160. I afterward spoke with those spirits concerning their earth; for all spirits know about their earth when their natural or external memory is opened by the Lord; since they have this with them from the world, but it is not opened except by the good pleasure of the Lord. The spirits then said respecting their earth from which they were, that when leave is given them, they appear to the inhabitants of their earth, and speak with them as men; and that this is done by their being let into their natural or external memory, and thus into such thought as they were in when they lived in the world; and that the inhabitants then have their interior sight, or the sight of their spirit, opened, from which they see them. They added that the inhabitants do not know that they are not men of their earth, and first perceive that they are not, when they are suddenly taken away from their sight. I told them that such was the case on our earth in ancient times, as with Abraham, Sarah, Lot, the inhabitants of Sodom, Manoah and his wife, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth, and the prophets in general; and that the Lord appeared in like manner, and those who saw Him did not know otherwise than that He was a man of the earth, before He revealed Himself. But that this is rarely done at this day, lest by such things men should be compelled to believe; for a compelled faith, such as is that which enters through miracles, does not remain fixed, and would also be hurtful to those with whom faith might be implanted through the Word in a state not compelled.