Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
CL 478. No one can know that there is any evil in adultery if he judges of it merely from external appearances, for in these it is like marriage. When internals are mentioned and they are told that it is from these that external appearances draw their good or their evil, these external judges say within themselves: "What are internals? who can see them? Is this not climbing above the sphere of one's intelligence?" Such men are like those who take all simulated good for genuine voluntary good, and judge the wisdom of a man from the elegance of his speech, or appraise the man himself from his fine clothes and his riding in a grand carriage, and not from his internal character, this being a matter of judgment from his affection of good. The same is equally the case with the judgment of the goodness of the fruit of a tree, or of anything edible, merely from sight and touch and not from taste and knowledge. This is what is done by all who are unwilling to perceive anything of a man's internals. Hence the insanity of many at this day, in that they see nothing of evil in adulteries, nay, and conjoin marriages with them in the same bed, that is, make them wholly alike, doing this merely because of the appearance of their likeness in outer manifestation.
 That such is the case is proved by the following testimony of experience: Angels once convoked an assembly of some hundreds from among the clever, learned, and wise men of the European world, and they were asked concerning the distinction between marriage and adultery, and were requested to consult reasons pertaining to their understanding. After the consultation, all but ten answered: "Public law alone makes the distinction, and this for the sake of some useful purpose. This purpose can indeed be recognized, yet it can be adjusted by civil prudence." Asked whether they see anything of good in marriage, and anything of evil in adultery, they replied, "No rational evil or good." Questioned as to whether they see anything of sin, they said, "Where is it? is not the act the same?" Amazed at these answers, the angels exclaimed, "Oh, this age! What grossness and how great!" Hearing this, hundreds of the wise turned round, and laughing loudly, said among themselves, "Is this grossness? Is any wisdom possible which can convince one that to love the wife of another merits eternal damnation?"
 That adultery is a spiritual evil and thence a moral and civic evil, and is diametrically opposed to the wisdom of reason; and that the love of adultery is from hell and returns to hell, while the love of marriage is from heaven and returns to heaven, was demonstrated in the first chapter of this Part, on The Opposition of Scortatory Love and Conjugial Love. But because all evils, like all goods, have their breadth and their height, their genera or kinds being according to their breadth, and their degrees according to their height, therefore, that adulteries may be known as to both dimensions, they shall be distributed first into their kinds and then into their degrees. This shall be done in the following series:
1. That there are three kinds of adulteries, simple, double, and triple.
2. That simple adultery is that of an unmarried man with the wife of another, or of an unmarried woman with the husband of another.
3. That double adultery is that of a husband with the wife of another, or the reverse.
4. That triple adultery is with blood relations.
5. That there are four degrees of adulteries, and that predications, pronouncements of guilt, and after death, imputations are made according to these degrees.
6. That adulteries of the first degree are adulteries from ignorance, which are committed by those who cannot or as yet do not consult the understanding and thence inhibit them.
7. That adulteries committed by these are mild.
8. That adulteries of the second degree are adulteries from lust, which are committed by those who are indeed able to consult the understanding, yet, on account of contingent causes, are not able at the time.
9. That adulteries committed by these are imputable according as the understanding afterwards does or does not favour them.
10. That adulteries of the third degree are adulteries from reason, which are committed by those who by their understanding confirm them as not being evils of sin.
11. That adulteries committed by these are grievous and are imputed according to the confirmations.
12. That adulteries of the fourth degree are adulteries from the will, which are committed by those who make them allowable and pleasing and not of sufficient importance to merit consulting the understanding in respect to them.
13. That adulteries committed by these are grievous in the highest degree, and are imputed to them as evils of purpose and inseated within them as guilt.
14. That adulteries of the third and fourth degree, whether committed in act or not, are evils of sin according to the measure and quality of the understanding and will within them.
15. That adulteries from purpose of the will, and adulteries from confirmation of the understanding, render men natural, sensual, and corporeal.
16. That they do this to such an extent that at last the adulterers cast off all things of the church and religion.
17. That nevertheless, like others, they still possess human rationality.
18. But that they use this rationality when in externals, and abuse it when in their internals.
The explanation of the above now follows:
CL 479. I. That there are three kinds of adulteries simple, double, and triple. The Creator of the universe has distinguished each and every thing which He created into genera or kinds, and each kind into species. He has likewise distinguished each species and each distinction of the species, and so on, and this to the end that an image of the infinite may exist in a perpetual variety of qualities. Thus the Creator of the universe has distinguished goods and their truths, and likewise, after they had arisen, evils and their falsities. That He has distinguished each and every thing in the spiritual world into kinds, species, and varieties, and that He has gathered all goods and truths into heaven, and all evils and falsities into hell, and has disposed the latter diametrically over against the former, is made evident by the disclosures in the work on HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758. That in this way He has also distinguished and does distinguish goods and truths and evils and falsities in the natural world with men, and thus men themselves, can be learned from man's lot after death, in that for the good there is heaven and for the evil hell. Now since all things that pertain to good, and all that pertain to evil are distinguished into kinds, species, and so on, therefore marriages are so distinguished, and likewise their opposites which are adulteries.
