Christ Triumphant, by Thomas Allin

Amid the crowd of sins there stands out one in sad preeminence...[Matthew 12:31-32]. Now, from our Lord’s own words we may understand in what lay the essence of this awful sin. It lay in confounding the good and evil Spirit, in ascribing to the one the works of the other. If, then, anyone whose conscience whispers that endless misery can only be inflicted by an evil being on his own children, still persists in ascribing its infliction to God, does not such a one incur sad and awful risk of committing this greatest of all sins?
— Thomas Allin

In 1885, Thomas Allin (1838-1909) published the book originally titled (and now subtitled) Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel on the Authority of Reason, the Fathers, and Holy Scripture. To cut to the chase: if this volume is missing from your bookshelf, I highly recommend the 2015 annotated edition from Wipf & Stock, edited by Robin Parry.  

There are striking parallels between Allin's thinking and that of George MacDonald, as Thomas Talbott observes in his Foreword, while also noting that he had "found no evidence, in either Allin or MacDonald, that the two of them ever interacted with each other, despite their overlapping lifespans and the similarity of theological ideas." However, as Robin Parry points out in his superb, comprehensive introduction,  "a key part of what [Allin] is at pains to demonstrate in this book is that universalist theology is not grounded in some modern Victorian sentiment...but that its roots lie in the ancient Christian theology of the first few centuries of the church." MacDonald's expression of his beliefs was uniquely eloquent, but the beliefs themselves have been around for centuries. 

In days to come we will post a number of extracts from Allin's book; stay tuned!