60. The contrary takes place with those who read the Word from the doctrine of a false religion, and still more with those who confirm that doctrine from the Word, having in view their own glory or this world's riches. With them the truth of the Word is as it were in the shade of night, and what is false is as in the light of day. They read what is true, but do not see it; and if they see the shadow of it they falsify it. These are they of whom the Lord says that:
They have eyes, but see not; and ears, but do not understand (Matt. 13:13).
For nothing else blinds a man except his own and the confirmation of what is false. Man's own is the love of self and the derivative conceit of self-intelligence; and the confirmation of what is false is thick darkness counterfeiting the light. The light of such men is merely natural, and their sight is like that of one who sees phantoms in the gloom.