44. That such is the nature of the Divine love is known from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects everyone in accordance with his state. It especially affects parents, and is the source of their tender love for their children (who are outside of themselves), and their desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from themselves. This sphere of Divine love affects not only the good, but also the evil, and not only men but also birds and beasts of every kind. What else does a mother think about when she has brought forth her child than uniting herself with it, as it were, and providing for its good? What other concern has a bird, when she has hatched her young from the egg, than to cherish them under her wings, and through their little mouths put food into their throats? It is known that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere especially affects those who receive within themselves this love of God, who are such as believe in God and love their neighbor. Charity with such is an image of that love. With those who are not good, friendship simulates that love; for at his table a man gives his friend the better things, kisses him, caresses and holds his hand, and proffers him useful offices. This love is also the sole origin of the sympathies and endeavors after union of those who are homogeneous or similar. This same Divine sphere is also operative in things inanimate, as trees and plants, but by means of the sun of the world, and its heat and light; for its heat enters them from without and unites with them, causing them to germinate, bloom, and bear fruit; and these resemble blessedness in things animate. The sun's heat does this because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love. Representations of the operation of this love are also found in the various subjects of the mineral kingdom. Types of this are presented in the exaltation to use of these, and their consequent preciousness.