SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Within these three volumes, we have provided you with
thousands of details pointing to the existence and workmanship of the
Creator. Evolutionary theory falls dead before such a wealth of
information. But there are also facts about the living of our lives
which also point to the existence of God, His guidance, and intervention
in the affairs of men.
Scientists tell us they cannot measure data indicating relationships
with the Creator. Yet there is a lot of it available, and it clearly
points in one direction. For example, which group of people are the most
interested in preserving the life of the unborn? It is the Christians.
Other groups, in general, are far less concerned about whether abortions
are carried out. Which group generally has happier lives? It is the
Christians, and it matters not whether theirs is a life of poverty or
wealth. Which group has the greatest peace of heart? It is the
Christians. Which group commits the fewest felonies and major crimes? It
is the Christians.
Everyone knows that adultery, crime, or murder by a Christian pastor
is far more likely to be given space in the media than if committed by
an atheist. Why? It is the rarity of the event which makes it so
newsworthy. As usual, it is not the dog biting the man which is
published, but the man biting the dog. A genuine Christian does not do
improper acts as often as the average person.
So the facts can, indeed, be quantified. They are there. It is the
believers in and worshipers of the Creator God which consistently have
contented, happier, more caring lives. Problems enter the lives of all,
but it is the Creationists who are the most peaceful, the most obedient
to right principles, and the most stalwart in their defense.
For a few minutes, let us gather together some data on how men face
oncoming death. With an open mind, consider the facts for yourself.
Except for unusual divine intervention, we will all die. That includes
you; within a few years you will be dead. The way a man faces death is
but a reflection of his entire way of life and all his past experiences.
A man living for himself is terrorized by the approach of death, but a
man who has personally experienced the presence of God realizes that
death is not an enemy to be feared.
We are not here discussing something imaginary. The facts
consistently bear out the fact that it is the leading atheists, the most
blatant haters of God-who are the most terrorized as death approaches.
In contrast, as we will see below, those who have loved and served the
God of heaven have an amazingly peaceful certainty that the future will
be far better than their present life.
Experience after experience can be collected and quantified. The
results of such research, revealed throughout these three books, indeed
confirm these facts of nature that we have found: There is a God; He
created the earth, sea, and sky. He also made us. We can only be happy
as we love Him and obey His laws. In doing so, we become ennobled with
better principles, live far happier lives, and are ready when death
Yet, although we rarely mention it to others, this is exactly what we
want to know: how to face death.
A group of American soldiers were gathered for the last time for
entertainment in England. The next morning they were to ship out. One
man stood to thank their British hosts, and then, as an afterthought,
said to them: "Tomorrow morning we will cross the channel to
France. There we will go to the trenches, and very possibly, of course,
to death. -Can any of our friends here tell us how to die?" There
was silence in the room.
When it comes, death frequently comes suddenly and unexpectedly. It
is today that we must prepare for what will come as a certainty for
tomorrow. The preparation can indeed be made.
The following pages may be among the most important you will ever
On a dark afternoon in September 1583, in a stormy sea near the
Azores, the Golden Hind, commanded by Sir Walter Raleigh, sailed
close to the Squirrel, a smaller vessel commanded by Sir Humphrey
Gilbert. The captain of the Golden Hind cried out to Gilbert, who
was sitting in the stern of his vessel with a book open in his hand, and
urged him, for his safety; to come aboard the larger vessel. This
Gilbert refused to do, saying he would not leave his companions in the Squirrel.
Then Raleigh heard him call out over the waves, "Heaven is as
near by sea as by land."
Conditions rapidly worsened; and, at midnight that night, those on
the Golden Hind saw the lights on the smaller vessel suddenly go
out. And, in that moment, Gilbert and his ship were swallowed up by the
dark, raging sea.
Death can come suddenly for every one of us. But
how many are ready when death draws near?
On her deathbed, Queen Victoria told those around her
that she loved God and was His little child, so she was ready to die.
Then she called for the hymn to be sung:
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me. "Let me hide
myself in Thee."
For decades she had ruled the British Empire, but when death
approached, all she had was God.
And that is the consistent pattern with those who have made peace
with their Creator and love and serve Him. Here is how Christians die,
as revealed in their dying words:
Brownlow North (1875), a profligate nobleman who became a
preacher: " 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from
all sin.' That is the verse on which I am now dying. One wants no
John Nelson Darby (1882): "Beyond the grave comes heaven.
