182. III. IF A MAN SAW CLEARLY THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE HE WOULD EITHER DENY GOD OR MAKE HIMSELF GOD. The merely natural man says to himself, "What is Divine Providence? Is it anything else or more than a phrase that the common people have picked up from the clergy? Who sees anything of it? Are there not prudence, wisdom, cunning and malice, and are not all things in the world done from these? Are not the other things that result from these necessities and consequences, and are there not many more things that happen by chance? Does the Divine Providence lie concealed in these? How can it be in deeds of treachery and cunning? Yet it is maintained that the Divine Providence does all things. Well, then, make it visible to me and I will believe in it. Can anyone believe in it before he sees it?"
 So says the merely natural man; but the spiritual man speaks differently. Because he acknowledges God, he also acknowledges the Divine Providence, and moreover he sees it. However, he cannot make it manifest to anyone whose thoughts are only in nature and from nature; for such a one cannot raise his mind above nature and see in its phenomena anything of the Divine Providence, or draw conclusions concerning it from the laws of nature, which are also laws of Divine Wisdom. If, therefore, he saw clearly the Divine Providence he would mingle it with nature, and so would not only enshroud it with fallacies but would also profane it; and instead of acknowledging it he would deny it; and he who in his heart denies the Divine Providence also denies God.
 It must be thought that either. God or nature governs all things. He who thinks that God governs all things thinks that they are governed by Love itself and Wisdom itself, thus by Life itself. But he who thinks that nature governs all things thinks that they are governed by natural heat and natural light; and yet these in themselves are dead, because they are derived from a dead sun. Does not what is itself living govern what is dead? Can what is dead govern anything? If you think that what is dead can impart life to itself you are spiritually insane, for life must come from Life.