“Life is nothing but death’s hallway; and our pilgrimage on earth is but a journey to the grave. The pulse that preserves our life beats our death march, and the blood, which circulates our life, is floating it forward to the depths of death. Today we see our friends in health, tomorrow we hear of their death. Only yesterday, we shook hands with a strong man, and today we close his eyes. We rode in a coach of comfort only an hour ago, and in a few more hours, the black hearse must carry us to the home of the living. Oh, how closely allied is death to life! The little lamb that plays in the field must soon feel the knife. The cow that lows in the pasture is fattening itself for the slaughter. Trees only grow to be cut down. Yes, and greater things than these feel death. Empires rise and flourish; they flourish only to fall into decay, they rise to fall. How often do we take up a history book, and read of the rise and fall of empires? We hear of the coronation and the death of kings. Death is the somber servant who rides behind the chariot of life. See life! and death is close behind it. Death reaches far throughout this world, and has stamped all earthly creatures with an arrow pointing to the grave. Stars die; it is said that large and destructive fires have been seen in outer space, and astronomers have marked the funerals of planets— the decay of those mighty spheres, that we had imagined set forever in sockets of silver, to glisten as the lamps of eternity.
But blessed be God, there is one place where death is not life’s brother— where life reigns alone; ‘to live’ is not the first syllable which is to be followed by the next, ‘to die.’ There is a land where the death bells are never tolled, where grave clothes are never put on, where graves are never dug. Blessed land beyond the skies! To reach it, we must die.”
—Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)