Well, it will be strange to find myself in Heaven, but it won't be a
strange Christ-One I've known these many years. I am glad He knows me. I
have a deep peace, which you know."
Charles Wesley, author of over 4,000 published hymns: "I
shall be satisfied with Thy likeness. Satisfied!"
Charles Dickens (1870), the famous author: "I commit my soul
to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
John Quincy Adams: "This is the last of earth. I am
Benjamin Parsons: "My head is resting very sweetly on
three pillows: infinite power, infinite wisdom, and infinite love."
Henry Moorhouse (1880): "If it were God's will to raise me
up [from this sickbed], I should like to preach from the text, John
3:16. Praise be to the Lord."
Earl Cairns (1885), lord high chancellor of England: "God
loves me and cares for me. He has pardoned all my sins for Christ's
sake, and I look forward to the future with no dread."
Bishop Joseph Lightfoot, after having several Scriptures read to
him, he was asked what he had in mind. In utter calmness of spirit, he
replied: "I am feeding on a few great thoughts."
Sidney Cooper (1902), member of the Royal Academy of Science in
London: "I have full faith in Thy atonement, and I am confident of
Thy help. Thy precious blood 1 fully rely on. Thou art the source of my
comfort. I have no other. I want no other."
Lord V.C. Roberts (1914), who died in France while telling those
gathered by him of the importance of their studying the Bible: "I
ask you to put your trust in God. You will find in this Book guidance
when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength
when you are in adversity."
Catherine Booth, wife of the founder of the Salvation Army:
"The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but
over. Do not be concerned about dying; go on living well, the dying will
William Pitt (1778), Earl of Chatham, statesmen, orator, and
prime minister: "I throw myself on the mercy of God through the
merits of Christ."
Edward Perronet, pastor and author: "Glory to God in the
heights of His divinity! Glory to God in the depths of His humanity!
Glory to God in His all-sufficiency! Into His hands I commend my
Augustus Toplady (1778), preacher and author of the hymn, "Rock
of Ages": "The consolations of God to such an unworthy
wretch are so abundant that He leaves me nothing to pray for but a
continuance of them. I enjoy heaven already in my soul."
Sir Walter Raleigh, English admiral, before his beheading:
"It matters little how the head lies if the heart be right. Why
doest thou not strike?"
Countess of Huntingdon (1791): "I have the hope which
inspired the dying malefactor. And now my work is done; I have nothing
to do but go to the grave and thence to my Father."
Robert Burns, the Scottish poet: "I have but a moment
to speak to you, my dear. Be a good man; be virtuous; be religious.
Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to be here."
John Wesley (1791): "The best of all: God is with us!"
Lady Glenorchy: "If this is dying, it is the pleasantest
John Bacon (1799), eminent English sculptor, whose monument of
Lord Chatham stands in Westminster Abbey: "What I was as an artist
seemed to be of some importance while I lived; but what I really was as
a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only thing of importance to
Francis Ridley Havergal, songwriter. After requesting a friend to
read to her Isaiah 42, she uttered these nine words after verse 6-and
died: ("I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold
thine hand, and will keep thee."): called-held-kept! I can go home
George Washington (1799), an earnest Christian and the first
president of the United States: "Doctor, I am dying, but I am not
afraid to die."
John Huss, Bohemian reformer and martyr, asked at the last moment
by the Duke of Bavaria to recant: "What I taught with my lips, I
seal with my blood."
Lady Powerscourt (1800): "One needs a great many Scriptures
to live by, but the only Scripture that a person needs to die by is 1
John 1:7, and that verse never was sweeter to me than at this
moment." ("But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His
Son cleanseth us from all sin.")
Sir Walter Scott (1832), the famous author was talking with his
son-in-law: "What shall I read?" said Lockhart. "Can you
ask?" The dying man replied, "there is only one Book."
John Pawson, minister: "I know I am dying, but my deathbed
is a bed of roses. I have no thorns planted upon my dying pillow. In
Christ, heaven is already begun!"
William Wilberforce (1833), member of Parliament who helped
eliminate slavery in England: "My affections are so much in heaven
that I can leave you all without a regret; yet I do not love you less,
but God more."
