10. II. Who, and of what quality were those who were in "the former heaven," and "the former earth," was described in the small work on The Last Judgment; but because the understanding of what follows depends on the knowledge of who they were and their quality, something shall here be said concerning them. All those who gathered themselves together under heaven, and in various places formed seeming heavens for themselves, and also called them heavens, were conjoined with the angels of the lowest heaven, but only as to externals, not as to internals. For the most part they were the goats and those akin to them, who are named in Matthew (25:41-46); who indeed, in the world had not done evils, for they had lived well morally; but they had not done goods from a good origin, for they had separated faith from charity, and hence had not regarded evils as sins. Because they had lived as Christians in externals, they were conjoined with the angels of the lowest heaven, who were like them in externals, but not like them in internals; they being "the sheep," and in faith, yet in the faith of charity. On account of this conjunction they were necessarily tolerated; for to separate them, before the Last Judgment, would have brought injury upon those who were in the lowest heaven, who would have been drawn into destruction with them. This is what the Lord foretold in Matthew:
Jesus spoke a parable; the kingdom of the heaven is like unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came, and sowed tares, and went away; when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also; so the servants of the householder coming, said unto him, Lord, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay, lest, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up at the same time the wheat with them: let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn. He who hath sown the good seed, is the Son of man; the field is the world; the seed are the sons of the kingdom; the tares are the sons of evil; the harvest is the consummation of the age; as therefore the tares are gathered together, and burned, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-40).
"The consummation of the age" is the last time of the church; "the tares" are those who are interiorly evil; "the wheat" are those who are interiorly good; "the gathering together in bundles to burn," is the Last Judgment upon them; that harm should not be done to the good by separation before the Last Judgment, is signified by "lest in gathering up the tares, ye root up at the same time the wheat with them: let both grow until the harvest."