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he replied," and is omnipotent." Then I asked the latter, "What sayest thou to this?" He replied, "What should I say? I have all power over heaven and hell, and the fate of all souls is in my hand." I asked again, "How is it that he who is the emperor of emperors, can become so submissive as to worship thee? and how canst thou receive his worship?" He answered, "Still he is my slave: what is an emperor in the sight of God? in my right hand is the thunder of excommunication." Then I said to him, "How canst thou rave at such a rate? In the former world thou hadst only the rank of a canon, and because thou hast been carried away with the imagination of possessing the keys of heaven, and thus the power of binding and loosing, thou hast inflamed thy spirit to such a degree of madness, as to suppose thyself now to be God Himself." Hereupon he swore with indignation that he was God, and that the Lord had not any power in heaven, "because," said he, he has transferred it all to us: we have only to issue out our commands, and heaven and hell obey with reverence; if we commit any one to hell, the devils immediately receive him; and so do the angels all those whom we send to heaven." I asked further, "How many doth your society consist of?" He answered, "Three hundred; and we are all of us gods, but I am the god of gods." After this the ground opened under the feet of each devil, and they sunk down deep into their respective hells and it was permitted me to see, that underneath their hells were places for labour, intended to receive those who do mischief to others: for every one in hell is left to the enjoyment of his own phantasy, and is also allowed to boast and glory in it, but not to injure another. The reason why they are so circumstanced is, because man after death is in his spirit, and a spirit, when separated from the body, enjoys a full liberty of acting according to the bent of his affections and of his thoughts thence derived. It was afterwards granted me to look into their hells, and the hell, which con
tained the emperors of emperors and the kings of kings, was full of all uncleanness, and the inhabitants appeared like various kinds of wild beasts, with fierce and savage eyes. The like objects were seen in the other hell, which contained the gods and the god of gods, and there also appeared in it terrible birds of night called ochim and ijim, flying about them, being the representative images of their phantasies. Hence was discovered the true nature of political and ecclesiastical self-love, that the former makes its votaries desirous of being emperors, and the latter of being gods: and that under the influence of such love, men wish to possess such authority, and also affect it, so far as their inclinations are left free and unrestrained.
After beholding these sad and hideous spectacles, I looked around, and saw two angels in conversation together, standing at a small distance from me; one was clad in a woollen robe that shone bright with flaming purple, under which he wore a tunic of fine linen which glittered to the sight; the other had on like garments, but of a scarlet colour, and on his head a mitre, the right side of which was set with rubies. I walked towards them, and greeting them with the salutation of peace, I respectfully asked, "For what purpose are ye here below?" They replied, "We are come down from heaven, by the Lord's commission, to talk with thee on the blessed lot of those, who desire to rule from the love of uses. We are worshippers of the Lord; I who speak with thee am prince of a society in heaven, and my companion here is the chief priest in the same society." And the prince said, that he was the servant of his society, because he served it by being in the exercise of use; and his companion said, that he was a minister of the church there, because in serving the members of the society he ministered the holy rites for the use and profit of their souls: and they both declared, that they were in the fruition of perpetual joys by virtue of an eternal happiness communicated to A A
them from the Lord. They said that all outward objects in their society were splendid and magnificent, such splendour resulting from the abundance of gold and precious stones, and such magnificence from the beauty of their palaces and paradises; "the reason is," said they, "because our love of rule does not originate in the love of self, but in the love of uses, and because this love is from the Lord, therefore all good uses in the heavens are splendid and refulgent; and as all in our society are under the influence of this love, therefore our atmosphere appears of a golden hue, by reason of the light's partaking of the flaming hue of the sun, which flame-colour corresponds to that love." As they spake these words there appeared a similar sphere encompassing them, from which an aromatic odour issued so as to be very perceivable: after I had mentioned this circumstance to them, I requested that they would proceed to speak further on the love of uses. So they continued their discourse, and said, "The dignities which we enjoy were indeed courted and sought after by us, but then only with this view, that we might be more fully enabled to be of use, and thus might extend our sphere of doing good: we are also surrounded with honour, which we receive, not on our own account, but on account of the good of the society; for those of our brethren and fellow-citizens who form the commonalty of the society, scarce know any other but that the honours attending our exalted stations are in us, and consequently that the uses which we do are from us; but we ourselves know otherwise, being sensible that the honours attending our exalted stations are without us, and are like the garments with which we are clothed; but that the uses which we perform originate in the love of them, which is within us from the Lord, and this love receives its blessedness from communication with others by the medium of uses: we know by experience, that so far as we are in the exercise of uses from the love of them, that
love increaseth, and along with it wisdom, which prompt us incessantly to communicate the blessings we feel to others; but that so far as we keep back uses in ourselves, and do not communicate them, our blessedness is lost: in such case the uses become like food retained in the stomach, which not being diffused through the system, affords no nourishment to the body and its parts, but remaineth in an undigested state, and thus occasions loss of appetite and loathing. In a word, heaven is nothing else but continuity of use from first to last; for what is use but the love of the neighbour brought into act? and what holds the heavens together but that love?" Hereupon I asked, "How can any one know whether he performs uses from the love of self, or from the love of uses? Every man, whether he be good or bad, performs uses, and this under the influence of some love or other; suppose then a society in the world consisting merely of devils, and another society consisting entirely of angels, I imagine that the devils in their society, influ enced by the fire of self-love, and by the splendour of their own glory, would perform as many uses as the angels in their society; who then can know from what love, and from what origin the uses proceed?" To this the two angels replied, "The devils perform uses for the sake of themselves and their own reputation, that they may be exalted to honours, or be enriched with gain; but the angels perform them, not from such motives, but for the sake of uses, and under the influence of the love of them: it is not possible for man to discern the difference between them, but it is discerned by the Lord: every one who believes in the Lord, and shuns evils as sins, is in the performance of uses from the Lord; but every one who does not believe in the Lord, nor shun evils as sins, performs them from himself, and for his own sake: this is the distinction between uses done by devils and uses done by angels." As they spake these words the two angels departed: and at a distance they appeared
to be carried in a fiery chariot like Elijah; and in this way they were taken up into heaven.
662. THE SECOND MEMORABLE RELATION. Not long after this intercourse with the angels, I entered a certain grove, and there walked, meditating upon those who are in the lust, and thence in the phantasy, of possessing the world's wealth. At that instant, I saw, at some distance, two angels in conversation with each other, who so I went nearer to every now and then looked at me; them, and as I approached, they addressed me and said, "We perceive in ourselves that thou art meditating on the subject of our conversation, or that we are conversing on what thou art meditating, which is a consequence of the Then I asked reciprocal communication of affections." what they were conversing about: "About phantasy," they replied, "about lust, and about intelligence; and just now our conversation was about such persons as delight themselves with the visionary fancy and imagination of possessing whatever the world contains." Then I requested them to open their minds on those three subjects, lust, phantasy, and intelligence: so they commenced their discourse, and said, "Every one is by birth inwardly in lust, but by education outwardly in intelligence; no one however is in intelligence, much less in wisdom, inwardly, that is, as to his spirit, except from the Lord: for every one is restrained from the lust of evil, and is kept in intelligence, according as he looketh to the Lord, and is at the same time in conjunction with Him; without this, man is nothing else but mere lust yet still with respect to his externals, or as to his body, he is, from education, in intelligence; for man lusteth after honours and emoluments, or distinction and opulence, and he cannot attain them unless he appears moral and spiritual, that is, intelligent and wise, which appearance he learns to assume from his infancy, so that whenever he comes into company, and appears in public, he inverteth his