Faithful Last Words

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The attitude of the faithful when facing the end of earthly life is inspiring. The last words of many of these show not only their own belief that they are mere pilgrims passing through this world below, but also give those who witness these parting words strength and comfort as well.

In extreme cases there have been the martyrs who have laid down their lives for the faith.  Their words are witness to their motivation. Among the most famous of these are the words of Polycarp, who was killed by the Romans in circa 155,

“For eighty and six years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong, and how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” 

Sir Thomas More is another great example, as he was executed for refusing to accept Henry VIII as the supreme head of the church.  He expressed his civil loyalty, but his loyalty to God had to come first, even at the cost of his life,

“I die the King’s good servant, and God’s first.”  July 6, 1535

Dietrich Bonhoffer, a German theologian, showed a similar faith, and made a claim of faith in God’s promises, even as he faced a Nazi firing squad for his refusal to put Hitler first,

 “This may seem to be the end for me, but it is just the beginning.”

Not all of the faithful die martyrs, of course. Many die surrounded by family and friends.  But no matter what the cause of death, the reflections on God’s promise is clear. Stephen, the first Christian martyr shows this with his words of Acts 7: 56,

“Then Stephen said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God!”

He was not alone in this.  On 10 May 1863, the devout Christian, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died after uttering the words,

“Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

This passing over to rest and home was seen in the dying words of the missionary David Livingstone in Africa as well,

“Build me a hut to die in. I am going home.”

The Christian artist Michelangelo, famed for his David, Moses, and Sistene Chapel saw his destination as a better place as well,

“I die in the faith of Jesus Christ, and in the firm hope of a better life.”

The Christian evangelist D.L. Moody died on 22 December 1899 and saw his own passing as a victory,

“This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!”

The author and preacher John Bunyan told those assembled at his death bed,

“Weep not for me, but for yourselves. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, through the mediation of His blessed Son, receives me, though a sinner. We shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy.”   August 31, 1688 

What wonderful witness, let us all look forward to the New Song.

Padre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Faithful Last Words

  1. Pingback: The offspring from a tortured generation finding the Word of God again – Jeshuaisten / Jeshuaists

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