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Chapter XLI.—Cavils of Simon.

Then said Peter:  “This very thing which draws you into incredulity, affords to us a certain conviction that there shall be a judgment.  For since it is certain that God is just, it is a necessary consequence that there is another world, in which every one receiving according to his deserts, shall prove the justice of God.  But if all men were now receiving according to their deserts, we should truly seem to be deceivers when we say that there is a judgment to come; and therefore this very fact, that in the present life a return is not made to every one according to his deeds, affords, to those who know that God is just, an indubitable proof that there shall be a judgment.”  Then said Simon:  “Why, then, am I not persuaded of it?”  Peter:  “Because you have not heard the true Prophet saying, ‘Seek first His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ 695   “Then said Simon:  “Pardon me if I am unwilling to seek righteousness, before I know if the soul is immortal.”  Then Peter:  “You also pardon me this one thing, because I cannot do otherwise than the Prophet of truth has instructed me.”  Then said Simon:  “It is certain that you cannot assert that the soul is immortal, and therefore you cavil, knowing that if it be proved to be mortal, the whole profession of that religion which you are attempting to propagate will be plucked up by the roots.  And therefore, indeed, I commend your prudence, while I do not approve your persuasiveness; for you persuade many to embrace your religion, and to submit to the restraint of pleasure, in hope of future good things; to whom it happens that they lose the enjoyment of things present, and are deceived with hopes of things future.  For as soon as they die, their soul shall at the same time be extinguished.”



Matt. vi. 33.

Next: Chapter XLII