822. THE POPISH SAINTS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
It is well known that man has in him from his parents inherent or inherited evil, but few know where that evil dwells in its fullness. It dwells in the love of possessing the goods of all others, and in the love of exercising dominion; for this latter love is such that, so far as the reins are given to it, it rushes forth until it is aflame with the lust of exercising dominion over all, and finally seeks to be invoked and worshiped as God. This love is the serpent that deceived Eve and Adam, for it said to the woman,
God doth know that in the day ye eat of the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (Gen. 3:4-5).
So far therefore, as man rushes into this love without restraint, he turns away from God and turns to himself, and becomes a worshiper of himself; and then he can call upon God from love of self with fervent lips, but with a heart cold from contempt of God. And then also the Divine things of the church may serve him as means, but dominion being his end, his heart is in the means only so far as they subserve that end. Such a man, if exalted to the highest honors, seems to himself like Atlas carrying the terraqueous globe on his shoulders, or like Phoebus with his horses bearing the sun around the earth.