Divine Providence (Dick and Pulsford) n. 175

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175. 5. IT IS A LAW OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD NOT PERCEIVE AND FEEL ANYTHING OF THE OPERATION OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE, BUT STILL THAT HE SHOULD KNOW AND ACKNOWLEDGE IT. The natural man who does not believe in Divine Providence thinks within himself, "What is Divine Providence when the wicked are advanced to honours and acquire wealth more than the good, and when many such things fall to those who do not believe in a Divine Providence beyond the lot of those who do? Indeed, the unbelieving and the impious can inflict injuries, loss, misfortunes, and sometimes death, upon the believing and the pious, and this by cunning and malice." Therefore he thinks, "Do I not see from actual experience as in clear daylight that crafty devices, if only a man by skilful cunning can make them appear to be trustworthy and just, prevail over fidelity and justice? What, then, is left but necessities, consequences and things of chance, in which nothing of Divine Providence appears? Do not necessities belong to nature? Are not consequences causes flowing out from natural or civil order? And do not things of chance come from causes which are not known, or from no cause at all?" Such are the thoughts of the natural man who ascribes nothing to God but all things to nature; for he that attributes nothing to God attributes nothing to the Divine Providence, since God and the Divine Providence make one. [2] The spiritual man, on the other hand, speaks and thinks within himself quite differently. Although he has no perception in his thought, and is not sensible by his eyesight, of the Divine Providence in its course, still he knows and acknowledges it. Now since the appearances and consequent fallacies mentioned above have blinded the understanding, and this can receive no sight unless the fallacies which induced the blindness and the falsities which induced the darkness are dispelled, and since this cannot be done except by truths which have in them the power of dispelling falsities, therefore these truths shall be disclosed; and for the sake of distinctness this shall be done in the following order:

I. If a man perceived and felt the operation of the Divine Providence he would not act from freedom according to reason; nor would anything appear to him to be as from himself. It would be the same if he foreknew events. II. If man saw clearly the Divine Providence he would interpose in the order and tenor of its course, and would pervert and destroy that order. III. If man saw clearly the Divine Providence he would either deny God or make himself God. IV. It is granted to man to see the Divine Providence in the back and not in the face; and this in a spiritual state and not in a natural state.

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