A Passage from "The Harrowing of Hell"

(c. 900 a.d.)


[Christ has been crucified and is descending into Hell. When he comes there, he will conquer Satan and free multitudes of souls. Satan is trying to warn all the creatures of Hell, and they are answering him with one voice:]

Hell then very grimly and very terribly answered Satan, the ancient devil, and said, "Who is this who is so strong and so mighty, if he be a man, that he doth not dread the death that we two imprisoned here long ago? For we have power over all in the earth; thou with thy might bringest them to me, and I hold them fast. And if thou art as mighty as thou wast of old, who is the man and the Saviour who doth not dread this death and thy might?"