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hushed, mutual persecution ended, and even the motive cause forgotten, it appears that all the gods of each party, have, by one side or the other, been torn from their celestial thrones, and contemptuously thrust down to Hell to rank as devils.
Similar instances might be multiplied, taken from the history of every creed and nation, but the position is sufficiently illustrated by the fact, that Beelzebub, Lucifer, Loki, Set and the Deuce have each in his time sat high among the gods, and as they all must be ranked as ancestors of the modern devil, it may fairly, and indeed literally be said that “Satan has fallen from Heaven.”
HELL AND ITS MONARCHS,
Hell — Hades, the Invisible World— Bit-Hadi—’Aides—Sheol
Assyrian Hades—Allat-Greek Hades and Tartaros— Minos -Egyptian Hall of Two Truths-Plato's Hades-Ovid's Hades—Virgil's Regions—Rabbinical Ideas—Gehenna-Judges in Hades.
The Devil is regarded as the Monarch of Hell, and Hell is conceived with more or less vagueness as a place of retribution “prepared for the devil and his angels.” There was a time when the place now called Hell was presided over by the highest, the most moral god which at the time was acknowledged. The god of Hell now is undoubtedly the Devil, Satan.
Theologians of the present day do not define what Hell is; they speak of the older descriptions as figurative, and dilate upon its moral horrors and torments, as represented by the physical sufferings and dread gloom recorded by earlier writers. Only the ignorant addressing the ignorant, in solemn earnest ; or poets appealing to the emotions of the imaginative, in measured rhythm, place before their hearers or their readers the harrowing details of fire and brimstone, darkness and chains, which formed so large a staple of the teaching in medieval times.
1 Matt. XXV. 41.
The purity of Milton's style, and the refinement of his thought, have furnished an exact ideal of the Hell of the later Christian period, before it melted into a mere unsubstantial expression :
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
This Hell has had its pedigree, its earliest ancestor being a product of necessity, the obvious outcome of animistic belief: animistic belief being almost universal, the belief in an invisible world, inhabited by invisible beings, became equally general.
The idea was that there are two great co-existing worlds, the visible, material world, and the unseen spiritual world; the earth, the material world in
1 Milton's, “Paradise Lost," b. I.
which we live, is specially associated with the state in which men's bodies exist; Hades, the unseen world, is the abode of all the disembodied souls of all past generations: the earth is the abode of one generation of living bodies ; Hades that of the souls of all the generations, which, since the world began, have lived their mortal lives and passed away : Hades is therefore necessarily a place of vast extent and great importance, and any Being believed to be invested with the sovereignty of that unseen world, has had a realm which could not be considered as less important, than that over the one, short-lived, passing generation of mortal men. Where the immortality of the soul, and its non-return to a material existence, were received as dogmas, the God of the unseen world became supereminently great.
The primary meaning of the word Hades is simply “ Invisible”:-men died, their souls quitted their bodies, and became invisible, they had entered invisibility, Hades; but terms such as these oft repeated, and having a defined meaning, soon become materialized : ideas are like the Rabbinical demons,' always seeking for bodies to inhabit, and not long remaining disembodied; and in the present case, the expression invisible had a fabric appropriated for it, not only a name but also a local habitation, which in course of time became very real and definite indeed.
1 See p. 53:
It is not proposed here to discuss the wide subject of primeval belief in a future life, and the great variety of views on this subject known to have been and to be still entertained by different races of men. As before pointed out, some belief of the sort was a necessary corollary of the belief in souls and spirits, and in effect we find some such belief almost universal. The first form which it assumed was that of a future state of all alike in which, with more or less of conscious individuality, the present life was continued in the next. Sometimes the mode of life on earth influenced the soul's fate in the next, but that was hardly the primitive idea. The standard of good and evil in this life was but very confused, and the sanction of such a standard did not reach beyond
Then, as to the place fixed for Hades, opinions varied extremely; it was beyond the seas, or in the heavens, or the sun, or the moon, or under the earth. The most generally adopted view, and that which has come down to modern days with the greatest force, is that Hades is below the earth, and that it is reached over the waters of a river or ocean, which has come to be called the river of Death.
This abode of the dead at first had a shadowy, unsubstantial, cold existence, where the shades were without blood or warmth, melancholy, whistling whiffs of air, whose teeth chattered or gnashed with