38. Without pre-existence of the soul, the doctrine of original sin is not only irreconcilable with the justice of God, who would render all men responsible for the fault of one, but is senseless; while the penalty cannot be justifiable, because the soul did not exist at the epoch where it is pretended its responsibility commenced. With pre-existence and reincarnation man carries into his new incarnation the germ of his past imperfections, the defects of which he has not been cured, which betray themselves in his native instincts, in his propensity for this or that vice. It is his veritable original sin, to the consequences of which he is naturally submitted, but with this capital difference: that he carries the burden of his own faults, and not that of the fault of another. This difference at one and the same time consoles, encourages, and honors sovereign equity, each separate existence offering to man the means of making reparation for sins committed, and of progress either by overcoming some imperfection, or by acquiring some fresh knowledge until he becomes sufficiently purified to have no more need of earthly experience, when he will live exclusively a glorious, eternal life of spirit.
For the same reason, he who has progressed morally upon rebirth carries his moral qualities with him just as he who had progressed intellectually carries his intelligent ideas with him. The former is identified with goodness, which he practices without effort, without calculation; that is to say, without thinking about it. While he who is obliged to combat low tendencies is always in a battle with them. The first is already conqueror, the second on the way to victory. There is, then, original virtue, as there is original knowledge, and original sin, or, more correctly, imperfection.