The hymn selections below were appended to a letter recently sent to the pastor of a prominent church inKentucky, who had accused the writer of heresy in teaching “soul-sleep”, and stated “Surely, you know that the vast majority of Christian preachers feel exactly as I do on the subject!” This was followed by a long paragraph filled with the kind of accusations and calumny one would have expected in the days of the Inquisition as they tied our Anabaptist forefathers to the stake. The accused brother’s reply to the above concluded witht hree paragraphs, as follows: “Let me say, as a postscript, that I am not greatly disturbed by your attacks against what you call “Soul-Sleep”,when I know that your congregation regularly sings with fervor hymns in your church hymnbook which proclaim it. And in doing so, they know in their hearts they sing truth, despite all the times your pulpit may have called it heresy. “By way of example I attach verses from five hymns (byEdward Mote, Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, H.G. Spafford,and James Black) all of which plainly state or imply the great Resurrection Truth that our first conscious moment afte rdeath will be Resurrection Day. Most of these, and others with like blessed truth, are surely in your church hymnbook.Furthermore, I suggest that if you told your congregation such hymns contained deadly heresy, or asked the church to refrain from singing the heretical stanzas, they would think you had lost your mind;- and afterward, your better deacons would ask you to prove such a charge from Scripture. Which, of course, you would be unable to do.”
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”
“Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!”
Edward Mote, 1797-1874 ” My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
“When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.”
Fanny Crosby 1820-1915 ” He Hideth My Soul”
“When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high.”
HG Spafford 1828-1888 ” It is Well with My Soul”
“And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.”
James M. Black 1856-1938 ” When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”
“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”
Note to the reader: See how the words in italics bear out biblical Resurrection Truth and forbid the notion of “going to heaven when you die”!