January 16, 1917
Received by James Padgett
I am here, the spirit of one who lived on earth the life of a wicked man, and a persecutor of the Christians, and a blasphemer of God and everything that was pure and holy; and when I had lived the life to its end and shuffled off the mortal coil and became a spirit, I also became a dweller in the lowest Hells where all is darkness and torment, and the abode of devils and everything that tends to make the spirit unhappy and at variance with the loving God.
I introduce myself in this way in order to demonstrate to you the wonderful power of the Divine Love, for now I am an inhabitant of the Celestial Spheres, and know that this Love is not only real, but is capable of making the vilest sinner a partaker and owner of the Divine Essence of the Father.
My sufferings were beyond all description and I was the most desecrated of mortals, and was almost worshiped by the devils of Hell because of the great injury that I had done to the followers of Jesus who, in my time, were possessed of this Love and faith, which even the terrors of the wild beasts of the arena, or the torches of my own evil designs could not cause them to renounce in this great religion that the Master had taught them, and the disciples were still teaching when I put so many of them to death.
The devils loved me for the very evil that I had done, but strange to say the spirits of those who I had sent unto the spirit world before their time were not revengeful to me or came to me with their imprecations or cursings.
Then when I had been in the spirit world a sufficient time to realize my surroundings and the nature of these evils, these spirits of the martyrs, which I had made, came to me in sympathy and pity and, in fact, tried many times to help me out of my great sufferings and darkness. I did not understand all this unexpected kindness and evidence of love, and I would not for a long time believe that these spirits were sincere; and so I suffered for year after year, and century after century, and became convinced that my condition was fixed and that for me there was no hope, and that the God that I had heard of was not my God, and that devils were the only companions that I was destined to have through all eternity.
And so I endured, wishing to die, but I could not. Oh, I tell you it was horrible and beyond all conception of mortals! The Law was working and I was paying the penalty, and there seemed no end to the penalty. I could find no consolation among those who surrounded me, and the pleasures that I first enjoyed became to me mere things of mockery and derision, and my darkness and torment became the greater. How often I called upon God, if there be a God, to strike me dead, but the only answer to my call was the laughter of the grinning devils, who told me to shout louder as God might be asleep and may be deaf.
What to do, I knew not, and so I became isolated as best I could from these terrible associates and many years of my living were spent in the darkness of lonesomeness with never a ray of hope or the whisper of one word to tell me that for me there might be a fairer destiny. And so time went by and I waited in my misery for some kind power to come and annihilate me, but I waited in vain. During all this time the recollections of my earthly deeds were like hot irons scorching my soul and burning my body, as I thought, and the end came not.
Well, I suffered the tortures of the damned, and it seemed to me that I was paying the penalties for all the sins and evil deeds that had ever been committed by all the wicked kings and rulers and persecutors of earth. Many times the shrieks of the Christian children and the groans of the men and women as they were being torn asunder from limb to limb, or burned as living torches which I had made of them, came to me and increased my torment. I lived the life of centuries of torment in a few moments, as it seemed to me, and not one cooling drop of water was mine. It may seem impossible that I should have continued to live in this ever increasing suffering, but I did, because I was compelled to. The Law did its work and there was no one to say "enough." I might write a volume on this suffering of mine, and yet you would not comprehend its meaning, and so I will pass it by.
In my loneliness and suffering there came to me on an occasion a beautiful spirit, full of light and love, and all the beauty of early womanhood, as I thought, and with eyes of pity and longing, and said:
"You are not alone. Only open your eyes and you will see the star of hope, which is the sign of the Father's Love and desire to help you. I am a child of that Father and the possessor of His great enveloping Love, and I love you, even though you took from me my young life when you threw me to the wild beasts to satisfy your desire to gratify your thirst for innocent blood, and see the suffering and hear the groans of your victims, yet, I love you, not because I am a human with a kindly nature and a forgiving disposition, but because I have in me this Divine Love of the Father, which tells me that I am your sister, and that you are a child of the Father, just as I am, and the object of His Love just as I was the object of His Love. You have suffered, and while you suffered, His great Love went out to you in sympathy and desire to help you, but you, yourself, prevented it from coming to you and leading you to light and surcease from sufferings.