Adoniram Judson: American missionary to Burma: "I go
with the gladness of a boy bounding away from school. I feel so strong
Captain Hedley Vicars (1855): "The Lord has kept me in
perfect peace and made me glad with the light of His countenance. In the
Lord Jesus I find all I want of happiness and enjoyment."
Sir Henry Havelock (1857), when felled by an attack of malignant
cholera and told that he could not survive, calmly replied: "I have
prepared for this for forty years," and then he added to those
around him: "Prepare to meet thy God!"
The Apostle Paul (A.D. 66): "I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid
up for me a crown of righteousness." (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Longfellow., "For the Christian, the grave itself is
but a covered bridge leading from light to light, through a brief
Polycarp (A.D. 155), disciple of the Apostle John, at his own
martyrdom: "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He has done
me nothing but good. How could I curse Him, My Lord and Saviour?"
David Brainard, pioneer missionary to the
American Indians: "I do not go to heaven to be advanced, but to
give honour to God. It is no matter where I shall be stationed in
heaven, whether I have a high or low seat there, but to live and please
and glorify God . . My heaven is to please God and glorify Him, and give
all to Him and to be wholly devoted to His glory."
Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles
Wesley: "Children, when I am gone, sing a song of praise to
George Whitefield, English evangelist: "Lord Jesus, I am
weary in Thy work, but not of Thy work. If I have not yet finished my
course, let me go and speak for Thee once more in the fields, seal the
truth, and come home to die."
Philip Melanchthon (1560), after several passages of Scripture
were read to him by his son-in-law, he was asked if he would have
anything else: "Nothing else but heaven!"
Preston: "Blessed by God! Though I change my place, I shall
not change my company."
Samuel Rutherford (1615): "Mine eyes shall see my Redeemer.
He has pardoned, loved, and washed me, and given me joy unspeakable and
full of glory. I feed on manna. Glory, glory, glory to my Creator and
Francis Bacon, lord chancellor of England: "The sweetest
life in this world is piety, virtue, and honesty."
John Bunyan (1688), author of Pilgrim's Progress: "Weep not
for me, but for yourselves. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who,
through the mediation of His blessed Son, receives me, though a sinner.
We shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly
Baxter, the English martyr: "I have pain; but I have peace,
I have peace!"
David Brainard (1747), well-known missionary in the American
Colonies: "I am going into eternity; and it is sweet to me to think
of eternity; the endlessness of it makes it sweet. But oh! What shall I
say of the future of the wicked! The thought is too dreadful!"
Ann Hasseltine Judson, missionary to Burma and wife of Adoniram
Judson: "Oh, the happy day will soon come when we shall meet all
our friends who are now scattered-meet to part no more in our heavenly
Abbott: "Glory to God! After the grave heaven will open
John Knox. "Live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear
Everett. "Glory, glory, glory!" (This expression was
repeated for 25 minutes and only ceased with life itself.)
John A. Lyth: "Can this be death? Why, it is better than
living! Tell them I die happy in Jesus!"
Martin Luther: "Our God is the God from whom cometh
salvation. God is the Lord by whom we
escape death! Into Thy hands I commit my spirit; God of truth, Thou
hast redeemed me!"
Margaret Prior: "Eternity rolls before me like a sea of
Goodwin: "Ah! is this dying? How have I dreaded as an enemy
this smiling friend!"
Martha McCrackin: "How bright the room! How full of
Mary Frances: "Oh, that I could tell you what joy I possess!
The Lord doth shine with such power upon my soul!"
Sir David Brewster, scientist and inventor of the kaleidoscope:
"I will see Jesus; I shall see Him as He is! I have had the light
for many years. Oh how bright it is! I feel so safe and satisfied!"
Michael Faraday (1867), chemist, electrical engineer, and leading
British scientist, as he neared death, replied to a scientist who asked
him what he would do in heaven: " 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God
hath prepared for them that love Him.' I shall be with Christ, and that
is enough." When a journalist interjected and questioned him as to
his speculations about a life after death, he said, "Speculations!
I know nothing about speculations. I'm resting on certainties. `I know
that my Redeemer liveth,' and because He lives, I shall live also."
Daniel Webster (1852), the well-known orator and legislator, had
William Cowper's hymn read to him:
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
"Drawn from Immanuel's veins."
Then he read the last stanza:
"Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
"I'll sing Thy power to save.
