44. That this is the nature of the Divine Love is to be known from its sphere which pervades the universe, and affects every person according to his mental state. It particularly affects parents, since it is this which makes them dearly love their children, who are other than themselves, wish to be one with them, and devote themselves to their happiness. This sphere of the Divine Love affects not only the good but also the bad; and not only human beings, but also animals and birds of every kind. What has any mother in mind when she has given birth to a child but to unite herself with it and seek its good? What bird has anything in mind when it has hatched its chicks other than to warm them under its wings, and by kisses to put food into their gullets? It is well known that even snakes and vipers love their offspring. That universal sphere especially affects those who receive that love of God's into themselves, and these are those who believe in God and love the neighbour. Charity in their case is an image of that love.
 Even friendship among those who are not good apes that love. At his table a person gives his friend the best portion, embraces him, touches him and holds his hand, and promises to put himself at his friend's service. The feeling of liking and the striving of those who are alike and of the same type to be together come from the same origin. That same Divine sphere also works on inanimate things, as on trees and plants, but it does this through the sun of the world, and its heat and light. The heat penetrates them from without, links itself to them, and makes them bud, flower and fruit, which answers to happiness in an animal. This is the result of that heat, because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love. There are even representations of the working of this love in various things in the mineral kingdom; specimens of this are to be seen in the exaltation* of minerals into useful forms and the formation of gems.
*Exaltation: a term of early chemistry for the transformation of elements into different forms, e.g. the formation of diamonds from carbon.