Extracts

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Punishment in hell

swedenborg

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[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, torments not eternal" (search under Inner Life/Death, Suffering)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 2583"
As for people thinking that the human soul is to be tormented to eternity on account of ignorance and the like—this is obvious: mankind is damned to eternal punishment, for they have deserved it. But due to the mercy of the Lord, the damnation is finally taken away, but by means of purgings and punishments in the measure of their sins actually committed and the character thereby acquired.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, torments in" (search under Inner Life/Death, Suffering)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.1": detail "Section 967"
When the evil are being punished, angels are always present who moderate the punishment and alleviate the pains of the sufferers, but cannot take them away. For there is such an equilibrium of all things in the other life that evil punishes itself, and unless it could be taken away by means of punishment, those in whom it exists could not but be kept in some hell to eternity.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, torments not eternal" (search under Inner Life/Death, Suffering)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 3489"
For they spoke with me, asking me why I spoke with devils, to which I replied that it was by permission that I spoke even with the worst devils, who with only one puff could kill a person as to everything spiritual. And I said that such become devils who had been people on earth, and some of them whom I have known in bodily life having high positions, about whom I did not suppose at that time that they were devils or would become devils—thus, that they also could become better. For it would be unreasonable to think that the Lord permits anyone to be punished in hell, let alone to eternity, on account of a life of short duration, perhaps being of the opinion that his or her own principles were true, and was therefore convinced. So it should not be thought that the Lord permits anyone to be punished, let alone continuously to eternity, except for the sake of correction. For whatever is from the Lord is good, and is nothing but purpose, thus for the sake of a good end. Eternal punishment would never have a purpose. This was the reason why I answered them so harshly, and why I called them, with regard to what is their own, infernal devils.