“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.”


“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.”


#173 – ERSKINE’S SKETCHES OF CHURCH HISTORY records the words of John Gasper Christian Lavater.

“God is not gracious in time and cruel through eternity. Ascribe not to God, what in a human judge all would account a defect in wisdom and goodness, the punishing for the sake of punishing. It is enough my Creator, Thou art love. Love seeketh not her own; Thou seekest the happiness of all, and shouldst Thou not then find what Thou seekest? Shouldst Thou not be able to do what Thou willest?

My prayers are comprehensive. I embrace in my heart all men; present and future times, and nations, yea Satan himself. I present them all to God, with the warmest wishes that He will have mercy on them all.”


#174 - WHAT IS TRUTH? ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE – Don Bast (published 2011)

“It has taken me a long time to unlearn the harmful instruction received over many years of indoctrination. It is God’s word alone that is the trustworthy source of truth. The good news of the glory of our happy God (1Tim. 1:11) will expose the error and set us free from the spiritual bondage of man’s creeds.

At the present time salvation is enjoyed only by those who believe; the balance of mankind will be saved at the consummation. A savior is one who actually saves. God is the savior of all mankind, not just the ‘potential’ savior. When the truth concerning the eons displaces the error about eternity, judgment and grace are seen to work harmoniously together till each reaches its predestined goal. All the threats of punishment to follow the judgment of the wicked can be accepted at their full, dreadful value without doing violence to our innate sense of justice, and without denying the predictions of a final victory of grace.

Someday the entire creation itself shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God, and is groaning and travailing, even now, in anticipation. We ourselves also, who have the first fruit of the spirit, we also are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body. For to expectation were we saved (Rom. 8:21-24).

Whatever trials and troubles come our way we are assured that it is not a sign of God’s anger or even displeasure. The bond of love we share with God through His Son will never be broken. His desire to please us and be with us never changes. The love of God in our hearts is our steadfast anchor through all the storms of life.”


#175 – MEMOIRS OF THE PRIVATE LIFE OF MY FATHER (James Necker) – by Baroness de Stael Holstien

“Eternal punishment! Power Almighty, can they who entertain such an idea know Thee? Eternal fire for those miserable creatures who have so many combats to sustain, and are armed with such feeble weapons! Power Almighty, Thy goodness preceded our birth, it still subsists, it will subsist after we are cut off by the hand of death.”


#176 – LETTER OF RESOLUTION – clergyman George Rust

“To imagine that man, for his disposition, be kept in a never-to-be-ended doom of intolerable pain and anguish of body and mind, is to fix so harsh a note upon the mercy and equity of the Righteous Judge of all the world, that the same temper in a man we would execrate and abominate.”



“Vindictive justice, in the Deity, is, I own, no article in my creed.
All punishment in the hands of an infinitely wise and good Being, I think, must be medicinal, and what we call chastisement.”


#178 – 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!”


#179 – DYER’S LIFE OF ROBINSON (eighteenth century)
In a letter to a friend, Robert Robinson wrote

“These believers in eternal torment are never shocked; they never blush; but affirm, ‘This is wise and just, and kind; and it will be more glorious to God to save me, and damn them to endless and unavoidable woe, than it would be to share eternal life amongst us, and we few, though we hate one another here, shall be the happier for the damnation of the rest.’

Barbarians! What arrogant madness inspires you?
Poor * honies! – servants that know not what their Lord doth.
O my soul, to such be not thou united.
Cursed be their anger, for it is cruel.”

  • (definition of “honies” – “the common man without proper revelation”)


#180 – SERMONS by George Walker (eighteenth century)

“Some have thought that they could not clothe the future punishment of sin with sufficient terrors, and have given therefore, such exaggerated descriptions of them, both as to degree and duration, as in the opinion of many, can no way be reconciled with just sentiments of God.

The future punishment of the wicked does, in God’s nature, suppose a capacity to be relieved of it, of gradually acquiring that better state of mind, and returning inclination towards virtue, which is the first and most desirable end of all punishment.”


#181 – From a letter by John Henderson to Dr. Joseph Priestly (eighteenth century)

“God hath declared that His will is that all should be saved; therefore, the doctrine which forges a contrary will,
falsifies supreme unchangeable truth.

Unceasing torments can answer no possible good to anyone in the universe. I conclude them to be neither the will or work of God. Could I suppose them, I must believe them to be inflicted by a wantonness or cruelty which words cannot express, nor heart conceive.
But let this be the comfort of every humble soul, that it hath pleased God to reconcile all things to Himself.”


#182 – LITERARY HOURS – Dr. Nathan Drake

“That sin and torture should be eternal can neither accord with the justice nor the goodness of Deity, and would appear to many devout Christians to convert the God they should adore and love, into a perfect demon.
Fortunately, however, an opinion so repulsive is neither accordant with reason, nor the Scriptures.”



