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[Rev. Joseph Fort Newton in The Universalist Leader]

So unfortunate are many of the ideas associated with the word salvation, that it would be a gain if the word were not used at all for a decade. At least we should make clear what we mean by it. Let us go back to Tyndale, the father of our English Bible, and see what use he made of the word—if so we may track a word to a world-ideal. His ambition was to make the Bible so simple that a plowboy could read it. Strangely enough, he hardly used the word salvation at all, but instead such words as health, wholeness, soundness, holiness, but most frequently health. For example, "Perform your health with fear and trembling." And again, "How shall we escape if we despise so great health?" Why did so great a scholar select the word health? It was because he saw that it was nearer to the meaning of the word used in the Bible, and he was right.

Salvation, then, is health of soul, wholeness of nature, soundness of character—to awake to the reality of spirit and the spiritual world, and live as a citizen of that world. It means the growth of the soul, leading its powers forth to beauty and grace, making it superior to the evils that are ready to prey upon it, liberating it when it is in bonds of sense and selfishness, and by all means, human and divine, bringing it into right, that is normal, wholesome, happy, relations with God and life and its fellow souls. If it has fallen into sin, there is healing; if it has lost faith, there is ever the path to the mount of vision. By growing a rich, refined, tender, valiant soul, we are working with God, and have behind us and within us all the redeeming forces of life. And such a soul is a messenger of God for the redemption of its fellows.

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November 14, 1914

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