In This Issue:
The Last Words of Pastor James Gerven
The Death of Chloe
The Last Words of George Roberts
Thomas Paine’s Last Words
The Last Words of Richard Hooker
The Dying Words of Earl of Chesterfield
The Death of A Young Man
Volume: 880 October 17, 2022
Theme: Last Words
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* The following accounts are edited from: Ingram Cobbin, Dying Sayings. London, England, Frederick Westley, 1828. *
James Gerven was a pious, ingenious minister, a popular writer, and was born in 1714… He died in 1758, being forty-four years old.
As death drew near, he said, “Here is the treasure of the Christian. Death is reckoned in this inventory, and a noble treasure it is. How thankful I am for death, as it is the passage through which I go to the Lord and Giver of eternal life! These light afflictions are but for a moment, and then comes an eternal weight of glory. Oh, I welcome death! Thou mayest well be reckoned among the treasures of the Christian. ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’” (Philippians 1:21)”
“What will be your last words? Will they be of excitement and expectation or fear and trembling?” — Bill Brinkworth
… Before us was the struggling, agonizing, dying Chloe, inwardly burning to death with the raging fires of inflammation. Her mind was most anxious about the terrors of her approaching end. She felt the horrible consciousness of being unprepared for the solemn exchange of worlds.
A minister had prayed with her, but no relief was found. The mother prayed, but overflowing tears from distress and terror were all the help she could give the child, who was sinking in despair.
Attendants were weeping, but none of them could help the dying girl. She did not pray for herself, while her cries for prayer to save her from Hell were incessant.
She was asked, “Chloe, will you now accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your only Saviour from sin and Hell and submit your soul into his hands for salvation?”
With a faltering voice, she answered, “No, I cannot!”
Astonished at the answer, she was asked, “Why are you not willing, and why can you not now, with your dying breath, accept Christ for salvation?”
With the clear appearance of being in full possession of her rational thinking, but with a feeble and tremulous articulation, she continued, “It is too late….”
Will any who read this account neglect preparation for eternity? Are you ready when it is your time to leave this world?
Pastor George Roberts experienced God’s converting grace in early life and devoted himself to Christian service. He came to New England in 1790, where, through much opposition and suffering, he labored with outstanding success. Through excessive labor and toils, his health failed, and being unable to perform ministerial duties, he moved to Baltimore….
He died in Baltimore in Christian triumph, being eminently sustained in his last conflict. “His last hours,” said his son, “were triumphant, though eminently painful physically. For twenty-four hours before his death, he had violent convulsions every ten minutes….”
… He was distinguished by the evenness and quiet of his temper and frame. A night or two previous to his death, I urged him to quiet himself and offered, as a reason for it, the possibility of his disturbing the neighbors.
He immediately replied, “Be quiet, my son. No, no! If I had the voice of an angel, I would rouse the inhabitants of Baltimore to tell them the joys of redeeming love. Victory, I have victory! Victory, through the blood of the Lamb! Victory through the blood of the Lamb,” were the last sentences trembled from his dying lips.
His death was a triumphant testimony! Only the power of salvation can enable the soul to triumph when the body sinks into the tomb….
“This world is the land of the dying; the next, for the Christian, is the land of the living.” — Author Unknown
Thomas Paine, a political writer and deist, was born in Norfolk, England, in 1737 and died in New York on June 8, 1809. He was seventy-two years. This unhappy unbeliever died in great misery from the consequence of his disgusting vices.
He became an outcast from all respectable society. He was said to have been irritable, vain, filthy, malignant, dishonest, and drunken. Mr. Cunningham said, “Few men have been more bountifully favored with the gifts of nature and expansion of intellect than was Thomas Paine. His essays on the political rights of man stand as a lasting monument of his genius and exhibit a mind girded with strength. Yet even though he had outstanding success and acknowledged ability in effecting a political revolution, he revolted against God and common sense… He shut his eyes against rational evidence, denied the truth of Christianity, and became a skeptic. This infatuated infidel was left to the fruits of his doings. He degraded himself and died a fool….
Frequently, in his last distress, Mr. Paine called out, “Lord Jesus! Help me.”
His doctor, Dr. Maiiley, asked him whether, from his calling so often upon the Saviour, if it was to be inferred that Thomas believed the Gospel.
He replied, “I have no wish to believe on that subject.” He expired in great agony. Such are the fruits of infidelity. How many, like Paine, were disloyal to God and were ruined?
“Some die without having really lived, while others continue to live, in spite of the fact that they have died.” — Author Unknown
Richard Hooker was born near Exeter, England, in 1553. He possessed great learning, sound judgment, and distinguished himself by the book The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.
He was a meek, pious man and spent his days laboring to promote the glory of his Creator and the happiness of men.”
He died in the forty-seventh year of his age. Before his departure, he said, “I have lived to see that this world is full of confusion and disorder. I have been long preparing to leave it and gathering comfort for the awful hour of making up my account with God, which I now apprehend as nearby. By his grace, I have loved Him from my youth, feared Him, and labored to have a conscience void of offense toward my God and all men.”
At another time, he said, “God hath heard my daily petition… From this blessed assurance, I feel the inward joy the world can neither give nor take from me. My conscience beareth me this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I could wish to live to do the church more service, but I cannot hope for it, for my days are past as a shadow and will not return.” Shortly after uttering those words, he went home to be with God.”
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord….” (Rev. 14:13) It shall be well with the righteous.
The Earl of Chesterfield was one of the most accomplished scholars of his time. He sought all the world’s pleasures and informed us he enjoyed them. However, he lived and died like a fool.
Though learned, polite, and witty, he was full of deceit and opposition to God. He said, “My reason tells me I should wish for the end of life, but instinct makes me take all the proper methods to put it off. This innate sentiment alone makes me bear life with patience! I assure you, I have no hope, but, on the contrary, many fears from it.”
Poor man! Is this all the comfort thou hast derived from all his accomplishments? What a confession from a deathbed! He added, “I can hardly persuade myself that all that frivolous hurry and bustle and all the pleasures of the world had any reality, but they seem to have been the dreams of restless nights. Ah! They can render no support to the dying soul. They truly now appear like ‘dreams’ and were not important.”
In the summer of 1817, a camp meeting was held in East Hartford, Connecticut. About eight thousand people were present, and about one hundred were saved.
The Rev. D. Dorchester, when recounting the meeting, said, “… A young man, about eighteen years of age, attended the meetings. On Sunday evening, the Lord wrought powerfully among the people.
“Some of the young man’s associates sought and found the Saviour… Entreaties, expostulations, and tears urged the boy, but all in vain! His reply to them was, ‘I will wait till I get home.’”
“He started for home with his mother. At about five o’clock, he arrived within a few yards of his father’s house when suddenly he sprang from the wagon. He exclaimed, “Mother, I am dying; I am dying. I shall not live for one hour! O, that I had sought salvation at the camp meeting!”
“A physician was called immediately, but his efforts were in vain. Death had planted the arrow that no human hand could extract. The boy’s skin soon assumed a purple hue. His friends could only wait with anxiety and hear, with the most painful sensations, the regrets the boy uttered. The next day, he breathed his last.”
Procrastination was the thief that stole the young man’s opportunity to be saved….
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” II Cor. 6:2