After reading yesterday’s story, someone pointed out to me that it reminded him of a Hosea Ballou anecdote, and I have to agree with him, so I’m sharing it here:
Ballou was riding the circuit again when he stopped for the night at a New England farmhouse. The farmer was upset. He confided to Ballou that his son was a terror who got drunk in the village every night and who fooled around with women. The farmer was afraid the son would go to hell.
“All right,” said Ballou with a serious face. “We’ll find a place on the path where your son will be coming home drunk, and we’ll build a big fire, and when he comes home, we’ll grab him and throw him into it.”
The farmer was shocked. “That’s my son and I love him!”
Ballou said, “If you, a human and imperfect father, love your son so much that you wouldn’t throw him in the fire, then how can you possibly believe that God, the perfect father, would do so!”
If you’d like to read another great story about Ballou, I shared another one of his tales here: If you were a Universalist