He preached his own funeral sermon!

(Samuel Davies, "This Very Year You are Going to Die!" This message was preached at Princeton College on January 1, 1761. The author died shortly after, on February 4—at the age of 37! Thus in a way—he preached his own funeral sermon!)

"Thus says the Lord—I am about to remove you from the face of the earth! This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16

YOU may die this year!

And should you die this year—you will be forever cut off from all the pleasures of life! Then farewell, an everlasting farewell to all the mirth and gaiety, to all the tempting amusements and vain delights of earth!

If you should die in your sins this year—then you will not only be cut off from all the flattering prospects of this life—but from all hope entirely, and forever! You will be fixed in an unchangeable state of misery; a state that will admit of no expectation but that of uniform, or rather ever-growing misery; a state that excludes all hopes of making any accomplishment, except as the monuments of the vindictive justice of God, and the deadly effects of sin!

How affecting is the idea of a promising youth cut off from the land of the living—useless and hopeless in both worlds! fallen from the summit of hope—into the gulf of everlasting despair! Yet this may be your doom, my dear youth, your doom this very year—if you should die in your sins!

Therefore, if you should this year—then all your hopes of heaven will vanish forever!

No more happiness for you! You have received your portion in this life—a few years of fleeting, sordid, unsatisfactory happiness! And an entire eternity of misery; permanent, exquisite, consummate misery—follows!

No more honor for you—but shame and everlasting contempt!

No more amusements  for you—but only the blackness of darkness forever! Only intense poring upon your hopeless wretchedness! Only tormenting recollections of your past folly and madness of voluntarily rushing into the infernal pit!

No agreeable companions!

No sympathizing friends!

No relaxation!

No pleasing hobbies!

No encouraging prospects!

No comforting hopes!

No token of love!

No gift of grace from the Father of mercy!

No hope in the future!

No relief from the past!

No refuge, no escape—into the gulf of annihilation!

ABOVE you—an angry omnipotent God—and a lost heaven!

BEHIND you—a misspent life, and opportunities of salvation irrecoverably lost!

WITHIN you—a guilty, remorseful conscience—an implacable self-tormentor!

AROUND you—malignant, enraged fiends, mutual tormentors!

BEFORE you—an eternity of hopeless misery, extending infinitely!

Oh tremendous doom!

Who can bear the thought?

And is it possible that this doom should be so near to any of US? Where is the unhappy creature, that we may all drop our tears over him! Where is that wretched creature who stands every moment upon the slippery brink of this horrible precipice! This year, nay, this hour, for anything we know—he may be thrown down, engulfed and lost forever!

And is this a safe situation for you, thoughtless, foolhardy mortals!

Does it befit you in such a situation—to be cheerful, merry, and mirthful?

Does it befit you in such a situation—to be busy, restless, and laborious in the pursuits of this transitory life?

Does it befit you in such a situation—to spin out your eternal schemes of grandeur, riches, or pleasures—in hopes to accomplish them within the narrow, uncertain limits of time allotted you?

Alas! before another year has run its hasty round, the world and all that it contains, all its pursuits and enjoyments, all its cares and sorrows—may be as insignificant to you, as the grandeur of Caesar, or the riches of the world before the flood.

If you die this year, then . . .
earthly riches or poverty,
liberty or slavery,
honor or disgrace,
joy or sorrow,
sickness or health—
will be as little your concern—as the dust that shall cover your coffin!

Does it not rather befit you to turn your thoughts to another inquiry, "Is it possible for me to escape this impending danger? Where, how, whence may I obtain deliverance?"

"Thus says the Lord—I am about to remove you from the face of the earth! This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16