"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold,
the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried;
and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life."
-- Book of Revelations 2:10
"Of Heaven and Hell"
by Jorge Luis Borges
The Inferno of God is not in need of
the splendor of fire. When, at the end of things,
Judgement Day resounds on the trumpets
and the earth opens and yields up its entrails
and nations reconstruct themselves from dust
to bow down before the unappealable Judgement,
eyes then will not see the nine circles
within the inverted mountain, nor the pale
meadow of perennial asphodels
in which the shadow of the archer follows
the shadow of the deer, eternally,
nor the ridge of fire on the very lowest level
of the infernos of the Muslim faith,
antedating Adam and the Fall,
nor the violence of metals, not even
the almost visible blindness of Milton.
No fearful labyrinth of threefold iron,
no doleful fires of suffering, will oppress
the awestruck spirits of the damned.
Nor does the far point of the years conceal
a secret garden. God does not require --
to celebrate the merits of the good life --
globes of light, concentric theories
of thrones and heavenly powers and cherubim,
nor the beguiling mirror that is music,
nor all the many meanings in a rose,
nor the fateful splendor of a single
one of his tigers, nor the subtleties
of a sunset turning gold in the desert,
nor the immemorial, natal taste of water.
In God's infinite compass, there are no gardens,
no flash of hope, no glint of memory.
In the clear glass of a dream, I have glimpsed
the Heaven and Hell that lie in wait for us:
when Judgement Day sounds in the last trumpets
and planet and millennium both
disintegrate, and all at once, O Time,
all your ephemeral pyramids cease to be,
the colors and the lines that trace the past
will in the semi-darkness form a face,
a sleeping face, faithful, still, unchangeable
(the face of the loved one, or, perhaps, your own)
and the sheer contemplation of that face --
never-changing, whole, beyond corruption --
will be, for the rejected, an Inferno,
and, for the elected, Paradise.
translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid
"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory
to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that
made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen,
is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice,
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his
mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which
is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;
and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence
of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and
ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the
beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his
Book of Revelations 14:7-11