#171 – PHILOSOPHICAL AND CRITICAL INQUIRIES CONCERNING CHRISTIANITY – Charles Bonnet
“It will be suitable to the spirit of the whole system of thought to set forth the pains of the wicked as aionion, or rather of an indefinite duration.
If in the Supreme Being, justice be goodness guided by wisdom; if Almighty Benevolence essentially requires the improvement of all intelligent beings; if punishments can be the means of leading to perfection; if there be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth; if there be much love where much has been forgiven: My heart leaps for joy – I am lost in admiration – what a wonderful chain of doctrines! The compassion of the Only Good is infinite – ‘He desireth not the death of a sinner; but that he should turn from his wickedness and live.’ God DESIRETH! – and shall He desire in vain?
The celestial heralds commissioned to celebrate by their hymns the glad tidings, were to instruct these shepherds in the object and the extent of the mission of Christ – on earth peace, good will towards men – GOOD WILL – not towards one single elected nation, but towards all the nations of the world. GOOD WILL – not to one single generation; but to every generation past and to come. The Benevolence of the Best and greatest of Beings includes all mankind, BECAUSE HE IS THE FATHER OF ALL.”