Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
 I will now state how the civil and the moral life is the receptacle of the spiritual life: Live these laws not only as civil and moral laws but also as Divine laws, and you will be a spiritual man. There scarcely exists a nation so barbarous that it has not by its laws prohibited murder, adultery with the wife of another, theft, false witness and the violation of another’s property. The civil and the moral man observes these laws in order that he may be, or seem to be, a good citizen; but if he does not at the same time regard these laws as Divine he is only a civil and a moral natural man; and if he also regards them as Divine he becomes a civil and a moral spiritual man. The difference is, that the latter is a good citizen not only of an earthly kingdom but also of the heavenly kingdom, while the former is a good citizen of an earthly kingdom but not of the heavenly kingdom. They are distinguished by the good they do. The good which civil and moral natural men do is not good in itself, for man and the world are in it; while the good which civil and moral spiritual men do is good in itself because the Lord and heaven are in it.
 Hence it may be evident that every man because he is born such that he can become a civil and a moral natural man is also born such that he can become a civil and a moral spiritual man. The only condition is that he should acknowledge God and not do evil because it is against God but should do good because it is in harmony with God. When this condition is observed a spirit enters into his civil and moral actions, and they live; but when it is not observed there is no spirit in them, and consequently they do not live. Therefore the natural man, however civil and moral his actions may he, is called dead, while the spiritual man is called alive.
 It is of the Lord’s Divine Providence that every nation has some form of religion; and the primary essential of every religion is the acknowledgment that there is a God, otherwise it is not called a religion; and every nation that lives according to its religion, that is, which refrains from doing evil because it is contrary to its God, receives something spiritual in its natural. When one hears some Gentile say that he will not commit this or that evil because it is contrary to his God, does he not say to himself, Is not this man saved? It appears as if it could not be otherwise: sound reason declares this to him. On the other hand, when one hears a Christian say, I regard this or that evil as of no moment; what does it signify that it is said to be contrary to God? does he not say to himself, Surely this man cannot be saved? it seems to be impossible that he should. This also sound reason declares.
 Should such a one say, I was born a Christian, I have been baptised, I have known the Lord, I have read the Word, I have attended the sacrament of the Supper, do these things avail when he does not regard as sins murder, or the revenge which inspires it, adultery, secret theft, false testimony or lying, and various ford of violence? Does such a man think of God or of any eternal life? Does he think that these exist? Does not sound reason declare that such a one cannot be saved? These things have been said of the Christian because the Gentile thinks more about God from religion related to life than the Christian does. More, however, will be said on this subject in what follows in this order:
I. -The end of creation is a heaven from the human race.
II. -Therefore it is from the Divine Providence that every man can be saved; and that those are saved who acknowledge God and live well.
III. -The man himself is in fault if he is not saved.
IV. -Thus all are predestined to heaven, and no one to hell.
1. Every man is created that he may live forever.
2. Every man is created that he may live forever in a state of happiness.
3. Thus every man is created that he may enter heaven.
4. The Divine Love cannot do otherwise than desire this, and the Divine Wisdom cannot do otherwise than provide for it.
 Having surrounded Himself with the whole of the created universe, what would the Lord be, had He not also created images and likenesses of Himself to whom He could impart His Divine? Otherwise what would He be but a Creator causing something to be and not to be, or to exist and not to exist, and this for no other purpose than that He might contemplate from afar a mere shifting of scenes and continual changes as in some theatre? Why should the Divine be in these images and likenesses were it not that they might be of service to subjects that would receive the Divine more intimately, and see and feel it? Further, as the Divine is a Being of inexhaustible glory, would He retain it to Himself alone, or indeed could He? For love desires to communicate its own to another, and even to give from its own as much as it can. What then would the Divine Love which is infinite not give? Can that give and take away again? Would not this be giving what is about to perish? Inwardly in itself this is nothing, as when anything perishes it comes to naught, that which IS not being in it. But the Divine Love gives what IS, that is, which does not cease to be, and this is eternal.
 In order that every man may live forever, what is mortal with him is taken away. His mortal part is the material body which is taken away by his death. His immortal part, which is his mind, is thus unveiled and he then becomes a spirit in human form, his mind being that spirit. The sages or wise men of old perceived that the mind of man cannot die; for they said, How can spirit (animus) or mind die when it can exercise wisdom? Few men at the present day know what they interiorly understood by this: but there was an idea which descended from heaven into their general perception that God is Wisdom itself which man shares; and God is immortal or eternal.
