The Evangelical Universalist Forum




“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.”



“Nothing can be more contrary to the divine nature and attributes, than for a God all wise, all-good, all-powerful, and all-perfect, to bestow existence on any being Who He foreknows must terminate in wretchedness and misery without respite of end. His goodness could never give birth to any one being, and much less to numberless beings whose end He foresaw would be irretrievable misery; nor could even His justice inflict everlasting punishment.

God made all His creatures finally to be happy; He could never make any whose end He foreknew would be misery everlasting. God is love; infinite benevolence alone prompted Him to action, and infinite benevolence combined with unerring wisdom, and supported by irresistible power, will infallibly accomplish its purpose in the best possible manner.”


#145 – THE TRUE STORY OF MY LIFE – Hans Christian Andersen

“I received gladly, both with feeling and understanding, the doctrine that God is love.
Everything which opposes this –- a burning hell, therefore, whose fire endures forever –- I could not recognize.”


#146 – LIFE – Thomas Guthrie

“St. John uses a very broad expression. ‘Jesus Christ,’ he says, ‘is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ ‘The whole world. Ah,’ some would say, ‘that is dangerous language.’ It is God’s language – John speaking as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. It throws a zone of mercy around the world. Perish the thought that would narrow it by a hand’s breadth.”



“Are God and His ways to be represented as something so different from the best attributes of humanity? If an angel were to tell me to believe in eternal punishment I would not do it; for it would better become me to believe the angel a delusion, than God monstrous; and we make Him monstrous when we make Him the author of eternal punishment, though we may not have the courage to think so. For God’s sake, let us have piety enough to believe Him better.”


#148 – THE PEOPLE’S OWN BOOK – F. De La Mennais (1782-1854)

“If suffering was eternal, we should be compelled to conceive of it as independent, as subsisting by itself, or to admit something still more monstrous, for if it was not self-existent, if it was dependant on the divine will, God would be the direct author of eternal suffering.

But what Christ said is now and ever will be true:- ‘Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ And one day all will come unto Him. The world, deluged with light, and feeling within itself, with the revival of hope, the revival also of faith and love, shall salute that day with songs of joy.”


#149 – THE EPICURIAN – Thomas Moore

“The God of benevolence, in Whose hands sin and death are but instruments of everlasting good, and Who, bringing all things ‘out of darkness into His marvelous light,’ proceeds watchfully, and unchangingly to the great, final object of His providence, the restoration of the whole human race to purity and happiness.”


#150 – POEM BY HOSEA BALLOU (1771-1852)

“In God’s eternity
There shall a day arise,
When all the race of man shall be
With Jesus in the skies.

As night before the rays
Of morning flees away,
Sin shall retire before the blaze
Of God’s eternal day.

As music fills the grove
When stormy clouds are past,
Sweet anthems of redeeming love
Shall all employ at last.

Redeemed from death and sin
Shall Adam’s numerous race,
A ceaseless song of praise begin,
And shout redeeming grace.”


#151 – In A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, John Wesley Hanson quotes Thomas Belsham (1750-1829).

“I affirm that there is not in the whole voluminous code of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, from the beginning of Genesis, to the end of Revelation, one single passage, one solitary text, in which the doctrine of the eternity of hell-torments is taught.

We see the triumph of God’s benevolence in restoring the dead transgressor to life; in visiting him with suffering in exact proportion to the greatness of his offences; and finally, in his ultimate purification from moral stain, and his restoration to virtue, to happiness, and to God. This clears up at once all the difficulties of divine dispensations, and the belief of it fills the pious and contemplative mind with unspeakable satisfaction and delight.”


#152 – In A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, John Wesley Hanson records the following words of John Prior Estlin (1747-1817).

“To a belief in the doctrine of the eternity of hell torments, I impute more absurdity, more misery, and more un-Christian conduct, than to all other false opinions put together. The effects of this doctrine, when a person applies it to himself, are gloom and despair, often terminating in mental derangement; when he applies it to others, pride, cruelty, hatred, and all the worst passions of human nature.