CL 480. II. That simple adultery is that of an unmarried man with the wife of another, or of an unmarried woman with the husband of another. By adultery here and in what follows is meant whoredom as opposed to marriage. It is opposed because it violates the covenant for life contracted between married partners, rends their love asunder, defiles it, and shuts off the union initiated at the time of betrothal and confirmed in the beginning of marriage; for after the pact and covenant, the conjugial love of a man with one wife unites their souls. Adultery does not dissolve this union, for it cannot be dissolved; but it shuts it off as one who shuts off a fountain at its source and thus stops its flow, and the basin is filled with filthy and stinking waters. In like manner conjugial love, whose origin is a union of souls, is besmeared and covered over by adultery; and when this is besmeared, then, from below rises up the love of adultery; and as this increases, the former love becomes carnal and the latter rises up against conjugial love and destroys it. Hence is the opposition between adultery and marriage.
CL 481. That more may be learned as to the nature of the grossness of the present age where wise men see nothing of sin in adultery, as disclosed above (n. 478) by angels, I will add the following Memorable Relation:
There were certain spirits who, from habit acquired in the life of the body, infested me with peculiar skill. They did this by an influx somewhat gentle like a kind of undulation such as is usual with the influx of upright spirits; but it was perceived that in the spirits now present were cunning designs and the like to entrap and deceive. At last I spoke with one of them who, it was told me, when he lived in the world had been the general of an army. Perceiving that there was something lascivious in the ideas of his thought, I spoke with him in spiritual speech with representatives--a speech which fully expresses many meanings and indeed in a single moment. He said that in the life of the body in the former world, he had accounted adulteries as nothing. But it was given me to tell him that adulteries are heinous, even though, before the eyes of such men, because of the delight which they experience and of the persuasion therefrom, they do not seem to be such, nay, and seem to be lawful; and, moreover, that he might have known this from the fact that marriages are the seminaries of the human race and hence also of the heavenly kingdom, and for that reason are not to be violated but are to be held holy; also from the fact--which he ought to know, being now in the spiritual world and in a state of perception--that conjugial love descends from the Lord through heaven, and that from this love as a parent is derived mutual love, which is the support of heaven; and further, from the fact that adulterers, when they merely come near heavenly societies, smell their own stench and therefore rush headlong towards hell. He might at least have known that to violate marriages is against Divine laws, against the civil laws of all kingdoms, and also against the genuine lumen of reason, and so against the law of nations because against order, both Divine and human, besides much else. He answered that in the former life he had not thought of such things, and he wished to reason whether they were so. But it was told him that truth does not admit of reasonings, for reasonings defend the delights of the flesh against the delights of the spirit, of the nature of which last, he had no knowledge; that he ought first to think over what had been said because it was the truth; or to think from the principle well known in the world, that no one should do to another what he does not wish the other to do to him. Thus, if anyone had in this way ensnared his wife whom he had loved, as is the case in the beginning of every marriage, then, when in a state of anger thereat, had he spoken from that state, would he not himself have detested adulteries? and being a man of ability, would he not then have confirmed himself against them more than other men, even so far as to damn them to hell? and, that the matter might not be a reproach to him, being the general of an army and with men of prompt action, would he not either have slain the adulterer or cast the adulteress out of his house?
CL 482. III. That double adultery is that of a husband with the wife of another, or the reverse. It is called double adultery because committed by two, the marriage covenant being violated by both. It is therefore twofold more grievous than the former. It was said above (n. 480), that after the pact and covenant, the conjugial love of one man with one wife unites their souls; that this union is the love itself in its origin; and that by adultery this origin is shut off and stopped up, like the spring and flow of a fountain. That the souls of two unite when love to the sex is restricted to the one woman or the one man of the sex, as is the case when a maiden has pledged herself wholly to a young man, and the young man has pledged himself wholly to the maiden, is clearly evident from the fact that the lives of the two unite, and so also their souls, these being the beginnings of their life. This union of souls is possible only in monogamous marriages, that is, the marriages of one man with one wife. It is not possible in polygamous marriages or marriages of a man with several wives; for in the latter, the love is divided, but in the former it is united. That in this its highest seat, conjugial love is spiritual, holy, and pure, is because, from its origin, every man's soul is celestial and therefore receives influx immediately from the Lord; for it receives from Him the marriage of love and wisdom or of good and truth, and this influx makes him a man and distinguishes him from beasts. From this union of souls, conjugial love, which, in the soul is in its spiritual holiness and purity, flows down into the life of the whole body and, so long as its vein remains open, fills that life with blessed delights. This it does with those who from the Lord become spiritual. That nothing but adultery shuts off and stops up this seat and origin of conjugial love and this fountain and its flow, is evident from the Lord's words that it is not lawful for a man to put away his wife and marry another except for adultery (Matt. 19:4-9); and from these words in the same place:
Whoso marrieth her that is put away committeth adultery. (Matt. 5:9).
