242. 2. Their first son, Cain killed his brother Abel, and God did not withhold him at the time by speaking to him, but only after the deed cursed him. Since by Adam and his wife is meant the Most Ancient Church, as has just been said above, so by Cain and Abel their first sons, are meant the two essentials of the Church, which are love and wisdom, or charity and faith. By Abel is meant love and charity and by Cain wisdom or faith, in particular, wisdom separated from love, or faith separated from charity; and wisdom as well as faith when separated is such that it not only rejects love and charity, but even destroys them and thus kills its own brother. That faith separate from charity does this is well known in the Christian world, as may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING FAITH.
 The curse of Cain involves the spiritual state into which those come after death who separate faith from charity or wisdom from love. Yet in order that wisdom or faith might not therefore perish, a mark was set upon Cain lest he should be slain, for love cannot exist without wisdom, nor can charity without faith. As almost the same thing is represented by these things as by the eating of the tree of knowledge, therefore this story comes next in order after the description of Adam and his wife. Moreover, those who are in faith separated from charity are in their own intelligence; while those who are in charity and consequently in faith are in intelligence from the Lord, and thus in the Divine Providence.