List of those of who reject traditional hellism

General posts on Evangelical Universalism.

List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby pog » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am

Modern, 20th-21st centuries (death post 1900)


Convinced Christian Universalists

Abbé Mugnier, Arthur (1853-1944), French Roman Catholic priest famous for taking part in the social and literary life of Paris, and nicknamed "the apostle of letters and forgiveness". He was the originator of a saying about hell which has been much used in different contexts:
Upon being asked if he believed in hell he replied - “Yes, because it is the dogma of the Church—but I don’t believe anyone is in it” (Lee Foster Hartman, Frederick Lewis Allen (eds.) Harper's Magazine, Volume 159, New York, 1929, p. 270).

Abbott, Louis (1915 –xxxx), American independent biblical scholar who has spent over fifty years studying diligently has researched the Scriptures for his An Analytical Study of Words:
'The teaching of eternal torment has permeated the Western civilization for about 1500 years. Few realize the early believers were not indoctrinated into this mind-set by Christian leaders. Today it is not long before a child, even though never having read a Bible is exposed to the doctrine of eternal torment as fact. It is important to be absolutely certain regarding such an important subject whether we are reading the Bible through pre-conditioned eyes or through enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. Ask God to reveal through the spirit of revelation all of His attributes and character. One must not know His love, power, omnipresence, mercy through words on a page, one must receive these things by the spirit. Then the Bible will be read with clear eyes of understanding. Then the Bible will confirm what the spirit has revealed' (An Analytical Study of Words available at Tentmakers).

Adam, Rev Dr. Jens (xxxx-), former assistant to Professor Eckstein and of the Department of New Testamentat the University of Tubingen; studied at Tubingen, Heidelberg, Jerusalem (theology, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies and Ethics in Medicine), from 2011 pastor in Büchenbronn, theologian and writer of Paulus und die Versöhnung aller: Eine Studie zum paulinischen Heilsuniversalismus:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Aiken, Mercy (xxxx), American missionary and writer of universalist historical sketches at Tentmaker Ministries:
'If Hell is real, why did God tell the Jews that burning their children alive in the fire to the false god Molech, (in the valley of Gehenna ) was so detestable to Him? God said that such a thing "never even entered His mind" (Jer. 32:35). How could God say such a thing to Israel , if He has plans to burn alive a good majority of His own creation in a spiritual and eternal Gehenna of His of His own making' (from Tentmakers Website).

Alger, William Rounseville (1822-1905), American Unitarian minister, attendee of Harvard Divinity School, Free Mason, abolitionist and author of multiple texts (including A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life and A Symbolic History of the Cross of Christ) who made an important contribution to the development of comparative religious studies and also wrote about eschatology:
'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' (A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life , p.x,1860).

Allin, Thomas (1838-1909), Church of Ireland clergyman, graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and botanical naturalist. Influenced by the work of Hosea Ballou, he wrote on the subject of universalism (especially his 1905 work Universalism Asserted):
'Christ’s work shall go on till the last straying sheep shall have been found by the Good Shepherd. Then, at the expiry of these ages ‘cometh the end’ when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, and God shall be All in all' (Christ Triumphant, p. x).

Amirault, Gary (xxxx-), American non-denominational Universalist, YouTube speaker, and founder of Tentmaker Ministries that produces and provides new and historical resources focussed on the message of universal salvation, and provides a counselling service much used by distressed and bereaved Christians coming out of an ECT background. Gary comes originally from a conservative evangelical background and promotes biblical universalism, his website carried the flag for Christian universalism before the current wave of interest:
'We invite others to participate in sending out the message of the Everlasting Gospel, which is that Jesus Christ has reconciled the world back unto His and our Father' (About Tentmaker at the Tentmaker website).

Amirault, Michelle (xxxx-), American non-denominational Universalist and YouTube speaker. Michelle is very active in the counselling service of Tentmaker Ministries. She comes originally from a Reformed Jewish background and speaks movingly of her problem filled conversion to Christianity on YouTube where she says of the victims of the Holocaust (and other genocides):
‘Our Father is not going to raise them from torture and torture them some more just because they didn’t know the Messiah' (from the YouTube broadcast, The Michelle Amirault Story).

van Assen, Dora (1907–1998), Dutch American missionary to Native Americans, tribal Africans, and Maoris, she was also a pioneer of Reconciliation ministries. In her book God's Unfailing Love Revealed in the Cross she tells of a series of visionary revelations that have parallels with Julian of Norwich:
‘In the cross God was revealing Himself as he really is. There His great heart of love was fully exposed to all everywhere. Wonder of wonders! ALL were responding! ALL were worshipping ... Neither did I see sickness, death, nor hell ... The whole restored universe was offering homage and praise unto the lamb ... Remember how I had said, "Oh, God, you don't seem to be fair therefore, how can I love you and worship you fully?" Well, in this vision I know God was giving the answers. He began revealing Himself, as He truly is a God of love, who never could and never will show partiality, as he is no respecter of persons. But through the operation of the eons in Christ, He reaches out to and draws all men unto Himself in their own time and order'' (God's Unfailing Love Revealed in the Cross, Chapter 3, p.4).

Barclay, William (1907-1978), renowned Scottish theologian, Church of Scotland minister, pacifist, popular bible teacher and broadcaster. Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow; holder of degrees in Classics, English Political Economy and Latin, and New Testament Studies; Examiner in New Testament at the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Leeds; a director of the National Bible Society of Scotland, a member of the Translating Committee of the New English Bible, and translator on the Apocryphal Panel; member of the Society for New Testament Studies and of the International Conference on Patristic Studies; editor of the Sunday School Teachers Magazine, and author of the best selling 17 volume Daily Study Bible commentary series. He was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 1969. Barclay suffered from life-long deafness, and had a family tragedy when his 19 year old daughter died in a yachting accident:
'I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God ...The only triumph a father can know is to have all his family back home ... The only possible final triumph is a universe loved by and in love with God' (A Spiritual Autobiography, p.65-7).

Bauman, Rev Dr. Wilbert G. (xxxx-2008), former Lutheran lay preacher, former WW2 Navy Sea Bee, artist, Charismatic minister and writer:
'The doctrine of eternal torment is not found in the Scripture but the teaching of judgment certainly is ... The scriptures suggest that God’s judgments are desirable but not necessarily enjoyable ... Out of love for His creatures, God chastens, and corrects. He judges His creatures for their own good ... The result of God’s judgments must ultimately be profitable and beneficial to the one being punished' (The Gospel, p.x).

Beauchemin, Gerry (xxxx-), experienced missionary and director for Dental Training For Missions; graduate of the National School of Dental Therapy, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Gerry is a popular advocate for Evangelical Universalism best known for his youtube presentations, his website, and his book Hope Beyond Hell (freely available from his website):
'It is impossible that an omnipotent God can fail in His purpose so that some would forever resist unconditional love opting for everlasting pain' (Hope Beyond Hell, p. x).

Beck, Dr. Richard (xxxx-), Award-winning Professor and Department Chair of Psychology at Abilene Christian University, writer (most notably of Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality, and The Authenticity of Faith: The Varieties and Illusions of Religious Experience), and notable blogger at his site Experimental Theology. He was raised (and remains) within the Church of Christ, attended a Catholic High School, and earned his PhD for Experimental Psychology at Southern Methodist University. He has written many papers exploring the psychology of religion:
'I argue, strongly, that UR is the only view that makes Christianity morally, biblically and theologically coherent and that all the other options- e.g., ECT, conditionalism, and annihilationism- make Christianity morally, biblically and theologically incoherent (if not monstrous). I'll argue that deep into the night and into the next day' (Universalism and Doubt: Being Both Hopeful and Dogmatic forum post).

Berdyaev, Count Nikolai Alexandrovich (1874–1948), Russian Orthodox free thinker and religious and political philosopher. Nikolai was a former radical Marxist who suffered three years of internal exile, expulsion from Kiev University, and a charge of blasphemy from the Russian Orthodox Church for his revolutionary activities and publications. After falling out with the post-revolutionary Bolshevik regime he founded the Free Academy of Spiritual Culture in 1919. In 1920 he was made professor of philosophy at the University of Moscow, but after confrontations with the regime was expelled from Russia in 1922:
‘The greater part of Eastern teachers of the Church, from Clement of Alexandria to Maximus the Confessor, were supporters of Apokatastasis, of universal salvation ... Orthodox thought has never been suppressed by the idea of Divine justice and it never forgot the idea of Divine love' (The Truth of Orthodoxy, p. x).

Bradley, Rev. Heath (xxxx-), associate Methodist pastor of preaching and Christian education at Pulaski Heights UMC in Little Rock, Ark., writer of Flames of Love: Hell and Universal Salvation:
'Some Christians have held that hell will destroy or annihilate the wicked, while others have held that hell serves the purpose of correcting and purifying the wicked so they can be united with God. I fall in this last camp ... I began really seriously questioning the existence of an everlasting hell when I was working on a master’s thesis in the area of philosophy of religion. I started out trying to argue against Christian universalism, but the more I studied and prayed about it, it seemed to me that Christian universalism just had stronger arguments philosophically, biblically and theologically' (from 'Q&A: A stand for Christian universalism' in the United Methodist Reporter website, Feb 2013).

Brown, Olympia (1835–1926), American Universalist and suffragist. Regarded as the first woman to graduate from a theological school, as well as becoming the first female full-time ordained minister:
'Dear Friends, stand by this faith. Work for it and sacrifice for it. There is nothing in all the world so important to you as to be loyal to this faith which has placed before you the loftiest ideals, which has comforted you in sorrow, strengthened you for noble duty, and made the world beautiful for you. Do not demand immediate results but rejoice that you are worthy to be entrusted with this great message and that you are strong enough to work for a great true principle without counting the cost. Go on finding ever new applications of these truths and new enjoyments in their contemplation' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Bulgakov, Sergei Nikolaevich (1871–1944), leading Russian Orthodox systematic theologian, graduate from the Law School of Moscow University, professor of Church Law and Theology at the school of law of the Russian Research Institute in Prague, dean and professor of dogmatic theology at Saint Sergius Theological Institute, Paris. A former Marxist he rediscovered his faith in discussions with Tolstoy and wrote many political, economic and religious texts. He was expelled from Russia, along with other intellectuals, as part of the 'Philosopher's Ship' in 1922:
'It is a bizarre conception of the parousia to limit its power to a judgment whereby heaven and hell are separated and hell is eternalized ... An eternal separation of humanity into the elect and the reprobate is clearly not the final meaning of creation ... In other words, the judgment that separates the sheep from the goats and good from evil, both in humankind in its entirety and in individual hearts, is not the definitive conclusion of eschatology ... This pathway can end only with the filling of the void that appeared in heaven as a consequence of the fall, with the return of the fallen angels, the 'lost sheep', to the fullness of the kingdom of God, where God is definitively all in all without any limitation or exception, and creation is without any failure or even minus: "He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet"' (chapter 8 of The Bride of the Lamb, 1945).

Bullinger, Ethelbert William (1837–1913), English Anglican clergyman, theologian and biblical scholar (descended from the Reformer Heinrich Bullinger) who promoted ultradispensationalist theology. Bullingerism differs from mainstream dispensationalism with regard to the beginning of the church: rather than the Church beginning at Pentecost it began after the close of Acts (only revealed in the Prison Epistles of the Apostle Paul). This idea was influential on the 'two-gospels' teaching of the Concordants with whom Bullinger collaborated. He was an annihilationist for most of his life but became open to aeonian universal restoration before he died:
'It is only our own perversity that thus limits God’s grace. Yes, and “When Jesus saw their faith” He saw the desire of His own heart, the work of His own hands. Where there is the Master’s gracious call, there will also be His careful carrying. “Who hath called us unto His eternal glory?” How does He call? By Jesus Christ, it says. Yes, it is all by Christ, with Christ, through Christ, in Christ. Called by Christ to the experience of identification with Him in the glory of God the Father, we are comforted with the fact that as the Head is, so are the members of the body of Christ' (from [i]Stablished, Strengthened, Settled excerpted at the Pilkington and Sons website).

Caird, George Bradford (1917–1984), English Congregationalist theologian, humanitarian, and biblical scholar, former Professor of Old Testament at St. Stephen's College, Edmonton, Alberta, Professor of New Testament at McGill University and Principal of the United Theological College of Montreal; Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture and Professorial Fellow at The Queen's College, University of Oxford. Co-editor of the Journal of Theological Studies, winner of the Collins Religious Book Award for his work The Language and Imagery of the Bible, a translator of The New English Bible Apocrypha and member of the translation panel of The Revised English Bible:
‘The redemption of men from every tribe, tongue, people and race is far from being the whole story of Christ’s work of atonement as John understands it. For he hears the choirs of heaven joined by the voices of the whole creation in a final outburst of praise. This should not be dismissed as mere hyperbole. John knows only too well that there is much on earth and under the earth and in the sea which has no inclination to join in the worship of Christ, and that these hostile elements are represented even in heaven. But such is his confidence in the universality of of Christ’s achievement that his vision cannot stop short of universal response. He agrees with Paul that God has already in the Cross reconciled the whole universe to himself (Col 1:20), and that to make His act of amnesty and reconciliation known to the world is the royal and priestly task of the church, the success of which is already anticipated in the heavenly Amen’ (The Revelation of Saint John, p. 77, 1966).

Cairns, Dr. Scott (1954-), Greek Orthodox convert and poet, Catherine Paine Middlebush Chair in English at the University of Missouri, editor of the American Literary Review, memoirist, essayist and oratorio librettist:
'So it's not so far a stretch from that Divine Excess/ to advocate the sacred possibility/ that in some final, graceful metanoia He/ will mend that ancient wound completely, and for all' (Explorations in New Testament Greek: Apocatastasis).

Campolo, Bart (xxxx-), pastor, writer and speaker, son of Tony Campolo, and founder of Mission Year. Bart sparked controversy with an article in The Journal of Student Ministries entitled 'The Limits of God's Grace', where he argued that God currently wasn't in control of the universe but would eventually triumph over evil:
'I may be wrong in this matter, but I am not in doubt. If indeed faith is being sure of what we hope for, then truly I am a man of faith, for I absolutely know what I hope to be true: that God is completely good, entirely loving, and perfectly forgiving, that God is doing everything possible to overcome evil (which is evidently a long and difficult task), and that God will utterly triumph in the end, despite any and all indications to the contrary. This is my first article of faith. I required no Bible to determine it, and—honestly—I will either interpret away or ignore altogether any Bible verse that suggests otherwise' (The Limits of God’s Grace).

Carter Stapleton, Ruth (1929–1983), American evangelist; Baptist by denomination, Pentecostal by practice - and sister of former US President Jimmy Carter. She was best known for advocacy of a controversial form of faith healing known as “healing of memories” which encourages people to recall and visualize painful memories and then put Jesus in the picture recalling those memories and then bringing Jesus into the picture to “heal” or “forgive” those events:
'The Bible DOES NOT teach that we experience hell after we die, we experience it before we die' (Christianity Today, November 4, l977).

Congdon, David W. (xxxx-), associate editor at IVP Academic, PhD student at Princeton Theological Seminary, evangelical Christian blogger:
'The definition of universalism that I am working with states that all will live in communion with God for eternity. No one will be annihilated or eternally damned. We will indeed be made new, perhaps even purged, and will be raised with new bodies like Jesus Christ who came before us. I do not deny the possibility of a hell, just the eternality of divine punishment' (Why I am a Universalist: Prolegomena).

DeRose, Dr. Keith (1962- ), Allison Foundation Professor of Philosophy at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and best known for his work on contextualism in epistemology; former teacher at New York University, Rice University and UCLA; occasional blogger; Progressive Protestant Open Theist:
‘Universalism is far from a mere doctrine of barren theology; many, like Paul, find great joy in the belief. Part of the joy some find is in the thought that not only they, but their fellow humans, will, eventually at least, experience everlasting life with Christ … For myself, it's hard to even imagine going back to my earlier way of thinking about God’ (Universalism and the Bible, p. xx).

Dodd, Charles Harold (1884–1973), renowned Welsh Congregationalist New Testament scholar and influential theologian, known for promoting "realized eschatology" in his key early work The Parables of the Kingdom (the belief that Jesus' references to the kingdom of God meant a present reality rather than a future apocalypse), and with his students a forerunner to the New Perspective on Paul; Yates Lecturer in New Testament at Oxford, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the Victoria University of Manchester, Emeritus Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of the British Academy; director of the New English Bible . A service of thanksgiving for his life was held in Westminster Abbey - the first time a Free Church minister had been honoured in this way:
'If we really believe in one God and in the Jesus Christ, in what He was and what He did, truly shows us what God’s character and His attitude toward men are like, then it is very difficult to think ourselves out of a belief that somehow His love will find a way of bringing all men into unity with Him' (The Epistle to the Romans , p.184, 1954) and '…as every human being lives under God’s judgment, so every human being is ultimately destined, in God’s mercy, to eternal life' (Quoted unfavourably by Packer, xxxx, p.x).

Eby, J. Preston (xxxx–xxxx), American Pentecostal pastor and writer; early proponent of Latter Rain teachings who became a leading figure in the small branch of Latter Rain who teach Universalist ‘Manifest Sonship’ theology. Eby's originally Mennonite parents became Pentecostal Missionaries whilst Eby was still a child, and Eby recieved both the 'baptism of the Spirit' and an understanding of 'universal reconcilliation' in his twelfth year. He served as a Pentecostal pastoral minister for many years before focussing more on theological writing, especially his Kingdom Bible Studies series:
'Some misguided individuals have argued that the reconciliation of all “things” does not mean men or beings. But pray, tell me, what “things” in the whole vast universe, apart from men and other creatures, are described in the Word of God as “enemies” of God, “alienated” from God, “blasphemers” of God, “haters” of God, etc. in need of reconciliation?’ (from 'Reconciliation', part of the Saviour of the world series available at Tentmakers).

Ellul, Jaques (1912-1994), noted French philosopher, prolific author, sociologist, professor of law, Reformed Church of France lay-theologian, Christian anarchist and professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. In World War II he was a leader in the French resistance, and for his efforts to save Jews he was awarded the title 'Righteous among the Nations' by Yad Vashem (in 2001). Ellul described his conversion to Christianity as 'a very brutal and very sudden conversion', which came at the age of seventeen whilst he was translating Faust:
'Although I proclaim the truth of universal salvation, I cannot proclaim it as an absolute truth. I cannot penetrate the secret of God. I cannot presume upon a simple decision of the eternal Father. Hence I cannot proclaim this truth as a dogmatic proposition which is scientifically demonstrated. In proclaiming it, I am saying what I believe, what meditation on the biblical texts leads me to believe. I do not teach universal salvation; I announce it' (What I believe, p.207).

Essex, John Henry (1907-1991), English Concordant Christian who lived in Nottingham all his life. Regular contributor to Unsearchable Riches and Grace and Truth magazines, the latter of which he edited for many years. He wrote many hymns and poems ‘in praise of God and His glorious purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord’:
'To those who would challenge the truth of the reconciliation of all, I would reply, ‘It is God’s choice, and praise be to Him that He has chosen it to be so. Let no one deny God the right to choose as He wills' ... When God’s conciliatory hand of friendship has been grasped by all in complete reconciliation, and when the wisdom of His choosings and His appointments, that is His sovereignty has been universally accepted beyond question – in short, when God is All in all, then every one of His creatures will rejoice in being one of HIS achievements, and all in the heavens and on earth will be both prepared and glad to acknowledge that of themselves they have contributed nothing, but that ALL HAS BEEN OF HIM’ (One And All excerpted in Rodger Tutt’s Snippets).

Etchells, Dorothea Ruth (1931-2012), English university administrator, awardee of a Lambeth Doctor of Divinity degree, literature scholar, writer, speaker and leading member of the Crown Appointments Commission, nominating Anglican bishops and archbishops (affectionately remembered as "the best female bishop we never had"). English Department senior lecturer and Vice Principal of Trevelyan College; Principal of St John's College, Durham. She was both the first lay person and the first woman to be principal of a Church of England college; she was also the first lay female chaplain to an archbishop of Canterbury. She wrote a striking poem, The Ballad of the Judas Tree, which Robin Parry has quoted on site:
'In Hell there grew a Judas Tree/ Where Judas hanged and died/ Because he could not bear to see/ His master crucified
Our Lord descended into Hell/ And found his Judas there ... "It was for this I came" he said/ "And not to do you harm ... But first I had to come to Hell/ And share the death you had/ My tree will grow in place of yours/ Its roots lie here as well/ There is no final victory/ Without this soul from Hell" (The Ballad of the Judas Tree).

Evely, Bob (xxxx-), businessman and ordained United Methodist minister and former pastor of Canton and West Point United Methodist Churches in Salem, Indiana and the Open Door Free Methodist Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan) and also has a Master of Divinity Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of At the End of the Ages ... The Abolition of Hell, and is currently worshipping at Grace Evangel Fellowship Home church:
'God's punishment (a better word is correction) is not eternal, but for an age (however long God determines is necessary to accomplish His purposes)' (from Grace Evangel Fellowship website).

Evdokimov, Dr. Paul (1901-1970), theologian, writer, French resistance fighter, founding member of the Russian Christian Student Movement, Professor of Theology at St. Sergius Institute in Paris. The son of an assassinated military father, Paul recieved a military education and became a cavalryman until beginning theological studies just before the Bolshevik Revolution; he and his family escaped from Crimea through Constantinople and settled in Paris around 1923:
'The Saviour’s plan that all be saved (1 Tim 2:4; Rom 8:32) is infinitely more mysterious and impenetrable than predestination which is so human and so impoverished in its rectilinear logic. The ‘complex of the elect’ is a morbid state, symptomatic of an unhappy conscience, and anxiety about hell’ (Eschatology, p. 18).

Ferré, Nels F. S., (1908-1971), Swedish-American Congregationalist who held professorships of Christian Theology and Philosophy at Andover Newton Theological School, Vanderbilt university school of religion, and Wooster College Ohio:
'Would a God of love create us to find no fulfillment beyond this life? Is the wish for fulfillment selfish? If we have to choose between believing in a selfish man and a selfish God, it is far better to keep faith in the ever-faithful God of creative concern. Thinking to be noble in not desiring life after death, we become most ignoble in our accusation of God as the creator of such a world as this with nothing more to follow! The Christian views of God and of life after death are inseparable. Apart from life’s continuation there is neither conquest of evil nor fulfillment of life. God is not the God of frustration but of the fullness of love' (Know Your Faith, chapter 5).

Ferweda, Julie (xxxx-), independent theological and inspirational writer and prolific blogger, Certified Lay Counselor and a faculty member of Classeminars, Inc., author of Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire:
'What child in the world would ever believe (without adult influence) that a loving parent would create a fearful place of torment, and then endlessly abandon His children there to punish them in response to a limited duration of unbelief or rebellion, or for choices made from ignorance, distortions, deceptions, or bad influences? My educated, reasoned belief is zero' (Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire, pg. 6).

Gelesnoff, Count Vladimir Michael (1877-1921), Russian Italian inventor, aristocrat and bible scholar. Vladimir's mother died when he was four and his father never remarried. Multilingual from a young age and good at his studies, Vladimir entered St.Petersburg University at a young age. After leaving university he refused to subscribe to the tenets of the Greek Orthodox Church, and this seems to have been the underlying factor in his disinheritance and unforced exile. He became part of the Italian military during the Cicilian campaign and was wounded and was later given special government work because of his language skills. After emigrating to America he worked in geology and electro-chemistry and developed a number of inventions in those areas, he also became a bible expositor and lecturer in New York. A little later he gave up his scientific work to concentrate upon bible study and he became an associate of A. E. Knoch who termed him a ‘true explorer of the depths of scripture':
'The starting point is love, the climaxing point unearned sonship conferred by grace. Extinction and never-ending torment have no place in this purpose. The eternal, almighty, all wise, all sufficient Being has no reason, no motive, no capacity to purpose ill. Influenced by His infinite perfections, inspired by perfect love, He could only decide on a course of action consistent with Himself. There are things which even God cannot do. He can do nothing contrary to His own nature; His actions are bound by His character' (The Triumph Of Love).

Goetz, James (xxxx-), American independent philosophical and theological writer and blogger (at TheoPerspectives); an administrator for The Evangelical Universalist website; best known for the book Conditional Futurism:
'teachings by Peter and John support the doctrine that God never gives up loving pursuit of any human regardless of hell or high water. God's endless pursuit also facilitates the eventual glorious reconciliation between all perpetrators and victims with no hardship but pleasure for the victims. This theodicy envisions the eventual glorious reconciliation of all enemies, ethnic groups, and social classes to God and each other (Divine Love, the Problem of Evil, and Theodicy at theopersepctives website).

Griffiths, Bede OSB (1906–1993), born Alan Richard Griffiths and also known by the end of his life as Swami Dayananda ("bliss of compassion"), was a British-born Indian Benedictine monk, yogi, writer and ordained priest who lived in ashrams in South India and became a leading thinker in the development of the dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism. He studied English literature and philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford (graduating with a degree in Journalism), and came under the tutorship of C.S Lewis, with whom he became a lifelong friend. He was a proponent of integral thought and sought to reconcile spiritual and religious worldviews. Gregory of Nyssa was particularly important for Bede’s theological thinking:
' ... the doctrine of everlasting punishment is surely the most terrible doctrine ever preached by any religion' (The Marriage of East and West: A Sequel to the Golden String, p. 109, 1982).

Griswold, Hattie Tyng (1840 or 42–1909), American Universalist poet, suffragist reformer, and author of the Midwest. Her book of poetry was Apple Blossoms (1874), and she also wrote the two volume The Home Life of Great Authors (1886). She wrote for the New Covenant and other Universalist papers, as was a regular for Harpers Weekly, Knickerbocker, etc.:
'In the broad sea humanity/A gallant bark with us set sail;/But, drifting on, our courses changed/With the first rising of the gale…//We cannot know until we gain/The port for which we all are bound;/But there we know all sails will meet,/And every missing ship be found' (from The Missing Ship).

Gulley, Philip (xxxx), American Quaker (Evangelical/Gurneyite) pastor from Indiana. He studied theology and sociology at Marian College, Indiana and then received his Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, from whom he later recieved an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Co-author of If Grace Is True, an exposition of universalism with a soft, pastoral focus, and author of numerous other works including the acclaimed Harmony series and If the Church Were Christian. A number of talks are hosted on his website, Grace Talks with Phillip Gulley. He hosted the television program Porch Talk with Phil Gulley on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI and their flagship show Across Indiana, for which he received two Emmy Awards. Currently a co-pastor at Fairfield Friends Meeting near Indianapolis:
'I ran across the following thought that I JUST LOVE & I thought of you ... I do not know where we will sit at the final banquet, but I suspect who will sit beside us - on our right will sit the person whom we have harmed the most. On our left will sit the person who has done the greatest evil to us. We will be seated between grace received and grace required' (If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, p. X).

Hanaford, Rev. Phebe Ann Coffin (1829-1921), the first New England woman ordained to the ministry and a prolific author and speaker, she combined her Universalist belief in the dignity of all people with her work for women's rights in her twenty year ministry. Raised a Quaker she became a Universalist after the deaths of her brother and sister. She became involved in the abolition, temperance and women's rights movements, befriended Rev. Olympia Brown, and became a Universalist minister in 1868. At this time she separated from her husband (they never divorced) and lived with her female companion Ellen Miles, with whom she raised her two children and had much passionate correspondance when they were apart:
'A man would be chided by his fellow church-members, if he presumed to trade with a Universalist, and was libel to censure if he dared to hire the room beneath the Universalist Church, owned by Universalists, for business purposes. To be a Universalist, was to be counted an infidel. The name was synonymous with atheist. Few dared to attend a religious gathering of this people, and among that few, women were afraid and ashamed to be seen. She who dared brave public opinion so far as to attend, was counted ‘strong-minded,’ and her religion, if not her morals, was questioned' (Historical Sketch of the First Universalist Church and Society in New Haven).

Hanson, Rev John Wesley (1823-1901), Boston born army chaplain, missionary, American Universalist minister and historian. Hanson is best know for his work arguing that universalism was the prevailing eschatology of the early church, most notably in Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church (1899). He also published his own revision of the ERV bible, Hanson's edited New Testament (1885):
'The deliverance of the whole human family from sin and sorrow, its final holiness and happiness, has been the thought of multitudes, even when the prevailing doctrines around them were wholly hostile' (A Cloud of Witnesses, p. x).

Hardin, Michael (xxxx-), popular Mennonite speaker, songwriter, online presence and author. Graduate of North Park Theological Seminary (Chicago), and author and editor of multiple essays and books including The Jesus Driven Life and (co-editor) Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ. Co-founder of Preaching Peace and Theology and Peace:
'As a Christian I believe that Hell has been harrowed, conquered, overcome and emptied. This was the view of the early church. Jesus in his death has exposed the principalities and powers (Col 2:12-15) and, according some traditions, after his death, went to Hell and broke down its gates and led humanity out of the grip of the Satan and darkness’ (Walking with Grandfather, p.x).

Harlowe Barton, Clarissa ('Clara') (1821-1912), informal (non-member) American Universalist, teacher, patent clerk, nurse, suffragist, civil rights activist and humanitarian famous as The Civil War 'Angel of the Battlefield'; notable founder of the American Red Cross:
'Surely the love that surpasses fear should be the strongest stimulus to all good endeavor' (Letter to Vincent Tomlinson, Universalist minister in Worcester, 1900) and 'Your belief that I am a Universalist is as correct as your greater belief that you are one yourself, a belief in which all who are privileged to possess it rejoice. In my case, it was a great gift, like St. Paul, I 'was born free', and saved the pain of reaching it through years of struggle and doubt. My father was a leader in the building of the church in which Hosea Ballow preached his first dedication sermon' (from a letter to the widow of Carl Norman Thrasher, 1905 in The Universalist Leader 120/49 1938).

Hough, Dean (xxxx-), American Concordant Christian. Current editor of the Concordant Publishing magazine Unsearchable Riches and holds several roles with Concordant Bible Library Inc. such as Vice President and Director. He is one of the editors of the Concordant Greek Testament first published in 1966:
'Above all else, this evangel which God committed to Paul and which Paul has now passed along to us, fills God with joyousness within. Elsewhere certain aspects of this message are presented as God's "delight" (Eph.1:5,9). No wonder. This sound teaching reveals a victorious Christ, a righteous and glorified God, saints blessed with every spiritual blessing among the celestials (Eph.1:3) and, in the end, a reconciled universe (Col.1:20) ... What a precious charge this is! Do we stand by it in faith? Do we search out its treasures? Do we let its power produce in us the fruit of grace? We ought to if we want to enjoy the consummation of love and to share with God His delight. Happy believers (Rom.4:6) subjected to the happy God!' ('Studies in First Timothy: The Evangel of the Glory of the Happy God-1 Timothy 1:5-11', from The Herald of God’s Grace website).

Hryniewicz, Dr. Waclaw (1936-), influential Polish Roman Catholic theologian who converted from Eastern Orthodoxy; priest in the Congregation of Oblate Fathers and Professor emeritus of Theology at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. Former professor and head of the Ecumenical Institute of the Catholic University of Lublin, member of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, former editor-in-chief of Scientific Bulletin KUL, member of the drafting committee preparing the text of the Charta Oecumenica: Guidelines for the Growing Cooperation among the Churches in Europe. Prof Hryniewicz has published 35 books and about 950 articles in professional journals and collective studies, most of them in Polish, and more than 170 in foreign languages. Key works include The Challenge of Our Hope: Christian Faith in Dialogue (Washington 2007) and God’s Spirit in the World: Ecumenical and Cultural Essays (Washington 2012):
'The Bible predicts the ultimate transfiguration of the world and tells us to expect it. Thus it gives hope for the fulfillment of permanent human yearning for the prevalence of the good in the whole of creation. There is in this promise a breath of truly divine universalism with regard to the destiny of humanity, the Earth and the entire Universe' (The Challenge of Our Hope, Introduction).

Israel, Martin (1927–2007), English pathologist, Anglican priest, spiritual director, and author of numerous books on Christian life and teaching, dealing with spiritual issues from a mystical Christian perspective. Born into a Liberal Jewish family in South Africa, Martin learned about Christianity from the families black African servants. He gained a first class honours degree in Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand; did postgraduate studies in England where he became first a doctor at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and then a pathology registrar at the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton. After National Service he became Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in Pathology at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. He overcame drepression with the help of psychotherapy and was drawn to mysticism and the works of Carl Jung, Teilhard de Chardin and Martin Buber. As an Anglican priest he was a personal counsellor and organiser of religious retreats; exercised a healing ministry; conducted church exorcisms; and was president of both the Guild of Health and the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. He claimed to have regular contact with spirits of the dead and believed in the possibility of reincarnation:
‘Of even greater import, however, is the spiritual radiance that emanates from the risen Christ. He is now fully at peace, eternally so; indeed, He is the "peace of God that passes all understanding". "Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give," (John 14: 27) …A new Christ had appeared in the person of the man Jesus: at peace, glowing with suffused joy, beyond the polarities of good and evil, no longer condemning even the actions and attitudes of the hypocrites of religion. He has forgiven all those who have betrayed Him, not so much in recorded words as in the deep underlying compassion’ (Smouldering Fire – The Work of the Holy Spirit, p.x, chapter 17, 1978).

Jordan, Clarence (1912–1969), American farmer and New Testament Greek scholar, founder of Koinonia Farm, a small but influential religious community in southwest Georgia and the author of the Cotton Patch translations of the New Testament which rephrase scripture into the context of the colloquial language of the American South East (often with humorous effect, such as – ‘Men don’t live by grits alone’). He was also instrumental in the founding of Habitat for Humanity:
‘God will seek us -- how long? Until he finds us. And when he's found the last little shrivelling rebellious soul and has depopulated hell, then death will be swallowed up in victory, and Christ will turn over all things to the Father that he may be all and in all. Then every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (The Pursuing Love of God, excerpted at Wider Universalist Fellowship).

Jukes, Andrew (1815-1901), missionary, minister and theologian educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. Formerly a curate in the Church of England at St. John's Church, Hull, but became a Baptist and underwent adult baptism at the George Street Chapel, Hull, in 1843. He joined the Plymouth Brethren, but later left and founded an independent chapel in Hull. His key work on universalism was The Restitution of All Things. Among those influenced by Jukes was Hudson Taylor:
'Even those who hold the common view of the endlessness of punishment are obliged to confess this; and this of itself proves that their doctrine is untenable; for any punishment, be it for a longer or shorter time would not be corrective discipline, but quite another thing' (Restitution of All things, p. x).

Knoch, Adolph Ernst (1874-1965), German speaking American theological writer, Bible translator and publisher, and founder of Concordant Publishing Concern (the Universalist offshoot of the Plymouth Brethren). Knoch designed the hyper literal Concordant Version/Translation of the Bible – his great labour of love - to put the reader who lacks a formal knowledge of Koine Greek in touch with the meaning of the original manuscripts (the Old Testament is largely the work of Vladimir Gelesnoff, although many others were involved including Adlai Loudy and Ernest Stroeter). In 1909 Knoch and Gelesnoff published the magazine Unsearchable Riches that to this day acts as a beacon of conservative biblical universalism. Knoch’s work as a translator lead him to reject ECT as ‘unbiblical’ and reject Trinitarianism, but he retained the Darby-Scofield dispensationalist schema of the Plymouth brethren (with modifications) and stressed that there are two different gospels in the New Testament, one for the Jews the other for the Nations:
‘I, for one, freely confess that, without a knowledge of the consummation, when God will reconcile all and become All in all, I could not have confidence in a deity who allowed the world to work itself into such a mess, and who can do little more for most men than to sweep them into destruction, extinction or torment’ (The Problem of Evil and the Judgements of God, p. xx) and 'The Brethren changed "God wills all men to be saved", to God "wishes", but my concordance showed me that it was the Brethren who wished it so, not God ... They also altered "the Saviour of all" to "the Preserver of all" ... Romans five and First Corinthians fifteen and Colossians one contained statements which I could not believe because they contradicted many other passages dealing with the fate of unbelievers. It was only after the truth as to the eonian times was opened up to me that I was able to exult in their glorious unfoldings''. (Unsearchable Riches, vol.24, Concordant Publishing Concern, Almont, Michigan, USA, pp.65-69).

Kociscin, Peggy (xxxx), American mother of a drug addicted son who died prematurely:
'The day you died, my mind, my heart became obsessed by fear. Where are you? Did a hell now claim the son I hold so dear? ... But through my fear, God came to me and touched me tenderly. He smiled and with a loving voice He kindly spoke to me.Did you love your son no matter what? “Certainly,” I said. “Did you forgive him for the pain for all the things he did?” “Of course,” I said, “He is my son, how could I not forgive him? An unconditional mother’s love was all I had to give him.”I thought I heard God chuckle then as He whispered His reply, “Why would you think that you can love more perfectly than I?' (quoted by Boyd C Purcell in Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb).

Konstan, Dr. David (xxxx-), distinguished scholar, former John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Classics and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Brown University, currently Professor of Classics at New York University; former President of the American Philological Association; fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; awardee of NEH, ACLS, and Guggenheim fellowships among others. He gained a degree in Mathematics from Columbia College; and then Masters and Doctorate in Greek and Latin from Columbia University; then went on to teach at Wesleyan University and Brown University. His research mainly focusses on ancient literature and classical philosophy:
'We argue that the New Testament seems to distinguish between the afterlife, which is eternal, and punishment in the afterlife, which may last for an eon but will end with the end of time. Eternal life is thus promised – not in this world, but the next' (A post at the Evangelical Universalist forum).

Künneth, Walter (1901–1997), German Lutheran theologian, former lecturer for and leader of the Apologetischen Centrale at the evangelical Johannesstift Berlin-Spandau, part of the oppositional Confessing Church during the Nazi era, and afterwards Honorary Professor of Theology in Erlangen. In the 1960's he argued against Bultmann's de-mythologized Christianity and became the leading member of the group of "No Other Gospel":
‘Apokatastasis (the restoration of all things) represents an ultimate consequence of doctrine of the aeons, and as such a theological necessity’ (quoted at Tentmakers – no other source as of yet).

Lake, John Graham (1870–1935), Canadian-American evangelist and former Methodist minister, successful businessman, missionary, faith healer, and co-founder of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. He was influenced by the healing ministry of John Alexander Dowie and he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1907 in the wake of the Azusa Street Revival that was the beginning of modern Pentecostalism. He worked as a missionary in South Africa between 1908-13 (during which time his first wife died), and later evangelised across the West coast of America for a 20 year period. His time in Africa was controversial and subject to various accusations of mismanagement and financial impropriety:
'In 1 Corinthians 15 we read of the consummation of His purpose—that is, the finality, the conclusion of that purpose, when Jesus Himself having subjected all things unto Himself is Himself also subjected unto the Father, that God may be all in all. There will not be a dissenting voice nor rebellious heart. The will of God has been received, and as a result of the will of God having been received there is no longer a necessity for a Saviour, and Jesus Christ in His capacity of Saviour of the world has been completed. His mission is completed' (The Habitation of God, excerpted at Tentmaker).

L'Engle, Madeleine (1918 –2007), Episcopalian and writer of A Wrinkle in Time, influenced by the religious writing of George MacDonald. Madeleine graduated cum laude from the independent arts focussed Smith College, Massachusetts. For a few years in the 60's and late 80's L'Engle taught at St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School in New York. In 1965 she became a volunteer librarian at the New York Cathedral of St. John the Divine and later served for many years as writer-in-residence there:
‘All will be redeemed in God's fullness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ. All the strayed and stolen sheep. All the little lost ones.... To look for hell, not heaven, is a kind of blasphemy, for we are called to live in hope’(A Stone for a Pillow, p. x) and 'I cannot believe that God wants punishment to go on interminably any more than does a loving parent. The entire purpose of loving punishment is to teach, and it lasts only as long as is needed for the lesson. And the lesson is always love.' ( quoted in Morgan & Peterson, Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, p. 171).

Leonard, Rev Charles Hall (1822-1918), American Universalist minister of Chelsea, Massachusetts:
'Q. Will the opportunity of a right choice be denied the soul after it enters the world of spirits? A. No. The relations of the human spirit to God, the Divine Spirit, are not changed by death. Wherever and whenever the soul heartily repents, and turns to God, he will mercifully hear and bless' (First Steps in the Open Path: Prepared for the Children and Youth of the First (Universalist) Church of Christ, Chelsea, Mass).

Loudy, Adlai (1893-1984), American Concordant Christian, evangelist, singer and composer of spiritual songs. He was for a time a famous leader in American evangelistic campaigns, but at the height of his fame he began to study and then to teach 'God's Purpose of the Ages and the Administrations'. Convinced of the truth of universal reconciliation he fell from favour with the evangelical mainstream and began to contribute to Concordant Publishing’s Unsearchable Riches magazine. In the November 1928 issue, A. E. Knoch announced plans for the publication of a series of articles on “the purpose of the eons,” by Adlai Loudy. This series was eventually printed as the book, God's Eonian Purpose:
‘Before ever a creative fiat went forth, the transcendental purpose was, that God should be All in all. Not all in some; not much in all, but All in all. Is it any wonder if the eyes of faith at times have blinked when called upon to gaze upon that wondrous Goal of the Universe? ... God is all in Christ now. He will be all in His saints when we are made alive, at His presence. He will be All in all when death is abolished at the consummation. And God will have it all; He has written it all; and He meant to write all, and not a weaker word. Nay, and those who have faith to take Him at His word will have it God All in all ... What a marvellous outcome of God's purpose! What a Christ we have, Who can accomplish such a complete reconciliation! All creatures reconciled to the great God of love, in the kingdom of the Father, to which there is no consummation. This is the Goal of the Universe!' (Eonian Purpose, Chapter 21, excerpted at Secret Evangel).

Louth, Father Andrew (xxxx-): Russian Orthodox Priest and Professor of Patristics and Byzantine Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham, England:
'The reason why Origen taught the final restoration is because it is inconceivable that Christ is to remain in sorrow for all eternity, on account of any rational creature to respond to his love and to benefit from his sacrifice'(Eschatology , p.245).

Ludlow, Dr. Morwenna (xxxx-), Senior Lecturer of Patristics at Exeter University who has written articles on the history of universalism; Church of England representative in ecumenical dialogue with the Church of Scotland; co-leader of an international research project on the interpretation of early Christian writers in the modern and post-modern context, which resulted in the publication of Scot Douglass and Morwenna Ludlow (edd.) Reading the Church Fathers:
'Rob Bell’s book controversial book Love Wins suggests that God might save all people and questions the existence of an eternal hell. This is an unusual view in modern Evangelical Christianity but, as my research shows, there is a long underground tradition of Christian ‘universalists’ who argue that an eternal hell is incompatible with a truly loving omnipotent God and contradicts Jesus’ example of inclusive unconditional love' (Is there a hell? Is it eternal? At Exeter Uni blog).

Lyall, Edna aka Ada Ellen Bayly (1857-1903), English Unitarian novelist whose second novel, Donovan (1882) reveals her Unitarian upbringing in its treatment of religious tolerance and politics:
'Surely it is time that everyone who believes that the Everlasting Father lovingly, eternally, educates all His children should speak out plainly, and not be ashamed to confess with the Psalmist, “My trust is in the tender mercy of God forever and ever' (quoted in Mark T. Chamberlain and Thomas Allin Every Knee Shall Bow with the attribution, EDNA LYALL, Eastbourne, 16th December, 1890).

MacDonald, George (1824-1905), former Congregational Pastor, mentor to Lewis Carroll, friend of Mark Twain, influential Scottish Christian thinker who likely influenced the work of WH Auden, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, E Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle, and notable author and poet best known for The Princess and the Goblin. MacDonald rejected Calvinistic penal substitutionary atonement and seemed to favour Christus Victor theories, and believed divine punishment was always done with a rehabilitative purpose:
'If God be defeated, he must destroy--that is, he must withdraw life. How can he go on sending forth his life into irreclaimable souls, to keep sin alive in them throughout the ages of eternity? But then, I say, no atonement would be made for the wrongs they have done; God remains defeated, for he has created that which sinned, and which would not repent and make up for its sin. But those who believe that God will thus be defeated by many souls, must surely be of those who do not believe he cares enough to do his very best for them. He is their Father; he had power to make them out of himself, separate from himself, and capable of being one with him: surely he will somehow save and keep them! Not the power of sin itself can close all the channels between creating and created' ("Justice" from Unwritten Sermons Vol 3, chp 7).

Manning, Richard Francis Xavier (aka Brennan Manning) (1934-2013), author, friar, Roman Catholic priest, contemplative and speaker, best known for his book The Ragamuffin Gospel. A former US marine in the Korean War, Manning graduated from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania and became ordained as a Franciscan priest. Also a former alcoholic:
'He has a single, relentless stance toward us: he loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods-the gods of human understanding-despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by his mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of his beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of Grace' (The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 18).

Marshall, Catherine (1914-1983), author of fiction, non-fiction and inspirational books (best known for A Man Named Peter), wife of minister Peter Marshall and mother of minister Peter John Marshall; co-founder of book imprint Chosen Books:
'I was shocked at the terrifying illusion of God that these questions revealed ... Did God love them less than she? And how would she ever be able to trust her Creator with her own happiness so long as her only emotion toward Him was terror? ... I realized how often we attribute emotions and deeds to God that we would ascribe only to the most depraved of human minds. Probably no personality in the universe is so maligned as the Creator ... I came across this same thought in one of Hannah Whitall Smith’s books ... “ Who can imagine a mother ever dropping a search so long as there is the least chance of finding a lost child?” Mrs. Smith wrote. “The God would be more indifferent than a mother? Since I have had this sight of the mother-heart of God, I have never been able to feel the slightest anxiety for any of his children. We can trust Him…' (Beyond Our Selves, p.x).

Martin, Dr. Ernest L. (1932-2002), meteorologist, historian, theologian, controversial archaeologist and former member of the USAF, best known as founder of the non-trinitarian United Church of God. Originally a supporter of Herbert W. Armstrong of the controversial Radio Church of God, later known as the Worldwide Church of God, he studied and taught at Armstrong’s Ambassador Colleges in America and England. Former chairman of the Department of Theology at Ambassador in Pasadena, California; founder of the Foundation for Biblical Research in Pasadena; founder of the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge (A.S.K.); member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Planetarium Society; he was listed in the 1997,'98,'99 editions of Who's Who in America, also Who's Who in Religion, Who's Who in Education, and Who's Who in Biblical Studies and Archaeology:
'If the doctrine is clear in the Bible, did later Christians believe it—particularly those in the first few centuries after Christ? The answer concerning universal salvation is a resounding YES! It was common knowledge among many Christian scholars of the early centuries that the teaching represented the bedrock of Christian belief ... The doctrine of a universal world reconciliation to Christ is plainly revealed in the Bible' (The Recognition of Universal Reconciliation - Part 1, from the ASK website).

McCord Adams, Dr. Marilyn (1943-), often named amongst the world's most influential female theologians and philosophers of religion, she is an Episcopalian priest; former canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford; Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford; Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology, Yale; President of the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy; and currently Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina. Educated at University of Illinois; Cornell University; and Princeton Theological Seminary, her work has focused on the philosophy of religion, especially the problem of evil; philosophical theology; metaphysics and medieval philosophy:
'Traditional doctrines of hell err again by supposing ... that God does not get what God wants ... that God lacks the will or the patience or the resourcefulness to civilize each and all of us' (Christ and Horrors, p. x).

Mckeeman, Gordon B. (1920-), American Universalist minister:
'Hell is, in fact, a burning issue for it is the issue of separation, whether we can, with safety and impunity, set up little islands in the human experience and therefore protect ourselves against any relationship with the mainland. And Universalism says unequivocally, it cannot be done' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Miller, Kevin (xxxx-), award winning screenwriter, director, producer, writer and theological blogger best known for the documentaries Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and Hellbound? Was a member of the Mennonite Church in his youth, and graduated bible college with a degree in Youth Ministry. Spent 8 months as a missionary in Kenya. Has publicly defended universalism in various arenas:
'I fail to see how you can reconcile the notion of a loving God with punishment that is an end in itself. Hence my rejection of Infernalism and Annihilationism. If God is loving by nature, I have to believe he will not achieve justice for the 99 at the expense of the 1 or vice versa' (A cheat sheet on hell at Hellbound website). And: "Another book, coedited by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin, called Stricken by God? faced this question head-on, arguing that the atonement and nothing to do with God punishing Jesus for our sins. Once you start to think along those lines, the idea of hell as a place of eternal, conscious torment pretty much falls to the wayside. In terms of universalism, some key influences were Thomas Talbott, Robin Parry, Richard Beck, Brian McLaren, Eric Reitan, Sharon Baker and Julie Ferwerda. They showed me that a viable case could be made for a non-retributive view of God and hell ... Think about it: If God is perfectly loving, and if our own love is perfected in heaven, how could we possibly tolerate people suffering forever in hell? Our compassion would grow in proportion to our awareness of their suffering. Therefore, if anyone winds up in hell, I can’t see how we all wouldn’t be there, with the “righteous” ministering to those who are suffering." (from an interview at lotharlorraine website).

Moltmann, Jurgen (1926-), influential German Reformed theologian, former pastor, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen and Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Drafted into the Air Force auxiliary in the German army in 1944, and surrendered in 1945 in the dark to the first British soldier he met, spending 45-48 as a POW, during which time he became a Christian. His key works include the trilogy: Theology of Hope (1964), The Crucified God (1972), and The Church in the Power of the Spirit (1975):
'I believe in Christ's Descent to hell. He came back and declared: “I have the keys to death and hell!” What does He do with these keys? He opens them up of course! When you think of hell, you should never think about it in the context of the question whether you yourself or someone else is going there, but always look to Christ. In His wounds, death and hell have been overcome. Which is, by the way, also the counsel Johann of Staupitz gave to his pupil Martin Luther' (Interview with Tentmake Ministries on their website).

Morgan, Campbell George Rev. Dr (1863-1945), well-known evangelist and Congregationalist bible expositor dubbed 'The Prince of Expositors' and 'the leading Bible expositor of the 20th Century' by Revell publishers. Pastor of Westminster Chapel, former director of the Northfield Bible Conference, President of Cheshunt College in Cambridge, contributor to the essay anthology The Fundamentals, which is often considered to be the foundation of the modern Fundamentalist movement. He was involved with the ministry of evangelist D. L. Moody, and in his later days he persuaded the well known evangelical D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to join him at Westminster Chapel in London in 1939:
'We cannot conceive of a Creator who knows the end from the beginning, one who is Love, who has infinite wisdom, and infinite power, giving to any being life, life which is never to end, but to continue in suffering to all eternity. The Bible does not teach it anywhere in the original languages. God's punishments are remedial and take place within the span of the ages during which He is accomplishing the making of man in His image and likeness. Punishment will last no longer than is necessary to bring man to hate his sin and be reconciled to his Saviour. As the judgment came unto all men, even so the free gift came unto all men [Romans 5:18-19].' (From a sermon in Westminster Chapel, London, called The Cross and the Ages to Come).

Mulholland, James (xxxx), American Quaker (Evangelical/Gurneyite) pastor and ecumenist; co-author of If Grace is True, an exposition of universalism with a soft, pastoral focus:
'God was always the heavy. In my childhood, God was to be feared and Jesus was to be loved. Though they were partners in saving the world, they served very different roles. Jesus was the good cop and God was the bad cop. Jesus would plead with you to do the right thing. He loved and cared for you. He’d take a bullet for you. He wanted to save you. But…if you didn’t respond to Jesus, you had only to look over your shoulder to see God standing in the corner, arms crossed, cracking his knuckles, with a glare on his face. You didn’t want to be left in that room with God' (Lecture for the UU Christian Fellowship Revival 2006 Friday, November 3rd, 2006, Fourth Universalist Society, New York City).

Nickles, Charles F (1881-1949), American Primitive ‘No-Heller’ Baptist. Nickles was a professional photographer in Scott County Virginia and long time clerk of the Point Truth Primitive Baptist church. In 1924 the Calvinist Regular Baptist Church in the Washington district fell into a bitter dispute between the ‘Hellers’ and the ‘No-Hellers’. The No-Hellers were and are ultra Universalists (although only a few congregations are left today); they do not believe in any punishment in the world to come - punishment for sin comes here in this world. They are also strict determinists – which, with their ultra universalism, suggests the influence of the writings of Hosea Ballou – and they do not believe in Satan or other supernatural forces of evil; they see these as symbols of human evil. Nickles gave the fullest expression of the beliefs of the No-Heller Primitives in his nineteen page essay Salvation of All Mankind (published by Nickelsville, VA, apparently in 1937):
‘In my survey and meditation on the theory of hellfire and damnation, or a living, conscious, Eternal punishment after death, for any of the creatures of His Powerful Hand, I find that it is compatible with the Holy Nature of the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity. And if true, would bar, and exclude Him from the Divine Attributes of Love, Justice and Mercy with which He is so magnanimously endowed. God is Love. We cannot conceive of Him violating the holy faculties of his Person, by consigning any part of his helpless creation to interminable torture’ (quoted by Howard Dorgan, In the Hands of a Happy God: The "No-Hellers" of Central Appalachia, University of Tennessee Press/Knoxville 1997, p.88).

Nightingale, Florence (1820-1910), Anglican, celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. Best known as "The Lady with the Lamp" for her work during the Crimean War. Founded the first secular nursing school in the world, the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas' Hospital in London, pioneered the introduction of trained nurses into the workhouse system in England and Ireland, pioneered the visual presentation of information and statistical graphics, and wrote Notes on Nursing (1859). A heterodox Anglican, she would sometimes comfort those in her care with her view of universal reconciliation. For example, a dying young prostitute being tended by Nightingale was concerned she was going to hell and said to her 'Pray God, that you may never be in the despair I am in at this time'. The nurse replied "Oh, my girl, are you not now more merciful than the God you think you are going to? Yet the real God is far more merciful than any human creature ever was or can ever imagine.":
'Certainly the worst man would hardly torture his enemy, if he could, forever. Unless God has a scheme that every man is to be saved forever, it is hard to say in what He is not worse than man. For all good men would save others if they could' (Florence Nightingale's theology: essays, letters and journal notes - edited. Lynn McDonald - p.18).

Park, Andrew Sung (xxxx-), Korean American Methodist theologian. Park teaches at United Theological Seminary in Trotwood, Ohio. He specializes in systematic theology, global theology, cross-cultural theology, Asian American liberation theology, Christian mysticism, and the relationship between religion and science. He has expanded the theology of emotional pain by exploring the Korean concept of ‘han’:
'Until the last lost person comes home (referring to the parable of the prodigal son), God's mind and body are nailed to the cross' ('The God Who Needs Our Salvation' in The Changing Face of God, ed. Karen Armstrong, Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. p.90 2000).

Parry, Dr Robin (xxxx-), charismatic evangelical Anglican, former FE college teacher, former editor for Paternoster, currently theological writer and editor for Wipf and Stock. He gained his PhD for a study in Genesis from the University of Gloucester. His best known book is The Evangelical Universalist, which he wrote under the pseudonym Gregory MacDonald because he had not yet publicly expressed his belief in universalism. His other books include: Worshipping Trinity and Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate:
‘Let me ask you to hold in your mind traditional Christian visions of the future, in which many, perhaps the majority of humanity, are excluded from salvation forever. Alongside that hold the universalist vision, in which God achieves his loving purpose of redeeming the whole creation. Which vision has the strongest view of divine love? Which story has the most powerful narrative of God’s victory over evil? ... To my mind the answer to all these questions is clear, and that is why I am a Christian universalist’ (The Evangelical Universalist, p. xx).

Pilkington, Clyde L. (xxxx-), American former Baptist pastor, now an independent concordant theological writer and distributor of theological literature through his family based ministry and website Pilkington and Sons, writer of The Salvation Of ALL: Creation’s Final Destination. He runs a universalist inn/retreat (Pilkington Abbey), and is known for his emphasis on theological determinism, Bullinger style dispensationalism and, more controversially, his teachings advocating biblical polygamy ('The Great Omission') and on sexuality ('Due Benevolence'):
‘The erroneous teaching of “eternal conscious torment” has an affect upon the conscience of the believer. Buried deep within our conscious– in our subconscious – is this part of God that we do not like. It is so unlike Him. It is so unlike who He wants us to be. We do not like this “dark side” of God. As we have come to see in this short work, this “god” with a dark side is not the true God of Scriptures. This eternally sadistic “god” is one of religion. The true God of the Scriptures is good. His very nature is love, grace, forbearance, and forgiveness. He is far greater than we ever imagined Him to be. The point here is that this religious teaching of “eternal conscious torment” has an adverse effect upon the very conscience of the believer. It obstructs his true understanding of his Father, inhibits the enjoyment of his relationship with Him, and skews the way he sees and relates to all the rest of God’s dear creatures’ (The Salvation of All: Creation’s Final Destination-A Biblical Look at Universal Reconciliation, excerpted at the Pilkington and Sons website).

Pratt, Jason (1970-), American Southern Baptist lay apologist currently living in Tennessee, theological writer, blogger, active forumite and Christian fiction author, member of the Christian Cadre group:
'[God] will always be trying to call [sinners] back, because Love Most High knows they can only be happier, in the long run, if they are working with, rather than against, the source of their life and power. He will never let them destroy themselves utterly, in their mad lust for a freedom to be what they can never be. For He loves them' (Sword to the Heart, ch 49).

Pridgeon, Rev. Charles A. (xxxx-xxxx), President Pittsburgh Bible Institute and author of Is Hell Eternal? Or Will God's Plan Fail?:
‘There is an erroneous idea that, when one accepts forgiveness of his sins, he thereby escapes all the consequences of his sins. This is by no means the case, as everyone may know by experience. The consequences last until there is no longer need of their warning and judging lesson. Some of them continue to the end of this life, and even extend much further. The power of the cross of Christ is too little apprehended. It is true that salvation is spoken of as the initial step of the Christian life; viz., accepting Him as one's personal Saviour and then, by complete surrender, believing for and receiving the fullness of His Spirit; but this is but the bare beginning. Salvation in its fullness is a continuous process. We are perfect when our hearts are entirely set Godward, that is, perfect in love and purpose; but by no means are we perfected’ (Is Hell Eternal?, ‘Chapter Fourteen: The Punishments of God Illumined’, p.x, 1920, available at Tentmakers).

Purcell, Dr. Boyd C. (xxxx), American professional counsellor with over 40 years experience, and chaplain and ordained honourably retired Presbyterian minister. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Comprehensive Social Studies, Master of Arts Degree in Counselling, a Master of Divinity Degree in Biblical Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in the integration of psychology and theology. Author of Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb, a book which presupposes EU and explains endless torment's subtle affects with the insight of a psychologist. His other texts include Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal Mental/Emotional/Physical Health. His website also contains a light-hearted jokes page:
'A young priest was assigned to a parish by the Bishop. He made various changes in the usual practices of parish priests one of which was to set up a drive-thru confessional. The results were great! He was hearing more confessions than any other priest in the diocese. The Bishop thought that his success was appealing but his methods were appalling, especially the sign to his drive-thru confessional. It read, "Toot'n Tell or Go to Hell!" '(from Boyd C. Purcell’s website).

Ramsey, Ian Thomas (1915–1972), English theologian best known for work on religious language and metaphysics; apologist and Bishop; Nolloth Professor Philosophy of Religion at the University of Oxford, and C of E Bishop of Durham; former Fellow and Director of Studies in theology and moral science, Cambridge, and university lecturer in divinity and Canon Theologian at Leicester Cathedral. He also served on various Church of England commissions inquiring into ethical questions about birth control, suicide, and on the subject of divine healing, and was chairman of the BBC's Central Religious Advisory Committee:
'If universalism were true it has been said, we could all conclude that it would not matter very much in the long run what we did. But if in this way, we did not bother about the challenge of a moral situation, it would deny the very significance of the situation from which the discourse started..{in other words] a final triumph of God’s purposes and the final disappearance of Hell could only spring from the belief that we were able to speak consistently of God and his love and his power, and also about the cosmic significance of moral decision, the cosmic loneliness and separation it involves and so on' (Talk of God, p.224).

Reamon, Ellsworth C. (1895-1983), American Universalist minister who opposed the Unitarian-Universalist merger arguing for Cooperation without Consolidation. He feared that ‘the greatest tragedy that could befall the Universalist Church . . . would be the denial of the Lordship of Jesus’ and was fearful that Universalism would lose its identity if merged with the rational humanistic creed that Unitarianism had become. Nevertheless, when consolidation came in 1959, he gave the Unitarian Universalist Association his loyal support, at the same time as working to keep the Universalist component of the new denomination strong. Reamon was non-dogmatic about Universalist faith, pointing out that it had limits:
'It cannot protect you from hazard or doubt. It does not even pretend to guarantee that you will escape 'hell' in this life; nor does it offer a through ticket to 'heaven.' It will not save you from the peril of thought, nor does it offer any guarantee of peace of mind or serenity of spirit. It can help you to achieve something of your divine birthright: to grow as a child of God should grow. If the Garden of Eden allegory means anything, it means that man has been given the choice of which way he will go: whether he will live essentially as an animal, or whether, while walking the face of the earth, he will lift his eyes unto the hills of reason, beauty, goodwill, insight and compassion. The choice is largely his!' (abridged from Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography).

Reichard, D. Scott (xxxx-), businessman, former member of The Church of Christ and former leader in the Vineyard Movement, he became convinced of universalism in 1999 and is currently works to promote Gerry Beauchemin's book Hope Beyond Hell:
'Gerry and I are working together to help promote this book ... It will take a team effort to bring this awesome GOOD NEWS to the world!' ('A Note from Scott' on the Hope Beyond Hell website).

Reitan, Eric (xxxx-), award-winning Progressive Christian scholar and writer; teaching Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University. His books include Is God a Delusion? and God's Final Victory (co-authored with John Kronen) which was named one of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles of 2009, and makes a strong philosophical and theological case for universalism. An active blogger at The Piety That Lies Between: A Progressive Christian Perspective website:
'Orthodox Christian teachings (ones more central to Christianity than the doctrine of hell) fit better with universalism than they do with hellism - so that, in a comparative assessment of the two doctrines in the light of broader Christian teachings, Christians ought to favor universalism' (Blog post at The Piety that Lies Between website).

Réville, Rev. Albert (1826-1906), French Protestant theologian, known for his extreme liberal views (he followed David Strauss in his scepticism about biblical miracles and the resurrection accounts). He is also known for being one of the first "intellectuals" to join the Dreyfusard cause – against the anti-Semites -when the Dreyfus Affair erupted in the 1890s:
‘If we cease to fear the flames of hell, we ought only the more to dread the torments of conscience. Religion itself becomes more spiritual when its hopes have become so. The magnificent idea of universal salvation, that sacred affirmation, forms part, tacit or avowed, of the confession of faith of the élite of the church, and rests on the essential ethical character for the future life’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.305).

Robinson, John A. T. (1919-1983), New Testament scholar, popular Liberal Christian author, former chaplain of Wells Theological College; former Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, England; Dean and lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge. He gained notoriety with his controversial book Honest to God (1963), and during the case against the censorship of Lady Chatterley's Lover, he gave testimony against its censorship claiming that it was a book which "every Christian should read." Also known for his work Redating the New Testament (1976) where he concluded that much of the New Testament was written before AD 64:
'As long as a man refuses to become a 'subject', as long as he presumes that the truth of universalism relieves him of reckoning with hell or making a decision, then he is not even on the road to the valley--or, rather, he has implicitly chosen hell ... The believer... seeing the matter, as it were, from the other side of the Divine act in Christ, knows that God cannot let [the sinner's repeated choice of death] rest there; He must and will win all men' (In the End, God, p. 118, 120).

Rohr, Richard, (1943- ), Franciscan friar, founder of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, Ohio, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, and writer on spirituality. His best known works include Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, and The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See. Rohr was also a founder of Men As Learners & Elders (MALEs), which focusses upon male spirituality. He was one of several spiritual leaders featured in the 2006 documentary film ONE: The Movie and was included in Watkins' Spiritual 100 List for 2013. He has controversially supported homosexual causes. He is also a contributing editor and writer for Sojourners magazine, a contributor to Tikkun magazine and the Huffington Post:
'I personally believe that the Scriptures are CLEARLY saying we are all saved by grace and divine mercy, and also largely in spite of ourselves ... Jesus could not command us to “love our enemies” and to love unconditionally– unless God is also doing the same. Otherwise, we are more moral and spiritually advanced than God is! That cannot be true. God can only command what God also does' (In response to a question “Are all people saved?” at Rohr's Website).

Sakharov, Archimandrite Sophrony (1896-1993), Orthodox priest and disciple and biographer of St Silouan the Athonite and compiler of St Silouan's works, and founder of the monastery of St John the Baptist in Maldon, England. Former artist and student at Moscow's Academy of Arts and Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Sakharov spent time as a monk and hermit at Mount Athos and in the Athonite desert:
'Dwelling in heaven, the Saints behold hell and embrace it too in their love....You may be certain that as long as someone is in hell, Christ will remain there with him' (Taizé, un sens à la vie, Service Orthodoxe de Pressse no. 220, p. 37).

Saxby, Rev A. E (1873-1960), English Pentecostalist Pastor of the independent Pentecostal Church in Tottenham that became known as ‘Derby Hall’. For a short time he was an important figure in British Pentecostalism but, when, in 1923 he began to adopt and to propagate “Ultimate Reconciliation” he parted company with mainstream Pentecostalism:
'We do not wish to belittle the awful judgments of God. They will be terrible enough. But we desire to get all the perspective of Scripture and look to the end God has in view. We do not believe that orthodox theology has done this. It has stopped short in the ages themselves and has misnamed them eternity, and has therefore presented the vision of a heaven full of saints and a hell full of tortured sinners in endless existence. In such a survey of the ultimate there is no place for the vision that Paul gives when God shall be All in all (1Cor. 15:28). We contend that nothing less than the reconciliation of all would satisfy the heart of God and be a fitting consummation to the shedding of the blood of His Son' (God’s Ultimate, p. x).

Screech, Rev Dr. Michael Andrew (1926-), notable Renaissance scholar and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, Anglican priest and former college chaplain. Former Chaplain and Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College; Professor of French, University College London; and Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham:
'What brought kindness trickling into the laughter of Erasmus and flooding into that of Rabelais, was indeed charity. With charity comes a deeper understanding of the mercy of God...Neither laughter raiser revelled in the endless and ingenious tortures of the damned...charity opens the floodgates of joy, and joy can lead to ample laughter' (Laughter at the foot of the Cross, p.312-14).

Shaeffer, Frank (1952-), author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker, son of Francis Schaeffer, Greek Orthodox convert who sometimes describes himself as 'an atheist who prays'. Best known for his books Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back, and Sex, Mom, and God, and Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism):
'That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally ... Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge ... We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood' (Different Takes: Should We Abandon the Idea of Hell?).

Shinn, Quillen Hamilton (1845- 1907), American Universalist minister from West Virginia and much travelled missionary, is known as the ‘St. Paul of the Universalist Church’ credited with starting at least 40 churches and inspiring nearly 30 persons to enter the ministry:
‘Every deed of mercy that lessens pain; every charity that assuages sorrow and distress; every church that throws its arms of love around the wayfaring man; every institution of learning that kindles thoughts of a higher world; every new discovery disclosing larger visions of truth; every fresh avenue of commerce opening wider channels for the diffusion of God’s love; every object lesson in this great outer world teaching Gods bounty and care; …all, all these are agents, messengers, instruments, to fulfill the sublime prophecy of our Universalist faith ,--final triumph, glorious victory! instruments breathed upon from higher worlds, and weaving their countless strains for the grand, triumphant, joyous, matchless symphony of God!’ (from Affirmations of Universalism, available at True Grace Ministries).

Short, Robert L. (1932-2009), actor, Presbyterian minister and best-selling author of The Gospel According to Peanuts. Recipient of M.A. in Theology and Literature from the University of Chicago; graduate student of Systematic Theology at Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. In 2001, Short moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he started a new church of his own: "the Church of the Gospel of JESUS (Jesus Exclusively Secured Unconditional Salvation)", or "Christianity Without Doom and Gloom":
'Everyone already is saved and is going to heaven. People’s first response to me is: How can you believe that? How can you know that? My answer is that we can know it’s true through the good news of Christ' (Interview at Read the Spirit website).

Singh, Sadhu Sundar (1889-1929), Indian Sikh convert to Christianity, mystic and miracle worker, itinerant evangelist across India. According to Mrs. Arthur Parker's biography Sadhu Sundar Singh: Called of God, 'Sundar felt that his religious pursuits in Sikhism and the questioning of Christian and Hindu priests left him without ultimate meaning. Sundar resolved to kill himself by throwing himself upon a railroad track. That very night he had a vision of Jesus who opened Sundar's soul to the truth. Sundar announced to his father, Sher Singh, that henceforth he would follow Christ. His father denounced him, and his brother Rajender Singh attempted to poison him. Sundar's life was saved by the help of a nearby Christian community' (taken from wiki entry). Treasured by evangelicals as a formative figure in the development of the Christian church in India he made dangerous preaching tours in Tibet and also toured the South India and Ceylon. Singh was never reconciled to the idea that Hindus, Sikh’s, Buddhists etc. who died unconverted were destined for damnation and statements from his later years are strongly universalist and influenced by the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg:
'However bad and evil-living a man may be, there is in man's nature a divine spark or element which is never inclined towards sin. His conscience and spiritual feelings may become dulled and dead, but this spark of the divine is never extinguished. This is why even in depraved criminals there is always some good to be found ... If this divine spark or element cannot be destroyed, then we can never be hopeless for any sinner. If we say that it can be destroyed, then sorrow at separation from God because of sin and the remorse of hell will never be felt, because for feeling this pain of sorrow and remorse there is nothing in man but this spark – and hell will not be hell without this feeling. And, if he feels the pain, then, being tortured by it, sooner or later will assuredly compel him to come to God for restoration' (Meditations on Various Aspects of the Spiritual Life, chapter “Finally All Men Will Return to God”).

Skinner, Clarence Russell (1881–1949), American Universalist Minister, Teacher, Professor of Applied Christianity and Dean of the Crane School of Theology at Tufts University, and author of The Social Implication of Universalism (1915) and A Religion for Greatness (1945):
'Universalism is essentially a battle for the freedom of the common person' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Skobotsova, Mother Maria (1891–1945), canonised Orthodox Saint, noblewoman convert from atheism, Martyr of Ravensbruck, sometimes referred to as Saint Mary (or Mother Maria) of Paris, Russian Orthodox nun, poet, and social activist. On Holy Saturday, 1945, she took the place of a Jewish woman who was going to be sent to the Gas Chamber, and died in her place:
'Destruction reveals the pettiness, the impermanence, the weakness of man’s hopes and aspirations. Everything is burnt away. All that remains is God, man’s soul, eternity and love. That is how it is for everyone...' (The Noyi Grad, No 13, p. 152).

Smith, L. Ray (xxxx-xxxx), controversial non-Trinitarian Christian who ran the 'bible truths'/'exposing those who contradict' website:
'xxxx' (xxxx).

Sneller, Anne Gertrude (1883-1976), American author famous for her memoir Vanished World:'
'On a Sunday morning the bells of the three churches in the village called all to come to meeting, for the church was still spoken of as the meetinghouse. The bells did not interfere with one another; whichever bell started ringing first would pause after two or three minutes and let the others take up the summons. All three bells had individual tones easily identified. The loungers on the hotel steps, who never went to church, not only recognized the notes of each, but were able interpret what they said. According to their insight, the Methodist bell shouted ‘Repent! Repent!’ The Presbyterian bell urged ‘Church time!’ Church time!' Only the Universalist bell held out a cheerful promise. ‘No hell! No hell!’ it said. The loungers felt safe in staying where they were' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Squires, Rev. Lyman Hamilton (1851-1902), Pastor of the Rochester Universalist Church, New York, USA:
'Universalism is more than cushioned seats and no hell' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Stetson, Eric (1979-), American Charismatic Universalist; former Baha'i adherent, he was ordained n 2006 by the Home Missions Church - a loosely organized association of universalist charismatic ministers, small churches and house churches that was founded in 1944. He is the founder of The Christian Universalist Association:, an ecumenical, interdenominational organization for individuals, churches and ministries that believe in Christian Universalism. He is the author of Christian Universalism: God's Good News For All People:
‘There is a bigger issue at stake in the argument between Damnationism and Universalism, and that is the question of what is the nature of God. Closely related is the question of human nature and how it relates to God’s nature. The Universalist view of God’s justice and judgment — corrective, not penal; limited, not endless — makes sense because Christianity teaches that God is our loving Father. Jesus said, “I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Mat. 5:44-45)' (from Beyond the 'Hell' Issue: Universalism as a Comprehensive View of Spiritual Reality at the CUA website).

