Sunday, March 09, 2008


If you want the last word, apologise.

'What think ye of Heaven and Glory that is at the back of the Cross?' The hope of this makes me look upon pale death as a lovely messenger to me. I bless the Lord for my lot this day.... Friends, give our Lord credit; He is aye good, but 0! He is good in a day of trial, and He will be sweet company through the ages of Eternity. Archibald Alison

[Todd] Beamer then told Jefferson [the GTE supervisor with whom he was in mobile phone contact] that he and the others had decided to "jump on" the hijacker wearing the bomb. Jefferson could hear shouts and commotion and then Beamer asked her to pray with him. They recited the 23rd Psalm. He got Jefferson to promise that she would call his family, then dropped the phone, leaving the line open. That's when Jefferson heard what Lisa Beamer believes were her husband's last words: "Let's roll. ~from

Applaud friends, the comedy is over. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

So little done, so much to do.--- Alexander Graham Bell, his last words.

Glory to God, who hath not been wanting to me in giving assistance, yea, many times unsought; and He is yet continuing and I hope shall do so to the end, to carry me above the fear of death, so that I am in as sweet a calm, as if I were going to be married to one dearly beloved. Alas! my cold heart is not able to answer His burning love; but what is wanting in me is, and shall be, made up in a Saviour complete and well furnished in all things, appointed of the Father for this end, to bring His straying children to their own Home, whereof, I think I may venture to say it, I am one, though worthless. Now I have no time to enlarge, else I would give you a more particular account Of God's goodness and dealing with me; but let this suffice, that I am once fairly on the way, and within the view of Immanuel's Land, and in hopes to be received an inhabitant there within the space of twenty-six hours at most. I have no more spare time. Grace, mercy and peace be with you. Amen. Welcome, cross; welcome, gallows; welcome, Christ; welcome, heaven, and everlasting happiness.
James Boig

No, it's not. --Dietrich Bonhoefer, at his execution, in response to a Nazi soldier who had stated, "This must be the end, then." (April 9, 1945).

Be of good comfort brother; for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night!
Last words of John Bradford, to John Leaf, who was burned with him. 31 Jan 1555.

Cameron had but time for a few words of prayer, one petition of which he repeated thrice, " Lord, spare the green and take the ripe!" On concluding this prayer, he took his brother's hand for the last time, and said, " Now, let us fight it out to the last: for this is the day I have longed for, and the day I have prayed for, to die fighting against our Lord's avowed enemies?" The struggle was short but desperate. Cameron himself was killed in the thick of the fray, as well as his brother and seven others. Five, also, were sore wounded and taken prisoners (Hackston of Rathillet being leader), while the rest escaped over the moss, whither the cavalry could not pursue them. The prisoners were taken to Edinburgh, and there hanged. The head and hands of Cameron were cut off and taken to Edinburgh; and on delivering them up, the officer who carried them said, " There are the head and hands of a man who lived praying and preaching, and who died praying and fighting." - The Covenanters of Ayrshire by Rev. Roderick Lawson, 1904.

This is the most joyful day that ever I saw in my pilgrimage on earth. My joy is now begun which I see shall never be interrupted ... It is nearly thirty years since He made it sure... I have followed holiness, I have taught truth, and I have been most in the main things... This day I am to seal with my blood all the truths that ever I preached ... I had a great sweetness of spirit and great submission as to my taking, the Providence of God was so eminent in it; and I could not but think that God judged it necessary for His glory to bring me to such an end, seeing he loosed me from such a work . The Lord knows I go up this ladder with less fear, confusion or perturbation of mind, than ever I entered a pulpit to preach.
Donald Cargill, before mounting the scaffold to hanged with four other Covenanters in Edinburrgh, 17 July 1681

This hand hath offended. - Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, burned at the stake for heresy on 21 March 1556, thrusts into the fire the hand with which, under torture, he had signed a recantation of his beliefs.

I would be willing to live and be farther serviceable to God and his people; but my work is done. Yet God will be with his people.
Oliver Cromwell, Dying Sayings in Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches

Cromwell's last words; in Cromwell, by John Morley.

