That there is a Divine Order whereby the Lord saves man.
There is an order in which the Lord gives man faith and love, and conjoins them in man. This is not generally recognized. It is a point of the greatest importance, and every man should reflect on it. Some think that the Lord can do anything in any way that He wants to do it, without any means. They fall into the idea that if the Lord wants to save a man, He can immediately transform that man from being a devil into being an angel, as it were just by a wave of a magic wand. So also they think the Lord made the world in a moment, out of nothing. But if they reflect upon the nature of the world they would se" that everything in it is in the most marvelous order, that everything is maintained and progresses in an order beyond all imagination. Nothing is arbitrary, nothing is without cause and effect. One thing depends on another, from beginning to end. For everything there is an order both for its origin and its continuation, and if that order is broken or not observed, it cannot continue to exist. There is not a single creation of God that anyone can point to in which this order is not observed.
And yet when men think of salvation they are prone to dismiss all order therein. They regard this, the supreme work of God, as somehow an exception to the universal rule that God does all things according to order. And yet if they searched the Scriptures they could see that the Lord likens His work of salvation to those things in the natural world which are filled with order.
Consider the Lord's words to Nicodemus: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3, 5.) Everyone knows that in natural birth there is an order so great that while we can know more and more about it we can hardly hone ever to know all things of it. How the seed of man is formed, how it is conceived and gestated and how it forms the indefinitely many wonders of the body, the brain and the mind, - these things we can observe and at them we marvel, for in them is an order that passes all thought.
It is to this that the Lord likens the regeneration of man, the work of the salvation of man. And from this we can see that there is far more in the work of regeneration than any one can imagine, indefinitely many truths describing an order for the salvation of man, one thing depending on another in a seemingly endless series.
Consider also that the Lord likened the work of salvation to the order in which seed is planted and in which it grows. "So is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." (Mark 4: 26-28.) So also the Lord likened His work in the regeneration of man to a Sower who went forth to sow, the seed being His Word, and the different grounds in which the seed fell being likened to the different states of man's mind which can or cannot receive that seed.
From these and other like teachings of the Scriptures it can be seen that the work of salvation is a work of Divine Order. Swedenborg teaches that God is Divine Love and that He is Divine Wisdom. His Love acts according to His Wisdom. His Wisdom is the Divine Order. Thus His Love acts according to the Divine Order, and not apart from Order. Some have objected to Swedenborg's teaching concerning the Divine Order on the grounds that he limits the omnipotence of God by constraining God to an order. But to this the reply is made that God is not limited by Order; He Himself is Order, and that He cannot act contrary to Order because to do so would be to act contrary to Himself, like a wise man acting contrary to his wisdom.