(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 307

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307. We return now to the subject set forth, namely, that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites; and the wicked, while still in the world, He governs in hell as to their interiors but not as to their exteriors. As regards the First part, The Lord governs hell by means of opposites, it was shown above (n. 288, 289) that the angels of heaven are not in love and wisdom, or in the affection of good and in the thought of truth thence derived, from themselves but from the Lord; also that good and truth flow out of heaven into hell, where good is turned into evil, and truth into falsity, because the interiors of the minds of those in heaven and in hell are turned in opposite directions. Since then all things in hell are opposite to all things in heaven, it follows that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites.
[2] Second: The wicked, while still in the world, the Lord governs in hell. This is because man as to his spirit is in the spiritual world and in some society there, in an infernal society if he is wicked, and in a heavenly society if he is good; for man's mind, which in itself is spiritual, cannot be anywhere but among the spiritual, into whose company he also comes after death. That this is so has also been said and shown above. But a man is not there in the same way as a spirit who has been assigned to the society, for man is continually in a state of being reformed; and therefore according to his life and its changes he is transferred by the Lord from one society in hell to another, if he is wicked. But if he suffers himself to undergo reformation he is led out of hell and raised up into heaven; and there also he is transferred from one society to another. This is continued till his death, after which he is no longer transferred from society to society there, because he is then no longer in a state of being reformed, but he remains in that state in which he is in accordance with his life. Therefore, when a man dies he is assigned to his own place.
[3] Third:* In this way the Lord governs the wicked, while still in the world, as to their interiors but by other means as to their exteriors. The Lord governs the interiors of man's mind in the manner just stated; but the exteriors He governs in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell. The reason is that man is for the most part different in externals from what he is in internals; for in externals he can feign to be an angel of light and yet in internals he may be a spirit of darkness. Therefore, his external is governed in one way and his internal in another; for so long as he is in the world his external is governed in the world of spirits but his internal either in heaven or in hell. Therefore also when he dies he first enters the world of spirits, where he comes into his external, and this is there put off; and when he is freed from this he is conducted to his own place to which he has been assigned. What the world of spirits is and its nature may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758 (n. 421-535).
* Original Edition and Tafel Latin edition (1855) have "quartum." Worcester edition (1899) changes to "tertium."


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