14. According to the doctrine we are examining, only a part of the devils are in Hell; the rest of them are roving about in freedom, intermeddling with all that is going on upon the Earth, and gratifying themselves by doing evil; and they will continue to do so until the end of the world, which period, as yet indeterminate, is probably not destined to arrive very speedily. Why this difference in the fate of these two divisions of the race of demons? Is it the least wicked of them that are thus left at liberty to roam through the world of men? Judging from the quality of the actions of those who are left at liberty, this would hardly be the case. Perhaps, however, the two divisions are let out into the world alternately, each in its turn; an arrangement that would seem to be implied in the words “While some of them are in their dark abode, where they serve as instruments of the Divine justice against the unhappy souls that have been seduced by them.”
It appears, therefore, that the appointed function of these fallen angels is to torment the souls they have seduced. They are not charged to punish those who are guilty of faults freely and voluntarily committed, but only those who have done wrong in consequence of the incitements to wrongdoing that they themselves (the devils) have brought to bear on them! They are thus, at once, the cause and the chastisers of the sins of their victims, and moreover – what human jurisprudence, imperfect though it be, would never sanction – the victim who succumbs, through weakness, to the temptation which these devils contrive to throw in his way for the express purpose of leading him astray, is punished as severely as the tempter who employs his or her superior cunning and clearness in inducing the unfortunate individual to do wrong; in fact, the victim of superior cunning and malignity is punished more severely than the tempter who misled that victim, for on quitting the Earth that individual is sent straight to Hell, from which he or she will never be let out for a single minute, and where the victim is made to suffer in its fires without a moment’s relaxation of that individual’s tortures, through all time as well as through all eternity, while the devils, who were the original cause of this person’s wrong- doing, enjoy a respite from punishment, and full liberty to go on in the enjoyment of their evil doings until the end of the world! Is the justice of God, then, still more defective than that of human beings?