1692. Scarcely anyone can know what temptations, or combats of temptations, effect. They are the means by which evils and falsities are broken up and dispersed, and by which horror of them is induced; and not only is conscience given, but it is also strengthened thereby, and so the man is regenerated, which is the reason why they who are being regenerated are let into combats, and undergo temptations; and they who do not undergo them in the life of the body, do so in the other life, if they are capable of being regenerated, on which account the Lord's church is called militant. But the Lord alone sustained the most cruel combats of temptations by His own strength or His own power; for He was surrounded by all the hells, and continually conquered them.
 It is the Lord alone also who fights in the men who are in the combats of temptations, and who overcomes. Man from his own power can effect nothing at all against evil or infernal spirits; for they are so connected with the hells that if one were overcome, another would rush in, and so on forever. They are like the sea which presses upon every part of a dike; and if the dike should be broken through by a cleft or a crack, the sea would never cease to burst through and overflow, until nothing was left standing. So would it be with man unless the Lord alone sustained in him the combats of temptations.