The dirty lane!

(Thomas Brooks, "Words of Counsel to a Dear Dying Friend")

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
 
Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is no gain compared to that which comes in by death. A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life. To be in Christ is very good — but to be with Christ is best of all, "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23. It was a mighty blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth — but it was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ in Heaven! Seriously consider these things:

By death you shall gain incomparable crowns!
  A crown of life, Revelation 2:10, James 1:12.
  A crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8.
  An incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
  A crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4.
There are no crowns compared to these crowns!

By death you  shall gain a glorious kingdom! "It is your Father's pleasure to give you a kingdom!" We must put off their rags of mortality — that we may put on our robes of glory! There is no entering into paradise — but under the flaming sword of this angel, death — who stands at the gate.

Death is the dirty lane through which the saint passes . . .
  to a kingdom,
  to a great kingdom,
  to a glorious kingdom,
  to a peaceful kingdom,
  to an unshaken kingdom,
  to a durable kingdom,
  to a lasting kingdom, yes,
  to an everlasting kingdom!

Death is the dark, short way, through which the saints pass to the marriage-supper of the Lamb!