(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 43

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43. There is infernal freedom and there is heavenly freedom. It is from infernal freedom to think and to will evil, and so far as civil and moral laws do not hinder, to speak and to do it. On the other hand, it is from heavenly freedom to think and to will good, and so far as opportunity is granted, to speak and to do it. Whatever a man thinks, wills, speaks and does from freedom he perceives as his own; for all the freedom which everyone has is from his love. Therefore those who are in the love of evil perceive only that infernal freedom is freedom itself, while those who are in the love of good perceive that heavenly freedom is freedom itself and consequently the evil and the good perceive the opposite to be slavery. Still, it cannot be denied by anyone that one or other of these is freedom, for there cannot be two kinds of freedom in themselves opposite, and in themselves freedom. Moreover, it cannot be denied that to be led by good is freedom, and to be led by evil is slavery; for to be led by good is to be led by the Lord, and to be led by evil is to be led by the devil.
[2] Now since everything that a man does from freedom appears to him to be his own for it is of his love, and, as was said above, to act from one's love is to act from freedom, it follows that conjunction with the Lord makes a man appear to himself to be free and consequently to be master of himself; and the nearer the conjunction with the Lord the more free he seems, and consequently the more he seems to be master of himself. He appears to himself more distinctly to be master of himself because the Divine Love is such that it wills that what is its own should belong to another, thus to a man or to an angel. Such, indeed, is all spiritual love, and pre-eminently the Divine Love. Besides, the Lord never forces anyone, for nothing to which anyone is forced appears as his own; and what does not appear to be his own cannot be his love's, and so be appropriated to him as his own. Therefore man is led by the Lord continually in freedom, and is also reformed and regenerated in freedom. However, more will be said on this subject in what follows; something may also be seen above, in n. 4.


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