I have just described the balance between heaven and hell and have shown that the balance is between what is good from heaven and what is evil from hell, which means that it is a spiritual balance that in essence is a freedom.
The reason this spiritual balance is essentially a freedom is that it exists between what is good and what is evil and between what is true and what is false, and these are spiritual realities. So the ability to intend either good or evil and to think either truth or falsity, the ability to choose one instead of the other, is the freedom I am dealing with here.
The Lord grants this freedom to every individual, and it is never taken away. By virtue of its source it in fact belongs to the Lord and not to us because it comes from the Lord; yet still it is given us along with our life as though it were ours. This is so that we can be reformed and saved, for without freedom there can be no reformation or salvation.
Anyone who uses a little rational insight can see that we have a freedom to think well or badly, honestly or dishonestly, fairly or unfairly, and that we can talk and act well, honestly, and fairly but not badly, dishonestly, and unfairly because of the spiritual, moral, and civil laws that keep our outward nature in restraint.
We can see from this that the freedom applies to our spirit, which does our thinking and intending, but not to our outer nature, which does our talking and acting, except as this follows the aforementioned laws.
from Heaven and Hell, Section 597