.the fog is rising. - Emily Dickinson (1830 &endash; 1886), last words

We shall meet again. I have believed in God. I obeyed the laws of war and was loyal to my flag.-- Adolf Eichmann: last words , hanged on 31 May 1962.

How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French fries. ~James French- electrocuted in Oklahoma 1966

I am more fortunate than the Great Marquis, (Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyle) for my Lord was beheaded, but I am to be hanged on a tree as my Saviour was. I take God to record upon my soul, I would not exchange this scaffold with the palace and mitre of the greatest prelate in Britain. Blessed be God who has shown mercy to me such a wretch, and has revealed His Son in me, and made me a minister of the everlasting Gospel, and that He hath deigned, in the midst of much contradiction from Satan, and the world, to seal my ministry upon the hearts of not a few of His people, and especially in the station where I was last, I mean the congregation and presbytery of Stirling. Jesus Christ is my Life and my Light, my Righteousness, my strength, and my Salvation and all my desire. Him! O Him, I do with all the strength of my soul commend to you. Bless Him, O my soul, from henceforth even forever. Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. 'Art not Thou from everlasting, O Lord my God. I shall not die but live.' The Covenants! The Covenants! They shall yet be Scotland's reviving. Be not afraid at His sweet, lovely and desirable cross, for although I have not been able because of my wounds to lift up or lay down my head, but as I was helped, yet I was never in better case all my life. He has not given me one challenge since I came to prison, for anything less or more; but on the contrary He has so wonderfully shined on me with the sense of His redeeming, strengthening, assisting, supporting, through-bearing, pardoning and reconciling love, grace and mercy, that my soul doth long to be freed of bodily infirmities and earthly organs, that so I may flee to His Royal Palace even the Heavenly Habitation of my God, where I am sure of a crown put on my head, and a palm put in my hand, and a new song in my mouth, even the song of Moses and of the Lamb, that so I may bless, praise, magnify and extol Him for what He hath done to me and for me. Wherefore I bid farewell to all my dear fellow-sufferers for the testimony of Jesus, who are wandering in dens and caves. Farewell, my children, study holiness in all your ways, and praise the Lord for what He hath done for me, and tell all my Christian friends to praise Him on my account. Farewell, sweet Bible, and wanderings and contendings for truth. Welcome, death. Welcome, the City of my God where I shall see Him and be enabled to serve Him eternally with full freedom. Welcome, blessed company, the angels and spirits of just men made perfect. But above all, welcome, welcome, welcome, our glorious and alone God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commit my spirit for Thou art worthy. Amen.
James Guthrie 1 June 1661

Now farewell, lovely and sweet Scriptures, which were aye my comfort in the midst of all my difficulties! Farewell, faith! Farewell, hope! Farewell, wanderers,who have been comfortable to my soul, in the hearing of them commend Christ's love! Farewell, brethren! Farewell, sisters! Farewell, Christian acquaintances! Farewell, sun, moon and stars! And, now, welcome my lovely, heartsome Christ Jesus, into whose hands I commit my spirit throughout all eternity. I may say, few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, I being about twenty years of age.
Marion Harvie, executed 26 January 168

I shall be free from sin and all the temptations and anxieties that attend it...I shall dwell... where these eyes shall see my Master and Saviour.
George Herbert, 39, last words: 1 March 1633

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. --Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) (Last words)

Shout the victory of Jesus Christ! - John Hyde (1865-1912) last words

Vicisti,, Galilaee.
Thou hast conquered, O Galilean. -- Julian, 331-363, Dying words, in Theodoret, Hist.Eccles.3.20

Nellie Connally:You sure can't say Dallas doesn't love you, Mr. President.
John F. Kennedy: (smiling) No, you can't.
Apparently Kennedy's last words, spoken moments before being assassinated on November 22, 1963, as recorded in William Manchester's _The Death of a President_ [1967], Chapter 2

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I 'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land . . . . So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. --Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) _Address to sanitation workers at Memphis, Tennessee_, [April 3, 1968] (The night before his assassination)

