344. I heard two presidents of the English Royal Society, Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes, conversing together in the spiritual world about the existence of seeds and eggs, and about productions from them in the earths. The former ascribed them to nature, and contended that nature was endowed from creation with a power and force to produce such effects by means of the sun's heat. The other maintained that this force is in nature unceasingly from God the Creator. To settle the discussion, a beautiful bird appeared to Sir Hans Sloane, and he was asked to examine it to see whether it differed in the smallest particle from a similar bird on earth. He held it in his hand, examined it, and declared that there was no difference. He knew indeed that it was nothing but an affection of some angel represented outside of the angel as a bird, and that it would vanish or cease with its affection. And this came to pass. By this experience Sir Hans Sloane was convinced that nature contributes nothing whatever to the production of plants and animals, that they are produced solely by what flows into the natural world out of the spiritual world. If that bird, he said, were to be infilled, in its minutest parts, with corresponding matters from the earth, and thus fixed, it would be a lasting bird, like the birds on the earth; and that it is the same with such things as are from hell. To this he added that had he known what he now knew of the spiritual world, he would have ascribed to nature no more than this, that it serves the spiritual, which is from God, in fixing the things which flow in unceasingly into nature.