From the Book of the Three Habitations by
Saint Patrick, Bishop and Confessor (c 385-46l)
Three are the abodes subject to the Almighty Hand of God; that on high, that in the depths, and that which is between; of which the first is named the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, the lowest is called hell, and the middle abode is the present world, or this earth. Of these abodes the two extremes are wholly opposed, the one against the other; and between them is no bond of any kind. And indeed what fellowship hath light with darkness, or Christ with Belial (II Cor.vi.14). But the middle abode hath many resemblances to the two extremes.
Whence it has light and darkness, cold and heat, it has pain and it has sound health, sadness and joy, love and hate, good as well as bad, just and unjust, servants and masters, servitude and dominion, hunger and satiety; life and death, and endless such similarities. Of all which the one half has likeness unto heaven, the other unto hell. For the commingling together of good and evil belongs to this world; but in the Kingdom of God there are none evil, but all are good; in hell none are good, but all are evil. And either place is filled from the middle abode.
For of the people of this middle world, some are raised to heaven; others are borne down into hell. Like are joined to like, that is, the good are joined to the good, the evil to the evil; just men are joined to the just angels, and sinful men to the angels that have sinned; the servants of God are united to God; the servants of the devil are united with the devil; the Blessed are invited to possess the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world and the Accursed are cast down into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt.xxv.34,4l).
The joys of the Kingdom of God no man can tell, not even conceive or understand, while he is yet clothed in the flesh; for they are greater and more wondrous than they are imagined or conceived to be. Whence it is written: that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. ii.9). For the Kingdom of God is greater than all report, better than all praise of it, more manifold than all knowledge, more perfect than every conceivable glory. The miseries of hell, as they truly are, no tongue can tell; no mind conceive; for in their reality they are far more dreadful than they are thought to be.
And likewise the Kingdom of God is so full of light, and peace, and charity, and wisdom, and glory, and honesty, and sweetness, and loving kindness, and every unspeakable and unutterable good, that it can neither be described nor envisioned by the mind. But the abode of hell is so full of darkness, of discord, of hate, of folly, of unhappiness, of pain, of burning heat, of thirst, of inextinguishable fire, of sadness, of unending punishment, and of every indescribable evil that neither can it be told nor yet conceived by man.
The citizens of heaven are the just and the angels, whose King is Almighty God; the people of hell are evil men and the demons, whose prince is the Devil. The Just are filled with the vision of the holy people of God and of the angels, and, above all, by the Vision of God Himself. The evil and the impious are tormented by the sight of the damned, and the demons, and, above all, by the sight of the Devil himself,
In the Kingdom of God nothing is desired that may not be found; but in hell, nothing is found that is desired. In the Kingdom of God is nothing that does not delight and satisfy; while in the deep lake of unending misery, nothing is seen, nothing is felt, which does not displease, which does not torment.
In the Kingdom of God every good abounds and there is nothing of evil; in the prison of hell every evil abounds and there is nothing of good. In the Kingdom of Heaven no one who is unworthy is received; but no one worthy, no just one, is brought down to hell. In the eternal Kingdom there be life without death, truth without any falsehood, and happiness without shadow of unrest or change, in Christ Jesus Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth world without end, Amen.