215. I. TEMPORAL THINGS RELATE TO DIGNITIES AND RICHES, THUS TO HONOURS AND GAIN IN THE WORLD. There are many temporal things, yet they all relate to dignities and riches. By temporal things are meant such as either perish with time, or come to an end with man's life in this world only; but by eternal things are meant those which do not perish and come to an end with time, and therefore do not end with life in this world. Since, as has been stated, all temporal things relate to dignities and riches it is important to know the following, namely, what dignities and riches are and whence they are; what is the nature of the love of them for their own sake, and what is the nature of the love of them for the sake of uses; that these two loves are distinct from each other as heaven and hell are; and that man hardly knows the difference between these two loves. But these propositions will be treated separately.  First: What dignities and riches are and whence they are. In the most ancient times dignities and riches were totally different from what they by successive stages have become in later times. In the most ancient times dignities were such as exist in the relationship between parents and children. They were dignities of love, full of respect and veneration, not because children received birth from their parents but because they received instruction and wisdom from them. This is a second birth, in itself spiritual, because it was the birth of their spirit. This was the only dignity in the most ancient times; for then tribes, families and households dwelt separately, and not under governments as at the present day. It was the head of the family in whom this dignity was vested. Those times were called by the men of old the Golden Age.  After those times, however, there gradually crept in the love of ruling from the mere delight of that love; and because there arose at the same time enmity and hostility against those who would not submit to be ruled, tribes, families and households from necessity banded themselves together into communities, and set over themselves one whom they at first called judge, afterwards prince, and finally king and emperor. Then also they began to protect themselves by towers, earthworks and walls. From the judge, prince, king and emperor, as from the head into the body, the lust of dominion spread like a contagion among many. From this arose degrees of dignities, and also honours according to them; and with these the love of self and pride in one's own prudence.  The same thing happened in the case of the love of riches. In the most ancient times when tribes and families had dwelling places apart from one another there was no other love of riches than the desire to possess the necessaries of life, which they procured for themselves by means of their flocks and herds, and their lands, fields and gardens from which they derived their living. Among their necessaries of life were also beautiful houses, furnished with useful articles of every kind, and also clothing. Parents, children, men-servants and maid-servants, who formed the household, were engaged in the care and labour connected with all these things.  After the love of dominion had entered and destroyed this state of society there crept in also the love of possessing wealth beyond their necessities; and it grew to such a pitch that it desired to possess the wealth of all others. These two loves are like blood- relations; for he who wishes to rule over all things wishes also to possess all things; thus all others become servants, and they alone masters. This is clearly evident from those within the papal world who have exalted their dominion even into heaven to the throne of the Lord, upon which they have placed themselves. They also seek to acquire the wealth of the whole earth, and to increase their treasures without end.  Second: What the nature of the love of dignities and riches for their own sake is, and what the love of them for the sake of uses. The love of dignities and honours for their own sake is the love of self and this in its essence is the love of ruling from the love of self; and the love of riches and wealth for their own sake is the love of the world, and this in its essence is the love of possessing the goods of others by any device whatever. But the love of dignities and riches for the sake of uses is the love of uses, which is the same as the love of the neighbour; since that for the sake of which a man acts is the end from which he acts, and ranks as first or primary in importance while all other things are means and are secondary.  Moreover, the love of dignities and honours for their own sake, which is the same as the love of self, and in its essence the same as the love of ruling from the love of self, is the love of the proprium; and man's proprium is altogether evil. Therefore it is said that man is born into all evil, and that what he has by heredity is nothing but evil. What man has by heredity is his proprium in which he is and into which he comes through the love of self, and especially through the love of ruling from the love of self; for the man who is in that love regards himself only, and thus immerses his thoughts and affections in his proprium. Hence it is that in the love of self dwells a love of doing evil. The reason for this is that the man does not love his neighbour but himself only; and he who loves himself only sees others as outside himself or as insignificant or of no account, and he despises them in comparison with himself and thinks nothing of inflicting injury upon them.  