Jump to content

Sinners And Saints On Their Deathbeds


Justin
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is from a book of the same title. I lifted this from someone's blog.

 

The Infidels

 

Voltaire, atheist who fought Christianity:

“I am abandoned by God and man, I shall go to hell!”

 

He died lost [note: His condition had become so

frightful at the time of his death that his infidel

associates left his bedside. His nurse said repeatedly,

For all the wealth of Europe I would never see

another infidel die!"]

 

Sir Thomas Scott, Chancellor of England:

“Until this moment I thought there was neither God nor

hell, now I know that there are both and I am doomed

to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty!”

 

"Stay with me! Stay with me, for God’s sake! I cannot

bear to be left alone!" Thomas

Paine

 

Thomas Hobbs: a skeptic: "If I had the whole world, I would give it to live one day. I shall be glad to find a

hole to creep out of the world at. About to leap into the dark!"

 

Oh that I was to lie a thousand years upon the fire that is never quenched to purchase the favor of God...But it is a fruitless wish. Millions and millions of years would bring me no nearer to the end of my torments than one poor hour! Oh, the insufferable pains of hell!

 

Sir Francis Newport, who ridiculed Christianity during his life.

 

 

The Believers

 

John Arthur Lyth: "Can this be death? Why, it is better than living! Tell them I die happy in Jesus."

 

Abbott: "Glory to God! I see heaven sweetly opened before me."

 

Mrs. Catherine Booth: wife of the general 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 be right."

 

John Bunyan: author of Pilgrim’s Progress: "Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, through the mediation of His blessed Son, receive me, though a sinner, where I hope we shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end."

 

Dr. Sewall: an old Methodist, when dying shouted aloud the praises of God. His friends said, "Dr. Sewall, do not exert yourself; whisper, doctor, whisper." "Let angels whisper, " said he, "but the soul cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ, a soul redeemed from death and hell, just on the threshold of eternal glory—oh, if I had a voice that would reach from pole to pole, I would proclaim it to all the world: Victory! Victory! through the blood of the Lamb!"

 

When Thomas Hooker lay dying, a friend said, “Brother, are you going to receive the reward of your labors.” He humbly replied, “Brother, I am going to receive mercy.”

 

Anyone know anything about this book? How much truth is in the quotes or anything like that? I find the sinners quotes to be especially suspect. It almost looks as if they were made up and attributed to that person by a christian. I mean, look at Sit Thomas Scott's quote. If he realized right near the end that there was a god and hell and that he was doomed, wouldn't he repent right them and there? Wouldn't you not want to waste your last few breaths saying such a hopeless, sorrowfull, poetic quote and instead spend your last breath on repenting? Another thing, it seems to me that people near death wouldn't have the energy to say much at all.

 

Reading the reviews on Amazon of christians who like the book, they say that the author is way off on historical data. Like being way off on dates when so and so became president, died or became king, things llike that. Otherwise they say they like the quotes but nearly all of them say he is flat out wrong in many places.. I think the misinformation on historical data is very telling and may say alot about his quotes as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

While I admit I know nothing of these specific quotes, what I DO know is that historically the faithful have, uh, enhanced the tales of deathbed conversions.

 

Past performance inclines me to distrust what they say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your thoughts are mine exactly, Justin. Richard Dawkins says he wants his death to be recorded so that nobody can claim he had a deathbed conversion.

 

Seeing what they do with his video-taped speeches and books while he's alive, I'm not sure how much good that will do. The exception is that if there is a loyal family member to preserve his honest records, the real thing will be on record and available for posterity despite how his enemies cut and paste and edit things to make him appear to say what they want.

 

In my opinion, when people go to that extent to falsify what a person is saying, it is evidence that the person is onto something really solid and his enemies are mortally frightened. It happened to me on Craig's forums just the other day. The accusation was so extreme that just reading it was ghastly. It told me I was far more right than I had dreamed. And I said so. There has been no response. I think the thread may be dead.

 

I used to take stories about deathbed conversions seriously. Before I was on Craig's forums I did not know how much and how seriously people "lied for Jesus," because where I come from, it simply wasn't done. Yet there was always a niggling doubt in the back of my mind whether these people really had seen the real hell or the real heaven. I could not explain my doubt or the reason for it. But I did not feel like the evidence for them having seen the real afterlife was strong enough.

 

Possibly it was such inconsistencies as why did the unrepentant waste what little time they had left with poetic lamentation instead of converting? Or how could such a dramatic turn-about at the point of death be real after a lifetime of "sinful" living? My church did not accept sudden conversions in real life. If a person wanted to convert to our church, they had to attend and live as a full member for at least one year before they could get membership. If becoming a Christian in real life was so serious, how could it be so simple and easy at death's door?

 

The preachers called that "cheap grace."

 

I don't remember them ever preaching on deathbed conversions. Since it was so difficult for outsiders to join our church--the biggest hurdle was the language barrier, and since anyone born in the church either believed in God and lived some semblance of a member's life or was not part of the community, the situations in which "our" preachers were asked to preach at the funerals of individuals who might have had deathbed conversions is extremely rare. If I don't get around to making any other arrangements in time, it could happen in my case.

 

There was one case. I don't remember attending the funeral but I asked someone who had. I wanted to know in what terms they referred to the deceased. If it is a member is good standing, they say "brother" or "sister," in addition to terms like "the departed" and "the deceased." The name is never used. I wanted to know under what conditions they would say the person was in hell. It was the son of the deacon but he was not a member in any church, nor had he attended any church. I don't know if he believed in any kind of god or not. He was not healthy so his parents had to take care of him when he died. I was told the preachers referred to him as the departed, and that they said they are sure the parents are glad they could take care of him before their own deaths.

