Heaven and Hell (Ager) n. 342

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342. I have talked with angels about little children, whether they are free from evils, inasmuch as they have no actual evil as adults have; and I was told that they are equally in evil, and in fact are nothing but evil;# but, like all angels, they are so withheld from evil and held in good by the Lord as to seem to themselves to be in good from themselves. For this reason when children have become adults in heaven, that they may not have the false idea about themselves that the good in them is from themselves and not from the Lord, they are now and then let down into their evils which they inherited, and are left in them until they know, acknowledge and believe the truth of the matter. [2] There was one, the son of a king, who died in childhood and grew up in heaven, who held this opinion. Therefore he was let down into that life of evils into which he was born, and he then perceived from the sphere of his life that he had a disposition to domineer over others, and regarded adulteries as of no account; these evils he had inherited from his parents; but after he had been brought to recognize his real character he was again received among the angels with whom he had before been associated. [3] In the other life no one ever suffers punishment on account of his inherited evil, because it is not his evil, that is, it is not his fault that he is such; he suffers only on account of actual evil that is his, that is, only so far as he has appropriated to himself inherited evil by actual life. When, therefore, the children that have become adults are let down into the state of their inherited evil it is not that they may suffer punishment for it, but that they may learn that of themselves they are nothing but evil, and that it is by the mercy of the Lord that they are taken up into heaven from the hell in which they are, and that it is from the Lord that they are in heaven and not from any merit of their own; and therefore they may not boast before others of the good that is in them, since this is contrary to the good of mutual love, as it is contrary to the truth of faith. # All kinds of men are born into evils of every kind, even to the extent that what is their own is nothing but evil (n. 210, 215, 731, 874-876, 987, 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 3701, 3812, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10731). Consequently man must needs be reborn, that is, regenerated (n. 3701). Man's inherited evil consists in his loving himself more than God, and the world more than heaven and in making his neighbor, in comparison with himself, of no account, except for the sake of self, that is, himself alone, thus it consists in the love of self and of the world (n. 694, 731, 4317, 5660). All evils are from the love of self and of the world, when those loves rule (n. 1307, 1308, 1321, 1594, 1691, 3413, 7255, 7376, 7488, 7490, 8318, 9335, 9348, 10038, 10742). These evils are contempt of others, enmity, hatred revenge, cruelty, deceit (n. 6667, 7370-7374, 9348, 10038, 10742). And from these evils comes all falsity (n. 1047, 10283, 10284, 10286). These loves, so far as the reins are given them, rush headlong; and the love of self aspires even to the throne of God (n. 7375, 8678).

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