Extracts

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Providence

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Providence" (search under Beings/God)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 1088"
It is a fact beyond doubt that the Lord governs the universe, and this government is called Providence. But because evils are not provided, but foreseen, so also are permissions. But to make it understood how this matter stands: foresight pertains to evils, and providence is the disposal of evils toward good outcomes.
 However, there is no such thing as chance, that is, evil happening by chance, but all evils are controlled in a way that not a single one of them is permitted to happen to a person on earth or to a soul that does not lead to good. Furthermore, nothing is permitted to happen that has not been foreseen, for otherwise it cannot happen. Consequently, all evils are bent in such a way that just those, and not any others, do happen, because it cannot be helped in view of the so corrupt state of mankind.
 So it is providence alone that governs, for foresight is thus turned into Providence, and then those evils are provided which result in good. If the evils planned by evil spirits were permitted, it would be to the destruction of mankind and of departed souls. Therefore the doings intended by the wicked are limited to the kind that have to be permitted.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Providence" (search under Beings/God)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.8": detail "Section 6481"
Spirits coming into the other life bring with them the opinion that the Divine Providence is universal, but not in the particulars. The cause of this opinion had been that they had seen the evil exalted to honours, and become rich, and crowned with success, which such persons ascribe to their own sagacity; not knowing that the Divine Providence has for its end the eternal salvation of man, thus not his good fortune in this world, namely, his opulence and eminence, wherein most persons during the life of the body make happiness itself consist; when yet the fact is not so, for eminence usually begets the love of self, and opulence the love of the world, thus what is contrary to love to God and to charity towards the neighbour. Therefore, such things are given to the evil, and also to the good if they are not unsuitable and do not withdraw them from heaven. Moreover, the Lord provides for His ends through the evil equally as through the good; for the Lord moves the evil through their very loves to do what is good to the neighbour, to their country, and the church; for the evil desire to be in eminence, they desire their own advantage, and for the sake of these things they desire to seem upright and zealous, and from this desire, as from a fire, they are more strongly moved to do such things than are the well-disposed.