Charles Spurgeon died at 11:05 p.m. on January 31, 1892, in Menton, France. With Susannah by his side, the 57-year-old pastor succumbed to kidney failure and fell into a coma from which he did not recover.
Thanks to the newly-invented telegraph, word of Spurgeon’s death circled the globe. More than 100,000 people attended his funeral. Every store on the route of his funeral procession closed for the day out of respect.
B. H. Carroll, founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, “If every crowned head in Europe had died that night, the event would not be so momentous as the death of this one man.”
“The young may die; the old must.”
But death didn’t catch Spurgeon off guard. He’d spent his whole life dying every day. For him, dying well required living well—living in the presence of Christ.
Here are ten Spurgeon quotes for those who want to die well.
1. “To be prepared to die is to be prepared to live.”
2. “It is the very joy of this earthly life to think that it will come to an end.”
3. “The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven.”
4. “The only people for whom I have felt any envy have been dying members of this very church.”
5. “If I do not think of death, yet death will think of me.”
6. “It is not a loss to die, it is a lasting, perpetual gain.”
7. “Let us learn to hold loosely our dearest friends. Let us love them, but let us always learn to love them as dying things.”
8. “It is a grand thing to see a man dying full of life.”
9. “He who learns to die daily while he lives will find it no difficulty to breathe out his soul for the last time.”
10. “All the glories of midday are eclipsed by the marvels of sunset.”
A Final Word
If you visit Spurgeon’s tomb in London’s West Norwood Cemetery, you’ll see a stone Bible cemented open to Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
How fitting! The same verse God used for Spurgeon’s second birth will witness his third birth, when “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).
“I would not mind if I were condemned to live fifty years more and never allowed to speak but these five words: 'Christ died for the ungodly.'”
May we, like Spurgeon, die while we live, knowing that through Christ we shall live after we die.