Stroeter, Ernest Ferdinand (1846-1922), German Methodist author, missionary, pastor, conference speaker and Professor in Europe and North America. He was initially influenced by Pietism and became both a Universalist and dispensationalist (probably from reading Andrew Jukes) after moving to America. Here, for a time, he was Professor of Historical and Practical Theology at Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton (Missouri). He edited the Concordant New Testament with Adolph Ernst Knoch:
'This is our guarantee for the success of His plan for all of humanity—even all creation. According to the pleasure of His will and the counsel of God from eons past, He will 'gather together in one [as under one head] all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.' (Ephesians 1 : 10) ... A wonderful light is shed here onto the position of the ecclesia, in the divine program for the final reconciliation of the entire cosmos. Only from here will it be understood why the ecclesia (for example, in Colossians 1: 18), has her place assigned on His side. She is at the place where it not only pleases the whole fullness to dwell in Him, but also through Him to reconcile everything with Him—by making peace through the blood of His cross-whether it is on the earth or in heaven. (The Gospel of God's Reconciliation of All in Christ , New German version edited and published by Jeurgen Krafzik, 2002, translated by J. H. Tonn U.S.A. 2007, pp. 236-7).

Talbott, Dr Thomas (xxxx-), former Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, best known for his advocacy of Protestant Trinitarian Universalism in The Inescapable Love of God. Recipient of M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary, M.A and Ph.D from University of California at Santa Barbara. Talbott described his sudden universalist insight as 'something akin to a paradigm shift, as Thomas Kuhn has called it, or a Copernican Revolution in philosophy, as Immanuel Kant called it. It happened when my brother Stephen, who had come under the influence of George MacDonald while a student at Wheaton College, challenged me to make some sort of a biblical case for the idea of an everlasting hell' (from http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/education.html).
‘I shall contend that the universalism of the New Testament is not only all pervasive, but clear and obvious as well.’ (The Inescapable Love of God, Chapter 5 opening).

Tillich, Paul (1886-1965), Lutheran minister and influential German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian; best known for his works The Courage to Be (1952) and Systematic Theology (1951–63); gained his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Breslau, his Licentiate of Theology degree at Halle-Wittenberg; former Professor of Theology at the University of Marburg, Visiting Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Union Theological Seminary,Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at Columbia University, Professor at Harvard Divinity School, and Professor at University of Chicago:
'Therefore, the Christian message points to an ultimate salvation which cannot be lost because it is reunion with the ground of being. This ultimate salvation is also the ultimate revelation, often described as the 'vision of God". The mystery of being is present without the paradoxa of every revelation in time and space and beyond anything fragmentary and preliminary. This does not refer to the individual in isolation. Fulfilment is universal. A limited fulfilment of separated individuals would not be fulfilment at all, not even for these individuals, for no person is separated from other persons and from the whole of reality in such a way that he could be saved apart from the salvation of everyone and everything. One can be saved only within the Kingdom of God which comprises the universe. But the Kingdom of God is also the place where there is complete transparency of everything for the divine to shine through it. In his fulfilled kingdom, God is everything for everything. This is the symbol of ultimate revelation and ultimate salvation in complete unity. The recognition or nonrecognition of this unity is a decisive test of the character of a theology.' (Systematic Theology, vol. 1, xxxx).

Tournier, Paul (1898-1986), Swiss physician and author whose ideas had a significant impact on the spiritual and psychosocial aspects of routine patient care; Cary Collins referred to him as 'the twentieth century's most famous Christian physician,' and Viktor Frankl said of him, 'He was the pioneer of person-centered psychotherapy.' He received his M.D. degree at the University of Geneva, and acted as the Swiss president of the student movement Zofingia and became a Red Cross delegate for the repatriation of Austrian and Russian prisoners of war. His first book was Médecine de la Personne (trans. The Healing of Persons):
' That you say as a theologian that I am a universalist is evident, in the sense that I believe that Jesus was sent into the world to save the sinners that we all are. This is what I understand Saint Paul to say when he mentions that sin has entered the world through one man, Adam, and spread to all men, and that he calls Jesus the second Adam through Whom redemption entered the world for all men, and even as he says 'all of creation,' that the redemption of Christ is the victory of God over the Fall. I believe that this great plan of salvation is universal, concerns not only all men but the universality of the world and that Jesus on the Cross has accomplished this Salvation, this reconciliation of men with God, that the 'chastisement' as Isaiah says is fallen upon Him to free men from the malediction of the Fall. This plan of God therefore seems to be collective, global, universal ... I stay away with the greatest efforts from any polemics with these brothers. I have several times refused to speak up on such subjects that could open the door to theological controversies that would separate us from one another. This letter which I am writing to you today is very exceptional and I write it only because you force me to.' (taken from Daniel D. Musick's Masters Thesis: PAUL TOURNIER'S UNIVERSALISM, http://danmusicktheology.com/paul_tournier/).

Tutt, Rodger (1938-), Canadian universalist web communicator know for his ‘Snippets’ broadcast on a variety of UR sites and for his theology forums Walk Away (from fundamentalism) and Testimonies and Opinions:
'Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone's suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself' (from Rodgers’ Theology Forums).

Tutu, Desmond Mpilo (1931-), retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town (he was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town) and Primate of Southern Africa, and well-known social rights activist and anti apartheid campaigner, described by former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela as "sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humour, Desmond Tutu's voice will always be the voice of the voiceless". Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Recipient of bachelor's and master's degrees in theology from King's College, London; former vice-director of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches; former Bishop of Lesotho and Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches; and a leader within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
'Perhaps we too, are shaken by the thought that our enemies will not burn in Hades throughout eternity. But, ultimately, the reality of heaven cannot tolerate the existence of hell. Even our worst enemies are God's beloved children' (Made for Goodness, p. 134).

Whitall Smith, Hannah (1832–1911), lay speaker and author in the Holiness movement in the United States and the Higher Life movement in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland – originally from a Quaker background. She was also active in the Women's suffrage movement and the Temperance movement:
'An inward voice said, in tones of infinite love and tenderness, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied." "Satisfied!" I cried in my heart, "Christ is to be satisfied! He will be able to look at the world's misery, and then at the travail through which He has passed because of it, and will be satisfied with the result; If I were Christ, nothing could satisfy me but that every human being should in the end be saved, and therefore I am sure that nothing less will satisfy Him' (The Unselfishness of God And How I Discovered It, p.x).

Wilberforce, Basil (1841–1916), Anglican priest, author, and Archdeacon of Westminster from 1900. He was the younger son of Samuel Wilberforce (who was, in turn, the son of William Wilberforce) and his views marks a generational shift in attitudes towards the preaching of eternal punishment. Both father and grandfather were ardent believers in eternal torments, but Basil was a Universalist (see C.E. Woods, Archdeacon Wilberforce; his ideals and teaching, p. 152, 1917):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Wilson, Dr. Bob (xxxx-), former pastor of First Baptist Church of Chino, California:
'To love others the way “you love yourself” ... means we can no more be at peace with damnation for them, than we could rejoice in being damned ourself! ... God, ... loves the lost far more than we do ... His Word emphasizes that the love we celebrate must ultimately embrace all' (A Case for Universalism, p. xx).

Zender, Martin (xxxx-), independent theological speaker, writer and blogger:
'Eternal torment has God saying: "Make one mistake (not believing in Me), and I’ll torture you for eternity!" The world knows how ridiculous that is. Witness: Have Christians, for all their trouble and preaching, reformed the world? Okey-dokey, then' (The Ludicrous Threat of Eternal Torment at the MartinZender website).



Hopeful Universalists (Strong)

Alison, James (1959-), Catholic theologian, priest, author, and notable exponent of René Girard's anthropological theory to systematic theology:
‘There is a great difference between hoping in this possibility [universal reconciliation] and taking it for granted. It seems to me that this is the deep sense of one of the Church’s most beautiful feasts, All Souls ... if it is understood as the day on which we pray especially for those with no one to pray for them ... those who everyone would like to see burn eternally.’ (Living in the End Times [U.K.] Raising Abel [U.S.] p.177).

Baker, Dr. Sharon L. (xxxx-), theologian and Assistant Professor of Theology and Religion and Coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania:
'Those people and those nations of people who rejected Jesus during their lifetime on earth stand before God, cleansed and purified by the fire of God's love and made aware of the forgiveness of their sin through Jesus; they repent, reconcile with God, and live forevermore in perfect, restored relationship with God and others' (Razing Hell, p.179).

von Balthasar, Hans Urs (1905-1988), Roman Catholic priest and influential theologian:
'The whole of scripture is full of the proclamation of a salvation that binds all men by a Redeemer Who gathers together and reconciles the whole universe. That is quite sufficient to enable us to hope for the salvation of all men without thereby coming into contradiction with the Word of God' (Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved, p. x).

Barron, Robert Father (1959-), Roman Catholic priest, scholar and author. He is Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary/University of Saint Mary of the Lake, has been visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and was also twice scholar in residence at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America, and is a Doctor of Sacred Theology. He is popularly known for his Word on Fire Catholic Ministries organisation, his many broadcasts on EWTN and Youtube, his many TV appearances, and his many books:
'We may reasonably hope that all people will be saved. Do we know it? No. Why? Because human freedom can still resist ... My own view is that Balthasar has it pretty much right ... We have to hold to the existence of hell, at least as a possibility ... But, are any human beings in hell? We don't know ... and we may pray that all be saved, and may even reasonably hope that all people will be saved' (part of a video series from wordonfire, available on Youtube under: Fr Robert Barron on Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty).

Patriarch Bartholomew I (1940-), Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople, and Ecumenical Patriarch:
'And, it is to be noted, these statements speak to all humanity; "For God so loved the world ... " is not a limiting statement; God's love extends to all the world. Nor does the objective "... to reconcile to Himself all things ... " have limits; Trinitarian objectives are universal’ (xxxx).

Bell, Rob (1970-), founder of the Evangelical Protestant Mars Hill Bible Church; the 2011 Time Magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, author of bestsellering Love Wins and Velvet Elvis:
'What he doesn't say is how, or when, or in what manner the mechanism functions that gets people to God through him. He doesn't even state that those coming to the Father through him will even know that they are coming exclusively through him. He simply claims that whatever God is doing in the world to know and redeem and love and restore the world is happening through him' (Love Wins, p.154).

Bentley Hart, David (1965-), well known Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, patristics scholar and cultural commentator. Hart earned his BA from the University of Maryland, his MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and his MA and PhD from the University of Virginia. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Maryland. At Providence College he has held the Robert J. Randall Chair in Christian Culture, and has also held the Danforth Chair at Saint Louis University in the Department of Theological Studies. He is the author of Atheist Delusions (awarded the Michael Ramsey Prize in Theology) and The Experience of God (which the Guardian called 'the one theology book all atheists really should read.') :
'xxxx' (xxxx).

Buechner, (Carl) Frederick (1926-), ordained Presbyterian minister, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters recognised author, theologian, and Pulitzer Prize finalist:
'Dante saw written over the gates of hell the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here," but he must have seen wrong. If there is suffering life in hell, there must also be hope in hell, because where there is life there is the Lord and giver of life; and where there is suffering he is there too, because the suffering of the ones he loves is also his suffering. "He descended into hell," the Apostles' Creed says, and "If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there," says the Psalmist (139:8). It seems there is no depth to which he will not sink. Maybe not even Old Scratch will be able to hold out against him forever' (Beyond Words, p.158).

Clément, Olivier-Maurice (1921 – 2009), French Eastern Orthodox theologian who taught at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, France and was friends with Pope John Paul II:
'Current intellectual revolutions have been in progress which discover and develop the most outstanding intuitions, such as those of Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor and Isaac the Syrian; they oppose the sadism of the expiatory conceptions of salvation by paschal joy, hell conceived as an eternal concentration camp -- by prayer for universal salvation' (The Truth Will Set You Free. Conversations with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I p. 308).

Clodd, Edward (1840– 1930), English banker, anthropologist and writer on a wider range of literary and scientific subjects; a noted populariser of evolution:
'You would think your father very hard and cruel if he loaded you with good things, and sent your brothers and sisters to some homeless spot to live uncared for and unloved. And yet that is exactly what some people say that God does. They have spoken of Him Who has given life to every man, woman and child as staying near only a few of His creatures, and leaving the rest to care for themselves ... Believe that He who is called our Father is better, more just, more loving, than the best fathers can be and that He is not far from any of us' (The Childhood of the World – Man in early times, p.57).

Custance, Dr. Arthur C. (1910-1985), English born Canadian Evangelical Anglican scientist, anthropologist, and biblical studies writer best known for his series of mongraphs, The Doorway Papers and the book Journey Out of Time. Holder of an MA in Middle East Languages and a PhD in Anthropology; former Head of the Human Engineering Laboratories in Ottawa and researcher with the Defence Research Board holding several patents in the area of applied physiological instrumentation. He was a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Member Emeritus of the Canadian Physiological Society, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and was listed in American Men of Science (1971):
'It seems to me that the fate of the unsaved is not clearly revealed in Scripture, and has been greatly confused by centuries of imaginative thinking in a way that is probably detrimental to our understanding and may be a gross misrepresentation of the mind of God ... I must admit that my personal views have swung back and forth somewhat over the years, resting today in the not altogether satisfactory position of being undecided in the matter ... There are, however, certain things about which I am fully persuaded ... The issue is not whether there is to be punishment, but whether punishment is to be endless ... It seems to me improbable that the precise nature of the future of the unsaved will be revealed to us on this side of the grave, since such a revelation could not serve a purpose sufficiently good to compensate for the evil that might be done ... I have which, though far from fixed, nevertheless tends towards a somewhat more hopeful view than is current today in some segments of the evangelical community. What follows is some very strong arguments in favor of universal restoration.' (Sovereignty of God, Part V: The Future of the Non-Elect, pp.x, xxxx).

Eller, Vernard (1927-2007), Brethren theologian and minister, author, pacifist and Christian anarchist:
'As much as we can say with confidence, then, is that John teaches that we dare never deny the possibility of any person's being saved ... Don't ever say that you know for a fact what is the ultimate destiny of any man — be he Adolf Hitler, Cain, or Judas Iscariot. We dare not be dogmatic as to what God will do — whether save all or only some. But even more, we dare not suggest that God is limited in what he can do ... What we can and must say is that John attributes to and leaves with God 'the universalistic possibility' (The most revealing book in the Bible, p.204).

Farrar Capon, Robert (1925 - ), American Episcopalian priest, theological writer, author of The Supper of the Lamb and Between Noon and Three:
'I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some ... He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it ... All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not ... But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace ... All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment'

Farrar, Fredric (1831-1903), Church of England clergyman, Archdeacon of Westminster Abbey and Dean of Canterbury, schoolmaster, and author. In 1877 Farrar preached a series of sermons at Westminster Abbey proclaiming hopeful Universalism. These sermons were published as Eternal Hope and, with Farrar’s follow up answer to his critics , have become Universalist classics:
'...Shall man be more just than his Maker?...and if that love and pity springs from all that is holiest and most Christlike in our souls; - and if it would be wholly impossible for any wretch among us to be so remorseless as to doom his deadliest enemy to an endless vengeance, - are we to believe this of God? – to believe that He who planted mercy in us is merciless, and that He will ‘’hold us up with one hand and torment us with the other,’’ who knoweth our frame and remembereth that we are dust?'' (‘Are there few that be Saved?’, Sermon iv, Eternal Hope, p.115).

Farrer, Austin (1904-1968), English theologian and philosopher, C of E chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford:
'Cannot everlasting mercy save from the everlasting fire or let the irreconcilable perish in it?' (Saving Belief, p. x).

Flood, Derek (xxxx-), artist, film maker and independent theological writer and blogger best known for Healing the Gospel:
'Hell is not just, God is just. Hell is evil. Hell is not a good thing, it is a bad thing, just like sin. Hell is what God fights against, not for. We should fight with God, not against him' (How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? at the rebelgod website).

Guite, Revd. Dr. Malcolm (xxxx-xxxx), Church of England priest, poet, rock and roll musician, Girton College, Cambridge chaplain and supervisor in English and Theology:
'Tell me again the tale of Love’s compassion/ For all of us who fall onto the mire,/ How he is wounded with us, how his passion/ Quickens the love that haunted our desire' (Mother Julian).

Jersak, Dr. Brad (xxxx-), author, teacher, blogger and pastor. Faculty member of Westminster Theological Centre, former founder and pastor of Fresh Wind Christian Fellowship, Abbotsford. Converted from Evangelicalism to Eastern Orthodoxy:
'Will it really be all men who allow themselves to be reconciled? No theology or prophecy can answer this question, but love hopes all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). It cannot do otherwise than to hope for the reconciliation of all men in Christ. Such unlimited hope is, from a Christian standpoint, not just permitted but commanded' (Her Gates Will Never Be Shut, Introduction: Remodelling Hell).

Kimel, Father Aidan (Alvin) (xxxx-), Western Rite Eastern Orthodox convert (from Anglicanism via Roman Catholicism), priest and blogger, known for his site Eclectic Orthodoxy:
'xxxx' (xxxx).

Moule, Charles Francis Digby (1908–2007), English theologian and Anglican priest known to his friends as 'Charlie' but professionally by his initials C. F. D. Moule. He was a leading scholar of the New Testament, and was Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge for 25 years, from 1951 to 1976:
‘One perfectly obedient life we claim has actually been lived–the life of the absolute Son of god, Jesus Christ. We have already recognized that the supremely victorious quality of that life and death and resurrection constitutes the anchor of our hope. It is clear from our present line of study that this is not merely a historical anchorage in the past, but, more organically viewed, a representative principle of obedience at the very heart of things–a cell of life and health at the center of a sick organism: ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ And it is this vital growing-point, and its growing Body, the church, animated by the Holy Spirit, which gives ground for hope and a final redemption of all things...’ (The Meaning of Hope, p.x, 1963).

Neuhaus, Richard John (1936–2009), American Christian cleric (born in Canada). He was first a Lutheran pastor and later a Roman Catholic priest and writer. He was the founder and editor of the monthly journal First Things and a man of basically conservative views, both theological and political/social:
'we all pray that all may be saved. Is it possible to pray for that without hoping for that? I think not. It follows that we pray, and therefore we hope, that all will be saved. Catholics by the millions pray the rosary every day, adding at the end of each decade, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy' (from 'Will All BE Saved?' article in First Things, August/September 2001).

Niewiadomski, Józef (1951 -), Polish Catholic Professor of Theology and Dogmatics at the University of Innsbruck:
'Without God’s interference [on Day of Judgment], human beings would mutually condemn one another to the hell of accusation, denial and lies. Everyone would insist on victim status, demand retribution, and pass the retribution facing his or her on to others...But there will be yet another confrontation on that day of wrath that is of decisive importance¸ namely the unfathomable goodness of God and His readiness to forgive' (Politics and Apocalypse, p.65).

Pagitt, Doug (1966-), head pastor of Solomon's Porch in South Minneapolis, Senior Fellow with Emergent Village, radio host and theological writer associated with the emerging church movement:
'The life of Jesus points to the reconciliation of the world with God and God’s agenda … Having made the point that all people are part of this story through Abraham, Paul now connects Jesus to Adam and broadens the implications for all creation' (A Christianity Worth Believing, p.207).

Ramelli, Dr. Illaria (xxxx-), Roman Catholic, Eminent scholar of classic and early Christian literature and thought, Professor of History of the Roman Near East and Assistant of History of Ancient Philosophy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Senior Visiting Professor in Greek Thought at NYU and Harvard, Director of the international Oxford Workshop on The Soul in the Origenian Tradition, named in the Great Minds of the 21st Century and 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, winner of the Salute to Greatness Medal 2013 (Cambridge, UK) for Philosophy, Patristics, and Classics:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Rogers, Fred McFeely, ‘Mr Rogers’ (1928-2003), American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, author, and television host. Rogers was most famous for creating and hosting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a "Treasure of American History":
“"I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit who longs for all that's best in all of creation, a spirit who knows the great potential of each planet as well as each person, and little by little will love us into being more than we ever dreamed possible. That loving spirit would rather die than give up on any one of us." (Life Journeys According To Mister Rogers).

Saint Silouan the Athonite, also referred to as Staretz Silouan (1866–1938), Eastern Orthodox Athonite monk of Russian origin known for his love of enemies and his prayers and tears for all humankind:
'I remember a conversation between him and a certain hermit, who declared with evident satisfaction, ‘God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire.’ Obviously upset, the Staretz said: ‘Tell me, supposing you went to paradise and there looked down and saw somebody burning in hell-fire - would you feel happy?’ ‘It can’t be helped. It would be their own fault,’ said the hermit. The Staretz answered him with a sorrowful countenance: ‘Love could not bear that,’ he said. ‘We must pray for all’' (from His Life is Mine, p. 68).

Studdert Kennedy, Geoffrey Anketell, MC (1883–1929), Anglican priest and poet; nicknamed 'Woodbine Willie' during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured soldiers:
‘Cursed be the foul contortion, that hath/turned His Love to Hate,/That hath cried at death’s dim portal,/’Enter here, and ‘tis too late,’//Cruel pride and vain presumption claim to/grasp where angels grope/’Tis not God but mean man blindness/dims the deathless star of Hope’(‘Eternal Hope’ from Rough Rhymes of a Padre, p.51).

Ward, Dr. Keith (1938-), philosopher, theologian, and pastor. Fellow of the British Academy, ordained priest of the Church of England, former canon of Christ Church, Oxford, former Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford, council member of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and member of the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies:
‘...God will burn all selfishness away, and it will be excluded forever from the divine presence. But God will never cease to love those God has created, or make it impossible for them (even as if by fire) to fulfil what God wants – their ultimate sharing in his divine life’ (What the Bible Teaches, p.152). Also see: 'God's will, however, is not destruction, but life: 'As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive'. This 'all' is not to be dismissed lightly. It sets up a correspondence between the universal estrangement of humanity, from which none are exempt, and the universal reconciliation of humanity, which similarly refers to human nature as such, and therefore includes all individuals who share human nature. Elsewhere, Paul stresses the same theme: 'One man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men'' (Religion & Human Nature, pp.320f.)

Westcott, Brooke Foss (1825–1901), English Biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Anglican Bishop of Durham from 1890. He is perhaps most known for his co-authoring of The New Testament in the Original Greek with F.J.A. Hort. After Frederic Farrar preached his Eternal Hope sermons at Westminster in 1877, Westcott wrote to him: ‘You cannot have the subject more to heart than I have...but you can bring it home to men and that is a great privilege. I rejoice to hear of the sermons and of their effect (Reginald Farrar, Life of Farrar, pp 277-8, 1904). In 1894 Farrar quotes Westcott in Mercy and Judgement, chapter 2:
'And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me' (John xii. 32). All men: the phrase must not be limited in any way. It cannot mean merely 'Gentiles as well as Jews', or 'the elect', or 'all who believe'. We must receive it as it stands (Rom. V. 18, viii. 32; 2 Cor. V. 15; Eph. I. 10; I Tim ii. 6; Heb. Ii. 9, 6; I John ii. 2). The remarkable reading 'all things' (Vulg. omnia) points to a still wider application of Redemption (Col. I. 20)' (Speaker's Commentary, New Test. ii., p.183). Also: ‘We are told God is not the Father of all men; He is only their Creator! What a total misapprehension these words imply of all that is involved in creating man in the likeness of God, in the image of God. Viewed thus, Creation contains the Gospel in germ; it involves universal Fatherhood. “Have we not all one Father,” asks the Prophet, why? “Has not one God created us? " (Malachi Ii. ii. 10). “Lord, You art our Father… we are all the work of Your hand.”(Isaiah lxiv. 8). He earliest gospel is Genesis. i. 26. ‘Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness'' (WESTCOTT on Heb. i. 2. xxxxx).

Whitney, Adeline Dutton Train (1824-1906), American poet and prolific writer, publishing more than 20 books for girls – which affirmed fairly traditional roles. Her works were a favourite in Universalist periodicals for women, both The Rose of Sharon, and the monthly Universalist and Ladies’ Repository. In her poem Maiden of Four Years Old a child, disgusted with a caterpillar, says to her mother ‘I wish they had finished the butterfly!’. And then, as Hanson tells us, ‘the poet moralizes’:
‘Ah, look then, largely, with lenient eyes,/On whatso beside thee may creep and cling,/For the possible glory that underlies/The passing phase of the meanest thing//What if God’s great angles, whose waiting love/Beholdeth our pitiful life below,/From the holy height of their heaven above/Couldn’t bear with the worm till the wings should grow' (Maiden of Four Years Old, quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 269).

Young, William Paul (1955-), theological author best known for The Shack:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p. x).



Hopeful Universalists (Weak)

Barth, Karl (1886–1968), Swiss Reformed theologian. Barth is often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His theological thought emphasized the sovereignty of God, particularly through his reinterpretation of the Calvinistic doctrine of election, the sinfulness of humanity, and the "infinite qualitative distinction between God and mankind". His most famous works are his early The Epistle to the Roman’s, which marked a clear break from his earlier thinking; and his massive thirteen-volume work Church Dogmatics, one of the largest works of systematic theology ever written:
'This much is certain, that we have no theological right to set any sort of limits to the loving-kindness of God which has appeared in Jesus Christ. Our theological duty is to see and understand it as being still greater than we had seen before' (The Humanity of God, p.x, 1960).

Boyd, Dr. Gregory A. (1957-), adjunct Professor of Theology at Bethel University, author, and senior pastor at the Evangelical Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Boyd’s views on the after-life seem to be a mix of hopeful universalism, annihilationism, and post-mortem sub-humanisation:
'In fact, I find I've got grounds for having a hope for everybody ... I can't know that everyone's saved. That's going beyond the bounds of scripture. But Paul says ... "all were in Adam, so all are in Christ" ... Which tells me ... from God's perspective, he has them all in, he's squeezing them in ... So hold fast to the exclusivity of Christ, but don't feel like there's anything wrong with having hope, and believing that there's a wideness in God's mercy, and his love is unfathomable and gracious, and we have confidence in that also' (Videoblog: Q&A Salvation 2012).

Küng, Hans (1928-), Swiss Catholic priest and influential theologian, President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic, emeritus professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen:
'Whether the punishment of hell is eternal or not, a person is fully responsible, not only before his conscience -- which is the voice of his practical reason -- but also before the absolutely final authority, before which his reason is also responsible. And it would certainly be presumptuous for a person to seek to anticipate the judgment of this absolutely final authority. Neither in one way nor in the other can we tie God's hands or dispose of him. There is nothing to be known here, but everything to be hoped' (Eternal Life, p. 140-3).

Linn, Denis, Sheila and Matthew (xxxx-xxxx), American Catholic family team of retreat and seminar leaders and co-authors of books on healing spirituality rooted in the Ignatian tradition (Denis and Sheila live in Colorado while their son Matt lives in a Jesuit community in Minnesota):
'Some people say, ‘’But we don’t have a whole eternity. We make free definitive decision at death, when we choose either heaven or hell forever.’’ Since none of us has died none of us can know this with certainty. But let’s just imagine that what they say is true. This would mean that at the moment of death we would have to experience a whole eternity of God’s healing initiatives, because we cannot freely and definitively turn down what we have not experienced. Ultimately our hope is not in the life we have lived, but rather in the healing initiatives of God who will spend eternity loving and healing us' (Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God).

McLaren, Brian D. (1956-), founding pastor of the Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland, author, activist, speaker and leading figure in the emerging church movement, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005:
'Maybe God’s plan is an opt-out plan, not an opt-in one. If you want to stay out of the party, you can. Nobody will force you to enjoy it. But it’s hard for me to imagine somebody being more stubbornly ornery than God is gracious' (The Last Word and the Word After That, p.138).

Moorhouse, James (1826 –1915), English clergyman who served as Anglican bishop of Melbourne, Australia, and finally as Anglican bishop of Manchester:
'[Because of the abrogation in the Elizabethan Book of Common Prayer of an earlier article of faith book requiring belief in hell ] First, we are at liberty to think and teach about the future of the wicked as we believe that Holy Scripture teaches us. Secondly, varying interpretations are not only allowable, but inevitable, upon mere matters of opinion. Thirdly, if perchance we hold 'the larger hope', as I will not conceal from you that for twenty years and more I have done, we shall yet be ready to acknowledge the obscurity which surrounds it, and the right of any of our brethren to think and teach differently from ourselves' (Speech before Church Assembly, September 17, 1878).

Murphy-O'Connor, Cardinal Cormac (1932-), Roman Catholic Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster and former President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria sopra Minerva:
'We’re not bound to believe that anybody’s there (in hell) ... But certainly in the Scriptures there’s a stark confrontation between heaven and hell ... It is in the context not of ‘you will be damned’, but ‘repent and turn to God’. I believe that hell exists and it is really the absence of God ... I cannot think of heaven without thinking of being in communion with all the saints and with all the people I’ve loved on this earth ... I hope they [Catholics and Protestants in heaven] won't be separate. I think that the divisions manifest here on earth will be reconciled in some mysterious way in heaven. I'm not thinking just of Catholics and Protestants, but people of other faiths and people of no faith. We are all children of God' (Interview Article: Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor Speaks of His Hope for Universal Salvation).

Paul II, Pope John - Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920-2005), 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic church:
'Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it' (General Audience of July 28, 1999).

Plantinga, Alvin Carl (1932-), eminent Reformed Christian philosopher described by Time Magazine as 'America's leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God', former President of the Society of Christian Philosophers, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin College:
'As the one man all sinned, so through the one man all shall be saved. It is the same word, same greek word in those two occurrences that suggest that everybody will be saved. Maybe people get second chances, third chances, after death, fourth chances, extra chances ... That's called universalism. And I don't myself quite believe it, but I don't disbelieve it either. I think it's something that a Christian should at least hope for' (interview on Closer to Truth).

Polkinghorne, Rev Dr. John Charlton (1930-), distinguished theorteical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest, former professor of Mathematical physics at Cambridge, president of Queens' College, Cambridge, first president of the International Society for Science and Religion, Fellow of the Royal Society, former canon theologian of Liverpool Cathedral, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire:
'I think that God’s love and mercy is unending in that respect. So I don’t think that the divine offer of life and of redemption is for this world only ... And will there be people who resist God forever? Well I don’t think we know really. But it is a serious possibility' (A Destiny Beyond Death).

Rahner, Karl (1904 –1984), influential German Jesuit theologian:
In a class at the University of Muenster in 1970 a student reminded Rahner that that belief universal salvation view had been condemned at the Provincial Council of Constantinople. Rahner replied that he was well aware of this but this did not prevent him from hoping universal salvation would occur. Also, he continued, the Divine Mystery has eternity to set right what went wrong in time. ( abridged from 'Heaven and Hell and Zero Tolerance', an article by Fr, Paul Surlis)

Sachs, John R., S.J. (xxxx), Catholic Associate professor of systematic theology Boston College USA; Catholic:
'1) Because human beings are free, they are able to reject God. Therefore hell is a real possibility. 2) Though final damnation remains a possibility with which every individual must reckon, neither Scripture nor Church teaching claims that anyone in fact has been or will be finally lost. 3) Certain knowledge about the final outcome of judgment for individuals is impossible, but because of Christ's victory over sin and death, we may and must hope that all men and women will in fact be saved' ('Current Eschatology: Universal Salvation and the Problem of Hell', Theological Studies, June 1991, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 233-241).

Tomlinson, Dave (xxxx-xxxx), English writer and author of The Post Evangelical. Dave, with his wife Pat, were leading figures in the evangelical House Church movement but left in 1989 disillusioned with authoritarianism, obscurantism, and fundamentalism. After this they set up Holy Joe’s – a group for Christians that met in a South London pub. Dave is now Anglican vicar of St Luke’s’ in North London:
‘Ultimately, no one in this life knows what happens when we die. Like Moltmann, I cannot proclaim with certainty that everyone will be redeemed, but I share his trust that ‘the proclamation will go forwards until everyone has been redeemed' (from 'The Illogic of Hell' in Re-Enchanting Christianity, p.103, 2008).

Ware, Kallistos (1934-), theological author and Eastern Orthodox metropolitan bishop of of Diokleia, former Spalding Lecturer at the University of Oxford in Eastern Orthodox studies, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, former chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge:
'Hell exists as a final possibility, but several of the Fathers have none the less believed that in the end all will be reconciled to God. It is heretical to say that all must be saved, for this is to deny free will; but it is legitimate to hope that all may be saved. Until the Last Day comes, we must not despair of anyone’s salvation, but must long and pray for the reconciliation of all without exception. No one must be excluded from our loving intercession. ‘What is a merciful heart?’ asked Isaac the Syrian. ‘It is a heart that burns with love for the whole of creation, for men, for the birds, for the beasts, for the demons, for all creatures.’Gregory of Nyssa said that Christians may legitimately hope even for the redemption of the Devil' (Orthodox Church, p.x ).

Williams, Charles Walter Stansby (1886 –1945), English poet, novelist, theologian, literary critic, Christian hermeticist, and member of the Inklings:
'The imaginations of the Alexandrian Fathers were courteous; their visions were humane. Origen extended that vision so far as to teach the final restitution of all things, including the devils themselves. It is impossible that some such dream should not linger in any courteous mind, but to teach it as a doctrine almost always ends in the denial of free-will. If God has character, if man has choice, an everlasting rejection of God by man must be admitted as a possibility; that is, hell must remain. The situation of the devils (if any) is not man’s business. The charity of Origen schematized then too far; he declared as a doctrine what can only remain as a desire' (The Descent of the Dove, p. 40).

Williams, Rev Dr. Rowan Douglas - Baron Williams of Oystermouth (1950-), 104th C of E Archbishop of Canterbury, former Archbishop of Wales, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, theological writer, scholar of the Church Fathers, and historian of Christian spirituality:
'And that is the point of thinking about hell. We cannot know if anyone is ever in such a condition, but we have to know the proper fear that the choices we make are capable of destroying us...The most truthful image we can have of hell is of God eternally knocking on a closed door that we are struggling to hold shut’ (Tokens of Trust, p. 151).



Pluralist Universalists

Abbot, Francis Ellingwood (1836-1903), controversial American philosopher, theologian and free thinker who attempted to construct a variety of independent, creedless, individualistic scientific religion, or ‘noumenism’. His most important books were Scientific Theism (1885) and The Way Out of Agnosticism (1890). Although raised a transcendentalist, after graduating Abbot served as a Unitarian minister, but his ministry proved controversial, and in 1868 New Hampshire's highest court ruled that the Dover, New Hampshire, First Unitarian Society of Christians' chosen minister was insufficiently "Christian" to serve his congregation and Abbot resigned. After leaving Unitarianism, Abbot organised the Free Religious Association (1867) which held that religion should be free from all creeds. In 1870, Abbot became the editor of The Index, a weekly publication dedicated to the advancement of Free Religion and secularism. In his writings Abbot attacked Christianity and promoted secular society. In 1881 he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University, and in 1887 obtained a teaching position there, but was quickly embroiled in controversy over The Way Out of Agnosticism. He left in 1892. He committed suicide in 1903 at the graveside of his wife who had died ten years earlier:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Arnold, Sir Edwin (1832–1904), English poet and journalist best known for The Light of Asia (a verse narrative meditation on the Buddha) and Song Celestial (a verse translation of the Bhagavad Gita). He is often included on internet universalist lists – but his universalism is grounded in an exploratory religious pluralism rather than being specifically Christian. He also wrote a verse narrative meditation on Jesus - who he compares to the Buddha - from which the following is taken:
'Lovers of Man, and secret Ministers/We too stand weeping – His sad, shamed Church -/The last scorned ruins of the larger scheme planned/To take the whole world by the hand of Love/And make all flesh one Father’s family' (The Light of the World, or, The Great Consummation, 1896).

Hick, John (1922-2012), English, United Reformed. Ordained minister of United Reformed Church, eminent theologian, Vice-President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, Vice-President of The World Congress of Faiths, Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University, California, H.G. Wood Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham. He moved from a specifically Christian Universalism centred on a modified version of the theodicy of St Irenaeus in Evil and the God of Love (1966) , to a more pluralist, post-Christian Universalist perspective fully expressed in The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Toward a Pluralistic Theology of Religions (1987):
'In wrestling with the problem of evil I had concluded that any viable Christian theodicy must affirm the ultimate salvation of all God’s creatures' (God Has Many Names, Philadelphia, 1983, p.17).

Pearson, Carlton D'Metrius (1953-), former Pentecostal bishop and megachurch pastor, gospel singer, currently an independent minister, blogger and writer:
'Hell was never God's intention. It is man's invention. It is a human-manufactured religious icon, no less idolatrous than deifying a statue' (God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu...: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us, p. x).



Former Universalists

Alfeyev, Dr. Hilarion (1966-), Russian Orthodox Bishop, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, noted theologian, church historian and composer. Current chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He studied violin, piano and composition at the Moscow Gnessins School, then later the Moscow State Conservatoire. He served in the Soviet military; was a former monk and graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy with as a Master of Theology, and from University of Oxford with as Doctor of Philosophy (under Kalistos Ware); and has lectured at St Tikhon’s Theological Institute and St John the Theologian’s Orthodox University. Author of numerous theological works including: St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition, and The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian, and composer of various musical pieces including a Christmas Oratorio. Recipient of the Order of Friendship. Previously on this list as a (strong) hopeful universalist because of this quote:
'God does nothing out of retribution. Even to think that way about God would be blasphemous. Even worse is the opinion that God allows people to lead a sinful life on earth in order to punish them eternally after death. This is a blasphemous and perverted understanding of God, a calumny of God… quite to the contrary, the majority of people will find themselves in the Kingdom of heaven, and only a few sinners will go to hell, and even they only for the period of time which is necessary for their repentance and remission of sins' (speech to 'The World Congress on Divine Mercy', Rome April 2008).
However, it now seems he has moved back to a more traditional freewill hellist position, see his book Orthodox Christianity (vol. 2):
'xxxx' (xxxx)


Holtz, Chad (xxxx-), American; former United Methodist pastor of Marrow's Chapel, Henderson, North Carolina, who was removed from office in part for his public internet support of Rob Bell's hopeful universalist book Love Wins. Originally, Chad commented that, 'I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment', but after attending a conservative rehabilitation ministry (Pure Life Ministries) to overcome “sexual addiction” he altered his stance and declared:
'I repent of my past denial of hell or that a person could ever be eternally seperated [sic] from a holy God. I know now that I had no fear of God. Therefore, I had no knowledge of God (Prov. 1:7). I was a fool with an MDiv. I was wrong' (Chad's blog, Unchained, entry 1 June 2012).



Disputed or Often Miscategorised Universalists

Borges, Jorge Luis (1899 –1986), Argentine short-story writer, essayist; religious themes recur in his work, although it is hard to pin him down to any faith tradition or orthodoxy. His work embraces the “character of unreality in all literature”. In his essay, La duración del Infierno he suggests that no transgression can warrant an infinite punishment on the grounds that there is no such thing as an “infinite transgression”:
‘I believe that in our unthinkable destiny, in which infamies rule like a carnal pain, every bizarre thing is possible, even the perpetuity of a Hell, but also that it is irreligious to believe in it' (La duración del Infierno, p.x, 1932).



Annhililationists (or believers in conditional immortality)

Atkinson, Dr. Basil Ferris Campbell (1895-1971), theological writer and bible commentator, under-librarian of the University of Cambridge, librarian to the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, and participant in the formation of the evangelical Inter Varsity Fellowship:
'If the ungodly are in conscious misery for eternity and above all if they continue in increasing sin for eternity, how can we believe the apostle's supreme declaration in 1 Corinthians 15:28 that God will be all in all without narrowing its scope and distorting its meaning?' (Life and Immortality, p.x).

Bruce, Dr. Frederick Fyvie (1910-1990), evangelical theologian, Professor of Greek at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds, head of the Department of Biblical History and Literature at Sheffield University:
'annihilation is certainly an acceptable interpretation of the relevant New Testament passages ... For myself, I remain agnostic. Eternal conscious torment is incompatible with the revealed character of God' (Letter from F. F. Bruce to John Stott in 1989, as quoted in John Stott: A Global Ministry).

Bullinger, E. W. (xxxx-xxxx), Concordant Publishing:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Buzzard, Sir Anthony Farquhar 3rd Baronet (1935-), biblical scholar, unitarian Christian theologian, author and professor at Atlanta Bible College. Formerly connected to Herbert Armstrong, in the early 1970s Buzzard left the Worldwide Church of God and later published his own theological views refuting Armstrong's theology. In 1981 Buzzard founded with the help of Charles F. Hunting the Restoration Fellowship, affiliated with the Church of God General Conference:
'What a joy that an honest Bible-searcher gives the public a chance to renounce one of the cruellest errors of traditional theology-- that the God of all compassion is intending to torture and torment the wicked ceaselessly for eternity. I doubt if most churchgoers allow themselves even to think through what that hideous notion implies. As it turns out it is a pernicious mistake to adopt the non-biblical idea of an immortal soul, from which it would follow that being immortal the wicked could never die!' (a comment on patheos website in response to the article: Stories of Hateful Fundamentalists Coming to a Theater Near You).

Fudge, Edward (1941-), theologian and lawyer, best known for his book The Fire that Consumes. Fudge ministered for non-institutional Churches of Christ in St. Louis and Athens, Alabama:
'Are we supposed to think that the God who loves the world so much that he gave his only son so believers would not perish but have eternal life is going to then turn around and throw billions of them into something resembling a lake of volcanic lava and make it so they cannot die, so they will have to endure this forever. That doesn’t sound like the God that I know and see in Jesus Christ' (Interview with The Christian Post).

Gumbel, Nicky (1955-), Anglican priest, vicar and author, best known as the developer of the Alpha course:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Peoples, Dr. Glenn (1975-), independent scholar, philosophical and theological writer and notable internet blogger, currently working for the Inland Revenue Department New Zealand:
'Not only am I an annihilationist, but I think that all evangelical Christians should be annihilationists, because the biblical case for annihilationism is very strong, and I think the arguments against annihilationism are very weak in comparison' (Why I am an Annihilationist at beretta-online.com).

Personne, Johan Wilhelm (1849-1926), Swedish Lutheran Bishop and prestigious Biblical scholar for whom the Bible was ‘the eternally deciding standard’:
'The exegesis, that for example in Revelation 21:4 “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” etc., sees a guarantee that God shall cause the saved to forget the agony of the lost, that exegesis is so miserable that I am almost ashamed to mention it. And when I hear of a clergyman who rejects the apprehensions of his members concerning the eternal suffering with the exhortation: “Do not think about that, just see to it that you yourself will be saved,” I have difficulty in not thinking mean things of him' (Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Linköping 1910).

Pinnock, Dr. Clark (1937-2010), Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College and notable advocate of Open Theism. Even though he was brought up in Liberal Christianity, he later became part of the broad Evangelical tradition, and explored Reformed, Arminian and Pentecostal streams of thought:
'My point is that eternal torment serves no purpose at all and exhibits a vindictiveness totally out of keeping with the love of God revealed in the gospel' (Four Views on Hell, p. 153).

Russell, Charles Taze (1852–1916,) American Restorationist minister and founder of The Watchtower, from which the Jehovah’s Witnesses grew – influenced by both Grew and Storss theologically.
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Sanders, Dr. John E. (1956-), notable inclusivist and open theist, professor of religious studies at Hendrix College, Arkansas, and former Frederick J. Crosson Fellow at The Center for Philosophy of Religion, Notre Dame:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Stott, John Robert Walmsley (1921-2011), noted Anglican Evangelical leader, one of the principal authors of the 1974 Lausanne Covenant, 2005 Time magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world:
'Emotionally, I find the concept [of eternal conscious torment] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain' (Essentials: A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue by David L. Edwards with a response from John Stott. 1988, p314 ).

Temple, William (1881-1944), C of E Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the founders of the Council of Christians and Jews, fellow and lecturer in philosophy at Queen's College, Oxford:
'xxxx' (Christus Veritas, p. 209).

Welch, C. H. (xxxx-xxxx), Concordant Publishing:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Wenham, John (1913-1996), Anglican clergyman, vice-principal of Tyndale Hall, Bristol and noted bible scholar:
'I believe that endless torment is a hideous and unscriptural doctrine which has been a terrible burden on the mind of the church for many centuries and a terrible blot on her presentation of the gospel. I should indeed be happy if, before I die, I could help in sweeping it away' (Facing Hell, An Autobiography 1913-1996, p. x).

Wright, Right Revd. Nicholas Thomas (1948-), leading New Testament scholar, former C of E Bishop of Durham, current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary's College, St Andrews. Tom Wright’s views on the afterlife seem to be a mix of post-mortem salvation, annihilationism, and post-mortem sub-humanisation. We has written against universalism:
'I don’t find any of these three traditional options completely satisfactory, but I think a somewhat different form of conditionalism may be the best we can do. We should of course always stress that the question of who shall eventually be saved is up to God and God alone, and that we can never say of anyone for certain, including Hitler and bin Laden, that they have gone so far down the road of wickedness that they are beyond redemption. I take it, however, that there are many who do continue down that road to the bitter end' (Rethinking the Tradition).



Disputed Annhilationists

Gygax
, Ernest Gary (1938-2008), American co-creator (with Dave Arneson) of the pioneering fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. He was reticent to talk about his faith, especially in light of the conservative Christian moral panic concerning role-playing games during the 1980s. According to Wikipedia, ‘Gygax described himself as a Christian, but for much of his life had been reluctant to discuss his beliefs, citing fears that he would hurt the reputation of Christianity because of his connection to the moral panic that some people associated with D&D as a reason for not having been more vocal about his faith.’ He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, but it is disputed as to whether and to what degree he remained a Witness throughout his life. In an online forum at Troll Lord Games he self identified as an Arian Unitarian Christian:
“I decided only recently to make it known that I am a Christian, albeit one that is of the Arian (Unitarian) persuasion" (Interview at trollordgames website).



Second Chance and Post-Mortem Salvationists

Walls, Dr. Jerry L (xxxx-), Methodist evangelical Arminian, former lecturer at Asbury Theological Seminary, currently Visiting Scholar, Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. Walls is known for supporting the doctrine of hell against universalism, though his after-life views seem to be inclusivist, purgatorial and post-mortem salvationist:
‘missionaries do not convert people who would otherwise be lost’ (Hell: the Logic of Damnation, p.xx).



Disputed Post-Mortem Salvationists

Lewis, Clive Staples (1898-1963), Anglican philosopher and Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, later chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge, influential Christian apologist and author best known for his Narnia series. His views on the after-life are disputed, but he seems to hold to a mix of post-mortem salvation and sub-humanisation, and possibly annihilationism:
'I believe in Purgatory ... I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering ... But I don't think suffering is the purpose of purgation ... The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much' (Malcolm, ch. 20).



Inclusivists and Wide-Hopers

Catechism of the Catholic Church reads:
'God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want ‘any to perish, but all to come to repentance’'( xxxx, p.x).

Cleveland, Elizabeth Hannah Jocelyn (1824-1911), American Quaker and author of the witty and once popular narrative poem for young people No Sects in Heaven in which a Priest in his fine vestments, a gray suited Quaker, Dr Isaac Watts with his psalms, John Wesley, a Baptist (and more) struggle across a river, each imaging his own way is the only one to heaven. However at the end of the poem:
‘And priest and Quaker, and all who died,/ Came out alike on the other side./ No forms, or crosses, or books had they, /No gowns of silk, or suits of gray, /No creeds to guide them, or MSS., /For all had put on Christ's righteousness’ (No Sects In Heaven: and Other Poems, p.x, 1869).

Florovsky, Georges (1893–1979), Russian Orthodox priest, theologian, historian and ecumenist:
‘Without doubt even in the demonic depths the creature remains the work of God and the traits of divine design are never effaced. The image of God, obscured by the infidelity of sin, is nevertheless preserved intact, and that is why there is always, even in the abyss, and ontological receptacle for divine appeal, for the grace of God’ (If Grace Is True by Gulley P. and Muholland J., p.217).

Graham, Reverend William Franklin "Billy" (1918-), eminent American Southern Baptist Protestant evangelist whose after-life views seem to have become more inclusive as he grew older:
'(Graham): ... I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived’. (Schuller) ‘I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’. (Graham): ‘There is. There definitely is’ (Dr. Robert Schuller interviews Reverend Billy Graham, 1997).



Anti-Hellists

Twain, Mark (1835–1910), American author, humorist, and lifelong Presbyterian who sometimes wrote like a Universalist but sometimes tended towards cynicism about Christianity because of ECT doctrine. In this sense he was a troubled, equivocal soul:
‘There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is--in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree--it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime--the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled’ (Autobiography, Volume 1, p.x).



Other or Undetermined


Industrial & Victorian, 19th century (death between 1801-1900)


Convinced Universalists

Adams, Sarah Flower (1805–1848), English Unitarian, poet and hymn writer famous for Nearer my God to thee – the hymn played by the band on the Titanic as it sank on 14 April 1912. Her friend, Henry Crab Robinson tells us that the hymn ‘is the composition of a Universalist woman’ – and its fear free mediation on death bears this out:
‘Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,/sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,/still all my song shall be,/ nearer, my God, to thee; /nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee’ (final verse of Nearer my God to thee).

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805–1875), Danish author and poet and writer of fairy tales of worldwide esteem. In his biography he writes of his settled opinion while still at school:
'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' (The True Story of My Life, p.77, translated by Mary Howitt, 1847).

Aspland, Robert (1782-1845), English Unitarian minister, a forceful presence in the development of Unitarianism in Great Britain:
'We regard the doctrine of endless punishment as so utterly incompatible both with the goodness and justice of God, that we think it ought not to be received upon any evidence whatsoever. To affirm that that the Almighty will render any of his creatures miserable to all eternity, and especially, when these creatures, like mankind, are frail and ignorant, and exposed to numerous temptations, is but saying in other words, the he is neither merciful nor just’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.79, 1880).

Austin, John Mather (1805-1880), American Universalist clergyman, editor, author and social activist in New York State. As editor of the Christian Ambassador, Austin used the power of the press to shape the direction of Universalism in New York State. He was an advocate of temperance and the Union cause, and against slavery and capital punishment:
’The gospel itself clearly proclaims the doctrine of the final salvation of all mankind, as I have shown by a large class of the most plain and emphatic passages to be found in the Bible. That this sentiment had always prevailed among the people of God, from the earliest ages of the world, we are assured by St. Peter. He declares that .–“ The times of the RESTITUTION of ALL THINGS, God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL his HOLY PROPHETS since the world began !!!”–(Acts iii. 21.) And the same doctrine of Universal Salvation has been believed and advocated in the Christian Church by the most eminent and learned men in different ages, from the time of the Apostles to our own day' (from Brief History of Universalism, 1855, available at Tentmakers).

Baillie, Joanna (1762–1851), Scottish Unitarian poet and dramatist admired both for her literary powers and her sweetness of character; she hosted a brilliant literary society in her cottage at Hampstead:
[In The Election a Comedy, her character Baltimore saves the life of a hated rival, under strong temptation to leave him to perish; whereupon, Mrs Baltimore, on hearing it, exclaims]; ‘Thy Master – ay, and my husband! And God almighty’s good creature, who has formed everything good! Oh, yes, He has made every being with good in it, and will at last make everything perfectly so, in some way other, known only to his wisdom’ (from Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p85).

Ballou, Adin (1803–1890), Unitarian minister, writer, abolitionist, radical pacifist and socialist:
'I firmly believe that Christianity, as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ and his apostles, is not only the highest and best religion ever promulgated to mankind, but, in its declared essentials, the one true and absolute religion, indispensable to the perfect holiness and happiness of the human race, and destined to final universal acceptance' (Primitive Christianity and its Corruptions, Volume 1, p.III).

Ballou, Hosea (1771-1852), clergyman preacher and oft-proclaimed 'father of American Universalism':
'In God’s eternity/ There shall a day arise,/ When all the race of man shall be/ With Jesus in the skies' (Poem xx).

Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (1743–1825), English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author. Anna was a Presbyterian of an emerging tradition which encompassed Baptist, Independents and Unitarians:
‘The age 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 punishment’ (The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld: With a Memoir, vol ii, p. 470
1825).

Barbuald, Rev. Rochemont (1749-1808), English Unitarian clergyman of Huguenot descent. The husband of Anna Letitia Barabuald who for a time ran a successful school with her. Sadly his later years were plagued by mental health problems. Anna wrote of him:
'Rochemont’s favourite 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' (xxxx, p.x).

Barnum, Phineas Taylor (1810-1891), known as P. T. Barnum he was the most influential American showman of the nineteenth century, founder of the first important public museum and creator of the modern three-ring circus; a prominent Universalist:
'It is objected that we cannot judge what infinite wisdom, love, etc., will do. Very true! Eye cannot see, nor heart feel. How, then, do my orthodox friends get their information of God's intention to endlessly damn us ? While we do not presume to measure God's attributes, we dare not limit them with mete and bound. I at least suppose them to be infinitely better than the best, instead of infinitely worse than the worst, of man's ways' (Why I am a Universalist 1896).

Barrett Browning, Elizabeth (1806–1861), prominent Victorian poet:
‘Universalism is the most beautiful word in the English language’(If Grace Is True by Gulley P. and Muholland J., p.222).

Belsham, Thomas (1750–1829), English Unitarian minister. Belsham's beliefs reflect that transition that the Unitarian movement was going through during his lifetime, particularly from the early Bible-fundamentalist views of earlier English Unitarians like Henry Hedworth and John Biddle, to the more Bible-critical positions of Priestley's generation (following Priestley, Belsham was to dismiss the virgin birth as "no more entitled to credit, than the fables of the Koran, or the reveries of Swedenborg"):
‘The eternity of hell-torment is a doctrine from which Christianity revolts; to which it gives not the slightest trace either in the Old Testament or the New…I will venture to 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 is taught. I will add that there is not a single sentence in which the very idea of a human individual existing through eternity in a state of torment is even expressed distinctly and unequivocally’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.79).

Blake, William (1757-1827), seminal Pre-Romantic artist, printer, poet and printmaker, heterodox and idiosyncratic religious thinker:
'All Human forms identified, living going forth and returning wearied/Into the planetary lives of years months days & hours reposing/And then awaking into His bosom in the life of immortality/And I heard the names of their emanations they are named Jerusalem’ (Jerusalem, plate 99).

Bremer, Fredrika (1801–1865), Swedish Unitarian, novelist and feminist activist in reform and education, she worked to establish an age of majority for unmarried girls, nursed cholera victims, founded an orphanage, and established a school to train teachers. In 1854 during the Crimean War, she appealed to women internationally to work for peace. Her novels include The Neighbour; The House and Hertha:
'Even in this life God wills that man shall partake of the fullness of his life, but what before all does Christianity say? God is love. He will, therefore, never cease to desire the deliverance of every man; here, there, in eternity, he will labour for it. God is the only principle ever the same, ever active. Oh! Certainly the time will come, when the Son, the eternal Word, shall have subdued all to the Father, to the eternal mind!' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.160).

Bronte, Ann (1820-1849), novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family, Anglican:
'That as in Adam all have died,/ In Christ shall all men live;/ And ever round his throne abide,/ Eternal praise to give./
That even the wicked shall at last/ Be fitted for the skies;/ And, when their dreadful doom is past,/ To life and light arise' (A Word to The 'Elect').

Brontë, Charlotte (1816–1855), classic novelist and poet, author of Jane Eyre, Anglican:
''I am sorry the Clergy do not like the doctrine of Universal Salvation; I think it is a great pity for their sakes, but surely they are not so unreasonable as to expect me to deny or suppress what I believe the truth!' (from Letter to Margaret Wooler February 14, 1850).

Brontë, Emily Jane (1818–1848), classic novelist and poet, author of Wuthering Heights; Anglican but seems to have been the least orthodox of the sisters (some of her poems seem pantheistic; see No coward soul is mine). She made no explicit statement of universalism but her poetry is suffused with assured optimism about the blessed state of the dead:
'But, I'll not fear, I will not weep/For those whose bodies rest in sleep,/I know there is a blessed shore,/Opening its ports for me and mine;/And, gazing Time's wide waters o'er,/I weary for that land divine' (from Faith And Despondency).

Brown, Thomas (xxxx), American author from Cornwall, Orange County, New-York. In 1799 he became a Shaker, but left them in 1805 giving an account of his reasons. After this he became a universalist with a strong preterist eschatology:
'I shall now prove, and prove only from the scriptures, that this was the end of the world, the end of the age, the day of judgment, and "the days of vengeance, that all things which are written by Moses and the prophets might be fulfilled." And the hell that people have so long been talking about was in Jerusalem." "Now the whole just amounts to this, that the only way to prove a hell of endless punishment, must be to prove that what is said by the prophets.. means endless punishment. If that can be done, then we must, to our great grief and sorrow, and to the sorrow of all good men, give up Universal Salvation. .. I conclude that no man of sense and learning will ever undertake it, nor to find a law that ever threatened such punishment for sin, then we have gained the victory, the great and long controversy is decided' (A History of the Origin & Progess of the Doctrine of UNIVERSAL SALVATION, p.x, 1826).

Browning, Robert (1812–1889), English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. He was a close friend of George Macdonald and husband to Elizabeth Barret Browning (the story of their love was made famous in America in the 1930’s film The Barrets of Wimpole Street):
‘There never shall be one lost good! what was shall live as before, /The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound. /What was good shall be good, with for evil so much good more;/On earth the broken arcs, in heaven the perfect round. /The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard, /The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky, /Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; /Enough that He heard it once, we shall hear it by and by' (from Abt Vogler).

Byron, Lady Anne Isabella Noel (1792–1860); English mathematician, Anglican and dedicated worker in the causes of prison reform and the worldwide abolition of slavery; wife of the poet Lord Byron. Lady Anne had a strict religious upbringing which made her marriage to the libertine, 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' Lord extremely taxing for her. Prior to her death, she shared the story of her marriage to Byron with Harriet Beecher Stowe. In her will she left a £300 legacy to the writer George MacDonald whom she had patronized during her life:
'For all that, Lady Byron never doubted his [Lord Byron’s] salvation…Never has more divine strength of faith and love existed in woman. Out of the depths of her own loving and merciful nature, she gained such views of the divine love and mercy as made all hopes possible. There was no soul whose future Lady Byron despaired – such was her boundless faith in the redeeming power of love’ (Harriet Beecher Stowe Lady Byron Vindicated, p. 299, 1869).

Caird, John (1820–1898), Scottish Presbyterian theologian, minister of the Church of Scotland, and Principle of Glasgow University. In 1857, he preached before the Queen Victoria at Balmoral which made him famous for a time and ensured an audience for his printed sermons:
‘For no ideal of a perfect state; no dream of a golden age or paradise restored which has ever visited the imagination of genius, or risen before the rapt gaze of inspired seer or prophet, can surpass the future of universal light and love which Christianity encourages us to hope for as the destiny of our race, - that time when human society shall be permeated through and through with the spirit of Jesus Christ, and the whole race and every individual member of it shall rise to the point of moral and spiritual elevation which life represents when ‘’we shall all come into unity of the faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Scotch sermons: 1880, p. 20, 1881).

Campbell, A.G. (xxxx-xxxx), African American poet – one of the 130 black men and women who published often anonymously – in nineteenth century America. Author of God Shall Be All in All, a poem that first appeared in The Alarm Bell (July 1852), was cited in Hanson Cloud of Witness (p.126), and is often cited by Universalist on the web:
'I deem they greatly err, who hold/That He Who made the human soul,/ Will not its destinies control/ For final good – but, wrathful, fold/ It in the shrouds of hopeless woe,/ Of deathless gloom, of quenchless fire,/ ... Lost men, lost angels, shall return,/ --Satan himself be purified;/ Death shall be conquered in his pride,/ And hell’s fierce fires shall cease to burn./ Then shall our God be All in all' (God Shall Be All in All, from Joan R. Sherman Invisible poets: Afro-Americans of the nineteenth century, p.77, 1989).

Carpenter, Rev. Lant (1780–1840), English educator and Unitarian minister. He believed in the essential lawfulness of the creation, which meant that natural causes were the explanation of the world as we find it. James Martineau was a pupil of his in Bristol – and Carpenter anticipates much of Martineau’s rationalist turn in Unitarianism:
‘As nothing approaching to the feelings of vindictive vengeance can have place in the Divine mind, and as the best notions of punishment we are able to form, require is to keep in view the reformation of the offender, - to me it appears necessary to follow, not only from the paternal, but even from the judicial and rectorial character of God, that when suffering has done its work, and the deep stains of guilt have been removed, as by fire, suffering will no longer be required’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p117).

Cary, Alice (1820-1871), American Universalist writer, poet, novelist, abolitionist, and workers for women’s rights. She was the first president of Sorosis (The Women’s Club of New York). Her writings include Clovernook, or Recollections of Our Neighbors in the West (1852), which was particularly popular in England, and Pictures of Country Life (1859). Her novels use imagery from Gothick novels and Fairy Tales to criticise the harshness of traditional evangelical religion:
'How deep that mercy, and how wide!/The child of lost and recreant years/Can in a Father’s bosom hide/His sins, his sorrows and his tears!' (‘The Pilgrim’ from Poems of Alice and Phoebe Carey, 1850).

Cary, Phoebe (1824-1871), American Universalist who, like her older sister Alice, was also a writer, abolitionist and a worker for women’s rights. Together they published Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary (1850). Phoebe’s also wrote articles for the National Era:
'For you could not be happy in heaven/By glory shut in,/While any soul whom you might comfort/Should suffer and sin./So unto the heirs of salvation/Have you freely appeared;/ And the earth by your sweet ministration/Is brightened and cheered' (‘My Friend’ from Poems of Faith Hope and Love, 1868 ).

Coleridge, David Hartley (1796 –1849), English poet, biographer, essayist, and teacher. He was the eldest son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, named after the universalist David Hartley and he spent his early years tutored by the universalist poet laureate Robert Southey (an auspicious start in life):
‘Ah! Why did fabling poets tell/That Lethe [the river of forgetfulness] only flows in hell?.../Ah, no but Lethe flows aloft/With lulling murmur, kind and soft/As voice which sinners send to heaven/When first they feel their sins forgiven/…Not once a year, but evermore-/Not one but all men to restore' (from Regeneration).

Cox, Samuel (1826-1893), President of the Baptist Association, expository writer and founder of The Expositor:
'The main object of this book is to encourage those who faintly trust “the larger hope” to commit themselves to it wholly and fearlessly by showing them that they have ample warrant for it in scriptures of the New Testament' (Salvator Mundi: Or, Is Christ the Saviour of All Men?, p.vii, 1877).

Cunningham, Alan (1785-1842), Scottish poet, novelist, ballad collector and biographer. His enthusiasm for universalism is evident in the affection and admiration with which he writes about the universalism of Robert Burns:
‘To a love of human nature, he added an affection for the flowers of the valley- the fowls of the air – the beast of the field; he acknowledged the tie of social sympathy which bond his heat to all created things, and carried his universal good will so far , as to entertain hopes of Universal Redemption, and the Restoration of all Doomed spirits to power and lustre’ (Biographical and Critical History of the Last Fifty Years, p.21, 1834).

Dean, Paul (1789–1860), prominent trinitarian universalist, pastor and co-founder of the Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists:
'Here every soul will have felt the evil of sin, its need of a Saviour, and its obligations to divine grace ; it will have passed the scenes of bitter repentance, stood before the judgment seat of Christ, plead guilty before God, sought and obtained pardon in the name of Jesus. Here each will wear the robes of a Saviour’s grace, and be crowned with a Saviour’s righteousness ; and all be united in perfect love to God and each other, and in celebrating the fadeless glories of redemption' (A Course of Lectures in Defence of the Final Restoration, p. 188).

Delitzsch, Franz (1813–1890), German Lutheran theologian and Hebraist with a high reputation for scholarship and orthodoxy. He defended the German Jewish community against anti-Semitic attacks and translated the New Testament into Hebrew:
‘[He writes of Psalm 150] With this full toned finale [as everything that has breath gives praise to the Lord] the Psalter closes. Having risen as it were by five steps, in this closing psalm it hovers over the blissful summit of the end, where, as Gregory of Nyssa says all creatures, after the disorder and disunion caused by sin have been removed, are harmoniously united for one choral dance (eis mian chorostasian), and the chorus of mankind concerting with the angel chorus are become one symbol of divine praise, and the final song of victory shall salute God the triumphant conqueror (tōi Tropaiuchōi) with shouts of joy’ (Commentary on the Psalms, p.x, translation by Clark 1873).

Erskine of Linlathen, Thomas (1788–1870), Scottish advocate/defense lawyer and lay theologian who attempted a revision of Scottish Calvinism in the direction of Universalism:
'[God’s purpose for us] cannot be a purpose confined to any one stage of our being, but must extend over all the stages, and the whole duration of our being. It is surely more unreasonable to suppose that God should change His manner of dealing with us, as soon as we quit this world....He who waited so long for the formation of a piece of old red sandstone will surely wait with much long-suffering for the perfecting of a human spirit’ (Hanna ed. Letters vol. 1, 238; vol. 2, 242).

Estlin, John Prior (1747–1817), English Unitarian minister. Originally from an Anglican background he left the C of E because he could not subscribe to the 39 Articles. He was much loved by his congregation and noted as a teacher and for his connections in literary circles. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Joseph Priestley, and Mrs. Anna Barbauld, his friends:
'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' (The Monthly Review, Or, Literary Journal by Ralph Griffiths, G. E. Griffiths p. 217, 1815).

Froude, James Anthony (1818–1894), English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor. Froude intended to become an Anglican clergyman, but doubts expressed in his 1849 novel The Nemesis of Faith, drove him to abandon his religious career. The book – in which a candidate for the ministry objects to the doctrine of eternal hell as a barrier to his ordination - was publicly burned at Exeter College by William Sewell and deemed "a manual of infidelity" by the Morning Herald. Froude took refuge from the popular outcry by residing with his friend Rev. Charles Kingsley:
‘No; if I am to be a minister of religion, I must teach the poor people that they have a Father in heaven, not a tyrant; one who loves them all beyond power of heart to conceive; who is sorry when they do wrong, not angry; whom they are to love and dread, not with caitiff coward fear, but with deepest awe and reverence, as the al-pure, all-good, all-holy. I could never fear a God, who kept a hell prison-house. No; not though he flung me there because I refused’ (The Nemesis of Faith, p.17, 1849).

Gordon, Major-General Charles George, also known as ‘Gordon of Kartoum’ (1833 –1885), English army officer and administrator, famous for his heroic death resisting the Mahdi of Sudan. Also famed as the 'Christian Soldier', when on leave he tirelessly visited the sick and old and set up a boys’ club in Gravesend in Kent. He was a religious eccentric who believed among other things that the Earth was enclosed in a hollow sphere with God’s throne directly above the altar of the Temple and in universal salvation:
'Nothing can be more abject and miserable than the usual conception of God… Imagine to yourself what pleasure it would be to Him to burn us, or to torture us. Can we believe any human being capable of creating us for such a purpose? We credit God with attributes which are utterly hateful to the meanest of men…I say that Christian Pharisees deny Christ … A hard, cruel set they are, from high to low. When one thinks of the real agony one has gone through in consequence of false teaching, it makes human nature angry with the teachers who have added to the bitterness of life' (quoted in Thomas Allin’s Christ Triumphant or Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel available at Tentmakers).

Greeley, Horace (1811–1872), American Restorationist Universalist newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery. His labor in the cause of Christian liberty echoes Rodger Williams and John Milton:
'But political freedom, such as white men enjoy in the United Sates, and the mass do not enjoy in Europe, not even in Britain, is a basis for confident and well grounded hope; the running stream, though turbid, tends ever against self-purification; the obstructed, stagnant pool grows daily more dank and loathsome. Believing most firmly in the ultimate and perfect triumph of good over evil, I rejoice in the existence and diffusion of that liberty, which, while it intensifies the contest, accelerates the consummation (Daniel S. Curtiss, Joseph Parrish Thompson, Western Portraiture, and Emigrants' Guide: A Description of Wisconsin, p.290, 1852).

Howitt, Mary (1799 – 1888), English poet of Quaker stock, author of the famous poem for children The Spider and the Fly:
'Christianity is like a child, goes wandering over the world ... It walks through great cities amid their pomp and splendor, their imaginable pride, and their unutterable misery, a purifying, ennobling, correcting, and redeeming angel. It is the beautiful companion of childhood, and the comfortable associates of age' (‘The Universal Nature of Christianity' in The Universalist Herald - 8/12/1859).

Irving, Washington (1783–1859), American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle:
‘Rev, I.D. Williamson relates…that on a voyage across the Atlantic…he preached a sermon from the text, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…a thoroughly universalist discourse…At its close Mr Irving took Dr Williamson by the hand, and said: ‘I thank you, sir, for that sermon. There was more sound sense in it than I often hear in a discourse. That is the doctrines I believe and want to practice’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.120).

Jung-Stilling, assumed name of Johann Heinrich Jung (1740–1817), German Pietist author and ‘all rounder’: novelist; physician and ophthalmologist, celebrated for his operations on cataracts, and a lecturer and professor in applied sciences and statistics. He defended the Christian faith against German rationalism:
'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’ (Theory of Spirit Knowledge, p.55, published in translation 1815).

King,Thomas Starr (1824–1864), American Unitarian minister, influential in California politics during the American Civil War, and credited by Lincoln with stopping California becoming a separate republic:
'The Universalists believe that God is too good to damn [humanity], while the Unitarians believe that [humanity] is too good to be damned by God' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Kingsley, Charles (1819–1875), Church of England priest, Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, canon of Chester Cathedral, founder of the Chester Society for Natural Science, Literature and Art, early supporter of Darwin, historian and novelist best known for The Water-Babies:
'[Jesus is] not merely as the Saviour of a few elect souls, but as the light and life of every human being who enters into the world; and as the source of all reason, strength, and virtue in heathen or in Christian; as the King and Ruler of the whole universe, and of every nation, family and man on earth' (Preface to Sermons on National Subjects (preached in a Village Church)).

Landor, Walter Savage (1775–1864), English writer and poet who often both implies and assets belief in UR in his writings. His best known works are the poem Rose Aylmer and the prose Imaginary Conversations. One of these conversations takes place between Philip Melancthon and John Calvin and Melancthon arges that:
‘Our blessed Lord himself in his last hours ventured to express a wish before his heavenly Father that the bitter cup might pass away from him. I humbly dare implore that a cup much bitterer may be removed from the great body of mankind; a cup containing the poison of eternal punishment where agony succeeds agony but never death’ (quoted in The Universalist Quarterly and General Review - Volume 6, p.258, 1849).

Larcom, Lucy (1824–1893), American poet and Congregational hymn writer from Lowell Massachusetts; editor, teacher, and abolitionist. She worked in the Lowell textile mills from age 11 to 21 and published a notable memoir A New England Girlhood:
'…For none are alien, none are strange, /Met in the Love that cannot change;/We all are brethren in Thy Son — /The Father and the children one. /O Christ, Thou art the atmosphere/Of heaven, breathed into mortals here!...' (from The Wanderers hymn).

Lavater, Johann Kaspar (1741–1801), Swiss poet, physiognomist, pastor in Zurich’s Zwinglian Church and writer on mysticism:
'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' (reported in John Erskine’s Sketches of Church History).

Lindsey, Theophilus (1723–1808), English theologian and clergyman who founded the first avowedly Unitarian congregation in England, at Essex Street Chapel:
'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’ (Conversations On The Divine Government , p.184, 1802).

Littledale, Frederick (1833–1890), Anglo-Irish Church of Ireland clergyman and writer who once propagated ECT but changed his mind:
'This view puts God on a moral level with the devisers of the most savagely malignant revenge known to history' (quoted in Thomas Allin’s Christ Triumphant or Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel available at Tentmakers).

