Monday, December 31, 2012

Hell: Where the Punishment shall be According to the Nature of Sin.

Hell is one, yet has seven centers one below another;. Hence, even as sin is of seven kinds, for as seven gates of hell has Satan generated it: so are there seven punishments therein.

For the proud, that is the loftiest in heart, shall be plunged into the lowest center,passing through all the centers above it, and suffering in them all the pains that are therein. And as here he seeks to be higher than God, in wishing to do after his own manner, contrary to that which God commands, and not wishing to recognize anyone above him: even so there shall he be put under the feet of Satan and his devils, who shall trample him down as the grapes are trampled when wine is made, and he shall be ever derided and scorned of devils.

'The envious, who here chaffs at the good of his neighbor and rejoices at his misfortune, shall go down to the sixth Center, and there shall be chafed by the fangs of a great number of infernal serpents. And it shall seem to him that all things in hell rejoice at his torment, and mourn that he be not gone down to the seventh center. For although the damned are incapable of any joy, yet the justice of God shall cause that it shall so seem to the wretched envious man, as when one seems in a dream to be spurned by some one and feels torment thereby even so shall be the object set before the wretched envious man. For where there is no gladness at all it shall seem to him that every one rejoices at his misfortune, and mourns that he has no worse.

The covetous shall go down to the fifth Center, where he shall suffer extreme poverty, as the rich feast suffered. And the demons, for greater torment, shall offer him that which he desires, and when he shall have it in his hands other devils with violence shall snatch it from his hands with these words: "Remember that you would not give for love of God; so God wills not that you now receive. Oh unhappy man! Now shall he find himself in that condition when he shall remember past abundance and behold the penury of the present; and that with the goods that then he may not have he could have acquired eternal delights!

To the fourth centre shall go the lustful, where they that have transformed the way given them by God shall be as corn that is cooked in the burning dung of the devil. And there shall they be embraced by horrible infernal serpents. And they that shall have sinned with harlots, all these acts of impurity shall be transformed for them into union with the infernal furies; which are demons like women, whose hair is serpents, whose eyes are flaming sulphur, whose mouth is poisonous, whose tongue is gull whose body is all girt with barbed hooks like those wherewith they catch the silly fish, whose claws are like those of gryphons, whose nails are razors, the nature of whose generative organs is fire. Now with these shall all the lustful enjoy the infernal embers which shall be their bed.

To the third center shall go down the slothful who will not work now. Here are built cities and immense palaces, which as soon as they are finished must needs be pulled down straightway, because a single stone is not placed aright. And these enormous stones are laid upon the shoulders of the slothful, who has not his hands free to cool his body as he walks and to ease the burden, seeing that sloth has taken away the power of his arms. and his legs are fettered with infernal serpents. And, what is worse, behind him are the demons, who push him, and make him fall to earth many times beneath the weight; nor does any help him to lift it up: no, it being too much to lift, a double amount is laid upon him.

To the second center shall go down the gluttonous. Now here there is dearth of food, to such a degree that there shall be nought to eat but live scorpions and live serpents, which give such torment that it would be better never to have been born than to eat such food. There are offered to them indeed by the demons, in appearance, delicate meats; but for that they have their hands and feet bound with fetters of fire, they cannot put out a hand on the occasion when the meat appears to them. But what is worse, those very scorpions which he eats that they may devour his belly, not being able to come forth speedily, rend the secret parts of the glutton. And when they are come forth foul and unclean, filthy as they are, they are eaten over again.

The wrathful goes down to the first centre, where he is insulted by all the devils and by as many of the damned as go down lower than he. They spurn him and smite him, making him lie down upon the road where they pass, planting their feet upon his throat. Yet is he not able to defend himself, for that he has his hands and feet bound. And what is worse, he is not able to give vent to his wrath by insulting others, seeing that his tongue is fastened by a hook, like that which he uses who sells flesh. 

In this accursed place shall there be a general punishment, common to all the centers, like the mixture of various grains make a loaf. For fire, ice, thunderstorms, lightning, sulphur, heat, cold, wind, frenzy, terror, shall all be united by the justice of God, and in such wise that the cold shall not temper, the heat nor the fire the ice, but each shall give torment to the wretched sinner.

In this accursed spot shall abide the infidels for evermore: insomuch that if the world were filled with grains of millet, and a single bird once in a hundred years should take away a single grain to empty the world if when it should be empty the infidels were to go into paradise, they would rest delighted. But there is not this hope, because their torment cannot have an end, seeing that they were not willing for the love of God to put an end to their sin. But the faithful shall have comfort, because their torment shall have an end.'

'Every one, be he who he may, must go into hell. It is true, however, that the holy ones and prophets of God shall go there to behold, not suffering any punishment and the righteous, only suffering fear.

And what to say? I tell you that thither shall come [even] the Messenger of God, to behold the justice of God. Thereupon hell shall tremble at his presence. And because he has human flesh, all those that have human flesh and shall be under punishment, so long as the Messenger of God shall abide to behold hell, so long shall they abide without punishment. But he shall abide there [only] so long as it takes to shut and open the eyes. And this shall God do in order that every creature may know that he has received benefit from the Messenger of God.

When he shall go there all the devils shall shriek, and seek to hide themselves beneath the burning embers, saying one to another: "Fly, fly, for here comes Muhammad ;our enemy!"
Hearing which, Satan shall smite himself upon the face with both his hands, and screaming shall say: "You are more noble than I, in my despite, and this is unjustly done!"

As for the faithful, who are in seventy-two grades, those of the two last grades, who shall have had the faith without good works, the one being sad at good works, and the other delighting in evil, they shall abide in hell seventy thousand years.
After those years shall the angel Gabriel ;come into hell, and shall hear them say: "O Muhammad, where are your promises made to us, saying that those who have your faith shall not abide in hell for evermore?"

Then the angel of God shall return to paradise, and having approached with reverence the Messenger of God shall narrate to him what he has heard. Then shall his Messenger speak to God and say: "Lord, my God, remember the promise made to me your servant, concerning them that have received my faith, that they shall not abide for evermore in hell."
God shall answer: "Ask what you will, O my friend, for I will give you all that you ask."

Then shall the Messenger of God say: "O Lord, there are of the faithful who have been in hell seventy thousand years. Where, O Lord, is your mercy? I pray you, Lord, to free them from those bitter punishments."

Then shall God command the four favorite angels of God; that they go to hell and take out every one that has the faith of his Messenger, and lead him into paradise. And this they shall do. And such shall be the advantage of the faith of God's Messenger;, that those that shall have believed in him, even though they have not done any good works, seeing they died in this faith, shall go into paradise after the punishment of which I have spoken.'

The End.
Not Yet Justified.

The Gospel of Barnabas

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