181. But it may be asked, Whence is the very stream of that fountain from which has come forth an abomination of desolation such as is described in Daniel (9:27), and a tribulation such as was not nor shall be (Matt. 24:21)? The answer is, that it comes from that same universal faith of the Christian world, and from its influx, operation, and imputation according to traditions. Wonderful it is that the doctrine of justification by that faith alone (which, however, is no faith but only a chimera) controls every point of doctrine in Christian churches; that is, with the clerical order it rules as almost the sole theological principle. It is what all students of divinity eagerly learn in the schools and drink in and absorb; and afterwards, seemingly inspired by heavenly wisdom, they teach it in the churches and publish it in books; and by it they strive after and acquire a reputation and fame and praise for superior learning; and on account of it, diplomas, degrees, and prizes are bestowed upon them; and all this is done, although by that same faith alone the sun at this day is darkened, the moon is robbed of her light, the stars have fallen from heaven, and the powers of the heavens have been shaken, according to the words of the Lord's prophecy in Matthew (24:29). It has been proved to me that the doctrine of this faith has today so darkened men's minds that they are not willing, and therefore as it were not able, to see any Divine truth inwardly, either in the light of the sun or in the light of the moon, but only outwardly on the mere rough surface by the light on a hearth at night; and I am therefore able to declare, that if Divine truths respecting the real conjunction of charity and faith, respecting heaven and hell, the Lord, life after death, and eternal happiness, were sent down from heaven written in letters of silver, those who hold to justification and sanctification by faith alone would not deem them worth reading. But it would be wholly different if a treatise on justification by faith alone were sent up from the hells; this they would receive, and would kiss it and carry it home in their bosoms.