 As it has been granted me to speak with angels I will also say something from my own experience. I have talked with some who lived many ages ago, with some who lived before the Flood and with some who lived after it, with some who lived in the time of the Lord, with one of His Apostles, and with many who lived in later times. They all appeared like men of middle age, and they said they did not know what death is, but only that there is condemnation. Moreover, all who have lived well, when they enter heaven, come into the state of early manhood they reached in the world and continue in it to eternity, even those who had been old and decrepit men in the world. Women, too, although they had been shrunken and aged, return to the flowering period of their age and beauty.
 That man after death lives forever is manifest from the Word where life in heaven is called eternal life, as in (Matt. 19:29; 25:46; Mark 10:17; Luke 10:25; 18:30; John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24, 25, 39; 6:27, 40, 68; 12:50; also simply life, Matt. 18:8, 9; John 5:40; 20:31). The Lord also said to the disciples:
Because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19);
and concerning the resurrection,
That God is a God of the living, and not a God of the dead, And that they cannot die any more (Luke 20:38, 36).
 Second: Every man is created that he may live forever in a state of happiness. This follows as a consequence; for He who wills that man should live forever also wills that he should live in a state of happiness. What would eternal life be without that? All love desires the good of another. The love of parents desires the good of their children; the love of the bridegroom and of the husband desires the good of the bride and of the wife; and friendship’s love desires the good of friends. What then does the Divine Love not desire? What is good but delight? And what is Divine Good but eternal happiness? All good is called good from its delight or happiness. That which is given and possessed is indeed called good, but unless it is also delightful it is a barren good, not good in itself. Hence it is clear that eternal life is also eternal happiness. This state of man is the end of creation; and it is not the Lord’s fault but man’s that only those who enter heaven are in that state. That man is in fault will be seen in what follows.
 Third: Thus every man is created that he may enter heaven. This is the end of creation; but all do not enter heaven because they become imbued with the delights of hell which are opposite to the happiness of heaven; and those who are not in the happiness of heaven cannot enter heaven, for they cannot endure it. To no one who enters the spiritual world is it denied to ascend to heaven; but when one who is in the delight of hell enters heaven his heart palpitates, his breathing is laboured, his life begins to fail, he is in anguish, distress and torment, and he writhes like a serpent placed close to a fire. This is so because opposites act against each other.
 Nevertheless, they cannot die, as they were born men and thereby with the faculty of thinking and willing, and consequently of speaking and acting. However, as they can live only with those who are in a similar delight of life they are sent to them; thus those who are in the delights of evil and those who are in the delights of good are sent to their own appropriate companions. It is indeed granted everyone to experience the delight of his own evil provided he does not molest any who are in the delight of good; but as evil cannot do otherwise than molest good, for there is inherent in evil hatred against good, therefore lest the wicked should inflict injury they are removed and cast down to their own place in hell, where their delight is turned to what is the reverse of delightful.
 But this does not alter the fact that man by creation is such, and consequently is born such, that he may enter heaven; for everyone who dies in infancy goes to heaven, and is there brought up and instructed as a person is in the world; and through his affection for good and truth he is imbued with wisdom and becomes an angel. Such also might the man become who is brought up and instructed in the world, for there is inherent in him the same as is in the infant. Concerning infants in the spiritual world see the work HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758 (HH 329-345).
 With many in the world this does not take place, because they love the first degree of their life, called the natural, and have no desire to withdraw from it and become spiritual. The natural degree of life regarded in itself loves only self and the world, for it clings to the bodily senses and these occupy a prominent place in the world; but the spiritual degree of life regarded in itself loves the Lord and heaven, and also itself and the world, but God and heaven as higher, principal and ruling, and itself and the world as lower, instrumental and serving.
 Fourth: The Divine Love cannot do otherwise than desire this, and the Divine Wisdom cannot do otherwise than provide for it. It is shown at length in the treatise, THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, that the Divine Essence is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom; and it is also demonstrated there (DLW 358-370) that in every human embryo the Lord forms two receptacles, one for the Divine Love and the other for the Divine Wisdom, a receptacle of the Divine Love for the future will of the man, and a receptacle of the Divine Wisdom for his future understanding; and that in this way He has endowed every man with the faculty of willing good and the faculty of understanding truth.
 Now since man from his birth is endowed with these two faculties by the Lord, and consequently the Lord is in them as in His own with man, it is clear that His Divine Love cannot but will that man should go to heaven and there enjoy eternal happiness; and also that the Divine Wisdom cannot but provide for this. But since it is from the Lord’s Divine Love that man should feel heavenly blessedness in himself as his own, and this is impossible unless he is kept completely in the appearance that he thinks, wills, speaks and acts of himself, therefore the Lord can lead man only according to the laws of His Divine Providence.
 Now since many if not all Christians believe that the Church is general, being called indeed a communion, it follows that there are fundamental general principles of the Church which enter into all religions and constitute that communion. That these fundamental general principles are the acknowledgment of God and the good of life will be seen in the following order:
1. The acknowledgment of God brings about the conjunction of God with man and of man with God, and the denial of God causes their separation.
2. Everyone acknowledges God and is conjoined to Him according to the good of his life.
3. The good of life, that is, living well, is shunning evils because they are contrary to religion, thus contrary to God.
4. These are the general principles of all religions by which everyone can be saved.
 Another fact is that as thought from some knowledge of another causes his presence so love from any affection for another causes conjunction with him. Thus it comes to pass that people go about and converse in a friendly way, live together in one house or in one society, frequently meet and render mutual services. The opposite also happens; thus he who does not love another, and still more, he who hates another, does not see or meet him; and the distance they are apart is according to the degree that love is wanting or hate is present. Indeed, should he come into the other’s presence and remember his hatred he becomes invisible to him.
 From these few particulars it may be evident how presence and conjunction are brought about in the spiritual world; namely, that presence arises from recalling another with a desire to see him and that conjunction arises from an affection which springs from love. It is the same with all the things that are in the human mind. In it there are innumerable things and the several particulars are there associated and conjoined according to affections, or as one thing is attracted to another.
 This is spiritual conjunction, which is the same in general things and in particular things. This spiritual conjunction has its origin from the conjunction of the Lord with the spiritual world and with the natural world, in general and in particular. From this it is clear that so far as one knows the Lord and from this knowledge thinks about Him, so far the Lord is present; and so far as anyone acknowledges Him from an affection of love, so far the Lord is conjoined to him: but on the other hand, so far as anyone does not know the Lord so far the Lord is absent; and so far as anyone denies Him, so far is He separated from him.
 The result of conjunction is that the Lord turns a man’s face to Himself and then leads him; while the result of separation is that hell turns a man’s face to itself and leads him. Therefore all the angels of heaven turn their faces to the Lord as the Sun, and all the spirits of hell turn their faces away from the Lord. Hence it is evident what results from the acknowledgment of God, and what from the denial of Him. Those who deny God in the world deny Him after death, and they become organisms according to the description given above (n. 319); and the organisation induced in the world remains forever.
 Second: Everyone acknowledges God and is conjoined to Him according to the good of his life. All can have a knowledge of God who know anything from religion. They can also speak of God from knowledge (scientia), that is, from what is in the memory, and some may also think about Him from the understanding. However, if one does not live well, this only brings about presence; for he can nevertheless turn himself away from God towards hell; and this happens if he lives wickedly. But only those can acknowledge God in their heart who live well; and these according to the good of their life the Lord turns away from hell and towards Himself. The reason is that these alone love God, for they love Divine things, which are from Him, in doing them. The Divine things which are from God are the precepts of His Law. These are God because He is His own Divine going forth: this is to love God, and therefore the Lord says:
He that keepeth my commandment, he it is that loveth me.... But he that keepeth not my commandments loveth me not. (John 14:21, 24).
 This is the reason why there are two tables of the Decalogue, one relating to God and the other relating to man. God works unceasingly that man may receive what is in his own table; but if man does not do the things that are in his table he does not receive with acknowledgment of heart the things that are in God’s table; and if he does not receive them he is not conjoined. Therefore those two tables were so joined together as to be one, and were called the tables of the covenant, for covenant signifies conjunction. Everyone acknowledges God and is conjoined to Him according to the good of his life because the good of life is like the good that is in the Lord, and consequently that originates from the Lord. Therefore when man is in the good of life conjunction is effected. The contrary is the case with evil of life; for this rejects the Lord.