Loveland, Samuel Chapman (1787-1858), Universalist minister, scholar, teacher of history, mathematics, theology, moral philosophy, Biblical Greek, Latin and various modern languages, and pioneer religious journalist:
'The salvation of all men, then, is necessary to a complete fulfillment of the law. As Christ is the Fulfiller of the law and the Savior of men, the unity and harmony of his labor is easily seen; for in fulfilling the law, he saves men, and in saving men he fulfills the Law ...I preach that all sinners will experience the salvation by Christ, to be universal and free' (A correspondence by letters: Samuel C. Loveland and Rev. Joseph Laberee, p.x).

Mackintosh, Sir James (1765–1832), Scottish jurist, politician and historian whose studies and sympathies embraced many interests. He was trained as a doctor and barrister, and worked also as a journalist, judge, administrator, professor, philosopher and politician:
‘The fear of hell or the desire of reward for ourselves may, like fear of the gallows, prevent crimes; but at most it can only lead to virtue, it can never produce it. I leave below me those coarse notions of religion which degrade it into a supplement to police and criminal law. All such representations are more practically atheistical, more derogatory from the grandeur of religious sentiment, than any speculative system called atheism. There is nothing in this world so right as to cultivate and exercise kindness – the most certainly evangelical of all doctrines – the principle of Jesus Christ ... These precepts [say his biographer and son] led him to look forward with ardent hope and humble faith to the day when tears shall be wiped away from all eyes’ (from A Life of Sir James Mackintosh by R. J. Mackintosh, p.x, 1836).

Martineau, James (1805–1900), English religious philosopher influential in the history of British Unitarianism which he guided away from the Biblicism inherited from the English Arians and in a more rationalist direction. He generally managed to avoid the pantheism of the American transcendentalists in his theology. His stance on faith and eschatology can be seen from his reply to a critical letter from Anglican clergy in Liverpool I 1839:
‘We believe, no less than you, in an infallible Revelation (though had we the misfortune to doubt it, we might be, in the sight of God, neither worse nor better than yourselves); you in a revelation of an unintelligible Creed to the understanding; we in a Revelation of moral perfection and the spirit of duty to the heart; you in a Revelation of the metaphysics of Deity; we in a Revelation of the character and providence of the Infinite Father; you in a Redemption which saves the few, and leaves with Hell the triumph after all; we in a Redemption which shall restore to all at length the image and the immortality of God’(James Drummond, C. B. Upton, Life and Letters of James Martineau, Part 1, p.98, 1902).

Mayo, Sarah Carter Edgarton (1819-1848), American author from Massachusetts, editor of The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, a monthly magazine in Boston. Her support for women’s equality reflected her Universalist belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all of God’s creatures:
'But that same good Being who has given to the minutest insect some instrument of self-preservation, sent not into this world the most beautiful creation of his hands to be the sport of circumstance and the victim of feeling' ('A Thought on Female Culture’ from The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, December 1841).

Mitchell, Edward (1768-1834), ex-methodist trinitarian universalist preacher, overseer of the Society of United Christian Friends, New York:
'Infinite love must desire our happiness, infinite wisdom must know the means which will effect this gracious desire; and infinite power must be able to destroy all that would impede' (The Christian universalist, pp.53-54).

Moore, Thomas (1779–1852), Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer:
'Such was the last crowning dispensation of that God of benevolence, in Whose hands sin and death are but instruments of everlasting good, and who, through apparent evil and temporary retribution, 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!' (The Epicurean - a tale, p.271).

Murray, John (1741–1815), minister of the first Universalist church in Gloucester, Mass in 1779 and is considered by most as the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States. He was a great champion of religious freedom:
'Go out into the highways and by-ways of America, your new country. Give the people, blanketed with a decaying and crumbling Calvinism, something of your new vision. You may possess only a small light but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men [and women]. Give them, not Hell, but hope and courage. Do not push them deeper into their theological despair, but preach the kindness and everlasting love of God' (Sermon preached to his congregation in Massachusetts 1779).

Murray, Judith Sargent (1751–1820), early American advocate for women's rights, essayist, playwright, poet, and letter writer (also wife to John Murray):
'Q. But are there not many persons who proclaim eternal damnation to the greater part of mankind?
A. There are many; the veil is yet upon the hearts of the multitude, their eyes are holden that they cannot see the things which belong to their peace; but observe my child, there are things which do belong to their peace; now as the day cometh, when every thing that is hid, shall be made manifest, for every eye shall see, they shall all behold him who is their peace, for thus runs the text, they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, and to know God is life eternal' (Some Deductions from the System Promulgated in the Page of Divine Revelation: Ranged in the Order and Form of a Catechism Intended as an Assistant to the Christian Parent or Teacher).

Necker, Jacques ( 1732–1804), French statesman of Swiss birth and finance minister of Louis XVI, a post he held in the lead-up to the French Revolution in 1789:
'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' (from Baroness de Stael Holstien Memoirs of the Private Life of My Father, p.x, 1817).

Page, Rev. Lucius R. (1802-1896), American Universalist minister of North Cambridge Universalist Church; esteemed biblical scholar, historian, and public official. His parents were Calvinists, but as Paige later wrote, “their hearts were so much better than their doctrine.” He served as a pall bearer at Hosea Ballou’s funeral:
‘Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell ... An opinion has long prevailed in the Christian church, that our Lord designed, in this passage, to teach that God both can and will condemn some of his children to a state of endless misery subjecting both body and soul to the ‘pains of hell forever.' To those who believe that God wills, purposes, and has promised, to make all his children holy and happy, this opinion appears inconsistent with the character and the spirit of his gospel, incompatible with the fulfillment of his promises, and unwarranted by the context in which the passage occurs' (A Commentary on the New Testament, vol. i, p.117,1845).

De Quincey, Thomas Penson (1785–1859), English essayist and associate of the Romantics. Best known for his notorious Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; however, in his latter years he wrote seriously and thoughtfully about the Christian faith:
'Scriptures ascribe absolute eternity to one sole being- to God – and derivatively to all others according to the interest which they can plead in God’s favour. Having anchorage in God, innumerable entities may possibly be admitted to a participation in the divine aion' (Theological Essays: And Other Papers, vol.i, p.162 1860).

Robinson, Henry Crabb (1775–1867), English lawyer, known for his Diary in which he tells of his friendships with William Blake, Charles Lamb, Sarah Flower Adams, Lady Byron William Wordsworth etc.:
'evil or pain here may be considered a mean towards an end. So may pain, inflicted as a punishment. But endless punishment would be itself an end in a state where no ulterior object could be conceived’; (Diary p.32) ‘I was not aware that John Wesley had ever said anything so bold as your quoted words, that ‘Calvin’s God was worse than the devil’ [written humorously] (Diary p.316); ‘the doctrine of final restoration was the redeeming article of his creed ‘[he praises the German philologist Benecke]’ (Diary, p. 199).

Rush, Benjamin (1746–1813), Founding Father of the United States and signatory to the Declaration of Independence; physician, writer, educator, humanitarian, founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania:
'I then read for the first time Fletcher’s controversy with the Calvinists, in favor of the universality of the atonement. This prepared my mind to admit the doctrine of universal salvation, which was then preached in our city by the Rev. Mr. Winchester. It embraced and reconciled my ancient Calvinistical and my newly adopted Arminian principles. From that time I have never doubted upon the subject of the salvation of all men. My conviction of the truth of this doctrine was derived from reading the works of Stonehouse, Seigvolk, White, Chauncey and Winchester, and afterwards from an attentive perusal of the Scriptures. I always admitted with each of those authors future punishment, and of long duration' (Travels through Life, reprinted in Memoirs of the Spirit: American Religious Autobiography from Jonathan Edwards to Maya Angleou, ed by E. S. Gaustad, p.38).

Sargent, Epes (1813–1880), American Bostonian Universalist playwright, editor and poet – famous for writing the lyric A life on the ocean wave. He edited the monumental Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poets, and The Testimony of the Poets, an anthology for Universalists:
'Poetry, from the time of Job, has been the mother tongue of devotion and prophecy; and the poets, in their highest moods, have generally been true to those innermost assurances of the soul, which represent a God and an afterlife in keeping with our best ideas of omnipotent benignity and love…Even those poets who are regarded as theologically ‘orthodox’ are often poetically heterodox; for at times they seem to exult in their escape from their narrow sectarian enclosure – to have a clear glimpse of the all-embracing mercy of the universal Father…rebuking the gloomy creed, which the heart unerringly rejects, however the intellect, succumbing to supposed authority, may labor to accept’ (The Testimony of the Poets, pp 8-9, 1854).

Schaff, Philip (1819-1893), Swiss Calvinist scholar and eminent church historian:
'This doctrine of a divine will and divine provision of a universal salvation, on the sole condition of faith, is taught in many passages which admit of no other interpretation, and which must, therefore, decide this whole question. For it is a settled rule in hermeneutics that dark passages must be explained by clear passages, and not vice versa' (History of the Christian Church, Volume 1, p.580).

Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph, later ‘von Schelling’ (1775 –1854), German Idealist philosopher whose difficult and ever changing thinking is stands at midpoint between Fichte and Hegel. Hanson quotes the following from Schelling’s Remarks on 1 Cor. 15:24:
‘To the Son, then, is Being away from God, alienated from God and the Father, given over, that he may reconcile it again to the Father. He has received Being as away from and unacceptable to the Father, that he may give it back to him again, as Godlike, again acceptable and reconciled to him. This will be completely realized only at the end of the World-time. Then shall Being which was away from God and wholly alienated from him be in the Father’ (quoted in translation in A Cloud of Witness from Sämmtliche Werke IV, p. 62, 1856).

Sherwood, Mary Martha (1775–1851), prolific and influential English writer of children's literature. She composed over 400 books, tracts, magazine articles, and chapbooks and was enormously popular. However, her ‘earnest evangelical’ style fell from favor as a different style of children's literature came into fashion during the late nineteenth century, one exemplified by Lewis Carroll's playful and nonsensical Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
‘The Gospel, by the grace of God, bringeth salvation to all men; but few in comparison, have seen his, so as cordially to fall in with and confess it, when by all men is to be understood, every individual of the human race. Some, indeed, in every period of the Christian church, have seen and acknowledged this, but by one means or other, this excellency of the Gospel has been hidden from the eyes of the generality of both preachers and hearers’ (The Works of Mrs Sherwood, p. 52, 1857).

Siegvolk, Paul - pseudonym of George Klein-Nicolai of Friessdorf (xxxx-xxxx), German pastor and seminal Universalist:
‘All men who rashly dare exclude one of the fallen creatures, be they never so corrupt, from the endless mercy and the all renewing love of God, are not yet grounded in that love to enemies which is so highly recommended to us by the universal Saviour of the world’ (The Everlasting Gospel, Elhanan Winchester edition, p.129).

Smith, Gerrit (1797 –1874), American social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist. Believing that religious sectarianism was sinful, Smith separated from the Presbyterian Church in 1843 and was one of the founders of the Church at Peterboro, a non-sectarian institution open to all Christians of whatever shade of belief:
'Eternal Hell! No man does and no man can believe it. It is untrue if only because human nature is incapable of believing it. Moreover, were such a belief possible, it would be fatal. Let the American people wake up with it tomorrow, and none of them would go to their fields, and none to their shops, and none would care for their home. The whole nation would be struck with paralysis and frozen with horror. Even the beginnings of such a belief would be too much for the safety of the brain and every step in that direction towards the mad house. The orthodox preacher would himself go crazy, did he believe his own preaching ... he saves his sanity only through his insincerity. To be sincere in his preaching he must first be insane’ (Sermons and Speeches of Gerrit Smith, p.51, 1851).

Smith, Rev. Horace Gardner (1843-1844), American Universalist Minister:
'With very few exceptions, if any, the gods of the heathen were passionate, lustful, and given to cruelty and revenge. They were objects of terror, and they ruled their subjects by the powerful influence of fear. And the reverence* paid to their authority, and the character of their worship, are written upon the pages of their history ; and the influence which they exerted upon human character was shocking to every principle of virtue, as disgraceful to the name of religion. Observation and experience teach us that even the Christian world is not free from that superstitious fear gendered in the minds of the people by wrong perceptions of the divine character' (The Object of True Religious Worship - a sermon delivered to the General Convention of Universalists in the United States, 1841).

Solovyov, Vladimir Sergeyevich (1853 –1900), Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, pamphleteer and literary critic:
''The Incarnation of God brings about the salvation of mankind, in the same way the union of mankind with God must bring about the salvation of the whole of earthly creation; as mankind, in the form of the Church, is the living Body of Christ, so the natural world must become the living body of redeemed mankind’ (God, Man and the Church).

Southwood Smith, Thomas (1788 –1861), English Unitarian physician and sanitary reformer who was instrumental in the struggle against cholera. In June 1813 he began a course of fortnightly evening lectures on universal restoration; these were published in 1816 and made him a literary reputation:
'If all men are condemned by the offence of the one, the same all are justified by the righteousness of the other//These universal terms, so frequently repeated and so variously diversified, cannot possibly be reconciled to the limitation of the blessings of the gospel to the elect alone, or to a part only of the human race. Unless the wicked are reformed by their punishment, can there be any truth in the declaration that the favour of God by Christ abounds much more than sin and death' (Illustrations of the Divine Government, p.342, 1816).

Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811–1863,) English novelist famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair. Hanson describes Thackeray as a Universalist on thin but noteworthy evidence. Writing of the genius of Charles Dickens Thackeray says:
‘I recognize in it -I speak it with awe and reverence – a commission from that Divine Beneficence, whose blessed task we know it will one day wipe every tear from every eye’ (quoted in A Cloud of Witness p.214, 1880).

Thayer, Thomas Baldwin (1812–1886); American Bostonian theologian and the leading Universalist writer in the late nineteenth century:
'Do you say, it is unreasonable to suppose terms have been thus changed in their signification? I answer, such changes are very common in language. Let me give a few instances. "Knave" once signified a servant; and in early translation of the New Testament, instead of "Paul the servant," we read, "Paul the knave of Jesus Christ." "Wretch" was originally, and is now in some parts of England, used as a term of softest and fondest endearment. "Villain" originally signified simply a servant or bondsman. "Hell" meant originally, concealed or covered over. Dr. Campbell says, "at first it denoted only what was secret or concealed, and is found with precisely the same meaning in all the Teutonic dialects." Dr. A. Clarke says, "The word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon helon, to cover or hide; hence the tiling or slating of a house is called, in some parts of England, heling, to this very day; and the covers of books (in Lancashire) by the same name' (The origin and history of the doctrine of endless punishment, p.1, 1855).

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897), French Carmelite nun known as "The Little Flower of Jesus". Pope John Paul II declared her the thirty-third Doctor of the Church, the youngest person, and only the third woman, to be so honoured:
'St. Therese wrote a Christmas play for her sisters in which the angels gather round the crib. The Angel of Vengeance declares, '‘At the time of judgment, I want to punish the crimes, to destroy all the ungrateful; my sword is ready, well will I know how to avenge you!’' Then the Child Jesus replies: '‘Beautiful angel, lower your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I desired to set in being and to redeem. I myself am the Judge of the world, and my name is Jesus.'’ To the pleas of the Angel of the Holy Face’ the Christ Child answers '‘I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness''. (Theatre au Carmel, p. 108).

Tholuck, Friedrich August Gottreu (1799–1877), German Lutheran theologian and noted church leader among nineteenth century German Evangelicals. As a young man he was introduced to pietistic circles in Berlin, and came under the influence of Baron Hans Ernst von Kottwitz, who became his "spiritual father":
'[When touring America]Professor Sears had a private discussion with Tholuck, at his residence, on Universal Salvation. The latter advocating the salvation of all, and the former objecting to it. Professor Sears frequently attended the lectures Tholuck delivered to his theological students. “In one of these lectures,” says Professor S., “he took up, at great length, the subject of Universal Salvation in the American sense of the term, and declared his belief in the doctrine in the most unequivocal manner!!” (from Rev. J.M. Austin Brief History of Universalism, 1855, available at Tentmakers).

Thomas, Abel Charles (1807-1880), American Universalist evangelist, minister, journalist, and historian; originally from a traditional Quaker background. Abel was compiler and editor of The Gospel liturgy: a prayer-book for churches, congregations, and families, approved by the Universalist Church of America:
'Father of all, who art the Father of Mercies; Enable us sincerely and heartily to pray for all ... For the unbelieving and the heedless, that a living coal from the altar may touch their lips, and refine their souls in glowing love; For the corrupt and the selfish, that the rod of judgment may become the staff of thy merciful help’('The Intercession for All', Gospel Liturgy, p.19).

Townshend, Chauncy Hare,(1798-1868), English poet, Anglican clergyman, mesmerist, collector, and good friend of Charles Dickens:
'Where is damnation? – Man-woven sadness! -/Hark! All creation/Answers in gladness!//Sin shall dissolve/In goodness supernal!-/Beauty and Joy/Alone are eternal' (from Epes Sargent The Testimony of the Poets , p.63).

Turner, Edward (1776-1853),denominational organizer, Universalist preacher, and the first historian of Universalism:
'The glory of God can never be disassociated from the happiness of his creatures' ('A discourse delivered at the dedication of the Universalist Meeting House,Hudson, N.Y. 1817', Gospel Visitant Vol.2, p.229).

Turner, Sharon (1768–1847), English historian famous for his History of the Anglo-Saxons which demonstrated Anglo-Saxon liberty against Norman despotism:
‘All human nature will finally be led to the image of God. Obedience is essential to the immortality of humanity’ (quoted by Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.315).

Whittemore, Thomas (1800-1861), author of The Modern History of Universalism, founder of The Trumpet and Universalist magazine and influential member of the Universalist Church of America:
'Fathers and Mothers, in repeated instances in the United States, have murdered their children, lest they should grow up, and commit sin, and be damned. Can a doctrine which produces such dreadful consequences be the doctrine of God?' (footnote in The Doctrine of Eternal Torments Overthrown by Samuel Richardson, ed. by Whittemore, p. 85).

Winans, Ross (1796–1877), American inventor, mechanic, and builder of locomotives and railroad machinery. He is also noted for design of pioneering cigar-hulled ships. He published religious writings, including a pamphlet on religious tolerance and a collection of Unitarian sermons:
'Our belief is that man, being governed and trained through time, a good and happy result must ensue to each individual. The idea of hell fire and eternal torment, when properly considered, is an idea that is alike blasphemous and illogical ... God has ordained that every man shall sooner or later, recognize and appreciate His blessings. Nothing else is consistent with His determinate will. God is a God of infinite goodness, not of vengeance; to be loved; to be worshiped for love’s sake, not through fear of everlasting punishment. We believe that every man will eventually love Him, and strive more and more to serve Him' (One Religion; Many Creeds, p.x, 1903).

Winthrop, Theodore (1828–1861), American writer, lawyer, and world traveller. He was one of the first Union officers killed in the American Civil War:
'A clergyman who starts with believing in hells, devils, original sin, and such crudities, can never be anything in the nineteenth century but a tyrant or a nuisance, if he have any logic, as, fortunately, few of such misbelievers have' (from John Brent, p.42, 1864).



Hopeful Universalists (Strong)

Barker, Henry J.(xxxxx- xxxx), English parishioner of Dr Phillip Doddridge. When Doddridge lay seriously ill Baker wrote to him expressing an Armenian hope that slides into universalism, and ‘Dr Doddridge was so deeply affected with the friendship expressed in this letter, and the divine consolation which it administered, that there was reason to be apprehensive that his tender frame would have sunk under the emotions of his gratitude and joy’:
'It is so. We read it in the book of God, that word and truth and gospel of our salvation, that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Yes Doddridge, it is so. The fruit of our Redeemer’s sufferings and victory is the entire and eternal destruction of sin and death for everyone. And is it not a glorious destruction? A most blessed ruin? No enemy so formidable, no tyranny so bitter, no fetters so heavy and galling, no prison so dark and dismal, but they are vanquished and disarmed; the unerring dart is blunted and broken, the prison pulled down and razed. Our Lord is risen as the first fruits of them that slept' (Memoirs of Dr Doddridge, added to the 1825 edition of The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, pp 16-17).

Birks, Thomas Rawson (1810- 1883), English theologian, moral philosopher, Anglican cleric, and controversial premillenialist (he argued that other starts could not possibly have planets orbiting them for this would diminish the Second Coming):
‘The contrast between the obedient and the disobedient, the faithful and the unbelieving, in their relationship to God as the righteous Judge, cannot set aside their common relation to Him as the bountiful Creator of all men, and the God of grace towards all who are sunk in guilt and misery’ (The Difficulties of Belief in Connexion with the Creation and the Fall, p. 240, 1876).

Chatfield, Paul – pseudonym for Horace Smith (1779 - 1849), English humorist, poet, novelist and miscellaneous writer. In his humorous book of aphorisms The Tin Trumpet he makes the observation concerning the Anglican hopeful Universalist Bishop Burnet –‘The resolution of this illustrious philosopher was a happy one for the world and perhaps for himself’ and also confirms his own hopeful Universalism with his definition of optimism:
'OPTIMISM – a devout conviction that, under the government of a benevolent and all-powerful God, everything conduces ultimately to the best, in the word he has created; and that mankind, the constant objects of his paternal care, are in a perpetual state of improvement and increased happiness. This is a great and consoling principle, the summary of all religion and all philosophy, the reconciler of al misgivings, the source of all comfort and consolation' (The Tin Trumpet, Or Heads and Tales, for the Wise and Waggish , pp 58-59, 1836).

Colenso, John William (1814–1883), Anglican missionary bishop, biblical scholar and advocate for the Zulu:
'This dogma [Eternal Conscious Torment] makes no distinction between the profligate sensualist and the ill-trained child. And it is often so stated to involve the multitudes of ignorant, untaught, heathen, the great mass of humankind, in the same horrible doom of never-ending despair, making this beautiful and blessed world the very shambles, as it were, of almighty Vengeance' (Commentary on Romans, p.190).

Cox, Samuel (1826–1893), English Congregationalist vicar and noted biblical expositor who was the founder and first editor of the monthly journal The Expositor (1875-1884):
'these descriptions assure us that our God and Father will rule over all the ages to come as well as over this present age; that through all these ages the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, will still be at work in the hearts of men, seeking to change them into the image and likeness of God: and that the redemption of Christ our Saviour will not have spent its force in this world, but will continue to operate, and perchance to operate under more favourable conditions, in the world on which we enter when we pass through the gate and vestibule of death. In short, the implication of these passages is, that all the familiar but august forces which are working together for the regeneration of the race here will continue to work hereafter, and surely to work with new power and happier eflfects in a world so much more advanced and spiritual than this' (Salvator Mundi: Or, Is Christ the Saviour of All Men?, p.220,1878).

Dickens, Charles (1812-1870), celebrated author of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Great Expectations:
'Let nothing pass, for every hand/ Shall find some work to do/ Lose not a chance to waken Love/ Be Firm, and Just, and True/ So shall a Light that never Fade/ Shine on thee from on High/ and Angel Voices say to Thee/ These Things Shall Never Die' (These Thing Shall Never Die).

Eberhard, Johann Augustus (1739 –1809), German Lutheran theologian and Professor of Philosophy at Halle whose pupils included Friedrich Schleiermacher. He argued that salvation does not depend upon revelation, that it is possible for a heathen to go to heaven, and that the notion of eternal punishment contradicts its supposed aim of morally improving the sinner:
'Punishment being an evil, cannot be employed by a good being, unless for ends whose goodness is greater than the evils suffered, and which could not be obtained without inflicting them. God punishes not for the common good only, but also for the reformation of the sufferer; which being accomplished, punishment has no further use. It was designed to influence the love and practice of virtue; and when these are produced, it must give place to the happy consequences of amendment. Punishment therefore, being a benefit even to the sufferer, when properly viewed by him, must produce emotions of love and gratitude' (Neue Apologie des Socrates, p.x, two volumes 1772-1778).

Ewing, Alexander (1814 –1873), Scottish Episcopalian who, from 1847, was bishop of the newly united Diocese of Argyll and The Isles. His own theological position has close affinity with that of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen and Frederick Denison Maurice; but his opinions are independent:
‘The way is different with different persons, made easier or more difficult as men accept or reject the teaching and leading of God; but that teaching ever goes on, and has the same end in view – not destruction but salvation. Those who have passed out of sight, therefore, we confidently commit to Him as to a faithful Creator, beseeching Him to undertake for them. It is not a personal salvation we want; no one can want a personal salvation. There can be no such thing. What would one be saved alone?’ (Revelation Considered as Light: A Series of Discourses, p.151, 1873).

Forbes, Alexander (1817 – 1875), Scottish Episcopalian Bishop of Brechiln:
'Mankind will not endure the thought that, at the moment of death, all concern for those loved ones who are riven from us by death comes to an end. Nay, we go so far as to say that….though death puts an end to each man's probation, so far as he is concerned yet the Infinite Love pursues the soul beyond the grave, and there has dealings with it', (On the Articles, ii. p.311).

Hase, Karl August von, (1800-1890), German Lutheran theologian and Church historian. He was the great-grandfather of Dietrich Bonheoffer:
'The restoration of every fallen being is an ideal floating before the history of the world, and its constant realization is conditioned by the moral freedom of all created spirits’ (Dogmatik, p.478, 1870).

Hemans, Felicia Dorothea (1793 –1835), English poet famous for the poem Casabianca (also known as The Boy stood on the Burning Deck). Her son, when living in America, affirmed that his mother cherished the hope of universal redemption:
‘O judge in thoughtful tenderness of those/Who richly dowered of life are called to die,/Ere the soul’s flame, through storms hath won repose./In truth’s divinest ether, still and high,/Let their minds riches claim a trustful sigh’
(from ‘O judge in thoughtful tenderness’ printed in Henry Fothergill Chorley’s Memorials of Mrs. Hemans: with illustrations of her literary character, p.217, 1836).

Hood, Thomas (1799–1845), English and Anglican humourist and poet. Canon Frederic Farrar spoke of him as ‘one of the Christian poets [who ]teach us a truer charity than the hard theologians.’ A tribute to him written some years after his death tells us that: ‘[Hood’s] religious faith was...deep and sincere, though his opposition to sectarian narrowness and spite of all sorts was vigorous, and caused him sometimes to be regarded as anti-religious. Hood...was tolerant, but he, too, had his weakness; he would roast the Pharisees in their own conceit. But he held sacred all that was high and holy. He was none the less religious because he hated cant and warred against it; because he had no sympathy with that Scottish clergyman who was horrified at seeing people walking the streets of Edinburgh on a Sunday, smiling and looking perfectly happy'. (The Quarterly Review, vol.114, p. 349 1863). All of this is confirmed by the passage from Ode to Rae Wilson 'one of the ‘Holy Willies’ who had accused him of profaneness’ quoted by Hanson (Cloud of Witness, pp 152-3):
‘Not one of those self constituted saints,/Those pseudo privy-counsellors of God,/Who write down judgements with a pen hard nibb’d,/Ushers of Beelzebub’s black rod,/Who commend sinners, not to ice thick ribbed,/But endless flames, to scorch them up like flax,/Yet sure of heaven themselves, as if they’d cribb’d/The impression of St Peter’s key in wax!’ (from Ode to Rae Wilson).

Kierkegaard, Soren (1813-1855), Danish Christian Philosopher and father of existentialism:
[note: Jack Mulder argues in 'Must All be Saved? A Kierkegaardian Response to Theological Universalism', International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Volume 59, Number 1, February 2006 , pp. 1-24, that despite appearances Soren was a hopeful rather than a certain universalist]:
'If others go to hell, then I will go too. But I do not believe that; on the contrary I believe that all will be saved, myself with them - something which arouses my deepest amazement' (Journals and Papers, Vol. 6).

Lange, Johann Peter (1802-1884), German Calvinist theologian of peasant origin, best known in nineteenth/early twentieth century America for his twenty-five volume commentary on the Bible (translated from the German by Philip Schaff, the Calvinist ecumenist and universalist):
‘But God is everywhere present as God, even in hell. And if one acknowledges the article, - 'I believe in God Almighty,' one must feel that there is reference to the almightiness of his love also…People, therefore, should not think that they are zealous for the Glory of God, when in spirit they bind the justice of God by itself alone to the needlessly bound man. In this case people are again in danger of making Time, the ancient Chronos , God, or at least the lost man’s dying hour in which he abandoned hope forever [Chronos is the Greek Titan, god of Time, equivalent to the Roman Saturn, and noted for devouring his children]. But God is greater than Time, and greater than the human heart' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.163 – note inserted on ‘Chronos’ by Sobornost).

Mann, Horace (1796–1859), American politician, education reformist and advocate of universal education. He once said: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." As a child, he went to the Calvinist church where he was terrified by the sermons. As an adult he rejected this religion, but it troubled him for a long time and he eventually became a Unitarian:
‘My nature revolts at the idea of belonging to a universe in which there is to be never ending anguish. That nature never can be made to look on it with composure…What we learn from books, even what we think we are taught in the Bible, may be a mistake or a misapprehension; but the lessons we learn from our own consciousness are the very voice of the Being who created us; and about it can there be any doubt?…while we are on earth, the burden of our duties is to man’ (Letter to his sister, 1836).

Marvin, Rev. Levi Chandler (1808–1878), American Universalist clergyman, who became a physician in his later years. Hanson relates that on the death of the son of a friend Dr. Marvin wrote:
‘How could I tread that hallowed plain/Where God and Christ and angels are,/ Or how could heaven to me be gain/Unless he lad were with me there?/ How could I join the wondrous throng,/’Mid burnished crowns and burning thrones,/And know his voice shall but prolong/Hell’s dolorous, deep and dreadful groans?’ In the next two stanzas the poet imagines joining rebel angels to go down to hell and fetch the lad, and the poem ends: ‘Yes, dearest boy! They every woe/On earth ’tis given to me to share;/May God no other world bestow,/Unless that boon be granted there’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, pp. 189-190).

Maurice, Frederick Denison (1805–1872), English theologian, Christian Socialist, and friend and mentor to George MacDonald:
'That men disbelieve the good and gracious God to be their Father – that they count him not their Father but their enemy...this is the lie of which all other lies are the offspring...When God enters, despair ceases. He is called in Scripture the God of Hope. That which we think of Him must give us hope' (Lectures on the Apocalypse, pp. 414- 15).

Oberlin, Jean-Frédéric (1740–1826), French Alsatian pastor and philanthropist of German descent. He was a priest to peasants and set himself to better their material, and spiritual, condition. He began his work for their material improvement by constructing roads through the valley and erecting bridges. He practised medicine among them, and founded a loan and savings bank. He introduced an improved system of agriculture. Substantial cottages were erected, and various industrial arts were introduced. He founded an itinerant library, originated infant schools, and established an ordinary school at each of the five villages in the parish. His biographer says:
‘It may be here considered necessary, for the sake of biographical clearness, to observe that upon some points he certainly held very fanciful and unwarranted notions, more particularly among those relative to a future state. He seemed to hope that the passage I Co. xv: 28 where it is said that ‘’all things’’ shall be subjected unto the Almighty, and the Son also himself shall be subjected, ‘’that God may be all in all,’’ might include not only the little flock of Christ’s immediate followers, but ultimately, at some indefinite period, through the boundless mercy of God, and the blood of Jesus, which was shed for the sins of the whole world, all the race of mankind’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.71).

Reichel ,The Most Rev Charles Parsons (1816-1894), Irish Anglican Latin scholar and Bishop of Meath:
'With this assurance [that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world], and with the hope that it holds out in prospect; with this converging testimony of three of the apostles, men so different, and yet all coinciding on this point, let us console ourselves….looking forward to that final stage in the divine government when death itself shall be abolished ... and when, God being All in All, the whole creation shall rest on the never-ending fruition of the divine' (Sermon in St. Patrick’s, June 28, 1877).

Warburton, Rev Thomas Acton (1813-1894), English writer, Anglican vicar and practising barrister he wrote the book Rollo and his Race, or Footsteps of the Normans:
‘He [the Norman] looks forward to the time when he shall complete the acquaintance, where they have preceded, and await him in, 'The land of souls beyond the sable shore', and knowing that the Sun of Mercy shines beyond the clouds of the ancestral error, he would fain hope that one would unite hem all – ‘No wanderer lost; a family in heaven’ (Rollo and his Race from Charles Dickens, William Harrison Ainsworth, Albert Smith (eds) Bentley's Miscellany, Volume 21 p.411, 1847).

Williams, Helen Maria (1762-1827), English Unitarian poet, friend of Robert Burns and revolutionary in France. In 1790 she settled in Paris. An early supporter of the French Revolution, she upheld the moderate Girondists faction, and was imprisoned from the fall of the Girondists until the death of Robespierre. She later condemned the Revolutionaries. Crabb Robinson in his diary mentions she was as a universalist. Hanson – with some plausibility – see this as evident in the fear free trust of her once famous hymn:
‘While Thee I seek, protecting Power,/Be my vain wishes stilled;/ And may this consecrated hour/ With better hopes be filled.//Thy love the power of thought bestowed;/To Thee my thoughts would soar:/Thy mercy o’er my life has flowed;/That mercy I adore’ (from While Thee I seek, protecting Power).

Wilson, Henry Bristow (1803–1888), Anglican theologian:
'We must rather entertain a hope that there shall be found, after the great adjudication ... the undeveloped may grow ... the stunted may become strong, and the perverted restored ... all, both great and small, shall find refuge in the bosom of the Universal Parent ... in the ages to come, according to His Will’ (Essays and Reviews, p. 205-6).



Hopeful Universalists (Weak)

Beecher, Henry Ward (1813 –1887), American Congregationalist clergyman of Brooklyn, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God's love He was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. While never a convinced Universalist arguing that ‘the final outcome can only be inferred by analogy and reason’, his hope was wide:
‘…when I look at Asia and Africa , and Europe, and America, and both continents of it, and see what the actual condition of the neglected, the stripped, the peeled, the despoiled, the downtrodden races of men have been; if I thought that in addition to this there was a God…whose business it was to stand at the door where men go out of life and crush them downward to eternal hell, - every instinct of charity, of sympathy and of love that is born in me by Christ would stand crying, ‘’Annihilate him! Annihilate him!’’ It would be the sorrow of the universe that would raise this cry’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.222).

Bryant, William Cullen (1794 –1878), American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. He wrote a once celebrate poem To the Past, which concludes with -'Each tie/Of pure affection shall be know again;/Alone shall evil die,/And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign’. An American Universalist periodical commented on these:
‘And through the influence of Christian hope we can find joy even in the memories of friends departed, as we feel they have but gone to the blissful and eternal home that is prepared for us all’ (The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, Volume 8, p.302, 1840).

Clough, Arthur Hugh (1819-1861), English poet and educationalist. He was the devoted assistant to Florence Nightingale. As her unpaid secretarial assistant he wrote virtually no poetry for six years:
‘And yet when all is thought and said/The heart still overrules the head;/Still what we hope we must believe/And what is given us receive;/ Must still believe for still we hope/That in a world of larger scope,/What here is faithfully begun/Will be completed, not undone’ (What We, When Face to Face).

Ingelow, Jean (1820–1897), English poet and novelist:
'Dear and dread Lord, I have not found it hard/To fear Thee, though Thy love in visible form/Bled 'neath a thorny crown—but since indeed,/For kindred's sake and likeness, Thou dost thirst/To draw men nigh, and make them one with Thee,/My soul shall answer 'Thou art what I want:/I am athirst for God, the living God' (A Parson’s Letter to a Young Poet).

Lockhart, John Gibson (1794 –1854), Scottish writer and editor best known as the author of the definitive biography of Sir Walter Scott. He wrote the following lines on the death of his wife which seem fairly universal in consolation: '
But, ‘tis an old belief/That on some solemn shore,/Beyond the sphere of grief/Dear friends shall meet once more;//…That creed I fain would keep,/That hope I’ll not forgo;/Eternal be the sleep/Unless to waken so' (Hanson, Cloud of Witness , p.151).

MacLeod, Rev. Dr. Norman (1812–1872), Scottish Presbyterian clergyman, social reformer, philanthropist, author of Morvern, a Highland Parish and the song Farewell to Fiunary, and editor of the magazine Good Works. One of his teachers was Erskine of Linlathen, and in the biography written by his bother Dr. Donald Macleod it becomes clear that the doctrine of universal restoration grew on him too:
‘When our common friend, Mr George MacDonald, was about to write for Good Words, of which Dr. Macleod was editor, Dr, Macleod was anxious that no heterodox views should be introduced into it. For hours the two discussed the matter in the publishing office with the friendliest warmth. At length in tripped little girl, and by her simple, wise prattle, not only put an end to the controversy, but actually became the model for t he most interesting character of the story. Before his death Dr. MacLeod had adopted Maurice’s [that is F.D. Maurice’s’] standpoint on this question, as he emphatically made manifest in the last sermon I heard him preach in Balmoral’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 217).

Neander, Johann August Wilhelm (1789-1850), German colleague of Schleiermacher and professor of church history at the University of Berlin, known as the ‘Prince of the Church Historians’:
‘The doctrine of such a universal restitution would not stand in contradiction to the doctrine of eternal punishment, as it appears in the Gospels; for although those who are hardened in wickedness are to expect endless unhappiness, yet a secret decree of the Divine compassion is not necessarily excluded, by virtue of which, through the wisdom of Go d revealing itself in the discipline of free agents they will be led to a free appropriation of redemption’ (History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the Apostles , vol. ii, pp.211-12, translated by J.E. Ryland, 1842).

Paley, William (1743 –1805), English Christian apologist and philosopher, best known for his exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology, which made use of the watchmaker analogy. He was a vigorous opponent of slave trade and In 1782 he became the Anglican Archdeacon of Carlisle:
'It has been said that it can never be a just economy of Providence to admit one part of mankind into heaven and condemn the other to hell, since there must be very little to choose between the worst man who is received into heaven and the worst man who is excluded. And how know we, it might be answered, but that there may be as little to choose in their conditions?' (The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, I, p.7, 1785).

Plumptre, Edward Hayes D. D. (1821 –1891), English theologian and Anglican clergyman:
'Does this imply that repentance, and therefore pardon, may come in the state that follows death? We know not, and ask questions that we cannot answer; but the words at least check the harsh dogmatic answer in the negative. If one sin only is excluded from forgiveness in that coming age — the darkness behind the veil is lit up with at least a gleam of hope' (On Matt. xii. 32 in Bishop Ellicott's Commentary).

Robertson, Frederick William (1816–1853), known as Robertson of Brighton; English writer and Anglican clergyman, originally on the Calvinist evangelical wing of the Church, after a period of mental crisis he emerged as an Anglican Incarnationalist taking comfort in the humanity of Christ:
'He is gone….Why should we have wished him to remain a little longer? Better surely as it is. And as to the eternal question….we know of him all that we can ever know of any one removed beyond the veil which shelters the unseen from the pryings of curiosity — that he is in the hands of the wise and loving Spirit has mingled with Spirit. A child more or less loving has gone home. Unloved by his Father? Believe it who may, that will not I' (Memoirs, p.x).

Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst (1768 –1834), eminent German theologian and biblical scholar, secretary to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, former professor of theology to the University of Halle:
'If we now consider eternal damnation as it is related to eternal bliss, it is easy to see that once the former exists, the latter can exist no longer ... if we attribute to the blessed a knowledge of the state of the damned, it cannot be a knowledge unmixed with sympathy ... Hence we ought at least to admit the equal rights of the milder view, of which likewise there are traces in Scripture; namely, that through the power of redemption there will one day be a universal restoration of all souls'' (The Christian Faith , p. 721-2).

Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (1815–1881), English Broad Churchman, Anglican Dean of Westminster. He wrote several major works on Church History:
'To Gregory of Nyssa, and through him to the Council of Constantinople, the clause which speaks of 'the life of the world to come' must have included the hope that the Divine justice and mercy are not controlled by the power of evil, that sin is not eternal, and that in that 'world to come' punishment will be corrective and not final, and will be ordered by a Love and Justice, the height and depth of which it is beyond the narrow thoughts of man to conceive' (Christian Institutions, p. 335).

Sterling, John (1806 –1844), Scottish author and friend of F.D. Maurice. Thomas Carlyle wrote his biography The Life of John Sterling (1851). The American Universalist quarterly commented on Carlyle’s book that, ‘One of the saddest things in this book is Carlyle’s sneer at the earnestness with which his friend Sterling always clung to faith in a personal God – this denoted a narrow scrupulosity, in his biographer’s view!’ (Universalist Quarterly, vols. 9-10 p.94, 1852). Sterling was ordained as an Anglican curate. However, acting on the advice of his doctor he soon resigned his clerical duties, but, according to Carlyle, the primary cause was a divergence from the opinions of the Church:
‘Still prayers are strong, and God is good; /Man is not made for endless ill;/Dear sprite! My souls’ tormented mood/Has yet a hope thou canst not kill//...Thou, God, wilt her! Thy pangs are meant/To heal the spirit, not destroy;/And what may seem for vengeance sent,/When thou commandest, works for joy’ (from The Penitent).

de Stourdza, Alexandre Skarlatovich (1791-1854), Russian Orthodox Counsellor of State to the Tsar of Russia who wrote an exposition of the doctrine and practice of the Greek Church, contrasted with those of the Roman Catholic Church intending to show the excellence of the former and the error of the latter (see Whittemore, Modern History of Universalism, p. 347). He appears to have anticipated the new assertiveness of the later Slavophlie Universalists such as Solovyov and Bulgakov:
'Evil is a corrosive ulcer which exists only negatively. It will cease when there shall be no more victims. How? That is a secret of the eternal God...The scripture points us to the epoch , but very mysteriously, as if beyond our reach. It is designated by the expression, ‘And God shall be all in all’....Before disputing boldly then upon the eternity of pains, and arbitrarily interpreting certain passages of the gospel, which can never be conclusive, on account of the imperfection of human language, which is framed on the relative ideas of time and space, - it would first be requisite to know what is the duration of evil. But to attempt to penetrate that would be sacrilege...’ (Considerations sur la Doctrine et l’Esprit de l’Eglise Otdhodoxe -‘Considerations of the Doctrine and Spirit of the Orthodox Church’, pp. 60-64, 1816, Stuttgart).

Thompson, John Richardson (1834–1894), American poet and one of the seven founders of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry:
‘And casting off unwise regrets,/We yet may hope that time shall prove/Kind hearts are more than bayonets/And force less strong than love;/We know the order shall appear,/When God has made his purpose clear,/The darkest riddle understood,/And all the perfect world shall in his sight be good!’ (stanza XXXIIL of 'Poem read before the Society of Alumni, of the University of Virginia at their annual meeting', July 1869 printed in The University Memorial: Biographical Sketches of Alumni, p. 765, 1871).

Truth, Sojourner (ca. 1797 –1883), African-American ex-slave, abolitionist and women's rights activist:
''Now I can’t see anything so very nice in that, coming back to ...a world covered with the ashes of the wicked. Besides, if the Lord comes and burns – as you say he will – I am not going away; I am going to stay here and stand the fire, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! And Jesus will walk with me through the fire, and keep me from harm'' (Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth, p. 97-8).

Tupper, Martin Farquhar (1810-1889), English writer, and poet, and the author of Proverbial Philosophy. A genial, warm-hearted man, Tupper's humane instincts prompted him to espouse many reforming movements; he was an early supporter of the Student Volunteer Movement, and did much to promote good relations between Britain and America. He tried to encourage African literature and was also a mechanical inventor in a small way:
‘Heaven hath no dusky twilight ; hell is not gladdened with a dawn./Yet looking round among his follows, who can pass righteous judgment, /Such an one is holy and accepted, and such an one reprobate and doomed ? /There is so much of good among the worst, so much of evil in the best’ (Proverbial Philosophy , p.48,1851).



Pluralist Universalists

Bartol, Cyrus Augustus (1813-1900), American Unitarian minister and key figure in transcendentalism. His anti-hell credentials are evident from the quotations in Cloud of Witness, p,223-224 (‘Sheer blasphemy and inhumanity in the old theology is the doctrine of a doom to perdition and eternal woe to our persona; or our ancestral delinquency’). However, his quasi pantheistic conception of UR as immortality in the ‘over soul’ is more evident in the following passage:
'What is it that accepts misery from the Most High, defends the Providence that inflicts its woes, espouses its chastiser’s cause, purges itself in the pit of its misery of all contempt of His commands, and makes its agonies the beams and rafters of the triumph it builds? It is an immortal principle. It is an indestructible essence. It is part and parcel of the Divinity it adores. It can no more die than he can. It needs no more insurance of life than its author does. Prove its title? It is proof itself of all things else. It is substantive, and everything adjective beside. It is the kingdom all things will be added to' (Radical Problems, p.365, 1872).

Ossoli, Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810 –1850), American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism. Her expression of UR is very much in terms of pantheistic immortality:
‘The One in All/In the one Truth, each separate fact is true;/Eternally in one I many view,/And destinies through destiny pursue.../But in the earth and fire, water and air,/Live earnestly by turns without despair,/Nor seek a home till home be every where!' (The One in All).

Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von (1759 –1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, playwright, and friend of Goethe. He gives stirring expression to Universalist sentiments in his ‘Ode to Joy’ – set to music that overwhelms with its passion by Beethoven as the climax to the Ninth Symphony. The sentiments of the Ode are informed by a mixture of Christian and Pagan ideas rather than being purely Christian (Schiller was a Freemason):
'Close the holy circle tighter,/Swear by this golden vine:/ Remain true to the vows,/Swear by the judge above the stars!// Escape the tyrants’ chains,/Generosity also to the villain,/Hope upon the deathbeds,/Mercy from the high court!/The dead, too, shall live!/Brothers, drink and chime in,/All sinners shall be forgiven,/And hell shall be no more’ (Ode to Joy, lines 93-104, 1785).

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792–1822), major English Romantic poet, critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. A radical in his poetry as well as his political and social views he is well known as an advocate of atheism. However, C.S. Lewis accorded him the status of ‘virtuous pagan’ and it is clear that the God in whom he disbelieved was the God of extreme Calvinism, and that he worshipped the God of love and had universal hope for humanity in the form of the Platonic deity of ‘Intellectual Beauty’. This tension can be seen in his long poem Queen Mab:
''God, Hell and Heaven:/A vengeful, pitiless, and almighty fiend,/Whose mercy is a nickname for the rage/Of tameless tigers hungering for blood;/Hell, a red gulf of everlasting fire,/Where poisonous and undying worms prolong/Eternal misery to those hapless slaves/Whose life has been a penance for its crimes’ (Book iv 210-217); ‘Death is a gate of dreariness and gloom,/That leads to azure isles and beaming skies/And happy regions of eternal hope’ (Book ix 160-163).

Whitman, Walter "Walt" (1819–1892), American poet, essayist and journalist; religious pluralist and transcendentalist (but not specifically Christian):
'Give me, O God, to sing that thought!/Give me—give him or her I love, this quenchless faith/In Thy ensemble. Whatever else withheld, withhold not from us,/Belief in plan of Thee enclosed in Time and Space;/Health, peace, salvation universal’ (from Song of the Universal, lines 57-62).



Former Universalists



Disputed or Often Miscategorised Universalists

Arnold, Matthew (1822–1888), English poet and notable Victorian cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools:
'“He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save!”/ So rang Tertullian’s sentence, on the side/ Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried, --“Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave/ Who sins, once washed by the baptismal wave!”/ So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sighed, The infant church, of love she felt the tide/ Stream on her from her Lord’s yet recent grave,/ And then she smiled, and in the Catacombs,/ With eye suffused, but heart inspired true,/ On those walls/ subterranean, where she hid/ Her head in ignominy, death and tombs,/ She her Good Shepherd’s hasty image drew,/ And on His shoulders, not a lamb, a kid’ (Songs of the Soul: gathered out of many lands and ages, p.383).

Butler, Rev William Archer (c. 1814-1848), Irish Protestant clergyman and Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Dublin. Hanson (in Cloud of Witness, p.303) quotes Butler as follows:
‘Were it possible for man’s imagination to conceive the horrors of such a doom as this (endless punishment), all reasoning about it were at an end; it would scorch and wither all the powers of human thought...and those, it may be, with the keen sympathies and characteristics that the Christian loves and values, seen to be at last among the victims of that irreparable doom, -can we doubt that he would come forth with intellect blanched and idealess from a sight too terrible for any whose faculties are not in the scale of eternity itself? It is God’s mercy to believe what adequately to conceive were death.’ However, the final sentence in this quotation is the key; Butler actually appears to be arguing that only God’s mercy can enable us to believe these things without going mad (a curious defence of ECT). The writer James Barlow confirm this reading, because he quote the same passage from Butler adding that, ‘The awful nature of this doctrine is not however overlooked by its ablest defenders’ (Barlow, Eternal Punishment and Eternal Death: An Essay, p.10, 1865).

Byron, Lord George Gordon (1788–1824), English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic Movement, author of Don Juan, famed as a freedom fighter in the Greek War of Independence, and for his life of excess including huge debts and numerous love affairs. His reputation as a universalist rest on the facts that his long suffering wife clearly was one, and on the inclusion of his poem ‘The Immortal Mind’ in the 1853 Anthology The testimony of the poets by the American universalist Epes Sargent. However, this poem merely expresses a general sentiment about the transcendent survival of ‘mind’ after death:
'Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,/ It lives all passionless and pure:/An age shall fleet like earthly year;/Its years as moments shall endure./ Away, away, without a wing,/O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly,/ A nameless and eternal thing,/ Forgetting what it was to die' (The Immortal Mind, final stanza).

Campbell, John McLeod (1800 –1872), Scottish minister and Reformed theologian who numbered F.D. Maurice and Thomas Erskine in his circle of friends. He was removed from his ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland for holding, against the Westminster Confession, that Christ’s death was not only for the elect but for the whole world. On the other hand, Campbell also rejected universalism - “God’s love does not imply safety…pardon is not salvation.’ As strongly as Campbell insists that atonement, pardon, and forgiveness are universal, he emphasized that they are temporary. Campbell was so far from universalism that he did not doubt that the number of people saved will be small, even as Noah’s ark saved only eight:
'the present condition of the human race is, that God has forgiven all men their sins—not as a permanent and eternal condition of things, but as a preliminary state—preliminary to a day in which he shall judge men according to the deeds done in the body, whether they have been good or whether they have been evil’(Sermons and Lectures 1,p.119).

Carlyle, Thomas (1795–1881), Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. His The French Revolution was the source book for Charles Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities. Coming from a strict Calvinist family - parts of his autobiographical work Sartor Resartus recall to mind the terrifying sermons of Jonathan Edwards - Carlyle was expected to become a preacher by his parents, but while at the University of Edinburgh he lost his Christian faith. However, Calvinist values, remained with him. Pessimism characterized both his personal life and much of his literary output. He celebrated constant labour as the basis of an existential redemption from the haunting anguish of being alive (and is pictured in Work, a painting by Ford Maddox Brown, discussing the merits of labour with F.D. Maurice). Despite his inclusion in Hanson’s Cloud of Witness (pp. 139-140) it seems best to think of Carlyle as a non-believer who still had a sense of the transcendent and employed religious language to express this. For example, in words not quoted by Hanson Carlyle says:
‘There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is’ (The French Revolution vol ii, pp. 178-180, 1838).

Carrol, Lewis, pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 –1898), English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. The author of the famous Alice in Wonderland . No evidence seen to date to of explicit expression of universalism by him. However, he was a very close friend of George MacDonald and in 1862, seemingly as a result of Rev. H.B. Wilson being charged with heresy for questioning eternal punishment, Carrol eschewed attendance at St Mary Magdalene, the prestigious University Parish Church and instead travelled each Sunday to London to attend St Peter's Church in Vere St (just off Oxford Street), where the incumbent was the radical and controversial hopeful universalist F.D. Maurice. Some have seen he author’s tolerant and equable universalism in the famous races which follow under the Dodo’s presidency in Alice. ‘At last’ the Dodo said, 'everybody has won, and all must have prizes' (Alice in Wonderland). Carroll's diary for July 20 1862 reads:
'Morning and afternoon at Vere St. Mr Maurice preached both times. I like his sermons very much' (Carroll's diary for July 20 1862).

Channing, William Ellery (1780–1842), American Unitarian and one of Unitarianism's leading theologians. His religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, though he never countenanced their views. Channing was dismissive of Ballou’s universalism – he was basically Armenian in outlook and strongly emphasised man's moral freedom and God’s moral justice in his teaching; whereas Ballou emphasised God’s sovereign power to save. The quotation that Hanson gives in A Cloud of Witness, p.117, is actually a rejection of Calvinist reprobation rather than a statement of Universalism (and Hanson admits that he cannot recall a clear stament of the latter by Channing), ''We consider the errors which relate to Christ’s person as of little or no importance compared with the errors of those who teach God brings us into life wholly depraved and wholly helpless, that he leaves multitudes without aid which is indispensably necessary to their repentance, and then plunges them into everlasting burnings and unspeakable torture for not repenting' (Memoir of William Ellery Channing, Volume 1, p. 387, 1851). Channing certainly believed in a hell, but it was definitely not a hell that was literal place of outward punishment. For Channing, that particular hell had no warrant from a faithful translation of the scriptures, and 'by a perverse and exaggerated use, has done unspeakable injury to Christianity.' Hell instead is a state of the soul in revolt against God, conscience and the divine word, hardened itself against infinite love, and cowardly turned inward to its own vain interests. On the hope that this suffering might be temporary, he only offers the following:
'How long [the wicked] will endure I know not. Whether they will issue in the reformation and happiness of the sufferer, or will terminate in the extinction of his conscious being, is a question on which Scripture throws no clear light. Plausible arguments may be adduced in support of both these doctrines. On this and on other points revelation aims not to give precise information, but to fix in us a deep impression that great suffering awaits a disobedient, wasted, immoral, irreligious life' ( 'The Evil of Sin' (1854) in The complete works of W.E. Channing, Routledge, London, 1903, p.281).

Clephane, Elizabeth Cecelia Douglas (1830–1869), author of the hymn The Ninety and Nine (melody by Ira Sankey). While it seems she was not a universalist, John Wesley Hanson considered her hymn the essence of Universalism. He called this hymn "the literal language of our faith." Hence Elizabeth Clephane is sometimes found on internet lists of universalists:
'There were ninety and nine that safely lay/ In the shelter of the fold./ But one was out on the hills away,/ Far off from the gates of gold…//“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine; Are they not enough for Thee?”/But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine/Has wandered away from Me…But none of the ransomed ever knew/ How deep were the waters crossed;/Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through/ Ere He found His sheep that was lost’ (The Ninety Nine).

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881), famous Russian novelist, short story writer, and essayist, best known for Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov:
'Crush this soul with mercy, show it love, and it will curse its handiwork, for within it there are so many good beginnings. The soul will grow enlarged and will behold how merciful God is, how fair and just are men. He will be horrified and crushed by the repentance and the numberless debt that stands before him from this day ... Justice is not the retribution merely, but also the salvation of the ruined man ... Let other nations have the letter and the retribution, we have the spirit and the sense, the salvation and regeneration of the ruined' (The Brothers Karamazov p.x).

Espy, James Pollard (1785–1860), American meteorologist famous for developing the convection theory of storms (hence his nickname ‘Storm King’). His word that are quoted by Hanson are inconclusive, I think. They could merely be an instance of him showing a detached empathy with a universalist audience he was lecturing to, rather than a statement of personal conviction:
[commenting on the Scripture passages ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ and ‘Have we not all one Father?’ when giving a lecture at the Baltimore Murray Institute in 1842 after a question from Rev. James Shrigley] ‘Both are good, but ‘’Have we not all one Father?’’ is infinitely better. It is a question which will induce men to think, and if men will only think they will soon discard the idea of eternal punishment. If one Father, of course, it follows one origin and one destiny for all; I have not been a close student of the Bible, but one thing I feel quite sure, the Universalists have both reason and philosophy on their side’ ( Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.128).

Ferguson, Rev Fergus (1824-1897), Scottish minister of Montrose Street Evangelical Union Church, tried by the Glasgow Presbytery at one time as a heretic for questioning limited atonement. He wrote of the doctrine of the eternity of hell and evil, as a Calvinist disciplined in coherent logic, that it is:
‘A notion not only incompatible with every one of the fundamental propositions of pure orthodoxy, but logically destructive of every one of them’ [on this evidence he could have been either a universalist or an annihilationist] (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.224).

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749–1832), German polymath -writer, artist, and politician, his body of work includes epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. Born into a Lutheran family, in later life he described himself as "not anti-Christian, nor un-Christian, but most decidedly non-Christian" – but Hanson includes him in A Cloud of Witness –although the entry is unconvincing (which is not the case with the entry for Shelley for example). It is well know that Goethe’s Faust, the original story of a man’s wager with Hell, ends surprisingly. Unlike the retellings and dramatizations of the tale Faust is saved (however, this is more an allegory of the necessary unity body and spirit than a work of Christian hope). Goethe's religion seems to have been a pantheistic belief in immortality:
'My own conviction of a continuous existence springs from my consciousness of personal energy, for I work incessantly to the end. Nature is bound to assign to me another outward form of being as soon as my present one can no longer serve y spirit' (quote in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p78).

Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804), German philosopher from a Pietist background who is a central influence on modern philosophy. He argued that human perception structures natural laws, and that reason is the source of morality. His system of ethics is termed ‘universalist’ – but universalist in this sense is about his belief that we should always act in a way that considers the effect of a specific action if everyone acted that way. Hanson cites Kant also as an eschatological universalist - although Whittemore more shrewdly states that Kant merely ‘inclines towards universalism’. The evidence is mixed. In 1793 in Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant argues that since morality concerns the adoption of universal principles every human being is guilty, in one sense, of an infinite (or 'universal’) amount of violation of the law, and consequently an infinite punishment is not unjustified. However, in his small work of 1794 The End of All Things, he appears to have changed his mind:
‘Why were a few, or a single one, made at all, if only to exist in order to beamed eternally miserable, which is infinitely worse than non-existence’ (Kant quoted in Whittemore, Modern history of Universalism ,p.280). However, the context of Kant's remarks is an argument about the providence of war, because this provides opportunities for virtuous self sacrifice, and prepares human beings for the day of judgment ‘of forgiveness or damnation by the judge of the world.'

Leggett, William (1801–1839), American poet, fiction writer, and journalist. His poem A Sacred Melody expresses hope in loved ones being united after death. This is quoted by Hanson in Cloud of Witness, p. 167 - but Hanson omits the final two lines that seem to limit the poems universality (in my view):
'If yon bright stars, which gem, the night,/Be each a blissful dwelling sphere,/where kindred spirits reunite,/Whom death has torn asunder here;/How sweet it were at once to die…//But oh! How dark, and drear, and lone, /Would seem the brightest world of bliss,/IF wandering through each radiant zone,/We failed to find the love of this!’...//’Tis heaven that whispers ‘dry thy tears’/The pure in heart shall meet again!’ (A Sacred Melody).

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States:
'One of Lincoln’s associates, Mentor Graham, tells of Lincoln: 'He took the passage, ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,’ and followed up with the proposition that whatever the breach or injury of Adam’s transgressions to the human race was, which no doubt was very great, was made just and right by the atonement of Christ' (The Almost Chosen People by William J. Wolf, p. 47).

Milnes, Richard Monckton (1809–1885), English aristocrat, poet, patron of literature and politician. He was the persistent suitor of the Universalist founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, who finally rejected his proposal of marriage afraid it would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing. He wrote a moving poem of consolation in bereavement (it was written in 1839, so the ministering angel cannot be about Florence; she died in 1901). Although Hanson cites this along with the some of the other extracts and poems of this type in Cloud of Witness, its scope is personal rather than explicitly universal:
'And in the quiet of gloom I saw/The blessed image, moving, ministering/By me, about me, -just as heretofore//‘O ye! Who talk of Death, and mourn for Death,/Why do you raise a phantom of your weakness,/And then shriek loud to see what ye have made?/There is no Death, to those who know of Life -/No Time to those how see Eternity!’ (Life in Death quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.203).

Monsell, John Samuel Bewley (1811-1875), Irish minister in the Anglican Church of Ireland and author of the hymns Fight the good fight and O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. His name appears on some Universalist lists. No evidence seen to date of his explicit universalism but his O worship the Lord does have a fear free trust in God as its keynote:
‘Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness /of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine; /for truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness, /these are the offerings to lay on his shrine. //These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness, /he will accept for the Name that is dear; /mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness, /trust for our trembling and hope for our fear’ (from O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness).

Montgomery, James (1771–1854), Scottish editor, hymn writer and poet, and author of Angels from the Realms of Glory. He was particularly associated with humanitarian causes such as the campaigns to abolish slavery and to end the exploitation of child chimney sweeps. The evidence of his being a universalist is scant. Hanson simply asks the reader if the following can be interpreted ‘in harmony that the doctrine that Christ shall be defeated’:
'He shall reign from pole to pole/With illimitable sway;/He shall reign when, like a scroll/Yonder heavens are passed away;/Then the end;-beneath his rod/Man’s last enemy shall fall;/Hallelujah! Christ in God/God in Christ, is all in all!’ (from Hark the song of Jubilee, quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 94).

Nichol, John Pringle (1804–1859), Scottish educator, phrenologist, astronomer, economist and friend of John Stuart Mill who did much to popularize astronomy in a manner that appealed to nineteenth century tastes. In youth he was a licensed preacher for the Church of Scotland but his theological opinions changed –he remained inspired by a deep feeling of reverence and by the respect due to the beliefs of others, but his own religious views were far from what is commonly called orthodox He expresses cosmic hopefulness from his awe at the cosmos, although there seems to be little specifically Christian about this:
'In the vast heavens, as well as the phenomena around us, all thing are in a state of change and progress… Is annihilation a possibility real or virtue, while hospitable infinitude remains? No! Let the night fall; it prepares a dawn when man’s weariness shall have ceased, and his sol refreshed and restored.. To come! To every creature these are words of hope spoken in organ tone; our hearts suggest them, and the stars repeat them. And through infinite aspiration wings its way rejoicing, as an eagle follows the sun' (View of the Architecture of the Heavens, p.x, 1837).

Reade, Charles (1814–1884), English novelist and dramatist, best known for The Cloister and the Hearth. Described by friends as a generous, liberal, warm-hearted Christian gentleman, explicit evidence for his universalism is thin, but a character in one of his novels protests that:
'Eternal punishment! If it is not a fable, who has earned better than I am earning if I go on.[However] It is a fable, it must be so. Philosophers always said so, and now even divines have given it up' (Put Yourself in his Place, vol.ii, p.201, 1870).

Rogers, Samuel (1763–1855), English Romantic, poet, author of The Pleasures of Memory , and during his lifetime one of the most celebrated, who made his money as a banker. The evidence of his universalism seems thin without additional supporting evidence. Hanson tells us that James Freeman Clarke once met the poet who recited Adam’s complaint from Paradise Lost by Milton to him -(‘How can he exercise/Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?/ Can he make deathless Death? that were to make/ Strange contradiction, which to God himself/Impossible is held, as Argument /Of weakness, not of Power’ -Book 10, lines 796-801). Clarke then added:
‘Milton had put an argument into the mouth of Adam complaining of punishment, which he had not answered. There is no answering that indeed, except we admit that all punishment is corrective’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.86).

Ruskin, John (1819 –1900), leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, and a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. His first faith was harsh early Victorian evangelicalism –but, a man of great sensitivity, he lost his faith but attempted to return to it believing in a kinder more loving God. Sadly his final years were marred by bouts of insanity and obsession with Satan and damnation:
'And the first clause of it – the Lord’s Prayer –of course rightly explained, gives as the ground of what is surely a mighty part of the Gospel –its first great commandment, namely, that we have a Father whom we can love, and are required to love, and to desire to be with him in heaven, wherever that may be, and to declare that we have such a loving Father, whose mercy is over all his works and whose will and law is so lovely and lovable that it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold’ (The Lord’s Prayer and the Church – Letters Addressed to the Clergy , p.13, 1896, quoted in Hanson Cloud of Witness).

Sand, George, pen name of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant (1804 – 1876), French novelist, memoirist and bohemian, she was a also a devout Catholic. The evidence for her universalism is thin but significant. In her novel Spiridion, an aged monk who is the guardian of handed-down religious secrets states:
'L’ Eglise Romaine s’est porte le dernier coup: elle a raveler son suicide le jour on elle a fait Dieu implacable et la damnation eternelle’ (‘the Roman church committed suicide the day she invented an implacable God and eternal damnation’) (quoted by Hanson in Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church, p.127).

Sumner, Charles (1811–1874), American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War. The extract that Hanson quotes from Sumner seems to conflate ideas of universal restitution with optimism about human progress. The two are not necessarily at odds, but the terrible events of the first part of the twentieth century were to erode this essentially secular optimism which Karl Barth’s neo-orthodoxy had to challenge in order to keep hope alive:
‘Every victory over evil redounds to the benefit of all. Every discovery, every human thought, every truth when declared, is a conquest of which the whole human family are partakers. -Thus does the ‘Law of Human Progress/Assert eternal Providence,/And justify the ways of God to man – by showing Evil no longer a gloomy mystery, binding the world in everlasting thrall, but as an accident, destined under the laws of God to be slowly subdued by works of men as they pass o to the promised goal of happiness’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.213).



Annhililationists (or believers in conditional immortality)

Allon, Rev. Henry (1818-1892), English Congregationalist clergyman, and co-editor with Henry Robert Reynolds of the British Quarterly Review:
'It does not follow, however, that finality of moral condition implies unending being or unending consciousness of retribution. There is no moral necessity to suppose this, while both the finality and the symbolism are such as would probably find their adequate interpretation in the simple idea of finality — the ending of sin and of sinful being: whether by the natural cessation of the latter — which seems the most plausible — or by other processes, we are not told' (The Contemporary Review - Volume 32, p.356, 1878).

Brown, James Baldwin (1820–1884), English Congregationalist minister and author of The Doctrine of Annihilation in the Light of the Gospel of Love (1875):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Dale, Rev. Robert William (1829–1895), English Congregationalist minister, leader of the Independents in Birmingham, and the initiator of the Civic Gospel movement, promoting the belief that service on the town council had both moral and religious worth:
'The traditional theory of the endlessness of sin and of suffering has lost its authority ... The appeal to fear is being silently dropped. Augustine said that it very seldom or never happens that a man comes to believe in Christ except under the influence of terror. This sweeping statement ... is flagrantly inconsistent with all that we know of the rise of Christian faith and hope in the souls of men in our own times' (Preface to Dr. Petavel, p. 7).

Grew, Henry (1781–1862) American Christian teacher – at odds with the mainstream in teaching conditional immortality and highly influential on later American annihilationists:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Milman, The Very Reverend Henry Hart (1791–1868), English Church historian and ecclesiastic, Anglican Dean of Westminster and Dean of St Paul’s, and author of the Passiontide hymn Ride on, ride on in majesty:
'To the eternity (endlessness) of hell torments there is and ever must be — notwithstanding the peremptory decree of dogmatic theology, and the reverential dread in many minds of tampering with what seems to be the language of the New Testament — a tacit repugnance' (History of Latin Christianity, vi. p. 253).

Storrs, George (1796–1879), American Christian teacher and writer. Storrs started off as a Congregationalist, then became an Episcopal Methodist before joining the Millerites from which the Seventh Day Adventist grew:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Thomas, Dr John (1805–1871), migrated to North America from England in 1832 was the founder of the Christadelphians who again grew out of the Restorationist movement. They are also believers in conditional immortality:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

White, Rev. Edward (1819-1898), English Congregationalist minister. As a young man he had attended York Street Congregational Church in Walworth along with Robert Browning. The strict Calvinism of Clayton made a strong and negative impression on both of them. Later Clayton was the author of two popular works What was the Fall? and Life in Christ that set out a conditionalist theology:
‘White believed that ‘thoughtful children knew very well what doctrines underlay the surface teaching in families, schools and churches’. The doctrine of election and reprobation was ‘taught in a quiet and respectable way’ but its implications caused him considerable pain. ‘It nearly drove me mad with secret misery of mind, in thinking of such a God’, he wrote. ‘From fourteen years old and upwards our faith depended very much on the art of not thinking on the hateful mystery’ (see, F.A. Freer, Edward White, his life and work, pp 5-7, 1902).



Second Chance and Post-Mortem Salvationists

Alford, Henry (1810 –1871), English churchman, Anglican Dean of Canterbury, theologian, textual critic, scholar, poet, hymnodist, and writer:
'The inference every intelligent reader will draw from the face [of Christ preaching to the once-disobedient dead]: it is not purgatory; it is not universal restitution; but it is one which throws blessed light on one of the darkest enigmas of divine justice: the cases where the final doom seems infinitely out of proportion to the act which has incurred it. And….it would be presumption in us to limit the occurrence or the efficacy of this preaching….Who shall say that the blessed act was confined to them?' (On I Peter iii, 19).

Church, Richard William (1815–1890), English High Churchman and Anglican Dean of St Pauls:
'I should be disloyal to Him whom I believe in as the Lord of Truth if I doubted that honest seeking should at last find Him. Even if it do not find Him here, man's destiny stops not at the grave, and many, we may be sure, will know Him there who did not know Him here' (The Contemporary Review Volume 59, p.143).

Hope, Alexander James Beresford M.P. (1820–1887), English politician and author, and devout Anglican:
'All reason all experience, all Scripture, unite in the teaching that the Divine work of teaching goes on behind as well as before the veil' (Contemporary Review, vol. xxxii. 1878).

Hort, Fenton John Anthony (1828 –1892), Irish theologian and editor, with Brooke Westcott of a critical edition of The New Testament in the Original Greek. He was a friend of both Charles Kingsley and F.D. Maurice:
‘F.J.A. Hort, who had earlier corresponded with F.D. Maurice on the topic of eternal punishment, regretted Maurice’s unequivocal rejection of purgatory, but agrees with Maurice on the three points at the heart of the controversy; that eternity was independent of duration; that power of repentance is not limited to this life; and that it is not revealed whether or not all will ultimately be saved’ (from Geoffrey Rowell, Hell and the Victorians, p.83-84, 1974; citing, at footnote 80, A.F. Hort Life and Letters of F.J.A. Hort , pp. 266-275, 1896).

Martensen, Hans Lassen (1808-1884), Danish Lutheran bishop and academic with an interest in Christian mysticism and speculative theosophy:
'As no soul leaves this present existence in a fully complete and prepared state, we must suppose that there is an Intermediate State, a realm of progressive development, in which souls are prepared and matured for the last judgment ... The intermediate state, in a purely spiritual sense must be a purgatory determined for the purifying of the soul' (Christliche Dogmatik, 276, 1870, quoted in Farrar’s Mercy and Judgment).

Perrone, Giovanni (1794–1876), Italian Catholic Jesuit theologian:
'All agree in saying that it is too violent to admit at once into heaven all those who only repented of their past evil life at the end, and who indulged too much in the sensualities of this life, since nothing defiled enters there; also it is too harsh to assign all such to eternal torments' (De Deo Creatore, p. 119, n. 7).

Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807 –1892), American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets and was strongly influenced by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. He is famous for the words of the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, from his poem The Brewing of Soma, sung to music by Hubert Parry.
‘I am not a Universalist, for I believe in the possibility of the perpetual loss of the soul that persistently turns away from God, in the next life as in this. But I do believe that the divine love and compassion follow us in all worlds, and that the heavenly Father will do the best that is possible for every creature that he has made. What that will be, must be left to his infinite wisdom and goodness' (Samuel T. Pickard, Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, vol 1, p. 265,1907).



Inclusivists and Wide-Hopers

Child, Lydia Maria Francis (1802-1880), American Unitarian, abolitionist, women's rights activist, opponent of American expansionism, Indian rights activist, novelist, and journalist:
‘Everywhere we hear voices of supplication; everywhere we see hands stretched toward the Infinite ‘’seeking after God, if haply they may find him.’’ Let us recognize them all as fellow pilgrims on the same mysterious journey. Let us all give each other cheerful assurance that we are all being guided through devious paths homeward by the Universal Father. (Aspirations of the World, p.276, 1878).

