St. Justinian on Universalism

Emperor St. Justinian ca. 483-565

Will render men slothful, and discourage them from keeping the commandments of God. It will encourage them to depart from the narrow way, leading them by deception into ways that are wide and easy. Moreover, such a doctrine completely contradicts the words of our Great God and Savior. For in the Holy Gospel he himself teaches that the impious will be sent away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will receive life eternal. Thus to those at his right, he says: “Come, O blessed of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” [Mt 25:34]. But to those on his left, he says: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” [Mt 25:41]. The Lord clearly teaches that both heaven and hell are eternal, but the followers of Origen prefer the myths of their master over and against the judgments of Christ, which plainly refute them. If the torments of the damned will come to an end, so too will the life promised to the righteous, for both are said to be “eternal.” And if both the torments of hell and the pleasures of paradise should cease, what was the point of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ? What was the purpose of his cruciixion, his death, burial, and resurrection? And what of all those who fought the good fight and sufered martyrdom for the sake of Christ? What benefit will their suferings have been to them, if in the “final restoration” they will receive the same reward as sinners and demons? (Against Origen PG 86.975 BD)

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this. Is this passage from Justinian’s letter to Patriarch Menas in 543 or the letter addressed to the council fathers in 553? Is this your own translation? If not, what is its source? Thanks!

  2. Fr. Aidan,

    Thanks for visiting. I got that quote from a paper by Fr. Maximos Constans:

    https://www.academia.edu/10385233/The_Face_of_Christ_in_a_Sixth-Century_Icon_from_Sinai_Chap._1_from_the_The_Art_of_Seeing_

    I actually didn’t even mean to post it yet!

  3. Well, I’m glad you posted it today. It was very timely.

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