When, therefore, as said above, this pure and holy fountain is shut off, then, like a gem surrounded with excrement, or bread with vomit, it is surrounded with filthy things which are altogether opposite to the purity and holiness of that fountain, namely, conjugial love. From this opposition comes conjugial cold, and in accordance therewith the lascivious pleasure of scortatory love--a love which spontaneously consumes itself. That this is an evil of sin is because what is holy is covered up, and its flow into the body is thus obstructed. In its place then comes what is profane, and the flow thereof into the body is opened. Hence, from being heavenly, the man becomes infernal.
CL 483. To this I will add something worthy of mention from the spiritual world: I have heard that some married men have the lust of committing whoredom, some with undeflowered women or virgins, some with deflowered women or harlots, some with married women or wives, some with women of noble stock, and some with women not of noble stock. That such is the case has been confirmed for me by many instances from various kingdoms of the world. When meditating on the variety of such lusts, I inquired whether there are men who find all their delight with the wives of others, and none with unmarried women. That I might know that there are such men, there were brought to me a number of men from a certain kingdom who were constrained to speak in accordance with their libidinous nature. They said that their sole pleasure and delight was and also is to commit adultery with the wives of others, and that they look out for beautiful wives and hire them at a great price according to their wealth, usually bargaining about the price with the woman alone. To my question why they did not hire unmarried women, they said that to them this was a vulgar thing which in itself was cheap and had in it nothing of delight. I asked also whether those wives afterwards return to their husbands and live with them. They answered that they either do not, or they do it coldly because they have become harlots. I then asked them, seriously, whether they had ever thought or whether they now think that this is double adultery because committed while they themselves have wives, and that such adultery despoils man of every spiritual good; but at this many of those present laughed and said, "What is spiritual good?" Persisting, I said, "What is more detestable than to commingle your soul with the soul of a husband in his wife? Do you not know that in man's seed is his soul?" At this they turned away and muttered, "What harm does it do there?" Finally I said, "Even though you do not fear Divine laws, do you not fear civil laws?" They answered, "No, only certain men of the ecclesiastical order; but in their presence we conceal it, and if we cannot, we keep on good terms with them." I later saw them separated into groups and some of these groups cast into hell.
CL 484. IV. That triple adultery is with blood relations. This adultery is called triple because it is threefold more grievous than the two former. The blood relations or remainders of flesh who are not to be approached may be seen listed in (Leviticus 18:6-17). The reasons why these adulteries are threefold more grievous than the two mentioned above are internal and external. The internal reasons are based on their correspondence with the violation of the spiritual marriage which is that of the Lord and the Church and thence of good and truth. The external reasons are (that the prohibited degrees were laid down) that they may be guards against man becoming a beast. But the present is not the place to proceed to the disclosure of these reasons.
CL 485. V. That there are four degrees of adulteries, and that predications, pronouncements of guilt, and after death, imputations are made according to these degrees. These degrees are not kinds, but they enter into each kind and there make distinctions between the more and the less evil or good--here, whether, because of circumstances and of contingencies, an adultery of any kind should be accounted mild or more grievous; that circumstances and contingencies vary everything is well known. Yet they are accounted in one way by a man from his rational lumen, in another by a judge from the law, and in another by the Lord from the man's state of mind. It is for this reason that predications, pronouncements of guilt, and after death, imputations, are spoken of. Predications are made by a man according to his rational lumen. Pronouncements of guilt are made by a judge according to the law. Imputations are made by the Lord according to the man's state of mind. That these three greatly differ from each other can be seen without explanation. According to circumstances and contingencies, a man from rational conviction may absolve one whom a judge, sitting in judgment according to the law, cannot absolve; and a judge may absolve one who, after death, is condemned. The reason is because the judge pronounces sentence according to the deeds; but after death everyone is judged according to the intentions of his will and thence of his understanding, and according to the confirmations of his understanding and thence of his will. Neither of these is seen by the judge. Still, both judgments are just, the one being for the good of civil society and the other for the good of heavenly society.
CL 486. VI. That adulteries of the first degree are adulteries from ignorance, which are committed by those who cannot or as yet do not consult the understanding and thence inhibit them. Regarded in themselves, all evils and consequently all adulteries, are evils of the internal and external man simultaneously; the internal man intends them, and the external man commits them. Such, therefore, as is the internal man in the deeds done by the external, such, regarded in themselves, are the deeds. But since the internal man with its intention does not appear before man, therefore, in a court, everyone must be judged from his deeds and words, according to the law laid down and its safeguards; the judge must also look to the inner meaning of the law. But let examples illustrate: Say that adultery is committed by an adolescent boy who does not yet know that adultery is a greater evil than fornication; or is committed by a man of extreme simplicity; or by one who by disease is deprived of clear judgment; or, as is the case with some, by one who is delirious at times and who is then in the state of the really delirious; or is committed in insane drunkenness, and so on. It is evident that in these cases the internal man or the mind is present in the external scarcely otherwise than as in an irrational person. By a rational man, such adulteries are given predicates according to the above circumstances; yet by the same man sitting as judge, the doer is pronounced guilty and punished according to the law. But after death these adulteries are imputed according to the presence, quality, and ability of understanding which was present in the will of the adulterers.
