Lately I've read in two novels (I believe both from the 1800's) some really interesting UR things. Tonight I read this and wanted to share it. It's from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by English author Anne Brontė, published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell. It's not a "religious book", and this just really jumped out at me.
The heroin is wanting to get married to a man of whom her aunt disapproves. Here's a part of their conversation;
"... his Maker has endowed him with reason and conscience as well as the rest of us; the Scriptures are open to him as well as to others; - and "if he hear not them, neither will he hear though one rose from the dead." And remember, Helen,' continued she, solemnly, '"the wicked shall be turned into hell, and they that forget God!"' And suppose, even, that he should continue to love you, and you him, and that you should pass through life together with tolerable comfort - how will it be in the end, when you see yourselves parted for ever; you, perhaps, taken into eternal bliss, and he cast into the lake that burneth with unquenchable fire - there for ever to - '
'Not for ever,' I exclaimed, '"only till he has paid the uttermost farthing;" for "if any man's work abide not the fire, he shall suffer loss, yet himself shall be saved, but so as by fire;" and He that "is able to subdue all things to Himself will have all men to be saved," and "will, in the fulness of time, gather together in one all things in Christ Jesus, who tasted death for every man, and in whom God will reconcile all things to Himself, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven."'
'Oh, Helen! where did you learn all this?'
'In the Bible, aunt. I have searched it through, and found nearly thirty passages, all tending to support the same theory.'
'And is that the use you make of your Bible? And did you find no passages tending to prove the danger and the falsity of such a belief?'
'No: I found, indeed, some passages that, taken by themselves, might seem to contradict that opinion; but they will all bear a different construction to that which is commonly given, and in most the only difficulty is in the word which we translate "everlasting" or "eternal." I don't know the Greek, but I believe it strictly means for ages, and might signify either endless or long-enduring. And as for the danger of the belief, I would not publish it abroad if I thought any poor wretch would be likely to presume upon it to his own destruction, but it is a glorious thought to cherish in one's own heart, and I would not part with it for all the world can give!'