#128 - This is a thrilling poem by Matthew Arnold, keeping in mind the following fact.
Universalism was The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian Church During Its First Five Hundred Yearshttp://hellbusters.8m.com/updcontents.html
As students of the history of Christian doctrine know, among believers in eternal torment, Tertullian was one of the most extreme. That is why I think this poem is so powerful. It sent a thrill up and down my spine.
"He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save!"
So rang Tertullian's sentence, on the side
Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried, --
"Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave
Who sins, once washed by the baptismal wave!"
So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sighed,
The infant church, of love she felt the tide
Stream on her from her Lord's yet recent grave,
And then she smiled, and in the Catacombs,
With eye suffused, but heart inspired true,
On those walls subterranean, where she hid
Her head in ignominy, death and tombs,
She her Good Shepherd's hasty image drew,And on His shoulders, not a lamb, a kid.