Hell is a place of pain and suffering found in many religious traditions. Some depict the duration of this punishment as endless, while in others it is an intermediary period between incarnations of life. Many of these traditions locate it beneath the Earth's external surface and often include entrances from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise and Limbo.
- Alphabetized by author or source
- Belief in eternal hell fire was an essential item of Christian belief until pretty recent times. In this country, as you know, it ceased to be an essential item because of a decision of the Privy Council, and from that decision the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York dissented; but in this country our religion is settled by Act of Parliament, and therefore the Privy Council was able to override Their Graces and hell was no longer necessary to a Christian. Consequently I shall not insist that a Christian must believe in hell.
- The Narakas are the realms of suffering that equate to the Christian hell or, more accurately, to purgatory. If a person is born into one of these realms as a result of bad karma, this is not a permanent punishment - he or she may well be reborn into one of the higher worlds in the next life. Watched over by Yama, judge of the world, the Narakas are not only physical places but also states of consciousness – and symbols of the suffering that can take place during life, as well as after death.
- Jane Alexanderin in The Body, Mind, Spirit Miscellany: The Ultimate Collection of Fascinations, Facts, Truths, and Insights, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, p. 150
- Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'entrate.
- Infinite torture can only be a punishment for infinite evil, and I don't believe that infinite evil can be said to exist even in the case of Hitler. Besides, if most human governments are civilized enough to try to eliminate torture and outlaw cruel and unusual punishments, can we expect anything less of an all-merciful God?
I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell.
- Isaac Asimov I. Asimov: A Memoir (1994)
- For the average good citizen, death is a continuance of the living process in his consciousness and a carrying forward of the interests and tendencies of the life. His consciousness and his sense of awareness are the same and unaltered. He does not sense much difference, is well taken care of, and oft is unaware that he has passed through the episode of death.
For the wicked and cruelly selfish, for the criminal and for those few who live for the material side only, there eventuates that condition which we call "earth-bound". The links they have forged with earth and the earthward bias of all their desires, force them to remain close to the earth and their last setting in the earth environment. They seek desperately and by every possible means to re-contact it and to re-enter.
- Alice Bailey, The Way of the Disciple (1934) p. 300/1
- Another fear which induces mankind to regard death as a calamity, is one which theological religion has inculcated... the fear of hell, the imposition of penalties, usually out of all proportion to the errors of a life-time, and the terrors imposed by an angry God. To these man is told he will have to submit, and from them there is no escape, except through the vicarious atonement. There is, as you well know, no angry God, no hell, and no vicarious atonement... the only hell is the earth itself, where we learn to work out our own salvation, actuated by the principle of love and light, and incited thereto by the example of the Christ, and the inner urge of our own souls. This teaching anent hell is a remainder of the sadistic turn which was given to the thinking of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages, and to the erroneous teaching to be found in the Old Testament anent Jehovah, the tribal God of the Jews... As these erroneous ideas die out, the concept of hell will fade from man's recollection, and its place will be taken by an understanding of the law which makes each man work out his own salvation upon the physical plane, which leads him to right the wrongs which he may have perpetrated in his lives on Earth, and which enables him eventually to "clean his own slate".
- Alice Bailey in A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 4: Esoteric Healing. (1953) p 393
- Hell is more bearable than nothingness.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Heaven
- Hell is the wrath of God — His hate of sin.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Hell, line 194
- Henry Valentine: I-I never thought I could get bored with beautiful dames, but-- look, I wouldn't expect an angel to understand this see? But-but being a big guy with a chick, it didn't mean anything if it's all set up in advance. And I mean, everything is great here, see? Really great. It's just the way I always imagined it except that-that, just between you and me fats, I don't think I belong here. I don't think I fit in.
- Pip: "Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea that you were in heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the other place!!"
- The connotation of the Sanskrit word for a hell, Naraka, is a joyless.
- Alexander Berzin, in Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship, Snow Lion Publications, 16 June 2010, p. 191
- The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my vision's greatest enemy.
Thine has a great hook nose like thine;
Mine has a snub nose like to mine.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates.
- William Blake, in The Everlasting Gospel (c. 1818)
- Thus we may infer that the only characteristic difference between modern Christianity and the old heathen faiths is the belief of the former in a personal devil and in hell. "The Aryan nations had no devil," says Max Muller. "Pluto, though of a sombre character, was a very respectable personage; and Loki (the Scandinavian), though a mischievous person, was not a fiend. The German Goddess, Hell, too, like Proserpine, had once seen better days. Thus, when the Germans were indoctrinated with the idea of a real devil, the Semitic Seth, Satan or Diabolus, they treated him in the most good-humored way."