"When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
"Lies silent in the grave."
At this, Webster, one of the most powerful speakers in American
history, replied, "Amen! Amen! Amen!"
Owen, the Puritan, lay on his deathbed, and his secretary was
writing a letter, in his name, to a friend: "I am still in the land
of the living," he wrote and read what he had written to Owen.
"No, please do not write that," Owen said. "I am yet
in the land of the dying, but later I will be in the land of the
On November 20, 1847, in Nice, France, Henry Frances Lyte, a
retired pastor of the Church of England died. He had spent his life
working in the slums of London helping people. After his death, his
family found a paper he had written during those last days. It is now a
hymn sung around the world:
"Abide with me: fast falls the eventide.
"The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
"When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
"Help of the helpless, 0 abide with me."
The epitaph on the grave in Canterbury, England, of Henry Alford, the
hymn writer is this: "The inn of a pilgrim journeying to
A 22-year-old Dutch patriot wrote the following letter to his parents
before he was executed by a Nazi firing squad for the crime of trying to
escape with his three companions to England:
"In a little while at five o'clock it is going to happen, and
that is not so terrible . . On the contrary, it is beautiful to be in
God's strength. God has told us that He will not forsake us if only we
pray to Him for support. I feel so strongly my nearness to God, I am
fully prepared to die . . I have confessed all my sins to Him and have
become very quiet. Therefore do not mourn but trust in God and pray for
strength . . Give me a firm handshake. God's will be done.. we are
courageous. Be the same. They can only take our bodies. Our souls are in
God's hands . . May God bless you all. Have no hate. I die without
hatred. God rules everything."
Pilgrim's Progress is generally considered one of the greatest
books every written by a follower of Christ. In it, the two pilgrims,
Christian and Hopeful, finally received their summons and came down to
the river. But, when they saw how deep, wide, swift, and dark were its
waters, they were stunned.
Then they were told, "You must go through, or you cannot come at
the gate." Then they asked if the waters were all of a depth, and
the answer was given: "You shall find it deeper or shallower as you
believe in the King of the place."
Then they went into the water, and Christian began to sink, and said:
"I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all His waves
go over me."
But Hopeful answered, "Be of good cheer, my brother: I feel the
bottom, and it is good."
And with that Christian broke out with a loud voice, "Oh, I see
him again; and he tells me, "When thou passest through the
waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not
Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as
a stone until they were gone over.
They had passed through the grave to the glorious resurrection day
Little Kenneth was very sick. He felt that he was not going to get
well. Turning toward his mother, who sat by his bedside, he asked,
"Mother, what is it like to die?"
Mother was filled with grief, and she knew not how to answer him. She
replied, "Kenneth, I must go to the kitchen. I'll be right
back." Hurrying there, she prayed, "Lord, show me how to
answer Kenneth's question." Immediately, she knew how to express
Returning to Kenneth, Mother said, "Kenneth, you know how you
have often played hard and gotten very tired in the evening? Then you
have come into my room and climbed upon my bed and gone to sleep. Later
your father carried you in his arms and put you in your own bed. In the
morning you have awakened and found yourself in your own room, without
knowing how you got there."
Kenneth said, "Yes, Mother, I know that."
"Well, Kenneth," Mother continued, "death is something
like that for God's children. Jesus spoke of death as sleep. God's
children go to sleep with they die. Later, at the resurrection, they
will arise and be with Christ forever. Heaven is a wonderful place,
Then the boy smiled and said, "Mother, I won't be afraid to die
now. I'll just go to sleep and, later, wake up and be with Jesus
forever. I know God will take care of me."
Henry Van Dyke wrote this very accurate statement: "Remember
that what you possess in this world will be found at the day of your
death and belong to someone else; what you are will be yours
All that you own will someday be given to another, but your
character-what you are-will determine your future destiny.
[And I, who am proofing this book to put on the
website, wish to add my testimony. I sat by my father as he lay dying in
the hospital. I repeated to him the Shepherd’s psalm, especially the
part about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and
fearing no evil. His face was shining with hope and joy. Again and again
he said, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! I cannot weep for him.
I can only pray that I will be ready to join him some day.]
But now the entire picture changes. We leave the deathbeds of the
Christians and visit the deathbeds of the atheists.
