39. I once saw that spirits of our earth were with spirits of the earth Mercury, and I heard them discoursing together, and the spirits of our earth, amongst other things, asked them in whom they believed. They replied that they believed in God; but when they inquired further concerning the God in whom they believed, they were unwilling to say, it being customary with them not to answer questions directly. Then the spirits from the earth Mercury, in their turn, asked the spirits from our earth in whom they believed, They said that they believed in the Lord God. The spirits of Mercury then said that they perceived that they believed in no God, and that they had contracted a habit of professing with the mouth that they believe, when yet they do not believe, The spirits of Mercury have exquisite perception, in consequence of their continually exploring, by means of perception, what others know. The spirits of our earth were of the number of those who in the world had made profession of faith agreeable to the doctrine of the church, but still had not lived the life of faith; and they who do not live the life of faith, in the other life have not faith, because it is not in the man.# On hearing this they were silent, inasmuch as, by apperception then given them, they acknowledged that it was so.
# They who make profession of faith from doctrine and do not live the life of faith, have no faith (n. 3865, 7766, 7778, 7790, 7950, 8094). And their interiors are contrary to the truths of faith, although in the world they do not know this (n. 7790, 7950).