1148. And marble.- That this signifies and sensual truth profaned, is evident from the signification of marble, which denotes the Sensual, which is the ultimate of the life of man's thought and will. The reason why this is the signification of marble, is that stone signifies truth in ultimates, specifically the appearance of truth. Marble is mentioned instead of stone because the appearance of truth in the church from the Word is meant. That ultimate truth which is called sensual is also profaned, is evident from the worship paid to the sepulchres, bones, and carcases of those whom they call saints, although these things are putrid and correspond to infernal things. The very bodily senses would turn away from such things, if the holy things of the church had not been profaned to such a degree.
 Continuation concerning the Athanasian Creed.- That man is nevertheless a subject of guilt, follows as a consequence from what has been said above, and also from what has been previously substantiated concerning the life which is God, and which exists in man from God, and further from the laws above cited, which are truths. The reason why evil is imputed to man, is that power has been and is continually given him, to feel and to perceive as if life were in himself; and because he is in that state, he is also in freedom and has the faculty of acting as from himself. This faculty and this freedom regarded in themselves are not taken away from him, because he is born a man, and is to live for ever. It is from these that he has power as if from himself to receive both good and evil. And because he is kept in the midst between heaven and hell, the Lord also gives him to know that good is from Him, and that evil is from the devil; and further, by means of truths in the church, to discern good and evil. When he knows these things, and is enabled by the Lord to think and will them, as well as to speak and do them, as if from himself, and this continually by means of influx, then if he does not receive he becomes a subject of guilt.
 But the fallacy by which man is deceived is chiefly from this cause, that he does not know that his freedom, and faculty of acting as if from himself, are the result of an influx of life from the Lord into his inmost, and that this influx, because he is born a man and gifted with that inmost, is not taken from him. But the influx of life from the Lord entering into recipient forms which are beneath that inmost-in which forms the understanding and will reside-is varied according to the reception of good an4 truth, and even diminished and taken away according to the reception of evil and falsity. In a word, the life which causes man to be man, and to be distinguished from the brutes; the life which is in his inmost, and which, therefore, acts universally in the lower things in him; the life from which he has freedom, and the faculty of thinking, willing, speaking, and acting, comes perpetually from the Lord into him; but man's understanding and will derived thence, or from that life, are changed and varied according to reception.
Man lives in an intermediate [state] between heaven and hell. The delight of the love of evil and of the falsity therefrom enters into him by influx from hell, while the delight of the love of good and of the truth therefrom enters into him by influx from the Lord, and he is constantly kept in the sensation and perception of life as if it were from himself, and also by that means he is constantly kept in the freedom of choosing the one or the other, and in the faculty of receiving the one or the other. So far, therefore, as he chooses and receives evil and falsity, so far he is taken from that intermediate [state] down to hell; and so far as he chooses good and truth, so far he is taken from that state up to heaven.
 The state of man from creation is, that he may know that evil is from hell, and good from the Lord, and that he may perceive these in him as if from himself, and when he perceives them that he may cast the evil back to hell, and receive good, with the acknowledgment that it is from the Lord. When he thus rejects the one and receives the other, he does not then appropriate evil to himself, or make good meritorious. I know, however, that there are many who do not comprehend this, and who are not desirous to comprehend it. But let them pray in this manner: "That the Lord may be with them continually, that He may uplift and turn His countenance to them, that He may teach, enlighten, and lead them, because of themselves they can do nothing that is good, and grant that they may live; that the devil may not seduce them and pour evils into their hearts, inasmuch as they know that if they are not led by the Lord, he leads them, and breathes into them evils of every kind, such as hatred, revenge, cunning, and deceit, as a serpent instils poison; for he is at hand, exciting and continually accusing, and when he meets with a heart turned away from God, he enters in and dwells there, and draws down the soul to hell. O Lord, deliver us." These words agree with what was said above, for hell is the devil; and so it is still acknowledged that man is either led by the Lord, or by hell, thus that he is in an intermediate [state]. See also what was said above upon this subject (n. 1134).