582. Think about it rationally and tell me what the whole human race would be like, if the faith of the present-day church were to endure, a faith which states that redemption is solely through the passion on the cross, and that those who are so granted the Lord's merit are not subject to the condemnation of the law. It also states that this faith, about which a person is so ignorant he does not know if he has it, forgives his sins and regenerates him, and if anyone were to cooperate in its action when it is granted and enters into him, he would ruin this faith, throwing away his salvation with it, since he would mix his own merit with Christ's. Think about it rationally, I say, and tell me whether this would not mean rejecting the whole of the Word, where the chief teaching is that regeneration takes place by means of a spiritual washing from sins and by practising charity. What then would become of the Ten Commandments, the starting-point of reformation? Would it be any better than the paper sold in shops and twisted into screws to wrap spices? What would religion be then but bewailing the fact of being a sinner and praying God the Father to have mercy on account of His Son's suffering, a merely oral prayer coming from the lungs, without any deed on the part of the heart?
 Redemption then would be nothing but a papal indulgence, or like the customary practice of flogging a monk on behalf of the whole community. If that faith alone could regenerate a person, and repentance and charity played no part, what would his internal man - the spirit which goes on living after death - be but a burnt-out city, the ruins of which makes up the external man? Or like a field or a plain devastated by caterpillars and locusts? That sort of person appears to angels as if he was warming a viper in his bosom and wrapping his clothes around it to prevent it being seen; or as if someone was sleeping like a sheep with a wolf; or someone lying under a beautiful blanket in a shift woven out of spiders' webs. Then life after death, when all are assigned their places in heaven depending on how their regeneration differs, or in hell depending on the different ways they have rejected regeneration, would be nothing but the life of the flesh, the sort a fish or a crab enjoys.