The perception of opposites is different from the perception of relatives; for opposites are things without, and are opposed to things within.
An opposite has its beginning where one thing wholly ceases to be anything, and another then arises with an effort to act against the former, as when a wheel acts against another wheel, or a current against another current. But relatives pertain to the arrangement of many and various parts in an order that is concordant and harmonious, like precious stones of various colors in the stomacher of a queen, or like flowers of different colors arranged in a garland to give pleasure to the sight. Therefore in both of these opposites there are relatives, that is, in what is good as well as in what is evil, in what is true as well as in what is false, thus both in heaven and in hell, all the relatives in hell being the opposites of the relatives in heaven.
Since, then, from the order in which He is, God perceives and sees and is cognizant of all things relative in heaven, and thereby perceives, sees, and is cognizant of all the opposite relatives in hell . . . it is clear that God is omniscient in hell as well as in heaven, and in like manner with men in the world; thus that He perceives, sees, and is cognizant of their evils and falsities from the good and truth in which He Himself is, and which in their essence are Himself; for we read:
If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there (Ps. 139:8);
Though they dig into hell, thence shall My hand take them (Amos 9:2)
Now as evil and good are two opposites, precisely like hell and heaven, or like the devil and the Lord, it follows that if man shuns an evil as sin, he comes into the good that is an opposite to the evil. The good opposite to the evil which is meant by murder, is the good of love towards the neighbour.
Since this good and that evil are opposites, it follows that the latter is removed by the former. Two opposites cannot exist together, as heaven and hell cannot exist together. If they were together there would exist that lukewarm state concerning which it is written in the Revelation:
I know . . . that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Rev. iii 15, 16.