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permitted to make you—it is only by the especial grace of our prince that I have been favored with a short furlough from hell these three times—so I shall just tell you
comfort, that you will be one day favored with the sight of your poor old father, and the residue of the gallant fellows who slurnber with him under that stone, and much the greater part of the brave soldiers of the revolution-hundreds of whom went to hell from the battle-grounds of Saratoga, Monmouth, Brandywine, Germantown, etc.—whose virtues you are at present man and patriot enough to admire.But at the era to which I allude, you will be so much a dastard as to say amen—some of the old divines assert—to laugh, and rejoice at the sentence which shall seal them over to suffering and despair for eternity. I speak of the appointed day of judgment, when our cause is to have a re-hearing; for—he, he! we are committed to hell for the present only on suspicion! As one of the elect, Mr. Tub, it will be your bounden duty to sanction all the divine doings—even those which shall consign your parents, possibly also your children, and hundreds of thousands of millions of your fellow-beings, amongst whom will be many whose virtues, or splendid deeds, have recommended them to your admiration, and that of all succeeding generations, to a doom of ceaseless woe and unmitigated despair. Do you recoil at the thought, Mr. Tub? You have reason to suspect that you are not a genuine subject of grace if you do. You must not allow your carnal feelings of sorrow, or pity, to be exercised about these matters; for when you get to heaven you will be so far conformed to the divine dispositions, that you can see those whom you loved and venerated on earth, boiling and writhing in hell with great complacency.-But be careful, my dear fellow, that you give all diligence to make your calling and election sure ;' for in the judgement alluded to, it may possibly be found, that some shall have been falsely committed to hell, and others, without due examination, admitted to heaven. He, he ! it would be considerably to the comfort of Shadrach Paddle, if it should turn out that such a mistake has occurred in his case! for although, as I have said, there is much delectable society in hell, I fear I shall never become quite reconciled to its climate. I would also forewarn you, my friend Tab, for I feel an interest in you for my old friend Epaphroditus' sake, (and that the damned do feel an interest in behalf of the dwellers on earth, you may learn from the story in your sacred oracles about the rich man and Lazarus,) I would warn you, I say, against losing your foot-hold in heaven when once you get there ; for since, as the old hymn hath it,
• From heaven the sinning angels fell,' it may also chance that some sinning saints will be falling from thence some time or other; and beware, my dear Triptolemus, that you are not overtaken with such mishap, for the change of climate in such case (from heaven to hell) would be greatly to the detriment of your comfort and constitution. So here we are at your gate—I hope you have found me very pleasant and instructive society, Mr. Tub—so good bye to you, my old buck, and take good care of yourself”- The next moment Sha. drach Paddlehorse and all-had vanished !!!
“Did you see him, Cato ?" inquired the elder of one of his negroes, who had come to open the gate for him.
“Seed who, massa ?" was Cato's returning inquiry.
• Why, the person who rode up in company with me,” replied Mr. Tub.
Cato shewed his ivories from ear to ear as he exclaimed, “ Lorra mercy, massa! I did'nt saw nobody at all! Golly! him mus a bin yar shadder !"
“ Well, never mind, Cato," returned the elder. Say nothing about it, but just put away the beast."
But the matter was fated not to be thus hushed up; for, unfor. tunately for the peace of our friend Triptolemus, it happened that his spouse Dorothy had been looking out at the door, on his arrival, and had overheard his inquiries of Cato. So she plied him with question upon question, and had recourse to all those arts of tantalization which the gentle sex know so well how to praetice upon the lords of creation, until the poor elder was glad enough to make a clean breast in order to escape her din. Instead of helping the matter, however, this only made it worse ; for Dorothy threatened him with hysterics and fainting-fits to the end of her days, unless the matter were instantly submitted to the consideration of their minister who was sent for forth with, and detained until the whole affair had been rehearsed and canvassed in all its forms ; which occupied 'the worthy trio until the first cock. crowing.
“ I should not hesitate, elder," said the Rev. Mr. Smuggleton, at parting, “ to resolve this matter into a bona fide apparition from the infernal pit, were it not for the horse, on which you represent Mr. Paddle to have been mounted during the last interview ; this circumstance convinces me that it was but an optical illusion, for dead horses have no ghosts to represent them, and had it been a living horse your negro would have seen it when it came up to the
gate. I must therefore decide, Mr. Tub, that it was all, from first to last, an illusion of the senses; in which case I fear that your carnal judgement must have suggested the profane and impious matters which you suppose the damned spirit to have come municated. This affair must be brought before the church, Mr. Tub, for the spirit of heresy is getting to be too rife among us to be gently dealt with—and besides, elder Tub, you have been far less liberal of your carnal means in the cause of God than your circumstances would warrant. You are but God's steward, Mr. Tub, in regard to what you possess; and when you withhold the means which God requires for carrying on his purposes of grace in the world, he holds you guilty of a robbery of himself. Remember these things, elder Tub, for the church has too long forborne to cut off its dry and unprofitable branches.
