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has no terrors; that in the hour when it is most wanted there is mercy with the Most High, and that some change takes place which fits the soul to meet its God."
So said Howard, the philanthropist : 'Death has no terrors for me." So said the good Halyburton: "I, a poor, weak, timorous man, once as much afraid of death as any; I, that have been many years under the terrors of death, come now in the mercy of God, and by the power of His grace composedly and with joy to look death in the face! This change is what has been well-named 'dying grace, kept for a dying hour,' and that there is such a thing, none can doubt who have been accustomed to witness the death of true believers in Him who hath abolished and destroyed death." (2 Tim. i. 10.)
INDICATIONS OF ACTUAL DEATH.
Job xiv. 20. "Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away."
(Cf. Ps. xxxix;
Ecc. xii. 1–7.
"The first signs of death are like those of approaching sleep after deep weariness, but far stronger. At the same time a cold sweat is often perceptible on the face and limbs, and the substance of the flesh is sunken and bloodless. There is, perhaps, an uneasy motion; the hands seem striving to pick small objects, the grasp is firm, the teeth fixed, the lower lip trembles, the body is stretched out, the extremities are cold. The senses one by one are enfeebled, perhaps extinguished. First the sight fails; spots and flakes appear before the eye, and the fingers strive sometimes to remove these from the covering of the bed; the countenances of friends are but imperfectly distinguished; the candle held closely shines as if through a thick mist; darkness comes on. Hearing endures longest, and often the voice of affection and the melody of a hymn are sweet to the last. Sometimes the ear fails not
until long after the power of utterance has ceased, so that a pressure of the hand answers the affectionate question to which the tongue strives in vain to reply. Meanwhile the breath becomes troubled and irregular, more painful, feebler, shorter. The pulse is trembling and almost imperceptible. First the left ventricle, then the right, loses its motion. There is sometimes a laboring, groaning struggle as if in a dream, while all is fainter and fainter, at every successive moment. Perhaps a convulsive stretch precedes the instant in which, after successive ebbs, the breath expires."-Burgess.
Either through a relaxation of muscles held in firm positions during life by dominant principles or passions, or else through the mere absence of emotional play of feature, the countenance often returns to the appearance it wore in childhood. Startling resemblances to relatives or ancestors, never before noticed, can oftentimes be seen.
The happiest change of all is when the tide of life goes down, and with it all the surges of care from the ocean of the years, which now lies still and quietly sparkles with the light from above. And then one departs with glad face unto the presence of God.
DEPARTURE OF THE SOUL.
1. It leaves the body.
Ecc. xii. 7. "The spirit shall return to God who gave
(Cf. Luke xvi. 22 and xxiii. 43; 2 Cor. v. 6, etc.) Even heathen nations recognize this thought.
2. Never to return until the Resurrection.
Job xiv. 11, 12. "As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
(Cf. Job vii. 9, 10; x. 21; xx. 9; Ps. lxxxviii. 39.)
Uninterested in Life.
2 Chron. xxxiv. 28. "Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same.
(Cf. Job xiv. 21 and xxi. 21.)
4. Death puts an end to all earthly projects.
Job xvii. 11. "My days are past, my purposes are broken off."
(Cf. Ecc. ix. 10.)
XX. DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
Met with resignation.
Gen. 1. 24.
To be desired. Num. xxiii. 10.
Removes from coming evil. 2 Kings xxii. 20.
Met without fear. Ps. xxiii. 4.
Full of peace.
Isaiah lvii. 2.
I Cor. xv. 53
To have death robbed of its sting. I Cor. xv. 56, 57.
Phil. i. 21.
A sleep in Jesus. I Thess. iv. 14.
In a joyful resurrection. Is. xxvi. 19; Dan. xii. 2, etc.
XXI. DEATH OF THE WICKED.
Foolish. 2 Sam. iii. 33.
Sad to survivors. 2 Sam. xviii. 9, 33.
Often marked by terror. Job xviii. 11-15.
Often sudden and unexpected. Job xxi. 13, 17, 21. Like the death of beasts. Ps. xlix. 14.
Without hope. Prov. xi. 7.
XXII. PROVISION FOR PASSING OVER THE DARK RIVER.
Josh. i. 11 and iii. 4. "Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it; for ye have not passed this way heretofore."
19; John viii. 21.
Acts i. 25.
1 Tim. i. 15. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
(Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 31; 2 Cor. iv. II, etc.)
"I have often inquired what there is within us or without us on which a sinner can rest in a dying hour. If it be a holy life, there can be no peace for me-taking the law
of God for my standard; backslider is my name.
The following passages were found in Mrs. Isabella Graham's pocket, after her decease, as her "provision" for this purpose. Perhaps if others will turn to them in their own Bibles they may prove equally precious.
Ex. xvi. 35; Deut. viii. 2-6; Josh. iii. 5-17; Ps. x. 17; xxiii. 4; li.; lxii. 1, 2, 5, 7; lxxiii. 24; ciii; cvi. 1, 4, 5; Is. xl. II, 27-31; xliii. 1-4, 24, 25; xliv. 21-23; xlv. 22, 24; xlvi. 4; Jer. i. 32; ii. 13, 14, 17, 31; iii. 1, 4, 12, 13, 14, 20-22, 25; Lam. iii. 27; Ezek. xvi. 63; xxxiv. II16, 29-31; Xxxvi. 25-32; Dan. ix. 3-9; Hos. ii. 19, 20; xiii. 9; xiv. 1-8; Joel ii. 12, 13.
Matt. xviii. II; John i. 20; iii. 14, 31, 33, 35; iv. 10; vi. 51, 56, 63; vii. 37; x. II; xi. 25–27; xiv. 18–20; xv. 1–8; xvi. 13-15; xvii. 20-24; Acts iii. 21; 1 Cor. i. 30; iii. 21, 22; Gal. ii. 20; Eph. i. 6, 7, 12 ; ii. 4-22; iii. 14–21 ; iv. 4, 15, 16; Col. ii. 8, 9; iii. 3; Heb. iv. 14–16; viii. 10-12; 1 John v. 9-11.
XXIIL TIMELY WARNING TO BE GIVEN.
Isaiah xxxviii. 1. "In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death, and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him and said, Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live.”
"1. Friends must speak truthfully to sick friends, and tell the sick the real danger of their case. 2. They must remind them of what is preparation for death. 3. Isaiah did this to a king. 4. Preparation is having part in Christ." -A. Bonar.
XXIV. BRIEF WORDS FOR THE DYING.
Ps. ciii. 13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so