whole body and in every part there are both externals and internals; its externals are called skins, membranes, and sheaths (or coverings); while the internals are forms variously composed and interwoven of nerve fibres and blood vessels. The surrounding sheath by offshoots from itself enters into all the interiors even to the inmost parts; and thus the external, which is a sheath, unites itself with all the internals, which are organic forms composed from fibres and vessels. From this it follows that as the external acts or is acted upon so the internals act or are acted upon; for there is a continuous binding together of them all.
 Take some common sheath in the body, the pleura for example which is the common sheath of the chest, or of the heart and lungs, and examine it with an anatomical eye; or if you have not made a study of anatomy, consult anatomists. You will learn that this common sheath, by various circumvolutions, and then by continuations from itself becoming finer and finer, enters into the innermost parts of the lungs, even into the tiniest bronchial branches and into the very minute sacs which are the beginnings of the lungs; not to mention its subsequent progress through the trachea to the larynx towards the tongue. From these things it is clear that there is a continuous connection between the outermost things and the inmost. Therefore, just as the outermost acts or is acted upon so also the interiors from the inmost things act or are acted upon. This is the reason that, when this outermost sheath, the pleura, becomes congested or inflamed or ulcerated, the lungs labour from their inmost parts; and if the disease grows worse, all action of the lungs ceases and the man dies.
 It is the same everywhere else in the whole body; as with the peritoneum, the common sheath covering all the abdominal viscera, and also with the sheaths surrounding the several organs as the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the intestines, the mesentery, the kidneys, and the organs of generation in both sexes. Take anyone of these viscera, and either examine it yourself and you will see, or consult those skilled in this science and you will learn. Take for instance the liver, and you will find that there is a connection between the peritoneum and the sheath of that organ and through the sheath with its inmost parts; for there are continual extensions from the sheath, and insertions towards the interior parts, and in this way continuations to the inmost parts. Hence there is a binding together of the whole so that when the sheath acts or is acted upon the whole form acts or is acted upon in like manner. It is the same with the rest of the organs, because in every form the general and the particular, or the universal and the singular, by wonderful conjunction act as one.
 It will be seen below that in spiritual forms and in the changes and variations of their state, which have relation to the operations of the will and the understanding, the same course is followed as in natural forms and in their operations, which have relation to motion and action. Now since man is associated with the Lord in certain external operations, and since no one is deprived of the liberty of acting according to reason, it follows that the Lord can only act in internals as He acts together with man in externals. Therefore, if man does not shun and turn away from evils as sins, the external of his thought and will and at the same time the internal become vitiated and are destroyed, comparatively as the pleura is affected by its disease called pleurisy, which causes the death of the body.
 Second: If man were at the same time in internals he would pervert and destroy the whole order and tenor of the Divine Providence. This also may be illustrated by examples from the human body. If man knew all the workings of both brains into the fibres, of the fibres into the muscles, and of the muscles into actions, and from his knowledge of these things were to dispose all things as he disposes his actions, would he not pervert and destroy them all?
 If man knew how the stomach digests, how the surrounding viscera absorb their own portion, work upon the blood, and distribute it for all the needs of life, and if he had the disposing of these as he has of external things, such as eating and drinking, would he not pervert and destroy them all? When he is unable to dispose the external, which appears to be a single thing, without destroying it by luxury and intemperance, what would he do if he had the disposition of the internals, which are infinite in number? Therefore man’s internals, lest he should enter into them by the exercise of his will and gain control of them, are entirely removed from the scope of the will, with the exception of the muscles which constitute the covering; and, moreover, it is not known how these act; it is only known that they do act.
 It is the same with the other organs; as, for example, if man had the disposing of the interiors of the eye for seeing, the interiors of the ear for hearing, the interiors of the tongue for tasting, the interiors of the skin for feeling, the interiors of the heart for systolic action, the interiors of the lungs for breathing, the interiors of the mesentery for distributing the chyle, the interiors of the kidneys for secretion, the interiors of the organs of generation for propagating, the interiors of the womb for perfecting the embryo, and so on, would he not in innumerable ways pervert and destroy in them the order of the course of the Divine Providence? It is known that man is in externals, as, for example, that he sees with the eye, hears with the ear, tastes with the tongue, feels with the skin, breathes with the lungs, contributes to propagation, and so on. Is it not enough for him to know about the externals and to dispose them for the health of body and mind? When he is unable to do this, what would happen if he also had the disposing of the internals? Hence it may now be evident that if man saw clearly the Divine Providence he would interpose in the order and tenor of its course, and pervert and destroy that order.
 Hence it is clear that what was said of the natural forms of the body may also be said of the spiritual forms of the mind, and that what was said of the natural operations of the body may also be said of the spiritual operations of the mind. Consequently, as man disposes the externals so the Lord disposes the internals; and this He does in one way if man, of himself, disposes the externals, and in another way if he disposes the externals from the Lord and at the same time as of himself. Moreover, the mind of man in its entire form is a man; for it is man’s spirit, and this after death appears a man precisely as in the world; and consequently there are similar things in both body and mind. So what has been said of the conjunction of externals with internals in the body is to be understood of the conjunction of externals with internals in the mind; with this difference only, that the one is natural and the other is spiritual.
 So says the merely natural man; but the spiritual man speaks differently. Because he acknowledges God, he also acknowledges the Divine Providence, and moreover he sees it. However, he cannot make it manifest to anyone whose thoughts are only in nature and from nature; for such a one cannot raise his mind above nature and see in its phenomena anything of the Divine Providence, or draw conclusions concerning it from the laws of nature, which are also laws of Divine Wisdom. If, therefore, he saw clearly the Divine Providence he would mingle it with nature, and so would not only enshroud it with fallacies but would also profane it; and instead of acknowledging it he would deny it; and he who in his heart denies the Divine Providence also denies God.
