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!