637. That "I will destroy them with the earth" signified that together with the church the human race would perish, is on this account: If the Lord's church should be entirely extinguished on the earth, the human race could by no means exist, but one and all would perish. The church, as before said, is as the heart: so long as the heart lives, the neighboring viscera and members can live; but as soon as the heart dies, they one and all die also. The Lord's church on earth is as the heart, whence the human race, even that part of it which is outside the church, has life. The reason is quite unknown to anyone, but in order that something of it may be known, it may be stated that the whole human race on earth is as a body with its parts, wherein the church is as the heart; and that unless there were a church with which as with a heart the Lord might be united through heaven and the world of spirits, there would be disjunction; and if there were disjunction of the human race from the Lord, it would instantly perish. This is the reason why from the first creation of man there has always been some church, and whenever the church has begun to perish it has yet remained with some.  This was also the reason of the Lord's coming into the world. If in His Divine mercy He had not come, the whole human race on this earth would have perished, for the church was then at its last extremity, and there was scarcely any good and truth surviving. The reason why the human race cannot live unless it is conjoined with the Lord through heaven and the world of spirits, is that in himself regarded man is much viler than the brutes. If left to himself he would rush into the ruin of himself and of all things; for he desires nothing else than what would be for the destruction of himself and of all. His order should be that one should love another as himself; but now everyone loves himself more than others, and thus hates all others. But with brute animals the case is quite different: their order is that according to which they live. Thus they live quite according to the order in which they are, and man entirely contrary to his order. Therefore unless the Lord should have compassion on him, and conjoin him with Himself through angels, he could not live a single moment; but this he does not know.