Allan Kardec

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5. Human laws cover various faults and prescribe punishment. In these cases it is possible for the condemned man to recognise that he is suffering the consequences of the wrong committed. But the law does not or cannot, reach every wrong; it falls principally upon those who cause damage to society and not upon those who only cause damage to themselves. God, however, does not allow any detour from the straight and narrow path to go unpunished. There is no wrong or infraction of His Law, however small, which does not carry with it the inevitable consequence, which may be more or less deplorable. From this it follows that in small things, as in great matters, Man is always punished according to the manner in which he has sinned. The suffering which follows is always a warning that wrong has been done. This offers him experience and makes him feel the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, so that in the future these sources of bitterness may be avoided, but without which there would be no motive for betterment. If Man were to be confident of immunity he would only delay his own progress and therefore his future happiness.

Nevertheless, sometimes experience arrives rather late, when life has already been wasted and become disordered, when strength is already spent and the person is no longer able to remedy the wrongdoing. Then man will frequently say: If I had known then what I know now how many false steps would have been avoided! If I had to begin again I would act differently, but now there is no more time! Like the lazy workman who says, 'I have wasted my day', he also says, ' I have wasted my life!' As the sun rising on a new day allows the worker the possibility of repaying any lost time, so it is with Man that after a period of time in the tomb a new life shines forth which will enable advantage to be taken of past experience, and good resolutions for the future to be put into practice.

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