I’ve read 3 books by Gregory: On the Soul and the Resurrection, A Treatise on the First Corinthians 15.28, and On Infants’ Early Deaths. The first two obviously teach universalism but the third one obviously doesn’t.
Here’s an extract: “Certainly, in comparison with one who has lived all his life in sin, not only the innocent babe but even one who has never come into the world at all will be blessed. We learn as much too in the case of Judas, from the sentence pronounced upon him in the Gospels (Matthew 26:24); namely, that when we think of such men, that which never existed is to be preferred to that which has existed in such sin. For, as to the latter, on account of the depth of the ingrained evil, the chastisement in the way of purgation will be extended into infinity; but as for what has never existed, how can any torment touch it?” According to this, Judas and some similarly grievous sinners (devils and demons presumably included) will never be saved. God tries to purify them but the evil is just too deeply ingrained to ever be fully removed, and so their purification will turn into endless torment. Thus, it would better for them never to have existed.
Toward the end of the same work, Gregory seems to be trying to explain why God would allow for infinite punishment. However, the argument that he makes might disturb or disgust some of you: “Somewhere in his utterances the great David declares that some portion of the blessedness of the virtuous will consist in this; in contemplating side by side with their own felicity the perdition of the reprobate. He says, “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his hands in the blood of the ungodly” (Psalm 58:10); not indeed as rejoicing over the torments of those sufferers, but as then most completely realizing the extent of the well-earned rewards of virtue. He signifies by those words that it will be an addition to the felicity of the virtuous and an intensification of it, to have its contrary set against it. In saying that “he washes his hands in the blood of the ungodly” he would convey the thought that “the cleanness of his own acting in life is plainly declared in the perdition of the ungodly.” For the expression “wash” represents the idea of cleanness; but no one is washed, but is rather defiled, in blood; whereby it is clear that it is a comparison with the harsher forms of punishment that puts in a clearer light the blessedness of virtue.” Aquinas later borrowed this line of reasoning if I’m not mistaken.
Gregory describes himself as aged at the beginning of the work, so the most logical conclusion to me appears to be that he stopped believing in universalism toward the end of his life. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever encountered other statements in Gregory that directly contradict univesalism?