134. To this shall be added these Memorable Relations. First:
I once entered a temple in the world of spirits where many were assembled. Before the sermon began they were discussing with each other the subject of Redemption. The temple was square, with no windows in the walls; but in the center of the roof there was a large opening, through which light from heaven entered, making it lighter than if there had been windows at the sides.
And behold, in the midst of their talk about redemption a black cloud floating from the north suddenly covered the opening, causing such darkness that they could not see each other, and could scarcely see their own hands.
While they were standing amazed at this, behold, the black cloud parted in the middle, and through the parting angels sent down from heaven appeared, who dispelled the cloud to both sides, and again the temple was filled with light. The angels then sent down one of their number into the temple, who in their name asked the congregation what they were contending about to cause so dense a cloud to overshadow them, take away the light, and bring on darkness.
They answered that it was about redemption, as having been wrought by the Son of God through the passion of the cross, whereby He made expiation, and delivered the human race from damnation and eternal death.
To this the angel who had been sent down said, "Why through the passion of the cross? Explain why through that."
 Then a priest came forward and said, "I will explain in order what we know and believe, which is, That God the Father, being angry with the human race, condemned it, shut it out from His clemency, and declared all men doomed and accursed, and consigned them to hell; and that He wished His Son to take upon Himself that condemnation, and the Son consented, and for that purpose came down and assumed the human, suffered Himself to be crucified, and thus transferred to Himself the condemnation of the human race; for we read, 'Cursed is everyone that hangeth on the wood of a cross.' Thus did the Son by interceding and mediating propitiate the Father; and then the Father, moved by love for His Son, and by witnessing His anguish upon the wood of the cross, determined to forgive men; 'but only those to whom I impute Thy righteousness; these I will change from children of wrath and malediction to children of grace and benediction, and will justify and save them; the rest, as before determined, may remain children of wrath.' This is our faith, and these things are our righteousness, which God the Father implants in our faith, which alone justifies and saves."
 When the angel had heard this he was silent for some time, for he was motionless with amazement; but afterwards he broke silence and said, "Can the Christian world be so insane, and wander away from sound reason into such madnesses, and from such paradoxes draw conclusions about the fundamental dogma of salvation? Who does not see that these things are diametrically opposed to the very Divine essence, that is, to God's Divine love and Divine wisdom, and at the same time to His omnipotence and omnipresence? No good master could so deal with his manservants and maidservants, nor even a wild beast or a bird of prey with its young. It is horrible. Is it not contrary to God's Divine essence to annul that call which has been made to the whole human race and to each individual? Is it not contrary to the Divine essence to change the order established from eternity, which is, that every man is to be judged by his life? Is it not contrary to the Divine essence to withdraw its love and mercy from any man, still more from the whole human race? Is it not contrary to the Divine essence that it should be brought back to mercy, and as mercy is the very essence of God, that it should be brought back to its own essence, by witnessing the anguish of the Son? Is it not abominable to imagine that He ever departed from that essence, since that essence is Himself from eternity to eternity?
 Furthermore, is it not impossible to introduce into such a thing as your faith is, the righteousness of redemption (which in itself belongs to the Divine omnipotence), and to impute and ascribe it to man, and without any further means to declare him righteous, pure, and holy? Is it not impossible to remit sins to anyone, and to renew, regenerate, and save him, by mere imputation, whereby unrighteousness is turned into righteousness, and a curse into a blessing? Would it not be possible in this way to change hell into heaven and heaven into hell, or the dragon into Michael and Michael into the dragon, and so end the war between them? Is anything needed but to withdraw the imputation of your faith from one and bestow it upon the other? Thus would you compel us who are in heaven to live for ever in constant fear. Neither is it in accordance with justice and judgment for one person to take upon himself the guilt of another, and for the guilty thus to be made innocent and have his guilt washed away. Is not this opposed to both Divine and human justice? The Christian world does not yet know that there is an order, still less what that order is, which God introduced into the world simultaneously with the creation of it; and that God cannot act contrary to that order, since He would then be acting contrary to Himself; for God is order itself."
 The priest understood what was said by the angel, because the angels who were above let in light from heaven; and presently he sighed and said, "What is to be done? At this day all men so preach and pray and believe. It is in every mouth, 'Good Father, have mercy upon us; forgive us our sins for the sake of Thy Son's blood, which He poured out for us upon the cross.' And to Christ they pray, 'Lord, intercede for us.' And to this we priests add, 'Send us the Holy Spirit.'"
The angel then said, "I have observed that from the Word not interiorly understood the priests prepare an eyesalve which they apply to the eyes that are blinded by their faith; or they make from it a sort of plaster which they spread upon the wounds inflicted by their dogmas; and yet they fail to heal those wounds, because they are chronic sores. Therefore go to him who stands yonder,' pointing his finger towards me, "and he will teach you from the Lord that the passion of the cross was not redemption, but the uniting of the Lord's Human with the Divine of the Father; while redemption was the subjugation of the hells and the restoration of order in the heavens; and unless this had been done by the Lord when He was in the world there would be no salvation for anyone on the earth or in heaven. He will also teach you the order established from creation, to live according to which is to be saved, those who live according to it being numbered among the redeemed, and called the elect."
When all this had been said, windows were formed in the walls of the temple through which there flowed in an illumination from the four quarters of that world, and cherubs appeared flying in the brightness of the light; and the angel was taken up to his companions above the opening; and we went away delighted.