The Amusement of the Saints in Heaven
by: Watson Heston
From: The Freethinker's Pictorial Text-Book, published New York, 1890
Watson Heston's cartoons originally appeared in the weekly The Truth Seeker, and were of the format below, consisting of "citations of fact, history, statistics, and opinions of scholars to maintain the argument of the artist" which was expressed in the cartoon which followed.
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THE AMUSEMENT OF THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN.
The happiness of the elect in heaven will in part consist in watching the torments of the damned in hell. And among these it may be their own children, parents, husbands, wives, and friends on earth. One part of the business of the blest is to celebrate the doctrine of reprobation. While the decree of reprobation is eternally executing on the vessels of wrath, the smoke of their torment will be eternally ascending in view of the vessels of mercy, who, instead of taking the part of those miserable objects, will sing,“Amen, hallelujah ; praise the Lord.” -- Emmons's Volume of Sermons
When they [the saints] see how great the misery is from which God hath saved them, and how great a difference he hath made between their state and the state of others who were by nature, and perhaps by practice, no more sinful and ill-deserving than they, it will give them more a sense of the wonderfulness of God’s grace to them in making them so to differ, The sight of hell-torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever.
“Where saints and angels from their blest abode,
Chanting loud hallelujahs to their God,
Look down on sinners in the realm of woe,
And draw fresh pleasures from the scenes below.”
This will fill them [the saints] with astonishing addmiration and wondering joy, when they see some of their near relatives going to hell ; their fathers, their mothers, their children, their husbands, their wives, their human friends and companions, while they themselves are saved. . . . Those affections they now have for relatives out of Christ, will cease, and they will not have the least trouble to see them sentenced to hell and thrust into the fiery furnace.-- Rev. Thomas Vincent
At the day of judgment, the saints in glory at Christ’s right hand will see the wicked at the left hand in their amazement and horror ; will hear the judge pronounce sentence upon them, saying, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” and will see them go away into everlasting punishment. But the scripture seems to hold forth to us that the saints will not only see the misery of the wicked at the day of judgment, but the state of the damned in hell wiil be’in the view of the heavenly inhabitants ; that the two worlds of happiness and misery will be in view of each other.
Though we know not by what means nor after what manner it will be, yet the scriptures certainly lead us to think that they will some way or other have a direct and immediate apprehension of each other’s state. The saints in glory will see how the damned are tormented ; they will see God’s threatenings fulfilled, and his wrath executed upon them. When they shall see it, it will be no occasion of grief to them. . . . They will not be sorry for the damned ; it will cause no uneasiness or dissatisfaction to them but on the contrary, when they have this sight it will excite them to joyful praises. Positively, the sufferings of the damned will be no occasion of grief to the heavenly inhabitants, as they will have no love nor pity to the damned as such. They will rejoice in seeing the justice of God glorified in the sufferings of the damned.- Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. i, pp 29, 279, 290.