“The Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages.” - True Christian Religion §791
Kempton New Church

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Uses in General

And there shall be no night there, and they have no need of a lamp and the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. —Revelation 22:5
With those who are in the delight of uses from genuine love towards the neighbor, their natural light is also rational light, within which there is spiritual light from the Lord. The glory with them is from the brightness of the inflowing light from heaven, where all things are splendid and harmonious, for all uses in heaven are resplendent. —Apocalypse Revealed 940e

There are three kinds of uses: for the body, for the rational [mind], and for the soul.

Luke 12:42-44. And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and prudent steward, whom the lord shall appoint over his household, to apportion the measure of wheat in due time? Happy is that servant whom his lord at his coming shall find so doing. Truly I say to you that he will appoint him over all his belongings.

DLW 327. All things that have been created by the Lord are uses. They are uses in the order, degree and respect in which they have relation to man, and through man to the Lord, from whom they are.

DLW 330. …The end of creation is an angelic heaven out of the human race, thus the human race. Therefore, all other things that have been created are mediate ends. And because they have relation to man, they have regard to these three things of his, [namely] his body, his rational [mind], and his spiritual [mind], for the sake of conjunction with the Lord. For man cannot be conjoined to the Lord unless he is spiritual, and he cannot be spiritual unless he is rational, and he cannot be rational unless his body is in a sound state. These three are like a house. The body is like the foundation, the rational is like the house built on it, the spiritual like those things which are in the house, and conjunction with the Lord is like dwelling in it….

DLW 331. Uses for sustaining the body relate to its nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation and enjoyment, protection, and preservation of its state.

The uses created for the nourishment of the body are all things of the vegetable kingdom which are for eating and drinking, such as fruits, grapes, grain, vegetables and herbs; also all things of the animal kingdom which are eaten, as steers, cows, calves, deer, sheep, kids, goats, lambs, and milk from them, as well as fowl and fish of many kinds.

Uses created for the clothing of the body are also many things from these two kingdoms, as well as uses for habitation, recreation, enjoyment, protection and preservation of state….

There are indeed many things which yield nothing of use to man, but what is superfluous does not do away with use, but ensures the continuance of use. Abuse of uses is also possible, but abuse does not do away with use, just as falsification of truth does not do away with truth except with those who falsify it.

DLW 332. Uses for perfecting the rational are all the things which teach the subjects already mentioned, and are called sciences and studies pertaining to natural, economic, civil and moral affairs. These are acquired from parents and teachers, or from books, or from dealings with others, or on one’s own by reflection on these subjects. These things perfect the rational so far as they are uses in a higher degree, and they remain so far as they are applied to life….

DLW 333. Uses for receiving what is spiritual from the Lord are all the things which belong to religion and so to worship, thus that teach the acknowledgment and knowledge of God, and the knowledge and acknowledgment of good and truth, and thus eternal life. These are similarly acquired as other learning from parents, teachers, publications and books, and especially by applying what is learned to life. In the Christian world, [they are learned] by doctrines and sermons from the Word, and through the Word from the Lord.

These uses in their whole extent may be described in the same terms as the uses for the body, as nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation, enjoyment, and protection of state, if only these are applied to the soul: its nourishment [answering] to goods of love, clothing to truths of wisdom, habitation to heaven, recreation and enjoyment to happiness of life and heavenly joy, protection to safety from infesting evils, and preservation of state to eternal life.

All these things are given by the Lord according to the acknowledgment that all bodily things are also from the Lord, and that man is only a servant and domestic steward appointed over the goods of his Lord.

Questions and Comments
  1. Have you sometimes felt that it is an honor to be appointed as a steward over some of the Lord’s uses?
  2. What principles may we draw from the teaching that all uses of the natural world relate to man, and through man to the Lord; and that we are stewards of His house?
  3. “The body is like the foundation, the rational like the house built on it, the spiritual like the furnishings….” Why is it necessary to spend so much time caring for the foundation? (How much time do you spend in your basement?)
  4. From DLW 331, does it seem there is a useful place for eating certain animals?
  5. Notice the distinction between uses for perfecting the rational and uses for receiving what is spiritual. How does this distinction affect the way we think of the school? How do rational things relate to spiritual things?
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