 Third: The good of life, that is, living well, is shunning evils because they are contrary to religion, thus contrary to God. That this is the good of life, or living well, is fully shown in THE DOCTRINE OF LIFE FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM, from beginning to end. To this I will merely add that if you do good to the fullest extent, for example, if you build churches, adorn them and fill them with votive offerings; if you expend money lavishly on hospitals and guest-houses for strangers, give aims daily, succour widows and orphans; if you diligently observe the holy things of worship, indeed, if you think about them, speak and preach about them as from the heart, and yet do not shun evils as sins against God, all those goods are not good. They are either hypocritical or meritorious, for there is still evil interiorly within them, since the life of everyone is in all things that he does, in general and in particular. Goods only become good by the removal of evil from them. Hence it is clear that shunning evils because they are contrary to religion, thus contrary to God, is living well.
 Fourth: These are the general principles of all religions by which everyone can be saved. To acknowledge God and to refrain from doing evil because it is against God are the two things which make religion to be religion. If one of them is wanting it cannot be called religion, since to acknowledge God and to do evil is a contradiction; so also is to do good and yet not acknowledge God, for one is not possible without the other. It has been provided by the Lord that almost everywhere there should be some form of religion, and that in every religion there should be these two principles; and it has also been provided by the Lord that everyone who acknowledges God and refrains from doing evil because it is against God should have a place in heaven. For heaven in the complex resembles one Man whose life or soul is the Lord. In that heavenly Man there are all things which are in a natural man with that difference which exists between things heavenly and things natural.
 It is well known that in man there are not only forms, organised from blood vessels and nerve fibres, called viscera, but also skins, membranes, tendons, cartilages, bones, nails and teeth, which have life in a less degree than the organised forms themselves which they serve as ligaments, coverings and supports. The heavenly Man, which is heaven, in order that all these things may be in it, cannot be composed of men all of one religion but of men of many religions. Therefore, all who make these two universal principles of the Church part of their life have a place in that heavenly Man, that is, heaven, and there enjoy happiness in their own degree. More on this subject may be seen above (n. 254).
 That these two are the primary principles in every religion may be evident from the fact that they are the two which the Decalogue teaches. The Decalogue was the principal constituent of the Word, and, promulgated by Jehovah by a living voice from Mount Sinai, was written upon two tables of stone by the finger of God. It was then placed in the ark and was called Jehovah, and constituted the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, and formed the shrine in the temple at Jerusalem, and all the things there derived their sanctity from it alone. There are many more details from the Word concerning the Decalogue in the ark set forth in THE DOCTRINE OF LIFE FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM (Life 53-61), and to these I will add the following: It is well known from the Word that the ark containing the two tables on which the Decalogue was written was taken by the Philistines and placed in the temple of Dagon in Ashdod; and that Dagon fell to the earth before it, and afterwards his head with the palms of his hands torn from his body lay upon the threshold of the temple; and that the people of Ashdod and Ekron, to the number of many thousands, were smitten with emerods on account of the ark, and their land was ravaged by mice; also that the Philistines, on the advice of the chiefs of their nation, made five golden emerods and five golden mice, and a new cart on which they placed the ark with the golden emerods and mice beside it; and, drawn by two cows that lowed on the way before the cart, they sent the ark back to the Children of Israel; and by them the cows and the cart were offered up in sacrifice (1 Sam. 5:1-12; 6:1-19).
 It will now be stated what all these things signified. The Philistines signified those who are in faith separated from charity. Dagon represented that form of religion. The emerods with which they were smitten signified natural loves which, when separated from spiritual love, are unclean, and the mice signified the devastation of the Church by the falsification of truth. The new cart on which they sent back the ark signified new but natural doctrine, for chariot in the Word signifies doctrine from spiritual truths, and the cows signified good natural affections. The golden emerods signified natural loves purified and made good, and the golden mice signified the vastation of the church ended by means of good, for gold in the Word signifies good. The lowing of the cows on the way signified the difficult conversion of the lusts of evil of the natural man into good affections, and the offering of the cows with the cart as a burnt-offering signified that in this way the Lord was propitiated.
 This is what is spiritually meant by these things in This historical narrative. Connect them together in one sense and make the application. That the Philistines represented those who are in faith separated from charity may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING FAITH (Faith 49-54); and that the ark, because the Decalogue was contained within it, was the most holy thing of the Church, may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF LIFE FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM (Life 53-61).
