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Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence   By: (1688-1772)

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First Page:

Angelic Wisdom about DIVINE PROVIDENCE


Emanuel Swedenborg

Translation By


Standard Edition


Originally published in Latin at Amsterdam 1764 First English translation published in U.S.A. 1851 51st Printing, 1975 (5th Printing Wunsch Translation).

ISBN 0 87785 059 3 (Student) 0 87785 060 7 (Trade)

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74 30441

Manufactured in the United States of America


Translator's Preface

I. What Divine Providence Is

II. The Goal of Divine Providence

III. The Outlook of Divine Providence

IV. Providence has its Laws

V. Its Regard for Human Freedom and Reason

VI. Even in the Struggle against Evil

VII. The Law of Noncompulsion

VIII. The Law of Overt Guidance

IX. The Law of Hidden Operation

X. Divine Providence and Human Prudence

XI. Binding Time and Eternity

XII. The Law Guarding against Profanation

XIII. Laws of Tolerance in the Laws of Providence

XIV. Why Evil is Permitted

XV. Providence Attends the Evil and the Good

XVI. Providence and Prudence in the Appropriation of Good and Evil to Man

XVII. The Salvation of All the Design of Providence

XVIII. The Steadfast Observance of its Laws by Providence

Index of Scripture Passages

Subject Index

[1]Swedenborg gave neither numbers nor brief captions to the chapters of the book. Nor did he prefix a recital of all the propositions and subsidiary propositions to come in the book; this was the work of the Latin editor. For this the above, giving the reader a succinct idea of the book's contents, is substituted. Tr.


THE Book

The reader will find in this book a firm assurance of God's care of mankind as a whole and of each human being. The assurance is rested in God's infinite love and wisdom, the love pure mercy, the wisdom giving love its ways and means. It is further grounded in an interpretation of the universe as a spiritual natural world, an interpretation fully set forth in the earlier book, Divine Love and Wisdom , on which the present work draws heavily. As there is a world of the spirit, no view of providence can be adequate which does not take that world into account. For in that world must be channels for the outreach of God's care to the human spirit. There also any eternal goal such as a heaven from the human race must exist. A view of providence limited to the horizons of the passing existence can hardly resemble the care which the eternal God takes of men and women who, besides possessing perishable bodies, are themselves creatures of the spirit and immortal. The full title of the book, Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence , implies that its author, in an other world experience, had at hand the knowledge which men and women in heaven have of God's care. Who should know the divine guidance if not the men and women in heaven who have obviously enjoyed it? "The laws of divine providence, hitherto hidden with angels in their wisdom, are to be revealed now" (n. 70).

As it is presented in this book, providence seeks to engage man in its purposes, and to enlist all his faculties, his freedom and reason, his will and understanding, his prudence and enterprise. It acts first of all on his volitions and thinking, to align them with itself. That it falls directly on history, its events and our circumstances, is a superficial view. It is man's inner life which first feels the omnipresent divine influence and must do so. If we cannot be lifted to our best selves and if our aims and outlook cannot be modified for the better, how shall the world be bettered which we affect to handle? Paramount in God's presence with all men, if only in their possibilities, is His providential care.

This care, to which man's inner life is open, is alert every moment, not occasional. It is gentle and not tyrannical, constantly respecting man's freedom and reason, otherwise losing him as a human being... Continue reading book >>

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