An unexpected source of Universalist prayers

Selection_004The Optimist’s Good Morning is a book of prayers and written selections, published by Little, Brown in 1907 but it’s also a Universalist Publishing House title, and so not-surprisingly full of Universalist authors (and a few who aren’t, like Confucius.)

Florence Hobart Perin, the compiler, was herself a Universalist leader, and presumably the same Florence Hobart who was the clerk of the old Boston Association in the late 1890s.

George L. Perin
(link to picture), is the most cited author, was something of a denominational celebrity and former missionaries to Japan. (I’ve had a devilish time connecting Florence and George.) You might recognize some of the other names in it, like Quillen Shinn, Henry Nehemiah Dodge, Mary Livermore, Charles R. Tenney, Edwin C. Sweetser, Frederick A. Bisbee, Frederic Perkins and Wilburn D. Potter.

It speaks to an upbeat kind of Universalism that I’ve seen little written about, but for which each of these Perins were long-time proponents, if the print record is correct.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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