Some of their descendants living before the Flood—not those who were destroyed in it but others of somewhat better character—were present with me, and at first they exerted a fairly gentle influence that was not very noticeable. But I was able to perceive that deep down they were bad, and deep down they worked against love. An aura with the stench of dead flesh wafted from them, making the spirits around me run away. They thought they were so subtle that no one would be able to tell what they were thinking.
I carried on a conversation with them about the Lord, asking whether like their forbears they had awaited his Coming. They had represented the Lord to themselves, they said, as an old and godly individual with a white beard and because of him became devout and grew beards themselves. That is the origin of the religious scruple about beards that sprang up among their descendants. Even now they were able to worship him devoutly, they added, although they did so according to their own lights; but just then an angel approached whose coming they could not bear.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Section 1124