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)