1. The Gospels make no mention of Purgatory, which was not admitted by the Church until the year 593 of our era. The idea of Purgatory is certainly more rational and more in conformity with the justice of God, since it established a penal code of less severity, and provides for the redemption of the minor sorts of wrongdoing.
The idea of Purgatory is, therefore, based on the principle of equity; it is, in the sphere of spirit- life, what temporary imprisonment is in the earthly life, in comparison with perpetual imprisonment. What would be thought of the justice of a code that should punish the greatest crimes and the slightest transgressions, indiscriminately, with the penalty of death? Unless there is a Purgatory, there can be only two alternatives for all souls; supreme happiness, or eternal torment. What, according to this hypothesis, becomes of the souls who have only been guilty of minor transgressions? They must either share the happiness of the elect without having attained perfection, or they must suffer the same punishment as the very greatest criminals without having done anything terribly wrong, which would be neither just nor reasonable.