Allan Kardec

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17. “Chastisement,” we are told, “follows them everywhere; they have neither peace nor rest.” But this assertion does not invalidate our observation in regard to the respite enjoyed by those who are not in Hell, respite all the less justifiable because, being out of Hell, they do all the more harm. Undoubtedly, they are not represented as being happy, as are the good angels; but can we count for nothing the liberty they enjoy? Although they have not the moral happiness that results from virtue, they are incontestably less miserable than their accomplices who are given over to the flames of Hell. And besides, for the wicked, there is a sort of enjoyment in doing ill in full liberty. Ask any criminal whether it is all the same to him to be shut up in prison or to be scouring the country and perpetrating every sort of criminal mayhem at his ease? The position of the demons is exactly the same.

“Remorse,” we are told, “pursues them without truce and without mercy.” But the advocates of the doctrine in question forget that remorse is the immediate precursor of repentance, and is, in fact, the beginning of repentance itself; yet the Pastoral on which we are commenting declares, “Having become perverted, they refuse to cease to be such, and such they will persist in being, forever.” But if they refuse to cease to be perverted, it is impossible that they should feel remorse; if they felt the slightest regret for having done evil, they would cease to do it, and would beg for pardon. Consequently, remorse is not any part of their chastisement.

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