It certainly argues a greater degree of benevolence in the Governor of the world, after the punishment of His creatures, to restore them to His favor, than either to preserve them in misery, or to blot them out of existence.

The firm belief in the doctrine of final universal restoration, has afforded much consolation to myself during a large portion of my life; has rendered advanced years placid and serene, and enables me to contemplate death itself, notwithstanding its gloomy appearance, as one of the most essential blessings of the whole plan of Providence.

I would as a friend, advise everyone to take this subject into his most serious consideration. I would wish him to experience during the remainder of his life, all the happiness which results from the full persuasion of this delightful doctrine. I pray to God that others may experience that perpetual sunshine of the mind, that joy in the divine administration, that serenity through life, and that cheering prospect in the hour of death, which the belief in the doctrine of final universal restoration does so manifestly inspire.”


#153 - In A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, John Wesley Hanson records the following words of Jung Stilling (1740-1817).

“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.”


#154 – FOOL OF QUALITY – Henry Brooke

“And thus, on the grand and final consummation, when every will shall be subdued to the will of good to all, our Jesus will take in hand the resigned chordage of our hearts. He will tune them as so many instruments, and will touch them with the finger of His own divine feelings. Then shall the wisdom, the might, the goodness of our God, become the wisdom, might and goodness of all His intelligent creatures. The happiness of each shall multiply and overflow in the wishes and participation of the happiness of all. The universe shall begin to sound with the song of congratulation, and all voices shall break forth in an eternal hallelujah of praise transcending praise, and glory transcending glory to God and the Lamb.”


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#155 – OBSERVATIONS ON MAN – Dr. David Hartley

“I thank God that He has at last brought me to a lively sense of His infinite goodness and mercy to all, and that I now see it in all His works, and in every page of His Word. It has taught me to love every man and to rejoice in the happiness which our Heavenly Father intends for all; and has dispersed all the gloomy and melancholy thoughts which arise from the apprehension of eternal misery for myself or friends.

How long, or how much God will punish wicked men, He has nowhere said, and therefore I cannot tell. But this I am sure of, that in judgment He will remember mercy; that He chastens only because He loves, and His tender mercies are over all His works. God will conduct the wicked through all the afflictions which He thinks fit to lay upon them for their good, with infinite tenderness and compassion.”


#156 - In A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, John Wesley Hanson records the following words of Olympiodorus (A.D. 550)

“Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless eons. The soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the divinity, but for the sake of healing. The soul is punished for an eonian period (aionios) calling its life and its allotted period of punishment its eon.”


#157 – FUTURE LIFE - William Rounseville Alger

“Even the loathsome realm of darkness and torment shall be burnished and made part of the all-inclusive Paradise. All darkness, falsehood, and suffering, shall flee utterly away, and the whole universe be filled by the illumination of good spirits, blessed with fruitions of eternal delight.”



“I cannot believe that the Lord will cast away from Him nations whose only crime it is never to have heard of the gospel. No, let us abjure the rashness of setting bounds to the divine mercy.”


#159 – THE MYSTERY OF GOD – Gerard Winstanley

“Christ Jesus will deliver all mankind out of bondage. This I see to be a truth by testimony of Scripture, as God is pleased to teach me. But this mystery of God is not to be done all at once, but in several dispensations, some whereof are past, some are in being, and some are yet to come. The whole creation of mankind, which is God’s work, shall be delivered from corruption, bondage, death, and pain. Mankind shall be by Christ reconciled to his Maker and be made one in spirit with Him; i.e. the curse shall be removed, and the power of it killed and consumed.

Truly this is according to the current of the whole Scriptures, that everyone shall be made of one heart and one spirit, i.e. that all shall be brought to obey the Father, walk humbly before Him, and live in peace and love in Him. This is the doctrine of Christ and the gospel. This is glad tidings to hear of. When you are made to enjoy this doctrine as yours, then you shall know what it is to know the Son, and what it is to be set free by the Son.”