CL 487. VII. That adulteries committed by these are mild. From what has been said above (n. 486), this is manifest without further confirmation, for it is well known that the quality of every deed and, in general, of every affair depends upon the circumstances, and that these mitigate or aggravate. Adulteries of this degree are mild the first time they are committed; and they remain mild so far as, in the subsequent course of life, he or she abstains from them because they are evils against God, or against the neighbour, or against the good of the state, and being against these, are evils against reason. On the other hand, these adulteries are numbered among the more grievous kinds if the parties do not abstain from them for one of the above reasons. Thus this is according to the Divine law in (Ezekiel 18:21, 22, 24), and elsewhere. By man, however, they cannot be either excused or condemned, or predicated and judged as light or grievous on these grounds, because they are not seen by him; indeed, they are not within the province of his judgement. What is meant, therefore, is that they are so accounted and imputed after death.
CL 488. VIII. That adulteries of the second degree are adulteries from lust, which are committed by those who are indeed able to consult the understanding, yet, on account of contingent causes, are not able at the time. With the man who from natural is becoming spiritual there are two things, commonly called the spirit and the flesh, which in the beginning combat against each other. And since the love of marriage is of the spirit, and the love of adultery of the flesh, there is a combat between these also. If the love of marriage conquers, it subdues and subjugates the love of adultery, this being done by its removal. But if it happens that the lust of the flesh is aroused to a heat beyond what the spirit acting from reason can restrain, it follows that the state is inverted and the heat of lust pours such allurements over the spirit that it is no longer master of its reason and hence of its duty. This is what is meant by adulteries of the second degree which are committed by those who are indeed able to consult the understanding but, on account of contingent causes, cannot do so at the time. But let examples illustrate. If by cunning arts a meretricious wife captivates a man's mind, enticing him into her bedroom and so inflaming him that he becomes impotent of judgment, and the more if she then also threatens him with disgrace if he does not. So likewise if some meretricious wife is skilled in sorceries, or so excites a man with potions that the burning heat of the flesh deprives his understanding of its freedom of reason. Likewise if a man by soft allurements leads on the wife of another until her will, being inflamed, has no longer any control; besides other similar cases. That these and parallel contingencies alter the grievousness of the adultery and turn the predication of censure to something milder for the seduced man or woman--this, reason both favours and assents to. As to the imputation of this degree of adultery, this now follows.
CL 489. IX. That adulteries committed by these are imputable according as the understanding afterwards does or does not favour them. So far as his understanding favours evils, man appropriates them to himself and makes them his own. Favour is consent, and consent induces on the mind a state of love of them. It is the same with those adulteries which in the beginning were committed without the consent of the understanding, and are afterwards favoured. The contrary is the case if they are not afterwards favoured. The reason is, because evils or adulteries committed during blindness of the understanding are committed from the concupiscence of the body, and in likeness these approach to instincts such as beasts have. With man, the understanding is indeed present when they are committed, but present in passive or dead force and not in active or living force. From this it follows of itself that such adulteries are (imputed or) not imputed in the degree that they are afterwards favoured or not favoured. By imputation is here meant accusation after death and thence adjudication; this is made according to the state of the man's spirit. Accusation by a man before a judge is not meant; this is not made according to the state of his spirit but according to that of his body in the deed. If the two states were not different, then after death those would be absolved who are absolved in the world, and those would be condemned who are condemned in the world, and thus, for the latter there would be no hope of salvation.
CL 490. X. That adulteries of the third degree are adulteries from the reason, which are committed by those who by their understanding confirm them as not being evils of sin. Every man knows that there is will and understanding, for when he speaks he says, This I will, and This I understand. Still, he does not distinguish between them but makes the one the same as the other. The reason is because he reflects only upon those things which pertain to thought from the understanding, and not upon those which pertain to love from the will; for the latter, unlike the former, do not appear in light. Yet he who does not distinguish between will and understanding cannot distinguish between evil things and good, and so can know nothing whatever concerning blame for sin. But who does not know that good and truth are two distinct things like love and wisdom? and who, when in rational lumen, cannot conclude from this that there are two vessels in man which distinctly receive these and ascribe them to themselves? and that one is the will and the other the understanding? and this because that which the will receives and reproduces is called good, and that which the understanding receives is called truth, what the will loves and does being called good, and what the understanding perceives and thinks being called truth.
 Since the marriage of good and truth was treated of in the first part of this work; and since much was there adduced concerning will and understanding and the various attributes and predicates of each, which, I suppose, is perceived even by those who have had no distinct thought concerning understanding and will--human reason being such that it perceives truths from the light of truths even though it has not previously distinguished between them--therefore, in order that the distinction between will and understanding may be perceived more distinctly, to the end that the nature of adulteries from reason or understanding may be known, and after that the nature of adulteries from the will, I will here present something further.
