HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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10. Why did Christ not speak of Purgatory? Because, the idea of Purgatory had not then been conceived by the human mind, and there was, consequently, no word by which to express it. He employed the word hell, the only one then in use, as a generic term, to designate the entire subject of future punishment in general, without reference to details. If, in contradistinction to the word hell he had employed another word equivalent to purgatory, he would have been unable to define its precise meaning without opening up a question that was reserved for the future; and he would also have appeared to declare the existence of two regions especially devoted to punishment. The word hell, in its general acceptation, suggestive of the idea of punishment, necessarily implied the idea of purgatory, which is only one of the modes of penalty. The future, being destined to enlighten humankind in regard to the nature of future punishment, was also destined, in so doing, to reduce the idea of hell to its true proportions.

The fact that the Church, after the lapse of six centuries, considered it necessary to supplement the teaching of Jesus by asserting the existence of Purgatory is an admission, on the part of theologians, that he did not reveal everything during his sojourn upon the Earth. Why, then, should not his teachings be progressively supplemented in regard to other points?

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