16. “Chastisement everywhere pursues these fallen and accursed beings; wherever they go, they carry their Hell with them; they know neither peace nor rest; the sweetness of hope is changed for them into bitterness; it is odious to them. The hand of God has smitten them in the very instant of their fault, and their will has hardened itself in evil. Having become perverted, they refuse to cease to be such, and such they will persist in being forever.
“They are, since their fall, such as humanity is after death; their rehabilitation is therefore impossible; their state of perdition is irrevocable, and they persevere in their haughtiness towards God, in their hatred against His Christ, and in their jealousy of the human race.
“Not having been able to take possession of the glory of Heaven through their vaulting ambition, they do their utmost to establish their empire upon the Earth and to banish thence the reign of God. The word made flesh has accomplished, in spite of them, God’s designs for the salvation and the glory of the human race; all their means of action are therefore consecrated to the work of robbing him of the souls he has brought back; cunning and importunity, lies and seduction, they bring them all into play to draw men and women into evil and to consummate their ruin.
“With such enemies, the life of humans, from cradle to grave, can be, alas, nothing but a perpetual struggle, for they are powerful and unwearying in their attacks.
“These enemies, in fact, are the same who, after having introduced evil into the world, have succeeded in covering the Earth with the thick darkness of error and of vice; the same who, during their long ages in the past, caused themselves to be worshipped as gods, and who reigned as masters over the peoples of antiquity; the same who, finally, still hold tyrannous sway over the regions of the Earth that are a prey to idolatry, and who foment discord and scandal even in the bosom of Christian communities.
“To comprehend the vastness of the resources possessed by them for the carrying out of their wickedness, it is sufficient to bear in mind that they have lost nothing of the prodigious faculties which are part and parcel of the angelic nature. Undoubtedly, the future and especially the things of the supernatural order, have mysteries which God keeps to Himself, and that they are unable to discover; but their intelligence is very superior to ours, because they perceive, at a glance, effects of their causes, and causes in their effects. This penetration permits them to announce, beforehand, events which are beyond the reach of our conjectures. Distance and the diversity of places are annihilated by their agility. More prompt than lightning, more rapid than thought, they may almost be said to be present at various points of the surface of the globe at the same time, and they are able to describe things that are taking place at a great distance, but which are seen by them, at the very time of their occurrence.
“The general laws by which God rules and governs this universe are not of their domain; they cannot contravene those laws, and consequently can neither make true predictions nor work real miracles; but they possess the art of imitating, and counterfeiting, within certain limits, the works of God. They know what phenomena result from the combinations of the elements, and they predict with certainty those that occur naturally, as well as those that they have the power of producing by their own action. Hence, the numerous oracles, the extraordinary occurrences, of which history, both sacred and profane, has preserved the remembrance and which have furnished the basis and the sustenance of all superstitions.
“Their simple and immaterial substance renders them invisible to us; they are at our side without being perceived by us; they strike on our soul without striking on our ears; we imagine ourselves to be obeying our own idea, while we are undergoing their temptations and yielding to their fatal influence. Our dispositions, on the contrary, are known to them through the impressions that are made upon us by their wiles; and they usually attack us on our weak side. In order to seduce us more surely, they are accustomed to present to us temptations and suggestions adapted to our individual tendencies. They modify their action according to circumstances and to the special characteristics of each temperament. But their favorite arms are lying and hypocrisy.”