 The following may serve for a knowledge concerning will and understanding:
1. That the will alone does nothing of itself, but whatever it does it does by the understanding.
2. On the other hand, the understanding alone does nothing of itself, but whatever it does it does from the will.
3. That the will flows into the understanding, not the understanding into the will. But the understanding teaches what is good and evil, and consults the will that the latter may choose which of the two is pleasing to it and may do it.
4. That after this a twofold conjunction is effected, one in which the will act from within and the understanding from without, the other in which the understanding acts from within and the will from without.
Thus the adulteries from reason here treated of are distinguished from adulteries from will, of which hereafter. They are distinguished because the one is more grievous than the other, adultery from reason being less grievous than adultery from will. In adultery from reason, the understanding acts from within and the will from without, while in adultery from will, the will acts from within and the understanding from without--the will being the man himself, and the understanding the man from the will--and that which acts within dominates over that which acts without.
CL 491. XI. That adulteries committed by these are grievous (and are imputed) according to the confirmations. The understanding alone confirms, and when it confirms, it makes an ally of the will and stations it round about itself, and so drives it to compliance. Confirmations are effected by reasonings which the mind takes from either its higher region or its lower; if from its higher region which communicates with heaven, it confirms marriages and condemns adulteries; but if from its lower region which communicates with the world, it confirms adulteries and makes light of marriage. Every one can confirm evil just as well as good, and the same is true of falsity and truth. But the confirmation of evil is perceived as more delectable than the confirmation of good, and the confirmation of falsity as clearer than the confirmation of truth. The reason is because the confirmation of evil and falsity draws its reasonings from the delights, pleasures, appearances, and fallacies of the bodily senses, while the confirmation of good and truth draws its reasons from the region above the sensual things of the body.
Now because evils and falsities can be confirmed just as well as goods and truths; and because the confirming understanding draws the will to its side, and the will together with the understanding forms the mind; it follows that the form of the human mind is according to its confirmations, being turned to heaven if its confirmations are in favour of marriages, and to hell if they are in favour of adulteries. And as the form of man's mind is, such is his spirit and consequently such the man. From this it is now manifest that after death adulteries of this degree are imputed according to their confirmations.
CL 492. XII. That adulteries of the fourth degree are adulteries from the will, which are committed by those who make them allowable and pleasing and not of sufficient importance to merit consulting the understanding in respect to them. These adulteries are distinguished from the former by their origin. That origin is the depraved will connate with man, that is, hereditary evil. When he comes into possession of his own judgment, the man blindly obeys this heredity, making no judgment concerning adulteries as to whether they are evil or not. Therefore it is said that he does not account them of sufficient importance to merit consulting the understanding in respect to them. But the origin of the adulteries which are called adulteries from the reason is a perverse understanding, and these adulteries are committed by those who confirm them as not being evils of sin. With the latter, the understanding takes the lead; with the former the will. These two distinctions are not apparent to man in the natural world, but they are plainly apparent to angels in the spiritual world. In that world, all (the evil) are distinguished in general according as the evils received and appropriated spring originally from the will or from the understanding; and it is according to this that they are separated in hell. There, those who are evil from the understanding dwell towards the front and are called satans, while those who are evil from the will dwell at the back and are called devils. Because of this universal distinction, mention is made in the Word, of Satan and the Devil. With those evil spirits--and also adulterers--who are called satans, the understanding takes the lead; but with those who are called devils, the will takes the lead. But so to explain the distinctions that the understanding may see them, is not possible until the distinctions between will and understanding are known, and until the formation of the mind by the will through the understanding is described, and also its formation by the understanding through the will. This knowledge must first give light before the above-mentioned distinctions can be seen by the reason. But this is the work of many pages.
CL 493. XIII. That adulteries committed by these are grievous in the highest degree, and are imputed to them as evils of purpose and inseated within them as guilt. That they are grievous in the highest degree, and more grievous than the former, is because in them the will takes the lead, while in the former it is the understanding; and man's life is essentially the life of his will, and formally that of his understanding. The reason is because the will acts as one with the love. Love is the essence of man's life, and it forms itself in the understanding by such things as are accordant with it. Therefore, regarded in itself, the understanding is nothing else than the form of the will. And because love pertains to the will, and wisdom to the understanding, wisdom is nothing else than the form of love. In like manner, truth is nothing else than the form of good. That which flows forth from the essence of man's life, thus from his will or love, is principally called purpose, while that which flows forth from the form of his life, thus from his understanding and its thought, is called intention. Moreover, guilt is principally predicated of the will. Hence it is said that everyone has the guilt of evil by inheritance, but evil itself is from the man. Therefore adulteries of the fourth degree are imputed as evils of purpose and are inseated within the adulterer as guilt.
