2116. That they "were circumcised by [ab] him" signifies that they are justified by the Lord, may be seen from the representation and thence the signification of "being circumcised," as being to be purified (explained above, n. 2039). Their "being circumcised by him," that is, by Abraham, was also representative, namely, that they are purified and thereby justified by the Lord. But in regard to justification, the case is not as is commonly supposed, namely, that all evils and sins are wiped away and utterly blotted out when men, as they imagine, believe-even if it were their last and dying hour-however they may have lived in evils and in misdeeds during the entire course of their lives; for I have been fully instructed that not the smallest evil which a man during his bodily life has thought and has carried out into act is wiped away and utterly blotted out; but that it all remains, even to the very least of it.
 The truth is that with those who have meditated and practiced acts of hatred, of revenge, of cruelty, and of adultery, and who thereby have lived in no charity, the life thence contracted awaits them after death, nay, so do all things of that life both in general and in particular, which return in succession; and from this comes their torment in hell. But with those who have lived in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, their evils of life also all remain, but they are tempered by the goods which during their life in the world they have received from the Lord by means of a life of charity; and thereby they are uplifted into heaven, nay, are withheld from the evils which they have appertaining to them, so that these do not appear. They who in the other life doubt their having evils with them, because the evils do not appear, are let into them until they know that the case is really so, and then are again uplifted into heaven.
 This then is what is meant by being justified; for in this way men come to acknowledge not their own righteousness, but that of the Lord. As to its being said that those are saved who have faith-this is true; but in the Word by "faith" nothing else is meant than love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, and thus a life from these loves. The doctrinal things and dogmas of faith are not faith, but belong to faith; for they are one and all for the sake of the end that a man may become such as they teach him to be, as may be clearly seen from the Lord's words that in love to God and love toward the neighbor consist all the law and the prophets, that is, the universal doctrine of faith (Matt. 22:34-39; Mark 12:28-35). (That there cannot possibly be any other faith that is faith, was shown in Part First, n. 30-38, 379, 389, 724, 809, 896, 904, 916, 989, 1017, 1076, 1077, 1121, 1158, 1162, 1176, 1258, 1285, 1316, 1608, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1843, 1844; and also that heaven itself consists in love to the Lord and in mutual love, n. 537, 547, 553, 1112, 2057.)