Be of good comfort Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as (I trust) shall never be put out.--Hugh Latimer

I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are now going to shed may never bevisited on France; and you, unfortunate people.... - Louis XVI Last Words 21 January 1793

Let them bestow on every airth a limb;
Then open all my veins, that I may swim
To thee, my Maker! in that crimson lake;
Then place my parboiled head upon a stake -
Scatter my ashes - strew them in the air; -
Lord! since thou know'st where all these atoms are,
I'm hopeful thou'lt recover once my dust,
And confident thou'lt raise me with the just.
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose (1612 - 1650) Lines written on the Window of his Jail the Night before his Execution 1650

The King's good servant, but God's First.
Thomas More's last words on the scaffold where he was about to be executed for refusing to sign the Act of Supremacy: In November 1534 Parliament confirms that Henry VIII is "Supreme Governorof the Church of England," giving the king the right to reform the church and to judge heresies.

I die before my time and my body shall be given back to the earth and devoured by worms. What an abysmal gulf between my deep miseries and the eternal Kingdom of Christ. I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself and of Alexander and of Caesar should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant-Jesus-should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries, and control the destinies of men and nations.--NAPOLEON

My soul doth magnify the Lord! my soul doth magnify the Lord! I have longed these sixteen years to seal the precious cause and interest of precious Christ with my blood. And now, now He hath answered and granted my request, and has left me no more ado but to come here and pour forth my last prayers, sing forth my last praise to Him in time on this sweet and desirable scaffold, mount that ladder, and then I shall quickly get home to my Father's House, see, enjoy, serve and sing forth the praises of my glorious Redeemer, for evermore world without end.
John Nisbet , aged fifty-eight, , 4 December 1685

I am just going outside, and may be some time. Lawrence Oates (1880 &endash; 1912)

Leave me as I am, the one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre., even without the precaution of your nails.... For eighty and six years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong, and how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?
Polycarp (69-155) Bishop of Smyrna, in The Lion Christian Quotation Collection, 1997

Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale. - Robert Falcon Scott (1868 &endash; 1912), on his doomed Antarctic expedition

We are going to Heaven.-
John and Betty Stam, Christian missionaries, while being led to their deaths and in response to a Chinese girl who askedthem where they were going (December 7, 1934).

Farewell, all created enjoyments, pleasures and delights; farewell, sinning and suffering; farewell, praying and believing, and welcome, heaven and singing. Welcome, joy in the Holy Ghost; welcome, Father Son and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commend my spirit. I have one word more to say, and that is, to all that have any love to God and His righteous cause, that they will set time apart, and sing a song of praise to the Lord, for what He has done to my soul, and my soul says, "To Him be the praise." Walter Smith 27 July 1681

Margaret Wilson and Margaret MacLachlan, were wrestling in their cruel heavy swellings of Jordan. They were summer and winter in the glorious cause, Margaret of the flaxen hair, and Margaret of the grey. From the darksome prisonhouse, the soldiers took them to the banks of the Blednoch Burn which fills with Solway from the sea when the swift-running tide comes in. Two long wooden stakes had been fixed deeply in the bed of the burn. The farther out one, nearer the oncoming waves, was for mother Margaret; and the other, nearer to the land, was for Margaret the maid.
We never read of any word the old saint spoke. It appears that, sick at heart and disappointed with madly cruel humanity, she turned to unending communion with the Lord. 'It is needless to speak to that damned old bitch,' they rudely cried, 'let her go to hell,' and they tied her roughly fast to her leafless but fruitful tree. So came the hungry waters up and up, every wave splashing death, until she was choking in their cold, cold grasp. As she struggled, before she became a poor limp thing lying in the swirling flood, they said to young Margaret, 'What do you think of her now:' 'Think ! I see Christ wrestling there,' said she. 'Think ye that we are sufferers? No; it is Christ in us, for He sends none a warfare at their own charges. 14 April 1685 in Fair Sunshine, Jock Purves

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