216. II. ETERNAL THINGS RELATE TO SPIRITUAL HONOURS AND WEALTH, WHICH PERTAIN TO LOVE AND WISDOM IN HEAVEN. As the delights of self-love, which are also the delights of the lusts of evil, are called goods by the natural man, and as he also confirms himself in the opinion that they are goods, he therefore calls honours and wealth Divine blessings. But when the natural man sees that the wicked as well as the good are raised to honours and advanced to wealth, and still more when he sees the good despised and in poverty and the wicked in glory and opulence, he thinks within himself, "Why is this? It cannot be of the Divine Providence. For if that governed all things it would heap honours and wealth upon the good and afflict the wicked with poverty and contempt, and would thus compel the wicked to acknowledge that there is a God and Divine Providence."
 The natural man, however, unless enlightened by the spiritual man, that is, unless he is at the same time spiritual, does not see that honours and wealth may be blessings and may also be curses, and that when they are blessings they are from God, and when they are curses they are from the devil. Moreover, it is well known that honours and wealth are bestowed by the devil, for from this he is called the prince of the world. Since then it is not known when honours and wealth are blessings and when they are curses, it shall be set forth in the following order:
1. Honours and wealth are blessings and they are curses.
2. When honours and wealth are blessings they are spiritual and eternal, but when they are curses they are temporal and fleeting.
3. Honours and wealth that are curses, in comparison with those that are blessings, are as nothing compared with everything, or as that which in itself has no existence compared with that which has existence in itself.