It offers no consolation to any good and loving man. I prefer the consolation of Nature, the consolation of hope, the consolation springing from human affection. I prefer the simple desire to live and love forever.
Of course, it would be a consolation to know that we have an “Almighty Friend” in heaven; but an “Almighty Friend” who cares nothing for us, who allows us to be stricken by his lightning, frozen by his winter, starved by his famine, and at last imprisoned in his hell, is a friend I do not care to have.
Compared with the orthodox hell, compared with the prison-house of God, how ecstatic is the grave – the grave without a sigh, without a tear, without a dream, without a fear. Compared with the immortality promised by the Presbyterian creed, how beautiful annihilation seems. To be nothing – how much better than to be a convict forever. To be unconscious dust – how much better than to be a heartless angel.