Change is done by God


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Humans, hidden change in, by God" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Apocalypse Explained, vol.6": detail "Section 1154"
The operation of the Divine Providence, notwithstanding that man is ignorant of it, shall be illustrated by two comparisons. It is like a gardener who collects the seeds of shrubs, fruit-trees, and flowers of every kind, and provides himself with spades, rakes, and various other implements for preparing the ground. He afterwards brings his garden into a state of cultivation, digging it, cutting it into beds, putting in the seeds, and smoothing the ground. This is as it were the gardener’s own work; but it is the Lord who causes the seeds to take root, to spring out of the earth, to put forth leaves and then flowers, and lastly to yield new seeds, which are for the gardener’s benefit. It is also like a man who is about to build a house. He provides himself with the requisite materials, such as timber, rafters, stone, mortar, and various other things. But the Lord while man is ignorant of it afterwards builds the house from the foundation to the roof entirely suited to the man.
 From these comparisons it follows that unless a man provides himself with the requisites for his garden or his house, he will have neither the former with the advantage of its fruits, nor the latter to afford him a dwelling. So is it in the case of reformation. Those things with which a man must provide himself are the knowledges of truth and good obtained from the Word [Bible], from the doctrine of the church, from the world, and from his own study; the Lord does the rest without man’s knowledge. It must, however, be borne in mind that all the requisites for sowing a garden or building a house, which, as was said, are the knowledges of truth and good, are merely the necessary materials, which have no life until man uses them, or lives according to them as if from himself. When this is the case, then the Lord enters, imparts life, and builds, that is, reforms. The garden, or the house, is man’s understanding; for in it dwells his wisdom which derives all that it has from love.