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Chapter XXVIII.—Eternity of Punishments.

“But if any persist in impiety till the end of life, then as soon as the soul, which is immortal, departs, it shall pay the penalty of its persistence in impiety.  For even the souls of the impious are immortal, though perhaps they themselves would wish them to end with their bodies.  But it is not so; for they endure without end the torments of eternal fire, and to their destruction they have not the quality of mortality.  But perhaps you will say to me, You terrify us, O Peter.  And how shall we speak to you the things which are in reality?  Can we declare to you the truth by keeping silence?  We cannot state the things which are, otherwise than as they are.  But if we were silent, we should make ourselves the cause of the ignorance that is ruinous to you, and should satisfy the serpent that lurks within you, and blocks up your senses, who cunningly suggests these things to you, that he may make you always the enemies of God.  But we are sent for this end, that we may betray his disguises to you; and melting your enmities, may reconcile you to God, that you may be converted to Him, and may please Him by good works.  For man is at enmity with God, and is in an unreasonable and impious state of mind and wicked disposition towards Him, especially when he thinks that he knows something, and is in ignorance.  But when you lay aside these, and begin to be pleased and displeased with the same things which please and displease God, and to will what God willeth then ye shall truly be called His friends.

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