“Lifespans were shorter in earlier days, and the Lord’s workers were not unaffected. Medical science was young, hospitals were scarce, disease was rampant, and every home had its deathbed scenes. But Christians, it was noticed, “died well.” Here’s an example. Vermont pastor Daniel Jackson prepared this newspaper obituary of his wife who passed away on January 27, 1852:
It becomes my painful duty to record the death of Mary Jackson, my beloved consort in life. She expired on Tuesday, the 27th of January, at half-past ten in the evening. Her disease was consumption, which refused to relinquish its hold until the vital powers of life sunk beneath its final grasp. It is not in the power of my pen to depict the agonies of that memorable deathbed scene. I will therefore hasten to present the reader a more inviting phase of this matter.
The triumphant state of her mind softened every agony, hushed every murmur, and completely disarmed the king of terrors. For awhile, she had a sharp conflict with the power of attachment which bound her to family and friends, but by the grace of God she obtained a glorious victory and longed to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
I will here notice some of her dying words uttered during the last week of her life. Speaking of the happy state into which she was about to enter, she exclaimed, “O glorious day, O blessed hope, my heart leaps forward at the thought.” When distressed for breath, she would say, “Blessed Jesus, receive my spirit.” When I spake to her about her thirst, she said, “When I have been thirsty I have thought of that river whose streams make glad the city of God.”
I am left as a lonely pilgrim with no one to count my sighs nor wipe away the falling tear. But hush, my soul, what means this repining? Couldst thou look beyond the spheres of material worlds, and see the glories of thy departed one, thou wouldst say, “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Morgan, R. J. 2000, c1997. On this day : 365 amazing and inspiring stories about saints, martyrs & heroes (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville