Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

21 sins committed during ten, twenty or a like number of
years, condemn the sinner to fall forever into hell? But the
judge is just and his judgments righteous, thou lover of
rectitude; for if it be not just that He should cast into ever*
lasting fire him who has sinned during a short time, as is
written; then also is it not just that He should cause him
who has been righteous during a short time to inherit the
everlasting kingdom. And if it seems to thee that the sinner
should be judged according to the number of years during which
he has sinned, it would then follow that the righteous should
enjoy happiness also according to the number of years dur¬
ing which he practised righteousness. So that he who sinned
during ten years would remain in the fire for only ten, and
he who practised righteousness for ten years would also
remain in the kingdom for only ten years and would then
leave it. If the first (proposition) be just, and the second also right
(in consequence), then the thief who was on the right hand
could have been but a single hour in the Garden of Eden,
for he burned with faith but for an hour when he besought
Christ to remember him in his kingdom. It is not so, friend, it is not so; not according to thine
opinion is the righteous judgment of the just God governed,
(which is) that these should go into eternal fire, and the
righteous into eternal life. The sinner who repents not,
if he had lived forever, would have sinned forever, and