The same may be said of hell. Hades was quite a different place from our region of eternal damnation, and might be termed rather an intermediate state of purification. Neither does the Scandinavian Hel or Hela, imply either a state or a place of punishment; for when Frigga, the grief-stricken mother of Bal-dur, the white god, who died and found himself in the dark abodes of the shadows (Hades) sent Hermod, a son of Thor, in quest of her beloved child, the messenger found him in the inexorable region — alas! but still comfortably seated on a rock, and reading a book. The Norse kingdom of the dead is moreover situated in the higher latitudes of the Polar regions; it is a cold and cheerless abode, and neither the gelid halls of Hela, nor the occupation of Baldur present the least similitude to the blazing hell of eternal fire and the miserable "damned" sinners with which the Church so generously peoples it.
- The only designation of something approaching hell in the Bible is Gehenna or Hinnom, a valley near Jerusalem, where was situated Tophet, a place where a fire was perpetually kept for sanitary purposes. The prophet Jeremiah informs us that the Israelites used to sacrifice their children to Moloch-Hercules on that spot; and later we find Christians quietly replacing this divinity by their god of mercy, whose wrath will not be appeased, unless the Church sacrifices to him her unbaptized children and sinning sons on the altar of "eternal damnation"!
- H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, Chapter I, (1877)
- Let heaven exist, though my own place may be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.
- Jorge Luis Borges, in "The Library of Babel" (1941)
- The heart of man is the place the devil dwells in; I feel sometimes a hell dwells within myself.
- Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642), Part I, Section LI
- But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane.
- Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!
- Lord Byron, The Giaour (1813), line 748
- When the final taps is sounded and we lay aside life's cares,
And we do the last and glories parade, on Heaven's shining stairs,
And the angels bid us welcome and the harps begin to play,
We can draw a million canteen checks and spend them in a day,
It is then we'll hear St. Peter tell us loudly with a yell,
"Take a front seat you soldier men, you've done your hitch in Hell."
- Frank Bernard Camp, "Our Hitch in Hell", st. 6, in American Soldier Ballads (1917), p. 21.
- A more famous variant was later used as an epitaph of PFC Cameron, USMC, at Lunga Point Cemetery, Guadalcanal:
- And when he goes to Heaven
To Saint Peter he will tell:
Another Marine reporting , Sir;
I've served my time in Hell!
- Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. 5: The Struggle for Guadalcanal (1949), p. x
- And when he goes to Heaven
- A more famous variant was later used as an epitaph of PFC Cameron, USMC, at Lunga Point Cemetery, Guadalcanal:
- It is reported that Mark Twain, on being asked what he thought of heaven and hell, replied, I'm not going to tell you ---- for I have friends in both places. I could go him one better, for I have had experiences in both places; or rather, experiences in both such levels of consciousness.
- Quien ha infierene nula es retencio.
- Just as seeing Heaven's light gave him an awareness of God's presence in all things in the mortal plane, so it has made him aware of God's absence in all things in Hell.
- Ted Chiang, "Hell Is the Absence of God", in Starlight 3, 2001
- Were it for nothing else, yet for this at least, we should deserve hell, because we fear hell more than Christ... Did we but love Christ as we should love Him, we should have known that to offend Him we love were more painful than hell.
- He who deceived the first man... persuades some to suspect there is no hell, that he may thrust them into hell. As God on the other hand threatens hell, and made hell ready, that by coming to know of it you might so live as not to fall into hell.
- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 25 on Romans
- There are many men, who form good hopes not by abstaining from their sins, but by thinking that hell is not so terrible as it is said to be, but milder than what is threatened, and temporary, not eternal; and about this they philosophize much.
- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 3 on Second Thessalonians
- What can be more grievous than hell? Yet nothing is more profitable than the fear of it; for the fear of hell will bring us the crown of the kingdom. Where fear is, there is no envy; where fear is, the love of money does not disturb; where fear is, wrath is quenched, evil concupiscence is repressed, and every unreasonable passion is exterminated.
- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 15 on the Statues, 2.
