651. All reason agrees that the Lord cannot do evil to any man, consequently that He cannot impute evil to man; for He is Love itself and Mercy itself, thus Good itself; and these belong to His Divine Essence; therefore to attribute evil or anything belonging to evil to the Lord, would be inconsistent with His Divine Essence, and thus, a contradiction; and would be as abominable as joining together the Lord and the devil, or heaven and hell, when nevertheless,
Between them there is a great gulf fixed, so that they who would pass hence may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to this side (Luke 16:26).
Even an angel of heaven can do no evil to anyone, because the essence of good from the Lord is in him; and on the other hand, an infernal spirit can do nothing but evil to another, because the nature of evil from the devil is in him. The essence or nature which anyone makes his own in the world cannot be changed after death. Consider, I pray you, what sort of a being the Lord would be, if He were to look upon the wicked from anger, and upon the good from mercy (the evil numbering myriads of myriads and the good likewise), and were to save the good from grace, and damn the evil from a feeling of revenge, and were to look upon the two with so different an eye - gentle or stern, mild or severe. In that case, what would the Lord God be? Who that has been taught by preaching in churches does not know that all good that is in itself good is from God, and on the other hand, that all evil that is in itself evil is from the devil? If any man, therefore, were to receive both good and evil, - good from the Lord and evil from the devil - both of them in the will, would he not become neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, and therefore be spewed out, according to the Lord's words in the Apocalypse (3:15, 16)?