We have observed how men and women who have given
themselves to God-who earnestly love and obey Him-have died. They
confidently declared at the portals of death, "Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou
art with me." (Psalm 23:4).
The Apostle Paul said, "To die is gain"
(Philippians 1:21), and "O death, where is thy sting?" (1
Corinthians 15:55). But to so many others death is a fearsome, dreadful
Aristotle wrote: "Death is a dreadful thing,
for it is the end!"
John Donne, the English author, wrote: "Death
is a bloody conflict and no victory at last; a tempestuous sea, and no
harbor at last; a slippery height and no footing; a desperate fall and
Rousseau cried, "No man dares to face death
The infidel, Robert Ingersoll, when
standing at the grave of his brother, said, "Life is a narrow vale
between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain
to look beyond the height. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo
of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there
comes no word."
After the death of Alexander the Great one of his
generals, Ptolemy Philadelphus, inherited Egypt and lived
a selfish life amid wealth and luxury. As he grew old, he was haunted by
the fear of death, and even sought in the lore of Egyptian priests the
secret of eternal life. One day, seeing a beggar lying content in the
sun, Ptolemy said, "Alas, that I was not born one of these!"
We shall discover that the last words of the atheists
are far different than those who love and honor their Creator. For
example, when Phineas T. Barnum, the famous circus showman of
yesteryear, died in his 82nd year, his last words were a question about
the big show's gate receipts at their latest Madison Square Garden
performance. Then he was gone!
But, for most atheists, their concerns are far more
dramatic. Here are the dying words of atheists:
Voltaire, the most influential atheist of Europe in
his day, cried out with his dying breath: "I am abandoned by God
and man; I shall go to hell! I will give you half of what I am worth, if
you will give me six months life."
Honore Mirabeau, a leading political organizer of
the French Revolution: "My sufferings are intolerable: I have in me
a hundred years of life, but not a moment's courage. Give me more
laudanum, that I may not think of eternity! O Christ, O Jesus
Mazarin, French cardinal and advisor to kings:
"O my poor soul! what will become of thee? Wither wilt thou
Severus, Roman emperor who caused the death of
thousands of Christians: "I have been everything; and everything is
Thomas Hobbes, the political philosopher and sceptic
who corrupted some of England's great men: "If I had the whole
world, I would give anything to live one day. I shall be glad to find a
hole to creep out of the world at. I am about to take a fearful leap in
Caesar Borgia: "I have provided, in the course
of my life, for everything except death; and now, alas! I am to die,
although entirely unprepared!"
Sir Thomas Scott, chancellor of England: "Until
this moment, I thought there was neither God nor hell; now I know and
feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just
judgment of the Almighty!"
Edward Gibbon, author of "Decline and Fall of
the Roman Empire": "All is dark and doubtful!"
Sir Francis Newport, the head of an English infidel
club to those gathered around his deathbed: "You need not tell me
there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in His presence!
You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel myself already slipping.
Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I
am lost forever! Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of
M.F. Rich: "Terrible horrors hang over
my soul! I have given my immortality for gold; and its weight sinks me
into a hopeless, helpless Hell!"
Thomas Paine, the leading atheistic writer in
American colonies: "I would give worlds if I had them, that The
Age of Reason had never been published. O Lord, help me!
Christ, help me! . . No, don't leave; stay with me! Send even a child to
stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil
had an agent, I have been that one."
Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor who brought
death to millions to satisfy his selfish plans: "I die before my
time, and my body will be given back to the earth. Such is the fate of
him who has been called the great Napoleon. What an abyss between my
deep misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ!"
Aldamont, the infidel: "My principles have
poisoned my friend; my extravagance has beggared my boy; my unkindness
has murdered my wife. And is there another hell yet ahead?"
John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln:
"Useless! Useless! The terrors before me!"
Thomas Carlyle: "I am as good as without hope;
a sad old man gazing into the final chasm."
David Strauss, leading representative of German
rationalism, after spending a lifetime erasing belief in God from the
minds of others: "My philosophy leaves me utterly forlorn! I feel
like one caught in the merciless jaws of an automatic machine, not
knowing at what time one of its great hammers may crush me!"
Tallyrand was one of the most cunning French
political leaders of the Napoleonic era. On a paper found at his death
were these words: "Behold eighty-three passed away! What cares!
What agitation! What anxieties! What ill-will! What sad complications!
