Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6487

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6487. When I was talking to angels about the Lord's Divine Providence, spirits were also present who had convinced themselves of some idea about fate or absolute necessity. They imagined that such necessity determined how the Lord acted since He can proceed only with due regard for things that are utterly essential, that is, only by observing the requirements of utterly perfect order. But those spirits were shown that a person possesses freedom, and that if he possesses freedom what happens does not arise out of necessity. A house that is going to be built was used to illustrate the point. The bricks, clay, sand, and stones serving as plinths and columns, also planks and beams, and many more such materials, are not gathered together in the order in which the house is constructed but in whatever way one pleases, the Lord alone knowing what the house will be like that is built from them. All the things one receives from the Lord are utterly essential; yet they do not follow one another in any necessary order but with special reference to the person's freedom.

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