The Grace of Christ, or,
Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness
William S. Plumer, 1853
"We believe it is through the grace of our
Lord Jesus that we are saved." Acts 15:11
THE BELIEVER'S VICTORY OVER DEATH
Some have feared that if there was nothing peculiarly
trying in the form of their death, they would not have special assistance in
their last moments. But the history of God's people shows how kind he has
ever been to them in the final conflict. Here are a few out of thousands of
cases, which might be cited.
When leaving the world Joseph said: "I die, and God shall
surely visit you, and bring you out of this land."
Joshua: "Behold, this day I am going the way of all the
earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one
thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke
Simeon: "Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace,
according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation."
Chrysostom: "Glory be to God for all events."
Luther thrice said: "Into your hands I commit my spirit;
God of truth, you have redeemed me."
Theodore Beza: "Lord, perfect that which you have begun,
that I suffer not shipwreck in the haven."
Thomas Holland: "Come, O come, Lord Jesus, O bright
Morning Star! Come, Lord Jesus, I desire to be dissolved and to be with
Rutherford: "I have got the victory, and Christ is
holding out both arms to embrace me."
Richard Baxter: "I have pains, there is no arguing
against sense; but I have peace, I have peace." "Almost well." "The Lord
teach you how to die."
Bunyan: "Weep not for me but for yourselves. I go to the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who no doubt will receive me though a
sinner, through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ; where I hope we
shall before long meet to sing the new song, and remain happy forever, in a
world without end. Amen."
John Owen: "The long wished for day is come at last, in
which I shall see the glory of Christ in another manner, than I ever have
done, or was capable of doing in this world."
John Flavel: "I know that it will be well with me."
Philip Henry: "O make sure work for your souls, by
getting an interest in Christ, while you are in health, for if I had that
work to do now, what would become of me? But I bless God, I am satisfied.
See to it that your work be not undone, when your time is done, lest you be
Matthew Henry: "This is my dying saying: A life spent in
the service of God, and communion with him, is the most comfortable life any
one can live in this world."
John Janeway: "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
Richard Hooker: "I am at peace with all men, and God is
at peace with me; from which blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which
the world can neither give nor take away."
J. Blackader: "O the kindness and compassion of God, who
knows our frame, that we are dust, and has no pleasure in afflicting his
poor creatures. O may this illness be a rod to chase me to Christ; and the
fruit of all to purge away sin."
Alexander Henderson: "I am near the end of my race,
hastening home, and there was never a schoolboy more desirous to have the
play, than I am to have leave of this world."
Hall: "If I die, the world will miss me but little,
because it has plenty of better men; and I shall not miss it, because it has
so much evil, and I shall have so much happiness!"
Halyburton: "Though my body be sufficiently afflicted,
yet my spirit is untouched." "Free grace, free grace; not unto me!"
Thomas Cartwright: "I have found unutterable comfort and
happiness, and God has given me a glimpse of heaven. I have fought the good
fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is
laid up for me a crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at
Hervey: "How thankful I am for death! It is the passage
through which I get to the Lord and giver of eternal live. These light
afflictions are but for a moment, and then comes an eternal weight of glory.
O welcome, welcome death! You may well be reckoned among the treasures of
the Christian. To live is Christ, to die is gain."
Robert Bruce: "Now God be with you, my children; I have
breakfasted with you—and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night!"
John Locke often exclaimed: "O the depth of the riches of
the goodness and knowledge of God." "I have lived long enough, and am
thankful that I have enjoyed a happy life—but after all look upon this life
as nothing better than vanity."
Burgess: "There must be something to bring everyone to
his journey's end. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; all
which are labor and sorrow. Why should I be taking so much care and pains,
just as if I wished to live forever, when, as you know (addressing a friend)
I do not wish to live any longer than it pleases God."
Grimshaw: "I shall have my greatest grief and my greatest
joy when I die—my greatest grief that I have done so little for Christ: my
greatest joy that Christ has done so much for me."
James Harrington Evans: "In Jesus I stand!" "Jesus is a
Toplady: "I believe God never gave such manifestations of
his love to any creature, and allowed him to live."
Gilbert Tennent: "My assurance of salvation is built on
the Scriptures, and is more sure than the sun and moon."
John Tennent: "Farewell my brethren, farewell father and
mother, farewell world with all your vain delights! Welcome God and Father!
Welcome sweet Lord Jesus! Welcome death! Welcome eternity! Amen. Lord Jesus,
come, Lord Jesus."
William Tennent: "Blessed be God, I have no wish to live,
if it should be his will and pleasure to call me hence, unless it should be
to see a happy outcome to the severe and arduous controversy my country is
engaged in; but even in this the will of the Lord be done."
Samuel Blair: "The Bridegroom has come, and we shall now
have all things. My very soul thirsts for eternal rest."
Samuel Finley: "I see the eternal love and goodness of
God. I see the love of Jesus. Oh to be dissolved, and to be with him! I long
to be clothed with the complete righteousness of Christ."
John Newton: "More light, more love, more liberty.
Hereafter I hope, when I shut my eyes on the things of time, to open them in
a better world. What a thing it is to live under the shadow of the wings of
the Almighty! I am going the way of all flesh. If the Lord were not
gracious, how could I dare to stand before him.?"
Henry Erskine said to his family: "I know that I am going
to heaven, and if you follow my footsteps, you and I shall have a happy
meeting there, before long."
