Benjamin Abbott's dreams of hell and heaven



About the thirty-third year of my age, I dreamed that I died and was carried to hell, which appeared to me to be a large place, arched over, containing three apartments with arched doors to go from one apartment to another. I was brought into the first, where I saw nothing but devils and evil spirits, which tormented me in such a manner, that my tongue or pen cannot express. I cried for mercy, but in vain. There appeared to me a light like a star, at a great distance from me; I strove to get to it, but all in vain. Being hurried into the second apartment, the devils put me into a vice and tormented me until my body was all in a gore of blood. I cried again for mercy, but still in vain. I observed that a light followed me, and I heard one say to me, "How good doth this light appear to you." I was soon hurried into the third apartment, where there were scorpions with stings in their tails, fastened in sockets at the end thereof: their tails appeared to be about a fathom long, and every time they struck me, their stings, which appeared an inch and a half in length, stuck fast in me, and they roared like thunder. Here I was constrained to cry again for mercy. As fast as I pulled out the sting of one, another struck me. I was hurried through this apartment to a lake that burned with fire; it appeared like a flaming furnace, and the flames dazzled like the sun. The devils were here in the souls of men and women. There appeared two regiments of devils moving through the arches, blowing up the flames; and when they came to the end, one regiment turned to the right and the other to the left, and came round the pit, and the screeches of the damned were beyond the expression of man. When it came to my turn to be thrown in, one devil took me by the head and another by the feet, and with the surprise I awoke and found it a dream. But O! what horror seized my guilty breast! I thought I should die and be damned. This brought seriousness to my mind for about eight or ten days, in which I made many promises to mend my life, but they soon wore off again.

About five or six weeks after this I dreamed that I died, and was carried into one of the most beautiful places I ever saw, and my guide brought me to one of the most elegant buildings I ever beheld, and when we came to it the gates opened to us of their own accord, and we went straight forward into the building, where we were met by a company of the heavenly host, arrayed in white raiment down to their feet. We passed on through the entry until we came to a door on the right, which stood about half open; passing a little forward, we made a stand before the door; I looked in, and saw the Ancient of Days sitting upon his throne, and all around him appeared a dazzling splendor. I stood amazed at the sight, one stepped forward to me arrayed in white, which I knew to be my wife's mother, and said to me, "Benjamin, this place is not for you yet;" so I returned, and my guide brought me back. I awoke with amaze at what I had seen, and concluded that I should shortly die, which brought all my sins before me, and caused me to make many promises to God to repent.