19. “Their state of perdition,” it is added, “is henceforth irrevocable, and they persevere in their haughtiness towards God.” But where would be the use of their not persevering in that haughty attitude, since repentance is altogether useless to them? If they had any hope of rehabilitation, no matter at what cost, they would have a motive for returning into the path of virtue; but, that being impossible, they have no motive for reforming. If, then, they persevere in evil, it is because the door of hope is closed against them. But why has God closed that door against them? we are told that this door was closed in order to avenge the offence against God, of which they have been guilty due to their want of submission. Thus, in order to glut God’s resentment against some of God’s creatures who have done wrong, God prefers to see them, not only plunged into horrible sufferings, but doing evil rather than doing good, leading astray and driving into everlasting perdition the majority of God’s creatures of the human race, when a simple act of clemency would have sufficed to prevent this great disaster, a disaster, that was foreseen by God from all eternity!
Does an act of clemency, imply a grant of forgiveness, pure and simple, which might be considered as offering an encouragement to wrongdoing? No, such an act only implies the granting of a conditional pardon, subordinated to a sincere return to virtue. But, instead of a word of hope and mercy, God is represented as saying: – “Perish the entire race of humankind rather than my vengeance!” And those who uphold such a doctrine are astonished that there should be skeptics and atheists! Is it thus that Jesus represents to us his Father? He who expressly lays it down as a law that we must forgive all those who offend us, who tells us to return good for evil, who places the love of our enemies in the first rank of the virtues by which alone we can merit the happiness of Heaven, would he require of humanity to be better, more just, more compassionate, than God Himself?