759. For this reason every church made up of those who see by confirmations seems to itself to be the only church that is in the light, and all others which dissent from it appear to be in darkness. For those who see by confirmations are not unlike owls, which see light in the obscurity of night, and in the daytime see the sun and its rays as thick darkness. Such has been and such is every church that is in falsities, when it has become fixed in falsities by leaders who seem to themselves, to be lynx-eyed, and who have made for themselves a morning light out of their own intelligence and evening light out of the Word. Did not the Jewish church when it was wholly devastated (which it was when our Lord came into the world), loudly declare through its scribes and those skilled in the law, that because it had the Word it alone was in heavenly light, and yet they crucified the Messiah or the Christ who was the Word itself and the All in all things of it? What is the cry of that church which is meant by "Babylon" in the Prophets and in the Apocalypse, but that she is the queen, and mother of all churches, and that those which withdraw from her are spurious offspring that must be excommunicated? And this, even when she has thrust the Lord the Savior from the throne and altar and placed herself thereon.  Does not every church, even the most heretical, when once accepted, fill country and city with the cry that it alone is orthodox and ecumenical, and that it possesses the gospel which the angel flying in the midst of heaven announced (Apoc. 14:6)? And who does not hear the crowd echoing that it is so? Did not the whole Synod of Dort look upon predestination as a star coming down above their heads out of heaven, and did they not kiss that dogma as the Philistines kissed the image of Dagon in the temple of Ebenezer at Ashdod, and as the Greeks kissed the Palladium in the temple of Minerva? For they called that dogma the palladium of religion; and they did not know that a falling star is a meteor formed of illusive light, and when such light falls upon the brain it enables it to confirm every falsity (which is done by fallacies), until it is believed to be the true light, and is decreed to be a fixed star, and is finally sworn to be the star of stars.  Who speaks with fuller persuasion of the certitude of his delusion than the atheistic naturalist? Does he not laugh with the fullest assurance at the Divine things of God, the heavenly things of heaven, and the spiritual things of the church? Does not every lunatic believe his foolishness to be wisdom, and wisdom to be foolishness? Who by the sight of the eye can distinguish the illusive light of rotten wood from the light of the moon? Does not anyone who is averse to balsamic odors, as those who are affected with uterine diseases, repel those odors from the nostrils and choose ill-smelling odors in preference? And so on. All these things have been presented for the sake of illustration, to make clear that by natural light alone, or until truth from heaven beams forth in its own light, the fact that the church is consummated, that is, that it is in mere falsities, cannot be recognized. For falsity does not see truth, but truth sees falsity; and every man is such that he can see and comprehend truth when he hears it; but a man confirmed in falsities cannot so introduce truth into his understanding that it will remain, since it finds no place there; and if it happens to enter, the assembled horde of falsities casts it out as heterogeneous.