479. V. IT IS CLEARLY MANIFEST FROM THAT PERMISSION OF EVIL IN WHICH EVERYONE'S INTERNAL MAN IS THAT MAN HAS FREEDOM OF CHOICE IN SPIRITUAL THINGS.
That man has freedom of choice in spiritual things must first be confirmed by generals and afterward by particulars which everyone will acknowledge at first hearing. The generals are: (1) That the wisest of mankind, Adam and his wife, suffered themselves to be seduced by a serpent. (2) That their first son Cain slew his brother Abel, and Jehovah God did not hinder them by speaking to them, but only by a curse after the deed. (3) That the Israelitish nation worshiped a golden calf in the desert, and yet Jehovah saw this from Mount Sinai, and did not prevent it. (4) That David numbered the people, and a plague was therefore sent upon them, by which so many thousands of men perished; and that God, not before but after the deed, sent Gad the prophet to David, and denounced punishment upon him. (5) That Solomon was permitted to establish idolatrous forms of worship. (6) And many kings after him were permitted to profane the temple and the holy things of the church, and at length that nation was permitted to crucify the Lord. (7) That Mohammed was permitted to establish a religion in many respects not conformable to Sacred Scripture. (8) That the Christian religion is divided into many sects, and each into heresies. (9) That there are so many impious persons in Christendom, and even a glorying in impieties, as also machinations and wiles even against the pious, righteous, and sincere. (10) That injustice sometimes triumphs over justice in law and business. (11) That even impious persons are exalted to honors, and become leaders in church and state. (12) That wars are permitted, the slaughter of so many men, and the plundering of so many cities, nations, and families; and so on. Can anyone deduce such things from any other source than the possession of freedom of choice by every man? The permission of evil known throughout the world has no other origin. That the laws of permission are also laws of Divine Providence may be seen in the work on The Divine Providence (Amsterdam, 1764, n. 234-274), where the foregoing examples are explained.