Now am I one day nearer Heaven than I ever was!

(Richard Steele, "A Discourse Concerning Old-age, Tending to the Instruction, Caution and Comfort of Aged People" 1688)

Though it is possible for the young to die soon — yet it is impossible for the aged to live long. Their manifest decays are a certain forecast of their approaching dissolution. No medicine has yet been found to cure old-age. The graves are ready for them, and the worms wait for their meal upon them! The moth of mortality, which is bred in our nature, will still be fretting the garment of our bodies, until they are consumed. Death is already got into the aged person's eye and ear — and in a short time will bring him unto the dust.

Now though death is an unwelcome messenger to those who live for this poor world — yet to a holy old man and woman, it is a blessed privilege. For as looking backward they see a tempting troublesome world — so looking forward they see a state of perfect holiness and happiness prepared for them. The end of their fight — is the beginning of their victory. As they part from their earthly labors — they take possession of their heavenly honors.

The aged Christian sees a woeful wilderness behind him — and the blessed land of promise before him. It is therefore no wonder that, with Moses, he longs to be in it! For where should the spouse desire to be, but with her husband? And upon this account, that holy Lady Falkland would usually say when she was going to bed, "Now am I one day nearer Heaven than I ever was!"

"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23