221. MAN IS ADMITTED INTERIORLY INTO THE TRUTHS OF FAITH AND INTO THE GOODS OF CHARITY ONLY SO FAR AS HE CAN BE KEPT IN THEM RIGHT ON TO THE END OF HIS LIFE
It is well known in the Christian world that the Lord wills the salvation of all, and also that He is Almighty. Therefore many conclude from this that He is able to save everyone, and that He saves those who implore His mercy; especially those who implore it using the formula of the received faith, that God the Father may be merciful for the sake of the Son; and especially if at the same time they pray that they may receive that faith. That it is altogether otherwise, however, will be seen in the last chapter of this treatise, where it will be explained that the Lord cannot act contrary to the laws of His Divine Providence, because to act against these would be to act contrary to His Divine Love and His Divine Wisdom, thus against Himself. It will also be seen there that such immediate mercy is not possible, because the salvation of man is effected by means; and man can be led in accordance with these means only by Him who wills the salvation of all and is at the same time Almighty, thus by the Lord. The means by which man is led by the Lord are what are called the laws of the Divine Providence; and among these is this, that man is admitted interiorly into the truths of wisdom and into the goods of love only so far as he can be kept in them right on to the end of his life. To make this clear to the reason, however, it must be explained in the following order:
I. A man may be admitted into the wisdom of spiritual things, and also into the love of them, and yet not be reformed.
II. If a man afterwards departs from these, and turns aside into what is contrary, he profanes holy things.
III. There are many kinds of profanation, but this kind is the worst of all.
IV. Therefore the Lord admits man interiorly into the truths of wisdom and at the same time into the goods of love only so far as he can be kept in them right on to the end of his life.