220. IV. THE CONJUNCTION OF TEMPORAL AND ETERNAL THINGS IN MAN IS THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF THE LORD. As, however, these things cannot fall within the first perception of the understanding unless they have been previously arranged in order and then unfolded and explained according to that order, the following will be the order of their exposition:
1. It is from the Divine Providence that man by death puts off what is natural and temporal, and puts on what is spiritual and eternal. 2. The Lord by His Divine Providence conjoins Himself to natural things by means of spiritual things, and to temporal things by means of eternal things, according to uses. 3. The Lord conjoins Himself to uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances in accordance with the confirmations of these by man. 4. This conjunction of temporal and eternal things is the Divine Providence. But these things will be set in clearer light by explanation.  First: It is from the Divine Providence that man by death puts off what is natural and temporal, and puts on what is spiritual and eternal. Natural and temporal things are the outermost and ultimate things into which man first enters; and this he does at birth, to the end that he may afterwards be introduced into interior and higher things; for the outermost and ultimate things are containants; and these are in the natural world. This is the reason why no angel or spirit was created such immediately, but all were born first as men and so introduced into higher things. Hence they have outermost and ultimate things which in themselves are fixed and stabilised, and within and by them interior things can be held in their series.  Man first puts on the grosser substances of nature, of which his body is constituted; but these he puts off by death, retaining the purer substances of nature which are nearest to spiritual things, and these then become his containants. Moreover, in outermost or ultimate things are simultaneously all interior or higher things, as was duly shown before. Therefore, every operation of the Lord is from first things and last things simultaneously, and thus in fullness. Since, however, the outermost and ultimate things of nature cannot receive the spiritual and eternal things for which the human mind was formed, as they are in themselves, and yet man was born to become spiritual and live for ever, therefore man puts them off and retains only the interior natural things which are suitable and in harmony with spiritual and celestial things, and which serve them as containants. This is effected by the rejection of temporal and natural ultimates, which is the death of the body.  Second: The Lord by His Divine Providence conjoins Himself to natural things by means of spiritual things, and to temporal things by means of eternal things, according to uses. Natural and temporal things are not only those which are proper to nature, but also those which are proper to men in the natural world. Both of these man puts off by death, and puts on the spiritual and eternal things which correspond to them. That he puts on these according to uses has been shown in many places in what has gone before. The natural things that are proper to nature relate in general to times and spaces, and in particular to the things that are seen on the earth. These man leaves behind by death and receives in their stead spiritual things that are similar in their external aspect or appearance but not in their internal aspect and essential nature. This has also been treated above.  The temporal things that are proper to men in the natural world relate in general to dignities and wealth, and in particular to everyone's necessities, which are food, clothing and habitation. These also are put off by death and left behind; and such things are assumed and received as are similar to them in external aspect or appearance, but not in their internal aspect and essential nature. All these derive their internal aspect and essential nature from the uses to which temporal things have been put in the world. Uses are the goods that are called the goods of charity. Hence it may be evident that the Lord by His Divine Providence conjoins to natural and temporal things spiritual and eternal things according to uses.  Third: The Lord conjoins Himself to uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances in accordance with the confirmation of these by man. As this cannot but seem obscure to those who have not yet acquired a clear idea of what is meant by correspondence and appearance, it must be illustrated by example and so explained. All things in the Word are pure correspondences of spiritual and celestial things, and because they are correspondences they are also appearances; that is, all things of the Word are the Divine Goods of the Divine Love and the Divine Truths of the Divine Wisdom. These in themselves are unveiled, but they are clothed in the sense of the Letter of the Word. They therefore appear like a man in clothing which corresponds to the state of his love and wisdom. From this it is clear that if a man confirms in himself appearances it is as if he were to believe that clothes are the men; thus appearances become fallacies. It is otherwise if a man seeks for truths and sees them in the appearances.  Now since all the uses, that is, the truths and goods of charity, that a man does to the neighbour may be done either according to appearances or according to the truths themselves in the Word: if he does them according to appearances confirmed in himself he is in fallacies; but if he does them according to truths he does them as he ought. From these considerations it may be evident what is meant when it is said that the Lord conjoins Himself to uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances according to the confirmation of these by man.  Fourth: This conjunction of temporal and eternal things is the Divine Providence. In order that this may be set before the understanding in some degree of light, it may be illustrated by two examples, one of which concerns dignities and honours, and the other riches and wealth. Both of these in their external form are natural and temporal, but in their internal form are spiritual and eternal. Dignities with their honours are natural and temporal when man regards himself personally in them and not the commonwealth and uses. For in that case man cannot but think interiorly within himself that the state exists for the sake of him, and not he for the state. He is like a king who thinks that the kingdom and all the people in it exist for the sake of him and not he for the sake of the kingdom and its people.  These same dignities, however, with their honours are spiritual and eternal when man regards himself personally as existing for the sake of the state and uses, and does not regard them as existing for the sake of himself. If a man does this he is then in the truth and essence of his dignity and honour. If, however, he does the former he is in the correspondence and appearance; and if he confirms these in himself he is in fallacies. He is thus in conjunction with the Lord only as those are who are in falsities and evils derived from these; for fallacies are falsities with which evils unite themselves. Such persons have indeed performed uses and good works, but from themselves and not from the Lord; and, therefore, they have put themselves in the place of the Lord.  It is the same with regard to riches and wealth; for these also are natural and temporal as well as spiritual and eternal. Riches and wealth are natural and temporal with those who have regard to these only and to themselves in them, finding in them their whole pleasure and delight. These same things, however, are spiritual and eternal with those who have regard to good uses in them, finding in uses interior pleasure and delight. Moreover, with such persons the outward pleasure and delight become spiritual, and the temporal becomes eternal. Therefore, after death they are in heaven; and there they live in palaces, the useful furnishings of which are resplendent with gold and precious stones. These things, however, they regard only as externals resplendent and translucent from their internals which are uses; and from these uses they derive real pleasure and delight, which in themselves are the blessedness and joy of heaven. The opposite is the lot of those who have regarded riches and wealth for the sake of such things alone as they affected themselves, and thus for the sake of what is external and not at the same time for the sake of what is internal, thus according to appearances and not according to essential realities. When such men put off these appearances, as happens when they die, they put on the internals that pertain to them; and as these are not spiritual they must of necessity be infernal; for either one or other of these principles is in them, since the two cannot exist together. Consequently, in place of riches they have poverty and in place of wealth wretchedness.  By uses are meant not only the necessaries of life which have relation to food, clothing and habitation for oneself and one's dependents, but also the good of one's country, of society, and of one's fellow-citizens. Business is such a good when business is the supreme love and money is a mediate and subservient love, provided the business man shuns and turns his back on fraud and evil practices as sins. It is otherwise when money is the supreme love and business is a mediate and subservient love; for this is avarice, which is a source of evils. Concerning this see Luke XII. 15, and the parable relating to it, verses 16-21.