“All religion is of life; and the life of religion is to do good.” - Doctrine of Life §1
Kempton New Church

Introduction
Day 2

    Listen:

The Laws of the Divine Providence
Introduction: The First Three Chapters

Job 12 (Quoted in TCR 308)

  1. But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee;
  2. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee, and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
  3. Who doth not know in all these that the hand of the Lord has wrought this?
  4. From Divine Providence

    DP 3:2. That the universe, with all things in it in general and in particular, was created from the Divine Love by means of the Divine Wisdom can be confirmed from all things in the world that may be examined by the eye. Take any object in particular and examine it with some degree of intelligence, and you will be convinced.

    Take a tree, or its seed, its fruit, its flower or its leaf, and summoning what wisdom you have, view it with a powerful microscope, and you will see wonderful things; yet there are more interior things that you do not see, still more wonderful.

    Observe the order, step by step, in which the tree grows from the seed till it produces new seed; and consider whether there is not in every step a continuous effort to propagate itself further; for the goal to which it tends is seed, in which its propagative power exists anew. Then if you will but reflect upon this spiritually also—and you can do this if you please—will you not see wisdom displayed?

    Moreover, if you will reflect deeply enough from the spiritual point of view, you will see that this propagative power is not from the seed, nor from the sun of this world which is pure fire, but that it is in the seed from God the Creator, to whom belongs infinite Wisdom. You will see that it is present not only at creation but also continuously afterwards; for maintenance is perpetual creation, as continued existence is a continual coming into existence.

    DP 19. VIII. That which is in good and at the same time in truth is real; and that which is in evil and at the same time in falsity is not real. …By not being real is meant that it has no power and no spiritual life. Those who are in evil and at the same time in falsity—and all such are in hell— indeed have power among themselves; for one who is wicked can do evil, and does it in a thousand ways. Nevertheless, he can only do evil to the wicked from their evil, but cannot do the least evil to the good, except, as sometimes happens, by conjoining himself with their evil. This is the origin of temptations, which are infestations by the evil who are with men; and hence combats ensue, by means of which the good can be freed from their own evils.

    DP 21. IX. The Lord’s Divine Providence causes what is evil and at the same time false to serve for equilibrium, contrast, and purification, and so for the union of good and truth in others.

    DP 24. The union of good and truth is provided for by the Lord by means of contrast.... For every delight is thus perceived and felt by comparison with what is less delightful and what is not delightful; everything beautiful by what is less beautiful, and what is ugly; and likewise every good, which is of love, by what is less good and by means of evil; and every truth, which is of wisdom, by what is less true and by means of falsity.

    It should be known, however, that an opposite destroys as well as exalts perceptions and sensations. It destroys when it mingles them with itself and exalts when it does not. For this reason the Lord most carefully separates good and evil in man lest they should be commingled, just as He separates heaven and hell.

    Questions and Comments

    1. Do any examples come to mind of the marvels of creation showing that all things are created out of Divine love by means of Divine wisdom?
    2. What does DP 3 indicate about New Church science?
    3. What is an aspect of life in which you see the concept that maintaining things means continually creating them?
    4. What does this principle imply about friendships, marriage, or raising children?
    5. Can you think of examples in life or in movies or books illustrating that actually evil has no power, though sometimes it seems to have all power?
    6. What is an example of evil or falsity serving to strengthen and clarify the sense of what is good and true?
    7. Children growing up cannot avoid being exposed to some amount of evil and falsity, from within and from the culture. How can we help keep evil and falsity separate from what is good and true?

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