June 12,1882:

" If we concede for the sake of argument that there really exists a literal hell, as depicted by theological teaching, and which constitutes an article of faith in most of the Christian sects, we are forced to inquire (and it is a legitimate subject of inquiry from the assumed premises), Was hell made for man, or man for hell? and this involves the question of duration of existence in point of time antecedent. Whichever way we determine, and our determination of the question from a terrestrial standpoint can only arise from speculation and conjecture, and not from proofs, one conclusion we can not escape, namely, the malevolence of the author. If hell was established prior to the time when the fiat went forth bringing man into being, and was designed for his abode and accommodation, we can not reconcile the goodness of the Lord with such utterly unjust and malevolent purpose, because to concede this much admits the possession of sufficiency of power to have ordered otherwise, which precludes impotency and concludes the will and purpose to so order and arrange.

" If the creation of hell and man as arbitrary acts of the Deity was coeval, then the same conclusion inevitably follows, before and behind the act of these creations resided in the Lord the power to have differently ordered; hence we must assume that the simultaneous creation of hell and man was predetermined, and in accordance with the will-pleasure and purpose of the Creator.

" If, furthermore, man was first created without any reference to hell or any preconceived purpose or expectancy to establish it, and that its creation was necessitated from man's unexpected disobedience, and as the only proper means of gratifying the vengeance of an insulted God, then we unwittingly and in a very silly way declare the absence of foreknowledge in the Lord, and degrade him to the level of a puny, passionate man.

" To assume any of these puerile positions to be true is to assume that the Lord, however august in power, and the physical, mental and spiritual ability to order and to direct, is nevertheless a moral weakling, and wholly devoid of moral excellence in degree superior to the meanest of his creatures."

June 15, 1882:

" If hell exists, it is plain to be seen there was a necessity for it. If created before man, there was no necessity for its existence, for the Lord is governed by the idea of uses, and there was present no use for it. Will it be maintained that the Lord would create any thing without a use and wise purpose? It is the uses of things that so signally distinguish his creative and moral governments.

" If it is said in reply that when hell was fashioned and established the Lord had in contemplation the creation of man, and that it was to be subsequently rendered useful as a place of punishment for disobedience, which implies that the Lord knew in advance of man's creation that he would be disobedient, then, oh, man, you are surely in the hands and under the power of a merciless demon, falsely called God. If this indeed is the true character of our Lord, then truly may his weak and helpless children bow their heads in sorrow and despair.

" These teachers of false theology, these false interpreters of simple truth, these false prophets of a false conception, affirm that this appalling hell, offspring of a monster creative agency, is a fixed location somewhere, which they have the candor to say, they know not.

" The theologians perceiving throughout the vast domain of universal nature two confronting opposites or extremes, and that there scheme must fall if hell were left alone to be the final destiny of the entire human family, erect another falsity and construct another place or harbor for the sojourners and pilgrims of earth, and consequently they say that the Lord has established somewhere in space a heaven, the location of which, although a locality, can not be ascertained.

" The same questions, with equal propriety, might be propounded in reference to heaven and the same conclusions follow. Was it made for man or man for it ? Was it made before or after man was made? Where is it situate; who go there and why do they go there, and for what purpose? If the theologians answer these pertinent questions in harmony with their creeds, they would make my friend John Calvin, who accompanied me here this morning and is now standing by my side, blush with shame. He now, as a noble spirit, pities the ignorance and credulity that characterized him in his religious frenzy when in the form, and the credulity and weakness of his followers."