Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6208

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6208. There are quite a number of people who are endowed by heredity with natural good, as a result of which they delight in doing good to others. But since they have not adopted from the Word, from the teaching of the Church, or from the religion they belong to, any principles about the doing of good on account of those teachings, they have also been unable to have any conscience conferred on them; for conscience is not the product of natural or hereditary good but of teaching regarding what is true and good and of a life based on that teaching. When people like these come into the next life they are amazed that they are not received into heaven. They say they have led a good life, but they are told that a good life which is the outcome of natural or hereditary disposition is not a good life; it comes instead out of teaching regarding what is good and true and out of a life based on that teaching. Through such teaching and life, they are told, people have principles stamped on their character regarding what is true and good and receive a conscience, which is the base laid down for heaven to flow into. So that those who are told these things may know they are true, they are sent to different communities, where they allow themselves to be misled into all kinds of evil solely through reasonings and consequent false persuasions that things which are evil are good, and those which are good are evil. They are thus swayed by those arguments wherever they go and are borne around like straws in the wind. For they have no principles, no base laid down into which the angels can operate and guide them away from the wicked.

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