 

I never knew him because he was much older than I was, though his parents lived across the road from us and my sisters and I were good friends with his younger sisters. They always referred to him in tones that suggested there was something shameful about him, as though he didn't really belong to the family, but they had to put up with him. It was a weird and uncomfortable situation that I never got figured out. And then he died. Finally things were the way they had always been supposed to be. That was the feeling I got.

 

I've often wondered if that is how my family feels about me. I've wondered this long before I deconverted. It seems all the others fit but I don't. I stopped attending family gatherings in the mid-1990s because of the severe feeling of not fitting.

 

Hmmm. I've wandered off-topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical..._deathbeds.html

 

"Thomas Paine had a noble personality, as exhibited in presence, face, voice, dress, manner, and what may be called his atmosphere and magnetism, especially the later years of his life. I am sure of it. Of the foul and foolish fictions yet told about the circumstances of his decease, the absolute fact is that as he lived a good life, after its kind, he died calmly and philosophically, as became him." [Walt Whitman, specimen Days in America (English edition), p. 150; Conway, 'The Life of Thomas Paine,' ii, 432]

Christians lie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I see strong evidence to the contrary, I say it's all morontheist lies. Looking back on my experience and knowledge that's by far the most realistic bet. :Hmm:

 

That said, just to inject some humor into the thread:

 

There's a funny tale floating around about the last words of famous German poet/author Goethe - can't remember where I heard it years ago.

Many people claim his last words were "Mehr Licht!" (More light).

But then there are those who say that's not the whole sentence. Supposedly what he really said (with the first two words sounding identical to the above) was "Mer liecht de Kissen schief!" (local dialect, meaning "My pillow's not positioned right".

Gee, such a deeply philosophically-sounding statement suddenly revealed to be totally "just normal human"... :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah,yes,lies again. They've even made no distinction between deism and atheism for some reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt that these assertions are true. However, even if they are, it is almost certain that the authors of this book chose the quotes that would fit their needs and rejected the ones that would seem to go against what it is they are trying to establish.

 

I had a book when I was a Christian that had well over a hundred pages of quotes by people as they died as found in historical records. There was a mixed bag of things said. I remember one "pagan" eagerly awaiting to be embraced by Zeus as he drew his last breath! It didn't sound like he was afraid to die.

 

According to some web sites (and this was just from a very quick search), there are Voltaire's deathbed words:

 

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies it is the first law of nature.

 

Since I saw that posted on several sites, I assumed that there might be some legitimacy to it. Certainly that is far different then that book asserts.

 

Here is something about the death of Thomas Paine:

 

When on his death-bed Paine was beset by emissaries of the church, -- pious nurses, bigoted priests, and illiterate laymen -- who by entreaties and threats tried to compel him to renounce his Deistic and Anti-Christian opinions. What a farcical scene! What a commentary on Christianity! Poor, ignorant, ill-mannered creatures, expecting with silly gibberish and impudence to change the life- long convictions of a dying philosopher!

 

After his death, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, and orthodox Quakers all vied with each other in inventing calumnies concerning him. The last named sect was especially active in this work, because Paine was the son of a Quaker, and apostasy was as hateful to the Quaker as it was to the Catholic.

 

About ten years after Paine died, this recantation calumny appeared. Willet Hicks, a Quaker merchant and preacher, a cousin of the celebrated Ellas Hicks, and a broad and liberal man, lived near Paine, and daring his last illness did all he could to alleviate the sufferings of the sick man and make his last hours pleasant. Mary Roscoe, afterwards Mary Hinsdale, was a servant in the Hicks family, and, it is alleged, was sometimes sent to Paine's room on errands. On one of these visits Paine, it is claimed, engaged her in conversation, and recanted to her his Infidel opinions. According to this story, "Paine asked her if she had ever read any of his writings, and on being told she had read very little of them, he inquired what she thought of them, adding, 'From such a one as you I expect a correct answer.' She told him that when very young his 'Age of Reason' was put into her hands, but that the more she read in it the more dark and distressed she felt, and she threw the book into the fire. 'I wish all hid done as you he replied, 'for if the devil ever had any agency in any work, he has had it in my writing that book.' When going to carry, him some refreshments, she repeatedly heard him uttering the language, 'Oh! Lord!' 'Lord God!, or 'Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me!" (Life of Stephen Grellet, Vol. i., p. 125).

 

It can be found here:

 

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical.../chapter_1.html

 

I have not looked into the others, but is seems apparent that author of the book you mentioned is grasping at fiction to make his point in most, if not all, cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reminded of something Dawkins said in The God Delusion, that if you're going to sell out anyway, why not do it while you're still alive and win some money from the Templeton Foundation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, when people go to that extent to falsify what a person is saying, it is evidence that the person is onto something really solid and his enemies are mortally frightened. It happened to me on Craig's forums just the other day. The accusation was so extreme that just reading it was ghastly. It told me I was far more right than I had dreamed. And I said so. There has been no response. I think the thread may be dead.

 

My thoughts exactly Ruby.

 

Do you remember that link you posted on another thread, that had a list of the things christians should do to help themselves out in an argument when they know they are losing? I cannot remember if this tactic was one of them but it sure falls right in line with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical..._deathbeds.html

 

"Thomas Paine had a noble personality, as exhibited in presence, face, voice, dress, manner, and what may be called his atmosphere and magnetism, especially the later years of his life. I am sure of it. Of the foul and foolish fictions yet told about the circumstances of his decease, the absolute fact is that as he lived a good life, after its kind, he died calmly and philosophically, as became him." [Walt Whitman, specimen Days in America (English edition), p. 150; Conway, 'The Life of Thomas Paine,' ii, 432]

Christians lie.

 

Thanks for that link. I have been all over the infidels site and somehow never stumbled across that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EDIT: Nevermind, those were not his dying words!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.