God and evil


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "God, as wrathful, vengeful or evil" (search under Beings/God)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 4275 - 4276"
It was granted me to portray to them a large, extensive Library, which is an easy thing to do in the other life, where all the books can be filled with arguments that evil is from the Lord. Everyone could produce thousands of arguments to support this. Nevertheless it was portrayed that on the spine of all of them was written that all evil is from mankind, and that evil is foreseen by the Lord, not provided. It was also declared that if any who would not believe this until it was proved to them, then everything in the books would convince them it was not so, but that falsities are truths. Nevertheless, the case is as stated.
 The evil of punishment flows from order. If there were not the evil of punishment, order would perish, and one would infect many, and then many would infect others. Since such an order exists for the preservation of all, therefore there is permission, as there is in every kingdom—without punishment, it would perish. Indeed, if the king should condone criminals, it would perish. Why would this not be the case in such a great kingdom as the Lord's?