153. I have often wondered that although the whole Christian world acknowledges that evils must be shunned as sins, and that otherwise they are not remitted, and unless they are remitted there is no salvation, yet scarcely one in a thousand understands this. Inquiry was made about this in the spiritual world, and it was found to be so. Everyone in the Christian world acknowledges it, from the exhortations read before those who come to the Holy Supper, for it is openly declared in these; and yet when they are asked whether they understand this, they answer that they do not, and that they have never understood it. The reason is that they have not given it any thought, most of them thinking only about faith and about salvation by faith alone. I have also wondered that faith alone has so closed the eyes that when those who have confirmed themselves in it are reading the Word they see nothing that is said there about love, charity and works. It is as though they had smeared over all things in the Word with faith, as one smears over a piece of writing with red paint so that nothing underneath it appears; and if anything does appear, it is absorbed by faith and declared to be faith.