597. BY MEANS OF THE EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL MAN IS IN FREEDOM.
The equilibrium between heaven and hell has now been described, and it has been shown that it is an equilibrium between the good that is from heaven and the evil that is from hell, thus that it is a spiritual equilibrium, which in its essence is freedom. A spiritual equilibrium in its essence is freedom because it is an equilibrium between good and evil, and between truth and falsity, and these are spiritual. Therefore to be able to will either what is good or what is evil and to think either what is true or what is false, and to choose one in preference to the other, is the freedom which is here treated of. This freedom is given to every man by the Lord, and is never taken away; in fact, by virtue of its origin it is not man's but the Lord's, since it is from the Lord. Nevertheless, it is given to man with his life as if it were his; and this is done that man may have the ability to be reformed and saved; for without freedom there can be no reformation or salvation. With any rational intuition any one can see that it is a part of man's freedom to be able to think wrongly or rightly, sincerely or insincerely, justly or unjustly; also that he is free to speak and act rightly, honestly, and justly; but not to speak and act wrongly, insincerely, and unjustly, because of the spiritual, moral, and civil laws whereby his external is held in restraint. Evidently, then, it is man's spirit, which thinks and wills, that is in freedom, and not his external which speaks and acts, except in agreement with the above mentioned laws.