327. III. THE MAN HIMSELF IS IN FAULT IF HE IS NOT SAVED. Every rational man, as soon as he hears it, acknowledges the truth that evil cannot flow from good nor good from evil, because they are opposites; consequently, that from good there flows nothing but good, and from evil nothing but evil. When this truth is acknowledged it is also acknowledged that good can be turned into evil not by a good but by an evil recipient; for every form converts into its own quality what flows into it, as may be seen above (n. 292). Now since the Lord is Good in its very essence, or Good itself, it is evident that evil cannot flow from Him or be produced by Him; but that good can be turned into evil by the recipient subject whose form is a form of evil. Such a subject is man as to his proprium, which continually receives good from the Lord and continually turns it into the nature of its own form, which is a form of evil. Hence it follows that man is in fault if he is not saved. Evil is indeed from hell; but as man receives it from hell as his own, and thereby appropriates it to himself, therefore it is the same whether it is said that evil is from man or from hell. But how there comes to be such an appropriation of evil that at length religion perishes will be explained in the following order:
1. Every religion in process of time declines and is consummated.
2. Every religion declines and is consummated by the inversion of the image of God in man.
3. This takes place from the continual increase of hereditary evil in successive generations.
4. Nevertheless it is provided by the Lord that everyone may be saved.
5. It is also provided that a new Church should succeed in place of the former devastated Church.