And all without other results except great fatigue of mind and body, a
profound sentiment of discouragement with regard to the future, and
disgust with regard to the past!"
Some 15 years before his death, Mohandas K. Gandhi wrote:
"I must tell you in all humility that Hinduism, as I know it,
entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being, and I find a solace in
the Bhagavad and Upanishads."
Just before his death, Gandhi wrote: "My days are
numbered. I am not likely to live very long-perhaps a year or a little
more. For the first time in fifty years I find myself in the slough of
despond. All about me is darkness; I am praying for light."
"What did you do to our daughter?" asked a
Moslem woman, whose child had died at 16 years of age. "We did
nothing," answered the missionary. "Oh, yes, you did,"
persisted the mother. "She died smiling. Our people do not die like
that." The girl had found Christ and believed on Him a few months
before. Fear of death had gone. Hope and joy had taken its place.
In a Newsweek interview with Svetlana Stalin, the
daughter of Josef Stalin, she told of her father's death: "My
father died a difficult and terrible death . . God grants an easy death
only to the just. . At what seemed the very last moment he suddenly
opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a
terrible glance, insane or perhaps angry. . His left hand was raised, as
though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on
us all. The gesture was full of menace. . The next moment he was
Charles IX was the French king who, urged on by his
mother, gave the order for the massacre of the Huguenots, in which
15,000 souls were slaughtered in Paris alone and 100,000 in other
sections of France, for no other reason than that they loved Christ. The
guilty king suffered miserably for years after that event. He finally
died, bathed in blood bursting from his veins. To his physicians he said
in his last hours:
"Asleep or awake, I see the mangled forms of the
Huguenots passing before me. They drop with blood. They point at their
open wounds. Oh! that I had spared at least the little infants at the
breast! What blood! I know not where I am. How will all this end? What
shall I do? I am lost forever! I know it. Oh, I have done wrong."
William E. Henley, an atheist, wrote a famous
poem, the last two lines of which have often been quoted:
"Out of the night that covers me,
"Black as the pit from pole to pole,
"I thank whatever gods may be.
"Beyond this place of wrath and tears
"Looms but the horror of the shade;
"And yet the menace of the years
"Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
"It matters not how strait the gate,
"How charged with punishment the scroll,
"I am the master of my fate;
"I am the captain of my soul."
Men who have been bold in their defiance of God have
lauded Henley's poem, but most of them were not aware that William
Henley later committed suicide.
Few men in Europe have tried to eradicate the Bible and
the knowledge of God from the minds of the people as did the French
infidel, Voltaire. The Christian physician who attended Voltaire during
his last illness later wrote about the experience:
"When I compare the death of a righteous man,
which is like the close of a beautiful day, with that of Voltaire, I
see the difference between bright, serene weather and a black
thunderstorm. It was my lot that this man should die under my hands.
Often did I tell him the truth. 'Yes, my friend,' he would often say
to me, 'you are the only one who has given me good advice. Had I but
followed it, I should not be in the horrible condition in which I now
am. I have swallowed nothing but smoke. I have intoxicated myself with
the incense that turned my head. You can do nothing for me. Send me an
insane doctor! Have compassion on me-I am mad!'
"I cannot think of it without shuddering. As soon
as he saw that all the means he had employed to increase his strength
had just the opposite effect death was constantly before his eyes.
From this moment, madness took possession of his soul. He expired
under the torments of the furies."
Well, we have looked at the hour of death. But the rest
of our life is just as revealing.
An American tourist in France went to the hotel keeper
to pay his bill. The French hotel keeper said, "Don't you want a
receipt? you could be charged twice." "Oh, no," replied
the American, "if God Wills I will be back in a week. You can give
me a receipt then."
"If God wills," smiled the hotel keeper,
"do you still believe in God?" Why, yes," said the
American, "don't you?" "No, said the hotel keeper,
"we have given that up long ago."
"Oh," replied the American, "well, on
second thought, I believe I'll take the receipt after all!"
It was over a century ago, and a man and his nephew were
traveling west through the Colorado mountains. But they had lost their
way, and finally came upon a cabin among the trees. The country was
still wild, and they were nervous when they knocked on the door. Could
they sleep for the night? they inquired.