CL 494. XIV. That adulteries of the third and fourth degree, whether committed in act or not, are evils of sin according to the measure and quality of the understanding and will within them. That adulteries from reason or understanding, being those of the third degree, and adulteries from the will, being those of the fourth degree, are grievous and so are evils of sin according to the quality of the understanding and the will within them, can be seen from the comments upon them in (n. 490-493). The reason is because man is man from his will and understanding, for from these two exist not only all that is done in the mind but also all that is done in the body. Who does not know that the body does not act of itself, but the will by the body? and that the mouth does not speak of itself but the thought by the mouth? Wherefore, if will were taken away, action would cease in a moment; and if thought were taken away, the speech of the mouth would cease in a moment. Hence it is fully evident that adulteries committed in act are grievous according to the measure and quality of the understanding and the will within them. That they are grievous in like manner if not committed in act is plain from these words of the Lord:
It was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on the woman of another to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:27, 28).
To commit adultery in the heart is to commit it in the will.
 There are many reasons which cause an adulterer not to be an adulterer in act and yet an adulterer in will and understanding. Men abstain from adulteries as to the act from fear of the civil law and its penalties; from fear of the loss of reputation and hence of honour; from fear of resultant diseases; from fear of upbraidings by the wife at home and thence intranquillity of life; from fear of vengeance by the husband or by relations, and from fear also of a beating by the servants; from poverty or avarice; from weakness arising from disease, abuse, age, or impotence, and so from shame. If from these and similar causes one restrains himself from adulteries in act, and yet favours them in will and understanding, he is still an adulterer; for he nevertheless believes that they are not sins, and in his spirit he makes them not unlawful in the sight of God. Thus he commits them in spirit, though not in the body before the world. Therefore, after death, when he becomes a spirit he speaks openly in favour of them.
CL 495. XV. That adulteries from purpose of the will, and adulteries from confirmation of the understanding, render men natural, sensual, and corporeal. Man is man and is distinguished from the beast by the fact that his mind is distinguished into three regions, being as many as are the heavens, and that he can be elevated from the lowest region into the higher and from this into the highest, and so can become an angel of the one (or the other) heaven, and also of the third. For this end, man is given the faculty of elevating his understanding even to the third heaven; but if the love of his will is not elevated at the same time, he does not become spiritual but remains natural. Nevertheless, he retains the faculty of elevating his understanding. The reason why he retains this, is that he may be reformed; for he is reformed by means of the understanding, and the reformation is effected by knowledges of good and truth and by rational intuition therefrom. If he views these knowledges rationally and lives according to them, then the love of his will is also elevated, and in the same degree his human character is perfected and he becomes more and more a man.
 Different is the result if he does not live according to the knowledges of good and truth. Then the love of his will remains natural and his understanding becomes spiritual by turns; for alternately it raises itself up like an eagle and looks down upon what is of its love beneath, and then, seeing it, flies down and conjoins itself with it. If, therefore, concupiscences of the flesh belong to its love, then, from its height, it lets itself down to them and in conjunction with them takes pleasure in their delights. Then, for the securing of a reputation, it again raises itself on high that it may be deemed wise; and so, as just said, it leaps up and down by turns.
 That adulterers of the third and fourth degree, being those who have made themselves adulterers from the purpose of their will and the confirmation of their understanding, are utterly natural and become progressively sensual and corporeal, is because they immerse the love of their will and with it, at the same time, their understanding, in the unclean things of scortatory love, and take pleasure therein, as in delicacies and dainties, like as do unclean birds and beasts in things stinking and stercoraceous; for the effluvient exhalations rising up from the flesh so fill the habitacle of the mind with their gross odours that the will sensates nothing purer and more desirable. After death it is these who become corporeal spirits, and from whom spring the unclean things of hell and of the Church spoken of above (n. 430, 431).
CL 496. There are three degrees of the natural man. In the first degree are those who love only the world, setting their heart upon riches; these properly are meant by the natural. In the second degree are those who love only the delights of the senses, setting their heart upon luxuries and pleasures of every kind; these properly are meant by the sensual. In the third degree are those who love only themselves, setting their heart on the quest of honour. These properly are meant by the corporeal, and this because they immerse all things of their will and hence of their understanding in the body, seeing themselves backward from others, and loving only what is their own. But the sensual immerse all things of their will and hence of their understanding in the allurements and fallacies of the senses, indulging in these alone; while the natural expend the whole of their will and understanding on the world, avariciously and fraudulently acquiring wealth, and looking to no other use in it and from it beyond the mere possession. The adulteries named above turn men into these degenerate degrees, one into this degree, another into that, each according to the desired pleasure from which his genius has its being.
