350. There are some who are excusable for ascribing certain visible things to nature, for two reasons. First, because they have had no knowledge of the sun of heaven, where the Lord is, or of influx therefrom, or of the spiritual world and its state, or even of its presence with man, and therefore had no other idea than that the spiritual is a purer natural; consequently, that angels are in the ether or in the stars; and that the devil is either man's evil or if an actual existence, that he is in the air or the abyss; also that the souls of men, after death, are either in the interior of the earth, or in an undetermined somewhere till the day of judgment; and other like things deduced by fancy out of ignorance of the spiritual world and its sun.
Secondly, they are excusable, because they are unable to see how the Divine could produce everything that appears on the earth, where there are not only good things but also evil things; and they are afraid to confirm themselves in such an idea, lest they ascribe the evil things also to God, and form a material conception of God, and make God and nature one, and thus confound the two.
For these two reasons those are excusable who have believed that nature produces the visible world by a power implanted in her by creation. But those who have made themselves atheists by confirmations in favor of nature are not excusable, because they might have confirmed themselves in favor of the Divine. Ignorance indeed excuses, but does not remove, falsity - which has been confirmed, for such falsity coheres with evil, thus with hell. Consequently, those same persons who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature to such an extent as to separate the Divine from nature, regard nothing as sin, because all sin is against the Divine, and this they have separated, and thus have rejected it; and those who in spirit regard nothing as sin, after death when they become spirits, since they are in bonds to hell, rush into wickednesses which are in accord with the lusts to which they have given rein.