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The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Vol. 10, No. 2

punishment of the wicked . . . so as to witness the torments of the wicked in their bodily presence.” Two centuries earlier, Church father Tertullian (c. 197–202 CE/1931) had exulted over the destruction of the world and the torments of kings, philosophers, poets, and athletes in Hell:

that last day of judgment, with its everlasting issues; that day unlooked for by the nations, the theme of their derision, when the world hoary with age, and all its many products, shall be consumed in one great flame! How vast a spectacle then bursts upon the eye! What there excites my admiration? What my derision? Which sight gives me joy? Which rouses me to exultation?—as I see so many illustrious monarchs, whose reception into the heavens was publicly announced, groaning now in the lowest darkness with great Jove himself, and those, too, who bore witness of their exultation; gover- nors of provinces, too, who persecuted the Christian name, in fires more fierce than those with which in the days of their

pride they raged against world’s wise men besides,

the followers of Christ. What the very philosophers, in fact, who

taught their followers that God is sublunary, and were wont to

had no assure

concern in aught them that either

that they

had no souls, or that they would never return which at death they had left, now covered with the poor deluded ones, as one fire consumes

to the

bodies

shame

before

them!

Poets

also,

trembling

not

before

the

judgment-seat

of

Rhada-

manthus or Minos, but of a better opportunity then

the unexpected of hearing the

Christ! I shall have tragedians, louder-

voiced much

in their own calamity; more ‘dissolute’ in the

of viewing the dissolving flame;

play-actors, of looking

upon the beholding

charioteer, all glowing in his chariot of fire; the wrestlers, not in their gymnasia, but tossing

of in

the fiery billows

. . . (1931/written 197–200 CE, De

Spectaculis, 297, 299)

And jumping forward to five centuries after Aquinas, American “Great Awakening” leader, Jonathan Edwards, he of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”-fame, delivered a 1739 sermon entitled

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