|www.TheisticScience.org · Books · Divine Love and Wisdom · Sections 327 ff||previous · next|
ALL THINGS CREATED BY THE LORD ARE USE; 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 327. In respect to this it has been shown above: That from God the Creator nothing can take form except uses (n. 308); that the uses of all created things ascend by degrees from outmost things to man, and through man to God the Creator, from whom they are (n. 65-68); that the end of creation takes form in outmosts, which end is, that all things may return to God the Creator, and that there may be conjunction (n. 167-172); that things are uses so far as they have regard to the Creator (n. 307); that the Divine must necessarily have being and form in other things created by itself (n. 47-51); that all things of the universe are recipients according to uses, and this according to degrees (n. 58); that the universe, viewed from uses, is an image of God (n. 59); and many other things. From all which this truth is plain, that all things created by the Lord are uses, and that they are uses in that order, degree, and respect in which they have relation to man, and through man to the Lord from whom (they are). It remains now that some things should be said in detail respecting uses.
DLW 328. By man, to whom uses have relation, is meant not alone an individual but an assembly of men, also a society smaller or larger, as a commonwealth, kingdom, or empire, or that largest society, the whole world, for each of these is a man. Likewise in the heavens, the whole angelic heaven is as one man before the Lord, and equally every society of heaven; from this it is that every angel is a man. This is so, see (HH n. 68-103). This makes clear what is meant by man in what follows.
DLW 329. The end of the creation of the universe clearly shows what use is. The end of the creation of the universe is the existence of an angelic heaven; and as the angelic heaven is the end, man also or the human race is the end, since heaven is from that. From which it follows that all created things are mediate ends, and that these are uses in that order, degree, and respect in which they have relation to man, and through man to the Lord.
DLW 330. inasmuch as the end of creation is an angelic heaven out of the human race, and thus the human race itself, all other created things are mediate ends, and these, as having relation to man, with a view to his conjunction with the Lord, refer themselves to these three things in him, his body, his rational, and his spiritual. For man cannot be conjoined to the Lord unless he be spiritual, nor can he be spiritual unless he be rational, nor can he be rational unless his body is in a sound state. These three are like a house; the body like the foundation, the rational like the superstructure, the spiritual like those things which are in the house, and conjunction with the Lord like dwelling in it. From this can be seen in what order, degree, and respect uses (which are the mediate ends of creation) have relation to man, namely, (1) for sustaining his body, (2) for perfecting his rational, (3) for receiving what is spiritual from the Lord.
DLW 331. Uses for sustaining the body relate to its nourishment, its clothing, its habitation, its recreation and enjoyment, its protection and the preservation of its state. The uses created for the nourishment of the body are all things of the vegetable kingdom suitable for food and drink, as fruits, grapes, grain, pulse, and herbs; in the animal kingdom all things which are eaten, as oxen, cows, calves, deer, sheep, kids, goats, lambs, and the milk they yield; also fowls and fish of many kinds. The uses created for the clothing of the body are many other products of these two kingdoms; in like manner, the uses for habitation, also for recreation, enjoyment, protection, and preservation of state. These are not mentioned because they are well known, and their mere enumeration would fill pages. There are many things, to be sure, which are not used by man; but what is superfluous does not do away with the use, but ensures its continuance. Misuse of uses is also possible, but misuse does not do away with use, even as falsification of truth does not do away with truth except with those who falsify it.
DLW 332. Uses for protecting the rational are all things that give instruction about the subjects above mentioned, and are called sciences and branches of study, pertaining to natural, economical, civil and moral affairs, which are learned either from parents and teachers, or from hooks, or from intercourse with others, or by reflection on these subjects by oneself. These things perfect the rational so far as they are uses in a higher degree, and they are permanent as far as they are applied to life. Space forbids the enumeration of these uses, by reason both of their multitude and of their varied relation to the common good.
DLW 333. Uses for receiving the spiritual from the Lord, are all things that belong to religion and to worship therefrom; thus all things that teach the acknowledgment and knowledge of God and the knowledge and acknowledgment of good and truth and thus eternal life, which are acquired in the same way as other learning, from parents, teachers, discourses, and books, and especially by applying to life what is so learned; and in the Christian world, by doctrines and discourses from the Word, and through the Word from the Lord. These uses in their full extent may be described under the same heads as the uses of the body, as nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation and enjoyment, and preservation of state, if only they are applied to the soul; as nutrition to goods of love, clothing to truths of wisdom, habitation to heaven, recreation and enjoyment to felicity 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 a man's only as a servant and house-steward appointed over the goods of his Lord.
DLW 334. That such things have been given to man to use and enjoy, and that they are free gifts, is clearly evident from the state of angels in the heavens, who have, like men on earth, a body, a rational, and a spiritual. They are nourished freely, for food is given them daily; they are clothed freely, for garments are given them; their dwellings are free, for houses are given them; nor have they any care about all these things; and so far as they are rational-spiritual do they have enjoyment, protection, and preservation of state. The difference is that angels see that these things,--because created according to the state of their love and wisdom,--are from the Lord (n. 322); but men do not see this, because their harvest returns yearly, and is not in accord with the state of their love and wisdom, but in accord with the care bestowed by them.
DLW 335. These things are called uses, because through man they have relation to the Lord; nevertheless, they must not be said to be uses from man for the Lord's sake, but from the Lord for man's sake, inasmuch as in the Lord all uses are infinitely one, but in man there are no uses except from the Lord; for man cannot do good from himself, but only from the Lord, and good is what is called use. The essence of spiritual love is doing good to others, not for the sake of self but for the sake of others; infinitely more is this the essence of Divine Love. It is like the love of parents for their children, in that parents do good to their children from love, not for their own sake but for their children's sake. This is especially manifest in a mothers love for her offspring. Because the Lord is to be adored, worshiped and glorified, He is supposed to love adoration, worship, and glory for His own sake; but He loves these for man's sake, because by means of them man comes into a state in which the Divine can flow in and be perceived; since by means of them man puts away that which is his own, which hinders influx and reception, for what is man's own, which is self-love, hardens the heart and shuts it up. This is removed by man's acknowledging that from himself comes nothing but evil and from the Lord nothing but good; from this acknowledgment there is a softening of the heart and humiliation, out of which flow forth adoration and worship. From all this it follows, that the use which the Lord performs for Himself through man is that Man may be able to do good from love, and since this is the Lord's love, its reception is the enjoyment of His love. Therefore, let no one believe that the Lord is with those who merely worship Him, He is with those who do His commandments, thus who perform uses; with such He has His abode, but not with the former. See what was said above on this subject, (n. 47-49).
|Divine Love and Wisdom||previous · next||Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||www.TheisticScience.org|