A Poem – by Soame Jenyns

POEM by Soame Jenyns (eighteenth century)

“Oh could mankind but make this truth their guide
And force the helm from prejudice and pride,
Were once these maxims fixed, that God’s our friend,
Virtue our good, and happiness our end.

How soon must reason o’er the world prevail,
And error, fraud and superstition fail!
None would hereafter, then, with groundless fear, 
Describe the Almighty cruel and severe

Predestinating some without pretense
To Heav’n, and some to hell for no offense;
Inflicting endless pains for transient crimes,
And fav’ring sects, or nations, men or climbs.

None would fierce zeal for piety mistake,
Or malice for whatever tenets sake,
Or think salvation to a few confined
And heav’n too narrow to contain mankind!”

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soame_Jenyns

The modern history of universalism – Thomas Whittimore

The modern history of universalism – Thomas Whittimore

“In his book THOUGHTS ON DIVINE GOODNESS, Ferdinand Oliver Petitpierre taught that men are sinners, and God punishes them with severity; but this severity is dictated by goodness, and all the punishments God inflicts are declared to be for the sinner’s good.

How opposed to this is the dreadful doctrine of eternal punishment, an error which grew up under a misconception of the meaning of the word rendered everlasting. God punishes always to reform, a fact which the author establishes with the most irresistible reasoning.

‘These shall go away into eonian punishment’ in which the word rendered punishment, he maintains, quoting the authority of Wittenbach, and Grotius, signifies a remedial, corrective discipline. The infinite authority of God is entirely founded on His goodness.
‘Eternal’ punishment is real evil, an infinite evil, in which everything conspires to exclude from God’s plan of the ages.”

Jung Stilling on “olam” and “aionios”

 Jung Stilling (1740-1817) wrote:

“Not a single soul will be lost. They will all – all be saved at last. The Holy Scriptures do not in one instance say the contrary. All the passages wherewith some are essaying to prove the infinity of hell torments, prove nothing further then that they shall continue an undefined time. The Hebrew word olam, and the Greek word aionios signify nowhere an infinite, but an indefinite length of time.”

The unity of the New Testament by John A.D. Mauricq

THE UNITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT – John A.D. Mauricq

“In Romans 5, the justification is co-extensive with the condemnation. Since all share in one, all share in the other. If only a certain portion of the human race had partaken of the sin of Adam, only a certain portion would partake of the justification of Christ. But St. Paul affirms all to have been involved in one, and all to be included in the other.”

A Word to The ‘Elect’ a poem by Anne Bronte

A Word to The ‘Elect’ a poem by Anne Bronte

You may rejoice to think yourselves secure;
You may be grateful for the gift divine –
That grace unsought, which made your black hearts pure,
And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to shine.

But, is it sweet to look around, and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness
Which they deserved, at least, as much as you, –
Their faults not greater, nor their virtues less?

And, wherefore should you love your God the more,
Because to you alone his smiles are given;
Because he chose to pass the many o’er,
And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?

And, wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove,
Because for ALL the Saviour did not die?
Is yours the God of justice and of love?
And are your bosoms warm with charity?

Say, does your heart expand to all mankind?
And, would you ever to your neighbor do –
The weak, the strong, the enlightened, and the blind –
As you would have your neighbor do to you?

And, when you, looking on your fellow-men,
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then? –
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

That none deserve eternal bliss I know;
Unmerited the grace in mercy given:
But, none shall sink to everlasting woe,
That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.

And, oh! there lives within my heart
A hope, long nursed by me;
(And, should its cheering ray depart,
How dark my soul would be!)

That as in Adam all have died,
In Christ shall all men live;
And ever round his throne abide,
Eternal praise to give.

That even the wicked shall at last
Be fitted for the skies;
And, when their dreadful doom is past,
To life and light arise.

I ask not, how remote the day,
Nor what the sinners’ woe,
Before their dross is purged away;
Enough for me, to know

That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They’ll cling to what they once disdained,
And live by Him that died.

The Shaking of Heaven and Earth by Charles Kingsley

“We do not deny that the wages of sin is death. We do not deny the necessity and certainty of punishment. Only tell us not that it must be endless, and thereby destroy its whole purpose. We too believe in an eternal fire, but we believe its existence to be not a curse but a blessing. That fire is God Himself Who taketh away the sins of the world, and of Whom it is therefore written, ‘Our God is a consuming fire.”

“We do not deny that the wages of sin is death. We do not deny the necessity and certainty of punishment. Only tell us not that it must be endless, and thereby destroy its whole purpose. We too believe in an eternal fire, but we believe its existence to be not a curse but a blessing. That fire is God Himself Who taketh away the sins of the world, and of Whom it is therefore written, ‘Our God is a consuming fire.”

A Bible Dictionary by John R. Beard

“The word translated ‘everlasting’ or ‘eternal’ expresses time, and not eternity.

Punishment that does not end in reformation is vindictiveness, which cannot be ascribed to our Merciful Father.

How then has it come to pass that belief in eternal punishment took root in the Christian church?

Ancient doctors of the church, mislead by theoretical conclusions, declared that sin was an infinite transgression, to be atoned for only by an infinite expiation. The doctrine is the child of human reasoning.”

Adolph Ernst Knoch on eionion times

Knoch, Adolph Ernst (1874-1965), German speaking American theological writer, Bible translator and publisher, and founder of ConcordantPublishing Concern (the Universalist offshoot of the Plymouth Brethren). Knoch designed the hyper literal Concordant Version/Translation of the Bible – his great labour of love – to put the reader who lacks a formal knowledge of Koine Greek in touch with the meaning of the original manuscripts (the Old Testament is largely the work of Vladimir Gelesnoff, although many others were involved including Adlai Loudy and Ernest Stroeter).

‘The Brethren changed “God wills all men to be saved”, to God “wishes”, but my concordance showed me that it was the Brethren who wished it so, not God … They also altered “the Saviour of all” to “the Preserver of all” … Romans five and First Corinthians fifteen and Colossians one contained statements which I could not believe because they contradicted many other passages dealing with the fate of unbelievers. It was only after the truth as to the eonian times was opened up to me that I was able to exult in their glorious unfoldings”. (Unsearchable Riches, vol.24, Concordant Publishing Concern, Almont, Michigan, USA, pp.65-69).