The First Christians not Explicit in
As we read the writings of the immediate successors of the apostles, we discover that matters of eschatology do not occupy their thought. They dwell on the advent of our Lord, and expand on its blessings to the world; they give the proofs of his divinity, and appeal to men to accept his religion. Most of the surviving documents of the First Century are exhorting. It was an apologetic, not an age for controversy. A very partisan author, anxious to show that the doctrine of endless punishment was bequeathed to their immediate successors by the apostles, concedes this. He says that the first Christians "touched but lightly and incidentally on points of doctrine," but gave "the doctrines of Christianity in the very words of Scripture, giving us often no certain clue to their interpretations of the language."1 The first Christians were converted Jews, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, differing in their theologies, and only agreeing in accepting Christ and Christianity; their ideas of our Lord's teaching concerning human destiny and on other subjects were tinged by their preceding preferences.
Their doctrines on many points were colored by Jewish and Pagan errors, until their minds were clarified, when the more systematic teachers came,--Clement, Origen and others, who eliminated the errors Christian converts had brought with them from former associations, and presented Christianity as Christ taught it. The measures of meal were more or less impure until the leaven of genuine Christianity transformed them. But it is conceded that there is little left of this apostolic age, out of the New Testament, to tell us what their ideas of human destiny were.
It is probable, however, that the Pharisaic notion of a partial resurrection and the annihilation of the wicked was held by some, and the heathen ideas of endless punishment by others. We know that even while the apostles lived some of the early Christians had accepted new, or retained ancient errors, for which they were reprimanded by the apostles. "False teachers" and "philosophy and vain deceit" were alleged of them, and it is the testimony of scholars that errors abounded among them, errors that Christianity did not at first exorcise. But the questions concerning human destiny were not at all raised at first. True views and false ones undoubtedly prevailed, brought into the new communion from former associations. And it is conceded that while very little literature on this subject remains, there is enough to show that they differed, at first, and until wiser teachers systematized our religion, and sifted out the wheat from the chaff.
The first of the apostolic fathers was Clement of Rome, who was bishop A.D. 85. Eusebius and Origin thought he was Paul's fellow laborer. His famous (first) epistle of fifty-nine chapters in about the length of Mark's Gospel. He appeals to the destruction of the cities of the plains to illustrate the divine punishment, but gives no hint of the idea of endless woe, though he devotes three chapters to the resurrection. He has been thought to have held to a partial resurrection, for he asks: "Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the maker of all things to raise up again those who have proudly served him in the assurance of a good faith?" But this does not prove he held to the annihilation of the wicked, for Theophilus and Origen use similar language. He says: "Let us reflect how free from wrath he is towards all his creatures." God "does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to his compassions," etc. God is "the all-merciful and beneficent Father." Neander affirms that he had the "Pauline spirit," with love as the motive, and A. St. J. Chambre, D.D.,2 thinks "he probably believed in the salvation of all men," and Allin3 refers to Rufinus and says, "from which we may, I think, infer, that Clement, with other fathers, was a believer in the larger hope." It cannot be said that he has left anything positive in relation to the subject, though it is probable that Chambre and Allin have correctly characterized him. He wrote a Greek epistle to the Corinthians which was lost for centuries, but was often quoted by subsequent writers, and whose contents were therefore only known in fragments. It was probably written before John's Gospel. It was at length found complete, bound with the Alexandrian codex. It was read in church before and at the time of Eusebius, and even as late as the Fifth Century.
Polycarp was bishop of the church in Smyrna, A.D. 108-117. He is thought to have been John's disciple. Irenæus tells us that he and Ignatius were friends of Peter and John, and related what they had told them. His only surviving epistle contains this passage: To Christ "all things are made subject, both that are in heaven and that are on earth; whom every living creature shall worship; who shall come to judge the quick and the dead; whose blood God shall require of them that believe not in him." He also says in the same chapter: "He who raised up Christ from the dead, will also raise us up if we do his will," implying that the resurrection depended, as he thought, on conduct in this life. It seems probable that he was one of those who held to the Pharisaic doctrine of a partial resurrection. And yet this is only the most probable uncertainty. There is nothing decisive in his language. When the proconsul Statius Quadratus wrote to Polycarp, threatening him with burning, the saint replied "Thou threatenest me with a fire that burns for an hour, and is presently extinct, but art ignorant, alas! of the fire of aionian condemnation, and the judgment to come, reserved for the wicked in the other world." After Polycarp there was no literature, that has descended to us, for several years, except a few quotations in later writings, which, however, contain nothing bearing on our theme, from Papias, Quadratus, Agrippa, Castor, etc.
"The Martyrdom of Polycarp" purports to be a letter from the church of Smyrna reciting the particulars of his death. But though it is the earliest of the Martyria, it is supposed to have a much later date than it alleges, and much has been interpolated by its transcribers. Eusebius omits much of it. It speaks of the fire that is "aionion punishment," and it is probable that the writer gave these terms the same sense that is given them by the Scriptures, Origen, Gregory and other Universalist writings and authors.
Tatian states the doctrine of endless punishment very strongly. He was a philosophical Platonist more than a Christian. He was a heathen convert and repeats the heathen doctrines in language unknown to the New Testament though common enough in heathen works. He calls punishment "death through punishment in immortality," 4 terms used by Josephus and the Pagans, but never found in the New Testament. His "Diatessaron," a collection of the Gospels, is of real value in determining the existence of the Gospels in the Second Century.
The Epistle of Barnabas was written by an Alexandrian Gnostic, probably about A.D. 70 to 120, not, as has been claimed, by Paul's companion, and yet some of the best authorities think the author of the Epistle was the friend of Paul. Though often quoted by the ancients, the first four and a half chapters of the Epistle were only known in a Latin version until the entire Greek was discovered and published in 1863. It is the only Christian composition written while the New Testament was being written, except the "Wisdom of Solomon." It is of small essential value, and sheds but little light on eschatology. The first perfect manuscript was found with the Sinaitic manuscript of Tischendorf, a translation of which is given by Samuel Sharpe. (Williams & Norgate, London, 1880.) It was the first document after the New Testament to apply aionios to punishment; but there is nothing in the connection to show that it was used in any other than its Scriptural sense, indefinite duration. It is quoted by Origen on Cont. Cels., and by Clement of Alexandria. It is chiefly remarkable for standing alone among writings contemporary with the New Testament. The phrase, eis ton aiona, "to the age," mistranslated in the New Testament "forever" (though correctly rendered in the margin of the Revision), is employed by Barnabas and applied to the rewards of goodness and the evil consequences of ill doing. He says, "The way of the Black one is an age-lasting way of death and punishment," but the description accompanying shows that the Way and its results are confined to this life, for he precedes it by disclaiming all questions of eschatology. He says: "If I should write to you about things that are future you would not understand." And when he speaks of God he says: "He is Lord from ages and to ages, but he (Satan) is prince of the present time of wickedness." Long duration but not strict eternity seems to have been in his mind when he referred to the consequences of wickedness. This is confirmed by the following language: "He that chooseth those (evil) things will be destroyed together with his works. For the sake of this there will be a resurrection, for the sake of this a repayment. The day is at hand in which all things will perish together with the evil one. The Lord is at hand and his reward." Barnabas probably held the Scriptural view of punishment, long-lasting but limited, though he employs timoria (torment) instead of kolasis (correction) for punishment.
In the middle of the Second Century, say A.D. 141 to 156, a book entitled the "Shepherd," or "Pastor of Hermas," was read in the churches, and was regarded as almost equal to the Scriptures. The author was commissioned to write it by Clemens Romanus. Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius and Athanasius quote from it, and rank it among the sacred writings. Clement says it is "divinely expressed," and Origin calls it "divinely inspired." Irenæus designates the book as "The Scripture." According to Rothe, Hefele, and the editors of Bib. Max. Patrum, Hermas teaches the possibility of repentance after death, but seems to imply the annihilation of the wicked. Farrar says that the parable of the tower "certainly taught a possible improvement after death: for a possibility of repentance and so of being built into the tower is granted to some of the rejected stones." The "Pastor" does not avow Universalism, but he is much further from the eschatology of the church for the last fifteen centuries, than from universal restoration. Only fragments of this work were preserved for a long time, and they were in a Latin translation, until 1859, when one-fourth of the original Greek was discovered. This, with the fragments previously possessed, and the æthiopic version, give us the full text of this ancient document. The book is a sort of Ante-Nicene Pilgrim's Progress--an incoherent imitation of Revelation.5 The theology of the "Shepherd" can be gauged from his language: "Put on, therefore, gladness, that hath always favor before God, and is acceptable to him, and delight thyself in it; for every man that is glad doeth the things that are good, but thinketh good thoughts, despising grief." How different this sentiment from that which prevailed later, when saints mortified body and soul, and made religion the deification of melancholy and despair.
Of some fifteen epistles ascribed to Ignatius, it has been settled by modern scholarship that seven are genuine. There are passages in these that seem to indicate that he believed in the annihilation of the wicked. He was probably a convert from heathenism who had not gotten rid of his former opinions. He says: "It would have been better for them to love that they might rise." If he believed in a partial resurrection he could not have used words that denote endless consequences to sin any more than did Origen, for if annihilation followed those consequences, they must be limited. When Ignatius and Barnabas speak of "eternal" punishment or death, we might perhaps suppose that they regarded the punishment of sin as endless, did we not find that Origen and other Universalists used the same terms, and did we not know that the Scriptures do the same. To find aionion attached to punishment proves nothing of its duration. In his Epist. ad Trall., he says that Christ descended into Hades and cleft the aionion barrier.
It seems on the whole probable that while Ignatius did not dogmatize on human destiny, he regarded the resurrection as conditional. But here, as elsewhere, the student should remember that the pernicious doctrine of "reserve" or "oeconomy" continually controlled the minds of the early Christian teachers, so that they not only withheld their real views of the future, lest ignorant people should take advantage of God's goodness, but threatened consequences of sin to sinners, in order to supply the inducements that they thought the masses of people required to deter them from sin. Dr. Ballou thinks that this father held that the wicked "will not be raised from the dead, but exist hereafter as incorporeal spirits." He was martyred A.D. 107.
Justin Martyr, A.D. 89-166, is the first scholar produced by the Church, and the first conspicuous father the authenticity of whose writings is not disputed. His surviving works are his two Apologies, and his Dialogue with Trypho. It is difficult to ascertain his exact views. Cave says: "Justin Martyr maintains that the souls of good men are not received into heaven until the resurrection and that the souls of the wicked are thrust into a worse condition, where they expect the judgment of the great day." Justin himself says that "the punishment is age-long chastisement (aionion kolasin) and not for a thousand years as Plato says, "(in Phoedra). "It is unlimited; men are chastised for an unlimited period, and the kingdom is aionion and the chastening fire (kolasis puros) aionion, too. "God delays the destruction of the world, which will cause wicked angels and demons and men to cease to exist, in order to their repentance. Some which appeared worthy of God never die, others are punished as long as God wills them to exist and be punished. Souls both die and are punished." He calls the fire of punishment unquenchable (asbeston). He sometimes seems to have taught a pseudo-Universalism, that is, the salvation of all who should be permitted to be immortal; at other times endless punishment. Again he favors universal salvation. He not only condemned those who forbade the reading of the Sibylline Oracles, but commended the book. His language is, "We not only read them without fear, but offer them for inspection, knowing that they will appear well-pleasing to all." As the Oracles distinctly advocate universal salvation, it is not easy to believe that Justin discarded their teachings. And yet he says: "If the death of wicked men had ended in insensibility," it would have been a "god-send" to them. Instead, he says, death is followed by aionion punishment. If he used the word as Origen did, the two statements are reconcilable with each other. Justin taught a "general and everlasting resurrection and judgment. Body and soul are to be raised and the wicked with the devil and his angels, and demons, sent to Gehenna. 6 Christ has declared that Satan and his host, together with those men who follow him, shall be sent into fire, and punished for an endless period.7" But it may be that he speaks rhetorically, and not literally. It is the general opinion, however, that he regarded punishment as limited, to be followed by annihilation. He himself says: "The soul, therefore, partakes of life, because God wills it should live; and, accordingly, it will not partake of life whenever God shall will that it should not live." And yet he says that bodies are consumed in the fire, and at the same time remain immortal.
Justin was a heathen philosopher before his conversion, and his Christianity is of a mongrel type. He wore a pagan philosopher's robe, or pallium, after his conversion, calls himself a Platonist, and always seems half a heathen. His effort appears to be to fuse Christianity and Paganism, and it is not easy to harmonize his statements. His Pagan idiosyncrasies colored his Christianity. But, as Farrar says, the theology of the first one or two centuries had not been crystallized, the "language was fluid and untechnical, and great stress should not be laid on the expressions of the earliest fathers. He nowhere calls punishment endless, but aionion; and yet it can not be proved that he was at all aware of the true philosophic meaning of aionios as a word expressive of quality, and exclusive of--or rather the absolute antithesis to--time. He says that demons and wicked men will be punished for a boundless age (aperanto aiona), but in some passages he seems to be at least uncertain whether God may not will that evil souls should cease to exist." 8 When Justin says that transgressors are to remain deathless (athanata) while devoured by the worm and fire, may he not mean that they cannot die while thus exposed? So, too, when he used the word aionios, and says the sinner must undergo punishment during that period, why not read literally "for ages, and not as Plato said, for a thousand years only?"
When, therefore, these terms are found unexplained, as in Justin Martyr, they should be read in the bright light cast upon them by the interpretations of Clement and Origen, who employ them as forcibly as does Justin, but who explain them--"eternal fire" and "everlasting punishment"--as in perfect harmony with the great fact of universal restoration. Doctor Farrar regards Justin Martyr as holding "views more or less analogous to Universalism. " 9
We cannot do better here than to quote H. Ballou, 2d D.D.:
"The question turns on the construction of a single passage. Justin had argued that souls are not, in their own nature, immortal, since they were created, or begotten; and whatever thus begins to exist, may come to an end. 'But, still, I do not say that souls wholly die; for that would truly be good fortune to the bad. What then? The souls of the pious dwell in a certain better place; but those of the unjust and wicked, in a worse place, expecting the time of judgment. Thus, those who are judged of God to be worthy, die no more; but the others are punished as long as God shall will that they should exist and be punished. For, whatever is, or ever shall be, subsequent to God, has a corruptible nature, and is such as may be abolished and cease to exist. God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and, therefore, he is God; but everything else, subsequent to him, is begotten and corruptible. For this reason, souls both die and are punished." 10
The Epistle to Diognetus.--This letter was long ascribed to Justin Martyr, but it is now generally regarded as anonymous. It was written not far from A.D. 100, perhaps by Marcion, possibly by Justin Martyr. It is a beautiful composition, full of the most apostolic spirit. It has very little belonging to our theme, except that at the close of Chapter 10 it speaks of "those who shall be condemned to the aionion fire which shall chastise those who are committed to it even unto an end," 11 (mechri telous). Even if aionion usually meant endless, it is limited here by the word "unto" which has the force of until, as does aidios in Jude 6,--"aidios chains under darkness, unto (or until) the judgment of the great day." Such a limited chastisement, it would seem, could only be believed in by one who regarded God as Diognetus's correspondent did, as one who "still is, was always, and ever will be kind and good, and free from wrath."
This brief passage shows us that at the beginning of the Second Century Christians dwelt upon the severity of the penalties of sin, but supplemented them by restoration wherever they had occasion to refer to the ultimate outcome. A few years later (as will appear further on) when Christianity was systematized by Clement and Origen, this was fully shown, and explains the obscurities, and sometimes the apparent incongruities of earlier writers. The lovely spirit and sublime ethics of this epistle foreshadow the Christian theology so soon to be fully developed by Clement and Origen. Bunsen thinks (Hipp. and His Age, I, pp. 170, 171) the letter "indisputably, after Scripture, the finest monument we know of sound Christian feeling, noble courage, and manly eloquence."
Irenæus (A.D. 120, died 202) was a friend of Ignatius, and says that in his youth he saw Polycarp, who was contemporary with John. He had known several who had personally listened to the apostles. His principle work, "Against Heresies," was written A.D., 182 to 188. No complete copy of it exists in the original Greek: only a Latin translation is extant, though a part of the first book is found in Greek in the abundant quotations from it in the writings of Hippolytus and Epiphanius. Its authority is weakened by the wretched Latin in which most of it stands. One fact, however, is irrefutable: he did not regard Universalism as among the heresies of his times, for he nowhere condemns it, though the doctrine is contained in the "Sibylline Oracles," then in general use, and though he mentions the doctrine without disapproval in his description of the theology of the Carpocratians.
Irenæus has been quoted as teaching that the Apostles' creed was meant to indoctrinate endless punishment, because in a paraphrase of that document he says that the Judge, at the final judgment, will cast the wicked into "eternal" fire. But the terms he uses are "ignem aeternum" (aionion pur.) As just stated, though he reprehends the Carpocratians for teaching the transmigration of souls, he declares without protest that they explain the text "until thou pay the uttermost farthing," as instilling the idea that "all souls are saved." Irenæus says: "God drove Adam out of Paradise, and removed him far from the tree of life, in compassion for him, that he might not remain a transgressor always, and that the sin in which he was involved might not be immortal, nor be without end and incurable. He prevented further transgression by the interposition of death, and by causing sin to cease by the dissolution of the flesh that man ceasing to live to sin, and dying to it, might begin to live to God."
Irenæus states the creed of the church in his day, A.D. 160, as a belief in "one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensation of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus our Lord, and his manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father 'to gather all things in one," (Eph. 1:10) and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, 'every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess to him,' (Phil. 2:10,11) and that he should execute just judgment towards all; that he may send 'spiritual wickedness,' (Eph. 6:12) and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly and unrighteous, and wicked and profane among men, into aionion fire; and may in the exercise of his grace, confer immortality upon the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept his commandments, and have persevered in his love, some from the beginning, and others from their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory."
The reader must not forget that the use of the phrase, aionion fire, does not give any color to the idea that Irenæus taught endless punishment, for Origen, Clement, Gregory Nyssen, and other Universalists conveyed their ideas of punishment by the use of the same terms, and held that salvation is beyond, and even by means of the aionion fire and punishment.
Schaff admits that the opinions of Irenaeus are doubtful from his (Schaff's) orthodox standpoint and says: 12 "In the fourth Pfaffian fragment ascribed to him (Stieren I, 889) he says that 'Christ will come at the end of time to destroy all evil----and to reconcile all things-- from Col. 1:20--that there may be an end of all impurity.' This passage, like
I Cor. 15:28, and Col. 1:20, looks toward universal restoration rather than annihilation," but good, orthodox Dr. Schaff admits that it, like the Pauline passages, allows an interpretation consistent with eternal punishment. (See the long note in Stieren.) Dr. Beecher writes that Irenæus "taught a final restitution of all things to unity and order by the annihilation of all the finally impenitent. The inference from this is plain. He did not understand aionios in the sense of eternal; but in the sense claimed by Prof. Lewis, that is, 'pertaining to the world to come,'" not endless. Irenæus thought "that man should not last forever as a sinner and that the sin which was in him might not be immortal and infinite and incurable."
Says Bunsen: "The eternal decree of redemption, is, to Irenæus, throughout, an act of God's love. The atonement, is, according to him, a satisfaction paid, not to God, but to the Devil, under whose power the human mind and body were lying. But the Devil himself only serves God's purpose, for nothing can resist to the last, the Almighty power of divine love, which works not by constraint (the Devil's way) but by persuasion.13 The different statements of Irenæus are hard to reconcile with each other, but a fair inference from his language seems to be that he hovered between the doctrines of annihilation and endless punishment, and yet learned not a little hopefully to that of restoration. He certainly says that death ends sin, which forecloses all idea of endless torments. It is probable that the fathers differed, as their successors have since differed, according to antecedent and surrounding influences, and their own idiosyncrasies.
Of Christian writers up to date, all assert future punishment, seven apply the word rendered everlasting (aionios) to it; three, certainly did not regard it as endless, two holding to annihilation and one to universal restoration. Remembering, however, the doctrine of Reserve, we can by no means be certain that the heathen words used denoting absolute endlessness were not used "pedagogically" (instructively), to deter sinners from sin.
Quadratus.--Quadratus, A.D. 131, addressed an Apology to the Emperor Adrian, a fragment of which survives, but there is no word in it relating to the final condition of mankind.
The Clementine Homilies, once thought to have been written by Clement of Rome, but properly entitled by Baur "Pseudo Clementine," the work of some Gnostic Christian--teach the final triumph of good. One passage speaks of the destruction of the wicked by the punishment of fire, "punished with aionion fire," but this is more than canceled by other passages in which it is clearly taught that the Devil is but a temporal evil, a servant of good, and agent of God, who, with all his evil works, are finally to be transformed into good. On the one hand, the Devil is not properly an evil, but a God-serving being; on the other, there is a final transformation of the Devil, of the evil into good. The sentiments of the sermons and dissertations seem, however, somewhat contradictory.
It is an important consideration not always realized, when studying the opinions that prevailed in the primitive church, that the earliest copies of the Gospels were not in existence until A.D. 60; that the first Epistle written by Paul--1st Thessalonians--was not written till A.D. 52; that the New Testament canon was not completed until A.D. 170; that for a long time the only Christian Bible was the Old Testament; 14 that the account of the judgment in Matt. 25 is never referred to in the writings of the apostolic fathers, who probably never saw or heard of it till towards the end of the Second Century; and, therefore, when considering the opinions of the fathers for at least a century and a half, we must in all cases interpret them by the Old Testament, which scholars of all churches concede does not reveal the doctrine of endless woe. Probably not a single Christian writer heretofore quoted ever saw a copy of the Gospels.
Athenagoras wrote an "Apology," about A.D. 178, and a "Treatise on the Resurrection." He was a scholar and a philosopher, and made great efforts to convert the heathen to Christianity. He declared that there shall be a judgment, the award of which shall be distributed according to conduct; but he nowhere refers to the duration of punishment. He was, however, the head of the Catechetical school in Alexandria, before Pantænus, and must have shared the Universalist views of Pantænus, Clement and Origen, his successors.1 Dr. Alvah Hovey, State of the Impenitent Dead, pp. 131, 2.
Theophilus (A.D. 180). This author has left a "Treatise" in behalf of Christianity, addressed to Autolycus, a learned heathen. He uses current language on the subject of punishment, but says: "Just as a vessel, which, after it has been made, has some flaw, is remade or remodeled, that it may become new and right, so it comes to man by death. For, in some way or other he is broken up, that he may come forth in the resurrection whole, I mean spotless, and righteous, and immortal."
The preceding writers were "orthodox," but there were at the same time Gnostic Christians, none of whose writings remain except in quotations contained in orthodox authors, with the exception of a few fragments. They seem to have mixed Christianity with Orientalism. But they have been so misrepresented by their opponents that it is very difficult to arrive at their real opinions on all subjects. Happily they speak distinctly on human destiny.
Chapter 7--Three Gnostic Sects - Contents
Spirit of the Word - Covenant Eschatology - Introductory Note - New Stuff
Chapter 7--Three Gnostic Sects - Contents
Spirit of the Word - Covenant Eschatology - Introductory Note - New Stuff
Chapter 1 - The Earliest Creeds
Chapter 2 - Early Christianity-A Cheerful Religion
Chapter 3 - Origin of Endless Punishment
Chapter 4 - Doctrines of Mitigation and Reserve
Chapter 5 - Two Kindred Topics
Chapter 6 - The Apostles' Immediate Successors
Chapter 7 - The Gnostic Sects
Chapter 8 - The Sibylline Oracles
Chapter 9 - Pantaenus and Clement
Chapter 10 - Origen
Chapter 11 - Origen-Continued
Chapter 12 - The Eulogists of Origen
Chapter 13 - A Third Century Group
Chapter 14 - Minor Authorities
Chapter 15 - Gregory Nazianzen
Chapter 16 - Theodore of Mopsuestia and the Nestorians
Chapter 17 - A Notable Family
Chapter 18 - Additional Authorities
Chapter 19 - The Deterioration of Christian Thought
Chapter 20 - Augustine--Deterioration Continued
Chapter 21 - Unsuccessful Attempts to Suppress Universalism
Chapter 22 - The Eclipse of Universalism
Chapter 23 - Summary of Conclusions