582. Think rationally and say what the entire human race would be if the faith of the present church were to continue; this faith being that men are redeemed by the passion of the cross alone, and that those upon whom that merit of the Lord has been bestowed are not under the condemnation of the law; and again, that this faith (whether or not it is in him man not knowing at all), remits sins and regenerates, and that man's co-operation in the act thereof, that is, when it is being given and entering, would defile it, and at the same time deprive him of salvation, since he would thereby commingle his own merit with that of Christ. Think rationally, I say, and tell me whether the whole Word would not be thus rejected, where regeneration by means of the spiritual washing away of evils, and by the exercise of charity is especially taught. What would the Decalogue, the starting point of reformation, then be, more than the paper that is sold in small shops and used to wrap up spices? What would religion then be, but a kind of lamentation that one is a sinner, and supplication to God the Father to be merciful on account of the passion of His Son, thus a matter of the mouth and lungs only, and not of anything done from the heart? What would redemption then be but a papal indulgence; or what more than a monk's flagellation of himself for the sake of the whole assembly, as is sometimes done? If faith alone regenerated man, repentance and charity doing nothing, what would the internal man (which is the man's spirit that lives after death), be like, but a burnt city, the ruins of which form the external man; or a field or plain laid waste by caterpillars and locusts? Such a man appears to the angels altogether like one who cherishes a serpent in his bosom, and tries to conceal it under his garments; or like one sleeping like a lamb with a wolf; or like one sleeping under beautiful bed-clothing in a night-gown made of spider's webs. Or seeing that all are arranged in heaven according to the different degrees of their regeneration, and all in hell according to the different degrees in which they have rejected it, what would the life after death be but a life of the flesh, and so like that of a fish or a crab?