Universalist Quote of the Day #17

“There is no man so entirely ignorant of the laws of the human mind, as to suppose that we can be induced to love our Creator, either by a promised reward, or by threatened torment; and yet these motives are constantly urged on the people for this very purpose; and the arguments we are examining, in defence of a future state of rewards and punishments, contend that religion and morality depend on them.

“If our Creator is worthy of the love and devotion of his rational offspring, a fact which none will deny, it must be on account of his real goodness to them; and if his requirements are worthy of our careful observance, which none will question, it must be because the keeping of them is enjoyment to us.  With these simple, self-evident propositions in clear view, why should we have recourse to hereafter rewards and punishments to incite us to love God and to keep his commandments?  To induce us to love God, nothing is necessary but to make us acquainted with his real character; and to persuade us to keep the divine commandments, no argument need be used but to show us the interest we have in obedience.”

–Hosea Ballou,  Examination of the Doctrine of Future Retribution.  Boston, 1834: 23.

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