61. VIII. THE POPISH SAINTS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
It is known that man has from his parents implanted or hereditary evil, but in what it consists is known to few. It consists in the love of ruling, which is such, that as far as the reins are given it, so far it bursts forth, until it even burns with the lust of ruling over all, and at length of wishing to be invoked and worshiped as God. This love is the serpent, which deceived Eve and Adam, for it said to the woman:
God knows, that in the day ye eat of the fruit of the tree, your eyes shall be opened, and then ye shall be as God (Gen. 3:4, 5).
As far therefore as man rushes with loosened reins into this love, so far he turns himself away from God, and turns towards himself, and becomes an atheist; and then the Divine truths which are of the Word, may serve as means, but because dominion is the end, the means are in the heart only as they serve him. This is the reason why those who are in the mediate and in the ultimate degree of the love of ruling, are all in hell, for that love is the devil there; and in hell there are some of such a nature, that they cannot bear to hear any one speaking of God.