This section is from the book "A Book Written By The Spirits Of The So-Called Dead", by Carl Gustaf Helleberg. Also available from Amazon: A Book Written by the Spirits of the So-Called Dead.
" Before the mythologists of antiquity had constructed a hell they had on their hands a personal, individualized spirit of evil, known as the serpent or satan, and more modernly as the devil. Investing this mythological creature with all the distinguishing attributes of the Lord, save that of goodness, they must have a localized place of sufficient capacity, and properly arranged for the enjoyment by him of the fruits of his labors. Divesting him of all goodness per se, the hell of their creation must necessarily represent his newly-acquired condition of total depravity, for previously he had been an angel in heaven, and must possess the proper and sufficient elements to enable him to gratify his hatred of the Lord in the punishment of his children. It was but natural in that day that the element of fire should be chosen, as it was supposed to be the most destructive element in nature, and best calculated in its very nature to induce the most intense and excruciating suffering to physical and material bodies possessed of the animating principle of animal life. In their unspiritual and ignorant state they supposed and believed that the bodies in the other world would be similar to those in this, and therefore subject to similar effects from heat and fire. What a monstrous conception, and how utterly inexplicable that it should ever have been believed. Even John the Revelator took a material view of hell, and described it as a ' lake of fire and brimstone.'
" I was compelled, or rather impelled, from reason or from experiences sufficiently clear, in my frequent moods or states of spiritual exaltation to depart from this grossly materialistic view. While my hells were in the plural, yet I fell into nearly as great error in my creations. They were the progeny of imperfect visions, imperfectly understood and grossly erroneous in their relation.
" You have only to think a moment seriously to discover the utter folly of my hells, and I will only present one instance among many equally absurd. You will find in my ' memorable relations' that I spoke of a certain class of Jews and others wading through mud, quagmires and swamps, and being injuriously affected by them, and this for the purposes of punishment. Now, the conception of a spirit, composed largely of pure ether, wading in the mire and wallowing in spiritual miasmatic swamps and filthy dirt, is only equaled by the mythological conception believed in and advocated by Christians that a spirit could be effected to any degree of suffering by material fire and brimstone. Both conceptions are as false as God is true.
" In reference to the mythological arch fiend of mankind let us summarize : First an angel in heaven; then a rebel; then a war in the peaceful realms of heaven, instigated by this fiend; then the fall from the angelic state; then a transformation into a terrible and grim devil; then the building of a hell for his use, convenience and felicity, and then turning over to his control and malignant fiendishness three-fourths or more of poor, weak beings, creatures of an Infinite God, and you have fitly spoken a system that could only have originated in an orthodox hell, figuratively speaking, and by an orthodox devil, and which for malevolence far exceeds any thing ever thought of in this or any other world".
" The bible makers having established a heaven and hell, with God presiding over the one and the devil over the other, were driven to the necessity of concocting a scheme for populating them. The God of their creation they represent to be possessed of infinite perfections and glory, and heaven the very ideal of grandeur and beatitude. One would very naturally conclude that in their scheme they would have so arranged that God would have had the first choice, and heaven the destination of the best and wisest of the denizens of earth. Nothing short of this could have so completely enamored us of the conception and rendered heaven devoutly to be wished for; but here the arrangement in value and superlative worth meets with a severe set back. One of the weak and frail points in the scheme consists in not allowing this infinite God to have his own choice in selecting those to become consociated with him in enjoying celestial delights in heaven. Human nature, by the fall in the Garden of Eden, became weak and subjected to malign influences with an inadequacy of repellant power to overcome them. The cruel authors of this system, while they establish their god in heaven, a far distant locality, and keep him there constantly occupied and absorbed with the music and praises of the ransomed few, turn the devil loose to roam at will, and invest him not only with the deific attribute of omnipresence, but also confer upon him the extraordinary power without restraint of assuming angel's garbs even to the deceiving of the elect. In addition they place under his authority and to do his bidding an unlimited number of smaller devils, whose services have been utilized by him in preying upon the peace and happiness of the children of this world, and in preparing their souls for eternal punishment and subservience to his will in the world to come."
" To counteract this terrible invisible influence of evil no power of equal potency is furnished. They say that God's holy spirit in conjunctive co-operation with the saints embodied (they mean, of course, the preachers and good church people) is seeking man's deliverance and salvation. They confess, however, that this agency is impotent when compared with the power wielded by the devil and his invisible cohorts. They make Jesus say substantially that the road that leads to heaven is narrow and circumscribed and few travel in it, while the road that leads to hell is broad and the many travel therein, ' many shall be called, but few chosen,' etc., etc.
" If their system be true we are forced inevitably to conclude that when the creative energies residing in man have succeeded in producing a high order of intellection the devil straightway captures them, leaving heaven to be peopled without the presence of the great and godlike in mental power. It would seem prudent and wise that this should have been otherwise arranged in order to have rendered heaven reasonably and fairly intellectual. No wonder, therefore, that their highest conceptions of worship and gratitude consisted in keeping up around the throne of the Lord a continual musical concert, both vocal and instrumental. Such distinguished and illustrious souls as Washington, Jefferson, Webster, Clay, Lincoln, Garfield, Paine, Voltaire, and others, could not be induced to participate for all future time in such exercises, for their mental constitutions were too robust and great and their souls too much interested in other and more ennobling pursuits. This kind of heaven would not suit souls of such intellectual proportions, and the orthodox hell, if accompanied by suffering, would be preferable to them, because their associations, at least, would be intellectual, for the devil is said to bo exceedingly wise, and all wise souls live and delight in kindred consociations."
" According to the orthodox scheme, heaven, hell, and the devil, all go together, or, in other words, they are inseparably connected with and belong to the plan. Heaven would be the destination of all without a hell and vice versa. Heaven and hell are in antagonism, and there would be no strife but by and through the devil, and therefore his existence is a necessity to this end. God is too good to take part in this strife, and is either indifferent or too weak to avert it. Even when the war in heaven, according to Milton, was waged between the devil and the Lord, with relentless fury, he would take no direct and active part, but commissioned Michael his generalissimo. How could he now be expected to take an immediate and active part, even to save his own defenseless children. Earthly parents act quite differently when their offspring are in peril, and so do the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air. I am talking ironically only to show the utter folly of the whole matter.
" In this connection did you ever think why it is that the devil is continually seeking the moral overthrow and eternal ruin of the human family ? It is not because he has any ill feeling for cause against the children of men. They have never given him any occasion, and as we have seen, in their helpless condition, they could not if they would. According to the bible and the claims of Christians they have always done just as the devil wanted them to. He wanted Adam and Eve to eat the apple and they did so. He wanted Abraham to debauch Hagar, and after her ruin to turn her loose with her helpless babe on her bosom amid the wilds of the wilderness of Beer-sheba, and Abraham did so. He wanted Noah to drink of the wine and become drunken, and Noah hesitated not, etc. So in fact the assumption can not be maintained that the devil in capturing nine-tenths of the human family is actuated by any malignant feeling towards his victims. The reason lies elsewhere. We are assured by the bible theologians and their coadjutors that the devil is solely actuated by his intense hatred of the Lord and the purpose of wreaking vengeance upon him for banishing him from heaven and the angelic state. If this is true common justice and sympathy for the suffering of the unoffending impose most seriously the duty upon the Lord, either to conciliate the devil in the interest of harmony, peace and concord, and to save his helpless children, or destroy outright this malignant enemy of his. If he will do neither, nor arrest him in his diabolical work, then truly are we justified not only in withholding homage from him, but also in regarding him equally at enmity with our welfare and a party (particeps criminis) in causing our sufferings and preparing our eternal doom."