- Hell is when we look back during that fraction of a second and know that we wasted an opportunity to dignify the miracle of life. Paradise is being able to say at that moment: “I made some mistakes, but I wasn’t a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to do.” However, there’s no need to anticipate my particular hell and keep going over and over the fact that I can make no further progress in what I understand to be my “Spiritual Quest.” It’s enough that I keep trying. Even those who didn’t do all they could have done have already been forgiven; they had their punishment while they were alive by being unhappy when they could have been living in peace and harmony. We are all redeemed and free to follow the path that has no beginning and will have no end.
- Paulo Coelho, Aleph (2011)
- The only hell which exists is that which we have created ourselves on the astral planes. The hell which we encounter is the hell of our own desires, our atrocities, our own separation and our own grudges and fears which inhabit the astral realm.
- Benjamin Creme, Life after death and rebirth (2005)
- What is hell? Hell is oneself,
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
- [S]he asked if I believed in hell. At first I said no. Then I said,"Honestly, I think it's possible. Though I don't think you get sent there. I don't think God would have to send people there. I think they would go there by themselves."
She asked, "Why do you think that?"
I said, "Look at how people act. They walk right into horrible things all the time. They actually go out of their way."
- Mary Gaitskill, The Mare (2015). New York: Vintage, 2016, p. 198
- The function of the lawyer is to preserve a sceptical relativism in a society hell-bent for absolutes. The worse the society, the more law there will be. In Hell there will be nothing but law and due process will be meticulously observed.
- Grant Gilmore, The Ages of American Law (1977), p. 110.
- I was suddenly arrested by what seemed to be an awful voice proclaiming the words, "Eternity! Eternity! Eternity!" It reached my very soul — my whole man shook — it brought me like Saul to the ground. The great depravity and sinfulness of my heart were set before me, and the gulf of everlasting destruction to which I was verging. I was made to bitterly cry out, "If there is no God — doubtless there is a hell." I found myself in the midst of it.
- Stephen Grellet, on his inspiration, when he was still learning English and walking alone in the fields of Long Island, to take up the reading of No Cross, No Crown by William Penn, after having first set it aside upon realizing it was a religious book. In Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labors of Stephen Grellet (1860), p. 20
- You see, Mr. Simpson—a man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the Devil can't fool a dog!
- Who dares think one thing, and another tell,
My heart detests him as the gates of hell.
- I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.
- In the estimation of good orthodox Christians I am a criminal, because I am trying to take from loving mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and lovers the consolations naturally arising from a belief in an eternity of grief and pain. I want to tear, break, and scatter to the winds the God that priests erected in the fields of innocent pleasure — a God made of sticks called creeds, and of old clothes called myths. I shall endeavor to take from the coffin its horror, from the cradle its curse, and put out the fires of revenge kindled by an infinite fiend.
Is it necessary that Heaven should borrow its light from the glare of Hell?
Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy.
- The God of Hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn. A God who threatens eternal pain should be hated, not loved — cursed, not worshiped. A heaven presided over by such a God must be below the lowest hell. I want no part in any heaven in which the saved, the ransomed and redeemed will drown with shouts of joy the cries and sobs of hell — in which happiness will forget misery, where the tears of the lost only increase laughter and double bliss.
- The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge. This idea testifies that our remote ancestors were the lowest beasts. Only from dens, lairs, and caves, only from mouths filled with cruel fangs, only from hearts of fear and hatred, only from the conscience of hunger and lust, only from the lowest and most debased could come this most cruel, heartless and bestial of all dogmas.
- Robert G. Ingersoll The Great Infidels (1881)
- And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
- The Mahayana stresses the ideal of the bodhisattva, who out of boundless compassion dedicates oneself to helping others. A Zen master, when asked where he would go after he died, replied, "To hell, for that's where help is needed most."
- Philip Kapleau, Zen: Dawn in the West (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1980), p. 83
- Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain: This life flies.
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
the flower that once has blown forever dies.
- Omar Khayyam, The Rubaiyat (1120)
- The notions of hell and purgatory, of paradise and resurrections are all caricatured, distorted echoes of the primeval one Truth, taught humanity in the infancy of its races by every First Messenger—the Planetary Spirit mentioned on the reverse of page the third— and whose remembrance lingered in the memory of man, as Elu of the Chaldees, Osiris the Egyptian, Vishnu, the first Buddahs and so on. The lower world of effects is the sphere of such distorted thoughts; of the most sensual conceptions, and pictures; of anthropomorphic deities, the out-creations of their creators, the sensual human minds of people who have never out-grown their brutehood on earth. p. 48
- You show signs of levity, and that is the one thing not permitted here. This place is for serious persons only. If you are not serious now, by hell you'll get serious pretty quick!
- This petty place cannot be Hell, Roadstrum? Ah, but it is my friend. That, you see, is the hell of it.
- Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try. No hell below us
Above us only sky.
- Imagine lyrics by John Lennon
- Wer anders lehret, denn ich hierinn gelehret hab, oder mich darinn verdammt, der verdamt Gott, und muß ein Kind der Höllen bleiben.
- Whoever teaches differently from what I have taught, or whoever condemns me therein, he condemns God and must remain a child of hell.
- Deutsche Antwort Luthers auf König Heinrichs von England Buch. German answer of Martin Luther to the Book of King Henry of England, 1522.
- Dr. Martin Luther's Sämtliche Werke, Polemische Deutsche Schriften, Johann Konrad Irmischer, Erlangen, 1833, vol. 28, p. 347. 
- When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of his glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, “Lord, when saw we Thee hungry, and fed Thee? Or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? Or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?” And the King shall answer and say unto them, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” Then shall they also answer Him, saying, “Lord, when saw we Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?” Then shall He answer them, saying, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.” And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
- Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
- A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace, flamed; yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end.
- Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor, one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where if I be still the same
- Long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
- So frowned the mighty combatants that Hell
Grew darker at their frown.
- On a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
- The Hell within him; for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place.
- Myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep,
Still threat'ning to devour me, opens wide;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
- The gates that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass'd through.
- He [Jesus] would never have said, "Until thou payest the uttermost farthing," (Matthew 5:26) unless it had been possible for us to be freed from our sins through having atoned for them by paying the penalty; neither would He have said, "he shall be beaten with many stripes," or "he shall be beaten with few stripes," (Luke 12:47-48) unless it were that the penalties, being meted out according to the sins, should finally come to an end.
- It is not God who decides whether a person's spirit enters heaven or hell upon his death; it is decided by the spirit himself. Humans are created so that once they reach perfection they will fully breathe the love of God. Those who committed sinful deeds while on earth become crippled spirits who are incapable of fully breathing in the love of God. They find it agonizing to stand before God, the center of true love. Of their own will, they choose to dwell in hell, far removed from the love of God.
- Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A woman was punished because she had kept a cat tied until it died, and (as a punishment of this offence) she was thrown into Hell. She had not provided it with food or drink, and had not freed her so that she could eat the insects of the earth.
- Muhammad narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 026, Number 5570
- Stan: We're goin' to church. We've sinned and so we have to confess again.
- Butters: Uh us too. Uh we saw a picture of a naked lady. We could see her whole beaver.
- Clyde: Yeah. If we died right now, we'd have unclean souls and we'd burn in hell. [the crosswalk light turns green]
- Butters: I mean, poor Timmy's gonna go to hell! He can't confess his sins, 'cause all he can say is his name!
- Hell Director: Hello, newcomers, and welcome. Can everybody hear me? [taps the mic a few times] Hello? Can everyb--? Okay. [the crowd quiets down] Uh, I'm the hell director. Uh, it looks like we have about 8,615 of you newbies today, and for those of you who are a little confused, uh, you are dead, and this is hell, so, abandon all hope and uh yada yada yada. Uh, we are now going to start the orientation process, which will last about--
- Man 4: Hey, wait a minute, I shouldn't be here. I was a totally strict and devout Protestant! I thought we went to heaven!
- Hell Director: Yes, well I'm afraid you were wrong.
- Soldier: I was a practicing Jehovah's Witness.
- Hell Director: Uh, you picked the wrong religion as well.
- Man 5: Well, who was right? Who gets into heaven?
- Hell Director: I'm afraid it was the Mormons. Yes, the Mormons were the correct answer.
- Crowd: [disappointed] Awww.
- Hell Director: So now I'd like to quickly introduce your new ruler and master for eternity, Satan.
- To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
Who never mentions hell to ears polite.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle IV, line 149
- So give admonition! (because) admonition is useful, he who is thoughtful will consider while the unrighteous one will neglect it, one who will be burnt in the great Fire, then therein he will neither live nor die.
- Quran, Chapter 87: 9-13
- So when the great Calamity comes; The day when man remembers all that he strove for, And hell is made manifest to him who sees. Then as for him who is inordinate, And prefers the life of this world, Hell is surely the abode. And as for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains himself from low desires, The Garden is surely the abode.
- Quran, Chapter 79: 34-41
- The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
- Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928), Ch. 1: The Value of Scepticism
- I do my own penance for my own sins. What do you say, huh? Ah, it's all bullshit except the pain, right? The pain of hell, the burn from a lighted match increased a million times. Infinite, and you don't fuck around with the infinite. There's no way you do that. The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand, the kind you can feel in your heart. Your soul, the spiritual side, and you know the worst of the two is the spiritual.
- Martin Scorsese and Mardik Martin, in Mean Streets (1973); in the context presented in the film this primarily refers to the pain and anguish of Hell, but it was later quoted by Stephen King in IT (1986), in a more ambiguous way which permits it to be interpreted as primarily refering to God, with just the phrase: You don't fuck around with the infinite.
- Worry about your own fortunes, gentlemen. The deepest circle of Hell is reserved for betrayers, and mutineers.
- You know nothing of Hell.
- Captain Jack Sparrow and Koehler from the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the suit of night.
- I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that's in me should set hell on fire.
- You, mistress,
That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,
And keeps the gate of hell!
- Now the devil that told me I did well
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
- Hell is empty,
And all the devils are here.
- Azrael: Human, have you ever been to Hell? I think not. I'd rather not exist than go back to that.
- There are countless circles of hell;
Believers never penetrate the ninth circle.
- Dejan Stojanovic in The Sun Watches the Sun, “Inferno” (the first poem in the book) (1999)
- Even to the wicked He stretches forth in His compassion. His divine cloud hovers over all that is His; it drips dew even on that fire of punishment so that, of His mercy, it enables even the embittered to taste of the drops of its refreshment.
- St. Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Paradise, transl. by Sebastian Brock, HYMN X, p. 153
- He is going to manifest some wonderful outcome, a matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator, with respect to the ordering of this difficult matter of Gehenna’s torment: out of it the wealth of His love and power and wisdom will become known all the more—and so will the insistent might of the waves of His goodness.
- Seth: I know why you lost your faith. How could true holiness exist if your wife can be taken away from you and your children? Now, I always said God can kiss my fuckin' ass. Well, I changed my lifetime tune about thirty minutes ago' cause I know, without a doubt, what's out there trying to get in here is pure evil straight from hell. And if there is a hell, and those monsters are from it, there's got to be a heaven. Now which are you, a faithless preacher or a mean, mother fuckin' servant of God?
- [J]ust send me to hell or Salt Lake City; it would be about the same to me.
- Facilis descensus Averno;
Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis;
Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras,
Hoc opus, hic labor est.
- The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.
- Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), VI. 126, as translated by John Dryden. ("Averni" in some editions.)
- Variant translation: Easy is the descent to Lake Avernus (mouth of Hades); night and day the gate of gloomy Dis (god of Hades) is open; but to retrace one's steps, and escape to the upper air, this indeed is a task; this indeed is a toil.
- The gates of hell are open night and day;
- In the throat
Of Hell, before the very vestibule
Of opening Orcus, sit Remorse and Grief,
And pale Disease, and sad Old Age and Fear,
And Hunger that persuades to crime, and Want:
Forms terrible to see. Suffering and Death
Inhabit here, and Death's own brother Sleep;
And the mind's evil lusts and deadly War,
Lie at the threshold, and the iron beds
Of the Eumenides; and Discord wild
Her viper-locks with bloody fillets bound.
- Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), Book VI, line 336; C. P. Cranch's translation.
- Do you know what Hell really is, Thomas? It's not lakes of burning oil or chains of ice. It's being removed from God's sight, of having His word taken from you. It's hard to believe, Thomas, so hard. I know that better than anyone.
- Gregory Widen, The Prophecy, (September 1, 1995)
- MARIA: Hell? Is he talking about hell? Good. For a moment I was afraid he was making sense.
- Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God (1979), Act II
- Abu Umama narrated: "The Messenger of God said, 'Everyone that God admits into paradise will be married to 72 wives; two of them are houris and seventy of his inheritance of the [female] dwellers of hell. All of them will have libidinous sex organs and he will have an ever-erect penis.' "
- Sunan Ibn Majah, Zuhd (Book of Abstinence) 39
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 362-64.
- Curiosis fabricavit inferos.
- He fashioned hell for the inquisitive.
- Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, Book XI, Chapter XII. Quoting an unnamed author. Adapted from "Alta, scrutantibus gehennas parabat." God prepared hell, for those who are inquisitive about high things.
- Undique ad inferos tantundem viæ est.
- There is in hell a place stone-built throughout,
Called Malebolge, of an iron hue,
Like to the wall that circles it about.
- Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XVIII, line 1
- We spirits have just such natures
We had for all the world, when human creatures;
And, therefore, I, that was an actress here,
Play all my tricks in hell, a goblin there.
- John Dryden, Tyrannick Love, Epilogue
- The way of sinners is made plain with stones, but at the end thereof is the pit of hell.
- Ecclesiasticus, XXI. 10
- Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding sheet of Edward's race;
Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of Hell to trace.
- Thomas Gray, Bard, Canto II
- Hell is no other but a soundlesse pit,
Where no one beame of comfort peeps in it.
- Robert Herrick, Noble Numbers, Hell
- Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming.
- Isaiah, XIV. 9
- And, bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
- Samuel Johnson, London, line 116
- Et metus ille foras præceps Acheruntis agundus,
Funditus humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo,
Omnia suffuscans mortis nigrore, neque ullam
Esse voluptatem liquidam puramque relinquit.
- The dreadful fear of hell is to be driven out, which disturbs the life of man and renders it miserable, overcasting all things with the blackness of darkness, and leaving no pure, unalloyed pleasure.
- Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, III. 37
- Look where he goes! but see he comes again
Because I stay! Techelles, let us march
And weary death with bearing souls to hell.
- Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlane the Great, Act V, scene III, line 75
- In inferno nulla est redemptio.
- There is no redemption from hell.
- Pope Paul III, when Michael Angelo refused to alter a portrait introduced among the condemned in his "Last Judgment".
- He knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
- Proverbs, IX. 18
- St. Austin might have returned another answer to him that asked him, "What God employed himself about before the world was made?" "He was making hell."
- Robert Southey, Commonplace Book, Fourth Series, p. 591
- Self-love and the love of the world constitute hell.
- Emanuel Swedenborg, Apocalypse Explained, Par. 1,144
- Nay, then, what flames are these that leap and swell
As 'twere to show, where earth's foundations crack,
The secrets of the sepulchres of hell
On Dante's track?
- Algernon Charles Swinburne, In Guernsey, Part IV, Stanza 3
- In the deepest pits of 'Ell,
Where the worst defaulters dwell
(Charcoal devils used as fuel as you require 'em),
There's some lovely coloured rays,
But you can't expect the burning to admire 'em!
- Edgar Wallace, Nature Fails, L'Envoi
- That's the greatest torture souls feel in hell,
In hell, that they must live, and cannot die.
- John Webster, Duchess of Malfi, Act IV, scene 1, line 84
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- An immortality of pain and tears; an infinity of wretchedness and despair; the blackness of darkness across which conscience will forever shoot her clear and ghastly flashes, — like lightning streaming over a desert when midnight and tempest are there; weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; long, long eternity, and things that will make eternity seem longer, — making each moment seem eternity, — oh, miserable condition of the damned!
- Richard Fuller, p. 311
- What will you do in a world where the Holy Spirit never strives; where every soul is fully left to its own depravity; and where there is no leisure for repentance, if there were even the desire, but where there is too much present pain to admit repentance; where they gnaw their tongues with pain, and blaspheme the God of heaven?
- James Hamilton, p. 311
- Many might go to heaven with half the labor they go to hell, if they would venture their industry the right way.
- Ben Jonson, p. 311
- The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
- John Milton, p. 312
- The Lamb is, indeed, the emblem of love; but what so terrible as the wrath of the Lamb? The depth of the mercy despised is the measure of the punishment of him that despiseth. No more fearful words than those of the Saviour. The threatenings of the law were temporal, those of the gospel are eternal. It is Christ who reveals the never-dying worm, the unquenchable fire, and He who contrasts with the eternal joys of the redeemed the everlasting woes of the lost. His loving arms would enfold the whole human race, but not while impenitent or unbelieving; the benefits of His redemption are conditional.
- Edward Thomson, p. 311
- The longer men sin, the more easily they can; for every act of transgression weakens conscience, stupefies intellect, hardens hearts, adds force to bad habits, and takes force from good example. And, surely, there is nothing in such associations; as wicked affinities will insure to the sinner in the future state, to incline him to repentance.
- Edward Thompson, p. 312