I am here, B_____, and I want to say a word. The Indian tried to stop me, but your wife said, "Let him write," and I am doing so.
Well, I am still in hell and suffering. I wish that I could die again, but I cannot and will have to stand it. I can't even be deaf so that I might escape some of my torments, for I am surrounded by the most hellish beings you can imagine, and I have to listen to them. It is no use trying to fight, for I can't hurt anybody. They became even more annoying when I did try to punch one of them.
It is awful here. I regret that I did not listen and try to understand what the doctor told me so often when on earth, but now it is too late. I often hear what he says to you now in your conversations, but for some reason I can't quite understand; besides, if I did, these damned ugly spirits would knock all the understanding out of me. It is hard to learn what you call heavenly things in hell, and I am so unhappy and see no way to relief.
The doctor's father talked to me and told me some things that were like what the doctor told me. I felt better when he was telling me and some hope came to me. But when I got back into my hell and saw all the horrors and the shrieking, ugly spirits, I forgot, and the hell feelings came to me again, and I suffered. Oh, if I could only find some relief from these torments!
Well, I will try again, for I know that Mr. Stone is kind and wants to help me. But my trouble is that I doubt if he can. But I will go, as you advise, and try to believe that he can. I am very thankful to you and the doctor, and will try to hope. Anything to get out of this place and away from the devils!
Your wife says I must stop. So, good night.
(I, L. R. Stone, was present when the above spirit, B__ wrote. I was well acquainted with him for several years before he died, and I often talked to him on the importance of getting the Divine Love in his soul. He was very deaf before entering the spirit world. After he wrote through Mr. Padgett, I told him to look around for my father who is a bright spirit of the Celestial Heavens. The spirit went with my father to receive help and instruction, and he has now made his progress to the Celestial Heavens.)
I am here, Luke
I want to write a few lines upon a subject that may be of interest to you both. You have remarked upon the expression obtained in the letter that you have just received - that it is hard to learn of heavenly things in hell. In a succinct way, it is a statement of a great truth. If it were known and fully appreciated by mortals, it would cause them to realize the necessity of thinking and learning of these heavenly things while on earth.
I know many say that they will not believe in the orthodox hell, or in the necessity of troubling themselves about the future, and that they will take their chance in the hereafter, if there be one. If these persons could realize the meaning of such a course of life, they would not leave their future to chance. Instead, they would seek for these heavenly things while on earth, make a start for the realization of these things now, and not wait until they had left the form of flesh.
They say that a just God will not punish them by condemning them to eternal torment, and they are correct in this. But while this just God does not condemn them at all, yet they are condemned by a law that is just as invariable, as is the Love of that God. And that law brings its certain punishment, even though it may not be eternal. However, its duration depends very largely upon the spirit. If the spirit finds itself in that condition where it cannot make a start towards its redemption, until a long time after its coming into the spirit world, then that punishment will continue longer. And if the start depends upon the ability and capacity of the spirit to receive and understand those things, that will start it upon its progress, as it does very frequently, then many spirits will remain for years, and years in the condition in which they find themselves, when they first come to their homes in the hells.
There is nothing in these places to induce or help the understanding of these heavenly things. On the contrary, there is everything to prevent and obstruct such understanding. There are even feelings of hopelessness, and beliefs in an eternity of punishment. And frequently there is a want of knowledge that there is any other or better place than where they find themselves.
And I want to say here that, within the spirit, there is nothing that has the qualities or powers to start it on a progression. In this sense, the old Bible expression, "As a tree falleth so shall it lie," is true. Even as to the natural love, these spirits in the hells cannot initiate a start towards higher thoughts and beliefs; only when some influence comes to them from without can they have an awakening of their dormant, better and true natures, so that their progress may commence. I don't mean by this that it is necessary for some high spiritual helper to come to them, but only that some influence from outside of themselves must come in order for them to have an awakening. This influence may be from a spirit (and when I use the term "spirit," I mean the soul clothed in a spiritual body) in an apparently similar condition to their own, but one who has received some glimpse of uplifting truth that may be conveyed to the dark brother spirit.
All spirits can help others who are in a lower or more stagnant condition than themselves, and sometimes they do. But the great trouble here is that, unless the possibly helping spirits have some desire to benefit their fellow spirits of darkness, they do not try to help. And so, as your friend says, "It is hard to learn of heavenly things in hell." He realizes that fact fully. And even with the help that has been offered and will be given to him, he will find it difficult to make a start.
The mortal life is not the only place of probation, but it is the most important place. It is also the easiest place for man to make his start, and to understand the beginning of these heavenly things.
I will not write more now, but will come again soon and write a formal message. So, with my love to you and your friend, I will say to you both: Have faith, and let not doubt come to you as to the heavenly things that we have written you about.
Your brother in Christ, Luke