(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 150

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150. VI. THE EXTERNAL MAN MUST BE REFORMED BY MEANS OF THE INTERNAL, AND NOT THE REVERSE. By the internal and the external man is meant the same as by the internal and the external of thought, which have frequently been treated of before. The reason why the external is reformed by means of the internal is that the internal flows into the external, and not the reverse. It is known in the learned world that there is influx of the spiritual into the natural, and not the reverse; and it is known in the Church that the internal man must first be purified and renewed, and thereby the external. This is known because the Lord teaches it and reason declares it. The Lord teaches it in these words:
Woe unto you ... hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matt. xxiii. 25, 26.
[2] That reason declares it is shown in many passages in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM. For what the Lord teaches He grants to men to perceive rationally, and this in two ways; in one, man sees in himself that a thing is so, as soon as he hears it; and in the other, he understands it by means of reasons. His seeing in himself is in his internal man, and his understanding by means of reasons is in the external man. Everyone sees it within himself when he hears that the internal man must first be purified and the external by means of it. But he who does not receive a general idea of this by influx from heaven may be led astray when he consults the external of his thought. From this alone no one sees otherwise than that the external works of charity and piety, apart from the internal, are saving: It is the same in other things; as that sight and hearing flow into thought, and smell and taste into perception; thus the external into the internal, when nevertheless the contrary is the case. The appearance that what is seen and heard flow into the thought is a fallacy; for it is the understanding that sees in the eye and hears in the ear, and not the reverse. So it is in everything else.


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