120. There are several reasons why without redemption by the Lord iniquity and wickedness would have pervaded all Christendom, both in the natural world and in the spiritual world, one of which is, that every man goes after death into the world of spirits, and there he is wholly the same man as before. On entering that world, no one can be prevented from talking with departed parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Then every husband first seeks his wife, and every wife her husband, and by these they are introduced into the various companies of those who externally are lamb-like, but internally are like wolves; and by such even those who have lived pious lives are led astray. As a result of this and of nefarious arts unknown in the natural world, that world becomes as full of malicious persons as a green pond is with the spawn of frogs.  That such is the result of association with the evil there is made evident by the fact that if one lives for a time with robbers and pirates he finally becomes like them; or if one lives with adulterers and harlots he soon thinks nothing of adultery; or if he mingles with outlaws he soon thinks nothing of doing violence to anyone. For all evils are contagious, and may be compared to a pestilence, which is communicated merely by the breath or the effluvia of the body; also to cancer or gangrene, which spreads and infects first the nearer and then the remoter parts, until the whole body is destroyed. The delights of evil into which every man is born, are the cause.  From all this it can be seen that without redemption by the Lord no man could be saved, nor could the angels be continued in a state of integrity. The only refuge from destruction for anyone is the Lord, who says:
Abide in Me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, so neither can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for apart from Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth and is withered, and cast into the fire and burned (John 15:4-6).