Passing a little further we saw a multitude of damned souls together, gnashing their teeth with extreme rage and pain, while the tormenting fiends with hellish fury poured liquid fire and brimstone continually upon them. In the meantime, they were cursing God and those about them, and were blaspheming in a tremendous manner. I could not help but ask of one demon that so tormented them, who were these souls that he tormented so cruelly?
Said he, “These wretches well deserve their punishment. They tried to teach others the right road to Heaven, while they were so in love with Hell that they came here. These are those souls that have been our great helpers upon the Earth and therefore they deserve our special attention in Hell. We use our full diligence to give everyone their utmost share of torments, for they not only have their own sins to answer for, but also all the sins of those whom they led astray both by their doctrine and example.”
“Since they have been such great helpers for you, I would think that in gratitude you would treat them a little more kindly.”
To this the impudent demon answered me in a scoffing manner, “They that expect gratitude among devils will find themselves mistaken. Gratitude is a virtue, but we hate all virtue. Besides, we hate all mankind, and were it in our power not one of them should be happy. It is true we do not tell them so upon Earth, because there it is our business to flatter and deceive them. But when we have them here where they cannot escape, we soon convince them of their foolishness in serving us.”
From this I could only think about what infinite grace it is that any poor sinners are brought to Heaven, considering how many traps are laid by the enemy to ensnare them by the way. Therefore it is a ministry well worthy of the blessed Son of God (Lord Jesus Christ) to save His people from their sins, and to deliver them from the wrath to come. But it is also folly and madness in men to refuse the offers of His grace, and to choose to side with the destroyer (Satan).