Lord Jesus Christ Himself says in the Gospel: 'That 1 servant, which knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.' Hence it is clear that God Most Merciful, in judging these and all other men, will take into consideration all the circumstances of each human being, and will judge men in accordance with the true light given forth in our hearts by the lamp which he has kindled there and which we call conscience. Conscience sheds its light on not only deeds but also thoughts and motives. None of these can be concealed from the eyes of him 2 with whom we have to do, and who is aware whether we have obeyed or transgressed the commandments of the moral law 3 within us. Accordingly it is written in the New Testament: 'There is no 4 respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law and as many as have sinned under law shall be judged by law; for not the hearers of a law are just before God, but the doers of a law shall be justified.' Therefore those who were ignorant of the law contained in the written word of God but

1 Luke xii. 47-8. 2 Heb. iv. 13.
3 Rom. ii. 14-15. 3 Rom. ii. 11-13.



have transgressed the moral law of conscience will receive punishment for their sins, but not such severe punishment as will those people who, knowing the revealed law of God, have disobeyed it. Yet, since there is no man who has always walked in full accordance with the law of conscience and has satisfied all its requirements in every respect, except the Lord Jesus Christ alone, therefore even those people who, without any fault of their own, have remained all their lives unaware of God's word and commandments, are not devoid of fault and innocent of sin. Nay 'all 1 have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.' Hence they too cannot obtain salvation except through knowledge of Christ and belief in Him. Until they thus obtain the light of life they must evidently remain in darkness and their sins cannot be forgiven. Accordingly it is written in St. John's Gospel: 'He 2 that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life.' Some have supposed that possibly those who in this world, through no fault of their own, have lived and died without any opportunity of hearing of God's love manifested in Christ will be given that opportunity in the next world, before the resurrection. Of this we have no certain information in the holy Scriptures. We know that God loves all men, that Christ died and rose again for all men, that in the nature of things all men

1 Rom. iii. 23. 2 John iii. 36.