"And now I come to you, your young and innocent victim, who had never done you any greater harm on earth than to pray for you and ask the Heavenly Father to take away from your heart, the great wickedness that caused so many of my people to suffer persecution and death. We all prayed for you and never asked our Father to curse you, or do anything to you to make you suffer. And we have prayed for you often since we came to the spirit world, and we are now praying for you, and this because we love you and want you to be happy.
"Look into my eyes and you will see that love is there, and what I tell you is true. And now, can you not love us a little and open up your soul to our sympathy, and let your feelings of gloom and despondency leave you for a moment, and realize that in this world of spirits there are some who love you?"
Well, to say that I was surprised, does not express my feelings, and as I looked into the lovelit eyes of that beautiful spirit, I felt the great sins of my earth life overwhelm me, and in my anguish, I cried: "God be merciful to me, the greatest of sinners."
And for the first time in all my life in the hells, tears came to my eyes, and my heart seemed to have a sense of living; and there came to me feelings of remorse and regret for all the evils that I had done.
It would take too long to tell what followed this breaking up of my soul, all shriveled and dead, and suffice it to say that from that time, I commenced to have hope come to me, and to get out of my awful condition of darkness. It took a long time, but at last, I got into the light, and this Love which the beautiful spirit first told me of gradually came into my soul until, at last, I reached the condition of bliss in which I now am.
And during all the time of my progress, this radiant loving spirit came to me very often with her words of love and encouragement, and prayed for me, and never left me when I became, as I did at times, doubtful and discouraged. And as my awakening continued, the Love came into my soul, and as she told me of the Heavenly things that would be mine as I progressed and reached the soul spheres, where beautiful homes and pure bright spirits are, I became more and more bound by my love to her.
After a while I got into the Third Sphere and realized that what she had told me was true, only I had not been able to comprehend the greatness of the truth. She then commenced to tell me of the happiness of the beautiful spirits of the two sexes, that I so often saw together, and explained that they were soulmates, and that their love was the greatest of all the loves except the Divine Love, and that every spirit in all the spheres had its soulmate and at the proper time would find it.
My love for this loving spirit had then become so intense that in the very depths of my soul, I wished and prayed that my soulmate might be such a one as she; and, at last, I became so filled with my love for her that I told her that the only thing in all the Heavens that I needed to make full my happiness was she as my soulmate, but that I realized that that desire was hopeless as I had destroyed her life and, of course, she could not be my soulmate. And oh, how I suffered when I realized that she could not be mine, but was another's.
As I told her of these longings and hopeless feelings of my soul, she came close to me and looked into my eyes with such burning love and threw her arms around me, and said:
"I am your soulmate and knew the fact a short time after you came to the spirit world and entered your Hells of darkness and during all the long years, I prayed and prayed for the time to come when I could go to you with my love and awaken in your dead soul the response to my great love. And when the time came that I could go, I was so thankful to the Father, that I almost flew to you, with some dread of disappointment I confess to tell you that you were not neglected or unthought of, but that there was some love in the spirit world that was going to you. Of course, I could not tell you of my soulmate love, for you would not then have understood, but as your soul awakened and the Love of the Father came to you, I became happier and happier and have waited so anxiously for this moment, when I could tell you that this love that had been consciously mine for so long is all yours."
Well, I will draw the veil here, but you can imagine what my happiness was, and as I progressed from sphere to sphere, my happiness and love for her increased and increased. Thus, I have told you the story of the life in the spirit world of the wickedest man that God ever permitted to live and gratify his feelings of hatred and revenge. And I, who have passed through this experience and realized all that it means, say that the Divine Love of the Father is able to and does save the vilest sinner and transforms the chiefest of devils into a Celestial Angel of His highest spheres.
I have written long and you are tired. I thank you and will say good night and subscribe myself,
Your brother in Christ,
Nero, The Roman Emperor, and at one time persecutor of God's true children.