4733. And said, Let us not smite him, the soul. That this signifies that it must not be extinguished, because it is the life of religion, is evident from the signification of "smiting," as being to extinguish; and from the signification of "soul" as being life (n. 1000, 1005, 1436, 1742), here the life of religion. That acknowledgment and adoration of the Lord's Divine Human is the life of religion, is plain from what was said just above (n. 4731); and also from the fact that men are of such a nature as to desire to worship that of which they can have some perception and thought, and sensuous men even that which they can perceive by some sense, nor are they willing to worship unless the Divine is therein. This is common to the human race. For this reason Gentiles worship idols in which they believe there is the Divine, and others worship men after their death whom they believe to be either gods or saints. For nothing can be called forth in man unless there is something to affect his senses.
 Those who say that they acknowledge a Supreme Being, of whom they have no idea of perception, for the most part acknowledge no God, but nature instead, because they comprehend this. Very many of the learned among Christians are such, and this also because they do not believe the Human of the Lord to be Divine. Lest therefore men who have removed themselves so far from the Divine, and have become so far corporeal, should worship wood and stones; and lest they should worship some man after his death, and thus under him some devil, and not God Himself, because they could not in any way perceive Him, and thus everything of the church should perish, and with the church the human race, the Divine Itself willed to assume the Human and to make it Divine. Let the learned take heed therefore, lest they think of the Lord's Human and do not at the same time believe it to be Divine, for in so doing they make for themselves a stumbling block, and at last believe nothing.