1. Every religion in process of time declines and is consummated.
2. Every religion declines and is consummated by the inversion of the image of God in man.
3. This takes place from the continual increase of hereditary evil in successive generations.
4. Nevertheless it is provided by the Lord that everyone may be saved.
5. It is also provided that a new Church should succeed in place of the former devastated Church.
 The Most Ancient Church, which was the first, is described under the name of Adam and his wife Eve. The Church that followed, called the Ancient Church, is described under the name of Noah, his three sons and their posterity. This was a wide spread Church, extending over many of the kingdoms of Asia, namely, the land of Canaan on both sides of the Jordan, Syria, Assyria and Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Arabia, Tyre and Sidon. These had the ancient Word referred to in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 101-103). That such a Church existed in those kingdoms is evident from various particulars recorded concerning them in the prophetical parts of the Word. This Church, however, was notably changed by Eber, from whom arose the Hebrew Church, in which worship by sacrifices was first instituted. From the Hebrew Church sprang the Israelitish and Jewish Church, established with due solemnity for the sake of the Word which was there to be written.
 These four Churches are meant by the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, the head of which was of pure gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, and the legs and feet of iron and clay (Dan. 2:32, 33). The same is meant by the golden, the silver, the copper and the iron ages, mentioned by ancient writers. It is well known that the Christian Church succeeded the Jewish Church; and it may be seen from the Word that all these Churches in process of time declined until they reached their end, which is called their consummation.
 The consummation of the Most Ancient Church, brought about by the eating of the tree of knowledge, by which is signified the pride of one’s own intelligence, is described by the Flood. The consummation of the Ancient Church is described by various devastations of nations treated of both in the historical and in the prophetical parts of the Word, especially by the driving out of the nations from the land of Canaan by the Children of Israel. The consummation of the Church of Israel and Judah is under stood by the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, and by the carrying away of the people of Israel into perpetual captivity, and of the Jewish nation to Babylon, and finally by the second destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem at the same time and the dispersion of that nation. This consummation is foretold in many places in the Prophets and in (Daniel 9:24-27); while the gradual devastation of the Christian Church until its end is described by the Lord in Matthew xxiv, in Mark xiii, and in Luke xxi, but the consummation itself in the Apocalypse. From these considerations it may be evident that a Church in process of time declines and is consummated; and so also does a religion.
 Second: Every religion declines and is consummated by the inversion of the image of God in man. It is well known that man was created In the image of God, according to the likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). It will now be explained what the image and what the likeness of God is. God alone is Love and Wisdom; and man was created to be a receptacle of both, that his will might be a receptacle of the Divine Love and his understanding a receptacle of the Divine Wisdom. It was shown above that these two receptacles are in man from creation, that they constitute man and that they are formed in everyone in the womb. Thus man’s being an image of God means that he is a recipient of the Divine Wisdom, and his being a likeness of God means that he is a recipient of the Divine Love. Therefore the receptacle called the understanding is an image of God, and the receptacle called the will is a likeness of God. Since man then was created and formed to be a receptacle, it follows that he was created and formed that his will might receive love from God and that his understanding might receive wisdom from God. These man receives when he acknowledges God and lives according to His commandments, but in a lesser or greater degree as he has from religion a knowledge of God and of His commandments; and consequently as he has a knowledge of truths; for truths teach what God is and how He is to be acknowledged, also what His commandments are and how man is to live according to them.
 The image and likeness of God are not destroyed in man though they may be seemingly destroyed; for they remain inherent in his two faculties called liberty and rationality, which have been treated of above In many places. They have become seemingly destroyed when man has made the receptacle of Divine Love, that is, his will, a receptacle of self-love, and the receptacle of Divine Wisdom, that is, his understanding, a receptacle of his own intelligence. By doing this he has inverted the image and likeness of God, for he has turned these receptacles away from God and has turned them towards himself. Consequently they have become closed above and opened below, or closed in front and opened behind, although by creation they were opened in front and closed behind. When they have thus been inversely opened and closed, the receptacle of love, that is, the will, receives influx from hell or from one’s own proprium; and so also does the receptacle of wisdom, that is, the understanding. Hence arose in the Churches the worship of men in place of the worship of God, and worship based on doctrines of falsity in place of worship based on doctrines of truth, the latter from one’s own intelligence and the former from love of self. From this it is clear that religion in process of time declines and is consummated by the inversion of the image of God in man.
