For the Primitive Methodist pioneers Hell and Heaven were eternal realities. Here is an extract from a hymn by Hugh Bourne:
His vengeance will my soul pursue
If I refuse His grace.
And ah! – alas what must I do
If banished from His face.
Eternal darkness I must see
And hope will never come,
But fiends will my companions be
And Hell will be my home.
These words are blunt and confronting! Our modern methods of evangelism tend not to mention the wrath of God, or the coming judgment. We are happy to talk of the love of God, whilst preaching a soft line on his justice, and wrath (that is, His righteous anger). The apostle Paul puts it like this “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2:8)
“On getting to Heaven” in the next post …
Heaven and hell: an inconvenient truth?