“One of the greatest beauties of the Universalist faith is the idea of completeness. Our glorious faith teaches us to look forward to the time when the earnest and hearty wish of every good man shall be satisfied. The structure will not be incomplete when the work of God is finished.
Evil and sin, it is true, are all too abundant in this world, they are matters of the commonest observation in our daily life, and God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that the human race might be freed through him from the bondage of sin and consequent misery; and every good man desires that this work should be perfect and complete. Much more, then, does our heavenly Father desire it, as he is infinitely superior to us in goodness. He will never be satisfied until the last one of his erring and sinful children has been brought into the fold of the Good Shepherd, and made holy and happy. When there shall be no missing link in the chain, and not until the last child of God has been thus redeemed, will it be possible for any of his children to be entirely happy.”
–Rev. John Julies Weeks
“My hope shines brighter and brighter. I die in the hope of the glory of God.”
–Rev. Thomas Potter’s dying words
“Blest Jesus, take me, I am thine!
The veil is rent apart:
Won by such gracious divine,
My refuge is thy heart,
Where I can rest upon thy love,
Through cold and storm and night,
And trust God’s righteousness to prove
In happiness and light.”
–Minnie S. Davis
The annual Conrad Wright Unitarian-Universalist Historical Society lecture will take place on Thursday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. Megan Marshall will deliver the talk, entitled “The Peabody Sisters: Making UU History, 1815-1850.” Marshall’s biography of Elizabeth, Mary, and Sopia Peabody won many awards and will provide rich material about their influecnes from and on Unitarianism on the 19th century. The talk is being held at First Parish in Cambridge (UU) and is free and open to the public.
Carlton Pearson was a famous Christian preacher, but he lost it all when God opened his heart to Universalism, the gospel of inclusion. Since then, Pearson has rebuilt his community on the basis of love, rather than fear, and this weekend he is the featured speaker at the 2009 Unitarian-Universalist Christian Fellowship Revival celebration in Tulsa (here’s an early report on the festivities). If you can’t be there in person, you may at least enjoy viewing Pearson’s appearance on Dateline from 2006, now available online. You can watch both parts of the story (part 1, part 2) and read a transcript at the Dateline site. At a little under 20 minutes in length, it could be a good launching pad for group discussions at UU congregations.
On Thursday, May 7, the inaugural lecture for the Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chair at Harvard Divinity School will be held. The chair and speaker is Daniel McKanan, Senior Lecturer in Divinity. His topic will be “Unless a Seed Falls: Cultivating Liberal Institutions.” This event is free and open to the public. It will take place on campus at the Sperry Lecture Room at 5:15 p.m., followed by a light reception in the Braun Room.
“Universalism in its doctrinal truth and practical manifestation is the gospel of Christ in its divinest essence. It is the fatherhood of God in a diviner relationship than the human mind can really conceive, and sweeter in spirit than human sentiment can really enjoy until the soul passes over into the ‘beautiful by and by.’ Its tendency, even amid the temptations, sins, sorrows, and trials of material life, is to benefit without dread, bless without fear, comfort in the hour of severest affliction, and tends to the glorifying of God on earth.
Universalism is to me but the promises of God fulfilled, the gospel of Christ perfectly demonstrated in the righteousness of life and the overcoming of evil with good, both in time and eternity. This is what the world needs to know and believe, that the soul of man may be both holy and happy now and forever.”
–Rev. Benjamin Brunning
“There is an infinite and perfect Being above me, who is God and Father of all. He loves me with an undying affection. I know that without him I could not have existed. I know that all the blessings which I enjoy come from his kindness; and I known, too, that he will raise me to an immortal life, just as I know that I would do if for my own dear child, if I had the ability.”
–Rev. M. Ballou
“Consider one’s self a traveller to eternity, soon to take flight from all these scenes of littleness and imperfection, and to expiate over unbounded territories, to mingle with higher intelligences, and to engage in loftier occupations, ‘to rise in science as in bliss, initiate in the secrets of the skies,’–these are thoughts which ‘make man man.’ They indisputably beget a higher taste, even in this world, for those occupations of the intellect and the affections which are to constitute our state and our happiness hereafter.”
–Rev. W.M. Fernald
“God has kept his word, and been true to holiness in all his dealings with sinners. He hates sin, and he resists and punishes it; and by and active and benevolent providence he has wrought to save sinners, to make an end of sinning, and to bring men to virtue and peace with God. So much we may know of the divine procedure in relation to sin and sinners. God is hostile to sin: he has no purposes to serve by it, never gave his consent to it, forbade it at the first, and has steadfastly resisted it ever since; and he has assured us that he can never accept it, nor become reconciled to it. All this means that there shall be an end of it in the moral universe. God’s power, wisdom, goodness, and holiness are all pledges of this result.”
–Rev. A.G. Gaines