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Swedenborg’s Devils

In the works of the famous eighteenth-century Swedish visionary, we read that Devils, like angels, are not a species apart but derive from the human race. They are individuals who after death choose Hell. There, in that region of marshlands, of desert wastes, of tangled forests, of towns levelled by fire, of brothels, and of gloomy dens, they feel no special happiness, but in Heaven they would be far unhappier still. Occasionally, a ray of heavenly light falls on them from on high; the Devils feel it as a burning, a scorching, and it reaches their nostrils as a stench. Each thinks himself handsome, but many have the faces of beasts or have shapeless lumps of flesh where faces should be; others are faceless. They live in a state of mutual hatred and of armed violence, and if they come together it is for the purpose of plotting against one another or of destroying each other. God has forbidden men and angels to draw a map of Hell, but we know that its general outline follows that of a Devil, just as the outline of Heaven follows that of an angel. The most vile and loathsome Hells lie to the west.

Illustrator: Zura Mchedlishvili

Via: Wikipedia