Divine Love and Wisdom/n. 55

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55. It is well known that each and all things of the universe were created by God; hence the universe, with each and every thing pertaining to it, is called in the Word the work of the hands of Jehovah. There are those who maintain that the world, with everything it includes, was created out of nothing, and of that nothing an idea of absolute nothingness is entertained. From absolute nothingness, however, nothing is or can be made. This is an established truth. The universe, therefore, which is God's image, and consequently full of God, could be created only in God from God; for God is Esse itself, and from Esse must be whatever is. To create what is, from nothing which is not, is an utter contradiction. But still, that which is created in God from God is not continuous from Him; for God is Esse in itself, and in created things there is not any Esse in itself. If there were in created things any Esse in itself, this would be continuous from God, and that which is continuous from God is God. The angelic idea of this is, that what is created in God from God, is like that in man which has been derived from his life, but from which the life has been withdrawn, which is of such a nature as to be in accord with his life, and yet it is not his life. The angels confirm this by many things which have existence in their heaven, where they say they are in God, and God is in them, and still that they have, in their esse, nothing of God which is God. Many things whereby they prove this will be presented hereafter; let this serve for present information.

56. Every created thing, by virtue of this origin, is such in its nature as to be a recipient of God, not by continuity, but by contiguity. By the latter and not the former comes its capacity for conjunction. For having been created in God from God, it is adapted to conjunction; and because it has been so created, it is an analogue, and through such conjunction it is like an image of God in a mirror.

57. From this it is that angels are angels, not from themselves, but by virtue of this conjunction with God-Man; and this conjunction is according to the reception of Divine Good and Divine Truth, which are God, and which seem to proceed from Him, though really they are in Him. This reception is according to their application to themselves of the laws of order, which are Divine truths, in the exercise of that freedom of thinking and willing according to reason, which they possess from the Lord as if it were their own. By this they have a reception, as if from themselves, of Divine Good and of Divine Truth, and by this there is a reciprocation of love; for, as was said above, love is impossible unless it is reciprocal. The same is true of men on the earth. From what has been said it can now first be seen that all things of the created universe are recipients of the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom of God-Man.

58. It cannot yet be intelligibly explained how all other things of the universe which are unlike angels and men, that is, the things below man in the animal kingdom, and the things below these in the vegetable kingdom, and the things still below these in the mineral kingdom, are also recipients of the Divine Love and of the Divine Wisdom of God-Man; for many things need to be said first about degrees of life, and degrees of the recipients of life. Conjunction with these things is according to their uses; for no good use has any other origin than through a like conjunction with God, but yet different according to degrees. This conjunction in its descent becomes successively such that nothing of freedom is left therein, because nothing of reason, and therefore nothing of the appearance of life; but still they are recipients. Because they are recipients, they are also re-agents; and forasmuch as they are re-agents, they are containants. Conjunction with uses which are not good will be discussed when the origin of evil has been made known.

59. From the above it can be seen that the Divine is in each and every thing of the created universe, and consequently that the created universe is the work of the hands of Jehovah, as is said in the Word; that is, the work of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, for these are meant by the hands of Jehovah. But though the Divine is in each and all things of the created universe there is in their esse nothing of the Divine in itself; for the created universe is not God, but is from God; and since it is from God, there is in it an image of Him like the image of a man in a mirror, wherein indeed the man appears, but still there is nothing of the man in it.

60. I heard several about me in the spiritual world talking together, who said that they were quite willing to acknowledge that the Divine is in each and every thing of the universe, because they behold therein the wonderful works of God, and these are the more wonderful the more interiorly they are examined. And yet, when they were told that the Divine is actually in each and every thing of the universe, they were displeased; which is a proof that although they assert this they do not believe it. They were therefore asked whether this cannot be seen simply from the marvelous power which is in every seed, of producing its own vegetable form in like order, even to new seeds; also because in every seed an idea of the infinite and eternal is presented; since there is in seeds an endeavor to multiply themselves and to fructify infinitely and eternally? Is not this evident also in every living creature, even the smallest? In that there are in it organs of sense, also brains, a heart, lungs, and other parts; with arteries, veins, fibers, muscles, and the activities proceeding therefrom; besides the surpassing marvels of animal nature, about which whole volumes have been written. All these wonderful things are from God; but the forms with which they are clothed are from earthy matters, out of which come plants, and in their order, men. Therefore it is said of man,

That he was created out of the ground, and that he is dust of the earth, and that the breath of lives was breathed into him (Genesis ii. 7).

From which it is plain that the Divine is not man's own, but is adjoined to him.