Creation and man


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Creation, purpose of" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 67 - 68"
God before creation was Love itself and Wisdom itself, in their respective tendencies to effect uses; for love and wisdom without use, are merely volatile existences in the mind which do really take wing and fly away, unless they be firmly fixed in uses; and in that case they may be compared with birds which take their flight over an extensive ocean, but at last fall down through fatigue, and perish in the waters. Hence it appears that the universe was created by God for the existence of uses, on which account it may with propriety be called a theatre of uses; and since man is the principal end of creation, it follows of consequence that all and everything was created for his sake, and therefore that all the properties of order, both in general and in particular, were collected into him, and concentrated in him, to the intent that God by him might effect primary uses. Love and wisdom, without their attendant, use, may be likened to the sun's heat and light, which, unless they operated upon men, animals, and vegetables, would be mere vain things, but which become real by such influx and operation.
 There are three things which follow each other in order—end, cause, and effect; and it is well known in the learned world that the end is nothing unless it regard the efficient cause; and that the end, together with this cause, are nothing, unless they produce the effect. The end and the cause may indeed be abstractedly contemplated in the mind; but still it should be with a view to producing some effect, which the end intends, and the cause promotes. The case is similar with regard to love, wisdom, and use: it is use which love intends and produces by wisdom; and when use is produced, love and wisdom acquire a real existence, and in this make for themselves a habitation and a seat, where they may be at rest as in their own house. So also it is with man, in whom the love and wisdom of God abide, while he is promoting uses; and for the sake of promoting divine uses he was created an image and likeness, that is, a form of divine order.