Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/105

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CONCERNING GOD.

everywhere, and from eternity to eternity the same. He Himself also says, that "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth His rain on the Just and on the unjust" (Matt. V. 45). But the reason why evil men and things are still evil, is in the subjects and objects themselves, in that they do not receive the love of God as it is, and as it is inmostly within them, but according to their own qualities or states, as the thorn and the nettle receive the heat of the sun and the rain of heaven. The second essential—to desire to he one with others—is also acknowledged, from His conjunction with the angelic heaven, with the Church on earth, with every individual therein, and with every good and truth in man and in the Church. Love indeed in itself regarded is nothing else than an endeavour towards conjunction. Therefore, in order that this essential of love might take effect, God created man in His image and likeness, that thus he might have conjunction with Him. That the Divine love continually intends such conjunction is evident from the Lord's words, expressing His desire That they may be one, He in them, and they in Him, and that the love of God may be in them (John xvii. 21-23, 26). The third essential of God's love—to make others happy from Himself—is acknowledged, from the gift of eternal life, which is blessedness, satisfaction, and happiness, without end. These He gives to those who receive His love in themselves. For God, as He is love itself, is also blessedness itself; and as all love breathes forth delight from itself, so Divine love breathes forth very blessedness, satisfaction, and happiness to all eternity. Thus God makes angels, and also men after death, happy from Himself; which is effected by conjunction with them.

That such is the nature of the Divine love is apparent from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects every one according to his state. This sphere especially affects parents, inspiring them with a tender love for their children, who are out of or without them, and with a desire to be one with them, and to make them happy from themselves. It affects even the evil as well as the good; and not only man, but beasts and birds of every kind. For what is the object of a mother's thoughts when she brings forth her child, but to unite herself, as it were, with it, and to provide for its good? What is a bird's concern when she has hatched her young, but to cherish them under her wings, and with every mark of endearment to feed and nourish them? It is a well-known fact that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere of Divine love affects in a particular manner those who receive within themselves the love of God, as they all do who believe in God and love their neighbour; the charity that reigns within them being the image of that

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