Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2590

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2590. I have been taught in many ways that gentiles who have led a morally correct life and have been obedient ones, who have led charitable lives one with another, and have received some kind of conscience in keeping with their religion, are accepted in the next life, where with anxious desire and care angels instruct them in the goods and truths of faith. While they are being instructed they behave in an unassuming, intelligent, and wise manner, receiving and taking in what they are taught with ease. For they have not formed for themselves any ideas which are contrary to the truths of faith and need to be dispelled, still less any obstacles to the Lord, as with so many Christians who have led a life of evil. What is more, such gentiles do not hate others, or seek revenge for injuries, or plan devices and deceits. Rather, they wish well to Christians, even when Christians for their part despise them and so far as they are able do them violence. But they are rescued by the Lord from the merciless ways of those Christians and are protected by Him. For the situation with Christians and gentiles in the next life is that Christians who have acknowledged the truths of faith and at the same time have led a life of goodness are received ahead of gentiles; but such at the present day are few. Gentiles however who have led obedient and charitable lives one with another are received ahead of Christians who have not led so good a life. For everyone throughout the whole world who has led a good life is in the Lord's mercy received and saved; for good itself is that which receives truth. Good in a person's life is the ground itself for the seed, that is, for the truth, but evil in his life cannot possibly receive it. Although those immersed in evil are taught in a thousand different ways, indeed even if they are fully taught, the truths of faith with them still do not advance beyond the memory and do not penetrate through to the affection, which is in the heart. Consequently in the next life truths present in their memory are dispersed and cease to have any real existence.

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