A Great Sermon from 1782 (Philadelphia)

Coming back on the train from Milton Keynes on Wednesday this week I read a sermon preached by Elhanan Winchester in 1782.

Don't switch off yet.

Winchester was a Baptist pastor who provoked some powerful indivudals in his church (First Baptist Church Philadelphia) because of his Christian universalism. This powerful minority took control of the building and dismissed him in 1781. Winchester and his supporters set up the Society of Universal Baptists and met in the Hall of the University of Pennsylvania. I just love the idea of universalist Baptists! How funny is that!

This sermon entitled "The Outcasts Comforted" from 1782 was preached to his congregation of universalist Baptists (sorry - I just had to say it again).

It is really fabulous. His gentle spirit, his pastoral concern, his strong biblical faith, his evangelical zeal and his passion for the God of the gospels comes across so clear. He also makes a pretty good case (given the space limits of a sermon) for the compatibility of universalism with orthodox evangelical faith. It is funny how his arguments anticipate arguments of later generations.

It made me think that if one was to follow the universalist road Winchester is a good role model to have.

(And, even more in his favour, is that he preached out of London from 1787-1794. A man of some taste perhaps?)


jacob said…
I thought you might be interested in learning about OUR Jewish traditions, one which has embraced the real Christ of the gospel, the Law and the prophets.

If this doesn’t interest you, I apologize in advance.

If you are interested let me tell you that we are the Frankist Association of America. One of our members has a new book out:


I am not trying to sell you something. We are not ’some kind of cult’ (like Jews could ever take orders from someone!). We’re just a tradition which has lasted for centuries and I think we might be able to teach you a thing or too about that messianic tradition you ... ah ... stole from us and continue to misrepresent.

If you're interested, you're interested. If you're not, you're not. No big deal.

If you can’t afford the book you can see the website of one of our living teachers – http://www.stephanhuller.blogspot.com.

I just wanted to let you and the scholarly world that there have always been more than one type of Judaism in the world at any one time. Some forms of the faith had to learn to hide their beliefs in order to survive and perpetuate themselves.

Shalom, God Bless
Everything is perfected in God's glory (and a rotten, stinking pile of something without)

Beth El Jacob Frank
Robin Parry said…

You've lost me. How is your comment a response to my post? It looks like an advert for something else altogether.


Popular Posts