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to the favourite pleasure of each, and call it heaven; but after continuing there one or two days, they are all tired of their delights, and depart, because such delights are not internal, but only external; thus many are led to reject the frivolous notions, they had before entertained of the power of introduction into heaven. As to the particulars of their worship, it is nearly similar to what they practised in the natural world, consisting in masses, not said in the common language of spirits, but composed of high-sounding words, which inspire external sanctity and awe, of which they understand nothing.
820. All who come from the earth into the spiritual world, are at first kept for some time in the confession of faith, and in the religion of their country; this too is the case with the Papists; hence they have always a certain representative Pope set over them, whom they adore with the like ceremony as that observed on earth. It rarely happens that any one is set over them, who had enjoyed the Papacy when he lived in the natural world; and yet he who sat in the papal chair about thirty or forty years ago, was appointed to this office, because he had cherished in his heart the belief, that the Word was more holy than is generally imagined, and that the Lord ought to be worshipped. It was permitted me to converse with him, and he informed me that he worships the Lord alone, as being God Himself, who hath all power in heaven and earth, according to His own words, Matt. xxviii. 18; and that invocations of saints are vain and ridiculous; and further, that when he was on earth, he had a design to reinstate the church (in its pristine purity], but that for several reasons, which he mentioned, it was not in his power. At the time of the last judgment, when the great northern city was destroyed, which contained Papists and Reformed together, I saw this Pope carried forth in a chair, and conveyed to a place of safety. On the borders of the great society, where he acts in character of Pope, there
are gymnasia founded, which are resorted to by those who have doubts and scruples about religion; in these gympasia there are converted monks, who instruct them concerning Christ the Saviour God, and also concerning the holiness of the Word, leaving it to their own free choice to turn their minds from the sanctimonious ceremonies introduced into the Romish Church. They who receive the instruction of the monks, are introduced into a large society, consisting of such as have receded from the worship of the Pope and of saints; and when they enter that society, they are like people raised from sleep, and becoming broad awake; or like persons passing from the dreariness of winter into the pleasantness of spring; or like sailors who after a tedious voyage come to the desired haven: and then they are invited by the members of the society to feasts, and delicious wine is given them to drink out of crystalline cups; and I have been informed, that the angels on such occasions let down to the guest out of heaven a patin, or plate, on which manna is placed, in the same form, and of the same taste, as that sent down upon the camp of the children of Israel in the wilderness; which patin, is carried round to the company, and every one is at liberty to taste of its contents.
821. All those of the Catholic Religion, who when alive in the natural world had thought more about God than about the Pope, and had done works of charity in simplicity of heart, when they find themselves alive after death, and are instructed that the Lord Himself, the Saviour of the world, holds the government there, are easily led to renounce the superstitious doctrines of that religion: the transition from Popery to Christianity is as easy for such persons, as it is to enter into a temple when the doors are thrown open; or into a palace, by passing through the sentinels who keep guard in the outer courts, when the king enjoins admission; or as it is to lift up the countenarce and look towards heaven when angelic voices are heard therein: but on the other
hand, where the members of the Romish Church, duriog their term of life on earth, have seldom if ever thought about God, and have delighted in their worship only on account of its festivities, in such case it is as difficult to turn them from their religious superstitions, as to enter into a temple when the doors are sbut; or to force a way through the sentinels who keep guard in the outer courts' of a palace, and to enter when the king forbids admission; or as it is for a snake in the grass to lift up its eyes towards heaven. It is a wonderful circumstance, that none of the RomanCatholics, on their first entrance into the spiritual world, see heaven there, or the angelic abodes, their vision being terminated by a kind of dark cloud hanging over their heads; but no sooper is any one in a state of conversion, and ad.. mitted among the converted, than his view of heaven is opened, and sometimes be beholds angels there in white garments; into whose company he also is elevated, after having completed his period of preparation.
