("The Death of Eminent Ministers, a Public Loss"
A funeral sermon by J. A. James, Nov. 6, 1825)
'Chance' has nothing to do with death! Not the outcast
infant of a day old, exposed by its unnatural mother to
perish by the tiger or the vulture; nor even the sparrow
that dies of hunger in its nest--passes out of life without
the knowledge of God.
"Don't be afraid!" said Christ, "I am the first and the last,
the living one. I was dead, but now I am alive forever! I
have the keys of the unseen world and of death!" What
consolation is there in this sublime declaration! The key
of death is never for a moment entrusted out of His hands
--and never can be wrested from them! Every time a
human being dies, it is by an act of His power, in turning
the key which unlocks the gates of death! Our life is under
the constant and strict observation of His omniscient eye!
He determines the moment when to take the key from His
belt, and throw the portals of immortality back on their
O, what comfort does this impart to us, in reference to
our own lives--to know that exposed as we are to all the
accidents and diseases of this 'world of changes', and
enveloped as we are in darkness as to the consequences
of the next step, and the events of the next hour--that we
cannot die by a random stroke, or by a blind chance! The
key of death must be turned by Him who is infinitely
wise, and powerful, and good!
"See, I am the only God! There are no others. I kill,
and I make alive! I wound, and I heal, and no one
can rescue you from My power!" Deuteronomy 32:39