597. While it is known at the present day, that there are temptations, hardly anyone knows whence and what they are and what good they effect. Whence and what they are has just been explained, also the good they effect, which is, that when the internal man conquers, the external is subjugated, and as this is subjugated lusts are dispersed, and affections for good and truth are implanted in their place, and are so arranged that the goods and truths which a man wills and thinks he may also do, and may speak them from the heart; and furthermore that by victory over the external man man becomes spiritual, and is then affiliated by the Lord with the angels of heaven, who are all spiritual. Heretofore temptations have not been understood, and scarcely anyone has known whence and what they are and the good they effect, because heretofore the church has not been in truths. No man is in truths unless he approaches the Lord directly, rejects the former faith and accepts the new. And this is why no one has been admitted into any spiritual temptation during the centuries that have passed since the Nicene Council introduced a belief in three Gods; for if anyone had been, he would have succumbed immediately, and thus would have precipitated himself more deeply into hell. The contrition which is said to precede the present faith is not temptation. I have questioned very many about it, and they have declared that it is nothing but a word, except perhaps with the simple there might be some timorous thoughts about hell-fire.