Florence Nightingale on the traditional church doctrine of Hell

In regard to God, and the traditional church doctrine of Hell, Florence Nightingale had this to say:

“I can’t love because I am ordered. Least of all can I love One who seems only to make me miserable here to torture me hereafter. Show me that He is good, that He is loveable, and I shall love Him without being told.

But does any preacher show this? He may say that God is good, but he shows Him to be very bad; he may say that God is ‘Love’, but he shows him to be hate, worse than any hate of man. As the Persian poet says; ‘If God punishes me for doing evil by doing me evil, how is he better than I?’ And it is hard to answer, for certainly the worst man would hardly torture his enemy, if he could, for ever. And unless God has a scheme that every man is to saved for ever, it is hard to say in what He is not worse than man; for all good men would save others if they could…

It is of no use saying that God is just, unless we define what justice is. In all Christian times people have said that ‘God is just’ and have credited him with an injustice such as transcends all human injustice that it is possible to conceive.”

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