 Third: This takes place from the continual increase of hereditary evil in successive generations. It was stated and explained above that hereditary evil is not what has come down from Adam and his wife Eve by their eating of the tree of knowledge, but that it is successively derived and transmitted from parents to their offspring, and thus by continual increase grows from generation to generation. When evil thus increases among many, it spreads evil amongst many more; for in all evil there is the lust of leading astray, and in some this burns with anger against what is good, giving rise to the contagion of evil. When this has permeated the leaders, and the rulers, and those prominent in the Church, religion becomes perverted, and the means of restoring it to health, which are truths, become corrupted by falsification. Hence there now proceeds a gradual vastation of good and desolation of truth in the Church until its consummation is reached.
 Fourth: Nevertheless it is provided by the Lord that everyone may be saved. It is provided by the Lord that there should be a religion everywhere; and that in every religion there should be the two essentials of salvation, namely, to acknowledge God and to refrain from evil because it is against God. All other things pertaining to the understanding and thence to thought, which are called matters of faith, are provided for everyone according to his life, for they are accessories of the life; and if these are given precedence (over the essentials) still they do not receive life. It is also provided that all who have lived well and have acknowledged God are instructed after death by angels; and then those who had observed these two essentials of religion while in the world accept the truths of the Church as they are in the Word, and acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and of the Church. This teaching they receive more readily than Christians who have brought with them from the world an idea of the Lord’s Human separated from His Divine. It is moreover provided by the Lord that all are saved who die in infancy, no matter where they have been born.
 Further, there is granted to everyone after death the opportunity of amending his life, if that is at all possible. All are instructed and led by the Lord by means of angels; and as they now know that they live after death, and that there is a heaven and a hell, they at first receive truths. Those, however, who have not acknowledged God and who have not shunned evils as sins when in the world soon show a distaste for truths and withdraw; while those who acknowledged truths with the lips but not with he heart are like the foolish virgins who had lamps but no oil, and who begged oil of others and also went away and bought it, and yet were not admitted to the wedding. Lamps signify truths of faith and oil signifies the good of charity. Hence it may be evident that the Divine Providence designs that everyone can be saved, and that man himself is in fault if he is not saved.
 Fifth: It is also provided that a new Church should succeed in place of the former devastated Church. This has been the case from the most ancient times, namely, that when a former Church was devastated a new Church has taken its place. The Ancient Church succeeded the Most Ancient; after the Ancient Church the Israelitish or Jewish Church followed; and after this, the Christian Church. Moreover, it is foretold in the Apocalypse that this will be followed by a new Church which is there meant by the New Jerusalem descending from heaven. The reason why a new Church is being provided by the Lord to succeed in place of the former devastated Church may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 104-113).
 What is the Decalogue at the present day but like a little closed book or religious primer, opened only in the hands of infants and children? Say to anyone of mature age, Do not do this because it is contrary to the Decalogue, and who pays any attention? But if you say, Do not do this because it is contrary to the Divine laws, he may give this his attention; and yet the commandments of the Decalogue are the Divine laws themselves. An experiment was made with several spirits in the spiritual world, and when the Decalogue or Catechism was mentioned they rejected it with contempt. The reason for this is that the Decalogue in its second table, which is man’s table, teaches that evils are to be shunned; and he who does not shun them, whether from impiety or from the religious belief that works avail nothing, but only faith, hears with some contempt the Decalogue or Catechism being mentioned as though he heard mention made of a book for children, which is no longer of any use to him.
 These things have been stated in order that it may be known that a knowledge of the means by which he may be saved, or the power, is not wanting to anyone if he desires to be saved. From this it follows that all are predestined to heaven, and no one to hell. As, however, there has prevailed among some a belief in predestination to the opposite of salvation, that is, to condemnation, and as this belief is harmful and cannot be dispelled unless the reason sees the folly and the cruelty of it, it must therefore be considered in the following order:
1. Any predestination except to heaven is contrary to the Divine Love and its infinity.
2. Any predestination except to heaven is contrary to the Divine Wisdom and its infinity.
3. It is a foolish heresy that only those are saved who are born within the Church.
4. It is a cruel heresy that any of the human race are condemned by predestination.
Call no father (A.V. man) your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in the heavens (A.V. heaven). (Matt. 23:9).
By this is meant that He alone is the Father as to life, and that the earthly father is father only as to the covering of life, which is the body. Therefore in heaven no other than the Lord is called Father. That men who do not pervert that life are said to be His sons and to be born of Him is also clear from many passages in the Word.