CL 497. XVI. That they do this to such an extent that at last the adulterers cast off all things of the church and religion. That adulterers from purpose and confirmation cast off all things of the church and religion, is because the love of marriage and the love of adultery are opposites (n. 425). The love of marriage acts as one with the church and religion (n. 130) and elsewhere throughout the First Part; hence the love of adultery, being the opposite love, acts as one with all that is against the church. That these adulterers cast off all things of the church and its religion is also because the love of marriage and the love of adultery are opposites, just as the marriage of good and truth is opposite to the connubial connection of evil and falsity (n. 427, 428); and the marriage of good and truth is the church, while the connubial connection of evil and falsity the anti-church. That these adulterers cast off all things of the church and of religion is because the love of marriage and the love of adultery are as opposite as are heaven and hell (n. 429), and in heaven is love of all things of the church, and in hell, hatred against all things of the church. That these adulterers cast off all things of the church and of religion is also because their delights commence from the flesh and are of the flesh even in the spirit (n. 440, 441), and the flesh is against the spirit, that is, against the spiritual things of the church. Hence the delights of scortatory love are called pleasures of insanity. If you desire demonstrations, pray go to those whom you know to be such adulterers and ask them in private what they think about God, the church, and eternal life, and you will hear. The genuine reason is, because, as conjugial love opens the interiors of the mind and thus elevates them above the sensual things of the body even into the light and heat of heaven, so, on the other hand, the love of adultery shuts off the interiors of the mind; and the mind itself, as regards its will, it thrusts into the body even down to all the desires of its flesh; and the deeper it thrusts it, the farther it draws it away from heaven and increases its distance therefrom.
CL 498. XVII. That nevertheless, like others, they still possess human rationality. That as to the understanding, the natural, sensual, and corporeal man is equally rational as the spiritual man, was demonstrated before me in the case of those satans and devils spoken of here and there in the Memorable Relations who, by leave, rose up out of hell and conversed with angelic spirits in the world of spirits. But because the love of the will makes the man, and this love draws the understanding into consent, therefore, such men are not rational save when in a state removed from the love of their will. When they return to this love, they are insane in a worse way than wild beasts. Without the faculty of elevating his understanding above the love of his will, man would be not a man but a beast, for a beast does not enjoy that faculty. Consequently, he could not choose anything that is good and advantageous and from choice do it, and so could not be reformed and led to heaven and live to eternity. Hence it is that adulterers from purpose and confirmation, although merely natural, sensual, and corporeal, yet like others enjoy the gift of understanding, that is, rationality; but when they are in the lust of adultery, and from that lust think and speak concerning it, they do not enjoy that rationality, and this because then the flesh acts upon the spirit, and not the spirit upon the flesh. It should be known, however, that after death they finally become stupid; not that the faculty of becoming wise is taken away from them, but that they do not wish to be wise, wisdom being undelightful to them.
CL 499. XVIII. But that they use this rationality when in externals, and abuse it when in their internals. They are in externals when they speak out-of-doors and in company, but in their internals when at home and by themselves. Put it to the test, if you will. Take some such man--for example, some member of the order called Jesuits--and have him speak in company or teach in a church concerning God, the holy things of the church, and heaven and hell, and you will hear a zealot more rational than any other. He may even chance to move you to groans and tears for your salvation. But take him to your home, extol him above (members of other) orders, call him a father of wisdom, and make yourself his friend until he opens his heart, and you will hear what he will then preach about God, the holy things of the church, and heaven and hell, to wit, that they are fantasies and delusions, and thus are bonds invented for souls, wherewith he may catch and bind men, great and small, rich and poor, and keep them under the yoke of his dominion. This will suffice to illustrate what is meant by the statement that natural men, even down to men who are corporeal, enjoy human rationality like others, but use it when in externals and abuse it when in their internals. It is a consequence of this that judgment of a man must be made, not from the wisdom of his lips, but at the same time from the wisdom of his life.
CL 500. To the above I will add the following Memorable Relation:
Once, in the world of spirits, I heard a great tumult. It was from thousands of men gathered together and crying out, "Punish them! Punish them!" Going nearer, I asked, "What is the matter?" and one who stood apart from that great gathering told me they were in the burning heat of anger against three priests who were going around everywhere and preaching against adulterers, saying, that adulterers have no acknowledgment of God; that heaven is closed to them and hell opened; that in hell they are unclean devils because at a distance they appear like swine wallowing in dung; and that the angels of heaven abominate them.
To my question, "Where are those priests? and why such shouting on that account?" he replied: "Those three priests are in their midst guarded by attendants; and the gathering consists of men who believe adulteries are not sins, and declare that adulterers have an acknowledgment of God equally as do those who cleave to their wives. They are all from the Christian world, and a visitation has been made by angels to see how many there were who believed adulteries to be sins, and out of a thousand, there were not found a hundred."
 He further told me: "The nine hundred speak about adulteries in this way.: `Who does not know that the delight of adultery is pre-eminent above the delight of marriage? that adulterers are in perpetual heat and thence in alacrity, industry, and an active life above those who live with one woman only? and on the other hand, that with a married partner, love grows cold, and sometimes so cold that at last there is scarcely a single word of speech with her or (any sort) of companionship that is living? Not so with harlots. By whoredoms the deadness of life with a wife arising from a lack of potency is restored and vivified. Is not that which restores and vivifies of more value than that which deadens? What is marriage but legalized whoredom? who knows of any distinction? Can love be forced? Yet love with a wife is forced by covenant and the laws. Is not love with a married partner love of the sex? and so universal is this love that it exists even with birds and beasts. What is conjugial love but love of the sex? and love of the sex is free when (indulged in) with any woman whatsoever. The civil laws are against adulteries because those who laid down the law thought it was for the public good; yet sometimes they themselves as well as the judges commit adultery and say among themselves, He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone. Only the simple and the religious believe adulteries to be sins. Not so the intelligent.
