Do those who are intoxicated by the wine of desires and indulge in the swamp of pleasures not learn from the end of Pompeii? It is as if I hear the reckless laughs of its people when they clinked wine glasses, danced out of extreme joy, embraced beautiful women, and called out, “Drink, enjoy, and may death be far from you!” Then one summer day, while they were resting on the shores of Naples, they suddenly heard a blast from Mount Vesuvius and saw a fire blazing toward them, with a flame that would cook meats, smoke that would obstruct breathing, debris that would break bones, and darkness that would turn the day into the night! So they did not get an opportunity to escape, but rather they did not get an opportunity to stand up; because they all turned into baked bricks in their places and were buried in hot ashes, and now you see them emerging from the earth like antique statues and being thrown on the road like broken pottery jars.
Explanation of the letter:
Pompeii is the name of a city near the Gulf of Naples in Italy, which was once a place of enjoyment and pleasure for the Romans, disappeared from the earth in 79 AD after the eruption of Vesuvius Volcano, and then emerged from it 1500 years later in 1599 AD while the bodies of its inhabitants were seen in an intact and fossilized state, which indicated that they did not get an opportunity to escape, but rather they did not get an opportunity to stand up. In this excerpt of his enlightening letter, His Honor mentions their fate and asks those who, like them, succumb to desires and pursue illegitimate pleasures to learn from their end and not consider themselves safe from God’s sudden and horrible punishment.
Below you can see photos of the fossilized bodies of the inhabitants of Pompeii: