487. VII. THAT ADULTERIES COMMITTED BY THESE ARE MILD. From what has been said above (no. 486), this is manifest without further confirmation, for it is well known that the quality of every deed and, in general, of every affair depends upon the circumstances, and that these mitigate or aggravate. Adulteries of this degree are mild the first time they are committed; and they remain mild so far as, in the subsequent course of life, he or she abstains from them because they are evils against God, or against the neighbor, or against the good of the state, and being against these, are evils against reason. On the other hand, these adulteries are numbered among the more grievous kinds if the parties do not abstain from them for one of the above reasons. Thus this is according to the Divine law in Ezekiel 18:21, 22, 24,* and elsewhere. By man, however, they cannot be either excused or condemned, or predicated and judged as light or grievous on these grounds, because they are not seen by him; indeed, they are not within the province of his judgement. What is meant, therefore, is that they are so accounted and imputed after death.
* "If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him.... But when the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be remembered."