 It must be thought that either. God or nature governs all things. He who thinks that God governs all things thinks that they are governed by Love itself and Wisdom itself, thus by Life itself. But he who thinks that nature governs all things thinks that they are governed by natural heat and natural light; and yet these in themselves are dead, because they are derived from a dead sun. Does not what is itself living govern what is dead? Can what is dead govern anything? If you think that what is dead can impart life to itself you are spiritually insane, for life must come from Life.
 But examples may serve to illustrate this. Man by his hereditary nature desires to become great and also to become rich; and in proportion as these desires are unrestrained he longs to become greater and richer, and at length to be greatest and richest; nor would he rest here, but would desire to be greater than God Himself and to possess heaven itself. This inordinate desire lies most deeply concealed in hereditary evil, and consequently in man’s life and in his life’s nature. The Divine Providence does not remove this evil in a moment; for if it were removed in a moment man would cease to live; but the Divine Providence removes it quietly and gradually without man’s knowing anything about it. This it does by permitting man to act according to thought which he rationally adopts. Then by various means, rational, civil and moral, it leads him away; and he is thus withdrawn as far as he can be led in freedom. Nor can evil be removed from anyone unless it becomes evident, and is seen and acknowledged. It is like a wound which does not heal unless it is opened.
 If, therefore, man were to know and see that the Lord, through His Divine Providence, operates in this manner against his life’s love which is the source of his highest delight, he could not but go in the opposite direction and, becoming enraged, take action against it, revile it, and finally from his evil set aside the operation of the Divine Providence by denying it and thus denying God. This especially would he do if he saw it as an obstacle to his success, and if he saw himself cast down from his position of honour and stripped of his wealth.
 It should be known, however, that the Lord in no wise leads man away from seeking honours and acquiring wealth, but that He leads him away from the inordinate desire of seeking honours for the sake of eminence alone, that is, for the sake of himself and also from acquiring wealth for the sake of opulence alone, that is, for the sake of riches. However, when the Lord leads man away from these He introduces him into the love of uses, in order that he may regard high position not for his own sake but for the sake of uses; and thus as belonging to the uses and hence to himself, and not as belonging to himself and hence to the uses. The same is true of wealth. That the Lord continually humbles the proud and exalts the humble He Himself teaches in many places in the Word; and what He there teaches is also of His Divine Providence.
 It is otherwise with those who do not admit any influx from heaven but only from the world, especially with those who have become natural from confirming appearances in themselves. They do not see anything of the Divine Providence in the back, that is, after it operates, but they desire to see it in the face, that is, before it comes into operation; and as the Divine Providence operates by means, and means are produced through man or the world, therefore, whether they see it in the face or in the back, they attribute it either to man or to nature, and thus they confirm themselves in the denial of it. They attribute it in this way because their understanding is closed from above and is open only from below, that is, closed towards heaven and open towards the world; and it is not granted to see the Divine Providence from the world, but only from Heaven. I sometimes wondered whether they would acknowledge the Divine Providence if their understanding were opened from above, and they saw as in clear daylight that nature in itself is dead, and that human intelligence in itself is nothing, but that it is only from influx that both these appear to exist. I perceived, however, that those who have confirmed themselves in favour of nature and of human prudence would not acknowledge it, because the natural light flowing in from below would immediately extinguish the spiritual light flowing in from above.
 The merely natural man, however, sees none of these things. He is like one who sees a magnificent temple and hears a preacher enlightened in Divine things, but who declares, when he returns home, that he saw nothing but a rock-built house, and heard nothing but a succession of sounds. Or he is like a near-sighted person who goes into a garden with a remarkable variety of fruits, and who on returning home declares he saw only a wood and trees. When such persons after death have become spirits, and when they are raised into the angelic heaven where all things are in forms representative of love and wisdom they see none of these things, and do not even see that they exist. This I have seen happen with many who denied the Divine Providence of the Lord.
 Examples, however, will illustrate this. Variety in vegetation is not possible unless the rising and setting of the sun, and the consequent heat and light, were constant. Harmonious sounds are of infinite variety, but they would not exist unless the atmospheres were constant in their laws and the ear in its form. The varieties of sight, which also are infinite, would not exist unless the ether in its laws and the eye in its form were constant; nor would colours exist unless the light were constant. It is the same with thoughts, words and actions, which also are in infinite variety, but which would not exist unless the organic forms of the body were constant. Must not a house be constant in order that a variety of things may be done in it by man? In like manner a temple must be constant in order that the various acts of worship, sermons, instruction and pious meditations may be possible in it. So it is in other things.
 As for the varieties themselves which are produced from what is constant, fixed and certain, they go on to infinity, and have no end; and yet there is not one thing precisely the same as another in all the things of the universe in general and in particular, nor can there be in the succession of things to eternity. Who so disposes these varieties, which go on to infinity and to eternity, that they may be in order but He who created the constant things to the end that the varieties might exist in them? And who can dispose the infinite varieties of life in men but He who is Life itself, that is, Love itself and Wisdom itself? Without His Divine Providence, which is, as it were, a continual creation, could the infinite affections of men and their consequent thoughts, and thus the men themselves, be so disposed as to make one- evil affections and their consequent thoughts to make one devil, which is hell, and good affections and their consequent thoughts to make one Lord in heaven? It has been frequently stated and shown above that the universal angelic heaven is in the sight of the Lord as one man who is His image and likeness, and that the universal hell is in opposition to it as one monstrous man. These things have been stated because some natural men, even from the constant and the fixed things which are necessary to the end that varieties may exist in them, eagerly seize upon arguments in support of their own spiritual insanity in favour of nature and their own prudence.