Clark, Willis Gaylord (1808–1841), American poet (who Hanson refers to as James G, Clarke). He wrote a series of amusing articles called 'Ollapodiana’ for the magazine The Knickerbocker. In the latter part of his life, he was the chief editor of the Philadelphia Gazette. He wrote a number of poems and hymns on the theme of consolation in bereavement. Among his best loved was The Spirit of Life, about a child who died young, which also implies universal hope (in ‘God who loves and cares for all’):
‘No! let the mother, when her infant's breath /Faints on her bosom in the trance of death ;/Then let her yearning heart obey the call/Of that high God who loves and cares for all ;/Resign the untainted blossom to that shore /Where sicknesses and blight have power no more' (The Spirit of Life from The Poetical Writings of the Late Willis Gaylord Clark, p.38, 1847).

Clarke, Dr Adam (1762–1832), Irish Methodist theologian and biblical scholar:
'There is room for hope in his [Judas’]death. The chief priests who instigated Judas were worse men than himself, and if mercy was extended to those, the wretched penitent traitor did not die out of the reach of the yearning of its bowels. And I contend, further, that there is no positive evidence of the final damnation of Judas in the sacred text. I would not set up, knowingly, any plea against the claims of justice; and God forbid that a sinner should be found capable of pleading against the cries of mercy on behalf of a fellow culprit. Reader, learn from thy Lord this lesson: ' Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy' (Quoted in P.T. Barnum's Why I am a Universalist, 1896).

Faber, Frederick William (1814—1863), noted English hymn writer and theologian, who converted from Anglicanism to the Catholic priesthood:
‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy/Like the wideness of the sea;/There’s a kindness in His justice,/Which is more than liberty./There is no place where earth’s sorrows/Are more felt than up in Heaven;/There is no place where earth’s failings/Have such kindly judgment given’ (from There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy)

Grosart, Alexander Balloch (1827 –1899), Scottish Presbyterian clergyman, literary editor of rare Elizabethan Puritan literature, and author of a work arguing against the damnation of children (which proves that the idea was still haunting at least some nineteenth century Protestants):
‘How are they saved from it [i.e. hell]? My answer is – precisely as Original Sin reaches and involves them. Just as in the First Adam they all ‘died’…so in the Second Adam, the ‘Last Adam’, they are all’ made alive’…just as children come under the curse without any act of their own, so, equally without any act of their own, do they come under the blessing, when , dying children they are incapable of deciding between curse and blessing. I harmonize the sister-act and doctrine of inherited depravity with this universal salvation of children' (The lambs all safe: or, the salvation of children, p.88, 1850).

Guthrie, Thomas (1803–1873), Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland and noted philanthropist:
'My belief is that in the end there will be a vastly larger number saved than we have any conception of. What sort of earthly government would that be where more than half the subjects were in prison? I cannot believe that the government of God will be like that' (Life, p. 773).

Percival, James Gates (1795-1856), American poet, doctor, chemist and lexicographer, who wrote the following lines ‘We send these fond endearments o’er the grave/Heaven would be hell, if loved ones were not there’. These refer to the hope of being reunited with loved ones in the world to come – a common theme in poetry of the late ninetieth century in both America and Britain, sometimes referred to as ‘the domestication of paradise.' They do not explicitly express universal hope but an editorial in The Ladies Repository, the American Universalist periodical for women, found comfort and universal significance in them arguing:
'The heart which has been schooled on earth to love the race, must in view of the duty to hate those whom God hates, find heaven itself a prison of horror...so the soul that has loved the whole race, and desired and prayed for its redemption, must find itself a chained eagle in the Heaven of 'Partialism'...this is an important subject, - The Office and Immortality of the Affections. It enables us to apply to the theologies of our times the test which St. John directs to be applied, ‘Beloved, try the spirits,’ and in this way let us decide which of the spirits abroad in the Christian Church, gives any comfort in believing the grand sentiment, ‘Your heart shall live forever’ (Psalm xxii. 26)' (The Ladies Repository, February 1852).

Wilson of Ellerey, John (1785–1854), Scottish advocate, literary critic and author, the writer most frequently identified with the pseudonym Christopher North of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. He was professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University and intimate with William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey. Hanson quotes a poem by Wilson that speaks of depression and doubt which turns to solace:
‘that no being need behold the sun/ And grieve, that knew how hung him in the sky!’ turning to hope that that ‘when man hath attained/The purpose of his being, he will sit/Near Mercy’s throne ... Like children for some bauble fair/That weep themselves to res,/we part with life – awake! And there/The jewel in or breast!’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, pp. 126-7).



Anti-Hellists

Clarke, McDonald (1798–1842), American poet of some fame in New York City in the early part of the 19th century. He was an influence on, and eulogized by Walt Whitman; but widely known as "the mad poet of Broadway’. Hanson includes him in A Cloud of Witness not as an explicit believer in UR but rather as one who gave fine expression to the idea that hell is made up of human selfishness:
‘How narrow are the bounds of hell/Of blood and dust how small a part!/The cloister of a forehead’s clouded swell./The dungeon of a loathing heart’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 155).

Hugo, Victor Marie (1802–1885), French Romantic poet, novelist, and dramatist, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, and Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Hugo started out as a Catholic but ended life as a freethinker Deist rationalist and implacable hater of religious fanaticism:
'A society that tolerates misery, a religion that tolerates Hell, a humanity that tolerates war, is to me an inferior one. With all of the strength of my being I want to destroy this human depravation. I damn the slavery, I chase away the misery, I heal the sickness, I brighten the darkness, I hate the hatred' (from the introduction to Les Miserables, 1862).

Ingersoll, Robert Green "Bob" (1833–1899), American political leader, civil war veteran, and orator, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism. He was nicknamed "The Great Agnostic". Hanson includes him in the ‘A Cloud of Witness’ anthology (p.306) on the grounds that this ‘most noted skeptic’…obtains a glimpse of the grandest truths’. His famous quotation lionizing universalism (which Hanson does not cite) is shot through with the polemical exaggerations of a seasoned agent provocateur:
'Strange! That no one has ever been persecuted by the church for believing God bad, while hundreds of millions have been destroyed for thinking him good. The orthodox church never will forgive the Universalist for saying “God is love.” It has always been considered as one of the very highest evidences of true and undefiled religion to insist that all men, women and children deserve eternal damnation. It has always been heresy, to say, “God will at last save all” ' (Complete Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll , p. 78, 1900).

Mill, John Stuart, (1806–1873), English utilitarian philosopher, political economist and civil servant. Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political philosophy. Mill was an atheist - a Calvinist by upbrining who embraced Comtes' 'religion of humanity' - but he said one thing eloquently with which Hanson concurred – and paraphrased in Cloud of Witness:
‘I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply the epithet to my fellow creatures; and if such a being can sentence me to Hell for not so calling him, to Hell I will go’ (Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy, p103, 1865).

Parsons, Theophilus (1797–1882), American Dane Professor of Law at Harvard remembered chiefly as the author of a series of useful legal treatises and some books in support of Swedenborgian doctrines:
‘Where should we read in any new book, where should we hear in any sermon, of the damnation of infants, absolute election and predestination; or an atonement which presented God as vindictive and merciless, condemning a large part of His children, before their birth, to eternal misery, and hating with infinite and eternal wrath, not only sin but sinners, whom He had foreordained to be sinners? The Orthodox community has generally gone so far from such doctrines, that many may deny that they ever were preached, and charge me with error and injustice. I would advise persons who do so, to read the spider sermon, so called, of Jonathan Edwards lately republished. In all ages there have been those who turned their minds away from such pictures, and, even while assenting in words, greatly modified these views in their thoughts and feelings. But that such views were widely preached, and, indeed, passionately urged, is a matter of history’
(Outlines of the religion and philosophy of Swedenborg, p.303, 1902).

Simon, Jules François (1814–1896), French statesman, philosopher and exponent of rational religion (which critics argued paid too little attention to positive revelation):
‘We are asked whether punishment will endure eternally? It is a question which should not be introduced by itself into philosophy. The eternity of punishment destroys one of the two objects of punishment, purification, reformation; it exaggerates the other beyond possibility, for there is no sin committed in time which calls for eternal punishment. There is no principle of reason which either leads to the doctrine of the eternity of punishment or even admits it’ (La Religion Naturelle, p.304, 1856).



Other or Undetermined



Renaissance, Reform & Enlightenment,16th-18th centuries (death between 1501-1800)


Convinced Universalists

Bathurst, Ann (c.1638-c.1704), English Philadelphian who once feared for her own salvation but became persuaded of universal grace in a series of dramatic visions:
‘O Thou Sea of Love! ... And this is a Sea of Love, no Limits, we are lost to find ourselves when in It; how then can we measure this Love! we are so sopt in it, and then come forth; and then again sopt, and that so often over, that we know not, whether we shall come forth Substance or substantiated into the thing we are soped in: for we seem not held together, but dilated, as if we were to be alienated and nothing’d into the thing sopt or Sea’ (Rhapsodical Meditations and Visions - 17 March 1679 to 29 June, 1693).

Bengel, Johann Albrecht (1687–1752), German Lutheran pietist clergyman and Greek-language scholar known for his edition of the Greek New Testament and his commentaries on it, Gnomon Novi Testamenti, or Exegetical Annotations on the New Testament, published in 1742. It was the fruit of twenty years labour, and John Wesley made great use of it in compiling his Expository Notes upon the New Testament. Bengel's edition of the Greek Testament was published at Tübingen in 1734. He was convinced of apocatastasis because of his Biblicism – he was also dedicated to studying biblical prophecy -and for no other reason:
'2 Corinthians 6:18. εἰς υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας, in the relation of sons and daughters) Isaiah 43:6. The promise, given to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:6, is applied to all believers.— κύριος παντοκράτωρ, the Lord Almighty [the Universal Ruler]. From this title we perceive the greatness of the promises. Now the word παντοκράτωρ, [Universal Ruler] Almighty, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but in the Apocalypse; but here Paul uses it after the manner of the LXX. interpreters, because he quotes the passage from the Old Testament' (from Gnomon Novi Testamenti , 1742).

de Benneville, George (1703-1793), English born physician from an émigré French Huguenot Family who became a Pietist Universalist who took the Universalist Gospel to America. Raised as a Calvinist, at around 12 years of age de Benneville was sent to sea and while in Algiers, he observed that the behaviour of some Moors who had been attending a fallen friend was more Christian than his own. After experiences of despair and then visionary consolation of salvation he reported to the French Calvinist church in London that, "I could not have a doubt but the whole world would be saved by the same power." He was expelled. At seventeen de Benneville felt called to preach in France to an underground group of Protestants, the Camisards and, under severe persecution, he was sentenced to death but reprieved at the last moment. He moved to Germany where he became associated with various universalist groups: the Pietists in Berleberg, Wittgenstein, the Dunkers, the Schwenkfelders, the Philadelphians, and the Rosicrucians. While in Germany he became sick to the point of death and had a near Death Experience while placed in his coffin. He was given a vision of heaven and hell and while in hell his compassion was such that "I took it so to heart that I believed my happiness would be incomplete while one creature remained miserable." He recovered with a renewed mission: to preach "the universal and everlasting gospel of boundless, universal love for the entire human race." He sailed to America in 1724 with other Pietist exiles and made his home in Germantown Pennsylvania where he helped prepare that Sauer/Sower version of the Bible, marking out the universalist passages that Sower then set in boldface. In his missionary tours he exchanges knowledge of herbal remedies wit Native Americans, was always welcome in Dunker pulpits and with the universalist Rogerine Baptists, and often stayed at the semi-monastic universalist community as Epaharata cloisters. Elhanan Winchester, who had been attracted to Universalism when he read Siegvolk’s The Everlasting Gospel (which de Bernville brought to America), met de Benneville in 1781. Between 1781 and 1787 de Benneville took Winchester on missionary tours into Pennsylvania and Virginia. Winchester later said of de Benneville that "such an humble, pious, loving man I have scarcely ever seen in my pilgrimage through life":
‘[The voice of the messenger angel says] And then thou shalt be reconducted into thine earthly tabernacle for a time and half a time and shall preach to the lower world the universal gospel and that the most holy trinity hath a pure universal love towards all the human race without exception, and towards each one in particular. “The fountain of grace bless and preserve thee, and cause his face to shine upon and in thee, and enlighten thine understanding both in time and eternity. Amen' (Life and trance of Dr. George De Benneville, Pennsylvania 1882, p.39).

Böhler, Peter (1712 –1775), German-born Moravian missionary and bishop who, according to George Whitfield, was a universalist (as others of the Moravian Brethren were):
'You cannot make good the assertion that Christ died for them that perish without holding (as Peter Bohler, one of the Moravian brethren, in order to make out universal redemption, lately frankly confessed in a letter) that all the damned souls would hereafter be brought out of hell. I cannot think Mr. Wesley is thus minded. And yet unless this can be proved, universal redemption, taken in a literal sense, falls entirely to the ground. For how can all be universally redeemed, if all are not finally saved?' (Whitefield's Letter to Wesley, Bethesda in Georgia, Dec. 24, 1740).

Brooke, Henry (1703–1783), Anglo-Irish novelist and dramatist and author of the picaresque novel The Fool of Quality. According to Whittemore, Brooke 'inclined to the Methodists' (TMHOU p. 378). Rev. Charles Kingsley wrote the preface to The Fool affirming both his own and Brooke's belief in UR; the notable Universalist passage in this novel, quoted below, is also corroborated by the Universalist sentiments in Brooke’s poem Redemption:
'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' (Fool of Quality, p.x, 1766 – quoted by both Hanson and Whittemore).

Chauncy, Charles (1705–1787), influential American Congregational Boston clergyman and opponent of Jonathan Edwards and critic of the 'Great Awakening':
'As the First Cause of all things is infinitely benevolent, 'tis not easy to conceive, that he should bring mankind into existence, unless he in-tended to make them finally happy. And if this was his intention, it cannot well be supposed, as he is infinitely intelligent and wise, that he should be unable to project, or carry into execution, a scheme that would be effectual to secure, sooner or later, the certain accomplishment of it' (The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations, Introduction p. i).

Cockburn, Alison Rutherford (1712-1794), Scottish poet and wit –author of the delightful lyrics Flowers of the Forest – whose close friends included Walter Scott, Robert Burns and David Hume. Scott wrote of her – ‘Her active benevolence kept pace with her genius and rendered her equally an object of love and admiration':
‘The almighty maker of souls has various methods of restoring them to the divine image; it is impossible his power can fail; it is impossible for his image to be entirely obliterated; it is impossible that misery, sin, and discord can be eternal! Look, then, on the erring sons of men as on wretched prisoners bound in fetters for a time; but recollect that they are and must be eternal as well as you, and that in endless ages of eternity they will be restored to order' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.72).

Conway, Viscountess Anne (1631–1679), English philosopher, associate of the Cambridge Platonists, Quaker:
‘...all degrees and kinds of sin have their appropriate punishment, and all these punishments tend towards the good of creatures, so that the grace of God will prevail over punishment and judgment turn into victory for the salvation and restoration of all creatures' (Principles of the most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, p.37.)

Coppin, Richard (flourished 1640s to late 1650s), English radical pamphleteer and preacher imprisoned for preaching universalism at Rochester Cathedral in 1655:
'God hath declared in Scripture, both by the mouths of the prophets and apostles, the salvation of all men, without respect of persons (I Tim. ii. 4-6). Thus we may say, 'Lord who hath resisted Thy will? Let Thy will be done.' Paul says that as by one man death came to all, so by One life and salvation to all; else Christ were not sufficient to save all that Adam lost' (Truth's Testimony).

Crellius, Samuel, Latinized name of Samuel Crell-Spinowski (1660-1747), Polish Unitarian (Socinian) philosopher and theologian, and pastor of the church of the Polish Brethren. He corresponded with the English Unitarians (Arians) Newton and Locke (but seems to have disagreed with their annihilationist eschatology):
'I am persuaded that all men will be finally saved by Jesus Christ, and delivered from the torments of hell’ (from Introduction to the Gospel of St. John, p.x,1726).

Duncombe, William (1689-1769), English poet and dramatist and childhood friend of Rev. Samuel Say (1676-1743), an English Non-conformist pastor and poet who was a school-fellow of Isaac Watts. Say was perplexed by the idea of damnation for any being in the year of his death and Duncombe wrote encouragingly to him:
'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 ... With what raptures of devotion must every one, who cherishes this generous doctrine, join with the apostle in the following pathetic exclamation – ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!...’(quoted in The Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature, Volume 7 .p.492, 1813).

Durant, (xxxx-xxxx), French Universalist Pietist martyr. In his autobiography, The Life and Trance of Dr. George De Benneville, De Benneville describes how early in this career as a preacher of universal restoration in Normandy he found a few clergymen whose names he has recorded, Durant, Chevrette, Dumoulin, L'Archar, who were willing to associate with him in preaching to the Camisard Protestants in woods and valleys, where crowds gathered to hear them. Some of their number were arrested and put to death, some whipped and branded, and some were sent to the galleys. At length Durant and De Benneville were seized and condemned to die, the former by hanging and the latter by the axe. Durant ascended the ladder, sung a psalm, and died joyfully. De Benneville was on his knees praying for the forgiveness of his enemies, when a courier arrived from the king with a reprieve. He was taken to Paris, and imprisoned and finally liberated (see Joseph Henry Allen and Richard Eddy, History of the Unitarians and the Universalists in the United States, Chapter 3, p.272, 1894).

Erbery (or Erbury), William (1604–1654), Welsh religious radical and original theological thinker. At one time an Anglican priest in Cardiff, he was thrown out of his living for a trifle, and then became a chaplain in Parliaments’ army during the English civil war. Like Sir Henry Vane he was associated with the universalist sect, The Seekers:
'What multitude of men shall inhabit that City, the Prophets show; not only that Jerusalem shall be without walls, and that a Nation shall be born one day, but many shall flow in like the sea; that our hearts shall fear and be enlarged for the abundance of savage people shall come in and cover us...I say, we shall fear at first, whether such may be received by us; but again our hearts shall be enlarged to accept those that God doth' (A Call to the Churches, p.250, 1652).

Gatchell, Joseph (xxxx-xxxx), American universalist of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who was brought before the Suffolk County Court In July, 1684, for discoursing "that all men should be saved," and, being convicted, was sentenced "to the pillory and to have his tongue drawn forth and-pierced with a hot iron'' (see The New England Historical and Genealogical Register - Volume 39 – p.200, 1996).

Hartley, David (1705 –1757), English philosopher and founder of the Associationist school of psychology. He was deterred from taking orders in the Church of England by certain scruples as to signing the Thirty-nine Articles, and took up the study of medicine. The doctrine to which he most strongly objected was that of eternal punishment. Nevertheless, he remained a member of the Church of England, and was on intimate terms with the most distinguished churchmen of his day:
'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' (Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty and His Expectations, p.x, 1749).

Huber, Marie (1695–1753), Swiss theologian, translator and editor:
‘I am one of those who would not be affrighted at finding Devils in Heaven; or, to speak seriously, I am one of those who would not think themselves perfectly happy, did they know any Being must be eternally miserable (The World Unmask’d: or, the Philosopher the greatest Cheat, p.289).

Law, William (1686 –1761), Anglican cleric and spiritual writer:
‘God's Providence, from the Fall to the Restitution of all Things, is doing the same Thing, as when he said ... "Let there be light"; He still says, and will continue saying the same Thing, till there is no Evil of Darkness left in all that is Nature and Creature ... Love knows no Change, but into a redeeming Pity towards all his fallen Creatures' (An Humble, Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Clergy , Address 191; 200).

Lead, Jane (1624 –1704), Christian mystic and founder of the Universalist Philadelphian Society in London:
‘Now whereas it is charged, that Redemption is to reach no further, than to such a Number as do receive and believe in Christ while in the Body, that then, if they fail of it here, they are destinated to an everlasting Damnation; this I deny as to that Eternity of Punishment which is by them meant. Because those Scriptures mentioned for the Confirmation of the Never-ceasing Torments, are properly to be understood but for Ages of Time' (The Everlasting Gospel, para VIII ).

Mack, Alexander (1679 –1735), leader and first minister of the Schwarzenau Brethren – a radical pietist/Anabaptist group also known as the Dunkers, Tunkers, or Dunkards. The Brethren emigrated to the United States in the mid-18th century, where he continued to minister to the Brethren community until his death. They brought the 'Everlasting Gospel' to the USA with them although Mack stressed that the teaching of UR should not be preached publicly:
'Therefore that is a much better and more blessed gospel which teaches how to escape the wrath of God, than the gospel which teaches that eternal punishment has an end. Even though this is true, it should not be preached as a gospel to the godless' (European Origins of the Brethren, Donal F. Durnbaugh).

Marshall, Christopher (1709–1797), American Revolutionary. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he went to America in 1727, settled in Philadelphia and worked as a chemist and pharmacist. Marshall is best known for The Remembrancer, a diary he kept during the Revolution, which was not published until 1839:
‘Jesus will, in the ages to come, put an end to sin, finish transgressions, and bring in everlasting life unto all lapsed being, as it stands recorded in the scriptures’ (from Tentmakers, original source not yet traced).

Merlau, Johanna Eleonora von und zu (maiden name of Johanna Petersen) (1644-1724),German Pietist, inspired to Universalism, like her husband Johan Wilhelm, by the writing of Jane Lead. Author of the pioneering autobiography The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen, Written by Herself:
'His fire will not burn out until the last enemy, the death of time and of eternity, will have been absorbed, and God will be all in all…there will be a final, all-encompassing, in which all of God’s creation (not together but according to its rank one after another) will be saved from their destruction and completely restored or placed into a state of bliss in which they were and have seen themselves at their creation or in the beginning' (The Eternal Gospel of the Return of All Creatures, p. 102).

Petersen, Johann Wilhelm (1649 - 1727), German academic theologian who, with his wife Johanna Eleanora, developed an individual form of pietistic spirituality:
''What fruit has the doctrine of eternal damnation born up till now? Has it made men more pious? On the contrary, when they have properly considered the cruel, frightful disproportion between the punishments and their own sins, they have begun to believe nothing at all...'' (Mysterion, p. 222).

Petitpierre, Ferdinand Oliver (1722-1790), French Protestant theologian, sometime minister of Chaux-de-Fond:
‘Nor let the humble pious follower of the gospel take the alarm ... To behold the plan of the Deity, as more consistent with his nature and attributes and more merciful to his creatures, can never be an incentive to vice. Fear is indeed, one powerful restraint on imperfect beings, but it must be a rational fear, and not such as has given rise to infidelity in thousands or which if believed, leads to despair. Besides, let me ask, ‘Have the terrors of the Lord, when represented in all the horrors of never ending misery been sufficient to deter many from offending, who have been familiar with the idea from their infancy?' (Thoughts on the divine goodness, relative to the government of moral agents, particularly displayed in future rewards and punishments, i, p.1).

Postel, Guillaume (1510–1581), French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor. He believed in the restoration of all things – using the poetic imagery of Cabbalitic texts to express this - and the unification of all humanity and all religions in Christ. A sincere and saintly man, his terrible isolation in the face of all orthodoxies of his day seems to have unbalanced his mind and he eventually saw himself as a John the Baptist figure for a female incarnation of Christ. He was committed for insanity rather than burned at the stake due to the intercession of powerful friends:
‘ ... [some] satisfy themselves by introducing the greatest tyrant into the world, and persuade themselves that there is never to be a restoration of all things here, so that Satan seems to have destroyed more than Christ is able to restore. O, the greatest impiety!' (Letter of 1553).

Potter, Thomas (1689–1777), American non-denominational forerunner of the American Universalist Church. Old Thomas Potter, an illiterate farmer, built a chapel in Good Luck, New Jersey (now Lacey Township) in 1769, for the purpose of spreading Universalism. Originally from Rhode Island, he was influenced by both Quaker and Baptist beliefs. As a Universalist, he let people of all denominations worship on his land, but was convinced that God would send him a preacher of Universalism. In 1770, the English born Universalist John Murray did in fact appear, when his ship was grounded. He was prevailed upon by Potter to give his first Universalist sermon on the American continent:
‘[Murray writes of Potter]...his associates would tauntingly question, ‘’Well, Potter, where is this minister, who is to be sent to you?’’ ‘’He is coming in God’s own good time.’’... [Murray tells us that on arrival...] 'when I returned to his [Potter's] house, he caught me in his arms, ‘’Now, now I am willing to depart; Oh, my God! I will praise thee thou hast granted my desire... I knew the tine was come, when I saw the vessel grounded; I knew, you were the man, when I saw you approach the door, and my heart leaped for joy’’. Visitors poured into his house; he took each by the hand. ‘’This is the happiest day of my life,’’ said the transported old man: ‘’There neighbours, there is the minster God promised to send me; how do you like God’s new minister?’’ (Mrs John Murray (ed.), Records of the life of John Murray written by Himself, Boston, 1816, pp.130-34)

Ramsay, Chevalier Andrew Michael (1686-1743), Scottish-born writer (lived most of his adult life in France) and Catholic convert influenced by Quietism:
'Eternal Providence desires, wills and employs continually all the means necessary to lead intelligent creatures to ultimate and supreme happiness. Almighty Power, wisdom and love cannot be eternally frustrated in His absolute and ultimate designs: therefore, God will at last pardon and re-establish in happiness all lapsed beings' (The Philosophical Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion, p.321).

Relly, James (1722–1778), Methodist minister who converted and mentored John Murray:
'The matter and manner of the Apostles preaching, appears, when among Jews and Gentiles, they taught that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God; and that he was crucified unto death, and on the third day rose again from the dead, for the forgiveness of sins, and the justification of mankind' (Union: Or, a treatise of the consanguinity and affinity between Christ and his Church, p.195).

Roach, Richard (1662–1730), Church of England clergyman and Philadelphian:
‘The Glorious Era Now, Now, Now begins/ Now, Now the Great Angelick Trumpets sings:/ And Now in every Blast, Loves Everlasting Gospel Rings./ The Glad Triumphant Sounds Through Vales, o'er Hills rebound;/ Glory to the Eternal King of Kings./ Glory to the Eternal King of Kings:/ The Glorious Era Now, Now, Now begins’ (Solomon’s Porch by ‘Onesimus’ – pseudonym of Roach).

Sargent, Winthrop (xxxx-xxxx), American early convert to Universalism, father of the famous politician and patriot of the same name and of Judith Sargent Murray the notable universalist . In 1770 Winthrop Sargent the elder became intrigued by reading James Relly’s work Union that affirms universal salvation, and began to host gatherings in his home in Gloucester Massachusetts to discuss the new theology. In 1774, when he learned that the English Universalist preacher John Murray was lecturing in Boston, he invited him to visit his home to preach to the gathering there. On November 3, John Murray presented himself at the Sargent family home to preach and Judith met him for the first time:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Say, Thomas (1709-1796), American Quaker of Philadelphia and intimate friend of George de Benneville. At the burial of Benneville (aged ninety), Say (aged eighty four) ‘knelt on the fresh earth and poured forth a strain of prayer that touched all hearts by its memoires and simplicity’ (see Abel Thomas A century of universalism in Philadelphia and New York, p.154). Say promoted universalism in two works; Life and Essays on the impartiality of God:
‘Some writers have thought that the promulgations of the doctrine of universal benevolence and restoration of man, might do injury at this time, but I believe differently, and think that every soul which can be made fully sensible of this extraordinary divine love to the creation will be a humbled creature, and often have to adore the great, powerful, condescending Mercy and Love’ (Life, p.5, 1776).

Sower the Elder, Christopher (1693-1758), German printer and clockmaker (of no fixed denomination) who immigrated to Germantown, Pennsylvania. At the instigation of George de Benville,who came to America in 1741, he printed and published the first German-language Bible in America, the Pietist Universalist Berleburger Bible, edited by Johann Heinrich Haug, in which explicit universalist passages were printed in bold - the second printing of a Bible in North America (the first being John Eliot's Indian Bible):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Sower the Younger, Christopher (1721-1784), American Dunker clergyman, associate of Sander Mack, and printer who continued the work of his father. He was one of the founders of the Germantown Academy, to which he largely contributed. He also was an opponent of slavery. In 1763, he published a second edition of the Berleburger Bible, in 1776 a third, all in German. It was no doubt at George de Benville’s suggestion that Siegvolk's Everlasting Gospel was translated into English, and published by Christopher Sower, printed, probably, on the identical press on which the Berleburger Bible had been struck off (de Benville was always welcome in the pulpits of Dunker churches):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Sterry, Peter (1613–1672), English Independent, theologian, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell:
'Poor, and broken Spirits, who lie at the utmost end of the Earth, mourning as outcasts; hope for evermore in Eternal love, wait for it. The love of God will find you out, it will meet with you, and take you on its way' (The Rise, Race and Royalty of the Kingdom of God in the Soul of Man, p.324).

Stonehouse, Sir James (1715-1795), English physician, Church of England Clergyman and associate of the Wesley's and Whitfield at Oxford University's 'Holy Club':
'When we know the Logos as his holy angels know him, and fee him as he is; we shall be fully satisfied that he is altogether lovely, that in his heart is pure goodness, that no wrath can dwell there but what love alone must generate, that our interest is his perpetual concern, that it is the pleasure of his good- will to bless us even in defiance of our own perverseness' (Universal restitution a Scripture doctrine: this prov'd in several letters wrote on the nature and extent of Christ's kingdom; wherein the Scripture passages, falsly alleged in proof of the eternity of hell torments, are truly translated and explained, Letter xxii, Section ii).

White, Jeremiah (1629–1707), Independent minister and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell
‘For if each soul be a Unity, a Figure, a Shadow, of the Supreme Unity...If so many millions of these Intellectual Substances be never looked upon, or visited with Redemption, not one Saint is completely saved, for if each spirit be an entire World, all Spirits are in each Spirit...’ (The Restoration of All Things, p.147).

Winchester, Rev. Elhanan (1751-1797), former Baptist minister, universalist preacher, and one of the founders of the United States General Convention of Universalists:
'Our belief respecting the restoration of all things is not only founded upon the plainest letter of scripture ... but is exactly according to the experience of every Christian' (The Outcasts Comforted).

Winstanley, Gerrard (1609 –1676), founder of the True Levellers/ Digger, religious thinker/writer and political activist during English Civil War:
'Therefore I say the mystery of God is thus: God will bruise this serpent's head, and cast the murderer out of heaven, [i. e. of] the human nature where it dwells in part — And he will dwell in the whole creation in time, and so deliver the whole of mankind out of their fall ... in the end every man shall be saved, though some at the last hour' (The Mysterie of God – p. 9 and 56).



Hopeful Universalists (Strong)

Burns, Robert (1759–1796), poet and lyricist, regarded as the national poet of Scotland, supporter of the ‘new lichts’ (who advocated a warm, heart centred, personal religion) in the Church of Scotland, and vigorous critic of the harsh, ‘auld licht’ Covenanter Calvinsists (see Holy Willie's Prayer ):
'Jesus Christ thou amiablest of characters….I trust that in Jesus Christ shall “all the families of the earth be blessed,” by being yet connected together in a better world, where every tie that bound heart to heart in this state of existence shall be far beyond our present conception, more enduring' (Letter to Mrs Dunlop,13th December 1789).

Denck, Hans (1495–1527), German Christian Humanist theologian, Anabaptist leader and founder of the spiritualist wing of the Anabaptists during the Reformation (for more information see Morwena Ludlow ‘Why Was Hans Denck Thought To Be a Universalist?’ in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Volume 55, Issue 02 , April 2004):
'...nevertheless, as said, God wishes to have forced no one; the fault is theirs who do not wish to do what they very well could by means of the Word ... Since love in him was perfect and since love hates or is envious of none, but includes everyone, even though we were all his enemies, surely he would not wish to exclude anyone. And if he had excluded anyone, then love would have been squint-eyed and a respecter of persons. And that, God is not!' (Whether God is the Cause of Evil, pp.100-102).

Woolman, John (1720 –1772), American Quaker from Pennsylvania, merchant, tailor, journalist and itinerant preacher. He was an early abolitionist and advocate against cruelty to animals, economic injustices and oppression, and for the rights of Native Americans:
'Oppression in the extreme appears terrible; but oppression in more refined appearances remains to be oppression. To labor for a perfect redemption from the spirit of it is the great business of the whole family of Jesus Christ in this world ... There is a Principle which is pure, placed in the human Mind, which in different Places and Ages hath had different Names; it is, however, pure, and proceeds from God. It is deep, and inward, confined to no Forms of Religion, nor excluded from any, where the Heart stands in perfect Sincerity. In whomsoever this takes Root and grows, of what Nation soever, they become Brethren' (The Journal of John Woolman, p. x, 1772).



Hopeful Universalists (Weak)

Akenside, Mark (1721–1770), English poet and physician. Hanson gives the following extract from one of Akenside’s poem – which certainly does express hope for Universal Restoration in its theme of the soul’s ascent:
‘From the birth/Of mortal man, the sovereign maker said/That not in humble, nor in brief delight,-/Not in the fading glories of renown,/Power’s purple robes, nor pleasure’s flowery lap,/The soul should find enjoyment, but from these/Turning disdainful to an equal good,/Thro’ all the ascent of things enlarge her view,/Till every bound at length should disappear/ and infinite perfection close the scene’ (from 'Pleasures of the Imagination', quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.67).

Cudworth, Ralph (1617–1688); English philosopher and Anglican, Master of Christ’s College Cambridge and the leader of the Cambridge Platonists:
[After arguing that "no man can endure the pain of sense eternally," and that "material fire an prey only on the body," he adds], 'For if you have recourse unto supernatural means, and miracles, to conserve it, then I see no reason why God may not as well change the course of nature, and work a miracle for man's salvation as well as for his destruction' (MSS. On Future Punishment reprinted in Theological Review, April, 1878, quoted in Farrar Mercy and Judgment 1881).

Doddridge, Dr Philip (1702–1751), English Nonconformist leader, educator, and hymn writer and close friend of Isaac Watts. Doddridge was a prolific writer. His The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul was translated into seven languages. Charles Spurgeon referred to The Rise and Progress as "that holy book’’ and reading it led William Wilberforce to become a Christian. Doddridge argued that:
'We cannot pretend to decide a priori, or previous to the event, so far as to say that the punishments of hell must and will be certainly eternal' (Theological Lectures , Propositions I and 3. p.155, 1751). In addition he counselled new preachers that: ‘To make these [strong representations of the wrath of God, the, nature degree, duration of the torments of hell] the Subject of your sermons will be likely to bring upon you the reputation of legalists, and would perhaps rather amaze and confound hearers for the present, than make a good and lasting impression on them ... Warn faithfully, but let it be rather in particular parts of sermons, than in distinct discourses – Always take care to avoid representing God as a tyrant’ (Lectures on preaching and Rules for composing Sermons , pp. 19-20, 1804).

Stillingfleet, Edward (1635–1699), English theologian and Anglican Bishop of Worcester. He was the leader of the ’Latitudinarians’ in the Church of England and argued for compromise with the Presbyterians. His cautious doubts based on natural justice about threats of eternal punishment are almost identical to those later expressed by Archbishop, John Tillotson:
'Comminations [i.e. threats of punishment] do only speak the 'delictum poenae' [i.e. punishment of the offence] and the necessary obligation to punishment; but therein God doth not bind Himself as [he does] in absolute promises: the reason is because comminations [i.e. threats of punishment] confers no right to any which absolute promises do, and therefore God is not bound to necessary performance of what He threatens' (Origines Sacrae, Or, A Rational Account of the Grounds of Christian Faith, p.175, 1662).

Tillotson, John (1630–1694), English theologian, Patristic scholar, Latitudinarian and C of E Archbishop of Canterbury (1691–1694). In a sermon preached before Queen Mary on 7th March 1690 at Whitehall, John Tillotson, several months before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, suggested that although God was obliged to fulfil his promises of rewards, he was under no obligation to carry out threats. He used the example of Jonah and the people of Nineveh as his text:
‘He that threatens keeps the right of punishing in his own hands, and is not oblig’d to execute what he hath threatened any further that the reasons and ends of Government require’ (Of the Eternity of Hell Torments, p.8).



Pluralist Universalists



Former Universalists



Disputed or Often Miscategorised Universalists

Arndt, Johann (1555–1621), German Lutheran theologian. Although reflective of the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, he is seen as a forerunner of Pietism because he wrote several influential books of devotional Christianity: True Christianity (1605-10) and The Garden of Paradise (1612) that have been hugely influential on German and Swedish Protestantism. In these writings Arndt shows a debt to the mystic Johannes Tauler and to the Theologica Germanica. To date no explicit evidence of universalism has been seen; however, certainly Arndt's attempt to balance head and heart in Christian faith laid the ground for the later Pietist Universalists.

Browne, Sir Thomas (1605–1682), English physician, author of varied works in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and hermeticism:
‘...good Men’s wishes extend beyond their lives, for the happiness of times to come, and never to be known unto them. And therefore while so many question prayers for the dead, they charitably pray for those who are not yet alive; they are not so enviously ambitious to go to Heaven themselves; they cannot but humbly wish, that the little Flock might be greater, the narrow Gate wider, and that, as many are called, so not a few might be chosen’ ('Christian Morals', in Complete Writings, vol 3, p.142).

Cheyne, Dr George (1671–1743), English pioneering physician, early proto-psychologist, philosopher and mathematician. Without explicitly defending universalism, he clearly gives it implicit assent in his work Philosophical Principles of 1715 (the only ambiguous phrase in the following extract being ‘to make then as happy as their respective natures can admit’):
‘He Maintained that there is a principle of action in intelligent beings, analogous to that of attraction in the material system, which is the principle of reunion with the first cause [God], who ‘’infinitely powerful, and perfect must necessarily subject, draw and unite all intelligent beings to himself, to make the as happy as their respective natures can admit.’ He is the sole object of their happiness, and the must be brought to enjoy it ‘This happiness is the very end of their creation, it being impossible infinite intelligence should make intelligent beings for any other end’ (quoted in Whittemore, The Modern History of Universalism, p 207, 1860).

Cowper, William (1731–1800), English poet and hymnodist– a forerunner of Romantic poetry with a playful and comic gift – one of his poems has the engaging title To the Immortal Memory of the Halibut, on Which I Dined This Day. However, all of his life he feared hell which lead to frequent bouts of insanity and despair. Paradoxically many of his hymns breathe universal hope which lead the universalist poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning to observe in Cowper’s Grave – ‘O poets! From a maniac’s tongue was poured the deathless singing!/O Christians ! at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!/O men! This man in brotherhood your weary paths beguiling, /Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died while ye were smiling!’. This paradox is clear in his following famous lyric:
'Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,/The clouds ye so much dread/Are big with mercy, and shall break/In blessings on your head.//Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,/But trust him for his grace;/Behind a frowning providence,/He hides a smiling face' (from God moves in mysterious ways).

Donne, John (1572–1631), English metaphysical poet - famous for his sensual style and ingenious similes/conceits - satirist, lawyer and, later in life, Anglican Dean of St Paul’s. As a cleric he was known for his moderating influence on Calvinism (he was something like a three point Calvinist). Some of his religious poetry suggest universalists sentiments at variance with his theology. Hanson cites Donne’s Holy Sonnet :
‘What if this present were the world’s last night? ... And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,/ Which prayed forgiveness of his foes’ fierce spite?/Non! No!’(A Cloud of Witness, p.52). However, the context of the poem is Donne seeking personal assurance of forgiveness for his youthful riotous life, by undertaking an Ignatian meditation upon the Final Judgment – so the emphasis is primarily personal rather than universal here.

Frederick II of Prussia (1712–1786), also know as Frederick the Great; ‘Enlightened Despot’ and correspondent of Voltaire. He was a Deist in belief and wrote scornfully of revealed Christian religion. He features on Universalist lists because of the following quotation from him that is actually concerned with universal toleration of religions rather than universal salvation (and is modelled upon a similar saying by the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus):
'In my kingdom everyone can go to heaven in his own fashion' (see Gollancz, Year of Grace, p.14 – the saying by Epictetus is ‘All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way’).

Gainsborough, Thomas FRSA (1727–1788), English portrait and landscape painter – painter of The Blue Boy, and Mr and Mrs Robert Andrews. The evidence for his Universalist credentials seems thin – but it would be wrong to dismiss a man’s dying words:
‘When he was dying he [Gainsborough] cried out concerning his hating and hated rival painter Van Dyke – ‘We are all going to heaven, and Van Dyke is of the party’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.67,1880).

Huber, Samuel (1547–1624), German Reformed pastor who deeply disliked Theodore Beza's hardening of Calvin's doctrine of double predestination and therefore came to agree with the Lutherans regarding the objectivity and universality of God grace. He was invited to come to Wittenberg, where he was supposed to help the faculty there fight Calvinism. Trying to avoid the ditch of double predestination, he went in the other direction and claimed that election and justification were universal. Being universal, election and justification were communicated to all human beings. Huber never really went all the way though and said that all were going to be saved. In fact, he taught that people could (using their own free will) reject this universal justification and election. Aegidius Hunnius (1550–1603) defender of Lutheran orthodoxy against Calvinism set out to refute Huber in the Saxon Visitation Articles leading to Huber’s exile:
'we propose ... not only to wash away the charges he has made, but especially to refute his shameful errors concerning the eternal election and predestination to eternal life, not only of the children of God, but also of the children of the devil (that is, all the impenitent); similarly, his errors concerning the universal justification of all men—of unbelievers no less than believers; concerning also the regeneration of hypocrites in Baptism, which is said to be conferred on them in that very act of treachery and impiety' (Dedication to Saxon Visitation Articles, p.x, 1592).

Joris, David, referred to as ‘David George’ by Whittemore and others (1501–1556), Dutch Anabaptist on the "mystic" edge of Anabaptism, leading by citing dreams, visions and prophecies (and antagonist of Menno Simmons of the scriptural wing of the Anabaptists – although both advocated pacifism). Against his charismatic emphasis was his rationalist approach to the topic of the devil and supernatural evil in interpreting the devil as an allegory. He taught that human beings make choices for good and evil without the interference of Stan, that heaven and hell are within us, and that judgment takes place now as we make our choices(which is not necessarily a universalist sentiment). The Pietists were attracted by the way in which Joris undermined the learning of orthodox theologians in favour of a church taught directly by God's Spirit. It is not surprising, therefore, that Joris should figure so prominently in the Pietist effort to rethink and retell their communal story by appeal to the Christian past. Joris served as an early witness to the Pietist vision, one that reoriented Christianity away from ceremony and sacrament to inward experience.

Jortin, Dr. John (1698–1770), English church historian and Anglican priest, famous for his Life of Erasmus. His writings are witty as well as authoritative; for example (the prophetic) – ‘What pity it is that women do not write ecclesiastical history and take their revenge upon us’. He shows more of an implicit than an explicit universalism from sources viewed to date. He argues that ‘some of the best defenders of Christianity, down from Origen have been unkindly traduced by injudicious Christians’ and that the Ecclesiastical Councils (which, among other things, condemned universalism – although he does not clarify this):
'…have been too much extolled by Papists and some Protestants. They were a collection of men who were frail and fallible. Some of these Councils were not assemblies of pious and learned divines, but cabals, the majority of which were quarrelsome, fanatical, domineering, dishonest prelates who wanted to compel men to approve of their opinions, of which themselves had no clear conception, and to anathematize and oppress those who would not implicitly submit to their determination!!' (Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Volume 1, p.x, 1805).

de Montaigne, Michel Eyquem (1533–1592), French Catholic writer and statesman. He was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre. He became famous for his ability to merge serious intellectual exercises with casual anecdotes and autobiography—his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts" or "Trials") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written. In his own time, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. During the Wars of Religion in France, Montaigne, a Roman Catholic, acted as a moderating force, respected both by the Catholic King Henry III and the Protestant Henry of Navarre. Montaigne was horrified and amazed that Frenchman could torture Frenchman for the sheer fun of it during the Wars of Religion, amusing themselves by enjoying the 'pleasant spectacle' of the anguished twitching of their enemies as they slowly tortured them to death (Montaigne Essay, Book II, ch.2, 'On Cruelty' paraphrased by Screech, Laughter at the foot of the cross, p. 17). He is most famously known for his sceptical remark, 'Que sçay-je?' ('What do I know?' in Middle French; modern French Que sais-je?). This has lead to him becoming revered as the father of modern scepticism. However, it is in keeping with the thinking of other Christina humanists – such as Erasmus in Praise of Folly – who stress that our human ability to understand ultimate truth is limited. We see through a glass darkly, and therefore must be tolerant of those who differ from us:
'Moreover, the powers and actions of our souls must be examined not elsewhere but here, at home in our bodies. Any other perfections they may have are useless and irrelevant; it is for their present state that their whole immortality will recieve its acknowledged rewards: each is entirely accountable for the life of a human being. But it would be an act of gross injustice to lop off the soul's powers and resources, to strip her of all her weapons and then to take the very time when she lies weak and ill in prison - a time of repression and constraint - and to make that the basis for a judgement leading to endless, everlasting punishment; it would be unjust to limit consideration to so short a span, to a life that may have lasted a mere two hours or, at he very worst a hundred years - an instant in proportion to infinity - and then, from that momentary interlude, to order and establish, once and for all, the whole state of her future existence. To reward or punish on the basis of so short a life would be disproportionate and iniquitous. To get out of this difficulty, Plato wants future rewards and punishments never to exceed a hundred years and always to be proportionate to the actual length of a man's life. Quite a few Christians too have imposed temporal limits on to them' ('An Apology for Raymond Sebond' from Montainge's Essays, trans by M. A. Screech, penguin classics edn, pp.617-18).

Pope, Alexander (1688 –1744), English Catholic famous for his satirical verse often included on internet lists of Universalists. However, in his Epistle to Burlington’ he ridicules the ‘soft Dean’ who ‘’never mentions hell to polite ears.’ Elsewhere he also ridicules the merciful doctrine of latitudinarian clergymen in the reign of the Dutch King of England William III:
'The following licence of a foreign reign/ Did all the dregs of bold Socinus drain;/ Then unbelieving priests reform'd the nation,/And taught more pleasant methods of salvation;/ Where Heav'n's free subjects might their rights dispute, /Lest God himself should seem too absolute: /Pulpits their sacred satire learned to spare, /And Vice admired to find a flatt'rer there!’ (An Essay on Criticism, section).

Pucci, Francesco (1543–1597), Italian philosopher and Christian humanist scholar. In 1572 he went to Oxford University in England, apparently expecting to find sympathy with his antagonism to the Calvinistic tendency in Protestantism, but his disputations soon annoyed the authorities, who expelled him. He believed at least at one point, that all human beings are in a state of grace/salvation, already saved and simply in need to awaken to this; he defended his beliefs in his De Fide natura hominibus universis insita. Clear and comprehensive information about Pucci and his beliefs is probably buried in specialist publications written by Italian scholars for the time being.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712–1778), Swiss Genevan philosopher and writer who influenced the French and American Revolutions and modern political, sociological, and educational thought. He was raised a Calvinist, converted to Roman Catholicism, and then reverted to Calvinism. However, his mature thinking is Deistic – advocating the civic celebration of the ‘natural religion’ of the God of Reason, and critical of Christianity for its lack of emphasis on citizenship in this world. Rousseau was for a time much disturbed and distressed by the doctrine of eternal damnation (which he eventually rejected). However it does not necessarily follow that his Deism implies any ultimate eschatological hope:
'But were it true that the Gospel is preached in every part of the earth, the difficulty is not removed. On the eve preceding the arrival of the first missionary in any country, some one person of that country expired without hearing the glad tidings. Now what must we do with this person? If there be a single individual in the whole universe, to whom the Gospel of Christ is not made known, the objection which presents itself on account of this one person, is as cogent as if it included a fourth part of the human race' (Emile, Vol. II, p. 94f.).

Spener, Philipp Jakob (1635–1705), German Lutheran theologian known as the "Father of Pietism." When post reformation Protestant orthodoxy increasingly emphasized right doctrine as the sole criteria for salvation, Spener simply urged that Christianity canto be believed and is not redemptive without first being practiced. Pietism with its emphasis on religion of the heart always had a strand of universalism. It appears that Spener himself was either a hopeful Universalist or believed in some future merciful mitigation of the punishments of the lost:
‘This learned and holy leader of the Pietists expressed a hope that there would be "better times" for the lost in the distant future’ (from Johann Matthias Schrockh, Christliche Kirchengeschichte seit der Reformation, viii. p.292, 177,7 quoted in Farrar Mercy and Judgment).

Vane, Sir Henry the Younger often referred to as 'Harry Vane' (1613 –1662), English politician, statesman, and briefly Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A religious radical and proponent of tolerance he supported the creation of Roger Williams' Rhode Island Colony and Harvard College. He was a leading Parliamentarian during the English Civil War and was beheaded as a traitor on Tower Hill because of this at the Restoration. Bishop Burnett writes sympathetically of the peaceful composure with which Vane met his death, adding:
'I have sometimes taken pains to see if I could find out his meaning in his works, yet I could never reach it. And since many others have said the same, it may be reasonable to believe that he hid somewhat that which was a necessary key to the rest. His friends told me, that he leaned to Origen’s notion of a universal salvation of all, both of devils and the damned, and to the doctrine of pre-existence' (History of My Own Time, p.295, 1724).

Veneto, Francesco Giorgi (1466–1540), Italian Venetian Franciscan friar, and author of the work De Harmonia Mundi Totus (The Harmony of the Whole World). He believed that the Truth of Christianity was proved by the Cabbala and advocated the unification of mankind through Christian Cabbalist philosophy. His works were owned by Dr Sir Thomas Browne. Petersen cites him as a Universalist – no explicit evidence seen to date; but his work certainly influenced the hermetic and Pietist strands of Christian universalism.

Windett, James (died 1664), English physician, Latin versifier, linguist and friend of Sir Thomas Browne, In 1661 he published De vita functorum statu (‘On the state of the dead’), a long Latin letter, with numerous passages in Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, addressed to Dr. Samuel Hall. It begins with a general discussion of the word ‘Tartarus’ and of the Greek and Hebrew words and phrases used in describing the state of man after death, and goes on to consider the Greek and Hebrew views on the state and place of the good, on a middle state, and on the place of the wicked with related subjects. His letter shows erudite knowledge of the Talmud’s presentation of Gehenna as an intermediate, purgatorial state, and even shows knowledge of the equivalent traditional Muslim idea (No direct quotations seen currently).



Annhililationists (or believers in conditional immortality)

Fontaine, James (xxxx-xxxx), English Conditionalist who published his treatise Eternal Punishment Proved to be not Suffering but Privation anonymously in 1771 under the pen name ‘A member of the Church of England'. In this he argues that although at the Last Day both the righteous and the wicked will be raised, only the righteous will be raised ‘in power’, possessing immortality, and the wicked consequently will cease to exist:
'Our appetites, our facilities, and our moral relations, each subserve to the perfection of our nature, and prepare us for God’s presence; it is right employment of those, by virtue of the spiritual life Christ offers us, that procures our immortality. All duties of life have an immortal tendency: well performed they make us more Godlike, and so fit us for his presence’ (Eternal Punishment Proved to be not Suffering but Privation, p.x, 1717).

Locke, John (1632 –1704), English Enlightenment philosopher and political theorist, champion of religious toleration. Secret Arian and annihilationist:
'By death some men understand endless torments in hell-fire. But it seems a strange way of understanding a law which requires the plainest and directest words that by death should be meant eternal life in misery. Can any one be supposed to intend by a law which says, 'For felony thou shalt surely die,' not that he should lost his life, but be kept alive in exquisite and perpetual torments?' (The Reasonableness of Christianity As Delivered in the Scriptures, p. 6).

Milton, John (1608–1674), English poet, defender of free speech, and civil servant under Oliver Cromwell. He is best known for Paradise Lost which, written 'to justify the ways of God to men', second only to Dante, has furnished the Western imagination with visions of ECT. However, in Book 3 Christ the Eternal Son argues with God the Father:
'Father, who art judge/Of all things made, and judged only right./…shall the adversary thus obtain/His end, and frustrate thine? Shall he fulfill/His malice and thy goodness bring to naught?' The theological logic here - employed by Milton's God in answer - necessitates the incarnation so that Christ can pay the debt owed by Adam; but the poetic logic here is anti-hell in total - God's purposes are greater than the satisfaction of his justice. In 1823 a Latin manuscript was discovered, almost certainly by Milton, entitled On Christian Doctrine which confirms something long suspected for other reasons; namely that Milton was in fact an English Arian – hence he would have been an annihilationist, and hence the ambiguity about eternal hell in Paradise Lost.

Newton, Sir Isaac PRS MP (1642–1727), English physicist and mathematician widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. He was a secret Arian and annihilationist:
'The degree and the duration of the torments of these degenerate and anti-Christian people should be no other than that which would be approved of by those angels who had ever laboured for their salvation, and that Lamb who had redeemed them with His most precious blood' (On Rev. xiv. 10, 11).

Richardson, Samuel (flourished 1643–1658; unconfirmed birth and death), English Parliamentarian Army preacher during the civil war and leading Baptist in London after the Restoration. A man of independent views; an Arian and annihilationist:
'The doctrine of endless hell torments hath caused many to murder themselves, taking away their own lives by poison, stabbing, drowning, hanging, strangling, and shooting themselves, casting themselves out of windows, and from high places, to break their necks and by other kinds of death, that they might not live to increase their sin, and increase their torments in hell' (A Discourse of the Torments of Hell … with many infallible Proofs that there is not to be a Punishment after this Life for any to endure that shall not end).

Watts, Isaac (1674–1748), English hymn writer best known for When I Survey the Wondrous Cross; theologian and logician; Independent/Congregationalist of moderate Calvinistic leanings. Known as the "Father of English Hymnody", he is credited with some 750 hymns (He appears on some internet lists as a universalist because of his inclusion in Farrar's Mercy and Judgement):
'There is not one place of Scripture that occurs to me, where the word 'death', as it was first threatened in the law of innocency, necessarily signifies a certain miserable immortality of the soul either to Adam, the actual sinner, or to his posterity' (The Ruin and Recovery of Mankind, Question xi. P.228, 1740).

Whiston, William (1667 –1752), English theologian, cosmologist, and mathematician. A leading figure in the popularization of the ideas of Isaac Newton, and a noted translator of Josephus; a publicly proclaimed Arian and annihilationist (for which he lost his professorship at Cambridge):
'The astonishing love of God toward mankind is so absolutely inconsistent with these common but barbarous and savage opinions…the torments, the exquisite torments of these most numerous and most miserable creatures, are determined without the least pity, or relenting, or bowels of compassion in their creator' (The Eternity of Hell Torments Considered, pp. 18-19).



Second Chance and Post-Mortem Salvationists

Annonymus – Included in William Caxton’s devotional manual ‘The Fifteen O’s’ (so named because it contains fifteen prayers in English beginning with ‘O Jhesu’ ) are a number of Latin prayers taken from late medieval English Books of Hours. One of these translates as follows:
'Be merciful, Lord, through Thy glorious resurrection to the souls of all the faithful departed; be merciful to those souls who have none to intercede for them, for whom there is no consolation or hope in their torment, save that they were made in Thine image. Spare them, Lord spare them, and defend Thy work in them, and give not the honour of Thy name, we pray Thee, to another. Despise not the work of Thy hands in them, but put forth Thy right hand, and free them from the intolerable pains and anguish of hell, and lead them to the fellowship of the citizens on high, for Thy holy Name's sake' (from, Caxton The Fifteen O’s c.1490, translated by Dean Plumptre in The spirits in prison and other studies on the life after death, p. 218, 1844).

Butler, Joseph (1692–1752), English Anglican bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher. He is known, among other things, for his critique of Thomas Hobbes’s egoism and John Locke’s theory of personal identity:
'Virtue ... is militant here, but it may combat with greater advantage hereafter ... There may be scenes in eternity lasting enough, and in every way adapted to afford it a sufficient sphere of action ... And ... suppose all this advantageous tendency of virtue to become effect amongst one or more orders of vicious creatures in any distant scene or period throughout the universal kingdom of God; this happy effect of virtue would have a tendency, by way of example, and possibly in other ways, to amend those of them who are capable of amendment and being recovered to a just sense of virtue' (The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature, vol I, p.13, 1736).

Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784), English writer a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and a philanthropist. He feared heel for himself excessively but was hopeful for others:
'(Boswell) "What do you think, Sir, of purgatory, as believed by the Roman Catholicks?" (Johnson) "Why, Sir, it is a very harmless doctrine. They are of the opinion that the generality of mankind are neither so obstinately wicked as to deserve everlasting punishment, nor so good as to merit being admitted into the society of blessed spirits; and therefore that God is graciously pleased to allow a middle state, where they may be purified by certain degrees of suffering. You see, Sir, there is nothing unreasonable in this."(Boswell) "But then, Sir, their Masses for the dead?" (Johnson) "Why, Sir, if it be at once established that there are souls in purgatory, it is as proper to pray for them, as for our brethren of mankind who are yet in this life' (Boswell, Life of Johnson, p.x).

Wake, William (1657–1737), Church of England priest and Archbishop of Canterbury:
'It may, with much more agreement to the text (Matt. Xii. 32), follow that all men, be their sins what they may, shall have grace of repentance whereby they may be pardoned in the world to come, the blasphemer against the Holy Ghost alone excepted' (Discourse of Purgatory, p. 20).



Disputed Post-Mortem Salvationists

Luther, Martin (1483–1546), seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation:
'God forbid that I should limit the time of acquiring faith to the present life. In the depth of the Divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future' (Letter to Hanseu Von Rechenberg in 1522, translation given in Farrar’s Mercy and Judgment):
On the EU website Derek Flood gave an alternative scholarly translation of Luther’s letter: 'It is quite another question whether God could give faith to many as they die or after they die, and could therefore sanctify them through faith. Who would doubt that He could do this? However, no one can prove that he does'



Inclusivists and Wide-Hopers

Barclay, Robert (1648–1690), Scottish Quaker, governor of the East Jersey colony in North America and the most eminent theologian of the Religious Society of Friends. His ‘Apology’ influenced John Wesley’s’ doctrine of prevenient grace:
'It wonderfully commends us as well the certainty of the Christian religion among infidels, as it manifests its own verity to all, in that it is confirmed and established by the experience of all men; seeing there was never yet a man in any place of the earth, however barbarous and wild, but hath acknowledged, that at some time or another, less or more, he hath found somewhat in his heart reproving him for some things evil which he hath done, threatening a certain horror if he continued in them, as also promising and communicating a certain peace and sweetness, as he has given way to it, and not resisted it'' (Apology 143).

Bathurst, Elizabeth (d. 1691), English Quaker preacher and proto-feminist:
'…none should need to fear their Eternal Predestination or Reprobation to Everlasting Misery, as thought God hath foreordained some for Everlasting Damnation; for God would have all men come to knowledge of the Truth and be saved' (spoken while interrupting a Calvinist meeting at Spitalifields in 1678 to ‘make Proclamation of Gods’ Universal Love').

Berrow, Capel (1716–1782), English theologian and Anglican Rector of Rosington:
'The endless misery of the majority cannot be made reconcilable with any one attribute of the Deity whatever' (Theological Dissertations – No 2 Predestination Election and Future punishment, 1772).

Burnet, Gilbert (1643 –1715), Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, Scottish theologian and historian:
'Instead of stretching the severity of justice by an inference, we may rather venture to stretch the mercy of God, since that is the attribute which of all others is most magnificently spoken of in the Scriptures; so that we ought to think of it in the largest and most comprehensive manner' (On Art. XVIII).

Curione, Secondo (1503 –1569), Italian Reformer and Professor of Theology at Basle. In his 1554 De Amplitdue beati regini (The extent of the kingdom of the Blessed) he argues in favour of God having a larger Kingdom than Satan and attributes the opinion of the fewness of the saved to the Devil. Curio was generally abused and persecuted because of this book:
'Whatever God wishes, that is right and lawful to Him, and since He wishes to be called rich in goodness and mercy, it follows that He wishes to pour forth His goodness and pity on the most, and not upon a few. Otherwise, why does He wish to be called Father of Mercy and God of all consolation? And envious are all who wish so great a good to belong to a few only' (De Amplitude beati regni, p.25).

Fox, George (1624 –1691), English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends:
‘And then is the gospel, that is everlasting, preached unto all nations of mankind, and all that are driven out from God in the power of darkness; to the intent that they may all come up again to God, and have life and immortality brought to light by his Almighty power, that expels death and darkness….destroying that which made the separation, and broke unity, which is the enmity in people's minds, which the light, that enlightens everyone that comes into the world, destroys' (George Fox's Letter 216).

Hooker, Richard (1554 –1600); Anglican priest and key founder of Anglican theology, writer of Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. The wide hope in Richard Hooker’s sermons and writings, written at a time when Anglican Calvinism seemed triumphant, was an important factor in creating the environment for Anglican Universalism:
‘The safest axioms of charity to rest itself upon are these ‘ he which steadfastly believes is (saved) and ‘he which believes not as yet may be the child of God’. It becomes not us during this lifetime altogether to condemn any man seeing that (for anything we know) there is hope of every man’s forgiveness, the possibility of whose repentance is not yet cut off by death. And therefore charity ‘which hopeth all things’ prayeth also for all men’ (Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book v, Ch.49. 1-2).

Ken, Bishop Thomas (1637–1711), English cleric who was considered the most eminent of the Anglican non-juring bishops (who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to William III) and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology. Several of his hymns are Universalist or at least very wide in their hope:
‘Each heavenly Harper strikes his tuneful lyre :/Good Angels joy, when but one sinner weeps, /Heaven Jubilee for every mourner keeps. /But their ecstatic joys were unconfined, /At the Salvation of all lapsed mankind’ (from 'Hymn for Second Sunday After Christmas',Bishop Ken's Christian year; or, Hymns and poems for the holy days and festivals of the Church, published 1868).

Newton, Thomas (1704-1782), English cleric, biblical scholar and author who served as the Anglican Bishop of Bristol:
'Nothing is more contrarient [contrary] to the divine nature and attributes than for God to bestow existence on any beings whose destiny He foreknows must terminate in wretchedness without recover' (Dissertation On the Final State of Man, p.x, 1761).

Penn, William (1644–1718), English Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania; champion of democracy and religious freedom and noted for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians:
'The Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just, Pious and Devout Souls, are everywhere of one Religion; and when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another, tho’ the divers Liveries they wear here make them Strangers' (Fruits of Solitude, 519).

Selden, John (1584–1654), English jurist and a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned men reputed in this land":
'Salvation. We can best understand the meaning of salvation from the Jews, to whom the Savior was promised. They held that themselves should have the chief place of happiness in the other world; but the Gentiles that were good men, should likewise have their portion of bliss there too. Now, by Christ the partition-wall is broken down, and the Gentiles that believe in him are admitted to the same place of bliss with the Jews; and why then should not that portion of happiness still remain to them, who do not believe in Christ, so they be morally good? This is a charitable opinion' (Table Talk – Being the Discourse of John Selden, p.139, written c. 1654 – published 1786).

Wesley, Charles (1707–1788), English leader of the Methodist movement, and younger brother of John Wesley, famous as a hymn writer (Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Jesus, Lover of My Soul and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling among many others). He was ever horrified by the doctrine of double predestination:
'Horror to think that God is hate! / Fury in God can dwell!/ God could an helpless world create,/ To thrust them into hell!// Doom them an endless death to die, / From which they could not flee:—/ No, Lord! Thine inmost bowels cry / Against the dire decree!...’ (from Hear, holy, holy, holy Lord, Father of all mankind).

Wesley, John (1703 – 1791), Anglican cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement:
'[Prevenient grace elicits]... the first wish to please God, the first dawn of light concerning his will, and the first slight transient conviction of having sinned against him...I only assert, that there is a measure of free-will supernaturally restored to every man, together with that supernatural light which "enlightens every man that cometh into the world' (On Working Out Our Own Salvation, Sermon 85).

Zwingli, Huldrych (1484 – 1531), notable leader of the early Reformation in Switzerland:
'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...” (from Zwingli’s dedicatory abstract to Francis I in Commentarius).



Anti-Hellists

Burnet, Thomas (1635–1715), English theologian, writer on cosmogony, and chaplain to William III. He wrote in ironic disgust at Tertullian’s’ ‘abominable fancy’ from De Spectaculis 30:
‘Consider a little, if you please, unmerciful Doctor, what a theatre of Providence this is; by far the greatest part of the human race burning in the flames for ever and ever. Oh what a spectacle on the stage worthy of an audience of God and angels! And then to delight the ear, while this unhappy crowd fills heaven and earth with wailing and howling, you have a truly divine harmony!’ (De Statu Mortuorum - On the State of the Dead and of the Resurrection, p.307).

Hobbes, Thomas of Malmesbury (1588 –1679), English philosopher whose 1651 Leviathan established a foundation for Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. Hobbes was accused of ‘atheism’ in his day – but ‘atheism’ at the time could mean anyone whose theology departed from orthodoxy. Perhaps he is best seen as a 'proto-deist’. Certainly he strongly disbelieved in hell:
'Seeing now there is none that so interprets the Scripture as that after the day of judgement the wicked are all eternally to be punished in the Valley of Hinnon; or that they shall so rise again as to be ever after underground or underwater; or that after the resurrection they shall no more see one another, nor stir from one place to another; it followeth, methinks, very necessarily, that which is thus said concerning hell fire is spoken metaphorically; and that therefore there is a proper sense to be enquired after (for of all metaphors there is some real ground, that may be expressed in proper words), both of the place of hell, and the nature of hellish torments and tormenters' (Leviathan, Chapter xxxviii Of The Signification In Scripture Of Eternal Life, Hell, Salvation, The World To Come, And Redemption).

Pordage, John (1607–1681), Anglican priest, and Christian theosopher. Founder of the 17th century English Behmenist group (later become the Philadelphian Society under Jane Leade):
‘Love is of transmuting and transforming Nature. The great effect of Love is to turn all things into its own Nature, which is all goodness, sweetness, and perfection. This is that Divine Power which turns Water into Wine, Sorrow and Hellish Anguish into exulting and triumphing Joy… It restores that which is fallen and degenerated to its primary Beauty, Excellence and Perfection…It is the Divine Stone, the White Stone with a Name written on it…the Divine Elixir whose transforming power and efficacy nothing can withstand’ (Theologica Mystica p.81) and 'Thus you see how many eternal spirits through abuse of their own wills make themselves dwellers in the suffering principium, in that they themselves transform themselves into the devilish nature, and thus become one will and nature with the devil, and not that God has ordered them there, or that they are fated to go there. Why should we make of God the source of man’s eternal suffering and damnation? Why do we need to? Why not more the dragon and the devil and the act of our own free will that turns itself from God’s will and to the dragon’s and the devil’s will? Because this is consistent with the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, of that I am absolutely certain.' (from the close of the 22nd chapter of Sophia; The Graceful Eternal Virgin).

Other or Undetermined


Medieval, 6th-15th centuries (death between 501-1500)


Convinced Universalists

Isaac, the Syrian (or of Ninevah) (xxxx-c700), saint, hermit, Eastern bishop and theologian:
'even in the matter of the afflictions and sentence of Gehenna, there is some hidden mystery, whereby the wise Maker has taken as a starting point for its future outcome the wickedness of our actions and wilfulness, using it as a way of bringing to perfection His dispensation wherein lies the teaching which makes wise, and the advantage beyond description, hidden from both angels and human beings, hidden too from those who are being chastised, whether they be demons or human beings, hidden for as long as the ordained period of time holds sway' (II.39.20).

Jing jing or Adam (8th century), Nestorian Christian Chinese monk and composer of the Nestorian Stele:
‘Every being takes its refuge in you// And the light of Your Holy Compassion frees us all’ (The Sutra of Retuning to Our Original Nature)

Solomon, of Akhlat (flourished 1222; dates of birth and death unknown), Bishop of the Nestorian Church of the East in Basrah, Iraq and author of the Book of the Bee:
'For as regards that which is said in the Gospel, 'These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal;' this word 'eternal' (le-`âlam) is not definite: for if it be not so, how did Peter say to our Lord, 'Thou shalt never wash my feet,' and yet He washed him? And of Babylon He said, 'No man shall dwell therein for ever and ever,' and behold many generations dwell therein...The penalty of Gehenna is a man's mind; for the punishment there is of two kinds, that of the body and that of the mind. That of the body is perhaps in proportion to the degree of sin, and He lessens and diminishes its duration; but that of the mind is for ever, and the judgment is for ever. But in the New Testament ‘le-`âlam’ is not without end. To Him be glory and dominion and praise and exaltation and honour for ever and ever. Amen and Amen' (The Book of the Bee, p.142, ed and translated by Wallis Budge, 1886).



Hopeful Universalists (Strong)

Langland, William (ca. 1332–ca. 1386), English poet, conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman:
‘Then I shall come as a king, crowned with angels/ And have all men’s souls out of hell/ Demons great and small shall stand before me/ And be at my bidding where I will/ My kinship demands that I have mercy/ On man , for we are all brethren/ In blood, if not in baptism/ My righteousness and right shall rule/ In hell, and mercy over all mankind before me/ In heaven. I were an unkind king/ If I did not help my kin’ (Piers Plowman , PASSUS XVIII, The Harrowing of Hell -God speaks).

Norwich, Mother Julian of (ca. 1342–ca. 1416), English anchoress (probably Benedictine) and Christian mystic, the first woman of letters writing in English:
‘I often wondered why ... the beginning of sin was not prevented, for then, it seemed to me, all would have been well. But Jesus ... answered by this word and said: "Sin is behovely [inevitable], but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’ (Revelations of Divine Love, Ch. 27).



Hopeful Universalists (Weak)



Pluralist Universalists



Former Universalists



Disputed or Often Miscategorised Universalists

Amalric of Bena - also Amaury de Bène or Amaury de Chartres (died c. 1204-1207), French scholastic theologian (founder of Amalricism) whose teachings were condemned In 1204 by the university of Paris, and the teachings of his followers condemned at the Lateran Council of 1215. Hosea Ballou 2nd makes a tentative remark on p.303 of Ancient History of Universalism (1842) that Amalric may have been a Universalist; and others Universalist historians have followed suit without the same caution. However, the fragmentary information seems to suggest that Amalric took the teachings of John Scouts Erigena to one-sided and extreme conclusions, teaching an extreme form of pantheism -that God is all and thus all things are one because whatever is, is God; and that he who remains in love of God can commit no sin. So the corollary of his teachings could be extreme antinomianism – and he may well have inspired the Brethren of the Free Spirit. His followers taught that -Hell is ignorance, therefore Hell is within all men, "like a bad tooth in a mouth".

Anonymous, the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) from the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass is a thirteenth-century Latin hymn attributed to either Thomas of Celano (1200– c.1265) or to Latino Malabranca Orsini (+1294). It has been given memorable setting and hugely dramatic in the Requiem Masses of both Mozart and Verdi. The first verse runs:
‘Dies Irae, dies illa,/Solvet saeclum in favilla,/Teste David cum Sibylla’ (The day of wrath,/ that day/Will dissolve the world in ashes/As foretold by David and the Sibyl!’). The context of the entire hymn is of the soul pleading to be spared damnation, as in the sixteenth:‘Confutatis maledictis,/ Flammis acribus addictis:/ Voca me cum benedictis’ (Once the cursed have been rebuked,/ sentenced to acrid flames:/Call Thou me with the blessed). However, back to verse one, the Sibyl who foretells these scenes of doom with David, is the Sibyl of the Sibylline oracles where the saved intercede for the damned and the damned are restored.

Theologia Germanica (believed to have been written in the later 14th century), a mystical treatise by an anonymous German author. It proposes that God and man can be if man imitates the life of Christ, renouncing sin and selfishness, ultimately allowing God’s will to replace human will. The Theologia’s refrain ‘Nought perishes in Hell but self will’ found its way into the phraseology of later Universalists even if it would be pushing things to claim it as an explicit Universalist text. Martin Luther revered the work and translated it from medieval German into High German (1516 and 1518) although some would argue that he never really understood its teachings. It also gained immense cachet among the Radical Reformers, and in later Pietism. In 1528, Ludwig Haetzer republished Theologia Germanica with interpretive "Propositions" by Hans Denck. After this Sebastian Castellio ,Valentin Weigel and Johann Arndt (endorsed by Philipp Jakob Spener) all produced editions. The list reads like a rogue gallery of proto-universalists. John Calvin declared the work to be “poison supplied by the Devil.”



Annhililationists (or believers in conditional immortality)



Second Chance and Post-Mortem Salvationists

Lombard, Peter (c. 1096-1164), French Catholic scholastic theologian and author of Four Books of Sentences, which became the standard textbook of theology the Middle Ages:
'That some sins are remitted after this life, Christ shows in the Gospel (Matt. xii. 32). Whence it may be understood, as holy doctors teach, that some sins are pardoned in the future….But in that cleansing fire some are purged more slowly some more speedily, according as they have loved those perishing things less or more…..Those who build gold, silver, precious stones, are secure from either fire: not only from that eternal fire which will torture the impious forever, but even from that fire of emendation in which some will be purged who are to be saved' (Four Books of Sentences, Dict. xxi. A.B. ).



Inclusivists and Wide-Hopers

Mandeville, Sir John, (early 1300s -1383) likely pseudonym of Jan de Langhe of Flanders, compiler of the fantastical The Travels of Sir John Mandeville:
When speaking of his imaginary contacts with the Brahmins of India he writes, 'And although it is true that they have not the articles of our faith, nevertheless I trust God loves them well for their good intentions and that he finds their service agreeable as if they were Job who was a pagan who he knew as his true servant. I trust that God loves well all these that love him and serve him meekly and truly and who despise vainglory of the world as these men do and as Job did' (Mandeville’s Travels, Egerton Manuscript 146. 8-13; Dick’s (sobornost) translation).

Uhtred of Bolden (c.1316-1396), English Benedictine monk and theologian who argued in his Contra querelas fratrum that when a person dies they experience a pre-mortem vision of God response to which determines salvation:
'Quilibet viator tam adultus, quam non adultus, Sarazenus, Judaeus, at Paganus, etiam in utero materno defunctus, habebit claram visionem Dei ante mortem suam; qua vision manente, habebit electionem liberam convertendi se ad Deum, vel divertendi se ad eo: et si tunc elegerit converti ad Deum, salvabitur; sin aum damnabitur' (Andrew E. Larsen, The School of Heretics: Academic Condemnation at the University of Oxford , p.111-112).



Anti-Hellists



Other or Undetermined


Early Church & Late Antiquity, 1st to 5th centuries (death between 1-500)

Convinced Universalists

Bardaisan of Eddesa (154-222), Christian philosopher and theologian, who had a school in Edessa where Greek philosophy was studied with Christian theology. Although later stereotyped as a Gnostic by the Catholic Church, he was actually, like Origen, a strong opponent of Gnosticism:
‘And there will come a time when even this capacity for harm that remains in them will be brought to an end by the instruction that will obtain in a different arrangement of things: and, once that new world will be constituted, all evil movements will cease, all rebellions will come to an end, and the fools will be persuaded, and the lacks will be filled, and there will be safety and peace, as a gift of the Lord of all natures’ (Patrologia Syriaca. ed. Franqois Nau, 2.608-11, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

Clement of Alexandria (c.150–c.215), Titus Flavius Clemens, notable Christian convert and theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria, considered a Church Father and venerated as a saint in Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholicism and Anglicanism. Writer of the Paedagogus, Stromata and Salvation for the Rich:
'xxxx' (xxxx).

Didymus the Blind, (c.313–398), blind Christian theologian of the Coptic Church of Alexandria, ascetic leader in the Alexandrian catechetical school (appointed by St. Athanasius), follower of Origen, and author of numerous commentaries and treatises including, On The Death of Young Children and Against the Arians. Although blind from childhood, he became a scholar and developed a notable memory; Jerome wrote that Didymus "surpassed all of his day in knowledge of the Scriptures". Venerated within the Serbian Orthodox Church, and honoured within the Russian Orthodox Church:
'xxxx' (xxxx).

Gregory of Nyssa, (c. 335–c. 395), Bishop of Nyssa, Cappadocian Father, venerated theologian of the Orthodox Church:
'For it is evident that God will, in truth, be ‘in all’ then when there shall be no evil seen in anything. ... When every created being is at harmony with itself and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body, then shall the body of Christ be subject to the Father. ... Now the body of Christ, as I have said often before, is the whole of humanity' (Orat. in I Cor. xv.28).

Origen - Oregenes Adamantius (c.185–c.254), first major scholar and theologian of the Greek Church, and ‘father’ of Christian Universalism:
'For nothing is impossible to the Omnipotent, nor is anything incapable of restoration to its Creator' (De Prinicipiis, 3.6.5).

Ponticus, Evagrius (345-399), Christian monk and ascetic, follower of Origen:
‘The seeds of virtue are indestructible. And I am convinced of this by the Rich Man almost but not completely given over to every evil who was condemned to hell because of his evil, and who felt compassion for his brothers; for to have pity is a very beautiful seed of virtue' (Commentary on the Book of Proverbs).



Hopeful Universalists (Strong)

Life of Adam and Eve/Apocalypse of Moses (anon – the traditions go back to the first century):
[God addresses Archangel Michael]: 'Put him [Adam] in Paradise, in the third heaven, until the day of dispensation, which is called oikonomia, when I shall have mercy upon all, through my most beloved Child' (Latin Codex of Life and Adam and Eve, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

Sibylline Oracles (second half of the second century A.D.), a collection of oracular utterances ascribed to the Sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in ecstasy. Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch (d. circa 185) accounted these texts as inspired on a level with the Old Testament Prophets. The Second Book in the collection – composed sometime in the second century by Christians in Alexandria, perhaps reworking a Jewish original – contains the following oracle:
'And to the pious will the almighty God/Imperishable grant another thing,/When they shall ask the imperishable God:/That he will suffer men from raging fire/And endless gnawing anguish to be saved;/And this will he do. For hereafter he/Will pluck them from the restless flame, elsewhere/Remove them, and for his own people's sake/Send them to other and eternal life/With the immortals, in Elysian field' (Book II, lines 404-413, translated by Terry).



Hopeful Universalists (Weak)

Apocalypse of Peter (Anon–ca. 100-136 A.D.), a Christian Apocalypse, probably written for liturgical use, attests to the doctrine of the intercession of the blessed for the damned. Clement of Alexandria viewed it as inspired. [In chapters 3-4 Peter worrying about the sinners' fate says]:
'O my Lord, please permit me to quote your own words concerning these sinners, namely, 'Better if they had never been created,'" [Jesus replies]: "O Peter, why do you say that not having been created would have been better for them? It is you who oppose God in this way! But you certainly do not have more mercy than God has, who created them…there is nothing that perishes for God, nothing that is impossible for him' (Apoc. Pet., chapters 3-4, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

Epistula Apostolorum /Letter of the Apostles (Anon–middle of second century A.D.); a text used regularly by the relatively isolated Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Its doctrine is orthodox rather than Gnostic, and it includes a scene where the righteous intercede for the dammed at the judgment:
‘And we said to him, ‘O Lord, we are truly troubled on their account.’’ And he said to us, ‘You do well, for so are the righteous anxious about the sinners and they pray and implore God and ask him. ‘And we said to him, ‘O Lord, does not one entreat you?’’ And he said ‘Yes I will heed the request of the righteous concerning them’ (Epist. Apost. 40, Ethiopic; Coptic is substantially the same, trans. Elliot).



Pluralist Universalists



Former Universalists

Augustine, of Hippo (354-430), bishop of Hippo Regius, saint and major Latin Church Father:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Jerome, (c.347-420), saint, Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian, historian, and Doctor of the Church best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).



Disputed or Often Miscategorised Universalists

Athanasius (of Alexandria), Saint (also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic) ( c.296–298–373), twentieth bishop of Alexandria, notable Christian theologian and Church Father known for being a defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism. One of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in Roman Catholicism; labelled the "Father of Orthodoxy" in Eastern Orthodoxy; labelled "Father of The Canon" by some Protestants. His universalism is disputed. Ilaria Ramelli argues that he was an Origenist sympathiser and held to a universalist soteriology and eschatology, quoting him as:
'Flesh was taken up by the Logos to liberate all humans and resurrect all of them from the dead and ransom all of them from sin ... [Christ] has redeemed from death and liberated from hell all humanity ... [In the cross there is] salvation of all humans in all places.' (quotes taken from theologicalscribbles website consideration of Ramelli's text).

Leo I (the Great), Saint, Pope (c. 391/400-46), Bishop of Rome, Doctor of the Church, best known for persuading Attila the Hun not to invade Italy and being a foe of heresy:
'Before he was betrayed, the Lord had rightly said, ‘When I have been lifted up, I shall draw all to myself,’ that is, I will deal with the whole condition of mankind and will call back to integrity the nature lost long ago. In me will all weakness be abolished; in me will all wounds be healed' (xxxx, p.x).

Pantaenus (died circa. 200 A.D.), theologian and philospopher, possibly originally from Sicily (Clement of Alexandria refers to him as ‘’the Sicilian Bee’’) and, according to Eusebius, the leader of the Catechetical School of Alexandria from around AD 180. The writings of Pantaenus have not survived, nor is there any record of him having taught universalism or proto- universalism. But it remains a strong possibility that the teacher of Clement of Alexandria passed the doctrine of apocatastasis to his pupil (who, in turn, passed it to Origen). However, J.W. Hanson assertion that this was ‘beyond doubt’ overstates the case (see Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church, p.49).



Annhililationists (or believers in conditional immortality)

Arnobius the Elder (died c.330), Early Christian Apologist and former rhetorician, first certain annihilationist:
'But what man does not see that that which is immortal, which is simple, cannot be subject to any pain; that that, on the contrary, cannot be immortal which does suffer pain? ... For they are cast in, and being annihilated, pass away vainly in everlasting destruction....For that which is seen by the eyes is only a separation of soul from body, not the last end-annihilation: this, I say, is man's real death' (Against the Pagans, Book 2, Paragraph 14).

Ignatius, of Antioch (?-107) Martyr and Apostolic Father, 3rd bishop of Antioch, student of John the Apostle, disputed conditionalist:
"Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness; for were God to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians).

Justin Martyr (100–c.165), Early Christian Apologist and foremost defender of Logos doctrine, martyr, proto annihilationist:
'The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgement. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished' (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter 5).



Second Chance and Post-Mortem Salvationists

Perpetua, Vibia (c.181-203), Martyr, leader, woman of letters:
'The following was shown to me in a vision ... Dinocrates had been my brother after the flesh, seven years of age, who died miserably with disease ... Between him and me there was a large gap, so that neither of us could approach the other ... I was aroused and knew that my brother was in suffering. But I trusted that my prayer would bring help to his suffering ... I saw that the place which I had formerly observed to be in gloom was now bright. Dinocrates, with a clean body, well-clad, was finding refreshment ... I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment' (The Suffering of the Holy Martyrs: Perpetua and Felicitas, Chapter 2).



Inclusivists and Wide-Hopers



Anti-Hellists



Other or Undetermined
Last edited by pog on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:46 am, edited 71 times in total.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby pog » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:45 am

Convinced universalists

* Abbé Mugnier, Arthur (1853-1944), French Catholic priest famous for taking part in the social and literary life of Paris, and nicknamed "the apostle of letters and forgiveness":
Upon being asked if he believed in hell he replied - “Yes, because it is the dogma of the Church—but I don’t believe anyone is in it” (xxxx, p.x).

* Abbott, Louis (1915 –xxxx), American independent biblical scholar who has spent over fifty years studying diligently has researched the Scriptures for his An Analytical Study of Words:
'The teaching of eternal torment has permeated the Western civilization for about 1500 years. Few realize the early believers were not indoctrinated into this mind-set by Christian leaders. Today it is not long before a child, even though never having read a Bible is exposed to the doctrine of eternal torment as fact. It is important to be absolutely certain regarding such an important subject whether we are reading the Bible through pre-conditioned eyes or through enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. Ask God to reveal through the spirit of revelation all of His attributes and character. One must not know His love, power, omnipresence, mercy through words on a page, one must receive these things by the spirit. Then the Bible will be read with clear eyes of understanding. Then the Bible will confirm what the spirit has revealed' (An Analytical Study of Words available at Tentmakers).

* Adam, Rev Dr. Jens (xxxx-), former assistant to Professor Eckstein and of the Department of New Testamentat the University of Tubingen; studied at Tubingen, Heidelberg, Jerusalem (theology, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies and Ethics in Medicine), from 2011 pastor in Büchenbronn, theologian and writer of Paulus und die Versöhnung aller: Eine Studie zum paulinischen Heilsuniversalismus:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Adams, Sarah Flower (1805–1848), English Unitarian, poet and hymn writer famous for Nearer my God to thee – the hymn played by the band on the Titanic as it sank on 14 April 1912. Her friend, Henry Crab Robinson tells us that the hymn ‘is the composition of a Universalist woman’ – and its fear free mediation on death bears this out:
‘Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,/sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,/still all my song shall be,/ nearer, my God, to thee; /nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee’ (final verse of Nearer my God to thee).

* Aiken, Mercy (xxxx), American missionary and writer of universalist historical sketches at Tentmaker Ministries:
'If Hell is real, why did God tell the Jews that burning their children alive in the fire to the false god Molech, (in the valley of Gehenna ) was so detestable to Him? God said that such a thing "never even entered His mind" (Jer. 32:35). How could God say such a thing to Israel , if He has plans to burn alive a good majority of His own creation in a spiritual and eternal Gehenna of His of His own making' (from Tentmakers Website).

* Alfeyev,Hilarion (1966-), Russian Orthodox Bishop, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, noted theologian, church historian and composer:
'God does nothing out of retribution. Even to think that way about God would be blasphemous. Even worse is the opinion that God allows people to lead a sinful life on earth in order to punish them eternally after death. This is a blasphemous and perverted understanding of God, a calumny of God… quite to the contrary, the majority of people will find themselves in the Kingdom of heaven, and only a few sinners will go to hell, and even they only for the period of time which is necessary for their repentance and remission of sins' (speech to 'The World Congress on Divine Mercy', Rome April 2008).

Alger, William Rounseville (1822-1905), American Unitarian minister and author who made an important contribution to the development of comparative religious studies and also wrote about eschatology:
'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' (A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life , p.x,1860).

Allin, Thomas (1838-1909), Church of Ireland clergyman and botanical naturalist:
'Christ’s work shall go on till the last straying sheep shall have been found by the Good Shepherd. Then, at the expiry of these ages ‘cometh the end’ when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, and God shall be All in all' (Christ Triumphant, p. x).

* Amirault, Gary (xxxx-), American non-denominational Universalist, YouTube speaker, and founder of Tentmaker Ministries that produces and provides new and historical resources focussed on the message of universal salvation, and provides a counselling service much used by distressed and bereaved Christians coming out of an ECT background. Gary comes originally from a conservative evangelical background and promotes biblical universalism, his website carried the flag for Christian universalism before the current wave of interest:
'We invite others to participate in sending out the message of the Everlasting Gospel, which is that Jesus Christ has reconciled the world back unto His and our Father' (About Tentmaker at the Tentmaker website).

* Amirault, Michelle (xxxxx-), American non-denominational Universalist and YouTube speaker. Michelle is very active in the counselling service of Tentmaker Ministries. She comes originally from a Reformed Jewish background and speaks movingly of her problem filled conversion to Christianity on YouTube where she says of the victims of the Holocaust (and other genocides):
‘Our Father is not going to raise them from torture and torture them some more just because they didn’t know the Messiah' (from the YouTube broadcast, The Michelle Amirault Story).

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805–1875), Danish author and poet and writer of fairy tales of worldwide esteem. In his biography he writes of his settled opinion while still at school:
'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' (The True Story of My Life, p.77, translated by Mary Howitt, 1847).

Arnold, Sir Edwin (1832–1904), English poet and journalist best known for The Light of Asia (a verse narrative meditation on the Buddha) and Song Celestial (a verse translation of the Bhagavad Gita). He is often included on internet universalist lists – but his universalism is grounded in an exploratory religious pluralism rather than being specifically Christian. He also wrote a verse narrative meditation on Jesus - who he compares to the Buddha - from which the following is taken:
'Lovers of Man, and secret Ministers/We too stand weeping – His sad, shamed Church -/The last scorned ruins of the larger scheme planned/To take the whole world by the hand of Love/And make all flesh one Father’s family' (The Light of the World, or, The Great Consummation, 1896).

Aspland, Robert (1782-1845), English Unitarian minister, a forceful presence in the development of Unitarianism in Great Britain:
'We regard the doctrine of endless punishment as so utterly incompatible both with the goodness and justice of God, that we think it ought not to be received upon any evidence whatsoever. To affirm that that the Almighty will render any of his creatures miserable to all eternity, and especially, when these creatures, like mankind, are frail and ignorant, and exposed to numerous temptations, is but saying in other words, the he is neither merciful nor just’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.79, 1880).

* van Assen, Dora (1907–1998), Dutch American missionary to Native Americans, tribal Africans, and Maoris, she was also a pioneer of Reconciliation ministries. In her book God's Unfailing Love Revealed in the Cross she tells of a series of visionary revelations that have parallels with Julian of Norwich:
‘In the cross God was revealing Himself as he really is. There His great heart of love was fully exposed to all everywhere. Wonder of wonders! ALL were responding! ALL were worshipping ... Neither did I see sickness, death, nor hell ... The whole restored universe was offering homage and praise unto the lamb ... Remember how I had said, "Oh, God, you don't seem to be fair therefore, how can I love you and worship you fully?" Well, in this vision I know God was giving the answers. He began revealing Himself, as He truly is a God of love, who never could and never will show partiality, as he is no respecter of persons. But through the operation of the eons in Christ, He reaches out to and draws all men unto Himself in their own time and order'' (God's Unfailing Love Revealed in the Cross, Chapter 3, p.4).

Austin, John Mather (1805-1880), American Universalist clergyman, editor, author and social activist in New York State. As editor of the Christian Ambassador, Austin used the power of the press to shape the direction of Universalism in New York State. He was an advocate of temperance and the Union cause, and against slavery and capital punishment:
’The gospel itself clearly proclaims the doctrine of the final salvation of all mankind, as I have shown by a large class of the most plain and emphatic passages to be found in the Bible. That this sentiment had always prevailed among the people of God, from the earliest ages of the world, we are assured by St. Peter. He declares that .–“ The times of the RESTITUTION of ALL THINGS, God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL his HOLY PROPHETS since the world began !!!”–(Acts iii. 21.) And the same doctrine of Universal Salvation has been believed and advocated in the Christian Church by the most eminent and learned men in different ages, from the time of the Apostles to our own day' (from Brief History of Universalism, 1855, available at Tentmakers).

Baillie, Joanna (1762–1851), Scottish Unitarian poet and dramatist admired both for her literary powers and her sweetness of character; she hosted a brilliant literary society in her cottage at Hampstead:
[In The Election a Comedy, her character Baltimore saves the life of a hated rival, under strong temptation to leave him to perish; whereupon, Mrs Baltimore, on hearing it, exclaims]; ‘Thy Master – ay, and my husband! And God almighty’s good creature, who has formed everything good! Oh, yes, He has made every being with good in it, and will at last make everything perfectly so, in some way other, known only to his wisdom’ (from Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p85).

Ballou, Adin (1803–1890), Unitarian minister, writer, abolitionist, radical pacifist and socialist:
'I firmly believe that Christianity, as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ and his apostles, is not only the highest and best religion ever promulgated to mankind, but, in its declared essentials, the one true and absolute religion, indispensable to the perfect holiness and happiness of the human race, and destined to final universal acceptance' (Primitive Christianity and its Corruptions, Volume 1, p.III).

Ballou, Hosea (1771-1852), clergyman preacher and oft-proclaimed 'father of American Universalism':
'In God’s eternity/ There shall a day arise,/ When all the race of man shall be/ With Jesus in the skies' (Poem xx).

Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (1743–1825), English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author. Anna was a Presbyterian of an emerging tradition which encompassed Baptist, Independents and Unitarians:
‘The age 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 punishment’ (The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld: With a Memoir, vol ii, p. 470
1825).

Barbuald, Rev. Rochemont (1749-1808), English Unitarian clergyman of Huguenot descent. The husband of Anna Letitia Barabuald who for a time ran a successful school with her. Sadly his later years were plagued by mental health problems. Anna wrote of him:
'Rochemont’s favourite 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' (xxxx, p.x).

* Barclay, William (1907-1978), Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Church of Scotland minister and author of the Daily Study Bible commentary series:
'I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God ...The only triumph a father can know is to have all his family back home ... The only possible final triumph is a universe loved by and in love with God' (A Spiritual Autobiography, p. 65-7).

Bardaisan of Eddesa (154-222): Christian philosopher and theologian, who had a school in Edessa where Greek philosophy was studied with Christian theology. Although later stereotyped as a Gnostic by the Catholic Church, he was actually, like Origen, a strong opponent of Gnosticism:
‘And there will come a time when even this capacity for harm that remains in them will be brought to an end by the instruction that will obtain in a different arrangement of things: and, once that new world will be constituted, all evil movements will cease, all rebellions will come to an end, and the fools will be persuaded, and the lacks will be filled, and there will be safety and peace, as a gift of the Lord of all natures’ (Patrologia Syriaca. ed. Franqois Nau, 2.608-11, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

Barnum, Phineas Taylor (1810-1891), known as P. T. Barnum he was the most influential American showman of the nineteenth century, founder of the first important public museum and creator of the modern three-ring circus; a prominent Universalist:
'It is objected that we cannot judge what infinite wisdom, love, etc., will do. Very true! Eye cannot see, nor heart feel. How, then, do my orthodox friends get their information of God's intention to endlessly damn us ? While we do not presume to measure God's attributes, we dare not limit them with mete and bound. I at least suppose them to be infinitely better than the best, instead of infinitely worse than the worst, of man's ways' (Why I am a Universalist 1896).

Barrett Browning, Elizabeth (1806–1861), prominent Victorian poet:
‘Universalism is the most beautiful word in the English language’(If Grace Is True by Gulley P. and Muholland J., p.222).

Bathurst, Ann (c.1638-c.1704), English Philadelphian who once feared for her own salvation but became persuaded of universal grace in a series of dramatic visions:
‘O Thou Sea of Love! ... And this is a Sea of Love, no Limits, we are lost to find ourselves when in It; how then can we measure this Love! we are so sopt in it, and then come forth; and then again sopt, and that so often over, that we know not, whether we shall come forth Substance or substantiated into the thing we are soped in: for we seem not held together, but dilated, as if we were to be alienated and nothing’d into the thing sopt or Sea’ (Rhapsodical Meditations and Visions - 17 March 1679 to 29 June, 1693).

* Bauman, Rev Dr. Wilbert G. (xxxx-2008), former Lutheran lay preacher, Charismatic minister and writer:
'The doctrine of eternal torment is not found in the Scripture but the teaching of judgment certainly is ... The scriptures suggest that God’s judgments are desirable but not necessarily enjoyable ... Out of love for His creatures, God chastens, and corrects. He judges His creatures for their own good ... The result of God’s judgments must ultimately be profitable and beneficial to the one being punished' (The Gospel, p.x).

* Beauchemin, Gerry (xxxx-), missionary and director for Dental Training For Missions:
'It is impossible that an omnipotent God can fail in His purpose so that some would forever resist unconditional love opting for everlasting pain' (Hope Beyond Hell, p. x).

* Beck, Dr. Richard (xxxx-), Professor and Department Chair of Psychology at Abilene Christian University, writer and notable blogger:
'I argue, strongly, that UR is the only view that makes Christianity morally, biblically and theologically coherent and that all the other options- e.g., ECT, conditionalism, and annihilationism- make Christianity morally, biblically and theologically incoherent (if not monstrous). I'll argue that deep into the night and into the next day' (Universalism and Doubt: Being Both Hopeful and Dogmatic forum post).

Belsham, Thomas (1750–1829), English Unitarian minister. Belsham's beliefs reflect that transition that the Unitarian movement was going through during his lifetime, particularly from the early Bible-fundamentalist views of earlier English Unitarians like Henry Hedworth and John Biddle, to the more Bible-critical positions of Priestley's generation (following Priestley, Belsham was to dismiss the virgin birth as "no more entitled to credit, than the fables of the Koran, or the reveries of Swedenborg"):
‘The eternity of hell-torment is a doctrine from which Christianity revolts; to which it gives not the slightest trace either in the Old Testament or the New…I will venture to 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 is taught. I will add that there is not a single sentence in which the very idea of a human individual existing through eternity in a state of torment is even expressed distinctly and unequivocally’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.79).

Bengel, Johann Albrecht (1687–1752), German Lutheran pietist clergyman and Greek-language scholar known for his edition of the Greek New Testament and his commentaries on it, Gnomon Novi Testamenti, or Exegetical Annotations on the New Testament, published in 1742. It was the fruit of twenty years labour, and John Wesley made great use of it in compiling his Expository Notes upon the New Testament. Bengel's edition of the Greek Testament was published at Tübingen in 1734. He was convinced of apocatastasis because of his Biblicism – he was also dedicated to studying biblical prophecy -and for no other reason:
'2 Corinthians 6:18. εἰς υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας, in the relation of sons and daughters) Isaiah 43:6. The promise, given to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:6, is applied to all believers.— κύριος παντοκράτωρ, the Lord Almighty [the Universal Ruler]. From this title we perceive the greatness of the promises. Now the word παντοκράτωρ, [Universal Ruler] Almighty, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but in the Apocalypse; but here Paul uses it after the manner of the LXX. interpreters, because he quotes the passage from the Old Testament' (from Gnomon Novi Testamenti , 1742).

Berdyaev, Count Nikolai Alexandrovich (1874–1948), Russian Orthodox free thinker and religious and political philosopher:
‘The greater part of Eastern teachers of the Church, from Clement of Alexandria to Maximus the Confessor, were supporters of Apokatastasis, of universal salvation ... Orthodox thought has never been suppressed by the idea of Divine justice and it never forgot the idea of Divine love' (The Truth of Orthodoxy, p. x).

Blake, William (1757-1827), seminal Pre-Romantic artist, printer, poet and printmaker, heterodox and idiosyncratic religious thinker:
'All Human forms identified, living going forth and returning wearied/Into the planetary lives of years months days & hours reposing/And then awaking into His bosom in the life of immortality/And I heard the names of their emanations they are named Jerusalem’ (Jerusalem, plate 99).

Böhler, Peter (1712 –1775), German-born Moravian missionary and bishop who, according to George Whitfield, was a universalist (as others of the Moravian Brethren were):
'You cannot make good the assertion that Christ died for them that perish without holding (as Peter Bohler, one of the Moravian brethren, in order to make out universal redemption, lately frankly confessed in a letter) that all the damned souls would hereafter be brought out of hell. I cannot think Mr. Wesley is thus minded. And yet unless this can be proved, universal redemption, taken in a literal sense, falls entirely to the ground. For how can all be universally redeemed, if all are not finally saved?' (Whitefield's Letter to Wesley, Bethesda in Georgia, Dec. 24, 1740).

Bremer, Fredrika (1801–1865), Swedish Unitarian, novelist and feminist activist in reform and education, she worked to establish an age of majority for unmarried girls, nursed cholera victims, founded an orphanage, and established a school to train teachers. In 1854 during the Crimean War, she appealed to women internationally to work for peace. Her novels include The Neighbour; The House and Hertha:
'Even in this life God wills that man shall partake of the fullness of his life, but what before all does Christianity say? God is love. He will, therefore, never cease to desire the deliverance of every man; here, there, in eternity, he will labour for it. God is the only principle ever the same, ever active. Oh! Certainly the time will come, when the Son, the eternal Word, shall have subdued all to the Father, to the eternal mind!' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.160).

Bronte, Ann (1820-1849), novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family:
'That as in Adam all have died,/ In Christ shall all men live;/ And ever round his throne abide,/ Eternal praise to give./
That even the wicked shall at last/ Be fitted for the skies;/ And, when their dreadful doom is past,/ To life and light arise' (A Word to The 'Elect').

Brontë, Charlotte (1816–1855), classic novelist and poet, author of Jane Eyre, Anglican:
''I am sorry the Clergy do not like the doctrine of Universal Salvation; I think it is a great pity for their sakes, but surely they are not so unreasonable as to expect me to deny or suppress what I believe the truth!' (from Letter to Margaret Wooler February 14, 1850).

Brontë, Emily Jane (1818–1848), classic novelist and poet, author of Wuthering Heights; Anglican but seems to have been the least orthodox of the sisters (some of her poems seem pantheistic; see No coward soul is mine). She made no explicit statement of universalism but her poetry is suffused with assured optimism about the blessed state of the dead:
'But, I'll not fear, I will not weep/For those whose bodies rest in sleep,/I know there is a blessed shore,/Opening its ports for me and mine;/And, gazing Time's wide waters o'er,/I weary for that land divine' (from Faith And Despondency).

Brooke, Henry (1703–1783), Anglo-Irish novelist and dramatist and author of the picaresque novel The Fool of Quality. According to Whittemore, Brooke 'inclined to the Methodists' (TMHOU p. 378). Rev. Charles Kingsley wrote the preface to The Fool affirming both his own and Brooke's belief in UR; the notable Universalist passage in this novel, quoted below, is also corroborated by the Universalist sentiments in Brooke’s poem Redemption:
'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' (Fool of Quality, p.x, 1766 – quoted by both Hanson and Whittemore).

Brown, Olympia (1835 – 1926), American Unviersalist and suffragist. Regarded as the first woman to graduate from a theological school, as well as becoming the first full-time ordained minister:
'Dear Friends, stand by this faith. Work for it and sacrifice for it. There is nothing in all the world so important to you as to be loyal to this faith which has placed before you the loftiest ideals, which has comforted you in sorrow, strengthened you for noble duty, and made the world beautiful for you. Do not demand immediate results but rejoice that you are worthy to be entrusted with this great message and that you are strong enough to work for a great true principle without counting the cost. Go on finding ever new applications of these truths and new enjoyments in their contemplation'
(Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Brown, Thomas (xxxx), American author from Cornwall, Orange County, New-York. In 1799 he became a Shaker, but left them in 1805 giving an account of his reasons. After this he became a universalist with a strong preterist eschatology:
'I shall now prove, and prove only from the scriptures, that this was the end of the world, the end of the age, the day of judgment, and "the days of vengeance, that all things which are written by Moses and the prophets might be fulfilled." And the hell that people have so long been talking about was in Jerusalem." "Now the whole just amounts to this, that the only way to prove a hell of endless punishment, must be to prove that what is said by the prophets.. means endless punishment. If that can be done, then we must, to our great grief and sorrow, and to the sorrow of all good men, give up Universal Salvation. .. I conclude that no man of sense and learning will ever undertake it, nor to find a law that ever threatened such punishment for sin, then we have gained the victory, the great and long controversy is decided' (A History of the Origin & Progess of the Doctrine of UNIVERSAL SALVATION, p.x, 1826).

Browning, Robert (1812–1889), English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. He was a close friend of George Macdonald and husband to Elizabeth Barret Browning (the story of their love was made famous in America in the 1930’s film The Barrets of Wimpole Street):
‘There never shall be one lost good! what was shall live as before, /The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound. /What was good shall be good, with for evil so much good more;/On earth the broken arcs, in heaven the perfect round. /The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard, /The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky, /Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; /Enough that He heard it once, we shall hear it by and by' (from Abt Vogler).

* Bulgakov, Sergei Nikolaevich (1871–1944), leading Russian Orthodox systematic theologian, dean and professor of dogmatic theology at Saint Sergius Theological Institute, Paris:
'It is a bizarre conception of the parousia to limit its power to a judgment whereby heaven and hell are separated and hell is eternalized ... An eternal separation of humanity into the elect and the reprobate is clearly not the final meaning of creation ... In other words, the judgment that separates the sheep from the goats and good from evil, both in humankind in its entirety and in individual hearts, is not the definitive conclusion of eschatology ... This pathway can end only with the filling of the void that appeared in heaven as a consequence of the fall, with the return of the fallen angels, the 'lost sheep', to the fullness of the kingdom of God, where God is definitively all in all without any limitation or exception, and creation is without any failure or even minus: "He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet"' (chapter 8 of The Bride of the Lamb, 1945).

Byron, Lady Anne Isabella Noel (1792–1860); English mathematician, Anglican and dedicated worker in the causes of prison reform and the worldwide abolition of slavery; wife of the poet Lord Byron. Lady Anne had a strict religious upbringing which made her marriage to the libertine, 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' Lord extremely taxing for her. Prior to her death, she shared the story of her marriage to Byron with Harriet Beecher Stowe. In her will she left a £300 legacy to the writer George MacDonald whom she had patronized during her life:
'For all that, Lady Byron never doubted his [Lord Byron’s] salvation…Never has more divine strength of faith and love existed in woman. Out of the depths of her own loving and merciful nature, she gained such views of the divine love and mercy as made all hopes possible. There was no soul whose future Lady Byron despaired – such was her boundless faith in the redeeming power of love’ (Harriet Beecher Stowe Lady Byron Vindicated, p. 299, 1869).

* Caird, George Bradford (1917–1984), English Congregationalist theologian, humanitarian, and biblical scholar, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford:
‘The redemption of men from every tribe, tongue, people and race is far from being the whole story of Christ’s work of atonement as John understands it. For he hears the choirs of heaven joined by the voices of the whole creation in a final outburst of praise. This should not be dismissed as mere hyperbole. John knows only too well that there is much on earth and under the earth and in the sea which has no inclination to join in the worship of Christ, and that these hostile elements are represented even in heaven. But such is his confidence in the universality of of Christ’s achievement that his vision cannot stop short of universal response. He agrees with Paul that God has already in the Cross reconciled the whole universe to himself (Col 1:20), and that to make His act of amnesty and reconciliation known to the world is the royal and priestly task of the church, the success of which is already anticipated in the heavenly Amen’ (The Revelation of Saint John, p. 77, 1966).

Caird, John (1820–1898), Scottish Presbyterian theologian, minister of the Church of Scotland, and Principle of Glasgow University. In 1857, he preached before the Queen Victoria at Balmoral which made him famous for a time and ensured an audience for his printed sermons:
‘For no ideal of a perfect state; no dream of a golden age or paradise restored which has ever visited the imagination of genius, or risen before the rapt gaze of inspired seer or prophet, can surpass the future of universal light and love which Christianity encourages us to hope for as the destiny of our race, - that time when human society shall be permeated through and through with the spirit of Jesus Christ, and the whole race and every individual member of it shall rise to the point of moral and spiritual elevation which life represents when ‘’we shall all come into unity of the faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Scotch sermons: 1880, p. 20, 1881).

* Cairns, Scott (1954-), Greek Orthodox convert and poet, memoirist, essayist and oratorio librettist:
'So it's not so far a stretch from that Divine Excess/ to advocate the sacred possibility/ that in some final, graceful metanoia He/ will mend that ancient wound completely, and for all' (Explorations in New Testament Greek: Apocatastasis).

Campbell, A.G. (xxxx-xxxx), African American poet – one of the 130 black men and women who published often anonymously – in nineteenth century America. Author of God Shall Be All in All, a poem that first appeared in The Alarm Bell (July 1852), was cited in Hanson Cloud of Witness (p.126), and is often cited by Universalist on the web:
'I deem they greatly err, who hold/That He Who made the human soul,/ Will not its destinies control/ For final good – but, wrathful, fold/ It in the shrouds of hopeless woe,/ Of deathless gloom, of quenchless fire,/ ... Lost men, lost angels, shall return,/ --Satan himself be purified;/ Death shall be conquered in his pride,/ And hell’s fierce fires shall cease to burn./ Then shall our God be All in all' (God Shall Be All in All, from Joan R. Sherman Invisible poets: Afro-Americans of the nineteenth century, p.77, 1989).

* Campolo, Bart (xxxx-), pastor, writer and speaker, son of Tony Campolo, and founder of Mission Year:
'I may be wrong in this matter, but I am not in doubt. If indeed faith is being sure of what we hope for, then truly I am a man of faith, for I absolutely know what I hope to be true: that God is completely good, entirely loving, and perfectly forgiving, that God is doing everything possible to overcome evil (which is evidently a long and difficult task), and that God will utterly triumph in the end, despite any and all indications to the contrary. This is my first article of faith. I required no Bible to determine it, and—honestly—I will either interpret away or ignore altogether any Bible verse that suggests otherwise' (The Limits of God’s Grace).

Carpenter, Rev. Lant (1780–1840), English educator and Unitarian minister. He believed in the essential lawfulness of the creation, which meant that natural causes were the explanation of the world as we find it. James Martineau was a pupil of his in Bristol – and Carpenter anticipates much of Martineau’s rationalist turn in Unitarianism:
‘As nothing approaching to the feelings of vindictive vengeance can have place in the Divine mind, and as the best notions of punishment we are able to form, require is to keep in view the reformation of the offender, - to me it appears necessary to follow, not only from the paternal, but even from the judicial and rectorial character of God, that when suffering has done its work, and the deep stains of guilt have been removed, as by fire, suffering will no longer be required’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p117).

* Carter Stapleton, Ruth (1929–1983), American evangelist; Baptist by denomination, Pentecostal by practice - and sister of former US President Jimmy Carter. She was best known for advocacy of a controversial form of faith healing known as “healing of memories” which encourages people to recall and visualize painful memories and then put Jesus in the picture recalling those memories and then bringing Jesus into the picture to “heal” or “forgive” those events:
'The Bible DOES NOT teach that we experience hell after we die, we experience it before we die' (Christianity Today, November 4, l977).

Cary, Alice (1820-1871), American Universalist writer, poet, novelist, abolitionist, and workers for women’s rights. She was the first president of Sorosis (The Women’s Club of New York). Her writings include Clovernook, or Recollections of Our Neighbors in the West (1852), which was particularly popular in England, and Pictures of Country Life (1859). Her novels use imagery from Gothick novels and Fairy Tales to criticise the harshness of traditional evangelical religion:
'How deep that mercy, and how wide!/The child of lost and recreant years/Can in a Father’s bosom hide/His sins, his sorrows and his tears!' (‘The Pilgrim’ from Poems of Alice and Phoebe Carey, 1850).

Cary, Phoebe (1824-1871), American Universalist who, like her older sister Alice, was also a writer, abolitionist and a worker for women’s rights. Together they published Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary (1850). Phoebe’s also wrote articles for the National Era:
'For you could not be happy in heaven/By glory shut in,/While any soul whom you might comfort/Should suffer and sin./So unto the heirs of salvation/Have you freely appeared;/ And the earth by your sweet ministration/Is brightened and cheered' (‘My Friend’ from Poems of Faith Hope and Love, 1868 ).

Chauncy, Charles (1705–1787), influential American Congregational Boston clergyman and opponent of Jonathan Edwards and critic of the 'Great Awakening':
'As the First Cause of all things is infinitely benevolent, 'tis not easy to conceive, that he should bring mankind into existence, unless he in-tended to make them finally happy. And if this was his intention, it cannot well be supposed, as he is infinitely intelligent and wise, that he should be unable to project, or carry into execution, a scheme that would be effectual to secure, sooner or later, the certain accomplishment of it' (The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations, Introduction p. i).

Cockburn, Alison Rutherford (1712-1794), Scottish poet and wit –author of the delightful lyrics Flowers of the Forest – whose close friends included Walter Scott, Robert Burns and David Hume. Scott wrote of her – ‘Her active benevolence kept pace with her genius and rendered her equally an object of love and admiration':
‘The almighty maker of souls has various methods of restoring them to the divine image; it is impossible his power can fail; it is impossible for his image to be entirely obliterated; it is impossible that misery, sin, and discord can be eternal! Look, then, on the erring sons of men as on wretched prisoners bound in fetters for a time; but recollect that they are and must be eternal as well as you, and that in endless ages of eternity they will be restored to order' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.72).

Coleridge, David Hartley (1796 –1849), English poet, biographer, essayist, and teacher. He was the eldest son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, named after the universalist David Hartley and he spent his early years tutored by the universalist poet laureate Robert Southey (an auspicious start in life):
‘Ah! Why did fabling poets tell/That Lethe [the river of forgetfulness] only flows in hell?.../Ah, no but Lethe flows aloft/With lulling murmur, kind and soft/As voice which sinners send to heaven/When first they feel their sins forgiven/…Not once a year, but evermore-/Not one but all men to restore' (from Regeneration).

* Congdon, David W. (xxxx-), associate editor at IVP Academic:
'The definition of universalism that I am working with states that all will live in communion with God for eternity. No one will be annihilated or eternally damned. We will indeed be made new, perhaps even purged, and will be raised with new bodies like Jesus Christ who came before us. I do not deny the possibility of a hell, just the eternality of divine punishment' (Why I am a Universalist: Prolegomena).

Conway, Viscountess Anne (1631 –1679), English philosopher, associate of the Cambridge Platonists, Quaker:
‘...all degrees and kinds of sin have their appropriate punishment, and all these punishments tend towards the good of creatures, so that the grace of God will prevail over punishment and judgment turn into victory for the salvation and restoration of all creatures' (Principles of the most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, p.37.)

Coppin, Richard (flourished 1640s to late 1650s), English radical pamphleteer and preacher imprisoned for preaching universalism at Rochester Cathedral in 1655:
'God hath declared in Scripture, both by the mouths of the prophets and apostles, the salvation of all men, without respect of persons (I Tim. ii. 4-6). Thus we may say, 'Lord who hath resisted Thy will? Let Thy will be done.' Paul says that as by one man death came to all, so by One life and salvation to all; else Christ were not sufficient to save all that Adam lost' (Truth's Testimony).

Cox, Samuel (1826-1893), President of the Baptist Association, expository writer and founder of The Expositor:
'The main object of this book is to encourage those who faintly trust “the larger hope” to commit themselves to it wholly and fearlessly by showing them that they have ample warrant for it in scriptures of the New Testament' (Salvator Mundi: Or, Is Christ the Saviour of All Men?, p.vii, 1877).

Crellius, Samuel, Latinized name of Samuel Crell-Spinowski (1660-1747), Polish Unitarian (Socinian) philosopher and theologian, and pastor of the church of the Polish Brethren. He corresponded with the English Unitarians (Arians) Newton and Locke (but seems to have disagreed with their annihilationist eschatology):
'I am persuaded that all men will be finally saved by Jesus Christ, and delivered from the torments of hell’ (from Introduction to the Gospel of St. John, p.x,1726).

Cunningham, Alan (1785-1842), Scottish poet, novelist, ballad collector and biographer. His enthusiasm for universalism is evident in the affection and admiration with which he writes about the universalism of Robert Burns:
‘To a love of human nature, he added an affection for the flowers of the valley- the fowls of the air – the beast of the field; he acknowledged the tie of social sympathy which bond his heat to all created things, and carried his universal good will so far , as to entertain hopes of Universal Redemption, and the Restoration of all Doomed spirits to power and lustre’ (Biographical and Critical History of the Last Fifty Years, p.21,1834).

Dean, Paul (1789–1860), prominent trinitarian universalist, pastor and co-founder of the Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists:
'Here every soul will have felt the evil of sin, its need of a Saviour, and its obligations to divine grace ; it will have passed the scenes of bitter repentance, stood before the judgment seat of Christ, plead guilty before God, sought and obtained pardon in the name of Jesus. Here each will wear the robes of a Saviour’s grace, and be crowned with a Saviour’s righteousness ; and all be united in perfect love to God and each other, and in celebrating the fadeless glories of redemption' (A Course of Lectures in Defence of the Final Restoration, p. 188).

Delitzsch, Franz (1813–1890), German Lutheran theologian and Hebraist with a high reputation for scholarship and orthodoxy. He defended the German Jewish community against anti-Semitic attacks and translated the New Testament into Hebrew:
‘[He writes of Psalm 150] With this full toned finale [as everything that has breath gives praise to the Lord] the Psalter closes. Having risen as it were by five steps, in this closing psalm it hovers over the blissful summit of the end, where, as Gregory of Nyssa says all creatures, after the disorder and disunion caused by sin have been removed, are harmoniously united for one choral dance (eis mian chorostasian), and the chorus of mankind concerting with the angel chorus are become one symbol of divine praise, and the final song of victory shall salute God the triumphant conqueror (tōi Tropaiuchōi) with shouts of joy’ (Commentary on the Psalms, p.x, translation by Clark 1873).

* DeRose, Dr. Keith (1962- ), Allison Foundation Professor of Philosophy at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut:
‘Universalism is far from a mere doctrine of barren theology; many, like Paul, find great joy in the belief. Part of the joy some find is in the thought that not only they, but their fellow humans, will, eventually at least, experience everlasting life with Christ … For myself, it's hard to even imagine going back to my earlier way of thinking about God’ (Universalism and the Bible, p. xx).

* Dodd, Charles Harold (1884–1973), renowned Welsh Congregationalist New Testament scholar and influential theologian, known for promoting "realized eschatology" (the belief that Jesus' references to the kingdom of God meant a present reality rather than a future apocalypse):
'If we really believe in one God and in the Jesus Christ, in what He was and what He did, truly shows us what God’s character and His attitude toward men are like, then it is very difficult to think ourselves out of a belief that somehow His love will find a way of bringing all men into unity with Him' (The Epistle to the Romans , p.184, 1954) and '…as every human being lives under God’s judgment, so every human being is ultimately destined, in God’s mercy, to eternal life' (Quoted unfavorably by Packer, xxxx, p.x).

Duncombe, William (1689-1769), English poet and dramatist and childhood friend of Rev. Samuel Say (1676-1743), an English Non-conformist pastor and poet who was a school-fellow of Isaac Watts. Say was perplexed by the idea of damnation for any being in the year of his death and Duncombe wrote encouragingly to him:
'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 ... With what raptures of devotion must every one, who cherishes this generous doctrine, join with the apostle in the following pathetic exclamation – ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!...’(quoted in The Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature, Volume 7 .p.492, 1813).

* Eby, J. Preston (xxxx–xxxx), American Pentecostal pastor and writer; early proponent of Latter Rain teachings who became a leading figure in the small branch of Latter Rain who teach Universalist ‘Manifest Sonship’ theology:
'Some misguided individuals have argued that the reconciliation of all “things” does not mean men or beings. But pray, tell me, what “things” in the whole vast universe, apart from men and other creatures, are described in the Word of God as “enemies” of God, “alienated” from God, “blasphemers” of God, “haters” of God, etc. in need of reconciliation?’ (from 'Reconciliation', part of the Saviour of the world series available at Tentmakers).

* Ellul, Jaques (1912-1994), noted philosopher, sociologist, professor of law, lay-theologian, Christian anarchist and professor at the University of Bordeaux:
'Although I proclaim the truth of universal salvation, I cannot proclaim it as an absolute truth. I cannot penetrate the secret of God. I cannot presume upon a simple decision of the eternal Father. Hence I cannot proclaim this truth as a dogmatic proposition which is scientifically demonstrated. In proclaiming it, I am saying what I believe, what meditation on the biblical texts leads me to believe. I do not teach universal salvation; I announce it' (What I believe, p.207).

Erbery (or Erbury), William (1604–1654), Welsh religious radical and original theological thinker. At one time an Anglican priest in Cardiff, he was thrown out of his living for a trifle, and then became a chaplain in Parliaments’ army during the English civil war. Like Sir Henry Vane he was associated with the universalist sect, The Seekers:
'What multitude of men shall inhabit that City, the Prophets show; not only that Jerusalem shall be without walls, and that a Nation shall be born one day, but many shall flow in like the sea; that our hearts shall fear and be enlarged for the abundance of savage people shall come in and cover us...I say, we shall fear at first, whether such may be received by us; but again our hearts shall be enlarged to accept those that God doth' (A Call to the Churches, p.250, 1652).

Erskine of Linlathen, Thomas (1788–1870), Scottish advocate/defense lawyer and lay theologian who attempted a revision of Scottish Calvinism in the direction of Universalism:
'[God’s purpose for us] cannot be a purpose confined to any one stage of our being, but must extend over all the stages, and the whole duration of our being. It is surely more unreasonable to suppose that God should change His manner of dealing with us, as soon as we quit this world....He who waited so long for the formation of a piece of old red sandstone will surely wait with much long-suffering for the perfecting of a human spirit’ (Hanna ed. Letters vol. 1, 238; vol. 2, 242).

Estlin, John Prior (1747–1817), English Unitarian minister. Originally from an Anglican background he left the C of E because he could not subscribe to the 39 Articles. He was much loved by his congregation and noted as a teacher and for his connections in literary circles. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Joseph Priestley, and Mrs. Anna Barbauld, his friends:
'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' (The Monthly Review, Or, Literary Journal by Ralph Griffiths, G. E. Griffiths p. 217, 1815).

* Etchells, Dorothea Ruth (1931-2012), English university administrator, literature scholar and leading member of the Crown Appointments Commission, nominating Anglican bishops and archbishops (affectionately remembered as "the best female bishop we never had"). She wrote a striking poem, The Ballad of the Judas Tree, which Robin Parry has quoted on site:
'In Hell there grew a Judas Tree/ Where Judas hanged and died/ Because he could not bear to see/ His master crucified
Our Lord descended into Hell/ And found his Judas there ... "It was for this I came" he said/ "And not to do you harm ... But first I had to come to Hell/ And share the death you had/ My tree will grow in place of yours/ Its roots lie here as well/ There is no final victory/ Without this soul from Hell" (The Ballad of the Judas Tree).

* Evely, Bob (xxxx-), businessman and ordained United Methodist minister and former pastor, author of At the End of the Ages ... The Abolition of Hell, currently worshipping at Grace Evangel Fellowship Home church:
'God's punishment (a better word is correction) is not eternal, but for an age (however long God determines is necessary to accomplish His purposes)' (from Grace Evangel Fellowship website).

* Evdokimov, Paul (1901-1970), theologian, writer, French resistance fighter, Professor of Theology at St. Sergius Institute in Paris:
'The Saviour’s plan that all be saved (1 Tim 2:4; Rom 8:32) is infinitely more mysterious and impenetrable than predestination which is so human and so impoverished in its rectilinear logic. The ‘complex of the elect’ is a morbid state, symptomatic of an unhappy conscience, and anxiety about hell’ (Eschatology, p. 18).

* Ferré, Nels F. S., (1908-1971), American Congregationalist who held professorships of Christian Theology and Philosophy at Andover Newton Theological School, Vanderbilt university school of religion, and Wooster College Ohio:
'Would a God of love create us to find no fulfillment beyond this life? Is the wish for fulfillment selfish? If we have to choose between believing in a selfish man and a selfish God, it is far better to keep faith in the ever-faithful God of creative concern. Thinking to be noble in not desiring life after death, we become most ignoble in our accusation of God as the creator of such a world as this with nothing more to follow! The Christian views of God and of life after death are inseparable. Apart from life’s continuation there is neither conquest of evil nor fulfillment of life. God is not the God of frustration but of the fullness of love' (Know Your Faith, chapter 5).

* Ferweda, Julie (xxxx-), independant theological and inspirational writer and blogger:
'What child in the world would ever believe (without adult influence) that a loving parent would create a fearful place of torment, and then endlessly abandon His children there to punish them in response to a limited duration of unbelief or rebellion, or for choices made from ignorance, distortions, deceptions, or bad influences? My educated, reasoned belief is zero' (Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire, pg. 6).

Froude, James Anthony (1818–1894), English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor. Froude intended to become an Anglican clergyman, but doubts expressed in his 1849 novel The Nemesis of Faith, drove him to abandon his religious career. The book – in which a candidate for the ministry objects to the doctrine of eternal hell as a barrier to his ordination - was publicly burned at Exeter College by William Sewell and deemed "a manual of infidelity" by the Morning Herald. Froude took refuge from the popular outcry by residing with his friend Rev. Charles Kingsley:
‘No; if I am to be a minister of religion, I must teach the poor people that they have a Father in heaven, not a tyrant; one who loves them all beyond power of heart to conceive; who is sorry when they do wrong, not angry; whom they are to love and dread, not with caitiff coward fear, but with deepest awe and reverence, as the al-pure, all-good, all-holy. I could never fear a God, who kept a hell prison-house. No; not though he flung me there because I refused’ (The Nemesis of Faith, p.17, 1849).

Gainsborough, Thomas FRSA (1727–1788), English portrait and landscape painter – painter of The Blue Boy, and Mr and Mrs Robert Andrews. The evidence for his Universalist credentials seems thin – but it would be wrong to dismiss a man’s dying words:
‘When he was dying he [Gainsborough] cried out concerning his hating and hated rival painter Van Dyke – ‘We are all going to heaven, and Van Dyke is of the party’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.67,1880).

Gatchell, Joseph (xxxx-xxxx), American Universalist of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who was brought before the Suffolk County Court In July, 1684, for discoursing "that all men should be saved," and, being convicted, was sentenced "to the pillory and to have his tongue drawn forth and-pierced with a hot iron'' (see The New England Historical and Genealogical Register - Volume 39 – p.200, 1996).

* Gelesnoff, Vladimir Michael (1877-1921), Russian Italian inventor and bible scholar. After emigrating to America he became an associate of A. E. Knoch who termed him a ‘true explorer of the depths of scripture':
'The starting point is love, the climaxing point unearned sonship conferred by grace. Extinction and never-ending torment have no place in this purpose. The eternal, almighty, all wise, all sufficient Being has no reason, no motive, no capacity to purpose ill. Influenced by His infinite perfections, inspired by perfect love, He could only decide on a course of action consistent with Himself. There are things which even God cannot do. He can do nothing contrary to His own nature; His actions are bound by His character' (The Triumph Of Love).

* Goetz, James (xxxx-), independant philosophical and theological writer and blogger best known for Conditional Futurism:
'teachings by Peter and John support the doctrine that God never gives up loving pursuit of any human regardless of hell or high water. God's endless pursuit also facilitates the eventual glorious reconciliation between all perpetrators and victims with no hardship but pleasure for the victims. This theodicy envisions the eventual glorious reconciliation of all enemies, ethnic groups, and social classes to God and each other (Divine Love, the Problem of Evil, and Theodicy at theopersepctives website).

Gordon, Major-General Charles George, also known as ‘Gordon of Kartoum’ (1833 –1885), English army officer and administrator, famous for his heroic death resisting the Mahdi of Sudan. Also famed as the 'Christian Soldier', when on leave he tirelessly visited the sick and old and set up a boys’ club in Gravesend in Kent. He was a religious eccentric who believed among other things that the Earth was enclosed in a hollow sphere with God’s throne directly above the altar of the Temple and in universal salvation:
'Nothing can be more abject and miserable than the usual conception of God… Imagine to yourself what pleasure it would be to Him to burn us, or to torture us. Can we believe any human being capable of creating us for such a purpose? We credit God with attributes which are utterly hateful to the meanest of men…I say that Christian Pharisees deny Christ … A hard, cruel set they are, from high to low. When one thinks of the real agony one has gone through in consequence of false teaching, it makes human nature angry with the teachers who have added to the bitterness of life' (quoted in Thomas Allin’s Christ Triumphant or Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel available at Tentmakers).

Greeley, Horace (1811–1872), American Restorationist Universalist newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery. His labor in the cause of Christian liberty echoes Rodger Williams and John Milton:
'But political freedom, such as white men enjoy in the United Sates, and the mass do not enjoy in Europe, not even in Britain, is a basis for confident and well grounded hope; the running stream, though turbid, tends ever against self-purification; the obstructed, stagnant pool grows daily more dank and loathsome. Believing most firmly in the ultimate and perfect triumph of good over evil, I rejoice in the existence and diffusion of that liberty, which, while it intensifies the contest, accelerates the consummation (Daniel S. Curtiss, Joseph Parrish Thompson, Western Portraiture, and Emigrants' Guide: A Description of Wisconsin, p.290, 1852).

Gregory of Nyssa, (c. 335 – c. 395), Bishop of Nyssa, Cappadocian Father, venerated theologian of the Orthodox Church:
'For it is evident that God will, in truth, be ‘in all’ then when there shall be no evil seen in anything. ... When every created being is at harmony with itself and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body, then shall the body of Christ be subject to the Father. ... Now the body of Christ, as I have said often before, is the whole of humanity' (Orat. in I Cor. xv.28).

* Griffiths, Bede OSB (1906–1993), born Alan Richard Griffiths and also known by the end of his life as Swami Dayananda ("bliss of compassion"), was a British-born Indian Benedictine monk who lived in ashrams in South India and became a leading thinker in the development of the dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism. He was a lifelong friend of C.S. Lewis. Gregory of Nyssa was particularly important for Bede’s theological thinking:
' ... the doctrine of everlasting punishment is surely the most terrible doctrine ever preached by any religion' (The Marriage of East and West: A Sequel to the Golden String, p. 109, 1982).

Griswold, Hattie Tyng (184 –1909), American Universalist poet and author of the Midwest. She wrote for the New Covenant and other Universalist papers, as was a regular for Harpers Weekly, Knickerbocker, etc.:
'In the broad sea humanity/A gallant bark with us set sail;/But, drifting on, our courses changed/With the first rising of the gale…//We cannot know until we gain/The port for which we all are bound;/But there we know all sails will meet,/And every missing ship be found' (from The Missing Ship).

* Gulley, Philip (xxxx), American Quaker (Evangelical/Gurneyite) pastor; co-author of If Grace Is True , an exposition of universalism with a soft, pastoral focus:
'I ran across the following thought that I JUST LOVE & I thought of you ... I do not know where we will sit at the final banquet, but I suspect who will sit beside us - on our right will sit the person whom we have harmed the most. On our left will sit the person who has done the greatest evil to us. We will be seated between grace received and grace required' (If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, p. X).

* Hanford, Rev. Phebe (1829-1921), first New England woman ordained to the ministry, combined her Universalist belief in the dignity of all people with her work for women's rights in her twenty year ministry:
'A man would be chided by his fellow church-members, if he presumed to trade with a Universalist, and was libel to censure if he dared to hire the room beneath the Universalist Church, owned by Universalists, for business purposes. To be a Universalist, was to be counted an infidel. The name was synonymous with atheist. Few dared to attend a religious gathering of this people, and among that few, women were afraid and ashamed to be seen. She who dared brave public opinion so far as to attend, was counted ‘strong-minded,’ and her religion, if not her morals, was questioned' (Historical Sketch of the First Universalist Church and Society in New Haven).

Hanson, John Wesley (1823-1901), army chaplain, missionary, American Universalist minister and historian:
'The deliverance of the whole human family from sin and sorrow, its final holiness and happiness, has been the thought of multitudes, even when the prevailing doctrines around them were wholly hostile' (A Cloud of Witnesses, p. x).

Harlowe Barton, Clarissa (1821-1912), American Universalist, famous as The Civil War 'Angel of the Battlefield', and founder of the American Red Cross:
'Surely the love that surpasses fear should be the strongest stimulus to all good endeavor' (Letter to Vincent Tomlinson, Universalist minister in Worcester, 1900).

Hartley, David (1705 –1757), English philosopher and founder of the Associationist school of psychology. He was deterred from taking orders in the Church of England by certain scruples as to signing the Thirty-nine Articles, and took up the study of medicine. The doctrine to which he most strongly objected was that of eternal punishment. Nevertheless, he remained a member of the Church of England, and was on intimate terms with the most distinguished churchmen of his day:
'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' (Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty and His Expectations, p.x, 1749).

* Hick, John (1922-2012), eminent theologian, Vice-President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, Vice-President of The World Congress of Faiths, Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University, California, H.G. Wood Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham:
'In wrestling with the problem of evil I had concluded that any viable Christian theodicy must affirm the ultimate salvation of all God’s creatures' (Evil and the Love of God, p. x).

* Hough, Dean (xxxx-xxxx), Concordant Publishing:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Howitt, Mary (1799 – 1888), English poet of Quaker stock, author of the famous poem for children The Spider and the Fly:
'Christianity is like a child, goes wandering over the world ... It walks through great cities amid their pomp and splendor, their imaginable pride, and their unutterable misery, a purifying, ennobling, correcting, and redeeming angel. It is the beautiful companion of childhood, and the comfortable associates of age' (‘The Universal Nature of Christianity' in The Universalist Herald - 8/12/1859).

* Hryniewicz, Dr. Waclaw (1936-), influential Polish Roman Catholic theologian who converted from Eastern Orthodoxy, former professor and head of the Ecumenical Institute of the Catholic University of Lublin, member of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church:
'The Bible predicts the ultimate transfiguration of the world and tells us to expect it. Thus it gives hope for the fulfillment of permanent human yearning for the prevalence of the good in the whole of creation. There is in this promise a breath of truly divine universalism with regard to the destiny of humanity, the Earth and the entire Universe' (The Challenge of Our Hope, Introduction).

Huber, Marie (1695–1753), Swiss theologian, translator and editor:
‘I am one of those who would not be affrighted at finding Devils in Heaven; or, to speak seriously, I am one of those who would not think themselves perfectly happy, did they know any Being must be eternally miserable (The World Unmask’d: or, the Philosopher the greatest Cheat, p.289).

Irving, Washington (1783–1859), American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle:
‘Rev, I.D. Williamson relates…that on a voyage across the Atlantic…he preached a sermon from the text, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…a thoroughly universalist discourse…At its close Mr Irving took Dr Williamson by the hand, and said: ‘I thank you, sir, for that sermon. There was more sound sense in it than I often hear in a discourse. That is the doctrines I believe and want to practice’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.120).

Isaac, the Syrian (or of Ninevah) ( xxxx-c700), saint, hermit, Eastern bishop and theologian:
'even in the matter of the afflictions and sentence of Gehenna, there is some hidden mystery, whereby the wise Maker has taken as a starting point for its future outcome the wickedness of our actions and wilfulness, using it as a way of bringing to perfection His dispensation wherein lies the teaching which makes wise, and the advantage beyond description, hidden from both angels and human beings, hidden too from those who are being chastised, whether they be demons or human beings, hidden for as long as the ordained period of time holds sway' (II.39.20).

* Israel, Martin (1927 –2007), English pathologist, Anglican priest, spiritual director, and author of numerous books on Christian life and teaching, dealing with spiritual issues from a mystical Christian perspective:
‘Of even greater import, however, is the spiritual radiance that emanates from the risen Christ. He is now fully at peace, eternally so; indeed, He is the "peace of God that passes all understanding". "Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give," (John 14: 27) …A new Christ had appeared in the person of the man Jesus: at peace, glowing with suffused joy, beyond the polarities of good and evil, no longer condemning even the actions and attitudes of the hypocrites of religion. He has forgiven all those who have betrayed Him, not so much in recorded words as in the deep underlying compassion’ (Smouldering Fire – The Work of the Holy Spirit, p.x, chapter 17, 1978).

Jing jing or Adam (8th century) Nestorian Christian Chinese monk and composer of the Nestorian Stele:
‘Every being takes its refuge in you// And the light of Your Holy Compassion frees us all’ (The Sutra of Retuning to Our Original Nature)

Jukes, Andrew (1815-1901), missionary, minister and theologian:
'Even those who hold the common view of the endlessness of punishment are obliged to confess this; and this of itself proves that their doctrine is untenable; for any punishment, be it for a longer or shorter time would not be corrective discipline, but quite another thing' (Restitution of All things, p. x).

Jung-Stilling, assumed name of Johann Heinrich Jung (1740–1817), German Pietist author and ‘all rounder’: novelist; physician and ophthalmologist, celebrated for his operations on cataracts, and a lecturer and professor in applied sciences and statistics. He defended the Christian faith against German rationalism:
'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’ (Theory of Spirit Knowledge, p.55, published in translation 1815).

King,Thomas Starr (1824 – 1864), American Unitarian minister, influential in California politics during the American Civil War, and credited by Lincoln with stopping California becoming a separate republic:
'The Universalists believe that God is too good to damn [humanity], while the Unitarians believe that [humanity] is too good to be damned by God' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Kingsley, Charles (1819 – 1875), Church of England priest, Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, canon of Chester Cathedral, founder of the Chester Society for Natural Science, Literature and Art, early supporter of Darwin, historian and novelist best known for The Water-Babies:
'[Jesus is] not merely as the Saviour of a few elect souls, but as the light and life of every human being who enters into the world; and as the source of all reason, strength, and virtue in heathen or in Christian; as the King and Ruler of the whole universe, and of every nation, family and man on earth' (Preface to Sermons on National Subjects (preached in a Village Church)).

* Knoch, Adolph Ernst (1874-1965), theological writer and founder of Concordant Publishing Concern:
‘I, for one, freely confess that, without a knowledge of the consummation, when God will reconcile all and become All in all, I could not have confidence in a deity who allowed the world to work itself into such a mess, and who can do little more for most men than to sweep them into destruction, extinction or torment’ (The Problem of Evil and the Judgements of God, p. xx).

* Kociscin, Peggy (xxxx), American mother of a drug addicted son who died prematurely:
'The day you died, my mind, my heart became obsessed by fear. Where are you? Did a hell now claim the son I hold so dear? ... But through my fear, God came to me and touched me tenderly. He smiled and with a loving voice He kindly spoke to me.Did you love your son no matter what? “Certainly,” I said. “Did you forgive him for the pain for all the things he did?” “Of course,” I said, “He is my son, how could I not forgive him? An unconditional mother’s love was all I had to give him.”I thought I heard God chuckle then as He whispered His reply, “Why would you think that you can love more perfectly than I?' (quoted by Boyd C Purcell in Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb).

* Konstan, Dr. David (xxxx-), distinguished scholar, former John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Classics and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Brown University, currently Professor of Classics at New York University:
'We argue that the New Testament seems to distinguish between the afterlife, which is eternal, and punishment in the afterlife, which may last for an eon but will end with the end of time. Eternal life is thus promised – not in this world, but the next' (A post at the Evangelical Universalist forum).

* Künneth, Walter (1901–1997), German Lutheran theologian, part of the oppositional Confessing Church during the Nazi era:
‘Apokatastasis (the restoration of all things) represents an ultimate consequence of doctrine of the aeons, and as such a theological necessity’ (quoted at Tentmakers – no other source as of yet).

Landor, Walter Savage (1775 –1864), English writer and poet who often both implies and assets belief in UR in his writings. His best known works are the poem Rose Aylmer and the prose Imaginary Conversations. One of these conversations takes place between Philip Melancthon and John Calvin and Melancthon arges that:
‘Our blessed Lord himself in his last hours ventured to express a wish before his heavenly Father that the bitter cup might pass away from him. I humbly dare implore that a cup much bitterer may be removed from the great body of mankind; a cup containing the poison of eternal punishment where agony succeeds agony but never death’ (quoted in The Universalist Quarterly and General Review - Volume 6, p.258, 1849).

Larcom, Lucy (1824 – 1893), American poet and Congregational hymn writer from Lowell Massachusetts; editor, teacher, and abolitionist. She worked in the Lowell textile mills from age 11 to 21 and published a notable memoir A New England Girlhood:
'…For none are alien, none are strange, /Met in the Love that cannot change;/We all are brethren in Thy Son — /The Father and the children one. /O Christ, Thou art the atmosphere/Of heaven, breathed into mortals here!...' (from The Wanderers hymn).

Lavater, Johann Kaspar (1741 –1801), Swiss poet, physiognomist, pastor in Zurich’s Zwinglian Church and writer on mysticism:
'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' (reported in John Erskine’s Sketches of Church History).

Law, William (1686 –1761), Anglican cleric and spiritual writer:
‘God's Providence, from the Fall to the Restitution of all Things, is doing the same Thing, as when he said ... "Let there be light"; He still says, and will continue saying the same Thing, till there is no Evil of Darkness left in all that is Nature and Creature ... Love knows no Change, but into a redeeming Pity towards all his fallen Creatures' (An Humble, Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Clergy , Address 191; 200).

Lead, Jane (1624 –1704), Christian mystic and founder of the Universalist Philadelphian Society in London:
‘Now whereas it is charged, that Redemption is to reach no further, than to such a Number as do receive and believe in Christ while in the Body, that then, if they fail of it here, they are destinated to an everlasting Damnation; this I deny as to that Eternity of Punishment which is by them meant. Because those Scriptures mentioned for the Confirmation of the Never-ceasing Torments, are properly to be understood but for Ages of Time' (The Everlasting Gospel, para VIII ).

* L'Engle, Madeleine (1918 –2007), Episcopalian and writer of A Wrinkle in Time:
‘All will be redeemed in God's fullness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ. All the strayed and stolen sheep. All the little lost ones.... To look for hell, not heaven, is a kind of blasphemy, for we are called to live in hope’(A Stone for a Pillow, p. x).

Leonard, Rev Charles Hall (1822-1918), American Universalist minister of Chelsea, Massachusetts:
'Q. Will the opportunity of a right choice be denied the soul after it enters the world of spirits? A. No. The relations of the human spirit to God, the Divine Spirit, are not changed by death. Wherever and whenever the soul heartily repents, and turns to God, he will mercifully hear and bless' (First Steps in the Open Path: Prepared for the Children and Youth of the First (Universalist) Church of Christ, Chelsea, Mass).

Lindsey, Theophilus (1723–1808), English theologian and clergyman who founded the first avowedly Unitarian congregation in England, at Essex Street Chapel:
'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’ (Conversations On The Divine Government , p.184, 1802).

Littledale, Frederick (1833–1890), Anglo-Irish Church of Ireland clergyman and writer who once propagated ECT but changed his mind:
'This view puts God on a moral level with the devisers of the most savagely malignant revenge known to history' (quoted in Thomas Allin’s Christ Triumphant or Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel available at Tentmakers).

* Louth, Father Andrew (xxxx-): Russian Orthodox Priest and Professor of Patristics and Byzantine Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham, England:
'The reason why Origen taught the final restoration is because it is inconceivable that Christ is to remain in sorrow for all eternity, on account of any rational creature to respond to his love and to benefit from his sacrifice'(Eschatology , p.245).

Loveland, Samuel Chapman (1787-1858), Universalist minister, scholar, teacher of history, mathematics, theology, moral philosophy, Biblical Greek, Latin and various modern languages, and pioneer religious journalist:
'The salvation of all men, then, is necessary to a complete fulfillment of the law. As Christ is the Fulfiller of the law and the Savior of men, the unity and harmony of his labor is easily seen; for in fulfilling the law, he saves men, and in saving men he fulfills the Law ...I preach that all sinners will experience the salvation by Christ, to be universal and free' (A correspondence by letters: Samuel C. Loveland and Rev. Joseph Laberee, p.x).

* Ludlow, Dr. Morwenna (xxxx-), Senior Lecturer of Patristics at Exeter University:
'Rob Bell’s book controversial book Love Wins suggests that God might save all people and questions the existence of an eternal hell. This is an unusual view in modern Evangelical Christianity but, as my research shows, there is a long underground tradition of Christian ‘universalists’ who argue that an eternal hell is incompatible with a truly loving omnipotent God and contradicts Jesus’ example of inclusive unconditional love' (Is there a hell? Is it eternal? At Exeter Uni blog).

Lyall, Edna (1857-1903), English Unitarian novelist whose second novel, Donovan (1882) reveals her Unitarian upbringing in its treatment of religious tolerance and politics:
'Surely it is time that everyone who believes that the Everlasting Father lovingly, eternally, educates all His children should speak out plainly, and not be ashamed to confess with the Psalmist, “My trust is in the tender mercy of God forever and ever' (quoted in Mark T. Chamberlain and Thomas Allin Every Knee Shall Bow with the attribution, EDNA LYALL, Eastbourne, 16th December, 1890).

MacDonald, George (1824-1905), former Congregational Pastor, mentor to Lewis Carroll, influential christian thinker, and notable author and poet best known for The Princess and the Goblin:
'If God be defeated, he must destroy--that is, he must withdraw life. How can he go on sending forth his life into irreclaimable souls, to keep sin alive in them throughout the ages of eternity? But then, I say, no atonement would be made for the wrongs they have done; God remains defeated, for he has created that which sinned, and which would not repent and make up for its sin. But those who believe that God will thus be defeated by many souls, must surely be of those who do not believe he cares enough to do his very best for them. He is their Father; he had power to make them out of himself, separate from himself, and capable of being one with him: surely he will somehow save and keep them! Not the power of sin itself can close all the channels between creating and created' ("Justice" from Unwritten Sermons Vol 3, chp 7).

Mack, Alexander (1679 –1735), leader and first minister of the Schwarzenau Brethren – a radical pietist/Anabaptist group also known as the Dunkers, Tunkers, or Dunkards. The Brethren emigrated to the United States in the mid-18th century, where he continued to minister to the Brethren community until his death. They brought the 'Everlasting Gospel' to the USA with them although Mack stressed that the teaching of UR should not be preached publicly:
'Therefore that is a much better and more blessed gospel which teaches how to escape the wrath of God, than the gospel which teaches that eternal punishment has an end. Even though this is true, it should not be preached as a gospel to the godless' (European Origins of the Brethren, Donal F. Durnbaugh).

Mackintosh, Sir James (1765 –1832), Scottish jurist, politician and historian whose studies and sympathies embraced many interests. He was trained as a doctor and barrister, and worked also as a journalist, judge, administrator, professor, philosopher and politician:
‘The fear of hell or the desire of reward for ourselves may, like fear of the gallows, prevent crimes; but at most it can only lead to virtue, it can never produce it. I leave below me those coarse notions of religion which degrade it into a supplement to police and criminal law. All such representations are more practically atheistical, more derogatory from the grandeur of religious sentiment, than any speculative system called atheism. There is nothing in this world so right as to cultivate and exercise kindness – the most certainly evangelical of all doctrines – the principle of Jesus Christ ... These precepts [say his biographer and son] led him to look forward with ardent hope and humble faith to the day when tears shall be wiped away from all eyes’ (from A Life of Sir James Mackintosh by R. J. Mackintosh, p.x, 1836).

* Manning, Richard Francis Xavier (Brennan) (1934-), author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker:
'He has a single, relentless stance toward us: he loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods-the gods of human understanding-despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by his mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of his beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of Grace' (The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 18).

* Marshall, Catherine (1914-1983), author of fiction, non-fiction and inspirational books, wife of minister Peter Marshall:
'I was shocked at the terrifying illusion of God that these questions revealed ... Did God love them less than she? And how would she ever be able to trust her Creator with her own happiness so long as her only emotion toward Him was terror? ... I realized how often we attribute emotions and deeds to God that we would ascribe only to the most depraved of human minds. Probably no personality in the universe is so maligned as the Creator ... I came across this same thought in one of Hannah Whitall Smith’s books ... “ Who can imagine a mother ever dropping a search so long as there is the least chance of finding a lost child?” Mrs. Smith wrote. “The God would be more indifferent than a mother? Since I have had this sight of the mother-heart of God, I have never been able to feel the slightest anxiety for any of his children. We can trust Him…' (Beyond Our Selves, p.x).

Marshall, Christopher (1709–1797), American Revolutionary. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he went to America in 1727, settled in Philadelphia and worked as a chemist and pharmacist. Marshall is best known for The Remembrancer, a diary he kept during the Revolution, which was not published until 1839:
‘Jesus will, in the ages to come, put an end to sin, finish transgressions, and bring in everlasting life unto all lapsed being, as it stands recorded in the scriptures’ (from Tentmakers, original source not yet traced).

* Martin, Dr. Ernest L. (1932-2002), meteorologist, historian, theologian, controversial archaeologist and former member of the USAF, best known as founder of the non-trinitarian United Church of God. Originally a supporter of Herbert W. Armstrong of the controversial Radio Church of God, later known as the Worldwide Church of God, he studied and taught at Armstrong’s Ambassador Colleges in America and England. Former chairman of the Department of Theology at Ambassador in Pasadena, California; founder of the Foundation for Biblical Research in Pasadena; founder of the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge (A.S.K.); member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Planetarium Society; he was listed in the 1997,'98,'99 editions of Who's Who in America, also Who's Who in Religion, Who's Who in Education, and Who's Who in Biblical Studies and Archaeology:
'If the doctrine is clear in the Bible, did later Christians believe it—particularly those in the first few centuries after Christ? The answer concerning universal salvation is a resounding YES! It was common knowledge among many Christian scholars of the early centuries that the teaching represented the bedrock of Christian belief ... The doctrine of a universal world reconciliation to Christ is plainly revealed in the Bible' (The Recognition of Universal Reconciliation - Part 1, from the ASK website).

Martineau, James (1805–1900), English religious philosopher influential in the history of British Unitarianism which he guided away from the Biblicism inherited from the English Arians and in a more rationalist direction. He generally managed to avoid the pantheism of the American transcendentalists in his theology. His stance on faith and eschatology can be seen from his reply to a critical letter from Anglican clergy in Liverpool I 1839:
‘We believe, no less than you, in an infallible Revelation (though had we the misfortune to doubt it, we might be, in the sight of God, neither worse nor better than yourselves); you in a revelation of an unintelligible Creed to the understanding; we in a Revelation of moral perfection and the spirit of duty to the heart; you in a Revelation of the metaphysics of Deity; we in a Revelation of the character and providence of the Infinite Father; you in a Redemption which saves the few, and leaves with Hell the triumph after all; we in a Redemption which shall restore to all at length the image and the immortality of God’(James Drummond, C. B. Upton, Life and Letters of James Martineau, Part 1, p.98, 1902).

Mayo, Sarah Carter Edgarton (1819 -1848), American author from Massachusetts, editor of The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, a monthly magazine in Boston. Her support for women’s equality reflected her Universalist belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all of God’s creatures:
'But that same good Being who has given to the minutest insect some instrument of self-preservation, sent not into this world the most beautiful creation of his hands to be the sport of circumstance and the victim of feeling' ('A Thought on Female Culture’ from The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, December 1841).

* McCord Adams, Dr. Marilyn (1943-), Episcopalian priest, former canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford, Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology, Yale and President of the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, currently Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina:
'Traditional doctrines of hell err again by supposing ... that God does not get what God wants ... that God lacks the will or the patience or the resourcefulness to civilize each and all of us' (Christ and Horrors, p. x).

* Mckeeman, Gordon B. (1920-), American Universalist minister:
'Hell is, in fact, a burning issue for it is the issue of separation, whether we can, with safety and impunity, set up little islands in the human experience and therefore protect ourselves against any relationship with the mainland. And Universalism says unequivocally, it cannot be done' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Merlau, Johanna Eleonora von und zu (maiden name of Johanna Petersen) (1644-1724),German Pietist, inspired to Universalism, like her husband Johan Wilhelm, by the writing of Jane Lead. Author of the pioneering autobiography The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen, Written by Herself:
'His fire will not burn out until the last enemy, the death of time and of eternity, will have been absorbed, and God will be all in all…there will be a final, all-encompassing, in which all of God’s creation (not together but according to its rank one after another) will be saved from their destruction and completely restored or placed into a state of bliss in which they were and have seen themselves at their creation or in the beginning' (The Eternal Gospel of the Return of All Creatures, p. 102).

* Miller, Kevin (xxxx-), award winning screenwriter, director, producer, writer and theological blogger best known for the documentaries Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and Hellbound?:
'I fail to see how you can reconcile the notion of a loving God with punishment that is an end in itself. Hence my rejection of Infernalism and Annihilationism. If God is loving by nature, I have to believe he will not achieve justice for the 99 at the expense of the 1 or vice versa' (A cheat sheet on hell at Hellbound website).

Mitchell, Edward (1768-1834), ex-methodist trinitarian universalist preacher, overseer of the Society of United Christian Friends, New York:
'Infinite love must desire our happiness, infinite wisdom must know the means which will effect this gracious desire; and infinite power must be able to destroy all that would impede' (The Christian universalist, pp.53-54).

* Moltmann, Jurgen (1926-), influential German Reformed theologian, former pastor, Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen and Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia:
'I believe in Christ's Descent to hell. He came back and declared: “I have the keys to death and hell!” What does He do with these keys? He opens them up of course! When you think of hell, you should never think about it in the context of the question whether you yourself or someone else is going there, but always look to Christ. In His wounds, death and hell have been overcome. Which is, by the way, also the counsel Johann of Staupitz gave to his pupil Martin Luther' (Interview with Tentmake Ministries on their website).

Moore, Thomas (1779 –1852), Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer:
'Such was the last crowning dispensation of that God of benevolence, in Whose hands sin and death are but instruments of everlasting good, and who, through apparent evil and temporary retribution, 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!' (The Epicurean - a tale, p.271).

* Mulholland, James (xxxx), American Quaker (Evangelical/Gurneyite) pastor and ecumenist; co-author of If Grace is True, an exposition of universalism with a soft, pastoral focus:
'God was always the heavy. In my childhood, God was to be feared and Jesus was to be loved. Though they were partners in saving the world, they served very different roles. Jesus was the good cop and God was the bad cop. Jesus would plead with you to do the right thing. He loved and cared for you. He’d take a bullet for you. He wanted to save you. But…if you didn’t respond to Jesus, you had only to look over your shoulder to see God standing in the corner, arms crossed, cracking his knuckles, with a glare on his face. You didn’t want to be left in that room with God' (Lecture for the UU Christian Fellowship Revival 2006 Friday, November 3rd, 2006, Fourth Universalist Society, New York City).

Murray, John (1741–1815), minister of the first Universalist church in Gloucester, Mass in 1779 and is considered by most as the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States. He was a great champion of religious freedom:
'Go out into the highways and by-ways of America, your new country. Give the people, blanketed with a decaying and crumbling Calvinism, something of your new vision. You may possess only a small light but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men [and women]. Give them, not Hell, but hope and courage. Do not push them deeper into their theological despair, but preach the kindness and everlasting love of God' (Sermon preached to his congregation in Massachusetts 1779).

Murray, Judith Sargent (1751–1820), early American advocate for women's rights, essayist, playwright, poet, and letter writer (also wife to John Murray):
'Q. But are there not many persons who proclaim eternal damnation to the greater part of mankind?
A. There are many; the veil is yet upon the hearts of the multitude, their eyes are holden that they cannot see the things which belong to their peace; but observe my child, there are things which do belong to their peace; now as the day cometh, when every thing that is hid, shall be made manifest, for every eye shall see, they shall all behold him who is their peace, for thus runs the text, they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, and to know God is life eternal' (Some Deductions from the System Promulgated in the Page of Divine Revelation: Ranged in the Order and Form of a Catechism Intended as an Assistant to the Christian Parent or Teacher).

Necker, Jacques ( 1732 –1804), French statesman of Swiss birth and finance minister of Louis XVI, a post he held in the lead-up to the French Revolution in 1789:
'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' (from Baroness de Stael Holstien Memoirs of the Private Life of My Father, p.x, 1817).

Nightingale, Florence (1820-1910), Anglican, celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing:
'Certainly the worst man would hardly torture his enemy, if he could, forever. Unless God has a scheme that every man is to be saved forever, it is hard to say in what He is not worse than man. For all good men would save others if they could' (Florence Nightingale's theology: essays, letters and journal notes - edited. Lynn McDonald - p.18).

Origen - Oregenes Adamantius (c. 185 – c.254), first major scholar and theologian of the Greek Church, and ‘father’ of Christian Universalism:
'For nothing is impossible to the Omnipotent, nor is anything incapable of restoration to its Creator' (De Prinicipiis, 3.6.5).

Page, Rev. Lucius R. (1802-1896), American Universalist minister of North Cambridge Universalist Church; esteemed biblical scholar, historian, and public official. His parents were Calvinists, but as Paige later wrote, “their hearts were so much better than their doctrine.” He served as a pall bearer at Hosea Ballou’s funeral:
‘Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell ... An opinion has long prevailed in the Christian church, that our Lord designed, in this passage, to teach that God both can and will condemn some of his children to a state of endless misery subjecting both body and soul to the ‘pains of hell forever.' To those who believe that God wills, purposes, and has promised, to make all his children holy and happy, this opinion appears inconsistent with the character and the spirit of his gospel, incompatible with the fulfillment of his promises, and unwarranted by the context in which the passage occurs' (A Commentary on the New Testament, vol. i, p.117,1845).

* Parry, Dr Robin (xxxx-), former FE college teacher, former editor for Paternoster, currently theological writer and editor for Wipf and Stock:
‘Let me ask you to hold in your mind traditional Christian visions of the future, in which many, perhaps the majority of humanity, are excluded from salvation forever. Alongside that hold the universalist vision, in which God achieves his loving purpose of redeeming the whole creation. Which vision has the strongest view of divine love? Which story has the most powerful narrative of God’s victory over evil? ... To my mind the answer to all these questions is clear, and that is why I am a Christian universalist’ (The Evangelical Universalist, p. xx).

* Pearson, Carlton D'Metrius (1953-), former Pentecostal bishop and megachurch pastor, gospel singer, currently an independant minister, blogger and writer:
'Hell was never God's intention. It is man's invention. It is a human-manufactured religious icon, no less idolatrous than deifying a statue' (God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu...: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us, p. x).

Petersen, Johann Wilhelm (1649 - 1727), German academic theologian who, with his wife Johanna Eleanora, developed an individual form of pietistic spirituality:
''What fruit has the doctrine of eternal damnation born up till now? Has it made men more pious? On the contrary, when they have properly considered the cruel, frightful disproportion between the punishments and their own sins, they have begun to believe nothing at all...'' (Mysterion, p. 222).

Petitpierre, Ferdinand Oliver (1722-1790), French Protestant theologian, sometime minister of Chaux-de-Fond:
‘Nor let the humble pious follower of the gospel take the alarm ... To behold the plan of the Deity, as more consistent with his nature and attributes and more merciful to his creatures, can never be an incentive to vice. Fear is indeed, one powerful restraint on imperfect beings, but it must be a rational fear, and not such as has given rise to infidelity in thousands or which if believed, leads to despair. Besides, let me ask, ‘Have the terrors of the Lord, when represented in all the horrors of never ending misery been sufficient to deter many from offending, who have been familiar with the idea from their infancy?' (Thoughts on the divine goodness, relative to the government of moral agents, particularly displayed in future rewards and punishments, i, p.1).

Ponticus, Evagrius (345-399), Christian monk and ascetic, follower of Origen:
‘The seeds of virtue are indestructible. And I am convinced of this by the Rich Man almost but not completely given over to every evil who was condemned to hell because of his evil, and who felt compassion for his brothers; for to have pity is a very beautiful seed of virtue' (Commentary on the Book of Proverbs).

Pordage, John (1607–1681), Anglican priest, and Christian theosopher. Founder of the 17th century English Behmenist group (later become the Philadelphian Society under Jane Leade):
‘Love is of transmuting and transforming Nature. The great effect of Love is to turn all things into its own Nature, which is all goodness, sweetness, and perfection. This is that Divine Power which turns Water into Wine, Sorrow and Hellish Anguish into exulting and triumphing Joy… It restores that which is fallen and degenerated to its primary Beauty, Excellence and Perfection…It is the Divine Stone, the White Stone with a Name written on it…the Divine Elixir whose transforming power and efficacy nothing can withstand’ (Theologica Mystica p.81).

Potter, Thomas (1689–1777), American illiterate farmer who in 1760 built a chapel in Good Luck, New Jersey (now Lacey Township), for the purpose of spreading Universalism. Originally from Rhode Island, Thomas was influenced by both Quaker and Baptist beliefs. As a Universalist, let people of all denominations worship on his land, but was convinced that God would send him a preacher of Universalism. In 1770, the Universalist preacher named John Murray did in fact appear, and was prevailed upon by Potter to give his first Universalist sermon on the American continent:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Pratt, Jason (1970-), Southern Baptist apologist, theological writer and Christian fiction author, member of the Christian Cadre group:
'[God] will always be trying to call [sinners] back, because Love Most High knows they can only be happier, in the long run, if they are working with, rather than against, the source of their life and power. He will never let them destroy themselves utterly, in their mad lust for a freedom to be what they can never be. For He loves them' (Sword to the Heart, ch 49).

* Pridgeon, Rev. Charles A. (xxxx-xxx), President Pittsburgh Bible Institute and author of Is Hell Eternal? Or Will God's Plan Fail?:
‘There is an erroneous idea that, when one accepts forgiveness of his sins, he thereby escapes all the consequences of his sins. This is by no means the case, as everyone may know by experience. The consequences last until there is no longer need of their warning and judging lesson. Some of them continue to the end of this life, and even extend much further. The power of the cross of Christ is too little apprehended. It is true that salvation is spoken of as the initial step of the Christian life; viz., accepting Him as one's personal Saviour and then, by complete surrender, believing for and receiving the fullness of His Spirit; but this is but the bare beginning. Salvation in its fullness is a continuous process. We are perfect when our hearts are entirely set Godward, that is, perfect in love and purpose; but by no means are we perfected’ (Is Hell Eternal?, ‘Chapter Fourteen: The Punishments of God Illumined’, p.x, 1920, available at Tentmakers).

* Purcell, Dr. Boyd C. (xxxx), American professional counsellor and chaplain. Author of Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb, a book which presupposes EU and explains endless torment's subtle affects with the insight of a psychologist. His website also contains a light-hearted jokes page:
'A young priest was assigned to a parish by the Bishop. He made various changes in the usual practices of parish priests one of which was to set up a drive-thru confessional. The results were great! He was hearing more confessions than any other priest in the diocese. The Bishop thought that his success was appealing but his methods were appalling, especially the sign to his drive-thru confessional. It read, "Toot'n Tell or Go to Hell!" '(from Boyd C. Purcell’s website).

De Quincey, Thomas Penson (1785–1859), English essayist and associate of the Romantics. Best known for his notorious Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; however, in his latter years he wrote seriously and thoughtfully about the Christian faith:
'Scriptures ascribe absolute eternity to one sole being- to God – and derivatively to all others according to the interest which they can plead in God’s favour. Having anchorage in God, innumerable entities may possibly be admitted to a participation in the divine aion' (Theological Essays: And Other Papers, vol.i, p.162 1860).

Ramsay, Chevalier Andrew Michael (1686-1743), Scottish-born writer (lived most of his adult life in France) and Catholic convert influenced by Quietism:
'Eternal Providence desires, wills and employs continually all the means necessary to lead intelligent creatures to ultimate and supreme happiness. Almighty Power, wisdom and love cannot be eternally frustrated in His absolute and ultimate designs: therefore, God will at last pardon and re-establish in happiness all lapsed beings' (The Philosophical Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion, p.321).

* Ramsey, Ian Thomas (1915 –1972), English Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Oxford, and C of E Bishop of Durham:
'If universalism were true it has been said, we could all conclude that it would not matter very much in the long run what we did. But if in this way, we did not bother about the challenge of a moral situation, it would deny the very significance of the situation from which the discourse started..{in other words] a final triumph of God’s purposes and the final disappearance of Hell could only spring from the belief that we were able to speak consistently of God and his love and his power, and also about the cosmic significance of moral decision, the cosmic loneliness and separation it involves and so on' (Talk of God, p.224).

* Reamon, Ellsworth C. (1895-1983), American Universalist minister who opposed the Unitarian-Universalist merger arguing for Cooperation without Consolidation. He feared that ‘the greatest tragedy that could befall the Universalist Church . . . would be the denial of the Lordship of Jesus’ and was fearful that Universalism would lose its identity if merged with the rational humanistic creed that Unitarianism had become. Nevertheless, when consolidation came in 1959, he gave the Unitarian Universalist Association his loyal support, at the same time as working to keep the Universalist component of the new denomination strong. Reamon was non-dogmatic about Universalist faith, pointing out that it had limits:
'It cannot protect you from hazard or doubt. It does not even pretend to guarantee that you will escape 'hell' in this life; nor does it offer a through ticket to 'heaven.' It will not save you from the peril of thought, nor does it offer any guarantee of peace of mind or serenity of spirit. It can help you to achieve something of your divine birthright: to grow as a child of God should grow. If the Garden of Eden allegory means anything, it means that man has been given the choice of which way he will go: whether he will live essentially as an animal, or whether, while walking the face of the earth, he will lift his eyes unto the hills of reason, beauty, goodwill, insight and compassion. The choice is largely his!' (abridged from Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography).

* Reitan, Eric (xxxx-), Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University:
'Orthodox Christian teachings (ones more central to Christianity than the doctrine of hell) fit better with universalism than they do with hellism - so that, in a comparative assessment of the two doctrines in the light of broader Christian teachings, Christians ought to favor universalism' (Blog post at The Piety that Lies Between website).

Relly, James (1722–1778), Methodist minister who converted and mentored John Murray:
'The matter and manner of the Apostles preaching, appears, when among Jews and Gentiles, they taught that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God; and that he was crucified unto death, and on the third day rose again from the dead, for the forgiveness of sins, and the justification of mankind' (Union: Or, a treatise of the consanguinity and affinity between Christ and his Church, p.195).

Réville, Rev. Albert (1826-1906), French Protestant theologian, known for his extreme liberal views (he followed David Strauss in his scepticism about biblical miracles and the resurrection accounts). He is also known for being one of the first "intellectuals" to join the Dreyfusard cause – against the anti-Semites -when the Dreyfus Affair erupted in the 1890s:
‘If we cease to fear the flames of hell, we ought only the more to dread the torments of conscience. Religion itself becomes more spiritual when its hopes have become so. The magnificent idea of universal salvation, that sacred affirmation, forms part, tacit or avowed, of the confession of faith of the élite of the church, and rests on the essential ethical character for the future life’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.305).

Roach, Richard (1662–1730), Church of England clergyman and Philadelphian:
‘The Glorious Era Now, Now, Now begins/ Now, Now the Great Angelick Trumpets sings:/ And Now in every Blast, Loves Everlasting Gospel Rings./ The Glad Triumphant Sounds Through Vales, o'er Hills rebound;/ Glory to the Eternal King of Kings./ Glory to the Eternal King of Kings:/ The Glorious Era Now, Now, Now begins’ (Solomon’s Porch by ‘Onesimus’ – pseudonym of Roach).

Robinson, Henry Crabb (1775–1867), English lawyer, known for his Diary in which he tells of his friendships with William Blake, Charles Lamb, Sarah Flower Adams, Lady Byron William Wordsworth etc.:
'evil or pain here may be considered a mean towards an end. So may pain, inflicted as a punishment. But endless punishment would be itself an end in a state where no ulterior object could be conceived’; (Diary p.32) ‘I was not aware that John Wesley had ever said anything so bold as your quoted words, that ‘Calvin’s God was worse than the devil’ [written humorously] (Diary p.316); ‘the doctrine of final restoration was the redeeming article of his creed ‘[he praises the German philologist Benecke]’ (Diary, p. 199).

* Robinson, John A. T. (1919-1983), New Testament scholar, popular Liberal Christian author, former Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, England, Dean and lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge:
'As long as a man refuses to become a 'subject', as long as he presumes that the truth of universalism relieves him of reckoning with hell or making a decision, then he is not even on the road to the valley--or, rather, he has implicitly chosen hell ... The believer... seeing the matter, as it were, from the other side of the Divine act in Christ, knows that God cannot let [the sinner's repeated choice of death] rest there; He must and will win all men' (In the End, God, p. 118, 120).

* Rohr, Richard, (1943- ), Franciscan friar, founder of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, Ohio, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, and writer on spirituality:
'I personally believe that the Scriptures are CLEARLY saying we are all saved by grace and divine mercy, and also largely in spite of ourselves ... Jesus could not command us to “love our enemies” and to love unconditionally– unless God is also doing the same. Otherwise, we are more moral and spiritually advanced than God is! That cannot be true. God can only command what God also does' (In response to a question “Are all people saved?” at Rohr's Website).

Rush, Benjamin (1746–1813), Founding Father of the United States and signatory to the Declaration of Independence; physician, writer, educator, humanitarian, founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania:
'I then read for the first time Fletcher’s controversy with the Calvinists, in favor of the universality of the atonement. This prepared my mind to admit the doctrine of universal salvation, which was then preached in our city by the Rev. Mr. Winchester. It embraced and reconciled my ancient Calvinistical and my newly adopted Arminian principles. From that time I have never doubted upon the subject of the salvation of all men. My conviction of the truth of this doctrine was derived from reading the works of Stonehouse, Seigvolk, White, Chauncey and Winchester, and afterwards from an attentive perusal of the Scriptures. I always admitted with each of those authors future punishment, and of long duration' (Travels through Life, reprinted in Memoirs of the Spirit: American Religious Autobiography from Jonathan Edwards to Maya Angleou, ed by E. S. Gaustad, p.38).

* Sakharov, Archimandrite Sophrony (1896 - 1993), Disciple and biographer of St Silouan the Athonite and compiler of St Silouan's works, and founder of the monastery of St John the Baptist in Maldon, England:
'Dwelling in heaven, the Saints behold hell and embrace it too in their love....You may be certain that as long as someone is in hell, Christ will remain there with him' (Taizé, un sens à la vie, Service Orthodoxe de Pressse no. 220, p. 37).

Sargent, Epes (1813–1880), American Bostonian Universalist playwright, editor and poet – famous for writing the lyric A life on the ocean wave. He edited the monumental Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poets, and The Testimony of the Poets, an anthology for Universalists:
'Poetry, from the time of Job, has been the mother tongue of devotion and prophecy; and the poets, in their highest moods, have generally been true to those innermost assurances of the soul, which represent a God and an afterlife in keeping with our best ideas of omnipotent benignity and love…Even those poets who are regarded as theologically ‘orthodox’ are often poetically heterodox; for at times they seem to exult in their escape from their narrow sectarian enclosure – to have a clear glimpse of the all-embracing mercy of the universal Father…rebuking the gloomy creed, which the heart unerringly rejects, however the intellect, succumbing to supposed authority, may labor to accept’ (The Testimony of the Poets, pp 8-9, 1854).

Sargent, Winthrop (xxxx-xxxx), American early convert to Universalism, father of the famous politician and patriot of the same name and of Judith Sargent Murray the notable universalist . In 1770 Winthrop Sargent the elder became intrigued by reading James Relly’s work Union that affirms universal salvation, and began to host gatherings in his home in Gloucester Massachusetts to discuss the new theology. In 1774, when he learned that the English Universalist preacher John Murray was lecturing in Boston, he invited him to visit his home to preach to the gathering there. On November 3, John Murray presented himself at the Sargent family home to preach and Judith met him for the first time:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Saxby, Rev A. E (1873-1960), English Pentecostalist Pastor of the independent Pentecostal Church in Tottenham that became known as ‘Derby Hall’. For a short time he was an important figure in British Pentecostalism but, when, in 1923 he began to adopt and to propagate “Ultimate Reconciliation” he parted company with mainstream Pentecostalism:
'We do not wish to belittle the awful judgments of God. They will be terrible enough. But we desire to get all the perspective of Scripture and look to the end God has in view. We do not believe that orthodox theology has done this. It has stopped short in the ages themselves and has misnamed them eternity, and has therefore presented the vision of a heaven full of saints and a hell full of tortured sinners in endless existence. In such a survey of the ultimate there is no place for the vision that Paul gives when God shall be All in all (1Cor. 15:28). We contend that nothing less than the reconciliation of all would satisfy the heart of God and be a fitting consummation to the shedding of the blood of His Son' (God’s Ultimate, p. x).

Say, Thomas (1709-1796), American Quaker of Philadelphia and intimate friend of George de Benneville. At the burial of Benneville (aged ninety), Say (aged eighty four) ‘knelt on the fresh earth and poured forth a strain of prayer that touched all hearts by its memoires and simplicity’ (see Abel Thomas A century of universalism in Philadelphia and New York, p.154). Say promoted universalism in two works; Life and Essays on the impartiality of God:
‘Some writers have thought that the promulgations of the doctrine of universal benevolence and restoration of man, might do injury at this time, but I believe differently, and think that every soul which can be made fully sensible of this extraordinary divine love to the creation will be a humbled creature, and often have to adore the great, powerful, condescending Mercy and Love’ (Life, p.5, 1776).

Schaff, Philip (1819-1893), Swiss Calvinist scholar and eminent church historian:
'This doctrine of a divine will and divine provision of a universal salvation, on the sole condition of faith, is taught in many passages which admit of no other interpretation, and which must, therefore, decide this whole question. For it is a settled rule in hermeneutics that dark passages must be explained by clear passages, and not vice versa' (History of the Christian Church, Volume 1, p.580).

Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph, later ‘von Schelling’ (1775 –1854), German Idealist philosopher whose difficult and ever changing thinking is stands at midpoint between Fichte and Hegel. Hanson quotes the following from Schelling’s Remarks on 1 Cor. 15:24:
‘To the Son, then, is Being away from God, alienated from God and the Father, given over, that he may reconcile it again to the Father. He has received Being as away from and unacceptable to the Father, that he may give it back to him again, as Godlike, again acceptable and reconciled to him. This will be completely realized only at the end of the World-time. Then shall Being which was away from God and wholly alienated from him be in the Father’ (quoted in translation in A Cloud of Witness from Sämmtliche Werke IV, p. 62, 1856).

* Screech, Rev Dr. Michael Andrew (1926-), notable Renaissance scholar and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, Anglican priest and former college chaplain:
'What brought kindness trickling into the laughter of Erasmus and flooding into that of Rabelais, was indeed charity. With charity comes a deeper understanding of the mercy of God...Neither laughter raiser revelled in the endless and ingenious tortures of the damned...charity opens the floodgates of joy, and joy can lead to ample laughter' (Laughter at the foot of the Cross, p.312-14).

* Shaeffer, Frank (1952-), author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker, son of Francis Schaeffer, Greek Orthodox convert:
'That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally ... Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge ... We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood' (Different Takes: Should We Abandon the Idea of Hell?).

Sherwood, Mary Martha (1775–1851), prolific and influential English writer of children's literature. She composed over 400 books, tracts, magazine articles, and chapbooks and was enormously popular. However, her ‘earnest evangelical’ style fell from favor as a different style of children's literature came into fashion during the late nineteenth century, one exemplified by Lewis Carroll's playful and nonsensical Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
‘The Gospel, by the grace of God, bringeth salvation to all men; but few in comparison, have seen his, so as cordially to fall in with and confess it, when by all men is to be understood, every individual of the human race. Some, indeed, in every period of the Christian church, have seen and acknowledged this, but by one means or other, this excellency of the Gospel has been hidden from the eyes of the generality of both preachers and hearers’ (The Works of Mrs Sherwood, p. 52, 1857).

Shinn, Quillen Hamilton (1845- 1907), American Universalist minister from West Virginia and much travelled missionary, is known as the ‘St. Paul of the Universalist Church’ credited with starting at least 40 churches and inspiring nearly 30 persons to enter the ministry:
‘Every deed of mercy that lessens pain; every charity that assuages sorrow and distress; every church that throws its arms of love around the wayfaring man; every institution of learning that kindles thoughts of a higher world; every new discovery disclosing larger visions of truth; every fresh avenue of commerce opening wider channels for the diffusion of God’s love; every object lesson in this great outer world teaching Gods bounty and care; …all, all these are agents, messengers, instruments, to fulfill the sublime prophecy of our Universalist faith ,--final triumph, glorious victory! instruments breathed upon from higher worlds, and weaving their countless strains for the grand, triumphant, joyous, matchless symphony of God!’ (from Affirmations of Universalism, available at True Grace Ministries).

* Short, Robert L. (1932-2009), actor, Presbyterian minister and best-selling author of The Gospel According to Peanuts:
'Everyone already is saved and is going to heaven. People’s first response to me is: How can you believe that? How can you know that? My answer is that we can know it’s true through the good news of Christ' (Interview at Read the Spirit website).

Siegvolk, Paul - pseudonym of George Klein-Nicolai of Friessdorf (xxxx-xxxx), German pastor and seminal Universalist:
‘All men who rashly dare exclude one of the fallen creatures, be they never so corrupt, from the endless mercy and the all renewing love of God, are not yet grounded in that love to enemies which is so highly recommended to us by the universal Saviour of the world’ (The Everlasting Gospel, Elhanan Winchester edition, p.129).

* Singh, Sadhu Sundar (1889- 1929), Indian Sikh convert to Christianity. Treasured by evangelicals as a formative figure in the development of the Christian church in India he made dangerous preaching tours in Tibet and also toured the South India and Ceylon. Singh was never reconciled to the idea that Hindus, Sikh’s, Buddhists etc. who died unconverted were destined for damnation and statements from his later years are strongly universalist and influenced by the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg:
'However bad and evil-living a man may be, there is in man's nature a divine spark or element which is
never inclined towards sin. His conscience and spiritual feelings may become dulled and dead, but this spark of the
divine is never extinguished. This is why even in depraved criminals there is always some good to be found ... If this divine spark or element cannot be destroyed, then we can never be hopeless for any sinner. If we say that it can be destroyed, then sorrow at separation from God because of sin and the remorse of hell will never be felt, because for feeling this pain of sorrow and remorse there is nothing in man but this spark – and hell will not be hell without this feeling. And, if he feels the pain, then, being tortured by it, sooner or later will assuredly compel him to come to God for restoration' (Meditations on Various Aspects of the Spiritual Life, chapter “Finally All Men Will Return to God”).

* Skinner, Clarence Russell (1881–1949), American Universalist Minister, Teacher, Dean of the Crane School of Theology at Tufts University, and author of The Social Implication of Universalism:
'Universalism is essentially a battle for the freedom of the common person' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

* Skobotsova, Mother Maria (1891–1945), Martyr of Ravensbruck, Russian Orthodox Nun, social activist:
'Destruction reveals the pettiness, the impermanence, the weakness of man’s hopes and aspirations. Everything is burnt away. All that remains is God, man’s soul, eternity and love. That is how it is for everyone...' (The Noyi Grad, No 13, p. 152).

Smith, Gerrit (1797 –1874), American social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist. Believing that religious sectarianism was sinful, Smith separated from the Presbyterian Church in 1843 and was one of the founders of the Church at Peterboro, a non-sectarian institution open to all Christians of whatever shade of belief:
'Eternal Hell! No man does and no man can believe it. It is untrue if only because human nature is incapable of believing it. Moreover, were such a belief possible, it would be fatal. Let the American people wake up with it tomorrow, and none of them would go to their fields, and none to their shops, and none would care for their home. The whole nation would be struck with paralysis and frozen with horror. Even the beginnings of such a belief would be too much for the safety of the brain and every step in that direction towards the mad house. The orthodox preacher would himself go crazy, did he believe his own preaching ... he saves his sanity only through his insincerity. To be sincere in his preaching he must first be insane’ (Sermons and Speeches of Gerrit Smith, p.51, 1851).

Smith, Rev. Horace Gardner (1843-1844), American Universalist Minister:
'With very few exceptions, if any, the gods of the heathen were passionate, lustful, and given to cruelty and revenge. They were objects of terror, and they ruled their subjects by the powerful influence of fear. And the reverence* paid to their authority, and the character of their worship, are written upon the pages of their history ; and the influence which they exerted upon human character was shocking to every principle of virtue, as disgraceful to the name of religion. Observation and experience teach us that even the Christian world is not free from that superstitious fear gendered in the minds of the people by wrong perceptions of the divine character' (The Object of True Religious Worship - a sermon delivered to the General Convention of Universalists in the United States, 1841).

* Sneller, Anne Gertrude (1883-1976), American author famous for her memoir Vanished World:'
On a Sunday morning the bells of the three churches in the village called all to come to meeting, for the church was still spoken of as the meetinghouse. The bells did not interfere with one another; whichever bell started ringing first would pause after two or three minutes and let the others take up the summons. All three bells had individual tones easily identified. The loungers on the hotel steps, who never went to church, not only recognized the notes of each, but were able interpret what they said. According to their insight, the Methodist bell shouted ‘Repent! Repent!’ The Presbyterian bell urged ‘Church time!’ Church time!' Only the Universalist bell held out a cheerful promise. ‘No hell! No hell!’ it said. The loungers felt safe in staying where they were' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Solomon, of Akhlat (flourished 1222; dates of birth and death unknown), Bishop of the Nestorian Church of the East in Basrah, Iraq and author of the Book of the Bee:
'For as regards that which is said in the Gospel, 'These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal;' this word 'eternal' (le-`âlam) is not definite: for if it be not so, how did Peter say to our Lord, 'Thou shalt never wash my feet,' and yet He washed him? And of Babylon He said, 'No man shall dwell therein for ever and ever,' and behold many generations dwell therein...The penalty of Gehenna is a man's mind; for the punishment there is of two kinds, that of the body and that of the mind. That of the body is perhaps in proportion to the degree of sin, and He lessens and diminishes its duration; but that of the mind is for ever, and the judgment is for ever. But in the New Testament ‘le-`âlam’ is not without end. To Him be glory and dominion and praise and exaltation and honour for ever and ever. Amen and Amen' (The Book of the Bee, p.142, ed and translated by Wallis Budge, 1886).

Solovyov, Vladimir Sergeyevich (1853 –1900), Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, pamphleteer and literary critic:
''The Incarnation of God brings about the salvation of mankind, in the same way the union of mankind with God must bring about the salvation of the whole of earthly creation; as mankind, in the form of the Church, is the living Body of Christ, so the natural world must become the living body of redeemed mankind’ (God, Man and the Church).

Southwood Smith, Thomas (1788 –1861), English Unitarian physician and sanitary reformer who was instrumental in the struggle against cholera. In June 1813 he began a course of fortnightly evening lectures on universal restoration; these were published in 1816 and made him a literary reputation:
'If all men are condemned by the offence of the one, the same all are justified by the righteousness of the other//These universal terms, so frequently repeated and so variously diversified, cannot possibly be reconciled to the limitation of the blessings of the gospel to the elect alone, or to a part only of the human race. Unless the wicked are reformed by their punishment, can there be any truth in the declaration that the favour of God by Christ abounds much more than sin and death' (Illustrations of the Divine Government, p.342, 1816).

Sower the Elder, Christopher (1693-1758), German printer and clockmaker (of no fixed denomination) who immigrated to Germantown, Pennsylvania. At the instigation of George de Benville,who came to America in 1741, he printed and published the first German-language Bible in America, the Pietist Universalist Berleburger Bible, edited by Johann Heinrich Haug, in which explicit universalist passages were printed in bold - the second printing of a Bible in North America (the first being John Eliot's Indian Bible):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Sower the Younger, Christopher (1721-1784), American Dunker clergyman, associate of Sander Mack, and printer who continued the work of his father. He was one of the founders of the Germantown Academy, to which he largely contributed. He also was an opponent of slavery. In 1763, he published a second edition of the Berleburger Bible, in 1776 a third, all in German. It was no doubt at George de Benville’s suggestion that Siegvolk's Everlasting Gospel was translated into English, and published by Christopher Sower, printed, probably, on the identical press on which the Berleburger Bible had been struck off (de Benville was always welcome in the pulpits of Dunker churches):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Squires, Rev. Lyman Hamilton (1851-1902), Pastor of the Rochester Universalist Church, New York, USA:
'Universalism is more than cushioned seats and no hell' (Writings from the Heritage of American Universalism Compiled by Karen E. Dau, Archivist New York State Convention of Universalists).

Sterry, Peter (1613–1672), English Independent, theologian, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell:
'Poor, and broken Spirits, who lie at the utmost end of the Earth, mourning as outcasts; hope for evermore in Eternal love, wait for it. The love of God will find you out, it will meet with you, and take you on its way' (The Rise, Race and Royalty of the Kingdom of God in the Soul of Man, p.324).

* Stetson, Eric (1979-), former Baha'i adherent, Home Missions Church minister, writer, and founder of The Christian Universalist Association:
'I invite you to consider the alternative, the Good News Gospel of Christian Universalism that is the original message of the Christian faith' (Christian Universalism, p. x).

Stonehouse, Sir James (1715-1795), English physician, Church of England Clergyman and associate of the Wesley's and Whitfield at Oxford University's 'Holy Club':
'When we know the Logos as his holy angels know him, and fee him as he is; we shall be fully satisfied that he is altogether lovely, that in his heart is pure goodness, that no wrath can dwell there but what love alone must generate, that our interest is his perpetual concern, that it is the pleasure of his good- will to bless us even in defiance of our own perverseness' (Universal restitution a Scripture doctrine: this prov'd in several letters wrote on the nature and extent of Christ's kingdom; wherein the Scripture passages, falsly alleged in proof of the eternity of hell torments, are truly translated and explained, Letter xxii, Section ii).

* Stroeter, Ernest Ferdinand (1846-1922), German Methodist author, missionary, pastor, conference speaker and Professor in Europe and North America. He was initially influenced by Pietism and became both a Universalist and dispensationalist (probably from reading Andrew Jukes) after moving to America. Here, for a time, he was Professor of Historical and Practical Theology at Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton (Missouri). He edited the Concordant New Testament with Adolph Ernst Knoch:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Talbott, Dr Thomas (xxxx-), Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon:
‘I shall contend that the universalism of the New Testament is not only all pervasive, but clear and obvious as well.’ (The Inescapable Love of God, Chapter 5 opening).

Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811–1863,) English novelist famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair. Hanson describes Thackeray as a Universalist on thin but noteworthy evidence. Writing of the genius of Charles Dickens Thackeray says:
‘I recognize in it -I speak it with awe and reverence – a commission from that Divine Beneficence, whose blessed task we know it will one day wipe every tear from every eye’ (quoted in A Cloud of Witness p.214, 1880).

Thayer, Thomas Baldwin (1812–1886); American Bostonian theologian and the leading Universalist writer in the late nineteenth century:
'Do you say, it is unreasonable to suppose terms have been thus changed in their signification? I answer, such changes are very common in language. Let me give a few instances. "Knave" once signified a servant; and in early translation of the New Testament, instead of "Paul the servant," we read, "Paul the knave of Jesus Christ." "Wretch" was originally, and is now in some parts of England, used as a term of softest and fondest endearment. "Villain" originally signified simply a servant or bondsman. "Hell" meant originally, concealed or covered over. Dr. Campbell says, "at first it denoted only what was secret or concealed, and is found with precisely the same meaning in all the Teutonic dialects." Dr. A. Clarke says, "The word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon helon, to cover or hide; hence the tiling or slating of a house is called, in some parts of England, heling, to this very day; and the covers of books (in Lancashire) by the same name' (The origin and history of the doctrine of endless punishment, p.1, 1855).

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897), French Carmelite nun known as "The Little Flower of Jesus". Pope John Paul II declared her the thirty-third Doctor of the Church, the youngest person, and only the third woman, to be so honoured:
'St. Therese wrote a Christmas play for her sisters in which the angels gather round the crib. The Angel of Vengeance declares, '‘At the time of judgment, I want to punish the crimes, to destroy all the ungrateful; my sword is ready, well will I know how to avenge you!’' Then the Child Jesus replies: '‘Beautiful angel, lower your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I desired to set in being and to redeem. I myself am the Judge of the world, and my name is Jesus.'’ To the pleas of the Angel of the Holy Face’ the Christ Child answers '‘I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness''. (Theatre au Carmel, p. 108).

Tholuck, Friedrich August Gottreu (1799–1877), German Lutheran theologian and noted church leader among nineteenth century German Evangelicals. As a young man he was introduced to pietistic circles in Berlin, and came under the influence of Baron Hans Ernst von Kottwitz, who became his "spiritual father":
'[When touring America]Professor Sears had a private discussion with Tholuck, at his residence, on Universal Salvation. The latter advocating the salvation of all, and the former objecting to it. Professor Sears frequently attended the lectures Tholuck delivered to his theological students. “In one of these lectures,” says Professor S., “he took up, at great length, the subject of Universal Salvation in the American sense of the term, and declared his belief in the doctrine in the most unequivocal manner!!” (from Rev. J.M. Austin Brief History of Universalism, 1855, available at Tentmakers).

Thomas, Abel Charles (1807-1880), American Universalist evangelist, minister, journalist, and historian; originally from a traditional Quaker background. Abel was compiler and editor of The Gospel liturgy: a prayer-book for churches, congregations, and families, approved by the Universalist Church of America:
'Father of all, who art the Father of Mercies; Enable us sincerely and heartily to pray for all ... For the unbelieving and the heedless, that a living coal from the altar may touch their lips, and refine their souls in glowing love; For the corrupt and the selfish, that the rod of judgment may become the staff of thy merciful help’('The Intercession for All', Gospel Liturgy, p.19).

Townshend, Chauncy Hare,(1798-1868), English poet, Anglican clergyman, mesmerist, collector, and good friend of Charles Dickens:
'Where is damnation? – Man-woven sadness! -/Hark! All creation/Answers in gladness!//Sin shall dissolve/In goodness supernal!-/Beauty and Joy/Alone are eternal' (from Epes Sargent The Testimony of the Poets , p.63).

Turner, Edward (1776-1853),denominational organizer, Universalist preacher, and the first historian of Universalism:
'The glory of God can never be disassociated from the happiness of his creatures' ('A discourse delivered at the dedication of the Universalist Meeting House,Hudson, N.Y. 1817', Gospel Visitant Vol.2, p.229).

Turner, Sharon (1768–1847), English historian famous for his History of the Anglo-Saxons which demonstrated Anglo-Saxon liberty against Norman despotism:
‘All human nature will finally be led to the image of God. Obedience is essential to the immortality of humanity’ (quoted by Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.315).

* Tutt, Rodger (1938 -), Canadian universalist web communicator know for his ‘Snippets’ broadcast on a variety of UR sites and for his theology forums, ‘Walk Away’(from fundamentalism) and ‘Testimonies and Opinions’:
'Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone's suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself' (from Rodgers’ Theology Forums).

* Tutu, Desmond Mpilo (1931-), retired Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of Southern Africa, social rights activist and anti apartheid campaigner:
'Perhaps we too, are shaken by the thought that our enemies will not burn in Hades throughout eternity. But, ultimately, the reality of heaven cannot tolerate the existence of hell. Even our worst enemies are God's beloved children' (Made for Goodness, p. 134).

Westcott, Brooke Foss (1825 –1901), English Biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Anglican Bishop of Durham from 1890. He is perhaps most known for his co-authoring of The New Testament in the Original Greek:
‘We are told God is not the Father of all men; He is only their Creator! What a total misapprehension these words imply of all that is involved in creating man in the likeness of God, in the image of God. Viewed thus, Creation contains the Gospel in germ; it involves universal Fatherhood. “Have we not all one Father,” asks the Prophet, why? “Has not one God created us? " (Malachi Ii. ii. 10). “Lord, You art our Father… we are all the work of Your hand.”(Isaiah lxiv. 8). He earliest gospel is Genesis. i. 26. ‘Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness'' (WESTCOTT on Heb. i. 2. xxxxx).

* Whitall Smith, Hannah (1832 – 1911), lay speaker and author in the Holiness movement in the United States and the Higher Life movement in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland – originally from a Quaker background. She was also active in the Women's suffrage movement and the Temperance movement:
'An inward voice said, in tones of infinite love and tenderness, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied." "Satisfied!" I cried in my heart, "Christ is to be satisfied! He will be able to look at the world's misery, and then at the travail through which He has passed because of it, and will be satisfied with the result; If I were Christ, nothing could satisfy me but that every human being should in the end be saved, and therefore I am sure that nothing less will satisfy Him' (The Unselfishness of God And How I Discovered It, p.x).

White, Jeremiah (1629–1707), Independent minister and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell
‘For if each soul be a Unity, a Figure, a Shadow, of the Supreme Unity...If so many millions of these Intellectual Substances be never looked upon, or visited with Redemption, not one Saint is completely saved, for if each spirit be an entire World, all Spirits are in each Spirit...’ (The Restoration of All Things, p.147).

Whittemore, Thomas (1800-1861), author of The Modern History of Universalism, founder of The Trumpet and Universalist magazine and influential member of the Universalist Church of America:
'Fathers and Mothers, in repeated instances in the United States, have murdered their children, lest they should grow up, and commit sin, and be damned. Can a doctrine which produces such dreadful consequences be the doctrine of God?' (footnote in The Doctrine of Eternal Torments Overthrown by Samuel Richardson, ed. by Whittemore, p. 85).

* Wilberforce, Basil (1841 –1916), Anglican priest, author, and Archdeacon of Westminster from 1900. He was the younger son of Samuel Wilberforce (who was, in turn, the son of William Wilberforce) and his views marks a generational shift in attitudes towards the preaching of eternal punishment. Both father and grandfather were ardent believers in eternal torments, but Basil was a Universalist (see C.E. Woods, Archdeacon Wilberforce; his ideals and teaching, p. 152, 1917):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Wilson, Dr. Bob (xxxx-), former pastor of First Baptist Church of Chino, California:
'To love others the way “you love yourself” ... means we can no more be at peace with damnation for them, than we could rejoice in being damned ourself! ... God, ... loves the lost far more than we do ... His Word emphasizes that the love we celebrate must ultimately embrace all' (A Case for Universalism, p. xx).

Winans, Ross (1796–1877), American inventor, mechanic, and builder of locomotives and railroad machinery. He is also noted for design of pioneering cigar-hulled ships. He published religious writings, including a pamphlet on religious tolerance and a collection of Unitarian sermons:
'Our belief is that man, being governed and trained through time, a good and happy result must ensue to each individual. The idea of hell fire and eternal torment, when properly considered, is an idea that is alike blasphemous and illogical ... God has ordained that every man shall sooner or later, recognize and appreciate His blessings. Nothing else is consistent with His determinate will. God is a God of infinite goodness, not of vengeance; to be loved; to be worshiped for love’s sake, not through fear of everlasting punishment. We believe that every man will eventually love Him, and strive more and more to serve Him' (One Religion; Many Creeds, p.x, 1903).

Winchester, Rev. Elhanan (1751-1797), former Baptist minister, universalist preacher, and one of the founders of the United States General Convention of Universalists:
'Our belief respecting the restoration of all things is not only founded upon the plainest letter of scripture ... but is exactly according to the experience of every Christian' (The Outcasts Comforted).

Winstanley, Gerrard (1609 –1676), founder of the True Levellers/ Digger, religious thinker/writer and political activist during English Civil War:
'Therefore I say the mystery of God is thus: God will bruise this serpent's head, and cast the murderer out of heaven, [i. e. of] the human nature where it dwells in part — And he will dwell in the whole creation in time, and so deliver the whole of mankind out of their fall ... in the end every man shall be saved, though some at the last hour' (The Mysterie of God – p. 9 and 56).

Winthrop, Theodore (1828–1861), American writer, lawyer, and world traveller. He was one of the first Union officers killed in the American Civil War:
'A clergyman who starts with believing in hells, devils, original sin, and such crudities, can never be anything in the nineteenth century but a tyrant or a nuisance, if he have any logic, as, fortunately, few of such misbelievers have' (from John Brent, p.42, 1864).

* Zender, Martin (xxxx-), independant theological speaker, writer and blogger:
'Eternal torment has God saying: "Make one mistake (not believing in Me), and I’ll torture you for eternity!" The world knows how ridiculous that is. Witness: Have Christians, for all their trouble and preaching, reformed the world? Okey-dokey, then' (The Ludicrous Threat of Eternal Torment at the MartinZender website).






Hopeful universalists

Akenside, Mark (1721–1770), English poet and physician. Hanson gives the following extract from one of Akenside’s poem – which certainly does express hope for Universal Restoration in its theme of the soul’s ascent:
‘From the birth/Of mortal man, the sovereign maker said/That not in humble, nor in brief delight,-/Not in the fading glories of renown,/Power’s purple robes, nor pleasure’s flowery lap,/The soul should find enjoyment, but from these/Turning disdainful to an equal good,/Thro’ all the ascent of things enlarge her view,/Till every bound at length should disappear/ and infinite perfection close the scene’ (from 'Pleasures of the Imagination', quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.67).

* Alison, James (1959-), Catholic theologian, priest, author, and notable exponent of René Girard's anthropological theory to systematic theology:
‘There is a great difference between hoping in this possibility [universal reconciliation] and taking it for granted. It seems to me that this is the deep sense of one of the Church’s most beautiful feasts, All Souls ... if it is understood as the day on which we pray especially for those with no one to pray for them ... those who everyone would like to see burn eternally.’ (Living in the End Times [U.K.] Raising Abel [U.S.] p.177).

Annonymus – Included in William Caxton’s devotional manual ‘The Fifteen O’s (so named because it contains fifteen prayers in English beginning with ‘O Jhesu’ ) are a number of Latin prayers taken from late medieval English Books of Hours. One of these translates as follows:#
'Be merciful, Lord, through Thy glorious resurrection to the souls of all the faithful departed; be merciful to those souls who have none to intercede for them, for whom there is no consolation or hope in their torment, save that they were made in Thine image. Spare them, Lord spare them, and defend Thy work in them, and give not the honour of Thy name, we pray Thee, to another. Despise not the work of Thy hands in them, but put forth Thy right hand, and free them from the intolerable pains and anguish of hell, and lead them to the fellowship of the citizens on high, for Thy holy Name's sake' (from, Caxton The Fifteen O’s c.1490, translated by Dean Plumptre in The spirits in prison and other studies on the life after death, p. 218, 1844).

Apocalypse of Peter (Anon – ca. 100-136 A.D.), a Christian Apocalypse, probably written for liturgical use, attests to the doctrine of the intercession of the blessed for the damned. Clement of Alexandria viewed it as inspired. [In chapters 3-4 Peter worrying about the sinners' fate says]:
'O my Lord, please permit me to quote your own words concerning these sinners, namely, 'Better if they had never been created,'" [Jesus replies]: "O Peter, why do you say that not having been created would have been better for them? It is you who oppose God in this way! But you certainly do not have more mercy than God has, who created them…there is nothing that perishes for God, nothing that is impossible for him' (Apoc. Pet., chapters 3-4, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

* Baker, Dr. Sharon L. (xxxx-), theologian adndAssistant Professor of Theology and Religion and Coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania:
'Those people and those nations of people who rejected Jesus during their lifetime on earth stand before God, cleansed and purified by the fire of God's love and made aware of the forgiveness of their sin through Jesus; they repent, reconcile with God, and live forevermore in perfect, restored relationship with God and others' (Razing Hell, p.179).

* von Balthasar, Hans Urs (1905-1988), Roman Catholic priest and influential theologian:
'The whole of scripture is full of the proclamation of a salvation that binds all men by a Redeemer Who gathers together and reconciles the whole universe. That is quite sufficient to enable us to hope for the salvation of all men without thereby coming into contradiction with the Word of God' (Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved, p. x).

Barker, Henry J.(xxxxx- xxxx), English parishioner of Dr Phillip Doddridge. When Doddridge lay seriously ill Baker wrote to him expressing an Armenian hope that slides into universalism, and ‘Dr Doddridge was so deeply affected with the friendship expressed in this letter, and the divine consolation which it administered, that there was reason to be apprehensive that his tender frame would have sunk under the emotions of his gratitude and joy’:
'It is so. We read it in the book of God, that word and truth and gospel of our salvation, that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Yes Doddridge, it is so. The fruit of our Redeemer’s sufferings and victory is the entire and eternal destruction of sin and death for everyone. And is it not a glorious destruction? A most blessed ruin? No enemy so formidable, no tyranny so bitter, no fetters so heavy and galling, no prison so dark and dismal, but they are vanquished and disarmed; the unerring dart is blunted and broken, the prison pulled down and razed. Our Lord is risen as the first fruits of them that slept' (Memoirs of Dr Doddridge, added to the 1825 edition of The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, pp 16-17).

* Barth, Karl (1886–1968), Swiss Reformed theologian. Barth is often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His theological thought emphasized the sovereignty of God, particularly through his reinterpretation of the Calvinistic doctrine of election, the sinfulness of humanity, and the "infinite qualitative distinction between God and mankind". His most famous works are his early The Epistle to the Roman’s, which marked a clear break from his earlier thinking; and his massive thirteen-volume work Church Dogmatics, one of the largest works of systematic theology ever written:
'This much is certain, that we have no theological right to set any sort of limits to the loving-kindness of God which has appeared in Jesus Christ. Our theological duty is to see and understand it as being still greater than we had seen before' (The Humanity of God, p.x, 1960).

* Patriarch Bartholomew I (1940-), Archbishop of Constantinople, and Ecumenical Patriarch:
'And, it is to be noted, these statements speak to all humanity; "For God so loved the world ... " is not a limiting statement; God's love extends to all the world. Nor does the objective "... to reconcile to Himself all things ... " have limits; Trinitarian objectives are universal’ (xxxx).

Beecher, Henry Ward (1813 –1887), American Congregationalist clergyman of Brooklyn, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God's love He was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. While never a convinced Universalist arguing that ‘the final outcome can only be inferred by analogy and reason’, his hope was wide:
‘…when I look at Asia and Africa , and Europe, and America, and both continents of it, and see what the actual condition of the neglected, the stripped, the peeled, the despoiled, the downtrodden races of men have been; if I thought that in addition to this there was a God…whose business it was to stand at the door where men go out of life and crush them downward to eternal hell, - every instinct of charity, of sympathy and of love that is born in me by Christ would stand crying, ‘’Annihilate him! Annihilate him!’’ It would be the sorrow of the universe that would raise this cry’ (quoted in Hanson, A Cloud of Witness, p.222).

* Bell, Rob (1970-), founder of Mars Hill Bible Church; the 2011 Time Magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, author of bestsellering Love Wins and Velvet Elvis:
'What he doesn't say is how, or when, or in what manner the mechanism functions that gets people to God through him. He doesn't even state that those coming to the Father through him will even know that they are coming exclusively through him. He simply claims that whatever God is doing in the world to know and redeem and love and restore the world is happening through him' (Love Wins, p.154).

Birks, Thomas Rawson (1810- 1883), English theologian, moral philosopher, Anglican cleric, and controversial premillenialist (he argued that other starts could not possibly have planets orbiting them for this would diminish the Second Coming):
‘The contrast between the obedient and the disobedient, the faithful and the unbelieving, in their relationship to God as the righteous Judge, cannot set aside their common relation to Him as the bountiful Creator of all men, and the God of grace towards all who are sunk in guilt and misery’ (The Difficulties of Belief in Connexion with the Creation and the Fall, p. 240, 1876).

Bryant, William Cullen (1794 –1878), American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. He wrote a once celebrate poem To the Past, which concludes with -'Each tie/Of pure affection shall be know again;/Alone shall evil die,/And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign’. An American Universalist periodical commented on these:
‘And through the influence of Christian hope we can find joy even in the memories of friends departed, as we feel they have but gone to the blissful and eternal home that is prepared for us all’ (The Universalist and Ladies' Repository, Volume 8, p.302, 1840).

* Buechner, (Carl) Frederick (1926-), ordained Presbytarian minister, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters recognised author, theologian, and Pulitzer Prize finalist:
'Dante saw written over the gates of hell the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here," but he must have seen wrong. If there is suffering life in hell, there must also be hope in hell, because where there is life there is the Lord and giver of life; and where there is suffering he is there too, because the suffering of the ones he loves is also his suffering. "He descended into hell," the Apostles' Creed says, and "If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there," says the Psalmist (139:8). It seems there is no depth to which he will not sink. Maybe not even Old Scratch will be able to hold out against him forever' (Beyond Words, p.158).

Burnet, Thomas (1635–1715), English theologian, writer on cosmogony, and chaplin to William III. He wrote in ironic disgust at Tertullian’s’ ‘abominable fancy’ from De Spectaculis 30:
‘Consider a little, if you please, unmerciful Doctor, what a theatre of Providence this is; by far the greatest part of the human race burning in the flames for ever and ever. Oh what a spectacle on the stage worthy of an audience of God and angels! And then to delight the ear, while this unhappy crowd fills heaven and earth with wailing and howling, you have a truly divine harmony!’ (De Statu Mortuorum - On the State of the Dead and of the Resurrection, p.307).

Burns, Robert (1759–1796), poet and lyricist, regarded as the national poet of Scotland, supporter of the ‘new lichts’ (who advocated a warm, heart centred, personal religion) in the Church of Scotland, and vigorous critic of the harsh, ‘auld licht’ Covenanter Calvinsists (see Holy Willie's Prayer ):
'Jesus Christ thou amiablest of characters….I trust that in Jesus Christ shall “all the families of the earth be blessed,” by being yet connected together in a better world, where every tie that bound heart to heart in this state of existence shall be far beyond our present conception, more enduring' (Letter to Mrs Dunlop,13th December 1789).

Chatfield, Paul – pseudonym for Horace Smith (1779 - 1849), English humorist, poet, novelist and miscellaneous writer. In his humorous book of aphorisms The Tin Trumpet he makes the observation concerning the Anglican hopeful Universalist Bishop Burnet –‘The resolution of this illustrious philosopher was a happy one for the world and perhaps for himself’ and also confirms his own hopeful Universalism with his definition of optimism:
'OPTIMISM – a devout conviction that, under the government of a benevolent and all-powerful God, everything conduces ultimately to the best, in the word he has created; and that mankind, the constant objects of his paternal care, are in a perpetual state of improvement and increased happiness. This is a great and consoling principle, the summary of all religion and all philosophy, the reconciler of al misgivings, the source of all comfort and consolation' (The Tin Trumpet, Or Heads and Tales, for the Wise and Waggish , pp 58-59, 1836).

Clark, Willis Gaylord (1808–1841), American poet (who Hanson refers to as James G, Clarke). He wrote a series of amusing articles called 'Ollapodiana’ for the magazine The Knickerbocker. In the latter part of his life, he was the chief editor of the Philadelphia Gazette. He wrote a number of poems and hymns on the theme of consolation in bereavement. Among his best loved was The Spirit of Life, about a child who died young, which also implies universal hope (in ‘God who loves and cares for all’):
‘No! let the mother, when her infant's breath /Faints on her bosom in the trance of death ;/Then let her yearning heart obey the call/Of that high God who loves and cares for all ;/Resign the untainted blossom to that shore /Where sicknesses and blight have power no more' (The Spirit of Life from The Poetical Writings of the Late Willis Gaylord Clark, p.38, 1847).

* Clément, Olivier-Maurice (1921 – 2009), French Eastern Orthodox theologian who taught at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, France and was friends with Pope John Paul II:
'Current intellectual revolutions have been in progress which discover and develop the most outstanding intuitions, such as those of Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor and Isaac the Syrian; they oppose the sadism of the expiatory conceptions of salvation by paschal joy, hell conceived as an eternal concentration camp -- by prayer for universal salvation' (The Truth Will Set You Free. Conversations with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I p. 308).

* Clodd, Edward (1840– 1930), English banker, anthropologist and writer on a wider range of literary and scientific subjects; a noted populariser of evolution:
'You would think your father very hard and cruel if he loaded you with good things, and sent your brothers and sisters to some homeless spot to live uncared for and unloved. And yet that is exactly what some people say that God does. They have spoken of Him Who has given life to every man, woman and child as staying near only a few of His creatures, and leaving the rest to care for themselves ... Believe that He who is called our Father is better, more just, more loving, than the best fathers can be and that He is not far from any of us' (The Childhood of the World – Man in early times, p.57).

Clough, Arthur Hugh (1819-1861), English poet and educationalist. He was the devoted assistant to Florence Nightingale. As her unpaid secretarial assistant he wrote virtually no poetry for six years:
‘And yet when all is thought and said/The heart still overrules the head;/Still what we hope we must believe/And what is given us receive;/ Must still believe for still we hope/That in a world of larger scope,/What here is faithfully begun/Will be completed, not undone’ (What We, When Face to Face).

Colenso, John William (1814–1883), Anglican missionary bishop, biblical scholar and advocate for the Zulu:
'This dogma [Eternal Concsious Torment] makes no distinction between the profligate sensualist and the ill-trained child. And it is often so stated to involve the multitudes of ignorant, untaught, heathen, the great mass of humankind, in the same horrible doom of never-ending despair, making this beautiful and blessed world the very shambles, as it were, of almighty Vengeance' (Commentary on Romans, p.190).

Cox, Samuel (1826–1893), English Congregationalist vicar and noted biblical expositor who was the founder and first editor of the monthly journal The Expositor (1875-1884):
'these descriptions assure us that our God and Father will rule over all the ages to come as well as over this present age; that through all these ages the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, will still be at work in the hearts of men, seeking to change them into the image and likeness of God: and that the redemption of Christ our Saviour will not have spent its force in this world, but will continue to operate, and perchance to operate under more favourable conditions, in the world on which we enter when we pass through the gate and vestibule of death. In short, the implication of these passages is, that all the familiar but august forces which are working together for the regeneration of the race here will continue to work hereafter, and surely to work with new power and happier eflfects in a world so much more advanced and spiritual than this' (Salvator Mundi: Or, Is Christ the Saviour of All Men?, p.220,1878).

Cudworth, Ralph (1617–1688); English philosopher and Anglican, Master of Christ’s College Cambridge and the leader of the Cambridge Platonists:
[After arguing that "no man can endure the pain of sense eternally," and that "material fire an prey only on the body," he adds], 'For if you have recourse unto supernatural means, and miracles, to conserve it, then I see no reason why God may not as well change the course of nature, and work a miracle for man's salvation as well as for his destruction' (MSS. On Future Punishment reprinted in Theological Review, April, 1878, quoted in Farrar Mercy and Judgment 1881).

Denck, Hans (1495–1527), German Christian Humanist theologian, Anabaptist leader and founder of the spiritualist wing of the Anabaptists during the Reformation (for more information see Morwena Ludlow ‘Why Was Hans Denck Thought To Be a Universalist?’ in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Volume 55, Issue 02 , April 2004):
'...nevertheless, as said, God wishes to have forced no one; the fault is theirs who do not wish to do what they very well could by means of the Word ... Since love in him was perfect and since love hates or is envious of none, but includes everyone, even though we were all his enemies, surely he would not wish to exclude anyone. And if he had excluded anyone, then love would have been squint-eyed and a respecter of persons. And that, God is not!' (Whether God is the Cause of Evil, pp.100-102).

Dickens, Charles (1812-1870), celebrated author of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Great Expectations:
'Let nothing pass, for every hand/ Shall find some work to do/ Lose not a chance to waken Love/ Be Firm, and Just, and True/ So shall a Light that never Fade/ Shine on thee from on High/ and Angel Voices say to Thee/ These Things Shall Never Die' (These Thing Shall Never Die).

Doddridge, Dr Philip (1702–1751), English Nonconformist leader, educator, and hymn writer and close friend of Isaac Watts. Doddridge was a prolific writer. His The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul was translated into seven languages. Charles Spurgeon referred to The Rise and Progress as "that holy book’’ and reading it led William Wilberforce to become a Christian. Doddridge argued that:
'We cannot pretend to decide a priori, or previous to the event, so far as to say that the punishments of hell must and will be certainly eternal' (Theological Lectures , Propositions I and 3. p.155, 1751). In addition he counselled new preachers that: ‘To make these [strong representations of the wrath of God, the, nature degree, duration of the torments of hell] the Subject of your sermons will be likely to bring upon you the reputation of legalists, and would perhaps rather amaze and confound hearers for the present, than make a good and lasting impression on them ... Warn faithfully, but let it be rather in particular parts of sermons, than in distinct discourses – Always take care to avoid representing God as a tyrant’ (Lectures on preaching and Rules for composing Sermons , pp. 19-20, 1804).

Eberhard, Johann Augustus (1739 –1809), German Lutheran theologian and Professor of Philosophy at Halle whose pupils included Friedrich Schleiermacher. He argued that salvation does not depend upon revelation, that it is possible for a heathen to go to heaven, and that the notion of eternal punishment contradicts its supposed aim of morally improving the sinner:
'Punishment being an evil, cannot be employed by a good being, unless for ends whose goodness is greater than the evils suffered, and which could not be obtained without inflicting them. God punishes not for the common good only, but also for the reformation of the sufferer; which being accomplished, punishment has no further use. It was designed to influence the love and practice of virtue; and when these are produced, it must give place to the happy consequences of amendment. Punishment therefore, being a benefit even to the sufferer, when properly viewed by him, must produce emotions of love and gratitude' (Neue Apologie des Socrates, p.x, two volumes 1772-1778).

* Eller, Vernard (1927-2007), Brethren theologian and minister, author, pacifist and Christian anarchist:
'As much as we can say with confidence, then, is that John teaches that we dare never deny the possibility of any person's being saved ... Don't ever say that you know for a fact what is the ultimate destiny of any man — be he Adolf Hitler, Cain, or Judas Iscariot. We dare not be dogmatic as to what God will do — whether save all or only some. But even more, we dare not suggest that God is limited in what he can do ... What we can and must say is that John attributes to and leaves with God 'the universalistic possibility' (The most revealing book in the Bible, p.204).

Epistula Apostolorum /Letter of the Apostles (Anon – middle of second century A.D.); a text used regularly by the relatively isolated Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It’s doctrine is orthodox rather than Gnostic, and it includes a scene where the righteous intercede for the dammed at the judgment:
‘And we said to him, ‘O Lord, we are truly troubled on their account.’’ And he said to us, ‘’You do well, for so are the righteous anxious about the sinners and they pray and implore God and ask him. ‘’And we said to him, ‘’O Lord, does not one entreat you?’’ And he said ‘Yes I will heed the request of the righteous concerning them’ (Epist. Apost. 40, Ethiopic; Coptic is substantially the same, trans. Elliot).

Ewing, Alexander (1814 –1873), Scottish Episcopalian who, from 1847, was bishop of the newly united Diocese of Argyll and The Isles. His own theological position has close affinity with that of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen and Frederick Denison Maurice; but his opinions are independent:
‘The way is different with different persons, made easier or more difficult as men accept or reject the teaching and leading of God; but that teaching ever goes on, and has the same end in view – not destruction but salvation. Those who have passed out of sight, therefore, we confidently commit to Him as to a faithful Creator, beseeching Him to undertake for them. It is not a personal salvation we want; no one can want a persona salvation. There can be no such thing. What would one be saved alone?’ (Revelation Considered as Light: A Series of Discourses, p.151, 1873).

* Farrar Capon, Robert (1925 - ), American Episcopalian priest, theological writer, author of The Supper of the Lamb and Between Noon and Three:
'I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some ... He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it ... All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not ... But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace ... All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment'

Farrar, Fredric (1831-1903), Church of England clergyman, Archdeacon of Westminster Abbey and Dean of Canterbury, schoolmaster, and author. In 1877 Farrar preached a series of sermons at Westminster Abbey proclaiming hopeful Universalism. These sermons were published as Eternal Hope and, with Farrar’s follow up answer to his critics , have become Universalist classics:
'...Shall man be more just than his Maker?...and if that love and pity springs from all that is holiest and most Christlike in our souls; - and if it would be wholly impossible for any wretch among us to be so remorseless as to doom his deadliest enemy to an endless vengeance, - are we to believe this of God? – to believe that He who planted mercy in us is merciless, and that He will ‘’hold us up with one hand and torment us with the other,’’ who knoweth our frame and remembereth that we are dust?'' (‘Are there few that be Saved?’, Sermon iv, Eternal Hope, p.115).

* Farrer, Austin (1904-1968), English theologian and philosopher, chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford:
'Cannot everlasting mercy save from the everlasting fire or let the irreconcilable perish in it?' (Saving Belief, p. x).

* Flood, Derek (xxxx-), artist, film maker and independant theological writer and blogger best known for Healing the Gospel:
'Hell is not just, God is just. Hell is evil. Hell is not a good thing, it is a bad thing, just like sin. Hell is what God fights against, not for. We should fight with God, not against him' (How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? at the rebelgod website).

Forbes, Alexander (1817 – 1875), Scottish Episcopalian Bishop of Brechiln:
'Mankind will not endure the thought that, at the moment of death, all concern for those loved ones who are riven from us by death comes to an end. Nay, we go so far as to say that….though death puts an end to each man's probation, so far as he is concerned yet the Infinite Love pursues the soul beyond the grave, and there has dealings with it', (On the Articles, ii. p.311).

* Guite, Revd. Dr. Malcolm (xxxx-xxxx), Church of England priest, poet, rock and roll musician, Girton College, Cambridge chaplain and supervisor in English and Theology:
'Tell me again the tale of Love’s compassion/ For all of us who fall onto the mire,/ How he is wounded with us, how his passion/ Quickens the love that haunted our desire' (Mother Julian).

Hase, Karl August von, (1800-1890), German Lutheran theologian and Church historian. He was the great-grandfather of Dietrich Bonheoffer:
'The restoration of every fallen being is an ideal floating before the history of the world, and its constant realization is conditioned by the moral freedom of all created spirits’ (Dogmatik, p.478, 1870).

Hemans, Felicia Dorothea (1793 –1835), English poet famous for the poem Casabianca (also known as The Boy stood on the Burning Deck). Her son, when living in America, affirmed that his mother cherished the hope of universal redemption:
‘O judge in thoughtful tenderness of those/Who richly dowered of life are called to die,/Ere the soul’s flame, through storms hath won repose./In truth’s divinest ether, still and high,/Let their minds riches claim a trustful sigh’
(from ‘O judge in thoughtful tenderness’ printed in Henry Fothergill Chorley’s Memorials of Mrs. Hemans: with illustrations of her literary character, p.217, 1836).

Hood, Thomas (1799–1845), English and Anglican humourist and poet. Canon Frederic Farrar spoke of him as ‘one of the Christian poets [who ]teach us a truer charity than the hard theologians.’ A tribute to him written some years after his death tells us that: ‘[Hood’s] religious faith was...deep and sincere, though his opposition to sectarian narrowness and spite of all sorts was vigorous, and caused him sometimes to be regarded as anti-religious. Hood...was tolerant, but he, too, had his weakness; he would roast the Pharisees in their own conceit. But he held sacred all that was high and holy. He was none the less religious because he hated cant and warred against it; because he had no sympathy with that Scottish clergyman who was horrified at seeing people walking the streets of Edinburgh on a Sunday, smiling and looking perfectly happy'. (The Quarterly Review, vol.114, p. 349 1863). All of this is confirmed by the passage from Ode to Rae Wilson 'one of the ‘Holy Willies’ who had accused him of profaneness’ quoted by Hanson (Cloud of Witness, pp 152-3):
‘Not one of those self constituted saints,/Those pseudo privy-counsellors of God,/Who write down judgements with a pen hard nibb’d,/Ushers of Beelzebub’s black rod,/Who commend sinners, not to ice thick ribbed,/But endless flames, to scorch them up like flax,/Yet sure of heaven themselves, as if they’d cribb’d/The impression of St Peter’s key in wax!’ (from Ode to Rae Wilson).

Ingelow, Jean (1820–1897), English poet and novelist:
'Dear and dread Lord, I have not found it hard/To fear Thee, though Thy love in visible form/Bled 'neath a thorny crown—but since indeed,/For kindred's sake and likeness, Thou dost thirst/To draw men nigh, and make them one with Thee,/My soul shall answer 'Thou art what I want:/I am athirst for God, the living God' (A Parson’s Letter to a Young Poet).

Isaac the Syrian aka St. Isaac the Seer (c500), Syrian expatriate monk of Italy, famous for his humility,the evangelical conversion of those who sought to rob him, and visions of coming judgment:
'[The loving, pitying heart] is a blazing up of the human heart with regard to all creation, with regard to people, birds, animals, demons, and all creatures ... it cannot tolerate or hear or see any harm or any small pain endured by creatures ... By its power love affects human beings in a twofold manner: it torments sinners, as even here a friend sometimes causes one to suffer, and it gladdens those who have carried out their duty. And so, in my opinion, the torment of Gehenna consists in repentance' (Ascetic Discourses, 3rd edition of Russian translation, pp 19, 253-54).

* Jersak, Dr. Brad (xxxx-), author, teacher, blogger and pastor. Faculty member of Westminster Theological Centre, fomer founder and pastor of Fresh Wind Christian Fellowship, Abbotsford:
'Will it really be all men who allow themselves to be reconciled? No theology or prophecy can answer this question, but love hopes all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). It cannot do otherwise than to hope for the reconciliation of all men in Christ. Such unlimited hope is, from a Christian standpoint, not just permitted but commanded' (Her Gates Will Never Be Shut, Introduction: Remodelling Hell).

Kierkegaard, Soren (1813-1855), Danish Christian Philosopher and father of existentialism:
[note: Jack Mulder argues in 'Must All be Saved? A Kierkegaardian Response to Theological Universalism', International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Volume 59, Number 1, February 2006 , pp. 1-24, that despite appearances Soren was a hopeful rather than a certain universalist]:
'If others go to hell, then I will go too. But I do not believe that; on the contrary I believe that all will be saved, myself with them - something which arouses my deepest amazement' (Journals and Papers, Vol. 6).

* Küng, Hans (1928-), Swiss Catholic priest and influential theologian, President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic, emeritus professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen:
'Whether the punishment of hell is eternal or not, a person is fully responsible, not only before his conscience -- which is the voice of his practical reason -- but also before the absolutely final authority, before which his reason is also responsible. And it would certainly be presumptuous for a person to seek to anticipate the judgment of this absolutely final authority. Neither in one way nor in the other can we tie God's hands or dispose of him. There is nothing to be known here, but everything to be hoped' (Eternal Life, p. 140-3).

Lange, Johann Peter (1802-1884), German Calvinist theologian of peasant origin, best known in nineteenth/early twentieth century America for his twenty-five volume commentary on the Bible (translated from the German by Philip Schaff, the Calvinist ecumenist and universalist):
‘But God is everywhere present as God, even in hell. And if one acknowledges the article, - 'I believe in God Almighty,' one must feel that there is reference to the almightiness of his love also…People, therefore, should not think that they are zealous for the Glory of God, when in spirit they bind the justice of God by itself alone to the needlessly bound man. In this case people are again in danger of making Time, the ancient Chronos , God, or at least the lost man’s dying hour in which he abandoned hope forever [Chronos is the Greek Titan, god of Time, equivalent to the Roman Saturn, and noted for devouring his children]. But God is greater than Time, and greater than the human heart' (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.163 – note inserted on ‘Chronos’ by Sobornost).

Langland, William (ca. 1332 – ca. 1386), English poet, conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman:
‘Then I shall come as a king, crowned with angels/ And have all men’s souls out of hell/ Demons great and small shall stand before me/ And be at my bidding where I will/ My kinship demands that I have mercy/ On man , for we are all brethren/ In blood, if not in baptism/ My righteousness and right shall rule/ In hell, and mercy over all mankind before me/ In heaven. I were an unkind king/ If I did not help my kin’ (Piers Plowman , PASSUS XVIII, The Harrowing of Hell -God speaks).

Life of Adam and Eve/Apocalypse of Moses (anon – the traditions go back to the first century):
[God addresses Archangel Michael]: 'Put him [Adam] in Paradise, in the third heaven, until the day of dispensation, which is called oikonomia, when I shall have mercy upon all, through my most beloved Child' (Latin Codex of Life and Adam and Eve, translated by Ilaria Ramelli).

* Linn, Denis, Sheila and Matthew (xxxx-xxxx), American Catholic family team of retreat and seminar leaders and co-authors of books on healing spirituality rooted in the Ignatian tradition (Denis and Sheila live in Colorado while their son Matt lives in a Jesuit community in Minnesota):
'Some people say, ‘’But we don’t have a whole eternity. We make free definitive decision at death, when we choose either heaven or hell forever.’’ Since none of us has died none of us can know this with certainty. But let’s just imagine that what they say is true. This would mean that at the moment of death we would have to experience a whole eternity of God’s healing initiatives, because we cannot freely and definitively turn down what we have not experienced. Ultimately our hope is not in the life we have lived, but rather in the healing initiatives of God who will spend eternity loving and healing us' (Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God).

Lockhart, John Gibson (1794 –1854), Scottish writer and editor best known as the author of the definitive biography of Sir Walter Scott. He wrote the following lines on the death of his wife which seem fairly universal in consolation: '
But, ‘tis an old belief/That on some solemn shore,/Beyond the sphere of grief/Dear friends shall meet once more;//…That creed I fain would keep,/That hope I’ll not forgo;/Eternal be the sleep/Unless to waken so' (Hanson, Cloud of Witness , p.151).

MacLeod, Rev. Dr. Norman (1812–1872), Scottish Presbyterian clergyman, social reformer, philanthropist, author of Morvern, a Highland Parish and the song Farewell to Fiunary, and editor of the magazine Good Works. One of his teachers was Erskine of Linlathen, and in the biography written by his bother Dr. Donald Macleod it becomes clear that the doctrine of universal restoration grew on him too:
‘When our common friend, Mr George MacDonald, was about to write for Good Words, of which Dr. Macleod was editor, Dr, Macleod was anxious that no heterodox views should be introduced into it. For hours the two discussed the matter in the publishing office with the friendliest warmth. At length in tripped little girl, and by her simple, wise prattle, not only put an end to the controversy, but actually became the model for t he most interesting character of the story. Before his death Dr. MacLeod had adopted Maurice’s [that is F.D. Maurice’s’] standpoint on this question, as he emphatically made manifest in the last sermon I heard him preach in Balmoral’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 217).

Mann, Horace (1796–1859), American politician, education reformist and advocate of universal education. He once said: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." As a child, he went to the Calvinist church where he was terrified by the sermons. As an adult he rejected this religion, but it troubled him for a long time and he eventually became a Unitarian:
‘My nature revolts at the idea of belonging to a universe in which there is to be never ending anguish. That nature never can be made to look on it with composure…What we learn from books, even what we think we are taught in the Bible, may be a mistake or a misapprehension; but the lessons we learn from our own consciousness are the very voice of the Being who created us; and about it can there be any doubt?…while we are on earth, the burden of our duties is to man’ (Letter to his sister, 1836).

Marvin, Rev. Levi Chandler (1808–1878), American Universalist clergyman, who became a physician in his later years. Hanson relates that on the death of the son of a friend Dr. Marvin wrote:
‘How could I tread that hallowed plain/Where God and Christ and angels are,/ Or how could heaven to me be gain/Unless he lad were with me there?/ How could I join the wondrous throng,/’Mid burnished crowns and burning thrones,/And know his voice shall but prolong/Hell’s dolorous, deep and dreadful groans?’ In the next two stanzas the poet imagines joining rebel angels to go down to hell and fetch the lad, and the poem ends: ‘Yes, dearest boy! They every woe/On earth ’tis given to me to share;/May God no other world bestow,/Unless that boon be granted there’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, pp. 189-190).

Maurice, Frederick Denison (1805 – 1872), English theologian, Christian Socialist, and friend and mentor to George MacDonald:
'That men disbelieve the good and gracious God to be their Father – that they count him not their Father but their enemy...this is the lie of which all other lies are the offspring...When God enters, despair ceases. He is called in Scripture the God of Hope. That which we think of Him must give us hope' (Lectures on the Apocalypse, pp. 414- 15).

* McLaren, Brian D. (1956-), founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland, author, activist, speaker and leading figure in the emerging church movement, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005:
'Maybe God’s plan is an opt-out plan, not an opt-in one. If you want to stay out of the party, you can. Nobody will force you to enjoy it. But it’s hard for me to imagine somebody being more stubbornly ornery than God is gracious' (The Last Word and the Word After That, p.138).

Moorhouse, James (1826 –1915), English clergyman who served as Anglican bishop of Melbourne, Australia, and finally as Anglican bishop of Manchester:
'[Because of the abrogation in the Elizabethan Book of Common Prayer of an earlier article of faith book requiring belief in hell ] First, we are at liberty to think and teach about the future of the wicked as we believe that Holy Scripture teaches us. Secondly, varying interpretations are not only allowable, but inevitable, upon mere matters of opinion. Thirdly, if perchance we hold 'the larger hope', as I will not conceal from you that for twenty years and more I have done, we shall yet be ready to acknowledge the obscurity which surrounds it, and the right of any of our brethren to think and teach differently from ourselves' (Speech before Church Assembly, September 17, 1878).

* Moule, Charles Francis Digby (1908–2007), English theologian and Anglican priest known to his friends as 'Charlie' but professionally by his initials C. F. D. Moule. He was a leading scholar of the New Testament, and was Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge for 25 years, from 1951 to 1976:
‘One perfectly obedient life we claim has actually been lived–the life of the absolute Son of god, Jesus Christ. We have already recognized that the supremely victorious quality of that life and death and resurrection constitutes the anchor of our hope. It is clear from our present line of study that this is not merely a historical anchorage in the past, but, more organically viewed, a representative principle of obedience at the very heart of things–a cell of life and health at the center of a sick organism: ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ And it is this vital growing-point, and its growing Body, the church, animated by the Holy Spirit, which gives ground for hope and a final redemption of all things...’ (The Meaning of Hope, p.x, 1963).

* Murphy-O'Connor, Cardinal Cormac (1932-), Roman Catholic Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster and former President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria sopra Minerva:
'We’re not bound to believe that anybody’s there (in hell) ... But certainly in the Scriptures there’s a stark confrontation between heaven and hell ... It is in the context not of ‘you will be damned’, but ‘repent and turn to God’. I believe that hell exists and it is really the absence of God ... I cannot think of heaven without thinking of being in communion with all the saints and with all the people I’ve loved on this earth ... I hope they [Catholics and Protestants in heaven] won't be separate. I think that the divisions manifest here on earth will be reconciled in some mysterious way in heaven. I'm not thinking just of Catholics and Protestants, but people of other faiths and people of no faith. We are all children of God' (Interview Article: Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor Speaks of His Hope for Universal Salvation).

Neander, Johann August Wilhelm (1789-1850), German colleague of Schleiermacher and professor of church history at the University of Berlin, known as the ‘Prince of the Church Historians’:
‘The doctrine of such a universal restitution would not stand in contradiction to the doctrine of eternal punishment, as it appears in the Gospels; for although those who are hardened in wickedness are to expect endless unhappiness, yet a secret decree of the Divine compassion is not necessarily excluded, by virtue of which, through the wisdom of Go d revealing itself in the discipline of free agents they will be led to a free appropriation of redemption’ (History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the Apostles , vol. ii, pp.211-12, translated by J.E. Ryland, 1842).

* Neuhaus, Richard John (1936 – 2009), American Christian cleric (born in Canada). He was first a Lutheran pastor and later a Roman Catholic priest and writer. He was the founder and editor of the monthly journal First Things and a man of basically conservative views, both theological and political/social:
'we all pray that all may be saved. Is it possible to pray for that without hoping for that? I think not. It follows that we pray, and therefore we hope, that all will be saved. Catholics by the millions pray the rosary every day, adding at the end of each decade, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy' (from 'Will All BE Saved?' article in First Things, August/September 2001).

* Niewiadomski, Józef (1951 -), Polish Catholic Professor of Theology and Dogmatics at the University of Innsbruck:
'Without God’s interference [on Day of Judgment], human beings would mutually condemn one another to the hell of accusation, denial and lies. Everyone would insist on victim status, demand retribution, and pass the retribution facing his or her on to others...But there will be yet another confrontation on that day of wrath that is of decisive importance¸ namely the unfathomable goodness of God and His readiness to forgive' (Politics and Apocalypse, p.65).

Norwich, Mother Julian of (ca. 1342 – ca. 1416), English anchoress and Christian mystic, the first woman of letters writing in English:
‘I often wondered why ... the beginning of sin was not prevented, for then, it seemed to me, all would have been well. But Jesus ... answered by this word and said: "Sin is behovely [inevitable], but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’ (Revelations of Divine Love, Ch. 27).

Oberlin, Jean-Frédéric (1740–1826), French Alsatian pastor and philanthropist of German descent. He was a priest to peasants and set himself to better their material, and spiritual, condition. He began his work for their material improvement by constructing roads through the valley and erecting bridges. He practised medicine among them, and founded a loan and savings bank. He introduced an improved system of agriculture. Substantial cottages were erected, and various industrial arts were introduced. He founded an itinerant library, originated infant schools, and established an ordinary school at each of the five villages in the parish. His biographer says:
‘It may be here considered necessary, for the sake of biographical clearness, to observe that upon some points he certainly held very fanciful and unwarranted notions, more particularly among those relative to a future state. He seemed to hope that the passage I Co. xv: 28 where it is said that ‘’all things’’ shall be subjected unto the Almighty, and the Son also himself shall be subjected, ‘’that God may be all in all,’’ might include not only the little flock of Christ’s immediate followers, but ultimately, at some indefinite period, through the boundless mercy of God, and the blood of Jesus, which was shed for the sins of the whole world, all the race of mankind’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.71).

* Pagitt, Doug (1966-), head pastor of Solomon's Porch in South Minneapolis, Senior Fellow with Emergent Village, radio host and theological writer associated with the emerging church movement:
'The life of Jesus points to the reconciliation of the world with God and God’s agenda … Having made the point that all people are part of this story through Abraham, Paul now connects Jesus to Adam and broadens the implications for all creation' (A Christianity Worth Believing, p.207).

Paley, William (1743 –1805), English Christian apologist and philosopher, best known for his exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology, which made use of the watchmaker analogy. He was a vigorous opponent of slave trade and In 1782 he became the Anglican Archdeacon of Carlisle:
'It has been said that it can never be a just economy of Providence to admit one part of mankind into heaven and condemn the other to hell, since there must be very little to choose between the worst man who is received into heaven and the worst man who is excluded. And how know we, it might be answered, but that there may be as little to choose in their conditions?' (The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, I, p.7, 1785).

* Paul II, Pope John - Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920-2005), 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic church:
'Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it' (General Audience of July 28, 1999).

Percival, James Gates (1795-1856), American poet, doctor, chemist and lexicographer, who wrote the following lines ‘We send these fond endearments o’er the grave/Heaven would be hell, if loved ones were not there’. These refer to the hope of being reunited with loved ones in the world to come – a common theme in poetry of the late ninetieth century in both America and Britain, sometimes referred to as ‘the domestication of paradise.' They do not explicitly express universal hope but an editorial in The Ladies Repository, the American Universalist periodical for women, found comfort and universal significance in them arguing:
'The heart which has been schooled on earth to love the race, must in view of the duty to hate those whom God hates, find heaven itself a prison of horror...so the soul that has loved the whole race, and desired and prayed for its redemption, must find itself a chained eagle in the Heaven of 'Partialism'...this is an important subject, - The Office and Immortality of the Affections. It enables us to apply to the theologies of our times the test which St. John directs to be applied, ‘Beloved, try the spirits,’ and in this way let us decide which of the spirits abroad in the Christian Church, gives any comfort in believing the grand sentiment, ‘Your heart shall live forever’ (Psalm xxii. 26)' (The Ladies Repository, February 1852).

* Plantinga, Alvin Carl (1932-), eminent christian philosopher described by Time Magazine as 'America's leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God', former President of the Society of Christian Philosophers, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin College:
'As the one man all sinned, so through the one man all shall be saved. It is the same word, same greek word in those two occurrences that suggest that everybody will be saved. Maybe people get second chances, third chances, after death, fourth chances, extra chances ... That's called universalism. And I don't myself quite believe it, but I don't disbelieve it either. I think it's something that a Christian should at least hope for' (interview on Closer to Truth).

Plumptre, Edward Hayes D. D. (1821 –1891), English theologian and Anglican clergyman:
'Does this imply that repentance, and therefore pardon, may come in the state that follows death? We know not, and ask questions that we cannot answer; but the words at least check the harsh dogmatic answer in the negative. If one sin only is excluded from forgiveness in that coming age — the darkness behind the veil is lit up with at least a gleam of hope' (On Matt. xii. 32 in Bishop Ellicott's Commentary).

* Polkinghorne, Rev Dr. John Charlton (1930-), distinguished theorteical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest, former professor of Mathematical physics at Cambridge, president of Queens' College, Cambridge, first president of the International Society for Science and Religion, Fellow of the Royal Society, former canon theologian of Liverpool Cathedral, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire:
'I think that God’s love and mercy is unending in that respect. So I don’t think that the divine offer of life and of redemption is for this world only ... And will there be people who resist God forever? Well I don’t think we know really. But it is a serious possibility' (A Destiny Beyond Death).

* Rahner, Karl (1904 –1984), influential German Jesuit theologian:
In a class at the University of Muenster in 1970 a student reminded Rahner that that belief universal salvation view had been condemned at the Provincial Council of Constantinople. Rahner replied that he was well aware of this but this did not prevent him from hoping universal salvation would occur. Also, he continued, the Divine Mystery has eternity to set right what went wrong in time. ( abridged from 'Heaven and Hell and Zero Tolerance', an article by Fr, Paul Surlis)

* Ramelli, Dr. Illaria (xxxx-), Eminent scholar of classic and early Christian literature and thought, Professor of History of the Roman Near East and Assistant of History of Ancient Philosophy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Senior Visiting Professor in Greek Thought at NYU and Harvard, Director of the international Oxford Workshop on The Soul in the Origenian Tradition, named in the Great Minds of the 21st Century and 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, winner of the Salute to Greatness Medal 2013 (Cambridge, UK) for Philosophy, Patristics, and Classics:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Reichel ,The Most Rev Charles Parsons (1816-1894), Irish Anglican Latin scholar and Bishop of Meath:
'With this assurance [that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world], and with the hope that it holds out in prospect; with this converging testimony of three of the apostles, men so different, and yet all coinciding on this point, let us console ourselves….looking forward to that final stage in the divine government when death itself shall be abolished ... and when, God being All in All, the whole creation shall rest on the never-ending fruition of the divine' (Sermon in St. Patrick’s, June 28, 1877).

Robertson, Frederick William (1816–1853), known as Robertson of Brighton; English writer and Anglican clergyman, originally on the Calvinist evangelical wing of the Church, after a period of mental crisis he emerged as an Anglican Incarnationalist taking comfort in the humanity of Christ:
'He is gone….Why should we have wished him to remain a little longer? Better surely as it is. And as to the eternal question….we know of him all that we can ever know of any one removed beyond the veil which shelters the unseen from the pryings of curiosity — that he is in the hands of the wise and loving Spirit has mingled with Spirit. A child more or less loving has gone home. Unloved by his Father? Believe it who may, that will not I' (Memoirs, p.x).

* Sachs, John R., S.J. (xxxx), Catholic Associate professor of systematic theology Boston College USA; Catholic:
'1) Because human beings are free, they are able to reject God. Therefore hell is a real possibility. 2) Though final damnation remains a possibility with which every individual must reckon, neither Scripture nor Church teaching claims that anyone in fact has been or will be finally lost. 3) Certain knowledge about the final outcome of judgment for individuals is impossible, but because of Christ's victory over sin and death, we may and must hope that all men and women will in fact be saved' ('Current Eschatology: Universal Salvation and the Problem of Hell', Theological Studies, June 1991, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 233-241).

Sibylline Oracles (second half of the second century A.D.), a collection of oracular utterances ascribed to the Sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in ecstasy. Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch (d. circa 185) accounted these texts as inspired on a level with the Old Testament Prophets.. The Second Book in the collection – composed sometime in the second century by Christians in Alexandria, perhaps reworking a Jewish original – contains the following oracle:
'And to the pious will the almighty God/Imperishable grant another thing,/When they shall ask the imperishable God:/That he will suffer men from raging fire/And endless gnawing anguish to be saved;/And this will he do. For hereafter he/Will pluck them from the restless flame, elsewhere/Remove them, and for his own people's sake/Send them to other and eternal life/With the immortals, in Elysian field' (Book II, lines 404-413, translated by Terry).

Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst (1768 –1834), eminent German theologian and biblical scholar, secretary to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, former professor of theology to the University of Halle:
'If we now consider eternal damnation as it is related to eternal bliss, it is easy to see that once the former exists, the latter can exist no longer ... if we attribute to the blessed a knowledge of the state of the damned, it cannot be a knowledge unmixed with sympathy ... Hence we ought at least to admit the equal rights of the milder view, of which likewise there are traces in Scripture; namely, that through the power of redemption there will one day be a universal restoration of all souls'' (The Christian Faith , p. 721-2).

Saint Silouan the Athonite, also referred to as Staretz Silouan (1866 – 1938), Eastern Orthodox Athonite monk of Russian origin known for his love of enemies and his prayers and tears for all humankind:
'I remember a conversation between him and a certain hermit, who declared with evident satisfaction, ‘God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire.’ Obviously upset, the Staretz said: ‘Tell me, supposing you went to paradise and there looked down and saw somebody burning in hell-fire - would you feel happy?’ ‘It can’t be helped. It would be their own fault,’ said the hermit. The Staretz answered him with a sorrowful countenance: ‘Love could not bear that,’ he said. ‘We must pray for all’' (from His Life is Mine, p. 68).

Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (1815–1881), English Broad Churchman, Anglican Dean of Westminster. He wrote several major works on Church History:
'To Gregory of Nyssa, and through him to the Council of Constantinople, the clause which speaks of 'the life of the world to come' must have included the hope that the Divine justice and mercy are not controlled by the power of evil, that sin is not eternal, and that in that 'world to come' punishment will be corrective and not final, and will be ordered by a Love and Justice, the height and depth of which it is beyond the narrow thoughts of man to conceive' (Christian Institutions, p. 335).

Sterling, John (1806 –1844), Scottish author and friend of F.D. Maurice. Thomas Carlyle wrote his biography The Life of John Sterling (1851). The American Universalist quarterly commented on Carlyle’s book that, ‘One of the saddest things in this book is Carlyle’s sneer at the earnestness with which his friend Sterling always clung to faith in a personal God – this denoted a narrow scrupulosity, in his biographer’s view!’ (Universalist Quarterly, vols. 9-10 p.94, 1852). Sterling was ordained as an Anglican curate. However, acting on the advice of his doctor he soon resigned his clerical duties, but, according to Carlyle, the primary cause was a divergence from the opinions of the Church:
‘Still prayers are strong, and God is good; /Man is not made for endless ill;/Dear sprite! My souls’ tormented mood/Has yet a hope thou canst not kill//...Thou, God, wilt her! Thy pangs are meant/To heal the spirit, not destroy;/And what may seem for vengeance sent,/When thou commandest, works for joy’ (from The Penitent).

Stillingfleet, Edward (1635–699), English theologian and Anglican Bishop of Worcester. He was the leader of the ’Latitudinarians’ in the Church of England and argued for compromise with the Presbyterians. His cautious doubts based on natural justice about threats of eternal punishment are almost identical to those later expressed by Archbishop, John Tillotson:
'Comminations [i.e. threats of punishment] do only speak the 'delictum poenae' [i.e. punishment of the offence] and the necessary obligation to punishment; but therein God doth not bind Himself as [he does] in absolute promises: the reason is because comminations [i.e. threats of punishment] confers no right to any which absolute promises do, and therefore God is not bound to necessary performance of what He threatens' (Origines Sacrae, Or, A Rational Account of the Grounds of Christian Faith, p.175, 1662).

de Stourdza, Alexandre Skarlatovich (1791-1854), Russian Orthodox Counsellor of State to the Tsar of Russia who wrote an exposition of the doctrine and practice of the Greek Church, contrasted with those of the Roman Catholic Church intending to show the excellence of the former and the error of the latter (see Whittemore, Modern History of Universalism, p. 347). He appears to have anticipated the new assertiveness of the later Slavophlie Universalists such as Solovyov and Bulgakov:
'Evil is a corrosive ulcer which exists only negatively. It will cease when there shall be no more victims. How? That is a secret of the eternal God...The scripture points us to the epoch , but very mysteriously, as if beyond our reach. It is designated by the expression, ‘And God shall be all in all’....Before disputing boldly then upon the eternity of pains, and arbitrarily interpreting certain passages of the gospel, which can never be conclusive, on account of the imperfection of human language, which is framed on the relative ideas of time and space, - it would first be requisite to know what is the duration of evil. But to attempt to penetrate that would be sacrilege...’ (Considerations sur la Doctrine et l’Esprit de l’Eglise Otdhodoxe -‘Considerations of the Doctrine and Spirit of the Orthodox Church’, pp. 60-64, 1816, Stuttgart).

* Studdert Kennedy, Geoffrey Anketell, MC (1883 –1929), Anglican priest and poet; nicknamed 'Woodbine Willie' during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured soldiers:
‘Cursed be the foul contortion, that hath/turned His Love to Hate,/That hath cried at death’s dim portal,/’Enter here, and ‘tis too late,’//Cruel pride and vain presumption claim to/grasp where angels grope/’Tis not God but mean man blindness/dims the deathless star of Hope’(‘Eternal Hope’ from Rough Rhymes of a Padre, p.51).

Thompson, John Richardson (1834–1894), American poet and one of the seven founders of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry:
‘And casting off unwise regrets,/We yet may hope that time shall prove/Kind hearts are more than bayonets/And force less strong than love;/We know the order shall appear,/When God has made his purpose clear,/The darkest riddle understood,/And all the perfect world shall in his sight be good!’ (stanza XXXIIL of 'Poem read before the Society of Alumni, of the University of Virginia at their annual meeting', July 1869 printed in The University Memorial: Biographical Sketches of Alumni, p. 765, 1871).

Tillotson, John (1630–1694), English theologian, Patristic scholar, Latitudinarian and Archbishop of Canterbury (1691–1694). In a sermon preached before Queen Mary on 7th March 1690 at Whitehall, John Tillotson, several months before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, suggested that although God was obliged to fulfil his promises of rewards, he was under no obligation to carry out threats. He used the example of Jonah and the people of Nineveh as his text:
‘He that threatens keeps the right of punishing in his own hands, and is not oblig’d to execute what he hath threatened any further that the reasons and ends of Government require’ (Of the Eternity of Hell Torments, p.8).

* Tomlinson, Dave (xxxx-xxxx), English writer and author of The Post Evangelical. Dave, with his wife Pat, were leading figures in the evangelical House Church movement but left in 1989 disillusioned with authoritarianism, obscurantism, and fundamentalism. After this they set up Holy Joe’s – a group for Christians that met in a South London pub. Dave is now Anglican vicar of St Luke’s’ in North London:
‘Ultimately, no one in this life knows what happens when we die. Like Moltmann, I cannot proclaim with certainty that everyone will be redeemed, but I share his trust that ‘the proclamation will go forwards until everyone has been redeemed' (from 'The Illogic of Hell' in Re-Enchanting Christianity, p.103, 2008).

Truth, Sojourner (ca. 1797 –1883), African-American ex-slave, abolitionist and women's rights activist:
''Now I can’t see anything so very nice in that, coming back to ...a world covered with the ashes of the wicked. Besides, if the Lord comes and burns – as you say he will – I am not going away; I am going to stay here and stand the fire, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! And Jesus will walk with me through the fire, and keep me from harm'' (Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth, p. 97-8).

Tupper, Martin Farquhar (1810-1889), English writer, and poet, and the author of Proverbial Philosophy. A genial, warm-hearted man, Tupper's humane instincts prompted him to espouse many reforming movements; he was an early supporter of the Student Volunteer Movement, and did much to promote good relations between Britain and America. He tried to encourage African literature and was also a mechanical inventor in a small way:
‘Heaven hath no dusky twilight ; hell is not gladdened with a dawn./Yet looking round among his follows, who can pass righteous judgment, /Such an one is holy and accepted, and such an one reprobate and doomed ? /There is so much of good among the worst, so much of evil in the best’ (Proverbial Philosophy , p.48,1851).

Warburton, Rev Thomas Acton (1813-1894), English writer, Anglican vicar and practising barrister he wrote the book Rollo and his Race, or Footsteps of the Normans:
‘He [the Norman] looks forward to the time when he shall complete the acquaintance, where they have preceded, and await him in, 'The land of souls beyond the sable shore', and knowing that the Sun of Mercy shines beyond the clouds of the ancestral error, he would fain hope that one would unite hem all – ‘No wanderer lost; a family in heaven’ (Rollo and his Race from Charles Dickens, William Harrison Ainsworth, Albert Smith (eds) Bentley's Miscellany, Volume 21 p.411, 1847).

* Ward, Dr. Keith (1938-), philosopher, theologian, and pastor. Fellow of the British Academy, ordained priest of the Church of England, former canon of Christ Church, Oxford, former Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford, council member of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and member of the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies:
‘...God will burn all selfishness away, and it will be excluded forever from the divine presence. But God will never cease to love those God has created, or make it impossible for them (even as if by fire) to fulfil what God wants – their ultimate sharing in his divine life’ (What the Bible Teaches, p.152).

* Ware, Kallistos (1934-), theological author and Eastern Orthodox metropolitan bishop of of Diokleia, former Spalding Lecturer at the University of Oxford in Eastern Orthodox studies, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, former chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge:
'Hell exists as a final possibility, but several of the Fathers have none the less believed that in the end all will be reconciled to God. It is heretical to say that all must be saved, for this is to deny free will; but it is legitimate to hope that all may be saved. Until the Last Day comes, we must not despair of anyone’s salvation, but must long and pray for the reconciliation of all without exception. No one must be excluded from our loving intercession. ‘What is a merciful heart?’ asked Isaac the Syrian. ‘It is a heart that burns with love for the whole of creation, for men, for the birds, for the beasts, for the demons, for all creatures.’Gregory of Nyssa said that Christians may legitimately hope even for the redemption of the Devil' (Orthodox Church, p.x ).

Westcott, Brooke Foss (1825–1901), English Biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Anglican Bishop of Durham from 1890. He is perhaps most known for his co-authoring of The New Testament in the Original Greek with F.J.A. Hort. After Frederic Farrar preached his Eternal Hope sermons at Westminster in 1877, Westcott wrote to him: ‘You cannot have the subject more to heart than I have...but you can bring it home to men and that is a great privilege. I rejoice to hear of the sermons and of their effect (Reginald Farrar, Life of Farrar, pp 277-8, 1904). In 1894 Farrar quotes Westcott in Mercy and Judgement, chapter 2:
'And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me' (John xii. 32). All men: the phrase must not be limited in any way. It cannot mean merely 'Gentiles as well as Jews', or 'the elect', or 'all who believe'. We must receive it as it stands (Rom. V. 18, viii. 32; 2 Cor. V. 15; Eph. I. 10; I Tim ii. 6; Heb. Ii. 9, 6; I John ii. 2). The remarkable reading 'all things' (Vulg. omnia) points to a still wider application of Redemption (Col. I. 20)' (Speaker's Commentary, New Test. ii., p.183).

Whitney, Adeline Dutton Train (1824-1906), American poet and prolific writer, publishing more than 20 books for girls – which affirmed fairly traditional roles. Her works were a favorite in Universalist periodicals for women, both The Rose of Sharon, and the monthly Universalist and Ladies’ Repository. In her poem Maiden of Four Years Old a child, disgusted with a caterpillar, says to her mother ‘I wish they had finished the butterfly!’. And then, as Hanson tells us, ‘the poet moralizes’:
‘Ah, look then, largely, with lenient eyes,/On whatso beside thee may creep and cling,/For the possible glory that underlies/The passing phase of the meanest thing//What if God’s great angles, whose waiting love/Beholdeth our pitiful life below,/From the holy height of their heaven above/Couldn’t bear with the worm till the wings should grow' (Maiden of Four Years Old, quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 269).

* Williams, Charles Walter Stansby (1886 –1945), English poet, novelist, theologian, literary critic, Christian hermeticist, and member of the Inklings:
'The imaginations of the Alexandrian Fathers were courteous; their visions were humane. Origen extended that vision so far as to teach the final restitution of all things, including the devils themselves. It is impossible that some such dream should not linger in any courteous mind, but to teach it as a doctrine almost always ends in the denial of free-will. If God has character, if man has choice, an everlasting rejection of God by man must be admitted as a possibility; that is, hell must remain. The situation of the devils (if any) is not man’s business. The charity of Origen schematized then too far; he declared as a doctrine what can only remain as a desire' (The Descent of the Dove, p. 40).

Williams, Helen Maria (1762-1827), English Unitarian poet, friend of Robert Burns and revolutionary in France. In 1790 she settled in Paris. An early supporter of the French Revolution, she upheld the moderate Girondists faction, and was imprisoned from the fall of the Girondists until the death of Robespierre. She later condemned the Revolutionaries. Crabb Robinson in his diary mentions she was as a universalist. Hanson – with some plausibility – see this as evident in the fear free trust of her once famous hymn:
‘While Thee I seek, protecting Power,/Be my vain wishes stilled;/ And may this consecrated hour/ With better hopes be filled.//Thy love the power of thought bestowed;/To Thee my thoughts would soar:/Thy mercy o’er my life has flowed;/That mercy I adore’ (from While Thee I seek, protecting Power).

* Williams, Rev Dr. Rowan Douglas - Baron Williams of Oystermouth (1950-), 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, former Archbishop of Wales, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, theological writer, scholar of the Church Fathers, and historian of Christian spirituality:
'And that is the point of thinking about hell. We cannot know if anyone is ever in such a condition, but we have to know the proper fear that the choices we make are capable of destroying us...The most truthful image we can have of hell is of God eternally knocking on a closed door that we are struggling to hold shut’ (Tokens of Trust, p. 151).

Wilson of Ellerey, John (1785–1854), Scottish advocate, literary critic and author, the writer most frequently identified with the pseudonym Christopher North of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. He was professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University and intimate with William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey. Hanson quotes a poem by Wilson that speaks of depression and doubt which turns to solace:
‘that no being need behold the sun/ And grieve, that knew how hung him in the sky!’ turning to hope that that ‘when man hath attained/The purpose of his being, he will sit/Near Mercy’s throne ... Like children for some bauble fair/That weep themselves to res,/we part with life – awake! And there/The jewel in or breast!’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, pp. 126-7).

Wilson, Henry Bristow (1803–1888), Anglican theologian:
'We must rather entertain a hope that there shall be found, after the great adjudication ... the undeveloped may grow ... the stunted may become strong, and the perverted restored ... all, both great and small, shall find refuge in the bosom of the Universal Parent ... in the ages to come, according to His Will’ (Essays and Reviews, p. 205-6).

Woolman, John (1720 –1772), American Quaker from Pennsylvania, merchant, tailor, journalist and itinerant preacher. He was an early abolitionist and advocate against cruelty to animals, economic injustices and oppression, and for the rights of Native Americans:
'Oppression in the extreme appears terrible; but oppression in more refined appearances remains to be oppression. To labor for a perfect redemption from the spirit of it is the great business of the whole family of Jesus Christ in this world ... There is a Principle which is pure, placed in the human Mind, which in different Places and Ages hath had different Names; it is, however, pure, and proceeds from God. It is deep, and inward, confined to no Forms of Religion, nor excluded from any, where the Heart stands in perfect Sincerity. In whomsoever this takes Root and grows, of what Nation soever, they become Brethren' (The Journal of John Woolman, p. x, 1772).

* Young, William Paul (1955-), theological author best known for The Shack:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p. x).
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby pog » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:46 am

Disputed (and some Proto- or Non-Christian) Universalists (or anti-hellists)

Amalric of Bena - also Amaury de Bène or Amaury de Chartres (died c. 1204-1207), French scholastic theologian whose teachings were condemned In 1204 by the university of Paris, and the teachings of his followers condemned at the Lateran Council of 1215. Hosea Ballou 2nd makes a tentative remark on p.303 of Ancient History of Universalism (1842) that Amalric may have been a Universalist; and others Universalist historians have followed suit without the same caution. However, the fragmentary information seems to suggest that Amalric took the teachings of John Scouts Erigena to one-sided and extreme conclusions, teaching an extreme form of pantheism -that God is all and thus all things are one because whatever is, is God; and that he who remains in love of God can commit no sin. So the corollary of his teachings could be extreme antinomianism – and he may well have inspired the Brethren of the Free Spirit. His followers taught that -Hell is ignorance, therefore Hell is within all men, "like a bad tooth in a mouth".

Anonymous, the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) from the Roman Requiem Mass is a thirteenth-century Latin hymn attributed to either Thomas of Celano (1200– c.1265) or to Latino Malabranca Orsini (+1294). It has been given memorable setting and hugely dramatic in the Requiem Masses of both Mozart and Verdi. The first verse runs:
‘Dies Irae, dies illa,/Solvet saeclum in favilla,/Teste David cum Sibylla’ (The day of wrath,/ that day/Will dissolve the world in ashes/As foretold by David and the Sibyl!’). The context of the entire hymn is of the soul pleading to be spared damnation, as in the sixteenth:‘Confutatis maledictis,/ Flammis acribus addictis:/ Voca me cum benedictis’ (Once the cursed have been rebuked,/ sentenced to acrid flames:/Call Thou me with the blessed). However, back to verse one, the Sibyl who foretells these scenes of doom with David, is the Sibyl of the Sibylline oracles where the saved intercede for the damned and the damned are restored.

Arnold, Matthew (1822–1888), English poet and notable Victorian cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools:
'“He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save!”/ So rang Tertullian’s sentence, on the side/ Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried, --“Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave/ Who sins, once washed by the baptismal wave!”/ So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sighed, The infant church, of love she felt the tide/ Stream on her from her Lord’s yet recent grave,/ And then she smiled, and in the Catacombs,/ With eye suffused, but heart inspired true,/ On those walls/ subterranean, where she hid/ Her head in ignominy, death and tombs,/ She her Good Shepherd’s hasty image drew,/ And on His shoulders, not a lamb, a kid’ (Songs of the Soul: gathered out of many lands and ages, p.383).

Arndt, Johann (1555 –1621), German Lutheran theologian. Although reflective of the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, he is seen as a forerunner of Pietism because he wrote several influential books of devotional Christianity: True Christianity (1605-10) and The Garden of Paradise (1612) that have been hugely influential on German and Swedish Protestantism. In these writings Arndt shows a debt to the mystic Johannes Tauler and to the Theologica Germanica. To date no explicit evidence of universalism has been seen; however, certainly Arndt's attempt to balance head and heart in Christian faith laid the ground for the later Pietist Universalists.

Bartol, Cyrus Augustus (1813-1900), American Unitarian minister and key figure in transcendentalism. His anti-hell credentials are evident from the quotations in Cloud of Witness, p,223-224 (‘Sheer blasphemy and inhumanity in the old theology is the doctrine of a doom to perdition and eternal woe to our persona; or our ancestral delinquency’). However, his quasi pantheistic conception of UR as immortality in the ‘over soul’ is more evident in the following passage:
'What is it that accepts misery from the Most High, defends the Providence that inflicts its woes, espouses its chastiser’s cause, purges itself in the pit of its misery of all contempt of His commands, and makes its agonies the beams and rafters of the triumph it builds? It is an immortal principle. It is an indestructible essence. It is part and parcel of the Divinity it adores. It can no more die than he can. It needs no more insurance of life than its author does. Prove its title? It is proof itself of all things else. It is substantive, and everything adjective beside. It is the kingdom all things will be added to' (Radical Problems, p.365, 1872).

* Borges, Jorge Luis (1899 –1986), Argentine short-story writer, essayist; religious themes recur in his work, although it is hard to pin him down to any faith tradition or orthodoxy. His work embraces the “character of unreality in all literature”. In his essay, La duración del Infierno he suggests that no transgression can warrant an infinite punishment on the grounds that there is no such thing as an “infinite transgression”:
‘I believe that in our unthinkable destiny, in which infamies rule like a carnal pain, every bizarre thing is possible, even the perpetuity of a Hell, but also that it is irreligious to believe in it' (La duración del Infierno, p.x, 1932).

Browne, Sir Thomas (1605 –1682), English physician, author of varied works in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and hermeticism:
‘...good Men’s wishes extend beyond their lives, for the happiness of times to come, and never to be known unto them. And therefore while so many question prayers for the dead, they charitably pray for those who are not yet alive; they are not so enviously ambitious to go to Heaven themselves; they cannot but humbly wish, that the little Flock might be greater, the narrow Gate wider, and that, as many are called, so not a few might be chosen’ ('Christian Morals', in Complete Writings, vol 3, p.142).

Butler, Rev William Archer (c. 1814-1848), Irish Protestant clergyman and Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Dublin. Hanson (in Cloud of Witness, p.303) quotes Butler as follows:
‘Were it possible for man’s imagination to conceive the horrors of such a doom as this (endless punishment), all reasoning about it were at an end; it would scorch and wither all the powers of human thought...and those, it may be, with the keen sympathies and characteristics that the Christian loves and values, seen to be at last among the victims of that irreparable doom, -can we doubt that he would come forth with intellect blanched and idealess from a sight too terrible for any whose faculties are not in the scale of eternity itself? It is God’s mercy to believe what adequately to conceive were death.’ However, the final sentence in this quotation is the key; Butler actually appears to be arguing that only God’s mercy can enable us to believe these things without going mad (a curious defence of ECT). The writer James Barlow confirm this reading, because he quote the same passage from Butler adding that, ‘The awful nature of this doctrine is not however overlooked by its ablest defenders’ (Barlow, Eternal Punishment and Eternal Death: An Essay, p.10, 1865).

Byron, Lord George Gordon (1788–1824), English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic Movement, author of Don Juan, famed as a freedom fighter in the Greek War of Independence, and for his life of excess including huge debts and numerous love affairs. His reputation as a universalist rest on the facts that his long suffering wife clearly was one, and on the inclusion of his poem ‘The Immortal Mind’ in the 1853 Anthology The testimony of the poets by the American universalist Epes Sargent. However, this poem merely expresses a general sentiment about the transcendent survival of ‘mind’ after death:
'Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,/ It lives all passionless and pure:/An age shall fleet like earthly year;/Its years as moments shall endure./ Away, away, without a wing,/O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly,/ A nameless and eternal thing,/ Forgetting what it was to die' (The Immortal Mind, final stanza).

Campbell, John McLeod (1800 –1872), Scottish minister and Reformed theologian who numbered F.D. Maurice and Thomas Erskine in his circle of friends. He was removed from his ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland for holding, against the Westminster Confession, that Christ’s death was not only for the elect but for the whole world. On the other hand, Campbell also rejected universalism - “God’s love does not imply safety…pardon is not salvation.’ As strongly as Campbell insists that atonement, pardon, and forgiveness are universal, he emphasized that they are temporary. Campbell was so far from universalism that he did not doubt that the number of people saved will be small, even as Noah’s ark saved only eight:
'the present condition of the human race is, that God has forgiven all men their sins—not as a permanent and eternal condition of things, but as a preliminary state—preliminary to a day in which he shall judge men according to the deeds done in the body, whether they have been good or whether they have been evil’(Sermons and Lectures 1,p.119).

Carlyle, Thomas (1795–1881), Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. His The French Revolution was the source book for Charles Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities. Coming from a strict Calvinist family - parts of his autobiographical work Sartor Resartus recall to mind the terrifying sermons of Jonathan Edwards - Carlyle was expected to become a preacher by his parents, but while at the University of Edinburgh he lost his Christian faith. However, Calvinist values, remained with him. Pessimism characterized both his personal life and much of his literary output. He celebrated constant labour as the basis of an existential redemption from the haunting anguish of being alive (and is pictured in Work, a painting by Ford Maddox Brown, discussing the merits of labour with F.D. Maurice). Despite his inclusion in Hanson’s Cloud of Witness (pp. 139-140) it seems best to think of Carlyle as a non-believer who still had a sense of the transcendent and employed religious language to express this. For example, in words not quoted by Hanson Carlyle says:
‘There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is’ (The French Revolution vol ii, pp. 178-180, 1838).

Carrol, Lewis, pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 –1898), English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. The author of the famous Alice in Wonderland . No evidence seen to date to of explicit expression of universalism by him. However, he was a very close friend of George MacDonald and in 1862, seemingly as a result of Rev. H.B. Wilson being charged with heresy for questioning eternal punishment, Carrol eschewed attendance at St Mary Magdalene, the prestigious University Parish Church and instead travelled each Sunday to London to attend St Peter's Church in Vere St (just off Oxford Street), where the incumbent was the radical and controversial hopeful universalist F.D. Maurice. Some have seen he author’s tolerant and equable universalism in the famous races which follow under the Dodo’s presidency in Alice. ‘At last’ the Dodo said, 'everybody has won, and all must have prizes' (Alice in Wonderland). Carroll's diary for July 20 1862 reads:
'Morning and afternoon at Vere St. Mr Maurice preached both times. I like his sermons very much' (Carroll's diary for July 20 1862).

Channing, William Ellery (1780 – 1842), American Unitarian and one of Unitarianism's leading theologians. His religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, though he never countenanced their views. Channing was dismissive of Ballou’s universalism – he was basically Armenian in outlook and emphasised man's moral freedom and God’s moral justice in his teaching; whereas Ballou emphasised God’s sovereign power to save. The following quotation that Hanson gives in A Cloud of Witness, p.117, is actually a rejection of Calvinist reprobation rather than a statement of Universalism (and Hanson admits that he cannot recall a clear stamen of the latter by Channing):
'We consider the errors which relate to Christ’s person as of little or no importance compared with the errors of those who teach God brings us into life wholly depraved and wholly helpless, that he leaves multitudes without aid which is indispensably necessary to their repentance, and then plunges them into everlasting burnings and unspeakable torture for not repenting' (Memoir of William Ellery Channing, Volume 1, p. 387, 1851).

Cheyne, Dr George (1671–1743), English pioneering physician, early proto-psychologist, philosopher and mathematician. Without explicitly defending universalism, he clearly gives it implicit assent in his work Philosophical Principles of 1715 (the only ambiguous phrase in the following extract being ‘to make then as happy as their respective natures can admit’):
‘He Maintained that there is a principle of action in intelligent beings, analogous to that of attraction in the material system, which is the principle of reunion with the first cause [God], who ‘’infinitely powerful, and perfect must necessarily subject, draw and unite all intelligent beings to himself, to make the as happy as their respective natures can admit.’ He is the sole object of their happiness, and the must be brought to enjoy it ‘This happiness is the very end of their creation, it being impossible infinite intelligence should make intelligent beings for any other end’ (quoted in Whittemore, The Modern History of Universalism, p 207, 1860).

Clarke, McDonald (1798–1842), American poet of some fame in New York City in the early part of the 19th century. He was an influence on, and eulogized by Walt Whitman; but widely known as "the mad poet of Broadway’. Hanson includes him in A Cloud of Witness not as an explicit believer in UR but rather as one who gave fine expression to the idea that hell is made up of human selfishness:
‘How narrow are the bounds of hell/Of blood and dust how small a part!/The cloister of a forehead’s clouded swell./The dungeon of a loathing heart’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 155).

Clephane, Elizabeth Cecelia Douglas (1830–1869), author of the hymn The Ninety and Nine (melody by Ira Sankey). While it seems she was not a universalist, John Wesley Hanson considered her hymn the essence of Universalism. He called this hymn "the literal language of our faith." Hence Elizabeth Clephane is sometimes found on internet lists of universalists:
'There were ninety and nine that safely lay/ In the shelter of the fold./ But one was out on the hills away,/ Far off from the gates of gold…//“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine; Are they not enough for Thee?”/But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine/Has wandered away from Me…But none of the ransomed ever knew/ How deep were the waters crossed;/Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through/ Ere He found His sheep that was lost’ (The Ninety Nine).

Cowper, William (1731–1800), English poet and hymnodist– a forerunner of Romantic poetry with a playful and comic gift – one of his poems has the engaging title To the Immortal Memory of the Halibut, on Which I Dined This Day. However, all of his life he feared hell which lead to frequent bouts of insanity and despair. Paradoxically many of his hymns breathe universal hope which lead the universalist poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning to observe in Cowper’s Grave – ‘O poets! From a maniac’s tongue was poured the deathless singing!/O Christians ! at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!/O men! This man in brotherhood your weary paths beguiling, /Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died while ye were smiling!’. This paradox is clear in his following famous lyric:
'Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,/The clouds ye so much dread/Are big with mercy, and shall break/In blessings on your head.//Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,/But trust him for his grace;/Behind a frowning providence,/He hides a smiling face' (from God moves in mysterious ways).

Donne, John (1572 –1631), English metaphysical poet - famous for his sensual style and ingenious similes/conceits - satirist, lawyer and, later in life, Anglican Dean of St Paul’s. As a cleric he was known for his moderating influence on Calvinism (he was something like a three point Calvinist). Some of his religious poetry suggest universalists sentiments at variance with his theology. Hanson cites Donne’s Holy Sonnet :
‘What if this present were the world’s last night? ... And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,/ Which prayed forgiveness of his foes’ fierce spite?/Non! No!’(A Cloud of Witness, p.52). However, the context of the poem is Donne seeking personal assurance of forgiveness for his youthful riotous life, by undertaking an Ignatian meditation upon the Final Judgment – so the emphasis is primarily personal rather than universal here.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881), famous Russian novelist, short story writer, and essayist, best known for Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov:
'Crush this soul with mercy, show it love, and it will curse its handiwork, for within it there are so many good beginnings. The soul will grow enlarged and will behold how merciful God is, how fair and just are men. He will be horrified and crushed by the repentance and the numberless debt that stands before him from this day ... Justice is not the retribution merely, but also the salvation of the ruined man ... Let other nations have the letter and the retribution, we have the spirit and the sense, the salvation and regeneration of the ruined' (The Brothers Karamazov p.x).

Espy, James Pollard (1785–1860), American meteorologist famous for developing the convection theory of storms (hence his nickname ‘Storm King’). His word that are quoted by Hanson are inconclusive, I think. They could merely be an instance of him showing a detached empathy with a universalist audience he was lecturing to, rather than a statement of personal conviction:
[commenting on the Scripture passages ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ and ‘Have we not all one Father?’ when giving a lecture at the Baltimore Murray Institute in 1842 after a question from Rev. James Shrigley] ‘Both are good, but ‘’Have we not all one Father?’’ is infinitely better. It is a question which will induce men to think, and if men will only think they will soon discard the idea of eternal punishment. If one Father, of course, it follows one origin and one destiny for all; I have not been a close student of the Bible, but one thing I feel quite sure, the Universalists have both reason and philosophy on their side’ ( Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.128).

Ferguson, Rev Fergus (1824-1897), Scottish minister of Montrose Street Evangelical Union Church, tried by the Glasgow Presbytery at one time as a heretic for questioning limited atonement. He wrote of the doctrine of the eternity of hell and evil, as a Calvinist disciplined in coherent logic, that it is:
‘A notion not only incompatible with every one of the fundamental propositions of pure orthodoxy, but logically destructive of every one of them’ [on this evidence he could have been either a universalist or an annihilationist] (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.224).

Frederick II of Prussia (1712 –1786), also know as Frederick the Great; ‘Enlightened Despot’ and correspondent of Voltaire. He was a Deist in belief and wrote scornfully of revealed Christian religion. He features on Universalist lists because of the following quotation from him that is actually concerned with universal toleration of religions rather than universal salvation (and is modelled upon a similar saying by the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus):
'In my kingdom everyone can go to heaven in his own fashion' (see Gollancz, Year of Grace, p.14 – the saying by Epictetus is ‘All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way’).

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749–1832), German polymath -writer, artist, and politician, his body of work includes epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. Born into a Lutheran family, in later life he described himself as "not anti-Christian, nor un-Christian, but most decidedly non-Christian" – but Hanson includes him in A Cloud of Witness –although the entry is unconvincing (which is not the case with the entry for Shelley for example). It is well know that Goethe’s Faust, the original story of a man’s wager with Hell, ends surprisingly. Unlike the retellings and dramatizations of the tale Faust is saved (however, this is more an allegory of the necessary unity body and spirit than a work of Christian hope). Goethe's religion seems to have been a pantheistic belief in immortality:
'My own conviction of a continuous existence springs from my consciousness of personal energy, for I work incessantly to the end. Nature is bound to assign to me another outward form of being as soon as my present one can no longer serve y spirit' (quote in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p78).

Hobbes, Thomas of Malmesbury (1588 –1679), English philosopher whose 1651 Leviathan established a foundation for Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. Hobbes was accused of ‘atheism’ in his day – but ‘atheism’ at the time could mean anyone whose theology departed from orthodoxy. Perhaps he is best seen as a ‘proto-deist’. Certainly he strongly disbelieved in hell:
'Seeing now there is none that so interprets the Scripture as that after the day of judgement the wicked are all eternally to be punished in the Valley of Hinnon; or that they shall so rise again as to be ever after underground or underwater; or that after the resurrection they shall no more see one another, nor stir from one place to another; it followeth, methinks, very necessarily, that which is thus said concerning hell fire is spoken metaphorically; and that therefore there is a proper sense to be enquired after (for of all metaphors there is some real ground, that may be expressed in proper words), both of the place of hell, and the nature of hellish torments and tormenters' (Leviathan, Chapter xxxviii Of The Signification In Scripture Of Eternal Life, Hell, Salvation, The World To Come, And Redemption).

Huber, Samuel (1547–1624), German Reformed pastor who deeply disliked Theodore Beza's hardening of Calvin's doctrine of double predestination and therefore came to agree with the Lutherans regarding the objectivity and universality of God grace. He was invited to come to Wittenberg, where he was supposed to help the faculty there fight Calvinism. Trying to avoid the ditch of double predestination, he went in the other direction and claimed that election and justification were universal. Being universal, election and justification were communicated to all human beings. Huber never really went all the way though and said that all were going to be saved. In fact, he taught that people could (using their own free will) reject this universal justification and election. Aegidius Hunnius (1550–1603) defender of Lutheran orthodoxy against Calvinism set out to refute Huber in the Saxon Visitation Articles leading to Huber’s exile:
'we propose ... not only to wash away the charges he has made, but especially to refute his shameful errors concerning the eternal election and predestination to eternal life, not only of the children of God, but also of the children of the devil (that is, all the impenitent); similarly, his errors concerning the universal justification of all men—of unbelievers no less than believers; concerning also the regeneration of hypocrites in Baptism, which is said to be conferred on them in that very act of treachery and impiety' (Dedication to Saxon Visitation Articles, p.x, 1592).

Hugo, Victor Marie (1802–1885), French Romantic poet, novelist, and dramatist, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, and Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Hugo started out as a Catholic but ended life as a freethinker Deist rationalist and implacable hater of religious fanaticism:
'A society that tolerates misery, a religion that tolerates Hell, a humanity that tolerates war, is to me an inferior one. With all of the strength of my being I want to destroy this human depravation. I damn the slavery, I chase away the misery, I heal the sickness, I brighten the darkness, I hate the hatred' (from the introduction to Les Miserables, 1862).

Ingersoll, Robert Green "Bob" (1833 –1899), American political leader, civil war veteran, and orator, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism. He was nicknamed "The Great Agnostic. Hanson includes him in the ‘A Cloud of Witness’ anthology (p.306) on the grounds that this ‘most noted skeptic’…obtains a glimpse of the grandest truths’. His famous quotation lionizing universalism (which Hanson does not cite) is shot through with the polemical exaggerations of a seasoned agent provocateur:
'Strange! That no one has ever been persecuted by the church for believing God bad, while hundreds of millions have been destroyed for thinking him good. The orthodox church never will forgive the Universalist for saying “God is love.” It has always been considered as one of the very highest evidences of true and undefiled religion to insist that all men, women and children deserve eternal damnation. It has always been heresy, to say, “God will at last save all” ' (Complete Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll , p. 78, 1900).

Joris, David, referred to as ‘David George’ by Whittemore and others (1501–1556), Dutch Anabaptist on the "mystic" edge of Anabaptism, leading by citing dreams, visions and prophecies (and antagonist of Menno Simmons of the scriptural wing of the Anabaptists – although both advocated pacifism). Against his charismatic emphasis was his rationalist approach to the topic of the devil and supernatural evil in interpreting the devil as an allegory. He taught that human beings make choices for good and evil without the interference of Stan, that heaven and hell are within us, and that judgment takes place now as we make our choices(which is not necessarily a universalist sentiment). The Pietists were attracted by the way in which Joris undermined the learning of orthodox theologians in favour of a church taught directly by God's Spirit. It is not surprising, therefore, that Joris should figure so prominently in the Pietist effort to rethink and retell their communal story by appeal to the Christian past. Joris served as an early witness to the Pietist vision, one that reoriented Christianity away from ceremony and sacrament to inward experience.

Jortin, Dr. John (1698–1770), English church historian and Anglican priest, famous for his Life of Erasmus. His writings are witty as well as authoritative; for example (the prophetic) – ‘What pity it is that women do not write ecclesiastical history and take their revenge upon us’. He shows more of an implicit than an explicit universalism from sources viewed to date. He argues that ‘some of the best defenders of Christianity, down from Origen have been unkindly traduced by injudicious Christians’ and that the Ecclesiastical Councils (which, among other things, condemned universalism – although he does not clarify this):
'…have been too much extolled by Papists and some Protestants. They were a collection of men who were frail and fallible. Some of these Councils were not assemblies of pious and learned divines, but cabals, the majority of which were quarrelsome, fanatical, domineering, dishonest prelates who wanted to compel men to approve of their opinions, of which themselves had no clear conception, and to anathematize and oppress those who would not implicitly submit to their determination!!' (Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Volume 1, p.x, 1805).

Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804), German philosopher from a Pietist background who is a central influence on modern philosophy. He argued that human perception structures natural laws, and that reason is the source of morality. His system of ethics is termed ‘universalist’ – but universalist in this sense is about his belief that we should always act in a way that considers the effect of a specific action if everyone acted that way. Hanson cites Kant also as an eschatological universalist - although Whittemore more shrewdly states that Kant merely ‘inclines towards universalism’. The evidence is mixed. In 1793 in Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant argues that since morality concerns the adoption of universal principles every human being is guilty, in one sense, of an infinite (or 'universal’) amount of violation of the law, and consequently an infinite punishment is not unjustified. However, in his small work of 1794 The End of All Things, he appears to have changed his mind:
‘Why were a few, or a single one, made at all, if only to exist in order to beamed eternally miserable, which is infinitely worse than non-existence’ (Kant quoted in Whittemore, Modern history of Universalism ,p.280). However, the context of Kant's remarks is an argument about the providence of war, because this provides opportunities for virtuous self sacrifice, and prepares human beings for the day of judgment ‘of forgiveness or damnation by the judge of the world.'

Leggett, William (1801–1839), American poet, fiction writer, and journalist. His poem A Sacred Melody expresses hope in loved ones being united after death. This is quoted by Hanson in Cloud of Witness, p. 167 - but Hanson omits the final two lines that seem to limit the poems universality (in my view):
'If yon bright stars, which gem, the night,/Be each a blissful dwelling sphere,/where kindred spirits reunite,/Whom death has torn asunder here;/How sweet it were at once to die…//But oh! How dark, and drear, and lone, /Would seem the brightest world of bliss,/IF wandering through each radiant zone,/We failed to find the love of this!’...//’Tis heaven that whispers ‘dry thy tears’/The pure in heart shall meet again!’ (A Sacred Melody).

Leo I (the Great), Saint, Pope (c. 391/400-46), Bishop of Rome, Doctor of the Church, best known for persuading Attila the Hun not to invade Italy and being a foe of heresy:
'Before he was betrayed, the Lord had rightly said, ‘When I have been lifted up, I shall draw all to myself,’ that is, I will deal with the whole condition of mankind and will call back to integrity the nature lost long ago. In me will all weakness be abolished; in me will all wounds be healed' (xxxx, p.x).

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States:
'One of Lincoln’s associates, Mentor Graham, tells of Lincoln: 'He took the passage, ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,’ and followed up with the proposition that whatever the breach or injury of Adam’s transgressions to the human race was, which no doubt was very great, was made just and right by the atonement of Christ' (The Almost Chosen People by William J. Wolf, p. 47).

Mill, John Stuart, (1806–1873), English utilitarian philosopher, political economist and civil servant. Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political philosophy. Mill was an atheist - a Calvinist by upbrining who embraced Comtes' 'religion of humanity' - but he said one thing eloquently with which Hanson concurred – and paraphrased in Cloud of Witness:
‘I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply the epithet to my fellow creatures; and if such a being can sentence me to Hell for not so calling him, to Hell I will go’ (Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy, p103, 1865).

Milnes, Richard Monckton (1809–1885), English aristocrat, poet, patron of literature and politician. He was the persistent suitor of the Universalist founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, who finally rejected his proposal of marriage afraid it would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing. He wrote a moving poem of consolation in bereavement (it was written in 1839, so the ministering angel cannot be about Florence; she died in 1901). Although Hanson cites this along with the some of the other extracts and poems of this type in Cloud of Witness, its scope is personal rather than explicitly universal:
'And in the quiet of gloom I saw/The blessed image, moving, ministering/By me, about me, -just as heretofore//‘O ye! Who talk of Death, and mourn for Death,/Why do you raise a phantom of your weakness,/And then shriek loud to see what ye have made?/There is no Death, to those who know of Life -/No Time to those how see Eternity!’ (Life in Death quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.203).

Monsell, John Samuel Bewley (1811-1875), Irish minister in the Anglican Church of Ireland and author of the hymns Fight the good fight and O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. His name appears on some Universalist lists. No evidence seen to date of his explicit universalism but his O worship the Lord does have a fear free trust in God as its keynote:
‘Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness /of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine; /for truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness, /these are the offerings to lay on his shrine. //These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness, /he will accept for the Name that is dear; /mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness, /trust for our trembling and hope for our fear’ (from O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness).

de Montaigne, Michel Eyquem (1533–1592), French Catholic writer and statesman. He was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre. He became famous for his ability to merge serious intellectual exercises with casual anecdotes and autobiography—his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts" or "Trials") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written. In his own time, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. During the Wars of Religion in France, Montaigne, a Roman Catholic, acted as a moderating force, respected both by the Catholic King Henry III and the Protestant Henry of Navarre. Montaigne was horrified and amazed that Frenchman could torture Frenchman for the sheer fun of it during the Wars of Religion, amusing themselves by enjoying the 'pleasant spectacle' of the anguished twitching of their enemies as they slowly tortured them to death (Montaigne Essay, Book II, ch.2, 'On Cruelty' paraphrased by Screech, Laughter at the foot of the cross, p. 17). He is most famously known for his sceptical remark, 'Que sçay-je?' ('What do I know?' in Middle French; modern French Que sais-je?). This has lead to him becoming revered as the father of modern scepticism. However, it is in keeping with the thinking of other Christina humanists – such as Erasmus in Praise of Folly – who stress that our human ability to understand ultimate truth is limited. We see through a glass darkly, and therefore must be tolerant of those who differ from us:
'Moreover, the powers and actions of our souls must be examined not elsewhere but here, at home in our bodies. Any other perfections they may have are useless and irrelevant; it is for their present state that their whole immortality will recieve its acknowledged rewards: each is entirely accountable for the life of a human being. But it would be an act of gross injustice to lop off the soul's powers and resources, to strip her of all her weapons and then to take the very time when she lies weak and ill in prison - a time of repression and constraint - and to make that the basis for a judgement leading to endless, everlasting punishment; it would be unjust to limit consideration to so short a span, to a life that may have lasted a mere two hours or, at he very worst a hundred years - an instant in proportion to infinity - and then, from that momentary interlude, to order and establish, once and for all, the whole state of her future existence. To reward or punish on the basis of so short a life would be disproportionate and iniquitous. To get out of this difficulty, Plato wants future rewards and punishments never to exceed a hundred years and always to be proportionate to the actual length of a man's life. Quite a few Christians too have imposed temporal limits on to them' ('An Apology for Raymond Sebond' from Montainge's Essays, trans by M. A. Screech, penguin classics edn, pp.617-18).

Montgomery, James (1771–1854), Scottish editor, hymn writer and poet, and author of Angels from the Realms of Glory. He was particularly associated with humanitarian causes such as the campaigns to abolish slavery and to end the exploitation of child chimney sweeps. The evidence of his being a universalist is scant. Hanson simply asks the reader if the following can be interpreted ‘in harmony that the doctrine that Christ shall be defeated’:
'He shall reign from pole to pole/With illimitable sway;/He shall reign when, like a scroll/Yonder heavens are passed away;/Then the end;-beneath his rod/Man’s last enemy shall fall;/Hallelujah! Christ in God/God in Christ, is all in all!’ (from Hark the song of Jubilee, quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p. 94).

Nichol, John Pringle (1804–1859), Scottish educator, phrenologist, astronomer, economist and friend of John Stuart Mill who did much to popularize astronomy in a manner that appealed to nineteenth century tastes. I youth he was a licensed preacher for the Church of Scotland but his theological opinions changed –he remained inspired by a deep feeling of reverence and by the respect due to the beliefs of others, but his own religious views were far from what is commonly called orthodox He expresses cosmic hopefulness from his awe at the cosmos, although there seems to belittle specifically Christian about this:
'In the vast heavens, as well as the phenomena around us, all thing are in a state of change and progress… Is annihilation a possibility real or virtue, while hospitable infinitude remains? No! Let the night fall; it prepares a dawn when man’s weariness shall have ceased, and his sol refreshed and restored.. To come! To every creature these are words of hope spoken in organ tone; our hearts suggest them, and the stars repeat them. And through infinite aspiration wings its way rejoicing, as an eagle follows the sun' (View of the Architecture of the Heavens, p.x, 1837).

Ossoli, Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810 –1850), American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism. Her expression of UR is very much in terms of pantheistic immortality:
‘The One in All/In the one Truth, each separate fact is true;/Eternally in one I many view,/And destinies through destiny pursue.../But in the earth and fire, water and air,/Live earnestly by turns without despair,/Nor seek a home till home be every where!' (The One in All).

Pantaenus (died circa. 200 A.D.), theologian and philospopher, possibly originally from Sicily (Clement of Alexandria refers to him as ‘’the Sicilian Bee’’) and, according to Eusebius, the leader of the Catechetical School of Alexandria from around AD 180. The writings of Pantaenus have not survived, nor is there any record of him having taught universalism or proto- universalism. But it remains a strong possibility that the teacher of Clement of Alexandria passed the doctrine of apocatastasis to his pupil (who, in turn, passed it to Origen). However, J.W. Hanson assertion that this was ‘beyond doubt’ overstates the case (see Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church, p.49).

Parsons, Theophilus (1797–1882), American Dane Professor of Law at Harvard remembered chiefly as the author of a series of useful legal treatises and some books in support of Swedenborgian doctrines:
‘Where should we read in any new book, where should we hear in any sermon, of the damnation of infants, absolute election and predestination; or an atonement which presented God as vindictive and merciless, condemning a large part of His children, before their birth, to eternal misery, and hating with infinite and eternal wrath, not only sin but sinners, whom He had foreordained to be sinners? The Orthodox community has generally gone so far from such doctrines, that many may deny that they ever were preached, and charge me with error and injustice. 1 would advise persons who do so, to read the spider sermon, so called, of Jonathan Edwards lately republished. In all ages there have been those who turned their minds away from such pictures, and, even while assenting in words, greatly modified these views in their thoughts and feelings. But that such views were widely preached, and, indeed, passionately urged, is a matter of history’
(Outlines of the religion and philosophy of Swedenborg, p.303, 1902).

Pope, Alexander (1688 –1744), English Catholic famous for his satirical verse often included on internet lists of Universalists. However, in his Epistle to Burlington’ he ridicules the ‘soft Dean’ who ‘’never mentions hell to polite ears.’ Elsewhere he also ridicules the merciful doctrine of latitudinarian clergymen in the reign of the Dutch King of England William III:
'The following licence of a foreign reign/ Did all the dregs of bold Socinus drain;/ Then unbelieving priests reform'd the nation,/And taught more pleasant methods of salvation;/ Where Heav'n's free subjects might their rights dispute, /Lest God himself should seem too absolute: /Pulpits their sacred satire learned to spare, /And Vice admired to find a flatt'rer there!’ (An Essay on Criticism, section).

Postel, Guillaume (1510–1581), French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor. He believed in the restoration of all things – using the poetic imagery of Cabbalitic texts to express this - and the unification of all humanity and all religions in Christ. A sincere and saintly man, his terrible isolation in the face of all orthodoxies of his day seems to have unbalanced his mind and he eventually saw himself as a John the Baptist figure for a female incarnation of Christ. He was committed for insanity rather than burned at the stake due to the intercession of powerful friends:
‘ ... [some] satisfy themselves by introducing the greatest tyrant into the world, and persuade themselves that there is never to be a restoration of all things here, so that Satan seems to have destroyed more than Christ is able to restore. O, the greatest impiety!' (Letter of 1553).

Pucci, Francesco (1543–1597), Italian philosopher and Christian humanist scholar. In 1572 he went to Oxford University in England, apparently expecting to find sympathy with his antagonism to the Calvinistic tendency in Protestantism, but his disputations soon annoyed the authorities, who expelled him. He believed at least at one point, that all human beings are in a state of grace/salvation, already saved and simply in need to awaken to this; he defended his beliefs in his De Fide natura hominibus universis insita. Clear and comprehensive information about Pucci and his beliefs is probably buried in specialist publications written by Italian scholars for the time being.

Reade, Charles (1814–1884), English novelist and dramatist, best known for The Cloister and the Hearth. Described by friends as a generous, liberal, warm-hearted Christian gentleman, explicit evidence for his universalism is thin, but a character in one of his novels protests that:
'Eternal punishment! If it is not a fable, who has earned better than I am earning if I go on.[However] It is a fable, it must be so. Philosophers always said so, and now even divines have given it up' (Put Yourself in his Place, vol.ii, p.201, 1870).

