"How long shall God and his Sain
I have read S
‘The smoke of
their tormen t ascende th up, &c’. Revela tions xiv. 11.
The smoke alas, mus
And never will
Millions of years shall pass away,
The dark abyss of endless woe,
Or in i
I was recen
Richardson was quite prepared to be direct: he says he ‘detests’ the notion of hell (“as M. Beza did detest the Papists Limbus and purgatory, so do I their dreams of hell, it being a device of man without scripture, with all their uncertain brain-sick fancies, for the imaginations of men have no end”).
Regular attacks on the credibility of the witnesses for hell serve
I was also reminded of Milton and that famous passage on Mulciber’s long fall from heaven when Richardson repeats some unnamed astronomers’ mathematics for the duration of falling from the fixed stars of the firmament to earth: “Astronomers say that there are three Heavens above the Firmament, where the fixed stars are is a hundred and sixteen millions of miles above the earth, which is so high, that if a stone or weight should fall from thence, and continue falling an hundred and fifty miles an houre, it would be eighty eight yeares, two weeks four dayes five houres and twenty minutes a falling down to the earth. "
“After man had sinned, God expounded the punishment of the breach of his Law, Gen. 3. 14. to verse 20. it is evident that the punishment of the old Serpent the Devill, and of the woman and of the man for their sin, are onely punishments of this life; there is not the least word of any punishment after this life, much lesse of a punishment never to end; so that by that which is said we may judge of that Mr. Bolton and others say, of being everlastingly in a red hot scorching fire, depriv’d of al possibility of dying, or of being ever consumed in torment eternally; they say the fire of hell burneth far hotter then ten thousand rivers of brimstone; how know they it, seeing they never felt it, nor they that told you so? three drops of brimstone will make one so full of torment that one cannot forbear roaring out for pain, yet it must be born so long as God is God.”