20. „I tell you, my dear brothers: Blessed and truly happy is he who suffers temptation; for only after he has proved himself will he reach the true goal of life, which the holy, most loving Father promised us all if we truly love Him with our whole heart.
21. "Do not maintain that the Father had now tempted us; for the good Father certainly tempts no one in this manner, and He need not tempt anyone. But he still saw in you a sinister urge, and so He allowed it to emerge from you and you had to behold it and find out whether you still were inclined towards it.
22. "However, you still showed such an inclination; so realize that whoever has shown an inclination towards falsehood has received the false with his inclination, and this is a seed of sin. When then the sin has matured and is born, it soon gives birth to death, which is in it.
23. "So do not be mistaken, dear brothers; for every good gift and all true, perfect bounty flow only from the Father of all light and all life. In Him there is neither change nor variation forever; as He is, so He was from eternity. (HHG vol. 2, chap. 275)
 After a while, when Simon recovered from his captivation and I reassuringly influenced his heart, Simon said: “My Lord and My God! What did I do, that You suddenly are so lenient and merciful towards me? See, I’m a sinful person; since my flesh is quite loose. The beautiful and attractive maiden leave a mighty impression on me and from time to time quite indecent thoughts are forcing themselves upon me. And quite often I willingly engage with a kind of lust and joy in these thoughts, although not in deed because of a lack of opportunity, but still in my heart, which behaves quite affirmative during such estrous stages.
 But then also quite bright moments appear in me and I have reasonable views and considerations about this point; but to what use? If I again see a beautiful maiden, all the brighter
moments, all the reasonable views and considerations are gone in an instant, and the old scapegoat, armed with all its indecent intentions, is back in its place. Of course, I do nothing; but this doing-nothing is nevertheless not a true doing-nothing, but simply a doing which is prevented by a bad opportunity. The fear for temporary punishment and disgrace is preventing one thereof, but not so the own free will, who at such opportunities contains a lot of desire, and at a good opportunity surely will not reveal any negation! I know my loose flesh unfortunately just too well and therefore are a sinful person and not worthy of such a great mercy from You.”
50. HOW TO SAFE MATERIALISTIC SOULS
 HOWEVER, if the soul, who received the pure teaching, who also understands the truth and thinks within himself: ‘Aha, now I know what I rightly should do for my salvation. But before I will completely work on it, I still want to enjoy for a while the charms and sweet things of this world, for they are offered to me, because now that I precisely know the ways to spiritual completion, it really will not matter as to when I earnestly will walk on it. And when I will go that way, I surely will also make progress.’ Look, friend, then the soul begins to taste of the charms and sweet things of the world, and also to fully enjoy it. By that, he will give a great overweight to the matter of his flesh that can hardly or not at all be completely conquered anymore with his clear understanding in the things of the spirit.
 Since such a soul acted in the beginning against his better judgment, he slowly sinks ever deeper into matter. And also the original pure spiritual enlightenment becomes ever more opaque. The soul comes into all kinds of doubts, and in his material laziness it is for him really not that worthy anymore to stand up and to – at least for the short time of a few days or weeks – make a serious attempt, by denying himself, to convince himself whether there is still something true of the teaching that was revealed from the Heavens in order to receive the inner, true life.
 Yes friend, once such a soul became lazy against his very own judgment, and sees people around him who have attained to the inner life’s completion because they did their best since the
beginning, then this will still have no strong influence on him, and it will not bring about any activity in him. If he is in a good mood, he will let the wonders of the spiritual in man be told to him by the awakened fellowmen. And now and then, also the wish will be awakened in him to be like those completed men. But immediately after that, the enticements of this world, which he enjoyed and still wants to enjoy, act so mightily upon him that he cannot resist them, and he will think by that: ‘Well yes, I do not do anything wrong if I do not fully repent immediately. First I still want to see and try out this and that in the world, and then I still will have largely the time to walk in the footsteps of the completed ones.’
Answers to Faith-Related Issues
confirming the Christian Scriptures, clarifying and expanding them with still unknown spiritual knowledge