(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 79

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79. What a man does from freedom according to his thought is also said to remain with him, since nothing that a man has appropriated to himself can be eradicated; for it has come to be of his love and at the same time of his reason, that is, of his will and at the same time of his understanding, and consequently of his life. This can be removed indeed, but still it cannot be expelled; and when it is removed it is transferred as it were from the centre to the circumference, and there it stays. This is what is meant by its remaining. [2] For instance, if a man in his boyhood and youth has appropriated to himself a certain evil by doing it from the delight of his love, such as fraud, blasphemy, revenge or adultery; and if he has committed those evils from freedom according to thought, he has indeed appropriated them to himself; but if he afterwards repents, shuns them and regards them as sins that are to be abhorred, and so from freedom according to reason desists from them, then there are appropriated to him the good principles to which those evils are opposed. These good principles then constitute the centre, and they remove the evils towards the circumference further and further as he abhors and turns away from them. Still, however, they cannot be so expelled that they can be said to be extirpated, although by their removal they may appear to be extirpated. This results from man being withheld from evil and being held in good by the Lord. All man's hereditary evil as well as his actual evil may be treated in this way. [3] Moreover, I have seen this proved by experience with some in heaven, who thought they were free from evil because they were held in good by the Lord; but lest they should believe that the good in which they were was their own, they were sent down from heaven and again let into their evils, until they acknowledged that they were in evils from themselves but in good from the Lord. After this acknowledgment they were led back to heaven.
[4] It should be known, therefore, that such good is appropriated to man only in the sense that it is always the Lord's in man; and that so far as man acknowledges this the Lord grants that the good may appear to man to be his own; that is, that it may appear to man that he loves the neighbour or has charity as from himself, that he believes or has faith as from himself that he does good and understands truth, and thus is wise, as from himself. From these considerations one who is enlightened may see the nature and the strength of the appearance in which the Lord wills that man should be; and the Lord wills this for the sake of his salvation; for without this appearance no one can be saved. On this subject see also what has been shown above (n. 42-45).


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