Rogers, Samuel (1763–1855), English Romantic, poet, author of The Pleasures of Memory , and during his lifetime one of the most celebrated, who made his money as a banker. The evidence of his universalism seems thin without additional supporting evidence. Hanson tells us that James Freeman Clarke once met the poet who recited Adam’s complaint from Paradise Lost by Milton to him -(‘How can he exercise/Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?/ Can he make deathless Death? that were to make/ Strange contradiction, which to God himself/Impossible is held, as Argument /Of weakness, not of Power’ -Book 10, lines 796-801). Clarke then added:
‘Milton had put an argument into the mouth of Adam complaining of punishment, which he had not answered. There is no answering that indeed, except we admit that all punishment is corrective’ (Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.86).

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712–1778), Swiss Genevan philosopher and writer who influenced the French and American Revolutions and modern political, sociological, and educational thought. He was raised a Calvinist, converted to Roman Catholicism, and then reverted to Calvinism. However, his mature thinking is Deistic – advocating the civic celebration of the ‘natural religion’ of the God of Reason, and critical of Christianity for its lack of emphasis on citizenship in this world. Rousseau was for a time much disturbed and distressed by the doctrine of eternal damnation (which he eventually rejected). However it does not necessarily follow that his Deism implies any ultimate eschatological hope:
'But were it true that the Gospel is preached in every part of the earth, the difficulty is not removed. On the eve preceding the arrival of the first missionary in any country, some one person of that country expired without hearing the glad tidings. Now what must we do with this person? If there be a single individual in the whole universe, to whom the Gospel of Christ is not made known, the objection which presents itself on account of this one person, is as cogent as if it included a fourth part of the human race' (Emile, Vol. II, p. 94f.).

Ruskin, John (1819 –1900), leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, and a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. His first faith was harsh early Victorian evangelicalism –but, a man of great sensitivity, he lost his faith but attempted to return to it believing in a kinder more loving God. Sadly his final years were marred by bouts of insanity and obsession with Satan and damnation:
'And the first clause of it – the Lord’s Prayer –of course rightly explained, gives as the ground of what is surely a mighty part of the Gospel –its first great commandment, namely, that we have a Father whom we can love, and are required to love, and to desire to be with him in heaven, wherever that may be, and to declare that we have such a loving Father, whose mercy is over all his works and whose will and law is so lovely and lovable that it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold’ (The Lord’s Prayer and the Church – Letters Addressed to the Clergy , p.13, 1896, quoted in Hanson Cloud of Witness).

Sand, George, pen name of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant (1804 – 1876), French novelist, memoirist and bohemian, she was a also a devout Catholic. The evidence for her universalism is thin but significant. In her novel Spiridion, an aged monk who is the guardian of handed-down religious secrets states:
'L’ Eglise Romaine s’est porte le dernier coup: elle a raveler son suicide le jour on elle a fait Dieu implacable et la damnation eternelle’ (‘the Roman church committed suicide the day she invented an implacable God and eternal damnation’) (quoted by Hanson in Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church, p.127).

Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von (1759 –1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, playwright, and friend of Goethe. He gives stirring expression to Universalist sentiments in his ‘Ode to Joy’ – set to music that overwhelms with its passion by Beethoven as the climax to the Ninth Symphony. The sentiments of the Ode are informed by a mixture of Christian and Pagan ideas rather than being purely Christian (Schiller was a Freemason):
'Close the holy circle tighter,/Swear by this golden vine:/ Remain true to the vows,/Swear by the judge above the stars!// Escape the tyrants’ chains,/Generosity also to the villain,/Hope upon the deathbeds,/Mercy from the high court!/The dead, too, shall live!/Brothers, drink and chime in,/All sinners shall be forgiven,/And hell shall be no more’ (Ode to Joy, lines 93-104, 1785).

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792–1822), major English Romantic poet, critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. A radical in his poetry as well as his political and social views he is well known as an advocate of atheism. However, C.S. Lewis accorded him the status of ‘virtuous pagan’ and it is clear that the God in whom he disbelieved was the God of extreme Calvinism, and that he worshipped the God of love and had universal hope for humanity in the form of the Platonic deity of ‘Intellectual Beauty’. This tension can be seen in his long poem Queen Mab:
''God, Hell and Heaven:/A vengeful, pitiless, and almighty fiend,/Whose mercy is a nickname for the rage/Of tameless tigers hungering for blood;/Hell, a red gulf of everlasting fire,/Where poisonous and undying worms prolong/Eternal misery to those hapless slaves/Whose life has been a penance for its crimes’ (Book iv 210-217); ‘Death is a gate of dreariness and gloom,/That leads to azure isles and beaming skies/And happy regions of eternal hope’ (Book ix 160-163).

Simon, Jules François (1814–1896), French statesman, philosopher and exponent of rational religion (which critics argued paid too little attention to positive revelation):
‘We are asked whether punishment will endure eternally? It is a question which should not be introduced by itself into philosophy. The eternity of punishment destroys one of the two objects of punishment, purification, reformation; it exaggerates the other beyond possibility, for there is no sin committed in time which calls for eternal punishment. There is no principle of reason which either leads to the doctrine of the eternity of punishment or even admits it’ (La Religion Naturelle, p.304, 1856).

Spener, Philipp Jakob (1635–1705), German Lutheran theologian known as the "Father of Pietism." When post reformation Protestant orthodoxy increasingly emphasized right doctrine as the sole criteria for salvation, Spener simply urged that Christianity canto be believed and is not redemptive without first being practiced. Pietism with its emphasis on religion of the heart always had a strand of universalism. It appears that Spener himself was either a hopeful Universalist or believed in some future merciful mitigation of the punishments of the lost:
‘This learned and holy leader of the Pietists expressed a hope that there would be "better times" for the lost in the distant future’ (from Johann Matthias Schrockh, Christliche Kirchengeschichte seit der Reformation, viii. p.292, 177,7 quoted in Farrar Mercy and Judgment).

Sumner, Charles (1811–1874), American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War. The extract that Hanson quotes from Sumner seems to conflate ideas of universal restitution with optimism about human progress. The two are not necessarily at odds, but the terrible events of the first part of the twentieth century were to erode this essentially secular optimism which Karl Barth’s neo-orthodoxy had to challenge in order to keep hope alive:
‘Every victory over evil redounds to the benefit of all. Every discovery, every human thought, every truth when declared, is a conquest of which the whole human family are partakers. -Thus does the ‘Law of Human Progress/Assert eternal Providence,/And justify the ways of God to man – by showing Evil no longer a gloomy mystery, binding the world in everlasting thrall, but as an accident, destined under the laws of God to be slowly subdued by works of men as they pass o to the promised goal of happiness’ (quoted in Hanson, Cloud of Witness, p.213).

Theologia Germanica (believed to have been written in the later 14th century), a mystical treatise by an anonymous German author. It proposes that God and man can be if man imitates the life of Christ, renouncing sin and selfishness, ultimately allowing God’s will to replace human will. The Theologia’s refrain ‘Nought perishes in Hell but self will’ found its way into the phraseology of later Universalists even if it would be pushing things to claim it as an explicit Universalist text. Martin Luther revered the work and translated it from medieval German into High German (1516 and 1518) although some would argue that he never really understood its teachings. It also gained immense cachet among the Radical Reformers, and in later Pietism. In 1528, Ludwig Haetzer republished Theologia Germanica with interpretive "Propositions" by Hans Denck. After this Sebastian Castellio ,Valentin Weigel and Johann Arndt (endorsed by Philipp Jakob Spener) all produced editions. The list reads like a rogue gallery of proto-universalists. John Calvin declared the work to be “poison supplied by the Devil.”

Twain, Mark (1835 –1910), American author, humorist, and lifelong Presbyterian who sometimes wrote like a Universalist but sometimes tended towards cynicism about Christianity because of ECT doctrine. In this sense he was a troubled, equivocal soul:
‘There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is--in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree--it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime--the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled’ (Autobiography, Volume 1, p.x).

Vane, Sir Henry the Younger often referred to as 'Harry Vane' (1613 –1662), English politician, statesman, and briefly Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A religious radical and proponent of tolerance he supported the creation of Roger Williams' Rhode Island Colony and Harvard College. He was a leading Parliamentarian during the English Civil War and was beheaded as a traitor on Tower Hill because of this at the Restoration. Bishop Burnett writes sympathetically of the peaceful composure with which Vane met his death, adding:
'I have sometimes taken pains to see if I could find out his meaning in his works, yet I could never reach it. And since many others have said the same, it may be reasonable to believe that he hid somewhat that which was a necessary key to the rest. His friends told me, that he leaned to Origen’s notion of a universal salvation of all, both of devils and the damned, and to the doctrine of pre-existence' (History of My Own Time, p.295, 1724).

Veneto, Francesco Giorgi (1466–1540), Italian Venetian Franciscan friar, and author of the work De Harmonia Mundi Totus (The Harmony of the Whole World). He believed that the Truth of Christianity was proved by the Cabbala and advocated the unification of mankind through Christian Cabbalist philosophy. His works were owned by Dr Sir Thomas Browne. Petersen cites him as a Universalist – no explicit evidence seen to date; but his work certainly influenced the hermetic and Pietist strands of Christian universalism.

Whitman, Walter "Walt" (1819 –1892), American poet, essayist and journalist; religious pluralist and transcendentalist (but not specifically Christian):
'Give me, O God, to sing that thought!/Give me—give him or her I love, this quenchless faith/In Thy ensemble. Whatever else withheld, withhold not from us,/Belief in plan of Thee enclosed in Time and Space;/Health, peace, salvation universal’ (from Song of the Universal, lines 57-62).

Windett, James (died 1664), English physician, Latin versifier, linguist and friend of Sir Thomas Browne, In 1661 he published De vita functorum statu (‘On the state of the dead’), a long Latin letter, with numerous passages in Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, addressed to Dr. Samuel Hall. It begins with a general discussion of the word ‘Tartarus’ and of the Greek and Hebrew words and phrases used in describing the state of man after death, and goes on to consider the Greek and Hebrew views on the state and place of the good, on a middle state, and on the place of the wicked with related subjects. His letter shows erudite knowledge of the Talmud’s presentation of Gehenna as an intermediate, purgatorial state, and even shows knowledge of the equivalent traditional Muslim idea (No direct quotations seen currently).



Former Universalists

Augustine, of Hippo (354-430), bishop of Hippo Regius, saint and major Latin Church Father:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Holtz, Chad (xxxx-), American; former United Methodist pastor of Marrow's Chapel, Henderson, North Carolina, who was removed from office in part for his public internet support of Rob Bell's hopeful universalist book Love Wins. Originally, Chad commented that, 'I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment', but after attending a conservative rehabilitation ministry (Pure Life Ministries) to overcome 'sexual addiction' he altered his stance and declared:
'I repent of my past denial of hell or that a person could ever be eternally seperated [sic] from a holy God. I know now that I had no fear of God. Therefore, I had no knowledge of God (Prov. 1:7). I was a fool with an MDiv. I was wrong' (Chad's blog, Unchained, entry 1 June 2012).

Jerome, (c.347-420), saint, Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian, historian, and Doctor of the Church best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate):
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).



Annihilationists/Conditionalists

Allon, Rev. Henry (1818-1892), English Congregationalist clergyman, and co-editor with Henry Robert Reynolds of the British Quarterly Review:
'It does not follow, however, that finality of moral condition implies unending being or unending consciousness of retribution. There is no moral necessity to suppose this, while both the finality and the symbolism are such as would probably find their adequate interpretation in the simple idea of finality — the ending of sin and of sinful being: whether by the natural cessation of the latter — which seems the most plausible — or by other processes, we are not told' (The Contemporary Review - Volume 32, p.356, 1878).

Arnobius the Elder (died c.330), Early Christian Apologist and former rehtorician, first certain annihilationist:
'But what man does not see that that which is immortal, which is simple, cannot be subject to any pain; that that, on the contrary, cannot be immortal which does suffer pain? ... For they are cast in, and being annihilated, pass away vainly in everlasting destruction....For that which is seen by the eyes is only a separation of soul from body, not the last end-annihilation: this, I say, is man's real death' (Against the Pagans, Book 2, Paragraph 14).

* Atkinson, Dr. Basil Ferris Campbell (1895-1971), theological writer and bible commentator, under-librarian of the University of Cambridge, librarian to the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, and participant in the formation of the Inter Varsity Fellowship:
'If the ungodly are in conscious misery for eternity and above all if they continue in increasing sin for eternity, how can we believe the apostle's supreme declaration in 1 Corinthians 15:28 that God will be all in all without narrowing its scope and distorting its meaning?' (Life and Immortality, p.x).

* Bruce, Dr. Frederick Fyvie (1910-1990), theologian, Professor of Greek at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds, head of the Department of Biblical History and Literature at Sheffield University:
'annihilation is certainly an acceptable interpretation of the relevant New Testament passages ... For myself, I remain agnostic. Eternal conscious torment is incompatible with the revealed character of God' (Letter from F. F. Bruce to John Stott in 1989, as quoted in John Stott: A Global Ministry).

* Bullinger, E. W. (xxxx-xxxx), Concordant Publishing:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Buzzard, Sir Anthony Farquhar 3rd Baronet (1935-), biblical scholar, unitarian Christian theologian, author and professor at Atlanta Bible College:
'What a joy that an honest Bible-searcher gives the public a chance to renounce one of the cruellest errors of traditional theology-- that the God of all compassion is intending to torture and torment the wicked ceaselessly for eternity. I doubt if most churchgoers allow themselves even to think through what that hideous notion implies. As it turns out it is a pernicious mistake to adopt the non-biblical idea of an immortal soul, from which it would follow that being immortal the wicked could never die!' (a comment on patheos website in response to the article: Stories of Hateful Fundamentalists Coming to a Theater Near You).

Dale, Rev. Robert William (1829–1895), English Congregationalist minister, leader of the Independents in Birmingham, and the initiator of the Civic Gospel movement, promoting the belief that service on the town council had both moral and religious worth:
'The traditional theory of the endlessness of sin and of suffering has lost its authority ... The appeal to fear is being silently dropped. Augustine said that it very seldom or never happens that a man comes to believe in Christ except under the influence of terror. This sweeping statement ... is flagrantly inconsistent with all that we know of the rise of Christian faith and hope in the souls of men in our own times' (Preface to Dr. Petavel, p. 7).

Fontaine, James (xxxx-xxxx), English Conditionalist who published his treatise Eternal Punishment Proved to be not Suffering but Privation anonymously in 1771 under the pen name ‘A member of the Church of England’. In this he argues that although at the Last Day both the righteous and the wicked will be raised, only the righteous will be raised ‘in power’, possessing immortality, and the wicked consequently will cease to exist:
'Our appetites, our facilities, and our moral relations, each subserve to the perfection of our nature, and prepare us for God’s presence; it is right employment of those, by virtue of the spiritual life Christ offers us, that procures our immortality. All duties of life have an immortal tendency: well performed they make us more Godlike, and so fit us for his presence’ (Eternal Punishment Proved to be not Suffering but Privation, p.x, 1717).

* Fudge, Edward (1941-), theologian and lawyer, best known for his book The Fire that Consumes:
'Are we supposed to think that the God who loves the world so much that he gave his only son so believers would not perish but have eternal life is going to then turn around and throw billions of them into something resembling a lake of volcanic lava and make it so they cannot die, so they will have to endure this forever. That doesn’t sound like the God that I know and see in Jesus Christ' (Interview with The Christian Post).

* Gumbel, Nicky (1955-), Anglican priest, vicar and author, best known as the developer of the Alpha course:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

Ignatius, of Antioch (?-107) Martyr and Apostolic Father, 3rd bishop of Antioch, student of John the Apostle, disputed conditionalist:
"Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness; for were God to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians).

Justin Martyr (100–c.165), Early Christian Apologist and foremost defender of Logos doctrine, martyr, proto annihilationist:
'The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgement. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished' (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter 5).

Locke, John 1632 –1704), English Enlightenment philosopher and political theorist, champion of religious toleration. Secret Arian and annihilationist:
'By death some men understand endless torments in hell-fire. But it seems a strange way of understanding a law which requires the plainest and directest words that by death should be meant eternal life in misery. Can any one be supposed to intend by a law which says, 'For felony thou shalt surely die,' not that he should lost his life, but be kept alive in exquisite and perpetual torments?' (The Reasonableness of Christianity As Delivered in the Scriptures, p. 6).

Milman, The Very Reverend Henry Hart (1791–1868), English Church historian and ecclesiastic, Anglican Dean of Westminster and Dean of St Paul’s, and author of the Passiontide hymn Ride on, ride on in majesty:
'To the eternity (endlessness) of hell torments there is and ever must be — notwithstanding the peremptory decree of dogmatic theology, and the reverential dread in many minds of tampering with what seems to be the language of the New Testament — a tacit repugnance' (History of Latin Christianity, vi. p. 253).

Milton, John (1608–1674), English poet, defender of free speech, and civil servant under Oliver Cromwell. He is best known for Paradise Lost which, written 'to justify the ways of God to men', second only to Dante, has furnished the Western imagination with visions of ECT. However, in Book 3 Christ the Eternal Son argues with God the Father:
'Father, who art judge/Of all things made, and judged only right./…shall the adversary thus obtain/His end, and frustrate thine? Shall he fulfill/His malice and thy goodness bring to naught?' The theological logic here - employed by Milton's God in answer - necessitates the incarnation so that Christ can pay the debt owed by Adam; but the poetic logic here is anti-hell in total - God's purposes are greater than the satisfaction of his justice. In 1823 a Latin manuscript was discovered, almost certainly by Milton, entitled On Christian Doctrine which confirms something long suspected for other reasons; namely that Milton was in fact an English Arian – hence he would have been an annihilationist, and hence the ambiguity about eternal hell in Paradise Lost.

Newton, Sir Isaac PRS MP (1642 –1727), English physicist and mathematician widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. He was a secret Arian and annihilationist:
'The degree and the duration of the torments of these degenerate and anti-Christian people should be no other than that which would be approved of by those angels who had ever laboured for their salvation, and that Lamb who had redeemed them with His most precious blood' (On Rev. xiv. 10, 11).

* Peoples, Dr. Glenn (1975-), independant scholar, philosophical and theological writer and notable internet blogger, currently working for the Inland Revenue Department New Zealand:
'Not only am I an annihilationist, but I think that all evangelical Christians should be annihilationists, because
the biblical case for annihilationism is very strong, and I think the arguments against annihilationism are very
weak in comparison' (Why I am an Annihilationist at beretta-online.com).

* Personne, Johan Wilhelm (1849-1926), Swedish Lutheran Bishop and prestigious Biblical scholar for whom the Bible was ‘the eternally deciding standard’:
'The exegesis, that for example in Revelation 21:4 “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” etc., sees a guarantee that God shall cause the saved to forget the agony of the lost, that exegesis is so miserable that I am almost ashamed to mention it. And when I hear of a clergyman who rejects the apprehensions of his members concerning the eternal suffering with the exhortation: “Do not think about that, just see to it that you yourself will be saved,” I have difficulty in not thinking mean things of him' (Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Linköping 1910).

* Pinnock, Dr. Clark (1937-2010), Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College and notable advocate of Open Theism:
'My point is that eternal torment serves no purpose at all and exhibits a vindictiveness totally out of keeping with the love of God revealed in the gospel' (Four Views on Hell, p. 153).

Richardson, Samuel (flourished 1643–1658; unconfirmed birth and death), English Parliamentarian Army preacher during the civil war and leading Baptist in London after the Restoration. A man of independent views; an Arian and annihilationist:
'The doctrine of endless hell torments hath caused many to murder themselves, taking away their own lives by poison, stabbing, drowning, hanging, strangling, and shooting themselves, casting themselves out of windows, and from high places, to break their necks and by other kinds of death, that they might not live to increase their sin, and increase their torments in hell' (A Discourse of the Torments of Hell … with many infallible Proofs that there is not to be a Punishment after this Life for any to endure that shall not end).

* Sanders, Dr. John E. (1956-), notable inclusivist and open theist, professor of religious studies at Hendrix College, Arkansas, and former Frederick J. Crosson Fellow at The Center for Philosophy of Religion, Notre Dame:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Stott, John Robert Walmsley (1921-2011), noted Evangelical leader, one of the principal authors of the 1974 Lausanne Covenant, 2005 Time magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world:
'Emotionally, I find the concept [of eternal conscious torment] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain' (Essentials: A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue by David L. Edwards with a response from John Stott. 1988, p314 ).

* Temple, William (1881-1944), Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the founders of the Council of Christians and Jews, fellow and lecturer in philosophy at Queen's College, Oxford:
'xxxx' (Christus Veritas, p. 209).

Watts, Isaac (1674–1748), English hymn writer best known for When I Survey the Wondrous Cross; theologian and logician; Independent/Congregationalist of moderate Calvinistic leanings. Known as the "Father of English Hymnody", he is credited with some 750 hymns (He appears on some internet lists as a universalist because of his inclusion in Farrar's Mercy and Judgement):
'There is not one place of Scripture that occurs to me, where the word 'death', as it was first threatened in the law of innocency, necessarily signifies a certain miserable immortality of the soul either to Adam, the actual sinner, or to his posterity' (The Ruin and Recovery of Mankind, Question xi. P.228, 1740).

* Welch, C. H. (xxxx-xxxx), Concordant Publishing:
'xxxx' (xxxx, p.x).

* Wenham, John (1913 - 1996), clergyman, vice-principal of Tyndale Hall, Bristol and noted bible scholar:
'I believe that endless torment is a hideous and unscriptural doctrine which has been a terrible burden on the mind of the church for many centuries and a terrible blot on her presentation of the gospel. I should indeed be happy if, before I die, I could help in sweeping it away' (Facing Hell, An Autobiography 1913-1996, p. x).

Whiston, William (1667 –1752), English theologian, cosmologist, and mathematician. A leading figure in the popularization of the ideas of Isaac Newton, and a noted translator of Josephus; a publicly proclaimed Arian and annihilationist (for which he lost his professorship at Cambridge):
'The astonishing love of God toward mankind is so absolutely inconsistent with these common but barbarous and savage opinions…the torments, the exquisite torments of these most numerous and most miserable creatures, are determined without the least pity, or relenting, or bowels of compassion in their creator' (The Eternity of Hell Torments Considered, pp. 18-19).

White, Rev. Edward (1819-1898), English Congregationalist minister. As a young man he had attended York Street Congregational Church in Walworth along with Robert Browning. The strict Calvinism of Clayton made a strong and negative impression on both of them. Later Clayton was the author of two popular works What was the Fall? and Life in Christ that set out a conditionalist theology:
‘White believed that ‘thoughtful children knew very well what doctrines underlay the surface teaching in families, schools and churches’. The doctrine of election and reprobation was ‘taught in a quiet and respectable way’ but its implications caused him considerable pain. ‘It nearly drove me mad with secret misery of mind, in thinking of such a God’, he wrote. ‘From fourteen years old and upwards our faith depended very much on the art of not thinking on the hateful mystery’ (see, F.A. Freer, Edward White, his life and work, pp 5-7, 1902).

* Wright, Right Revd. Nicholas Thomas (1948-), leading New Testament scholar, former Bishop of Durham, current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary's College, St Andrews:
'I don’t find any of these three traditional options completely satisfactory, but I think a somewhat different form of conditionalism may be the best we can do. We should of course always stress that the question of who shall eventually be saved is up to God and God alone, and that we can never say of anyone for certain, including Hitler and bin Laden, that they have gone so far down the road of wickedness that they are beyond redemption. I take it, however, that there are many who do continue down that road to the bitter end' (Rethinking the Tradition).



Post-mortem salvationists

Alford, Henry (1810 –1871), English churchman, Dean of Canterbury, theologian, textual critic, scholar, poet, hymnodist, and writer:
'The inference every intelligent reader will draw from the face [of Christ preaching to the once-disobedient dead]: it is not purgatory; it is not universal restitution; but it is one which throws blessed light on one of the darkest enigmas of divine justice: the cases where the final doom seems infinitely out of proportion to the act which has incurred it. And….it would be presumption in us to limit the occurrence or the efficacy of this preaching….Who shall say that the blessed act was confined to them?' (On I Peter iii, 19).

* Boyd, Dr. Gregory A. (1957-), adjunct Professor of Theology at Bethel University, author, and senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota:
'In fact, I find I've got grounds for having a hope for everybody ... I can't know that everyone's saved. That's going beyond the bounds of scripture. But Paul says ... "all were in Adam, so all are in Christ" ... Which tells me ... from God's perspective, he has them all in, he's squeezing them in ... So hold fast to the exclusivity of Christ, but don't feel like there's anything wrong with having hope, and believing that there's a wideness in God's mercy, and his love is unfathomable and gracious, and we have confidence in that also' (Videoblog: Q&A Salvation 2012).

Butler, Joseph (1692. –1752), English bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher. He is known, among other things, for his critique of Thomas Hobbes’s egoism and John Locke’s theory of personal identity:
'Virtue ... is militant here, but it may combat with greater advantage hereafter ... There may be scenes in eternity lasting enough, and in every way adapted to afford it a sufficient sphere of action ... And ... suppose all this advantageous tendency of virtue to become effect amongst one or more orders of vicious creatures in any distant scene or period throughout the universal kingdom of God; this happy effect of virtue would have a tendency, by way of example, and possibly in other ways, to amend those of them who are capable of amendment and being recovered to a just sense of virtue' (The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature, vol I, p.13, 1736).

Church, Richard William (1815–1890), English High Churchman and Anglican Dean of St Pauls:
'I should be disloyal to Him whom I believe in as the Lord of Truth if I doubted that honest seeking should at last find Him. Even if it do not find Him here, man's destiny stops not at the grave, and many, we may be sure, will know Him there who did not know Him here' (The Contemporary Review Volume 59, p.143).

Hope, Alexander James Beresford M.P. (1820–1887), English politician and author, and devout Anglican:
'All reason all experience, all Scripture, unite in the teaching that the Divine work of teaching goes on behind as well as before the veil' (Contemporary Review, vol. xxxii. 1878).

Hort, Fenton John Anthony (1828 –1892), Irish theologian and editor, with Brooke Westcott of a critical edition of The New Testament in the Original Greek. He was a friend of both Charles Kingsley and F.D. Maurice:
‘F.J.A. Hort, who had earlier corresponded with F.D. Maurice on the topic of eternal punishment, regretted Maurice’s unequivocal rejection of purgatory, but agrees with Maurice on the three points at the heart of the controversy; that eternity was independent of duration; that power of repentance is not limited to this life; and that it is not revealed whether or not all will ultimately be saved’ (from Geoffrey Rowell, Hell and the Victorians, p.83-84, 1974; citing, at footnote 80, A.F. Hort Life and Letters of F.J.A. Hort , pp. 266-275, 1896).

Johnson, Samuel (1709 - 1784), English writer a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and a philanthropist. He feared heel for himself excessively but was hopeful for others:
'(Boswell) "What do you think, Sir, of purgatory, as believed by the Roman Catholicks?" (Johnson) "Why, Sir, it is a very harmless doctrine. They are of the opinion that the generality of mankind are neither so obstinately wicked as to deserve everlasting punishment, nor so good as to merit being admitted into the society of blessed spirits; and therefore that God is graciously pleased to allow a middle state, where they may be purified by certain degrees of suffering. You see, Sir, there is nothing unreasonable in this."(Boswell) "But then, Sir, their Masses for the dead?" (Johnson) "Why, Sir, if it be at once established that there are souls in purgatory, it is as proper to pray for them, as for our brethren of mankind who are yet in this life' (Boswell, Life of Johnson, p.x).

* Lewis, Clive Staples (1898-1963), philosopher and Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, later chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge, influential Christian apologist and author best known for his Narnia series:
'I believe in Purgatory ... I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering ... But I don't think suffering is the purpose of purgation ... The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much' (Malcolm, ch. 20).

Lombard, Peter (c. 1096-1164), French Catholic scholastic theologian and author of Four Books of Sentences, which became the standard textbook of theology the Middle Ages:
'That some sins are remitted after this life, Christ shows in the Gospel (Matt. xii. 32). Whence it may be understood, as holy doctors teach, that some sins are pardoned in the future….But in that cleansing fire some are purged more slowly some more speedily, according as they have loved those perishing things less or more…..Those who build gold, silver, precious stones, are secure from either fire: not only from that eternal fire which will torture the impious forever, but even from that fire of emendation in which some will be purged who are to be saved' (Four Books of Sentences, Dict. xxi. A.B. ).

Martensen, Hans Lassen (1808-1884), Danish Lutheran bishop and academic with an interest in Christian mysticism and speculative theosophy:
'As no soul leaves this present existence in a fully complete and prepared state, we must suppose that there is an Intermediate State, a realm of progressive development, in which souls are prepared and matured for the last judgment ... The intermediate state, in a purely spiritual sense must be a purgatory determined for the purifying of the soul' (Christliche Dogmatik, 276, 1870, quoted in Farrar’s Mercy and Judgment).

Perpetua, Vibia (c. 181-203), Martyr, leader, woman of letters:
'The following was shown to me in a vision ... Dinocrates had been my brother after the flesh, seven years of age, who died miserably with disease ... Between him and me there was a large gap, so that neither of us could approach the other ... I was aroused and knew that my brother was in suffering. But I trusted that my prayer would bring help to his suffering ... I saw that the place which I had formerly observed to be in gloom was now bright. Dinocrates, with a clean body, well-clad, was finding refreshment ... I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment' (The Suffering of the Holy Martyrs: Perpetua and Felicitas, Chapter 2).

Perrone, Giovanni (1794–1876), Italian Catholic Jesuit theologian:
'All agree in saying that it is too violent to admit at once into heaven all those who only repented of their past evil life at the end, and who indulged too much in the sensualities of this life, since nothing defiled enters there; also it is too harsh to assign all such to eternal torments' (De Deo Creatore, p. 119, n. 7).

Wake, William (1657 –1737), Church of England priest and Archbishop of Canterbury:
'It may, with much more agreement to the text (Matt. Xii. 32), follow that all men, be their sins what they may, shall have grace of repentance whereby they may be pardoned in the world to come, the blasphemer against the Holy Ghost alone excepted' (Discourse of Purgatory, p. 20).

* Walls, Dr. Jerry L (xxxx-), former lecturer at Asbury Theological Seminary, currently Visiting Scholar, Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame:
‘missionaries do not convert people who would otherwise be lost’ (Hell: the Logic of Damnation, p.xx).

Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807 –1892), American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets and was strongly influenced by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. He is famous for the words of the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, from his poem The Brewing of Soma, sung to music by Hubert Parry.
‘I am not a Universalist, for I believe in the possibility of the perpetual loss of the soul that persistently turns away from God, in the next life as in this. But I do believe that the divine love and compassion follow us in all worlds, and that the heavenly Father will do the best that is possible for every creature that he has made. What that will be, must be left to his infinite wisdom and goodness' (Samuel T. Pickard, Life and Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, vol 1, p. 265,1907).



Disputed Post-Mortem Salvationists

Luther, Martin (1483 –1546), seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation:
'God forbid that I should limit the time of acquiring faith to the present life. In the depth of the Divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future' (Letter to Hanseu Von Rechenberg in 1522, translation given in Farrar’s Mercy and Judgment):
On the EU website Derek Flood gave an alternative scholarly translation of Luther’s letter:
'It is quite another question whether God could give faith to many as they die or after they die, and could therefore sanctify them through faith. Who would doubt that He could do this? However, no one can prove that he does'



Wider Hope Salvationists and Inclusivists (and Christian Pluralists)

Barclay, Robert (1648 –1690), Scottish Quaker, governor of the East Jersey colony in North America and the most eminent theologian of the Religious Society of Friends. His ‘Apology’ influenced John Wesley’s’ doctrine of prevenient grace:
'It wonderfully commends us as well the certainty of the Christian religion among infidels, as it manifests its own verity to all, in that it is confirmed and established by the experience of all men; seeing there was never yet a man in any place of the earth, however barbarous and wild, but hath acknowledged, that at some time or another, less or more, he hath found somewhat in his heart reproving him for some things evil which he hath done, threatening a certain horror if he continued in them, as also promising and communicating a certain peace and sweetness, as he has given way to it, and not resisted it'' (Apology 143).

Bathurst, Elizabeth (d. 1691), English Quaker preacher and proto-feminist:
'…none should need to fear their Eternal Predestination or Reprobation to Everlasting Misery, as thought God hath foreordained some for Everlasting Damnation; for God would have all men come to knowledge of the Truth and be saved' (spoken while interrupting a Calvinist meeting at Spitalifields in 1678 to ‘make Proclamation of Gods’ Universal Love').

Berrow, Capel (1716–1782), English theologian and Anglican Rector of Rosington:
'The endless misery of the majority cannot be made reconcilable with any one attribute of the Deity whatever' (Theological Dissertations – No 2 Predestination Election and Future punishment, 1772).

Burnet, Gilbert (1643 –1715), Bishop of Salisbury, Scottish theologian and historian:
'Instead of stretching the severity of justice by an inference, we may rather venture to stretch the mercy of God, since that is the attribute which of all others is most magnificently spoken of in the Scriptures; so that we ought to think of it in the largest and most comprehensive manner' (On Art. XVIII).

* Catechism of the Catholic Church reads:
'God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want ‘any to perish, but all to come to repentance’'( xxxx, p.x).

Child, Lydia Maria Francis (1802-1880), American Unitarian, abolitionist, women's rights activist, opponent of American expansionism, Indian rights activist, novelist, and journalist:
‘Everywhere we hear voices of supplication; everywhere we see hands stretched toward the Infinite ‘’seeking after God, if haply they may find him.’’ Let us recognize them all as fellow pilgrims on the same mysterious journey. Let us all give each other cheerful assurance that we are all being guided through devious paths homeward by the Universal Father. (Aspirations of the World, p.276, 1878).

Clarke, Dr Adam (1762–1832), Irish Methodist theologian and biblical scholar:
'There is room for hope in his [Judas’]death. The chief priests who instigated Judas were worse men than himself, and if mercy was extended to those, the wretched penitent traitor did not die out of the reach of the yearning of its bowels. And I contend, further, that there is no positive evidence of the final damnation of Judas in the sacred text. I would not set up, knowingly, any plea against the claims of justice; and God forbid that a sinner should be found capable of pleading against the cries of mercy on behalf of a fellow culprit. Reader, learn from thy Lord this lesson: ' Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy' (Quoted in P.T. Barnum's Why I am a Universalist, 1896).

* Cleveland, Elizabeth Hannah Jocelyn (1824-1911), American Quaker and author of the witty and once popular narrative poem for young people No Sects in Heaven in which a Priest in his fine vestments, a gray suited Quaker, Dr Isaac Watts with his psalms, John Wesley, a Baptist (and more) struggle across a river, each imaging his own way is the only one to heaven. However at the end of the poem:
‘And priest and Quaker, and all who died,/ Came out alike on the other side./ No forms, or crosses, or books had they, /No gowns of silk, or suits of gray, /No creeds to guide them, or MSS., /For all had put on Christ's righteousness’ (No Sects In Heaven: and Other Poems, p.x, 1869).

Curione, Secondo (1503 –1569), Italian Reformer and Professor of Theology at Basle. In his 1554 De Amplitdue beati regini (The extent of the kingdom of the Blessed) he argues in favour of God having a larger Kingdom than Satan and attributes the opinion of the fewness of the saved to the Devil. Curio was generally abused and persecuted because of this book:
'Whatever God wishes, that is right and lawful to Him, and since He wishes to be called rich in goodness and mercy, it follows that He wishes to pour forth His goodness and pity on the most, and not upon a few. Otherwise, why does He wish to be called Father of Mercy and God of all consolation? And envious are all who wish so great a good to belong to a few only' (De Amplitude beati regni, p.25).

Faber, Frederick William (1814 —1863), noted English hymn writer and theologian, who converted from Anglicanism to the Catholic priesthood:
‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy/Like the wideness of the sea;/There’s a kindness in His justice,/Which is more than liberty./There is no place where earth’s sorrows/Are more felt than up in Heaven;/There is no place where earth’s failings/Have such kindly judgment given’ (from There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy)

* Florovsky, Georges (1893 – 1979), Russian Orthodox priest, theologian, historian and ecumenist:
‘Without doubt even in the demonic depths the creature remains the work of God and the traits of divine design are never effaced. The image of God, obscured by the infidelity of sin, is nevertheless preserved intact, and that is why there is always, even in the abyss, and ontological receptacle for divine appeal, for the grace of God’ (If Grace Is True by Gulley P. and Muholland J., p.217).

Fox, George (1624 –1691), English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends:
‘And then is the gospel, that is everlasting, preached unto all nations of mankind, and all that are driven out from God in the power of darkness; to the intent that they may all come up again to God, and have life and immortality brought to light by his Almighty power, that expels death and darkness….destroying that which made the separation, and broke unity, which is the enmity in people's minds, which the light, that enlightens everyone that comes into the world, destroys' (George Fox's Letter 216).

* Graham, Reverend William Franklin "Billy" (b, 1918), eminent American Protestant evangelist:
'(Graham): ... I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived’. (Schuller) ‘I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’. (Graham): ‘There is. There definitely is’ (Dr. Robert Schuller interviews Reverend Billy Graham, 1997).

Grosart, Alexander Balloch (1827 –1899), Scottish Presbyterian clergyman, literary editor of rare Elizabethan Puritan literature, and author of a work arguing against the damnation of children (which proves that the idea was still haunting at least some nineteenth century Protestants):
‘How are they saved from it [i.e. hell]? My answer is – precisely as Original Sin reaches and involves them. Just as in the First Adam they all ‘died’…so in the Second Adam, the ‘Last Adam’, they are all’ made alive’…just as children come under the curse without any act of their own, so, equally without any act of their own, do they come under the blessing, when , dying children they are incapable of deciding between curse and blessing. I harmonize the sister-act and doctrine of inherited depravity with this universal salvation of children' (The lambs all safe: or, the salvation of children, p.88, 1850).

Guthrie, Thomas (1803–1873), Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland and noted philanthropist:
'My belief is that in the end there will be a vastly larger number saved than we have any conception of. What sort of earthly government would that be where more than half the subjects were in prison? I cannot believe that the government of God will be like that' (Life, p. 773).

Hooker, Richard (1554 –1600); Anglican priest and key founder of Anglican theology, writer of Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. The wide hope in Richard Hooker’s sermons and writings, written at a time when Anglican Calvinism seemed triumphant, was an important factor in creating the environment for Anglican Universalism:
‘The safest axioms of charity to rest itself upon are these ‘ he which steadfastly believes is (saved) and ‘he which believes not as yet may be the child of God’. It becomes not us during this lifetime altogether to condemn any man seeing that (for anything we know) there is hope of every man’s forgiveness, the possibility of whose repentance is not yet cut off by death. And therefore charity ‘which hopeth all things’ prayeth also for all men’
(Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book v, Ch.49. 1-2).

Ken, Bishop Thomas (1637–1711), English cleric who was considered the most eminent of the Anglican non-juring bishops (who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to William III) and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology. Several of his hymns are Universalist or at least very wide in their hope:
‘Each heavenly Harper strikes his tuneful lyre :/Good Angels joy, when but one sinner weeps, /Heaven Jubilee for every mourner keeps. /But their ecstatic joys were unconfined, /At the Salvation of all lapsed mankind’ (from 'Hymn for Second Sunday After Christmas',Bishop Ken's Christian year; or, Hymns and poems for the holy days and festivals of the Church, published 1868).

Mandeville, Sir John, (early 1300s -1383) likely pseudonym of Jan de Langhe of Flanders, compiler of the fantastical The Travels of Sir John Mandeville:
When speaking of his imaginary contacts with the Brahmins of India he writes, 'And although it is true that they have not the articles of our faith, nevertheless I trust God loves them well for their good intentions and that he finds their service agreeable as if they were Job who was a pagan who he knew as his true servant. I trust that God loves well all these that love him and serve him meekly and truly and who despise vainglory of the world as these men do and as Job did' (Mandeville’s Travels, Egerton Manuscript 146. 8-13; Dick’s (sobornost) translation).

Newton, Thomas (1704-1782), English cleric, biblical scholar and author who served as the Anglican Bishop of Bristol:
'Nothing is more contrarient [contrary] to the divine nature and attributes than for God to bestow existence on any beings whose destiny He foreknows must terminate in wretchedness without recover' (Dissertation On the Final State of Man, p.x, 1761).

Penn, William (1644 – 1718), English Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania; champion of democracy and religious freedom and noted for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians:
'The Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just, Pious and Devout Souls, are everywhere of one Religion; and when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another, tho’ the divers Liveries they wear here make them Strangers' (Fruits of Solitude, 519).

Selden, John (1584–1654), English jurist and a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned men reputed in this land":
'Salvation. We can best understand the meaning of salvation from the Jews, to whom the Savior was promised. They held that themselves should have the chief place of happiness in the other world; but the Gentiles that were good men, should likewise have their portion of bliss there too. Now, by Christ the partition-wall is broken down, and the Gentiles that believe in him are admitted to the same place of bliss with the Jews; and why then should not that portion of happiness still remain to them, who do not believe in Christ, so they be morally good? This is a charitable opinion' (Table Talk – Being the Discourse of John Selden, p.139, written c. 1654 – published 1786).

Uhtred of Bolden (c.1316-1396), English Benedictine monk and theologian who argued in his Contra querelas fratrum that when a person dies they experience a pre-mortem vision of God response to which determines salvation:
'Quilibet viator tam adultus, quam non adultus, Sarazenus, Judaeus, at Paganus, etiam in utero materno defunctus, habebit claram visionem Dei ante mortem suam; qua vision manente, habebit electionem liberam convertendi se ad Deum, vel divertendi se ad eo: et si tunc elegerit converti ad Deum, salvabitur; sin aum damnabitur' (Andrew E. Larsen, The School of Heretics: Academic Condemnation at the University of Oxford , p.111-112).

Wesley, Charles (1707–1788), English leader of the Methodist movement, and younger brother of John Wesley, famous as a hymn writer (Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Jesus, Lover of My Soul and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling among many others). He was ever horrified by the doctrine of double predestination:
'Horror to think that God is hate! / Fury in God can dwell!/ God could an helpless world create,/ To thrust them into hell!// Doom them an endless death to die, / From which they could not flee:—/ No, Lord! Thine inmost bowels cry / Against the dire decree!...’ (from Hear, holy, holy, holy Lord, Father of all mankind).

Wesley, John (1703 – 1791), Anglican cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement:
'[Prevenient grace elicits]... the first wish to please God, the first dawn of light concerning his will, and the first slight transient conviction of having sinned against him...I only assert, that there is a measure of free-will supernaturally restored to every man, together with that supernatural light which "enlightens every man that cometh into the world' (On Working Out Our Own Salvation, Sermon 85).

Zwingli, Huldrych (1484 – 1531), notable leader of the early Reformation in Switzerland:
'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...” (from Zwingli’s dedicatory abstract to Francis I in Commentarius).
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:51 am

... to which we need to add, of course, our own:

Dr Thomas Talbott
Dr Robin Parry
Prof Richard Beck
Dr Bob Wilson
James Goetz
Derek Flood

plus, off the top of my head:

John Hick
NT Wright
Jan Bonda
Eric Reitan
Marilyn McCord Adams
Carlton Pearson
Eric Stetson
Charles Dickens

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:34 am

While NTW is close to universalism in some regards, he seems to remain firmly for now in a Lewisian annihilationist category, much like Edward Fudge. (Originally I had said Jerry Walls, but he goes with a Lewisian version of ECT. I'm a bit spaced on allergy medicine this morning... :lol: :roll: )

Good project though, Pog. :)
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Sherman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:59 am

You might want to rename "Dogmatic Universalist" to "Convinced Universalist". Dogmatic connotes exclusion to me.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Chrisguy90 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:45 am

One unknown one: Florence Nightingale.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:37 am

Jason

Yeah, NTW is a funny one. Some of the stuff he writes is unvarnished Universalism from soup to nuts. And yet he isn't a Universalist. I'd put him in the same ballpark as Robert Farrar Capon, and indeed Jerry Walls. The only thing which prevents all these guys from embracing Universalism with open arms is their commitment to free will. Capon says that God never withdraws the offer of salvation, but it is at least theoretically possible that some people will stubbornly refuse that offer into eternity.

Eric Reitan has refuted this argument - to my mind wholly convincingly - in an essay collected in Robin Parry's book Universalism the Current Debate. And he does so without curtailing our freedom. (Which is important for me as a Universalist, as I consider genuine, albeit corrupt human freedom to be essential to any meaningful theodicy.)

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:39 am

... and how could we forget:

The self-proclaimed world's most outspoken Bible Scholar, Martin Zender
Rob Bell
Mark Driscoll - whoops, silly me :twisted:

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:56 am

johnnyparker wrote:Yeah, NTW is a funny one. Some of the stuff he writes is unvarnished Universalism from soup to nuts.


That was true about Lewis, too, on rare occasion. His chapter (or one of them) on human sin in The Problem of Pain is so strongly universalistic I've rarely seen an actual universalistic put it better. Tons of his Teacher MacD coming through in that chapter.

(Also, I happen to like your colorful way of putting it there. :D )
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Matt Wiley » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:50 pm

Yeah, great idea, Pog :)

Yeah Prof, I've heard people question some of the names on Tentmaker's list of universalists, saying that some of those names don't really fit, and were kind of shoehorned in there, and there may be some truth to that.
I do think that everyone on the list was at the very least open to or would have been sympathetic with universalism though.
I'm sure even Samuel Johnson cried out for it in his heart (I know I did when I was in his place), even if he never embraced it or even studied it.
No doubt there are the best of intentions behind the making of that list, but then they may not have a scholar on hand like yourself to give it more weight. ;)
Perhaps you could chime in over there, and offer your assistance in putting a better more concise list together? :)

And if nothing else, maybe you could help Pog out, and make sure nobody gets shoehorned in the wrong category. ;)

As for my two cents, just to add a couple people that aren't on the Tentmaker list, there's some of my favorite authors, including Philip Yancey, who may possibly fall into one of the latter three categories (my friend Charles Slagle heard that Yancey's pastor [not sure if its his current one] is a universalist, so that may mean Yancey is at least open to other possibilities than ECT), Frederick Buechner (whose writing is very universalistic, not to mention gracious and eloquent, in its approach, and who even mused once that perhaps 'Old Scratch', aka Satan, may be redeemed someday... definitely not something an infernalist would say ;)), Brennan Manning (who claims not to be a universalist much like N.T. Wright, but whose writings certainly sound universalist and point strongly in that direction), and Donald Miller (who doesn't really talk about hell in any of his writing, as far as I can recall, but by the nature of his writing doesn't sound at all like an infernalist, and would probably fall into one of the two latter categories, at the very least).

Also William Paul Young, author of The Shack, is definitely a hopeful universalist, if not a convinced one. Not sure if he's on the Tentmaker's list or not, but he'd be a good one to add. :)
And while I'm at it, mi'aswell throw in one of The Shack's co-authors, Wayne Jacobsen, who is an annihilationist... and speaking of annihilationist, mi'aswell throw Greg Boyd in there too (I remember Jason is a fan of his ;)). :)

If I can think of any others, I'd let you know. :)
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:53 pm

Hi Dick

I think you're right about Dr Johnson. I recall reading how he brooded about hell, and the possibility that he might end up there. But as Matt says, I'm sure he nursed at least some hope that Universalism was true. And let's be honest, shouldn't every Christian do likewise? Isn't it our express duty to desire and pray for the salvation of all people? So in that sense the good doctor probably was a hopeful Universalist.

As you guys probably know, cynic that I am, not only do I think far too many Christians don't do this, but I think some - perhaps even a lot - actually desire the exact opposite. This is explicit in the misanthropic ravings of some of the most egregious Calvinist / Augustinian theologians of yesteryear (eg Tertullian, a sadist to make Polpot weep, or Jonathan Edwards, had all the compassion for helpless sinners of a block of concrete; a horrible, spiteful man.

I guess where I stand on this is that any Christian worthy of the name is actually a hopeful Universalist - a Universalist lite, as it were. So for me, the only 'brand' of Universalism proper is dogmatic, full fat Universalism (although I label myself a hopeful dogmatic (Arminian) Universalist because I hope that God exists, but I'm sure, I'm utterly dogmatic about the fact that if He does exist, He will indeed save all of us - eventually (that's where the Arminian bit comes in).

P&L

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby JasonPratt » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:22 am

Well, I'm only self-published. ;) So I don't really count any more than other people here. (That's why I declined the site creators' offer to include my name on the masthead and to have a category for myself along with the other authors.)

But that's a bit of a porous category now. So, sure, why not. :) I very much appreciate the thought. :D
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby JasonPratt » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:23 am

Sobornost wrote:Certain Universalist

Gerrard Winstanley (1609 –1676) was a religious thinker/writer and political activist during English Civil War and The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley’s book The Mysterie of God is probably the first theological work in the English language to argue for universalism in a systematic way.


Interesting!--I wonder if Jeremiah White (contemporary Christian systematic universalist author and chaplain to Cromwell) knew about him.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby SLJ » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:57 pm

Has anyone mentioned Elhanan Winchester (1751-1797)?

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Sazag84 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:15 am

Don't know if you guys are interested in conditionalists but some (in Pog's cool style):

John Wenham (1913 - 1996):
"I believe that endless torment is a hideous and unscriptural doctrine which has been a terrible burden on the mind of the church for many centuries and a terrible blot on her presentation of the gospel. I should indeed be happy if, before I die, I could help in sweeping it away"

John Stott ():
"Emotionally, I find the concept [of eternal conscious torment] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it . . . my question must be—and is—not what does my heart tell me, but what does God's word say?"

Glenn Peoples:
"Not only am I an annihilationist, but I think that all evangelical Christians should be annihilationists, because
the biblical case for annihilationism is very strong, and I think the arguments against annihilationism are very
weak in comparison."
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby WE ARE ALL BROTHERS » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:50 pm

Convinced Universalists

Paul Dean (1789–1860) was a student of John Murray and was the only prominent trinitarian universalist of his generation. He pastored a Unitarian church (the only Unitarian pastor do have remained trinitarian) and co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists (MAUR) with his very close friend Adin Ballou after they left/were ousted from the mainline ultra-universalist churches for their Restorationism (Purgatorial-universalism). When they became estranged over Adin's radical social ideals, MAUR essentially disbanded, which I suspect contributed to the general decline in purgatorial universalism. He was ecumenical towards non-universalists (over the generally schismatic attitude of the ultra-Us), and was theologically conservative/evangelical, although he did reject impassibility (which isn't really that radical either).

Adin Ballou (1803–1890) was, like his close friend Dean, a convinced universalist. He had some rather fascinating ideas, albeit peculiar and unorthodox, but was a truly inspirational fellow. He was an exemplary abolitionist, radical pacifist and socialist (greatly influencing the Christian anarchist thought of Tolstoy, who regarded him as the greatest American writer!). Ballou ran a truly remarkable race — he delivered eight to nine thousand sermons, married one thousand couples, wrote about five hundred articles, edited a journal and founded a utopian community.


This is a cool project, but I wonder whether the title should be changed from "infernalism". In my mind, infernalism is highly offensive or completely meaningless — either signifying that the person is, as an infernalist, abominable/diabolical for not believing in universalism, or signifies that they simply believe in some abode of the dead, or some post-mortem "punishment" (and if so, so what? So does Dean, Ballou and myself). You don't have to change it on my account, and I don't mean to be pedantic, but I do find it offensive and/or meaningless.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Paidion » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:59 pm

Johnny wrote:Capon says that God never withdraws the offer of salvation, but it is at least theoretically possible that some people will stubbornly refuse that offer into eternity.


I think Steve Gregg also holds that view.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Matt Wiley » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:18 pm

Dr. Beck shared an article on here recently where he described himself as a hopeful dogmatic universalist:

viewtopic.php?f=74&t=3815&p=53746#p53746

And I kind of agree with Andrew, might be good to change the topic title, maybe switch it from infernalism to eternal torment or something.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:59 am

Hi pog

Respect to you for taking on this very worthwhile task. I'll chip in when I can. Here's a couple of entries:

convinced universalist
Hick, John (1922-2012) English theologian and philosopher. "In wrestling with the problem of evil I had concluded that any viable Christian theodicy must affirm the ultimate salvation of all God’s creatures." (Evil and the Love of God)

hopeful universalist
Farrer, Austin (1904-1968) English theologian and philosopher, chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford. "Cannot everlasting mercy save from the everlasting fire or let the irreconcilable perish in it?" (Saving Belief)

I too would switch the title of the thread. If nothing else, a lot of Universalists do not deny the existence of 'hell' in some senses. How about something positive, along the lines of "list of people who affirm the truth of Universalism, or allow the possibility of it being true". That's a horrible clunker obviously, but I'm sure you or somebody here can come up with something more succinct!

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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby JaelSister » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:16 am

I do love Mother Julian Dick. I'm reading her Revelations now. Surprised she wasn't denounced as a heretic, when she at times calls God our mother.

Must say I don't particularly find infernalism offensive. Think I would've proudly held that title back when I was trying my best to be a Calvinist. I guess you could argue it's unhelpful if it rattles people, but I cannot help but feel some will be rattled by any title you produce for such a topic.

Personally I find ECT so abhorrent, that I have no issue calling it cosmic child abuse etc. I think it is so vile, that in this case a spade needs to be called a spade. That said, care must be taken that it is the logical conclusions of these beliefs that are vile, not the adherents themselves
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby WE ARE ALL BROTHERS » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:17 am

JaelSister wrote:I guess you could argue it's unhelpful if it rattles people, but I cannot help but feel some will be rattled by any title you produce for such a topic.

That's pretty true. Even Matt/Edward's suggestion "Eternal Torment" offends me, and I subscribe to the possibility of an eternal consequence. Eternal torment or even eternal punishment implies it's a condition actively decreed from God. That I definitely do not subscribe to. I'm with Johnny on this. I think focusing on the affirmed belief of these people (i.e. universalism) would be more relevant and less offensive for everyone.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby redhotmagma » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:02 am

Andrew Jukes wrote the restitution of all things.
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Re: List of those of who deny infernalism

Postby Username » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:43 am

Hi JLS

Love your new avatar pic. You is well glam :) .

JaelSister wrote: Personally I find ECT so abhorrent, that I have no issue calling it cosmic child abuse etc. I think it is so vile, that in this case a spade needs to be called a spade. That said, care must be taken that it is the logical conclusions of these beliefs that are vile, not the adherents themselves


With you all the way on this. Personally I'm pretty fed up with pussyfooting around, giving ECT some kind of break because it's 'seemingly' scriptural. It isn't, and by every other criterion it is despicable, unjust, unfair, immoral, blasphemous, sadistic garbage. And I for one will no longer give it any house room whatsoever. I grind my teeth in angry despair whenever I hear ECT being espoused in the name of the God who is love. But then I grit my teeth and remind myself I used to believe it, albeit reluctantly and questioningly, myself. You're of course correct that we shouldn't condemn ECTers as vile JLS - except for those who actually want it to be true, because they are.

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Username » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:22 pm

Pog, I think Derek is a hopeful Universalist. You could always PM him to ask. His user name is sharktacos. Guess you could ask James too.

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Sobornost » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:33 am

space saving
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby pog » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:47 am

*space*
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby james.goetz » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:14 am

Add:
Peter the Apostle
John the Revelator

My book Conditional Futurism argues that Peter the Apostle and John the Revelator taught about Christ-centered postmortem conversions for those who dies lost.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:43 am

Note: "eternal conscious suffering" would be my suggestion.

Many Christians who hold to an otherwise "traditional" notion of hell now deny (against long-running super-majority tradition, ironically enough ;) ) that God actively causes the suffering; but if they don't include some kind of unavoidable inconvenience then the sinners might as well be in heaven (except as sinners!) "Suffering" would cover inconvenience inflicted by God or not.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Sherman » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:21 am

JasonPratt wrote:Many Christians who hold to an otherwise "traditional" notion of hell now deny (against long-running super-majority tradition, ironically enough ;) ) that God actively causes the suffering; but if they don't include some kind of unavoidable inconvenience then the sinners might as well be in heaven (except as sinners!) "Suffering" would cover inconvenience inflicted by God or not.


I too find it ironic that many Christians who believe in Hell try and affirm that Hell is "chosen" by those who go there. And yet, in the passages in scripture that are traditionally believed to speak of Hell it is God that casts people there. People are consigned to punishment; they don't choose it!
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby AllanS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:00 pm

Sherman wrote:
I too find it ironic that many Christians who believe in Hell try and affirm that Hell is "chosen" by those who go there. And yet, in the passages in scripture that are traditionally believed to speak of Hell it is God that casts people there. People are consigned to punishment; they don't choose it!


Quite so. We can't lock ourselves in, firstly because "Christ holds the keys to death and hell" (not us), and secondly because He is in the very serious business of setting captives free. (But hey. Let's not let that get in the way of a good theory.)
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby WE ARE ALL BROTHERS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:19 pm

I don't think being consigned, or "cast", to hell precludes a preference to go there and I don't think death and hades is "hell". Christ now has keys over the general resurrection. Not over where you want to wind up. But anyway...

JasonPratt wrote:... "eternal conscious suffering" would be my suggestion ... "Suffering" would cover inconvenience inflicted by God or not.

I think "eternal conscious suffering" is a pretty good definition for most people (whether from a hard Calvinist torture-for-God's-glory to an Arminian giving-up-to-the-passions). But that would exclude Annihilationists, no? That's why I think something like "eternal suffering" would be best.

But I still think we should go for a positive title. Who really cares about what they deny? That's not the most important part. Freud rejected a traditional "hellism". Why isn't he on the list? So did Edward Fudge. I think this thread should be about what they're actually affirming, namely: some form of ultimate reconciliation. But that's just my two cents...

It's difficult to define what a "hopeful universalist" actually is, but Greg Boyd should be considered a convinced annihilationist/hopeful universalist. You can see this hope here and his hopeful belief in post-mortem salvation here.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby AllanS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:18 pm

WE ARE ALL BROTHERS wrote:I don't think being consigned, or "cast", to hell precludes a preference to go there


‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels..."

Do I detect a twinge of panic in the goats' reply?

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Not so sure these folk want to experience the eternal fire...

and I don't think death and hades is "hell". Christ now has keys over the general resurrection. Not over where you want to wind up. But anyway...


You might be right, but since it would be inconvenient to surrender such a nice little argument, I shall mount a spirited defense.

Hades (the place of the dead) lies beneath the earth, just as heaven (the place of the living) lies above, somewhere beyond the sapphire Sky. The earth herself lies precariously in-between celestial light above and satanic darkness below, resting on unfathomable pillars in the midst of the primeval sea. This sea is restless, formless, void, dark, chaotic, empty of God's light and life. It is uncreation, an evil space where death reigns, the haunt of the chaos monster, the Dragon of old, teeming with its demonic offspring. The creative power of God has been pouring into this darkness since the second day of creation, wresting order from chaos.

As in the beginning of the Age of Days, so too in the end. God speaks a mighty word into the chaos. Christ is that word. Christ descends into deepest darkness, taking with him the light and life of God, transforming the chaotic sea into a sea of glass, glowing from within. The Dragon is destroyed. Isaiah even suggests we will dine on Dragon flesh at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

This is the mythological context in which we're told "Christ holds the keys to death and hades". To me it promises much more than a general resurrection, but the utter victory of the good God over evil, the complete vindication of his wisdom in creating the world.

"Then I heard every created being in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Hades) and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby WE ARE ALL BROTHERS » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:47 am

AllanS wrote:
WE ARE ALL BROTHERS wrote:I don't think being consigned, or "cast", to hell precludes a preference to go there

‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels..."

Do I detect a twinge of panic in the goats' reply?

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Not so sure these folk want to experience the eternal fire...

But preference doesn't necessitate a desire, Allan :) The goats might indeed be fearful of eternal fire, they might even be ashamed of their own conduct and character, and they might even bow and confess the rightful Lordship of Yeshua (though that's not in the context of those verses), but they might still prefer eternal fire because they'd rather suffer there, than suffer amongst the Least and alongside God. The goats reject the God that suffers amongst the Least for an idol of their imagination. The goats, in their contempt for the poor, are idolatrous. And they might just be happily miserable for it too.

AllanS wrote:
WE ARE ALL BROTHERS wrote:and I don't think death and hades is "hell". Christ now has keys over the general resurrection. Not over where you want to wind up. But anyway...

... To me it promises much more than a general resurrection, but the utter victory of the good God over evil, the complete vindication of his wisdom in creating the world.

Thank you for your spirited defence! :) I'm not exactly sure what to say; "I'll think it over" ;)

Pog, thanks for that explanation. That makes a lot more sense. Though I suspect if non-universalists ("infernalists" *ahem* is very unfair) are convinced of their view, they will not be appeased by a long list of "heretics" that includes, amongst others, the Ballou Brothers (they were really second cousins who didn't really get along, but I thought the words sounded lovely together :lol: ). But yes, do carry on with your interesting project. I've said my pieces.

If we're including "Post-Mortem Salvationists" you may wish to include Clark Pinnock and Jerry Walls. There are few other notable evangelicals who subscribe to this belief (alongside a purgatory; like Greg Boyd) but I cannot recall them.

Boyd though he entertains universalism as a hope, states (2001, p.321): "I do not see this position as having much biblical or philosophical merit." He's generally pretty critical of universalism whenever it comes up in 'Satan and the Problem of Evil'. But in one of the videoblog links I included above, he states (2012): "In fact, I find I've got grounds for having a hope for everybody. That may sound kinda radical. But I can't know that everyone's saved. That's going beyond the bounds of scripture. But Paul says in First Corinthians fifteen and in Romans chapter five, that is "all were in Adam, so all are in Christ". There's a direct parallel there. Which tells me that God's got a bear-hugger [?] on everybody. And from God's perspective, he has them all in, he's squeezing them in. Now, I believe in free-will and the Bible warns about condemnation. And so a person can put themselves outside of that reality. You can choose to live against reality. You can choose to... say 'no' to God's 'yes', to use Karl Barth's terms. But you've got to put yourself out. The default of God's grace is that you're in. So based on God's bear-hug, I have hope... I entrust everybody who dies, the worst of sinners, to the grace of Jesus Christ, and I know that they're in the hands of somebody who loves them more... when they die they're in the presence of someone who loves them infinitely more than any human being ever could. And I entrust that person to them. So hold fast to the exclusivity of Christ, but don't feel like there's anything wrong with having hope, and believing that there's a wideness in God's mercy, and his love is unfathomable and gracious, and we have confidence in that also." You can watch that from here.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby WE ARE ALL BROTHERS » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:24 am

pog wrote:Thanks WeAreAllBrothers, that's a great quote. Do you think it would be fair to him to put Greg Boyd under Hopeful Universalist rather than Annihilationist or Post-Mortem Salvationist?

I'd say he's under all three. Convinced Annihilationist. Convinced Post-Mortem Salvationist. And Hopeful Universalist. Of all three though, I'd say he's most strongly a Convinced Annihilationist (presuming his view hasn't changed all that much since 2001).
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:19 am

WE ARE ALL BROTHERS wrote:
JasonPratt wrote:... "eternal conscious suffering" would be my suggestion ... "Suffering" would cover inconvenience inflicted by God or not.

I think "eternal conscious suffering" is a pretty good definition for most people (whether from a hard Calvinist torture-for-God's-glory to an Arminian giving-up-to-the-passions). But that would exclude Annihilationists, no?


Um, yep, eternal conscious suffering would exclude annihilationists. But they're part of the list of authors Pog was originally talking about. :) "...who either affirm universalism or who deny traditional models of hellism."
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:23 am

Sobornost wrote:Sterry, Peter (1613–1672) English Independent, theologian, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell:


Dang, how many chaplains to Oliver Cromwell were convinced universalists?! I wouldn't even have thought of one before hearing of Jeremiah White, and now there's two!
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:24 am

pog wrote:Also, I came across something with Alvin Plantinga that suggested he was a hopeful universalist. Can anyone shed more light on that, please?


Robin Parry has some information about that on his blog, but I don't remember where. Shouldn't be hard to find, and it involves a video interview with Plantinga, so there should be relevant quotes to mine.

Also, our friendly competition over at the Evangelical Conditionalism blog is a good source for finding annihilationists.


I guess as the resident Lewis expert I should write a brief blurb for him.

Lewis, Clive Staples (1898-1963), British philosopher and professor of English literature, converted from atheism to become arguably the most influential Christian apologist of the 20th century. Taught that even those who formally oppose Christ in this life may in fact be secret Christians and would enter heaven (such as the character of Emeth in The Last Battle). Strongly speculated (such as in The Great Divorce) that God would save some (but not all) previously impenitent sinners post-mortem after some mode of purgatorial punishment. Proposed a unique theory (in The Problem of Pain) merging eternal conscious suffering with annihilation: the sinner may continue to exist in relation to God's eternal existence but ceases to exist from the timeline reality of God's creation. Otherwise usually trended more toward annihilationism than eternal conscious suffering. Final theological statement in his final work of theology (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly On Prayer), in regard to his affirmation of purgatory: "If this isn't true, something better will be."


I'm pretty sure his stepson evangelist Douglas Gresham, on the other hand, is at least a hopeful Christian universalist--I heard him lecture in person once (at a Baptist university) shortly before my own switch and was amazed to hear him basically affirming someone's universalistic interpretation of Romans 5. Will try to find some more information on him.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Sobornost » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:30 am

Aha Jason - good question. Only two - Sterry was Jerimiah Whites' mentor :)
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:56 am

Sobornost wrote:Aha Jason - good question. Only two - Sterry was Jerimiah Whites' mentor :)


Hrm. When I saw your mention of Paul Dean I tried to find his book of dialogues (similar to Winchester's), but only ran into a reply to his popular tract from one of his opponents. (There are a couple of his books in libraries but they aren't for casual loan.) I wonder if Sterry has any extant books.

Wait, Winchester isn't on the list yet! Must rectify that soon... (but won't mind if someone beats me to it.)

We also still need White and Ston(e)house.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:37 am

Eh, wait, Pog, hold up before you add Lewis. The quote from the end of Malcolm, although I typically think of it in regard to his notion of Purgatory, isn't strictly in that context, but rather on what the resurrection from the dead will be like. (The "eons in the dark" may have been what suggested the link to me.)

Here's a more salient quote, same book, chapter 20, on the topic of praying for the dead: "I believe in Purgatory. [...] I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering. Partly from tradition; partly because most real good that has been done me in this life has involved it. But I don't think suffering is the purpose of purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. 'No nonsense about merit.' The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much."
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Sobornost » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:18 am

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby AllanS » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:39 pm

I suspect Lewis was at least a hopeful universalist. We shouldn't read too much about hell/purgatory etc into The Great Divorce. Lewis himself tells us as much in the preface. In my view, the clue to his private opinion is tucked away in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Caspian's crew have mutinied. They don't want to sail to the Utter East. Caspian replies that most of them were going to be left out anyway, and that only the very best would be chosen to come. Under threat of exclusion, all the crew but one begged to be chosen.

Again, in The Last Battle, all the creatures who hate Aslan disappear into his shadow. Lewis says he doesn't know what happened to them then, leaving their fate open. Similarly, when Lucy begs Aslan to do something for the Dwarves, he replies, "They are so afraid of being taken in they cannot be taken out." It is inconceivable that this is the end of their story, that Lucy, so moved by the miserable plight of the Dwarves, simply shrugs and walks off to have a good time farther in and farther up. Lewis knew this as well as anyone, but left it up to us to read between the lines.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby Sazag84 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:13 pm

pog wrote:Cheers sobornost.

But I still think we should go for a positive title. Who really cares about what they deny? That's not the most important part. Freud rejected a traditional "hellism". Why isn't he on the list? So did Edward Fudge.


WeAreAllBrothers, I chose to focus on the denial part for apologetic reasons. I find it useful when talking to infernalists to be able to point a huge long list of eminent people and say, "Look, loads of people reject infernalism." I guess I just wanted to maximse the list by including annhiliationists and post-mortem salvationists (you note I have these as categories in my third post, including Edwadr fudge. I'll put Boyd as a post-mortem salvationist as I think that is a better category for apologetics reasons than anni + Boyd's stuff in Satan + problem of evil still seems to give the annihilated some form of liminal existence, thus anni doesnt seem to be his most developed view).

Do you have a book quote (and page ref) for Boyd's post-mortem salvation view?

James Goetz: I thought it best to keep biblical authors off the list :) Can you provide me with a write-up of yourself, a quote and let me know whether you'd prefer to be included under convinced or hopeful universalists? :)

does anyone know if Sharon L Baker is a dogmatic or a hopeful universalist?

and should I put Abe Lincoln under the disputed section? And does anyone know a good quote directly from Lincoln I could use?

Rodger Tutt: thanks for your huge quote thread! Are you able to provide any bio info and page refs for some of them - I'm finding it hard to track down their bios. :)


There is an entire tradition that rejects ECT: The Seventh Day Adventist. As for Annihilationism, John Stott was said to be a annihilationist. Even to the Ire of many Calvinists. I have just come from a puritan board where they said and I quote "If he really denys the teaching of eternal hell, I find it difficult to believe he's really a Calvinist", amongst other things about reading his work with qualification because of his annihilationist view. I have to say that if I were a Calvinist, the idea of an eternal hell would devastate me even more because there are some who will never be able to chose otherwise. There is also John Wenham, Glenn Peoples, who has been on here, Clarke Pinnock, Anabaptist Kurt Wilems has a very interesting view of being a purgatorial conditionalist (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeab ... l-cares-7/).
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:15 pm

AllanS wrote:I suspect Lewis was at least a hopeful universalist. We shouldn't read too much about hell/purgatory etc into The Great Divorce. Lewis himself tells us as much in the preface. In my view, the clue to his private opinion is tucked away in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Considering that he's much more explicit in TGD on the topic than he is in the Narnian portions you mentioned, if I'm going to read much into any of his fantasy work I'll read more into the more theologically detailed one instead of the less detailed ones. ;)

If anything, his warning at the beginning of TGD is aimed at people reading too much hope into what he's writing about. His whole stated purpose in the introduction, for writing the book at all, is to answer back against William Blake's verrrrry radically (even insanely) universalistic Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Lewis in his very first words of the Preface to TGD wrote:Blake wrote the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. If I have written of their Divorce, this is not because I think myself a fit antagonist for so great a genius, nor even because I feel at all sure that I know what he meant. But in some sense or other the attempt to make that marriage is perennial. The attempt is based on the belief that reality never presents us with an absolutely unavoidable 'either-or'; that, granted skill and patience and (above all) time enough, some way of embracing both alternatives can always be found; that mere development or adjustment or refinement will somehow turn evil into good without our being called on for a final and total rejection of anything we should like to retain. This belief I take to be a disastrous error.


This isn't necessarily a rejection of purgatorial universalism, but it's at least a rejection of a radically (nearly pantheistic) morally subjective universalism, and may be a rejection of ultra-universalism where evil is wholly cured by God without prior repentant cooperation. When he stops talking in fantastic imagery, however (which is what his warning about details is strictly about) and starts talking directly about the theology of universalism--and in reference to his own Teacher MacDonald, not in reference to his rejection of Blake--he has MacDonald equivocate (which MacD never did) against universalism not in hopeful favor of it maybe being true. "Any man may choose eternal death. Those who choose it will have it." That's absolutely a saying of Lewis, not of MacD, but he puts it in MacD's mouth, cautioning Lewis against accepting what MacD actually wrote (which Lewis is well aware of the reality about: "In your own books, Sir, you were a Universalist. You talked as if all men would be saved. And St. Paul, too.")

Lewis rewrites MacD, not to give himself hopeful universalism, but to caution against the hope that Lewis recognized MacD and even the Apostle Paul teaching: universalism (so says pseudo-MacD, and Lewis elsewhere in defending final hopeless perdition--and so the final hopeless loss of free will!) would destroy free will, which is the more important truth.

Notably, this is after the Tragedian has by all narrative appearances completely annihilated himself, and Lewis (in the character of himself) is complaining that this doesn't seem entirely loving to let him go out like that and his wife not be upset by it. Pseudo-MacD comforts Lewis (sort of) with stern warnings defending the joy of the saved in the face of final loss of their loved ones.
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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

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Re: List of those of who reject traditional hellism

Postby JasonPratt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:52 am

Hrmmm, must find some quotes from George MacDonald to select from...

Also Gregory Nyssus, the Father of Orthodoxy.
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