Man’s Capacities to ‘THINK’ Either With or Against God and His Ability to ‘DO’ What is True and Good

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

• There are in man from the Lord two capacities whereby he is distinguished from beasts.

• One of these is the ability to understand what is true and what is good; this is called rationality, and is a capacity of his understanding.

• The other is an ability to do what is true and good; this is called freedom, and is a capacity of his will.

• For man by virtue of his rationality is able to think whatever he pleases, either with or against God, either with or against the neighbor; he is also able to will and to do what he thinks; but when he sees evil and fears punishment, he is able, by virtue of his freedom, to abstain from doing it. By virtue of these two capacities man is man, and is distinguished from beasts.

Man has these two capacities from the Lord, and they are from Him every moment; nor are they taken away, for if they were, man’s human would perish.

• In these two capacities the Lord is with every man, good and evil alike; they are the Lord’s abode in the human race; from this it is that all men live for ever, both the good and evil. But the Lord’s abode in man is nearer as by the agency of these capacities man opens the higher degrees, for by the opening of these man comes into higher degree of love and wisdom, thus nearer to the Lord. From this it can be seen that as these degrees are opened, man is in the Lord and the Lord in him.

• [T]he three degrees of height are like end, cause, and effect, and that love, wisdom, and use follow in succession according to these degrees; therefore a few things shall be said here about love as being end, wisdom as being cause, and use as being effect.

• Whoever consults his reason, if it is enlightened, can see that the end of all things of man is his love; for what he loves that he thinks, decides upon, and does, consequently that he has for his end. Man can also see from his reason that wisdom is cause; since he, that is, his love, which is his end, searches in his understanding for its means through which to attain its end, thus consulting its wisdom, and these means constitute the instrumental cause. That use is effect is evident without explanation.

• But one man’s love is not the same as another’s, neither is one man’s wisdom the same as another’s; so it is with use. And since these three are homogeneous … it follows that such as is the love in man, such is the wisdom and such is the use. Wisdom is here spoken of, but by it what pertains to man’s understanding is meant.

(Divine Love and Wisdom 240-241)

About mike

The Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race, an angelic heaven would be formed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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