Universalist Quote of the Day #14

“Consider, further, how is it possible for good men to whom the happiness of heaven is promised, to have any enjoyment of that happiness themselves, if those for whom they cannot but have the strongest affection, especially their children and other near relations and friends, be, I do not say consigned to everlasting torments, but even annihilated, or in any other way only excluded from all possibility of attaining such a state as will make their existence a blessing to them?  If David lamented as he did the death of his rebellious brother Absalom, what would he have felt in the idea of his utter destruction?  A parent myself, allow me to speak to the feelings of others who are also parents.  But is not God the true parent of us all?  Are not our children as much his as they are ours?  And is an earthly parent who is deserving of the name incapable of wholly abandoning any of his children?  And will God, whose tender mercies are over all his works (Psalm cxlv. 9), and whose love and compassion far exceed ours, abandon any of his?”

–Joseph Priestly, Unitarianism Explained and Defended.  Philadelphia, 1796: 475.

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