7795. That My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. That this signifies that it may be confirmed that they had been in no faith, but in evil, is evident from the signification of the "wonders" and "signs" that were done in Egypt, as being vastations and consequent confirmations that they were evil (n. 7633); for these "wonders" signified so many degrees of the vastation of those who within the church had been in the memory-knowledge of such things as are of faith, and yet had lived evilly; and because these are they who infest the upright in the other life, it is their state now which is here signified (n. 7465). By these "wonders being multiplied" are signified the successive degrees of their states. The reason why there are so many degrees is in order that the evil may be confirmed in the fact that they are in evil; and also that the good may be enlightened concerning the state of those within the church who have lived evilly (n. 7633). Except for these reasons, the evil might be condemned and let down into hell without so many successive changes of states.
 That before the evil are condemned and let down into hell they undergo so many states is altogether unknown in the world. It is believed that man is at once either condemned or saved, and that this is effected without any process; but the case is otherwise. Justice reigns there, and no one is condemned until he himself knows, and is inwardly convinced, that he is in evil, and that it is utterly impossible for him to be in heaven. His own evils are also laid open to him, according to the words of the Lord in Luke:
There is nothing covered up, that shall not be revealed; or hidden, that shall not be known. Wherefore whatsoever ye have said in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in the bed chambers shall be proclaimed upon the housetops (Luke 12:2-3; Matt. 10:26-27; Mark 4:22);
and what is more, he is also warned to desist from evil; but when he cannot do this because of the dominion of evil, the power is then taken away from him of doing evil by falsifications of truth and pretenses of good, which is effected successively from one degree to another, and finally condemnation follows and the letting down into hell. This takes place when he comes into the evil of his life.
 The evil of the life is evil of the will and of the thought thence derived; thus it is the man's inward quality and what would be his quality outwardly if he were not hindered by the laws, and likewise by fears of the loss of gain, of honor, of reputation, and of life. This is the life which follows every man after death, but not the outward life, except that which proceeds from the inward life; for in outward things a man pretends what is contrary; and therefore when a man after death is being vastated in respect to outward things, it then plainly appears what had been his quality both in will and in thought. To this state every evil person is reduced by means of degrees of vastation, for all vastation in the other life advances from outward to inward things. From all this it can be seen what is the nature of the justice in the other life, and what the nature of the process before an evil person is condemned. From this it is evident that by "My wonders being multiplied in the land of Egypt," is signified that the evil may be confirmed in the fact that they have been in no faith, but in evil. (That they who are in evil have no faith, see above, n. 7778.)