6559. And returning will return unto us all the evil that we requited to him. That this signifies the penalty therefore impending according to the desert, is evident from the signification of "returning the evil that we requited to him," as being the penalty according to the desert; for returning the evil which is done anyone, is penalty from having deserved it. How the case is with returning evil, or with penalties, in the spiritual world, must be told, because from this the internal sense of these words is plain. If evil spirits do any evil in the world of spirits beyond what they have imbued themselves with by their life in the world, punishers are instantly at hand and chastise them in exact accordance with the degree in which they pass these limits; for it is a law in the other life that no one must become worse than he had been in this world. They who are being punished cannot tell how these chastisers know that the evil is beyond what they had imbued themselves with; but they are informed that there is such an order in the other life that the very evil is attended with its penalty, so that the evil of the deed is wholly conjoined with the evil of the penalty, that is to say, its penalty is in the evil itself; and therefore that it is according to order for the requiters to be instantly at hand.
 This is what happens when evil spirits do evil in the world of spirits; but in their own hell they chastise one another according to the evil which they had by act imbued themselves with in this world; for this evil they bring with them into the other life. From all this it is evident how it is to be understood that the penalty impends according to the desert, which is signified by the words, "returning he will return unto us all the evil that we requited to him." But as regards good spirits, if perchance they speak or do evil, they are not punished, but pardoned, and also excused; for their end is not to speak or do evil, and they know that such things are excited in them by hell, so that they have not come to pass by their fault; and the same is also observed from their resistance, and afterward from their grief.