Good night, Mr. Tub.”
The livelong night did our friend Triptolemus, and his spouse Dorothy, lay awake in conversation on the matters related in the preceding narrative. The elder confessed, as a matter of privacy, to his loving rib, (in whose custody the secret was undoubtedly safe,) that he had been leaning toward heresy somewhat strongly of late ; and that in all probability the Rev. Mr. Smuggleton was right in his explanation of the supposed interviews with the goblin. “But then, my dear Dorothy,” continued the elder, “ we must take counsel of prudence in our management of this business. Since the late protracted meeting, the church has much increased in numbers, and is less disposed to be forbearant than when it was small in members and means. I have lately
turned my store and tavern into temperance establishments, and have the promise of all their custom, on the condition that I give a tenth of the profits to the Lord; which I have willingly agreed to do, as I can make out the tithe by extra charges. They have consented, however, that I shall sell out the stock of whiskey now on hand, and as the quantity is pretty large, it may (by a prudent process of watering) be made to hold out until the temperance mania shall subside. All things considered, therefore, it will be much to our carnal interests that I make all the concessions required by the church in regard to this ghost business; it would not do to be turned out in the present posture of affairs !"
"Certainly not, Mr. Tub, certainly not!" replied the equally pliant Dorothy. “Our Keziah is now president of the FEMALE Tract Society; and Mr. Smuggleton speaks so highly of her gift in prayer, that I am pretty sure there will be a match between them, which would be a good bargain for Keziah, who is getting well toward thirty ; but if you were turned out of church, Mr. Tub, it might very seriously interrupt that speculation."
In short, the result of the conference between this loving and pliant couple was, that the elder should make his submission in due form-lament over his spiritual barrenness and short comingsand lay the blame of all that had transpired to the devil. All which was accordingly done ; and I have the great pleasure to inform you, reader, that in all these worldly-wise calculations, our friend Triptolemus sped to admiration; he now goes the whole animal in orthodoxy for fear of being suspected of a leaning to the other side-so that he retains his former standing, and dig. nity, and run of church custom, and reputation for soundness in faith. Moreover, Keziah Tub that was, is now Mrs. Smuggleton; and as to the impudent goblin, Paddle, he has never since been seen in those parts, either on foot or horseback, and devoutly is it to be hoped that he never will. So here end the
REVELATIONS FROM HELL.
The foregoing narrative, gentle reader, is in a lighter and more ludicrous strain than it suits my general taste to write, or yours, it to peruse; if you have supposed my design therein to have been mere amusement, at the expense of opinions and usages held sacred by many, you have greatly misconceived it. An author, as well as a public speaker, finds that different modes of address inust be resorted to, in order to gain access to different minds. Some may be reached by closely reasoned argumentation-some would prefer to have the argument diluted with somo florid and gratuitious declamation-some require to be stung into reflection with sarcasm and some with playful satire. In this case, my design has been to bring before the mind some facts connected with the notion of endless misery, which are not generally taken into the account when that topic is under consideration; but which, on account of their magnitude, are worthy of a place in the serious thoughts of all; and if the undeniable results of a doctrine are to have any bearing on the decision as to its truth or falsity, ought to seal the fate of the merciless dogma of endless woe, effectually and forever.
The suggestions respecting the magnitude of hell, and the kind of inhabitants which (among others) it must contain, are all, as I conceive, fully within the range of probability, and might have been carried even considerably farther; the intelligent reader, on reflection, cannot but entirely concur in this. The Rev. Dr. Wilson, of Albany, apparently a very conscientious presbyterian clergyman, published a sermon a few years since, in which he asserts that the majority of the framers of our federal constitution were deists or atheists. The great and good Washington, himself
, he supposes to have held the Christian religion in light esteem; the faith of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Franklin, he considers to have been more than doubtful; and that of the Adamses (being Unitarianism) is, in his judgment, but little better ; nor is Dr. Wilson alone, by a great deal, in these suppositions. I presume that very, very few orthodox ministers can be found who would deliberately affirm, that they believe these distinguished personages to have possessed that pure faith, and to have undergone that divine experience, which are held to be indispensable to salvation ; and if they did not, then, on the popular hypothesis of endless misery, they are all damned !
As to the distinguished personages of antiquity, I have allowed the goblin to allot a place in hell to only such of them, as, from their histories, are undoubtedly there, on the endless misery hypothesis. Marcus Brutus, with all his virtues (and by universal testimony these were Vol. 1.-2 G