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The existence of hell is proved first of all from the Bible . Moreover, if all men were fully convinced that the sinner need fear no kind of punishment after death, moral and social order would be seriously menaced. Again, if there were no retribution beyond that which takes place before our eyes here on earth, we should have to consider God extremely indifferent to good and evil, and we could in no way account for His justice and holiness.
Wherever Christ and the Apostles speak of hell they presuppose the knowledge of its existence ( Matthew ; ; ; ; , 46 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ; Revelation 21:8 , etc.). Nor can it be said: the wicked will be punished, but not by any positive infliction: for either death will be the end of their existence, or, forfeiting the rich reward of the good, they will enjoy some lesser degree of happiness.
Hence, there will also be punishment for sin in the next life.
The adherents of this doctrine were called Ubiquists, or Ubiquitarians; among them were, e.g., Johann Brenz, a Swabian, a Protestant theologian of the sixteenth century.
However, that opinion is universally and deservedly rejected; for it is more in keeping with their state of punishment that the damned be limited in their movements and confined to a definite place.
A very complete development of the Scriptural argument, especially in regard to the Old Testament , may be found in Atzberger's "Die christliche Eschatologie in den Stadien ihrer Offenbarung im Alten und Neuen Testament", Freiburg, 1890. These are arbitrary and vain subterfuges, unsupported by any sound reason ; positive punishment is the natural recompense of evil.
Also the Fathers, from the very earliest times, are unanimous in teaching that the wicked will be punished after death. Besides, due proportion between demerit and punishment would be rendered impossible by an indiscriminate annihilation of all the wicked.