678. The reason why not only children but all are by baptism brought among Christians in the spiritual world is that peoples and nations are in that world kept apart in accordance with their religious beliefs. The Christians are in the middle, the Mohammedans around them, idolaters of various kinds behind them, and the Jews at the sides. In addition, all of the same religion are arranged into communities. In heaven this depends upon affections of love to God and love towards the neighbour; in hell they form groups depending upon the affections opposed to those two loves, that is, upon their longings for evil.
 In the spiritual world, by which we mean both heaven and hell, everything is arranged in the most detailed order both in general and in every part, that is to say, generically and specifically. The preservation of the whole universe depends upon that detailed order there; and that could not be achieved, unless everyone after his birth had some sign to show to which religious assembly he belongs. But for the Christian sign, which is baptism, a Mohammedan spirit, or an idolatrous one, could latch on to new-born Christian children, or older ones too, and breathe into them an inclination for their own religion, and so distract their minds and estrange them from Christianity; and this would be a distortion and destruction of spiritual order.