308. It must he kept in mind that a Divine-heavenly sphere of love continually goes forth from the Lord toward all who embrace the doctrine of His church, who are obedient to Him, as children are to their father and mother in the world, who devote themselves to Him, and who wish to be fed, that is, instructed by Him. From this heavenly sphere a natural sphere arises, which is one of love towards infants and children. This is a most universal sphere, affecting not only men, but also birds and beasts and even serpents; nor animate things only, but also things inanimate. But that the Lord might operate upon these even as upon spiritual things, He created a sun to be in the natural world like a father, the earth being like a mother. For the sun is like a common father and the earth like a common mother from the marriage of which all the vegetation that adorns the surface of the earth is produced. From the influx of that heavenly sphere into the natural world, come the marvelous developments of vegetation from seed to fruit, and again to new seed. It is from this also that many kinds of plants turn, as it were, their faces to the sun during the day, and turn them away when the sun sets. It is from this also that there are flowers that open at the rising of the sun and close at his setting. It is from this also that the song-birds sing sweetly at the early dawn, and likewise after they have been fed by their mother earth. Thus do all these honor their father and mother. They all bear testimony that in the natural world the Lord provides through the sun and the earth all necessities both for animate and inanimate things. Therefore it is said in David:
Praise ye Jehovah from the heavens; praise ye Him, sun and moon; praise Him from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps; praise Him, fruitful trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; young men and maidens (Ps. 148:1-12);
and in Job:
Ask, I pray, the beasts and they shall teach thee; or the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee; or the shrub of the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who doth not know from all these things that the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this? (Job 12:7-9).
"Ask and they will teach," signifies to observe, study, and judge from these things that the Lord Jehovah created them.