5854. It is provided by the Lord that spirits should flow into what is thought and willed by man, but angels into his ends, and thus through the ends into all that follows from the ends. Angels also flow in through good spirits into the goods of life and truths of faith with man, by means of which they lead him away from evils and falsities as far as possible. This influx is tacit, imperceptible to the man, but still operating and efficient in secret. Especially do they avert evil ends and insinuate good ones. But insofar as they cannot do this, they withdraw, and flow in more remotely, and more absently, and then evil spirits come nearer; for angels cannot be present in evil ends, that is, in the loves of self and of the world, and yet they are present from afar.
 The Lord could through angels lead man into good ends by omnipotent force; but this would be to take away the man's life, for his life consists in entirely contrary loves. Therefore the Divine law is inviolable, that man shall be in freedom, and that good and truth, or charity and faith, shall be implanted in his freedom, and by no means in compulsion; because what is received in a state of compulsion does not remain, but is dissipated. For to compel a man is not to insinuate into his will, because it is then the will of another from which he acts; and therefore when he returns to his own will, that is, to his own freedom, this is rooted out. The Lord therefore rules man through his freedom, and as far as possible withholds him from the freedom of thinking and willing evil; for unless man were withheld by the Lord, he would be continually plunging into the deepest hell.
 It was said that the Lord could through angels lead man into good ends by omnipotent force; for evil spirits can be driven away in an instant, even if there should be myriads about a man, and this indeed by means of one angel; but then the man would come into such torment and into such a hell that he could not possibly endure it, for he would be miserably deprived of his life. For the life of man is from cupidities and phantasies against good and truth. If this life were not sustained through evil spirits and thus amended, or at least led, he would be reduced to nothing and would not survive a minute. For nothing else is seated in him than the love of self and of gain, and of reputation for their sake, thus whatever is contrary to order. Wherefore unless he should be reduced into order moderately and by degrees, through the leading of his freedom, he would at once expire.