661. To destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of lives from under the heavens. That this signifies that the whole posterity of the Most Ancient Church would destroy themselves, is evident from what is said above, and from the description of them given before: that they derived by inheritance from their parents in succession such a genius that they more than others were imbued with direful persuasions; and especially for the reason that they immersed the doctrinal things of faith that they possessed in their cupidities. It is otherwise with those who have no doctrinal things of faith, but live entirely in ignorance; these cannot so act, and therefore cannot profane holy things, and thereby close up the way for remains; and consequently they cannot drive away from themselves the angels of the Lord.
 Remains, as has been said, are all things of innocence, all things of charity, all things of mercy, and all things of the truth of faith, which from his infancy a man has had from the Lord, and has learned. Each and all of these things are treasured up; and if a man had them not, there could be nothing of innocence, of charity, and of mercy, and therefore nothing of good and truth in his thought and actions, so that he would be worse than the savage wild beasts. And it would be the same if he had had the remains of such things and had closed up the way by foul cupidities and direful persuasions of falsity, so that they could not operate. Such were the antediluvians who destroyed themselves, and who are meant by "all flesh wherein is the breath of lives, under the heavens."  "Flesh" as before shown, signifies every man in general, and the corporeal man in particular. The "breath of lives" signifies all life in general, but properly the life of those who have been regenerated, consequently in the present case the last posterity of the Most Ancient Church. Although there was no life of faith remaining among them, yet as they derived from their parents something of seed therefrom which they stifled, it is here called the "breath of lives" or (as in Gen. 7:22) "in whose nostrils was the breathing of the breath of lives." "Flesh under the heavens" signifies what is merely corporeal; the "heavens" are the things of the understanding that are of truth and the things of the will that are of good, on the separation of which from the corporeal a man can no longer live. What sustains man is his conjunction with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord.