The Origin and History of the
Doctrine of Endless Punishment

Chapter X. The Additional Testimonies on the Questions Discussed in the Preceding Chapters

Thomas B. Thayer, 1881: Since the publication of the first editions of this work, I have come upon other facts and testimonies illustrating and fortifying the positions taken in the general argument respecting the origin of the doctrine of endless punishment, It has seemed to me that it might add to the value of the book and to the satisfaction of the reader, to gather these up, and present them in an additional chapter of authorities.

Still another chapter might be added to the history of the doctrine, - a chapter showing the amazing change which has been brought about in all the churches as regards the style and frequency of preaching it. As Henry Ward Beecher justly says, "The educated Christian mind of all lands, for the last hundred years, has been changing; and milder expressions and a very different spirit have prevailed. It is not preached as it used to be, - not as it was in my childhood. It has not been preached as often as, nor with the same fiery and familiar boldness that, it used to be. Multitudes of men who give every evidence of being spiritual, regenerate, and devout, and laborious and self-denying, find themselves straitened in their minds in respect to this question, and are turning anxiously every whither to see whence relief may come to them." (Sermon on Future Punishment, preached Oct. 16, 1870.)

I should be glad to devote a chapter to this interesting, instructive, and prophetic phase of the subject, and emphasize the contrast between the preaching and writing of Calvin, Boston, Edwards, Bellamy, the elder Beecher, Park-street Griffin, and others of the olden times; and Kingsley, Stanley, Brooke, Park-street Murray, and the younger Beechers of to-day. But this must be postponed to another time; my present limits allowing only a place for the chapter of authorities already collected.

[The remainder of this chapter has been placed in the preceding text.]

Do sinners burn forever in hell fire?...

The Origin and History of the
Doctrine of Endless Punishment

by Thomas B. Thayer, New and enlarged edition. Boston: Universalist Publishing House. 1881.


Why this book was written.
Chapter I. The Period before the Law of Moses.
No Law announced to our First Parents with the Penalty of Endless Punishments annexed
Not revealed in the History of their Transgression, nor in that of Cain, the Deluge, or Sodom and Gomorrah
Chapter II. The Period under the Law of Moses.
Sect. I. - Endless Punishment not taught by Moses in the Law nor is it mentioned anywhere in the Bible History of the Jews
Sect. II. - Testimony of Orthodox Critics and Theologians to this Point
Sect. III. - Old Testament Doctrine of Hell, Sheol
Sect. IV. - General Application of the Argument
Sect. V. - Objections to the foregoing Argument answered
Chapter III. Endless Punishment of Heathen Origin.
Sect. I. - Description of the Heathen Hell, its Location, Inhabitants, and Punishments; compared with Church Doctrines
Sect. II. - The Doctrine invented by Heathen Legislators and Poets; shown by their own Confession. Its Egyptian Origin
Chapter IV. The Jews Borrowed the Doctrine from the Heathen.
The Historical Argument on this Point
Chapter V. Endless Punishment Not Taught in the New Testament.
Sect I. -Salvation of Christ not from this
Sect. II. - New Testament Doctrine of Hell
Sect. III. - Unquenchable Fire; how used in the Scriptures; how used by Greek Writers
Sect. IV. - Everlasting, Eternal and Forever, not Endless
Testimony of Lexicographers and Critics
Usage of Greek Authors
Scripture Usage
Sect. V. - The Second Death
Chapter VI. The Introduction of the Doctrine into the Christian Church
The general Corruption of the early Church
First Appearance of the Doctrine - its Form
First, The Wicked not raised from the Dead, or Underworld
Second, Raised and Punished
Third, Future Punishment ending in Annihilation
Fourth, Endless Punishment
Condemnation of Universalism, and Endless Punishment decreed Orthodox, A. D. 553
Chapter VII. The Doctrine Creates a Cruel and Revengeful Spirit - Illustrated from History.
Influence of Faith on Character
Tertullian's Exultation
Catholic Crusades against the Albigenses
Massacre of St. Bartholomew
The Catholic Inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition; its Influence on Society
The Influence not confined to Catholic Believers of the Doctrine
Chapter VIII. The Comparative Moral Influence of Belief and Disbelief in Endless Punishment - Historical Contrast.
Its Influence on the Morals of the Heathen; Greeks, Romans, Burmans
The Character of the Pharisees and Sadducees contrasted in reference to this Point
Chapter IX. The Influence of the Doctrine on the Happiness of its Believers - Illustrated from their own Confessions.
Testimony of Saurin, Stuart, Barnes, Henry Ward Beecher, etc.
Chapter X. Additional Testimonies on the Questions Discussed in the Preceding Chapters.

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