You die a faithful believer, you are ushered into heaven, and as you begin to sing your song in the heavenly choir, you notice the people in the fires of hell, suffering eternal torment wailing and gnashing their teeth. Your initial reaction is to
A) Feel sorry for them, and ask, as Lucy did concerning the Dwarves in the Last Battle, what can be done for the poor wretches.
B) Sing louder, praising God that while God's glory is demonstrated in the just punishment of the wicked, you reflect on the wonderful graciousness of your own salvation, that you were spared, by grace, the punishment that you otherwise would have received.
I'm A all the way, which makes me a lousy Calvinist.
This is the passage from the Last Battle.
“Aslan,” said Lucy through her tears, “could you — will you — do something for these poor Dwarfs?
“Dearest,” said Aslan, “I will show you both what I can, and what I cannot, do.” He came close to the Dwarfs and gave a low growl: low, but it set all the air shaking. But the Dwarfs said to one another, “Hear that? That’s the gang at the other end of the stable. Trying to frighten us. They do it with a machine of some kind. Don’t take any notice. They won’t take us in again!”
Aslan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs’ knees: pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But it wasn’t much use. They began eating and drinking greedily enough, but it was clear that they couldn’t taste it properly. They thought they were eating and drinking only the sort of things you might find in a stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he had got a bit of an old turnip and third said he’d found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised the golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said “Ugh! Fancy drinking dirty water out of trough that a donkey’s been at! Never thought we’d come to this.”
But soon every Dwarf began suspecting that every other Dwarf had found something nicer than he had, and they started grabbing and snatching, and went on to quarreling, till in a few minutes there was a free fight and all the good food was smeared on their faces and clothes or trodden under foot. But when at least they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding nose, they all said:
“Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.”
“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.
This is the only conception of hell that has ever made any sense to me. But perhaps there is another option Aslan isn't considering here. Maybe Aslan can perform and act of irresistible grace and convert the dwarfs into dwarfs who are for Aslan as well as for the dwarfs, and can release them from the prison of their own minds. Or predestined that they never get into that state of mind in the first place. If either of those is a plausible alternative, then Aslan's reply to Lucy collapses.