947. CHAPTER 9
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE HELLS
HERE, CONCERNING OTHER HELLS, DISTINCT FROM THOSE PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED
Those who are deceitful and who suppose that they can obtain all things by deceitful craft, and who have confirmed themselves in this idea by their success in the life of the body, seem to themselves to dwell in a kind of tun or vat at the left, which is called the Infernal Tun, over which there is a covering, and outside of it a small globe on a pyramidal base, which they conceive to be the universe, under their inspection and rule. Precisely thus does it appear to them. Those of them who have deceitfully persecuted the innocent are there for ages. I was told that some have remained there already for twenty ages.* When they are let out they are possessed with such phantasy that they suppose the universe to be a globe about which they walk and which they trample with their feet, believing themselves to be gods of the universe. I have seen them at times and spoken with them about their phantasy; but as they had been of this nature in the world, they could not be withdrawn from it. I have also at times perceived with what subtle deceit they could pervert the thoughts, turning them in a moment in other directions, and substituting others, so that it could hardly be known that it was done by them, and this so naturally as to be beyond belief. Being of this character, these spirits are never admitted to men, for they infuse their poison so clandestinely and secretly as not to be noticeable.
* An age (saeculum) in the Word is ten years. (See n. 433.) [REVISER]