Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 8717

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8717. 'And it shall be, every great matter let them bring to you' means that everything exists from the truth going forth directly from God. This is clear from the representation of Moses as the truth going forth directly from God, dealt with in 7010, 7382, the existence of everything from that truth being meant by 'let them bring every great matter' to him. From the sense of the letter it seems as though everything was to be brought to Divine Truth; but since everything comes from the Lord through the truth going forth from Him, for life derives wholly from Him, the meaning in the internal sense is not to that truth but from it. This is like what has been shown with regard to influx, in 3721, 5119, 5259, 5779, 6322. There it has been shown that the direction in which influx goes is not from outward things to inward ones, but from inward to outward. The reason for this is that outward things are all formed to serve inward ones, just as instrumental causes serve their principal causes, without which the instrumental are dead causes. It should be recognized that in the internal sense things are presented according to their true nature, not according to the nature of them as seen in the sense of the letter.

[2] The true nature of the matter here is that the Lord governs all things, even the most specific, through the truth that goes forth from Himself, not in the way a king governs in the world, but in the way God does so in heaven and over all creation. A king in the world takes only overall care of a country, while his chief ministers and officials take care of matters in particular. It is otherwise with God. God sees all things, knows all things from eternity, provides all things into eternity, and from Himself maintains all things in their order; from which it is clear that the Lord takes not only overall care but also particular and individual care of all things, unlike a king in the world. His regulation of things is achieved directly by means of God's truth that is going forth from Himself and also indirectly by means of heaven. Yet the indirect regulation by means of heaven is also tantamount to direct regulation by Him; for what comes from heaven comes by way of heaven from Him. This the angels in heaven not merely know to be so; they also perceive it within themselves. Regarding the Lord's Divine regulation of things or His providence, that it operates in all things generally and specifically, indeed in the most specific of all, however different from this it may seem to a person to be, see 4329, 5122 (end), 5904 (end), 6058, 6481-6487, 6490, 6491.

[3] But it is difficult for this subject to find a place in any person's way of thinking, least of all in that of those who trust in their own prudence; for they attribute to themselves all things that turn out beneficially for themselves, and ascribe everything else to luck or chance. Few ascribe them to God's providence. Accordingly they attribute things which happen to dead causes, not to a living cause. When things go well they do, it is true, say that this has been done by God, also that there is nothing which is not done by Him; but few, scarcely any, believe it in their hearts. Much the same is done by those who suppose that complete happiness lies in worldly and bodily acquisitions, that is to say, in important positions and wealth; they believe that these alone are Divine blessings. When therefore they see that very many of those who are bad possess these things in abundance, and not so the good, they cast away from their hearts and deny the existence of God's providence in anything specific. They are not prepared to think that being blessed by God means being made happy into eternity, and that the Lord regards what is by nature transient - which worldly things are, relatively - only as a means to what is eternal. Therefore also the Lord provides the good, who accept His mercy during their time in the world, with such things as contribute to the happiness of their eternal life. He confers wealth and important positions on those to whom they can do no harm, and withholds wealth and important positions from those to whom they can do harm. To the latter nevertheless, during their time in the world, He imparts the ability to be glad with a few things instead of important positions and wealth, and to be more content than those who have wealth and important positions.

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