Of the ROM 18H SAINTS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
822. It is a known truth, that man has inherent or hereditary evil from his parents, but it is known to few in what this evil dwells in its fullness : it dwells in the love of possessing the property of all other persons, and in the love of rule ; for this latter love is of such a nature, that in proportion as the reins are given it, it becomes so enormous, as to burn with the lust of domineering over all, and at length to desire to be invoked and worshipped as a God. This love is the serpent which deceived Eve and Adam, for He said to the woman, “God doth know, that in the day ye eat of the fruit of that tree, your eyes will be opened, and THEN YE WILL BE As God,” Gen. jji. 4, 5: in proportion therefore as man rushes into that love with loosened reins, he averts himself from God, and turns towards himself, and so becomes a worshipper of self; and in this case, it is possible he may invoke God with warm lips when influenced by the love of self, but with a cold heart by reason of his contempt of God: in this case too the divine principles of the church may be used by him as subservient means to promote his end, but as this end is dominion, the means are no further near to his heart, tlian as they tend to promote it. If such a person be exalted to high honours, he is, in his own imagination, like an Atlas, bearing the terraqueous globe on his shoulders; or like Phæbus, carrying the sun with his chariot and horses round about the world.
823. Since man, in consequence of hereditary evil, is of such a nature, therefore all who have been canonized as saints by papal bulls, are removed in the spiritual world from the sight of others, are kept in secret places, and deprived of all intercourse with their worshippers, to prevent that most pernicious root of evil from being excited in them, and plunging them into the delirious phantasies by which dæmons are possessed : they who, during their life on earth, affect the character of saints, with a view to be invoked as saints after death, become a prey to such delirium.
824. Many of the Romish persuasion, especially the monks, when they come into the spiritual world, inquire for the saints, and above all for the saint of their own order, and are much surprised at not being able to find them; but they are afterwards instructed, that they are associated together either with those that are in heaven, or with those that are in the earth or region below, and that in what place soever they dwell, they know nothing of the worship and invocation directed to them, but that such as do know it, and wish to be invoked, fall into delirious phantasies, and talk like idiots. The worship of saints is such an abomination in heaven, that the bare mention of it excites horror, since in proportion as worship is paid to any man, it is derogated from the Lord; for thus He alone in not worshipped, and where the Lord is not worshipped alone, there is a separation, which destroys communion, and the happiness of
life which flows from it. That I might know, for the sake of informing others, the true nature and character of the Romish saints, about a hundred of them were brought up from the earth or region below, who were acquainted with their canonization : they ascended from behind, and only a few in front; and I conversed with one of them, who, they said, was Xavier : * during our conversation he was like an idiot, yet he was able to relate, that in the place where he is kept shut up with others, he is not an idiot, but that he becomes so whenever he thinks that he is a saint, and wishes to be invoked: I heard a muttering to the same purpose from those who were behind. The case is otherwise with the saints, so called, who are in heaven; they know nothing at all of what is doing on earth, nor are they allowed to speak with any spirits of the Romish persuasion, who are in that superstition, lest any idea on the subject should gain admission into their minds.
825. It must be obvious to every one from this the state of the Romish saints, that their invocation is a mere mockery; and I can assert further, that they no more hear such invocations from their votaries on earth, than do their images in the streets, or the walls of their church, or the birds that build in its steeple. It is said by their votaries in the world, that the saints reign in heaven together with the Lord Jesus Christ; but this is a mere forgery and fiction, for they no more reign with the Lord than the keeper of a stable does with his king, or a porter with his lord, or a running-footman with a primate ; for, in relation to the Lord, John the Baptist said of himself, “ That he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of His shoe,” Mark i. 7; John i. 27; how little worthy then must such saints be!
826. There sometimes appears in a middle altitude to the people of Paris, who are in a society in the spiritual world,
* Francis Xavier, canonized as a saint, was one of the founders of the order of the Jesuits.