Hell Doctrine is “Dark, Dark, Dark To My Soul.”

Hell is dark, dark, dark to my soul. Albert Barnes, Presbyterian minister.

Albert Barnes was a well-know Presbyterian Minister in the nineteenth century wrote a very popular Bible commentary “Barnes Notes: Explanatory and Practical.” During his life he taught from a Calvinist sovereignty, election and predestination point of view which he changed in his later years to a free will position. After decades of ministering and commentating on the Bible he honestly confesses what the teaching of Hell did to his soul and his attitude toward God and life in general:

That any should suffer forever, lingering on in hopeless despair, and rolling amidst infinite torments without the possibility of alleviation and without end; that since God can save men and will save a part, he has not proposed to save all — these are real, not imaginary, difficulties… My whole soul pants for light and relief on these questions. But I get neither; and in the distress and anguish of my own spirit, I confess that I see no light whatever. I see not one ray to disclose to me why sin came into the world; why the earth is strewn with the dying and the dead; and why man must suffer to all eternity. I have never seen a particle of light thrown on these subjects, that has given a moment’s ease to my tortured mind… I confess, when I look on a world of sinners and sufferers — upon death-beds and grave-yards — upon the world of woe filled with hosts to suffer for ever: when I see my friends, my family, my people, my fellow citizens when I look upon a whole race, all involved in this sin and danger — and when I see the great mass of them wholly unconcerned, and when I feel that God only can save them, and yet he does not do so, I am stuck dumb. It is all dark, dark, dark to my soul, and I cannot disguise it. – Albert Barnes (Albert Barnes, well-known Presbyterian minister who wrote one of the best Bible commentaries in the nineteenth century)


  1. i believe that God has been saving souls. when Jesus died on the cross. it shows how He loves us and wants us in heaven. it just that we are too stubborn to accept that God indeed loves us and wants us,. we refuse to follow him. and take him for granted. until it is tooo late. in my heart i know that i can do good things instead of doing bad things. but sometimes it is easier said than done.but if we focus focus really on God. we surely end up in heaven.wanna try? if we keep on doing good. we will hate doing bad.yeah. avoid pre-marital sex, you may end up having aids, prohibited drugs- to avoid mental retardiation/hospital, abortion-killing your own flesh – be thankful your mom did not do this to you. and etc. God loves us . think about it.

    • Well, what God wants, He gets. There is nothing that can stay His hands. NOTHING. For God all things are possible, even the salvation of the whole world. Believe it.

  2. I have never been the same since I heard of Calvinism’s election, predestination, sovereign grace teaching. I’ve lost sleep, lost weight, lost joy, lost hope, lost focus at work… I cannot describe the melancholy that came over me the first time I heard a preacher say “God does not love everyone.” It went against everything I have ever heard, felt, and experienced in my walk with God. And if it was true, I didn’t want to know. I wish it was one of those things you find out AFTER you get to heaven. I can’t look at little children in strollers without wondering if they were chosen for God’s grace or His wrath. I don’t even understand how Calvinists can procreate, knowing the emotional bond they would feel with their children, without a guarantee that they were ‘chosen.’ I still wish I had never heard that doctrine… and I’m searching for a ‘security blanket’ to reassure me God is Love, and desires all to be saved. It’s just my opinion, but I think AD 70 plays a significant role in the understanding of redemption…because that’s when ‘death’ was thrown into the lake of fire.

  3. This article is my feelings.the way i see it…WITH GOD THERE SHOULD BE NO HELL.NO DEVIL.NO EVIL. not from a god of all love and kindness ect.

  4. Well I find both sides of this very faulty. God is love. It was love that was on that cross. He was split from the Holy Spirit and the Father. We CANNOT comprehend what that did to our blessed Saviour! He did it so we would not have to go to hell! If not…then why did He do it? Just for kicks? No He had a purpose. John 3:16 can tell you that plain and simple…

    I see repeatedly on this site in which you accuse people who believe in hell with the slandering of God’s name. I am glad you can stand behind your belief. It shows you have researched it a lot. Have you thought about it from the other side? If there really is a hell…and you are encouraging people to not believe in it…then one day God the heavenly Father is going to judge you for that. I am very very scared for you in that.

    I believe that I am a sinner. I know that. Jesus died that I could go to heaven through faith in Him. I believe what Jesus said. Not what man says.

    I know nothing I can sway would ever affect your belief. I just hope that if any people come here confused, they can read this and maybe it will help them.

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