486. Predestination is an offspring of the faith of the present church, for it is born from a belief in man's absolute impotence, with no power of choice in spiritual things; it is born from this doctrine and also from the belief in man's conversion as being a dead thing, in that he is like a stock, and has therefore no conscious knowledge whether he is a stock vivified by grace or not. For it is said that election is of the mere grace of God, exclusive of all human action, whether it proceed from the powers of nature or of reason, and that it takes place where and when God wills, thus from His good pleasure. The works that follow faith as evidences thereof, resemble, to a reflecting mind, the works of the flesh; and the spirit which produces them does not make evident their origin, but effects them out of grace or good pleasure, like faith itself.
 From all this it is clear that the dogma of the present church respecting predestination has come forth from this belief like a shoot from its seed; and I may say that it has flowed forth out of it as an almost inevitable consequence. This consequence was first reached by the Predestinarians, then by Gottschalk, afterwards by Calvin and his disciples, and was at length firmly established by the Synod of Dort, and from that was carried forth into the church as the palladium of religion, or rather as the head of Gorgon or Medusa engraved on the shield of Pallas by the Supralapsarians and Infra-Lapsarians.  But what more pernicious thing could have been devised, or could anything more cruel be believed of God, than that some of the human race are damned by predestination? For would it not be a cruel creed, that the Lord, who is love itself and mercy itself, should desire a multitude to be born for hell, or that myriads of myriads should be born doomed, that is, devils and satans; also that from His Divine wisdom, which is infinite, He should not have provided and does not provide, that those who live well and acknowledge God should not be cast into eternal fire and torment? He is ever the Lord, the Creator and Savior of all, and He alone leads all, and desires not the death of any. Therefore, what more infamous thing could be believed or thought than that whole nations and peoples should, under His auspices and oversight, be handed over by predestination to the devil as his prey, to satisfy his voracity? But this is an offspring of the faith of the present church; the faith of the New Church abhors it as a monster.