 Hence it may be evident that the Divine Love is in every man, both the wicked and the good; consequently that the Lord who is Divine Love cannot act otherwise than as a father on earth acts towards his children, and infinitely more so, because the Divine Love is infinite; and also that He cannot withdraw from anyone because the life of everyone is derived from Him. He appears to withdraw from the wicked; but it is the wicked who withdraw, while He from love still leads them. Therefore the Lord says:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. What man is there of you, who if his son ask bread will give him a stone? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in the heavens give good things to them that ask Him? (Matt. 7:7-11);
He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45).
Moreover, it is well known in the Church that the Lord desires the salvation of all, and the death of no one. Hence it may be seen that any predestination except to heaven is contrary to the Divine Love.
 Second: Any predestination except to heaven is contrary to the Divine Wisdom, which is infinite. The Divine Love through its Divine Wisdom provides the means by which every man may be saved; and therefore to say that there is any predestination except to heaven is to say that the Divine Love cannot provide the means by which salvation may be effected. Nevertheless, as has been shown above, all have the means, and these are from the Divine Providence, which is infinite. However, there are some who are not saved, because the Divine Love desires that man should feel in himself the happiness and the blessedness of heaven, for otherwise it would not be heaven to him, and this cannot take place unless it appears to man that he thinks and wills from himself. For without this appearance nothing would be appropriated to him nor would he be a man. For this reason there is the Divine Providence, which is of the Divine Wisdom from the Divine Love.
 This, however, does not deny the truth that all are predestined to heaven and no one to hell; but it would deny it if the means of salvation were wanting. But it has been shown above that the means of salvation have been provided for everyone, and that heaven is such that all who live well, of whatever religion they may be, have a place there. Man is like the earth which produces fruits of every kind, and it is by virtue of this power that the earth is the earth. The fact that it produces evil fruits does not deny its power to produce good fruits also, but it would if it only had the power to produce evil fruits. Again, man is like an object which variegates in itself the rays of light. If the object only presents colours that are not pleasing, the light is not the cause of this, for its rays may be variegated to produce pleasing colours.
 Third: It is a foolish heresy that only those are saved who are born within the Church. Those who are born outside the Church are men as well as those born within it, being of the same heavenly origin, and are equally living and immortal souls. They also have a form of religion from which they acknowledge that there is a God, and that they ought to live well; and he who acknowledges God and lives well becomes spiritual in his own degree and is saved, as was shown above. It is urged that these have not been baptised; but baptism does not save any except those who are spiritually washed, that is, regenerated, for baptism is a sign and a memorial of this.
 It is also urged that the Lord is not known to them, and that without the Lord there is no salvation. Salvation, however, does not come to anyone because the Lord is known to him, but because he lives according to the Lord’s commandments; and the Lord is known to everyone who acknowledges God, for the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, as He Himself teaches (Matt. 28:18). Moreover, those who are outside the Church have a clearer idea of God as a Man than Christians have; and those who have the idea of God as a Man and live well are accepted by the Lord. They also acknowledge God as one in Person and in Essence, which Christians do not. They also think of God in their life; for they regard evils as sins against God, and those who do this think of God in their life. Christians derive their precepts of religion from the Word, but few of them draw any precepts of life from it.
 Roman Catholics do not read the Word; and Protestants who are in faith separated from charity pay no attention to those things in the Word which relate to life, but only to those which relate to faith: and yet the whole Word is nothing else than the doctrine of life. Christianity prevails only in Europe; Mohammedanism and Gentilism prevail in Asia, the Indies, Africa and America, and the population in these parts of the globe is ten times more numerous than in the Christian part; and in the Christian part there are but few who place religion in the life. What then is more foolish than to believe that only these latter are saved and the former are condemned, and that a man gains heaven by his birth and not by his life? Therefore the Lord says:
I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out. (Matt. 8:11, 12).
 Fourth: It is a cruel heresy that any of the human race are condemned by predestination. For it is cruel to believe that the Lord, who is Love itself and Mercy itself, suffers so great a multitude of men to be born for hell, or so many myriads of myriads to be born condemned and doomed, that is, to be born devils and satans; and that He does not from His Divine Wisdom provide that those who live well and acknowledge God should not be cast into everlasting fire and torment. The Lord is ever the Creator and Saviour of all; and He alone leads all and desires the death of no one. It is therefore cruel to believe and think that so great a multitude of nations and peoples under His auspices and oversight should be handed over as prey to the devil by predestination.