February 3, 2017

Freedom Appropriates to Man What the Divine Providence Introduces

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Man would run counter to God, and also deny Him, if he clearly saw the workings of His Divine providence, because man is in the enjoyment of self-love, and that enjoyment constitutes his very life; therefore when he is kept in his life's enjoyment he is in freedom; for freedom and that enjoyment make one. If, therefore, he had a perception of being continually led away from his enjoyment he would be enraged as against one who wished to destroy his life, and would regard him as an enemy. To prevent this the Lord does not manifestly appear in His Divine providence, but by it He leads men as silently as a hidden current or favoring tide bears a vessel; and in consequence man does not know but that he is constantly in his own (proprium), for man's freedom and his own make one. From this it is clear that freedom appropriates to man what the Divine providence introduces, but that this would not take place if the Divine providence made itself manifest. To be appropriated is to come to be of the life.
(Divine Providence 186)