70. I was further instructed, that in that earth there are also some who call themselves saints, and who command their servants, of whom they wish to have great numbers, to give them the title of lords, under threat of punishment. They likewise forbid them to adore the Lord of the universe, saying that themselves are mediating lords and that they will present their supplications to the Lord of the universe. They call the Lord of the universe, who is our Lord, not only the Lord, as the rest do, but the Supreme Lord, by reason that they call themselves also lords. The sun of the world they call the face of the supreme Lord, and believe that His abode is there, wherefore they also adore the sun. The rest of the inhabitants hold them in aversion and are unwilling to converse with them, as well because they adore the sun as because they call themselves lords, and are worshiped by their servants as mediatory gods. There was shown me by spirits the covering of their head, which was a tower-shaped cap of darkish color. In the other life such appear to the left in a certain altitude, and there sit as idols, and in the beginning are also worshiped by the servants who have attended upon them, but are afterwards held in derision by them also. What surprised me was, that their faces shine there as from a fire, which is in consequence of their having believed that they were saints; but notwithstanding this fiery appearance of their faces, they are nevertheless cold, and have an intense desire to be made warm. Hence it is evident that the fire, from which they shine, is the fire of self-love, and is fatuous. In order to make themselves warm, they seem to themselves to cut wood, and whilst they are cutting, there appears underneath the wood something of a man, whom at the same time they attempt to strike. This appearance is in consequence of their attributing to themselves merit and sanctity; for all who do so in the world, seem to themselves in the other life to cut wood, as was the case likewise with some spirits from our earth, who have been spoken of elsewhere. For the further illustration of this subject, I will here adduce this experience concerning them. "In the lower earth beneath the soles of the feet, are those who have placed merit in their good deeds and works. Many of them appear to themselves to cut wood. The place where they are is very cold, and they seem to themselves to acquire warmth by their labor. I have also spoken with them, and it was granted me to ask them whether they wished to come out of that place. They said that they had not yet merited it by their labor. But when that state has been gone through, they are taken out. They are natural, because to wish to merit salvation is not spiritual; for it comes from the proprium, not from the Lord. Moreover they also prefer themselves to others, and some of them despise others. If they do not receive greater joy than others in the other life, they are indignant against the Lord; for which reason, when they are cutting wood, there appears as it were something of the Lord under the wood. This comes from their indignation."#
# The Lord alone has merit and justice (n. 9715, 9975, 9979, 9981, 9982). They who place merit in works, or wish to merit heaven by their good deeds, wish to be served in the other life, and are never content (n. 6393). They despise the neighbor, and are angry with the Lord Himself if they do not receive reward (n. 9976). What their lot is in the other life (n. 942, 1774, 1877, 2027). They are of those who appear to cut wood in the lower earth (n. 1110, 4943).