The likely order of events is:
[Letter from David Jones, postmarked “6 15PM 4 JAN 1966” and received the next day:]
11, Park Road,
Thank you for your letter which I received this
morning, and thank you for your concern for me.
However, you seem to take for granted that
I believe that Jesus died as part of a bargain between
God and the Devil. I do not believe this. I believe that
Jesus died as an example to the human race. You state in
your letter that Jesus died so that I wouldn’t have to die
for my sins. I have explained to you my views on the after-
life, and I believe that anyone who leads a life dedicated
to the betterment of his fellows is closer to God than the
man who goes to Church on Sundays and spends the rest of the
week robbing banks, beating people up, and generally annoying
and worsting his fellow men.
For the same reason, I don’t believe that saving
is a sudden process. If you have faith in God, lead a good
life, then you have no need to worry.
There are many so-called Christian men in this
country, who can stand by and watch people who need operations
desperately but who have to wait behind a hospital waiting
list of two hundred. These people, if they are ill, do
not need to wait — they pay fifty pounds and are treated
privately, while some poor chap who needed that bed dies
for the simple reason that he was poor. In my opinion these
people will suffer, and ought to suffer, a worse fate than
the person who leads a good life but does not go to church.
If you die with a clear conscience, leaving behind
you a good, clean life, I believe you have no need to worry.
However, if you have led an horrible life, I believe that
God, who is merciful, will NOT condemn somebody to eternal
damnation because of error. Punishment, certainly, but not
Well, I shall be going now,
D. C. Jones.
P.S. I omitted to mention in my last parargraph that if
you have done your best in this life to follow the teachings
of Jesus, to alleviate the sufferings of the poor, the needy,
the ill, then you have done better than the person who merely
prays for these things and does nothing to bring them about.
How different the tone of his letter, received on Wednesday 3rd August 1966, is!
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