The laws of Divine Providence would seem to leave nothing to "chance" since it is commonly known in the church that Divine Providence works into the least particulars. However, there is certainly the appearance of chance in the world around us both in nature and in the affairs of men. This appearance must somehow be accounted for and our view of nature made to agree with the teachings of the Word. This paper is divided into three parts. The first sets forth what I believe to be the most pertinent teachings found in the Writings on this subject; the second explains some of the background material of modern mathematics and physics that bears on this issue; and the third gives some applications and interpretations while pointing out some potential difficulties.
New Church thought as reflected in its foundation principles, its general philosophical concepts, and its particular doctrines, represents a continuation of an historical development that stems back to pre-Hebraic times. While this can be said of other systems of thought, yet New Church thought stands apart for at least two reasons. First, it is founded on the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1747-1771). These works together with parts of the Bible (the Law and the Prophets, the Psalms, the four Gospels and Revelation) constitute a unique body of literature referred to collectively as the Word, according to the definition given in Swedenborg's The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, "What He [God] has thus revealed, forms with us the Word" (HD 251). (In this study the expression "the Writings" will be employed when referring to the theological works of Swedenborg). Second, in the light of the Writings the now three-fold Word (Old Testament, New Testament, and the Writings) is seen to have an organic unity, for each successive revelation is seen as an unfolding of what is contained interiorly in what preceded it.
We have already presented a study on the spelling of the words caecus, coena and coenum (see The New Philosophy October-December 1982, pp. 149, 150). Here is a further study of Swedenborg's indexes to determine which words are to be spelt fae- and which are to be spelt foe-, as well as the preferred spelling of proelium.
Rarely do we see someone confronting so boldly our longstanding traditions of translation as Horand K. Gutfeldt has done with respect to Revelation 3:19 in the Oct.-Dec. 1983 issue of New Philosophy. This kind of challenge seems to me quite commendable because it allows us to reflect on the meaning of the biblical text in new ways. Even if the change advocated is later rejected, the process undergone in coming to such a decision is nearly always beneficial and enlightening.