As they prepared for bed, they heard low mumbling words
in the adjoining room where the family (a husband, wife, and grown son)
were. Almost in terror by now, the two men feared for their lives. They
were carrying considerable money. What should they do? they only had one
After a time, they heard the chairs move, a shuffling,
and more low mumbling. This must be it! A plot was afoot to kill them.
With beads of sweat on his cold brow and hands, the nephew crept softly
to the door and peered through the keyhole.
Coming back to the bed, his entire demeanor was changed.
"Everything is all right," he whispered, and explained
what he saw. Immediately both fell soundly asleep and did not wake until
Through the keyhole the young man had seen the family
kneeling. They had read from the Bible, pushed back their chairs, and
The two men knew they had nothing to fear; they were in
the home of genuine Christians.
"Have you studied Voltaire, Tom Paine, Robert
Ingersol, or any of those fellows?" asked a passenger as he stood
by the captain at the wheel of a steamship.
"No," replied the captain.
"Well, you should. You can't fairly turn down their
argument until you have thoroughly investigated for yourself," the
"I've been captain of this ship a long time,"
said the captain. "The charts that I work with tell me the location
of the deep water, so I can safely guide the ship into port. When I
first became a sea captain, I decided that I would not investigate the
rocks. The experience I've known other chaps to have with the rocks has
been sufficient warning for me.
"Over the years I've watched the lives of men who
have read the Bible everyday and loved God. Those were the men who had
solid families, stayed away from drink, and helped other people in the
"And I've also seen the others: the drunkards, drug
addicts, criminals, and all the rest. Those are the ones who have
nothing to do with God and the Bible, and who never attend church.
"No, I've made my decision; I stay away from the
rocks. My mother taught me the Bible when I was little, and I
worship and serve the God of heaven who made all things. I'm not a bit
interested in anything that Ingersoll, Voltaire, and Paine have to
The preacher was on the street corner telling the
passing crowds about Jesus Christ. A crowd had gathered and was
listening intently. Then a hoarse voice spoke up from the back.
"Preacher, you've got it all wrong. Atheism is the
answer to humanity's problems. People get into trouble and go crazy when
they hear about Christianity. Religion is bad for minds and ruins lives.
Come on now-prove to me that Christianity is real, and I'll be
Everyone was interested to see what would happen next.
The preacher held up his hand for quiet, and then said
"Never did I hear anyone state, 'I was undone and
an outcast, but I read Thomas Paine's Age of Reason and now I
have been saved from the power of sin.' Never did I hear of one who
declared, 'I was in darkness and despair and knew not where to turn,
until I read Ingersoll's Lectures, and then found peace of heart
and solutions to my problems.'
"Never did I hear an atheist telling that his
atheism had been the means by which he had been set free from the
bondage of liquor. Never did I learn of anyone who conquered hard drugs
by renouncing faith in God.
"But I have heard many testify that, when as
hopeless and helpless sinners, they had turned in their great need to
the Son of God and cast themselves upon Him for forgiveness and enabling
power to overcome sin-they were given peace of heart and victory over
Then, turning to the atheist, he said:
"Who starts the orphanages, the city missions, and
the work among the poor? It is the Christians. Who owns and operates the
taverns, and manufactures the liquor sold in them? It is the atheists.
Who risk their lives to help poor people in mission fields all over the
world? It is the Christians. Who runs the abortion mills and the houses
of prostitution? It is the atheists. Who are the most solid, kindly,
industrious people in the nation? It is the Christians. Who operates the
gambling halls and the crime syndicates? It is the atheists.
"Who are the swindlers, bank robbers, and
embezzlers? It is the atheists. Who helps men put away their sins, live
to bless others, and prepares men for death and eternity? It is the
"Yes, professed Christians sometimes do bad things.
But it is infrequent enough to be newsworthy. If an atheist does a
criminal act, it is to be expected. But if a church leader does it-it
will make the headlines, because it is such a rare event.
"What leads men to throw away the bottle and stop
beating their wives? It is Christianity, not atheism. What saves the
wayward girls, the teenage boys, and the rest of us out of lives of sin?
It is Christianity, not atheism.
"Christianity offers eternal happiness that begins
now. Atheism can only offer doubt, skepticism, a miserable end, and
Then the crowd turned to the atheist to give an answer,
but he was gone. He had crept away without answering a word.
You have just completed Special
Appendix- Something to Think About