80. The sixth account:
When the angel said this, I looked over at the western horizon, and behold, I saw what appeared to be lakes of fire and brimstone. So I asked the angel why the hells there had this appearance. He replied, "They appear as lakes on account of the falsifications of truth there, because water spiritually interpreted is truth. What looks like fire appears around them and in them as a result of their love of evil; and what looks like brimstone, because of their love of falsity. These three appearances - lake, fire and brimstone - so appear because they correspond to the evil loves which motivate the people. "The people there are all shut up in eternal workhouses, and they labor in exchange for food, clothing and a bed. And whenever they do evil, they are severely and miserably punished."  Again I asked the angel, "Why did you say that the people there are adulterers both spiritually and naturally? Why not say that they are evildoers and irreligious?" "Because," he replied, "all people who regard adulterous affairs as nothing, that is, who believe they are not sins and who commit them deliberately and so purposefully, at heart are evildoers and irreligious. For the human inclination towards marriage goes hand in hand with religion at every step. Every little step and every stride away from religion or towards religion is also a step or stride away from or towards the conjugial inclination that is peculiar and proper to a Christian person." At my asking what that conjugial inclination was, he said, "It is a wish to live with only one wife, and a Christian person has this wish to the extent that he has religion."  I afterwards grieved in spirit that marriage - which in ancient times was so sacred - had so wantonly been transformed into adulterous relationships. And the angel said, "It is the same with religion today. For the Lord says that at the end of the age there will be the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel,* and that 'there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world' (Matthew 24:15,21). "The abomination of desolation symbolizes the falsification and loss of all truth. Tribulation symbolizes the state of the church infested by evils and falsities. And the end of the age, of which these things are said, symbolizes the final period or end of the church. "The end has now come, because no truth remains that has not been falsified, and falsification of truth is spiritual licentiousness, which allies itself with natural licentiousness, because they go together." * See Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11.