o be prudent; it does not of itself destroy the desire to offend--only shame can do that; if our wish to be different comes merely from our being afraid to transgress, then, if the fear of punishment were to be removed, we should go back with a light heart to our old sins. We may obey irresponsible power, because we know that it can hurt us if we disobey; but unless we can perceive the reason why this and that is forbidden, we cannot concur with law. We learn as children that flame has power to hurt us, but we only dread the fire because it can injure us, not because we admire the reason which it has for burning. So long as we do not sin simply because we know the laws of life which punish sin, we have not learned any hatred of sin; it is only because we hate the punishment more than we love the sin, that we abstain.
Socrates once said, in one of his wise paradoxes, that it was better to sin knowingly than ignorantly. That is a hard saying, but it means that at least if we sin knowingly, there is some
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