 They, like us, view them from the lumen of nature. Are not offspring born from adulteries equally as from marriages? Are not bastards just as fit and useful for offices and employments as legitimate children? Moreover, in this way provision is made for families otherwise unfruitful. Is not this a benefit and not an injury? What harm is it to a wife if she admits several rivals? and what harm to her man? As to its being a dishonour to the man, that is a frivolous notion from fantasy; and as to adultery being contrary to the laws and statutes of the Church, this comes from the ecclesiastical order, for the sake of power. But what has the theological and spiritual to do with a delight that is merely corporeal and carnal? Are there not elders and monks who are adulterers? Are they therefore unable to acknowledge and worship God? Why then do these three men preach that adulterers have no acknowledgment of God? We cannot tolerate such blasphemies. Let them therefore be judged and punished.'"
 After this I saw that they called judges and asked them to sentence the priests to punishment. But the judges said: "This matter does not belong to our province for it concerns the acknowledgment of God and sin and thus salvation and damnation. Judgment concerning these must come from heaven. We will, however, give you counsel as to how you can learn whether these three priests have been preaching truths. There are three places of which we judges know, where such matters are investigated and laid open in a singular manner. ONE is a place where a way to heaven is open to all men; but when they come into heaven, they themselves perceive what their nature is in respect to the acknowledgment of God. The SECOND is a place where also a way opens to heaven, but none can enter that way save he who has heaven within him. The THIRD is a place where a way is open to hell, and those who love infernal things enter upon that way of their own accord, because from delight. We judges remand to those places all who demand of us judgement respecting heaven and hell."
 Hearing this, the assembled men said, "Let us go to those places." And as they were going to the first place, where a way into heaven is open to all, it suddenly became dark. Therefore some of them lighted torches and with these they led the way. The accompanying judges told them: "This happens to all who go to the first place; but as they draw near, the fire of the torches grows dim and, in the place itself, it is extinguished by reason of the inflowing light of heaven. This is a sign that they are there. The reason is because heaven is first closed to them and afterwards opened."
Arrived at the place, and the torches having gone out of themselves, they saw a way tending obliquely upwards into heaven, and those who were in the burning heat of anger against the priests entered upon it. The first among them were those who were adulterers from purpose, after whom came those who were adulterers from confirmation. While they were ascending, those in front cried out, "Follow us," and the followers cried, "Make haste"; and they pressed on.
 After a short time, when all were within the heavenly society, then, between them and the angels was seen a gulf. Over the gulf was the light of heaven, and this light, flowing into their eyes, opened the interior regions of their mind from which they were constrained to speak as they were inwardly thinking. They were then questioned by the angels as to whether they acknowledged that there is a God. The first, who were adulterers from purpose of the will, answered, "What is God?" And they looked at each other and said, "Who among you has seen Him?" The second, who were adulterers from confirmation by the understanding, said, "Are not all things from nature? what is there above her but the sun?"
The angels then said to them: "Depart from us. Now you yourselves perceive that you have no acknowledgment of God. When you descend, the interiors of your mind will be closed and the exteriors opened, and then you can speak contrary to your interiors and say that there is a God. Be sure of this, that as soon as a man becomes an adulterer actually, heaven is closed to him, and when this is closed, God is not acknowledged. Listen to the reason: From adulteries comes all the uncleanness of hell, and this stinks in heaven like the stinking mire of the streets."
Hearing this, they turned around and descended by three ways. When they were below, the first and second groups conversing. among themselves said: "In that place the priests conquered; but we know that we can speak of God just as well as they can, and when we say that He is, do we not acknowledge Him? The interiors and exteriors of the mind of which the angels spoke are inventions. But let us go to the second place designated by the judges, where a way to heaven lies open to those who have heaven within them, that is, to those who are to go to heaven."
 When they drew near that heaven, a voice went forth therefrom, "Shut the gates; there are adulterers in the neighbourhood." And suddenly the gates were closed and guards with staves in their hands drove them away, and releasing from custody the three priests against whom the tumult had been raised, they introduced them into heaven. Moreover, no sooner were the gates opened for the priests, when out of heaven there breathed upon the rebels the delight of marriage, and being chaste and pure, it almost took away their breath. Therefore, for fear of fainting from suffocation, they hurried away to the third place of which the judges had said that there was a way from there to hell. From that place there then breathed forth the delight of adultery, and those who were adulterers from purpose, and those who were such from confirmation, were so vivified thereby that they went down as though dancing and, like swine, immersed themselves in the unclean things there.