Providence, also in details


[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Providence, also in details" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.1": detail "Section 349"
A universal entity can in no wise be universal but by virtue of its most single parts, consequently that there can in no wise be a universal Providence that does not extend to the very least details.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Providence, also in details" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 201"
Those who ascribe everything to nature deny God at heart, and those who ascribe everything to human prudence, at heart deny divine providence; the one cannot be separated from the other. Yet both groups for their reputation's sake and for fear of losing it profess in words that divine providence is universal, but say its details fall to man and in their aggregate are grasped by human prudence.
 But consider: what is universal providence when the details are taken from it? Is it anything but just an expression? For that is called universal which consists of the total of details as what is general does of particulars. If, then, you remove details, what is the universal except something empty, thus like a surface with nothing underneath or an aggregate without content? If it should be said that divine providence is a universal government but nothing is governed but only held in connection and items of the government are handled by others, can this be called a universal government? No king has such a government. For if a king gave his subjects the government of everything in his kingdom, he would no longer be king but would only be called king; he would have the standing in name only and not in fact. In the case of such a king one cannot speak of government, still less of universal government.
 God's providence is called man's prudence. As universal prudence cannot be said of a king who has only kept the name so that the kingdom may be called a kingdom and be held together, so one cannot speak of universal providence if human beings provide everything by their own prudence. The same is true of the terms "universal providence" and "universal government" in reference to nature when they mean that God created the universe but endowed nature to produce everything from herself. What is "universal providence" then but a metaphysical term, and nothing but a term? Many of those who attribute everything produced to nature and everything accomplished to human prudence and yet profess orally that God created nature, regard divine providence as an empty expression. But the reality is that divine providence is in the least things of nature and of human prudence also and is thereby universal.