“In my childhood I found it impossible to fix my belief in the common notion of endless torments. I discovered there are plain arguments from reason and Scripture against that presumptuous doctrine of endless punishment, and I am now cheered with the rational, Scriptural, and as I think, glorious doctrine of the punishment of Divine justice being eventually subservient to a universal purification and fitness for heavenly habitations.”



“But the Scripture which crowns all, and the last which I shall bring into proof, is Revelation 5:13. Here all creation is at Christ’s feet, and that not with tears in their eyes, or petitions in their hands, not with crying or supplications or weeping because things were hidden and kept secret; but with joy in their hearts, and praises in their mouths; with melody on their lips, and hallelujahs on their tongues; with looks and countenances full of satisfaction and delight; and their faces, instead of gathering blackness, turning into paleness, or being covered with shame and confusion (as once was the case with some of them) they all now shine as the sun, replete with light, life and love, full of ecstasy and rapture. And that because the book written within and on the backside, and sealed with seven seals, is now opened and unsealed, and all things revealed and explained: their own cases particularly unfolded to their view, with all the ways and means their loving Saviour took to bring them to the situation they are now in, with other miracles of grace and love.

Where then there is universal praise and thanksgiving, universal harmony and love, and both heaven and earth sounding and resounding acclamations of joy and peace, there must be universal salvation.”


#185 – Anna Letitia Barbuald, widow of Rev. Rochemont Barbuald wrote
“Rochemont’s favorite doctrine was the final salvation of all the human race. He preached many sermons on this doctrine, which he defended both in the pulpit and in conversation with zeal and enthusiasm, which his congregation and his friends cannot but well remember.”

Anna further commented, “I think it would be desirable to separate from religion that idea of gloom, which in this country (England) has but too generally accompanied it.
No one who embraces the common idea of future endless torments, that sins committed against an infinite Being do therefore deserve infinite punishment, no one, I will venture to assert, can believe such tenants, and have them often in his thoughts, and yet be cheerful.

Surely this age (the eighteenth century) which has demolished dungeons, rejected torture, and given so fair a prospect of abolishing the iniquity of the slave trade, cannot long retain among its articles of belief, the gloomy perplexities of Calvinism, and the heart-withering perspective of cruel and never-ending punishments.”



In UNIVERSALIST MISCELLANY, commenting on that work, William Vidler wrote,
“He considers the genuine import of the words and phrases which are thought to prove the endless duration of punishment, which he contends do not necessarily bear that sense, and he touches upon the usual topics of argument by which universalism has been defended.”



“The doctrine of eternal torments is a millstone that Christians hang around the neck of the Gospel. The words translated ‘eternal,’ ‘everlasting,’ ‘forever,’ and the like, generally signify limited periods of duration.

Everything is from God, and for the good of all. All things, good as well as what we call evil, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom and Benevolence, for the wisest and most gracious purposes for everyone.”


#188 – About Dr. Joseph Priestly, Thomas Whittimore writes in THE MODERN HISTORY OF UNIVERSALISM

“He believed that God’s punishment will not be administered with the slightest tincture of revenge, but as a necessary means of qualifying the sinner for a better state of existence, which his present propensities disqualify him from enjoying. It is not the effect of anger in an irritated and avenging tyrant as the abominable tenets of orthodoxy would induce us to think of the Deity, but it is the medicine administered for our good by the Physician of our souls. Nor have we any reason to believe that it is greater in degree, or longer in duration than is necessary to produce the beneficial effect for which it is inflicted.

It was a constant source of great consolation to him that all things exist and move on harmoniously to produce universal good by Divine appointment and direction.”


#189 – In an introduction to his translation of the New Testament, Nathaniel Scarlett wrote

“It has been a means of propagating the doctrine of endless damnation, which states that God will kindle a fire, and so constantly supply it with combustible matter, brimstone, by His all creating power, as to endure as long as He Himself shall exist; and that the subjects of future punishment, being raised incorruptible and indissoluble, shall for the same period endure burning in the lake of fire, God having no end in view but the endless misery of His creatures.

The editor hopes the translation he has given will help to remove so degrading an idea of God, Who is love; and although He will afflict the wicked in the lake of fire and brimstone; yet He has a great and grand design in so doing – punishment being a means to accomplish an end, and not the end itself.”

Fourteen other literally (not interpretively) translated Bibles that reveal what God will do with the sinners in Matthew 25:46
Concordant Literal, Young’s literal, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott, Rotherham’s Emphasized, Nathaniel Scarlett’s, J.W. Hanson’s New Covenant, Twentieth Century, Ferrar Fenton, The Western New Testament, Weymouth’s (unedited), Clementson’s, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, Bullinger’s Companion Bible margins, Jonathan Mitchell’s translation (2010).


#190 – In a letter to a friend, James Edmands (nineteenth century) wrote

“The death of Christ ensured the restoration of all as a result. Men are now in the hands of a Mediator, Who deals with them as rational and accountable beings, and afflicts, whether here or hereafter, only in order to bring them to a deep sense of their own folly, and then restores them to His favor. Those who love and believe in Him in this life, are the first fruits, and those who do not will be the harvest or ingathering.”