Everything is open for scrutiny. All 'mysteries' can be inspected from the light of revealed truth in the Word. We are now in a position to look back at the universe, and to see the chronology both of creation, and of the elevation or evolution of man from what was created; then also the history of the human race. The purpose in making this presentation is not to make yet another interpretation of history from a human perspective; but rather to suggest what may be at the core of history when examined in the light of revealed truth (the Word).
Some DifficultiesThe view presented in this study has emphasized human freedom as cause of both spiritual decisions and natural events of good and evil. The question arises whether this interpretation contradicts the doctrine that man's own prudence is nothing, and that Divine Providence does everything good. In the book Divine Providence an entire chapter is given to the subject: "There is no such thing as man's own prudence. It only appears that there is, and there ought to be this appearance; but the Divine Providence is universal because it is in things most individual."236 What is meant by man's own prudence being nothing?
Thoreau was perhaps the most militant Transcendentalist. Yet through the years he has been cast as a hermit, naturalist, classics student, scholar of Oriental lore, scholar of New England legend and history, scholar of the American Indian, primitivist or "apostle of the wild," man of letters, writer of perfect prose, walker, Puritan, Pantheist, and Transcendentalist. I am sure he was a reader of Swedenborg's theological writings. But before all these, he was a mystic: man had only to seek God in solitude, reverence, and faith; every soul could possess the ability to communicate with that from which it was made. It was a matter of intuition—each man was potentially a mystic.
How many times have I heard this quote used in support of harsh punishment and authority! Yet, to my utter amazement, when I examined the original Greek text of this familiar sentence, I discovered that the term rendered here as "chasten" was nothing else than the well-known paradigm: paideuo—in the whole Greek tradition, the word for—educating! The great Greek writers hardly ever attached any notion of "punishment" to this expression.