Ebenezer Erskine: "Though I die, the Lord lives. I have
known more of God since I came to this sick bed, than through all my life."
Ralph Erskine's last words were: "Victory, victory,
John Wesley: "The best of all is, God is with us."
Fletcher: To his physician, not a professed Christian, he
said, "O sir, you take much thought for my body, permit me to take thought
for your soul." Gilpin says: "While he possessed the power of speech, he
spoke as one whose lips had been touched with a live coal from the altar."
Augustus Herman Franke: "I praise you, dear Lord Jesus,
for having washed me from all my sins, and made me a king and a priest in
the presence of your Father, and for having forgiven me the multitude of my
sins. Blessed and praised are you for having guided me during my whole life
with maternal kindness, and for having spared me, according to your great
condescension, from much suffering. O forgive me, Savior of my heart, if in
this my painful disease, my human will, through weakness, has not been able
to resign itself so joyfully to your divine will as it ought; and govern me
by your Holy Spirit, and let your divine power assist me to the end! O I
know that you are faithful and true! you will never leave nor forsake me."
His last words in reply to his wife, who asked whether his Savior was near
him, were, "Of that there is no doubt."
Thomas Scott, the commentator: "Christ is my all. He is
my hope. O to realize the fullness of joy! O to be done with temptation!
This is heaven begun! I have done with darkness forever. Satan is
vanquished. Nothing remains but salvation with eternal glory."
Andrew Fuller: "If I am saved, it will be by great and
sovereign grace—BY GREAT AND SOVEREIGN GRACE. My mind is calm—no rapture, no
despondency. My hope is such that I am not afraid to plunge into eternity."
George Burder's last prayer was for divine protection and
spiritual blessings, closing with a petition that "our poor, poor, poor
prayers might be accepted through the blessed Redeemer."
Legh Richmond: "It is only by coming to Christ as a
little child, and as for the first time, that I can get peace."
Samuel Drew: "You may say with the greatest confidence
that I am looking forward to a better country. Thank God, tomorrow I shall
join the glorious company above." Again, "I trust I shall today be with the
Robert Housman: "Here I am, and here I shall remain,
until it pleases the Lord to take me to himself; and then I shall sing of
mercy and of judgment. Yes, unto you, O Lord, will I sing forever and ever."
John Frederic Oberlin: "Lord Jesus, take me speedily;
nevertheless, your will be done."
Felix Neff: "Adieu, adieu. I am departing to our Father
in perfect peace. Victory, victory, victory! by Jesus Christ!"
Bogue: "I am looking to that compassionate Savior, whose
blood cleanses from all sin."
Jeremiah Evarts: "We cannot understand—we cannot
comprehend—wonderful glory! I will praise, I will praise him! Jesus reigns."
Summerfield: "Administer nothing that will create a
stupor, as I wish to be perfectly collected, so that I may have an unclouded
Payson: "Peace, peace; victory, victory." "I am going,
but God will surely be with you." His last words were, "Faith and patience
William S. Graham: "I have passed through horrible
darkness, but it is past. Jesus will take me safely through the rest. My
Savior has conquered, my blessed, blessed Savior! He can hold me up."
W. H. Hewitson: "The Lord has never forsaken me, and he
never will—never! It is the best, the kindest, the most fatherly way. Faith
receives it now; sight shall soon behold it."
John Stanford's last words, written about six hours
before his death, were: "Composed in mind and meditation—looking to the
mercy of the Lord Jesus."
Richard Furman: "O if such sinners as you and I ever get
to heaven, redeeming grace shall be greatly magnified in our salvation." "I
am a dying man, but my trust is in the Redeemer. I preach Christ to you
dying, as I have attempted to do while living. I commend Christ and his
salvation to you."
D. H. Gillette: "O that I had strength to shout. I feel
so happy; I hope soon to be able." "O the precious Savior; what is the world
to me, with all its vanity? Give me Jesus." "Do not weep for me, I am going
Alexander Proudfit: "When will this lingering conflict
end? Oh for a speedy and easy transition! Oh for deliverance from this
corruptible body—this body of sin and death! Come, blessed Jesus, dear
Savior, come! come! I long to depart." His last words were that Jesus was
present with him, and that he was not afraid to die.
James Brainerd Taylor: "Strive! Strive to enter into the
kingdom of heaven."
John H. Rice: "Mercy is triumphant!"
Ashbel Green left the world, "blessing God for the
comforts, which the gospel had imparted to him, and the ineffably glorious
hopes it had inspired of sinless perfection beyond the grave."
Charles Simeon: "It is said, O death, where is your
sting? Do you see anything here?" "Does not this prove that my principles
were not founded on fancies or enthusiasm, but that there is a reality in
them? and I find them sufficient to support me in death."
Robert Anderson: "Peace! peace! How gracious God is in so
making it all peace! I may say, with Lord Gambier, that although pain may
distract my body, yet it cannot disturb my spirit." Turning to his wife he
said, "Now is the time to claim God's promises. Never be afraid."
Thomas Arnold: "Thank God for giving me this pain: I have
suffered so little pain in my life, that I feel it is very good for me: now
God has given it to me, and I do so thank him for it." "How thankful I am
that my mind is untouched."
Elisha Macurdy: "The Savior is all my comfort." His last
words were—"The water of life!"
Thomas Cranfield: "A few more sighs, and then . . ."
Wilberforce Richmond: "The rest, which Christ gives, is
Bedell's last words were: "I thought I should have been
at HOME before now." Then pointing to heaven he said—"There!'