[Papercut Press] 2002-01-22 - Epitaphs

Part 1

Genesis 25:8 And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.

From time to time I like to change things around in these devotionals just to keep it interesting. As many of you know, I like the older writers, and while what I intend to present today is from a book only 200 years old, it is still interesting. I have actually been looking for this book to present this to you for over a year. I finally found it buried in my library.

If you know anything about old time preachers you know that they always urged their congregations to consider their mortality. The phrase, "I don't know if I will see some of you next week," was common in sermons 200-400 years ago. The idea being that we never know when we might meet the Lord.

Our next breath could be our last. So today, I present some old time gravestone epitaphs to you. I have a lot of them (43), so I might do this again some time. In the end, I hope that the wisdom from these real gravestones will cause you to pause and remember your own mortality while being mindful that only those things that are done for Christ will last. We really can't take it with us. Here are a few: (notice the poetic nature of them)

  1. Sinner, awake; approach the grave:
    And while thine eyes the scene survey,
    Look unto Him who came to save,
    And bids thee live an endless day.
  2. Mourn not, with unavailing grief, the loss
    Of friends escap'd from all this mortal strife,
    Who fix'd their hopes on their Redeemer's cross,
    And find in him the Way, the Truth, the Life.
  3. On the grave of an infant
    Weep not for an infant's death,
    Here he rests from all alarms;
    When he yielded up his breath,
    Christ receiv'd him to his arms.
  4. On a sudden death
    Swift flew th' appointed messenger of death,
    And in a moment stopp'd the mortal breath;
    Art thou prepar'd as suddenly to die?
    'Tis mercy's call -- O! listen to the cry.
  5. Large were his pastures, and his fields well till'd,
    His harvests plenteous, and his barns were fill'd;
    But, when his heart had all that it desir'd,
    One night, his soul, the Lord, by death, requir'd.
    Now all his earthly store avails him not;
    He must depart; and what will be his lot?
    Hark! From his grave the warning accents toll --
    "All gain is loss, if gain'd with loss of soul."
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?' So is the man wholays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God," Luke 12:20,21.

Soli Deo Gloria,


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