66. Predestination is also an offspring of the faith of the present church, because it is born from a belief in instantaneous salvation from immediate mercy, and from a belief in absolute impotence and no free-will in spiritual things, concerning which, see below (n. 68, 69). That this follows from them, as one fiery flying serpent from another, or one spider from another, may be seen above. Predestination also follows from the supposition, that man is as it were inanimate in the act of conversion, that he is like a stock, and that afterwards he is unconscious whether he is a stock made alive by grace, or not; for it is said, that God, by the hearing of the Word, gives faith, when and where He wills [n. 11 (a)], consequently of His good pleasure; and likewise that election is of the mere grace of God, independently of any action on man's part, whether such activity proceed from the powers of nature or of grace: Formula Concordiae (p. 821; Appendix, p. 182). The works which follow faith as evidences thereof, appear to the mind while it reflects on them like the works of the flesh, while the spirit which operates them does not make manifest from what origin they are, but makes them, like faith, to be the effects of grace, and thus of the good pleasure of God. Hence it is plain, that the dogma of predestination has sprung from the faith of the present church, as a sucker from its root; and I can say, that it has followed as the almost unavoidable consequence of that faith. This was first broached by the Predestinarians, and afterwards by Godoschalcus, then by Calvin and his followers, and lastly established and confirmed by the Synod of Dort, whence it was conveyed into the church, by the Supra and Infra Lapsarians, as the palladium of religion, or rather as the head of Gorgon or Medusa engraved on the shield of Pallas. But what more hurtful, or more cruel notion could have been hatched out and believed concerning God, than that any part of the human race are predestined to damnation? For it would be a cruel belief, that the Lord, who is love itself and mercy itself, willed that a multitude of men should be born for hell, or that myriads of myriads should be born devoted to destruction, or in other words, born to be devils and satans; and that, out of His Divine wisdom, which is infinite, He would not and did not provide for those who live well, and acknowledge God, that they should not be cast into everlasting fire and torment; whereas the Lord is the Creator and Saviour of all, and He alone leads all, and wills not the death of any. What then can be believed and thought more monstrous, than that multitudes of nations and peoples, should under His auspices, and in His sight, from a predestined decree, be delivered up to the devil as his prey, to satiate his maw? Yet this is an offspring of the faith of the present church; but the faith of the New Church abhors it as a monster.