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The Modern History of Universalism from the Era of the Reformation to the Present Time Hardcover – 29 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Literary Licensing, LLC (29 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1494180898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494180898
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm

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First Sentence
I. The period at which the History of Universalism is most naturally divided into ancient and modern, is that of the Reformation, when the throne was shaken on which the Pope swayed his sceptre over the Christian world, and the power dared which he had long exercised without resistance. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 1 review
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Whittemore (1800-1861) was an influential Universalist pastor; he also wrote The plain guide to Universalism: designed to lead inquirers to the belief of that doctrine, and believers to the practice of it. He explained in the Preface to this 1830 book, "This work is a continuation of the History of Universalism from the date at which it was closed by the author of the Ancient History. I have attempted a connected account of this doctrine in reference only to England and the United States..."

He notes, "For although... Universalism was condemned in the [Lutheran Augsburg] Confession, the Reformers were not distinguished by the assertion of endless misery from the Catholics, as they were by maintaining the supreme authority of the word of God, and the right of private judgment. For ten centuries the Catholic Church had asserted the eternal ruin of all those who died out of its communion; hence, the doctrine of endless torment is not a doctrine of the Reformation.." (Pg. 23)

Discussing the views of an earlier Universalist, he says, "The evils that befall us here have a tendency to promote our good. Analogy teaches that the evils of another life will have a like good effect. The creation of benevolence in man is an argument in favor of the hypothesis. For it is not reasonable that God should give us this principle, and leave it forever unsatisfied. The infinite goodness of God is MANIFESTLY an argument in favor of Universal Salvation. So are his infinite happiness and perfection." (Pg. 219)

He says, "These are the traces of Universalism as it existed in the United States previously to, and at the time of Mr. [John] Murray's arrival. But this doctrine can be said to have been then scarcely known; and as his labors were the principal cause of exciting public attention to the subject, and of establishing societies of that faith in different parts of the country... he is justly considered the Father of Universalism in America." (Pg. 318)

This history obviously needs to be supplemented by later works (notably The Larger Hope: The First Century of the Universalist Church in America, 1770-1870); still, it is a fascinating document for anyone studying the history of this religious movement.
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