252. 4. The worshipper of himself and of nature confirms himself against the Divine Providence when he reflects according to his perception that victories are on the side of prudence and sometimes not on the side of justice, and that it makes no difference whether the general is an upright man or not. Victories seem to be on the side of prudence, and sometimes not on the side of justice, because man judges from the appearance; and he favours one side more than the other, and that which he favours he can confirm by reasonings; nor does he know that the justice of a cause is spiritual in heaven and natural in this world, as has just been stated in what has gone before, and that these are joined together by means of a connection between things past and at the same time things to come that are known to the Lord alone.
 It makes no difference whether the general is an upright man or not because, as was established above (n. 250) the wicked perform uses as well as the good, and the wicked from their own zeal with more ardour than the good. Especially is this the case in wars because the wicked man is more crafty and cunning in contriving devices; and from a love of glory he takes more delight than a good man in killing and plundering those whom he knows and declares to be his enemies. The good man is prudent and zealous only in defence, and rarely does he exercise his prudence and zeal in attacking others. It is the same with spirits of hell and angels of heaven; the spirits of hell attack while the angels of heaven defend themselves. Hence is deduced this conclusion, that it is allowable for anyone to defend his country and his fellow-citizens against invading enemies, even by means of wicked generals, but that it is not allowable to make oneself an enemy without cause. When the cause is to seek glory alone it is in itself diabolical, for it springs from the love of self.