Heaven and Hell (Ager) n. 325

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325. A choir at a distance was heard one morning, and from the choir's representations I was permitted to know that they were Chinese, for they exhibited a kind of woolly goat, then a cake of millet, and an ebony spoon, also the idea of a floating city. They desired to come nearer to me, and when they had joined me they said that they wished to be alone with me, that they might disclose their thoughts. But they were told that they were not alone, and that some were displeased at their wishing to be alone, although they were guests. When they perceived this displeasure they began to think whether they had transgressed against the neighbor, and whether they had claimed any thing to themselves that belonged to others. All thought in the other life being communicated I was permitted to perceive the agitation of their minds. It consisted of a recognition that possibly they had injured those who were displeased, of shame on that account, together with other worthy affections; and it was thus known that they were endowed with charity. Soon after I spoke with them, and at last about the Lord. When I called Him "Christ" I perceived a certain repugnance in them; but the reason was disclosed, namely, that they had brought this from the world, from their having learned that Christians lived worse lives than they did, and were destitute of charity. But when I called Him simply "Lord" they were interiorly moved. Afterwards, they were taught by the angels that the Christian doctrine beyond every other in the world prescribes love and charity, but that there are few who live in accordance with it. There are heathen who have come to know while they lived in the world, both from interaction and report, that Christians lead bad lives, are addicted to adultery, hatred, quarreling, drunkenness, and the like, which they themselves abhor because such things are contrary to their religion. These in the other life are more timid than others about accepting the truths of faith; but they are taught by the angels that the Christian doctrine, as well as the faith itself, teaches a very different life, but that the lives of Christians are less in accord with their doctrine than the lives of heathen. When they recognize this they receive the truths of faith, and adore the Lord, but less readily than others.

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