(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 19

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19. VIII. THAT WHICH IS IN GOOD AND AT THE SAME TIME IN TRUTH HAS REALITY; AND THAT WHICH IS IN EVIL AND AT THE SAME TIME IN FALSITY HAS NO REALITY. It may be seen above (n. 11), that what is in good and at the same time in truth has reality; and from this it follows that what is evil and at the same time false has no reality. By having no reality is meant that it has no power and no spiritual life. Those who are in evil and at the same time in falsity-and all such are in hell-have indeed power among themselves; for one who is wicked can do evil, and does it in a thousand ways. Nevertheless, he can only do evil to the wicked from their evil, but cannot do the least evil to the good, except, as sometimes happens, by joining forces with their evil.
[2] This is the origin of temptations, which are infestations by the evil who are with men; and thence combats ensue, by means of which the good can be freed from their own evils. Since the wicked have no power, the entire hell before the Lord is not only as nothing but is absolutely nothing with respect to power, as I have seen proved by abundant experience. It is a remarkable thing, however, that the wicked all believe themselves to be powerful, and the good all believe themselves to be without power. This is because the wicked attribute all things to their own power, and thus to cunning and malice, and nothing to the Lord; while the good attribute nothing to their own prudence, but everything to the Lord who is Almighty. Moreover, evil and falsity together have no reality because there is no spiritual life in them, and this is why the life of the infernals is not called life, but death; therefore, since everything that is real belongs to life, nothing that is real can belong to death.


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