494. That he "died" signifies that there was no longer such perception, is evident from the signification of the word "die" which is, that a thing ceases to be such as it has been. Thus in John:
Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things saith He that hath the seven spirits, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou art said to live, but art dead; be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God (Rev. :3:1-2).
I will cast out thy mother that bare thee, into another country where ye were not begotten, and there shall ye die (Jer. 22:26),
where "mother" signifies the church. For as we have said, the case with the church is that it decreases and degenerates, and loses its pristine integrity, chiefly by reason of the increase of hereditary evil, for every succeeding parent adds new evil to that which he has inherited. All the actual evil in the parents puts on a kind of nature, and when it often recurs, becomes natural to them, and is added to their hereditary evil, and is transmitted into their children, and so to posterity. In this way the hereditary evil is immensely increased in the descendants. That this is so is evident from the fact that the evil dispositions of children are exactly like those of their progenitors. Quite false is the opinion of those who think that there is no hereditary evil except that which they allege to have been implanted in us from Adam (see n. 313). The truth is that everyone makes hereditary evil by his own actual sins, and adds it to the evils that he has inherited, and in this way it accumulates, and remains in all the descendants, nor is it abated except in those who are being regenerated by the Lord. In every church this is the principal cause of degeneration, and it was so in the Most Ancient Church.