It is from this cause that he who is in the love of ruling from the love of self thinks nothing of defrauding his neighbour, committing adultery with his wife, slandering him, breathing revenge against him even to death, treating him cruelly, and similar evil doings. Such a man derives his character from the fact that the devil himself with whom he has become conjoined and by whom he is led, is nothing else than the love of ruling from the love of self; and he who is led by the devil, that is, by hell, is led into all these evils; and he is led continually by the delights of these evils. For this reason all who are in hell have the desire to inflict injury upon all; whereas those who are in heaven have the desire to do good to everyone. In consequence of this opposition there exists that intermediate state in which man is placed; and thus he is, as it were, in equilibrium, so that he can turn either to hell or to heaven; and so far as he favours the evils of self-love he turns towards hell, but so far as he removes these evils from himself he turns towards heaven.  It has been granted me to feel the quality of the delight of ruling from the love of self and also how great it is. I was let into it that I might know this. It was such as to surpass all the delights that are in the world. It was a delight possessing the whole mind from its inmost things to its outermost; but in the body it was felt as something pleasant and agreeable with a feeling of elation in the breast. It was also granted me to perceive that from this delight as from their fountain-head there issued the delights of evils of all kinds, as adultery, revenge, fraud, slander, and evil- doing in general. There is a similar delight also in the love of possessing the wealth of others by any device whatever, and from that love, in the lusts which are derived from it; yet not in the same degree unless that love is joined to the love of self. In the case, however, of dignities and riches that are loved not for their own sake but for the sake of uses, this is not a love of dignities and riches, but a love of uses, to which dignities and riches are subservient as means: this is a heavenly love; but more will be said of this in following numbers.  Third: These two loves are distinct from each other, as heaven and hell are. This is clear from what has just been stated; and to it I will add, that all who are in the love of ruling from a love of self whoever they are, whether great or small, are as to their spirit in hell; and that all who are in that love are in the love of evils of all kinds; and if they do not commit them, still in their spirit they believe them to be allowable, and therefore they commit them in the body when dignity and honour and fear of the law do not stand in the way. Further, the love of ruling from the love of self has deeply lodged within it hatred against God, and consequently against the Divine things that pertain to the Church, and especially against the Lord. If they acknowledge God they do so with the lips only; and if they acknowledge the Divine things that pertain to the Church they do so from a fear of losing honour. This love has deeply lodged within it hatred against the Lord, because lying deep within this love is the desire to be God, for it worships and adores itself alone. Therefore, if anyone honours it so far as to say that it has Divine wisdom and is the ruling deity of the world, it whole-heartedly loves him.  It is otherwise with the love of dignities and riches for the sake of uses; for this is a heavenly love, because, as has been said, it is the same as the love of the neighbour. By uses are meant goods; and therefore by doing uses is meant doing goods, and by doing uses or goods is meant serving others and ministering to them. Although those who do so are in the possession of dignity and wealth, still they regard them only as means for performing uses, thus for serving and ministering. Such are meant by these words of the Lord:
Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief ... let him be your servant. Matt. xx. 26, 27. Such also are they to whom dominion in heaven is entrusted by the Lord; for to them dominion is the means for performing uses or goods, thus for serving; and when uses or goods are their ends or loves it is not they who rule but the Lord, for all good is from Him.  Fourth: Man hardy knows the difference between these two loves. This is because the majority of those who possess dignity and wealth also perform uses; but they do not know whether they perform them for the sake of themselves or for the sake of the uses; and they know this the less because the love of self and the world has in it more of the ardent zeal of performing uses than is the case with those who are not in the love of self and the world. The former, however, perform uses for the sake of fame or gain, thus for the sake of themselves; while those who perform uses for the sake of uses, or goods for the sake of goods, do so not from themselves, but from the Lord.  The difference between these loves can hardly be recognised by man, because man does not know whether he is led by the devil or by the Lord. The man who is led by the devil performs uses for the sake of self and the world; but he that is led by the Lord performs uses for the sake of the Lord and heaven. All those who shun evils as sins perform uses from the Lord, while all who do not shun evils as sins perform uses from the devil; for evil is the devil, and use or good is the Lord. In this way and in no other is the difference recognised. In outer form they both appear alike, but in internal form they are totally unlike. One is like gold within which is dross, but the other is like gold with pure gold within. One is like artificial fruit, which in outer form appears like fruit from the tree, although it is only coloured wax while within is dust or pitch; but the other is like excellent fruit, pleasant to the taste and smell, and containing seeds within.