18. “They are, since their fall, such as the human race is after death; their rehabilitation is therefore impossible.” Whence comes this impossibility? It is difficult to understand how it should be a consequence of their similarity to the human race after death, a proposition that, moreover, is not very clear. Is this impossibility a result of their having willed it so, or is it due to the will of God? If it be a result of their own will, such a determination on their part would imply their being utterly and absolutely depraved and hardened in evil; but, if so, it is impossible to understand how beings so entirely and thoroughly bad could ever have been angels of virtue, or how, throughout the eternity during which they were “mingled with all the ranks” of the good angels, they should never have betrayed the least symptom of their horrible nature. If, on the contrary, this impossibility is a result of the will of God, it is still less comprehensible that the Sovereign Goodness should inflict upon them, as a punishment, this impossibility of a return to virtue, after a single fault. The Gospel says nothing of the kind.