4. Like the Pagans, the Christians have their king of the Infernal Regions, Satan; with this difference, viz., that Pluto, while governing the gloomy realm which had fallen to his share, was not malicious; he retained as captives those who had done wickedly, because it was his mission to do so; but he did not seek to draw humans into evil in order to give himself the pleasure of seeing them suffer; whereas Satan recruits his victims everywhere, and takes pleasure in having them tortured by his legions of demons, who are armed with pitchforks for the purpose of stirring them about in the fire. Christian theologians have gravely discussed the nature of the “fire,” which burns the damned incessantly, and yet does not consume them; some of them have even gone so far as to inquire whether that fire may not perhaps be of bitumen.* The Christian hell is, therefore, in no respect less horrible than the Pagan hell.
* In a sermon preached in Paris in 1861.