“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Second Law
Day 6

    Listen:

The Laws of the Divine Providence
Put away evils in the external man

Jeremiah 7:2-4, 9-11

Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word…. Thus says Jehovah of Armies, the God of Israel: Make your ways and your actions good… Do not trust in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, are these. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and promise falsely… and come and stand before Me in this house, upon which My name is called, and say, We are rescued, while you do all these abominations? …Behold, I, even I, have seen it, says Jehovah.

From Divine Providence

DP 125. These angelic secrets [that the Lord acts on all things simultaneously, and that He acts from inmosts and outmosts simultaneously] are stated here in order that it may be understood how the Lord’s Divine Providence operates to unite man to Himself and Himself to man. This operation does not act upon any particular of man separately but upon all things at the same time, and is effected from the inmost of man and from his ultimates at the same time.

The inmost of man is his life’s love, his ultimates are what reside in the external of his thought, and intermediates are what reside in the internal of his thought. It has been shown in the preceding numbers what the nature of these is in a wicked man.

From these considerations it is again made clear that the Lord cannot act from inmost things and ultimates at the same time except together with man, for in ultimates man and the Lord are together. Therefore as man acts in ultimates that are matters of his choice, because they are within the scope of his freedom, so the Lord acts from his inmost things and in the things ranging in series to his ultimates.

The things that are in man’s inmosts and in the series from inmosts to ultimates are totally unknown to man, and man is therefore quite unaware of how the Lord operates and what He accomplishes there. But as those things are linked together as one with the ultimates, man does not need to know more than that he should shun evils as sins and look to the Lord. In this and in no other way can his life’s love, which by birth is infernal, be removed by the Lord and a heavenly life’s love be implanted in its place.

DP 126. When the Lord has implanted a heavenly life’s love in place of the infernal one, then affections of good and truth are implanted in place of the lusts of evil and falsity; and delights of the affections of good are implanted in place of the delights of the lusts of evil and falsity; and the goods of heavenly love are implanted in place of the evils of infernal love. Then also prudence is implanted instead of cunning, and thoughts of wisdom instead of thoughts of malice. Thus man is born again and becomes a new man.…

DP 128. Everyone knows from the Word that the life allotted to each after death is according to his deeds. If you open the Word and read it you will see this clearly; but while doing so take the thoughts away from faith and justification by faith alone. The few passages that follow testify that the Lord teaches this everywhere in His Word:

Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matt. 7:19, 20
Many will say to me in that day, Lord ... have we not prophesied in thy name ... and in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity. Matt. 7:22, 23….

Questions and Comments

  1. In what ways might New Church people feel that they are “rescued” or given a pass “to steal, murder, and commit adultery, and promise falsely”? In what ways might we make the Lord’s house a den of robbers?
  2. If the Lord could fix one thing about you apart from the rest, what would you wish for? Why wouldn’t that work?
  3. Isn’t it amazing that the Lord sets some outmost things “under man’s control” and “in the scope of his freedom,” and that everything else the Lord does for us rests on our free choices? All of this is so that our life’s love can be radically changed, in our freedom.
  4. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” “So far as a man shuns evils as sins, so far he does what is good, not from himself but from the Lord” (Life 18). What is an evil you would really like to be done with and free from? What is an opposite good that you would love to be able to do from the heart?
  5. There are 19 more quotes in DP 128, showing that “a life after death is allotted to everyone according to his deeds.” What is one of your favorites on this subject?
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