That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
~ Philippians 3:10
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
~ Romans 8:17
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
~ Romans 12:14
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
~ Luke 12:51-53
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
~ Matthew 5:10-12
But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
~ Matthew 10:17
Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
~ Isaiah 49:8
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
~ Hebrews 3:7
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
~ Hebrews 3:13
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
~ 2 Corinthians 6:2
Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
~ Jonah 3:9
A Dying Girl’s Request, by Solomon Benjamin Shaw. The following contains excerpts from his work, “Dying Testimonies of the Saved and the Unsaved”.
An evangelist said: “A little girl of eight years was sent on an errand by her parents. While on her way she was attracted by the singing of a gospel meeting in the open air, and drew near. The conductor of the meeting was so struck with the child’s earnestness that he spoke to her and told her about Jesus. She being the child of Roman Catholics, did not know much about Him, but the gentleman told her of His love to her. On returning home, her father asked her what had detained her. She told him, and he cruelly beat her, forbidding her to go to any such meeting again. About a fortnight afterward she was sent on another errand, but she was so taken up with what she had previously heard about Jesus that she forgot all about her message. She saw the same gentleman, who again told her more about the Savior. On her return home she again told her father, as before, where she had been, and that she had not brought what she had been sent for, but that she had brought Jesus. Her father was enraged, and kicked the poor little creature until the blood came. She never recovered from this brutal treatment. Just before she breathed her last she called to her mother and said, ‘Mother, I have been praying to Jesus to save you and father.’ Then pointing to her little dress she said, ‘Mother, cut me a bit out of the blood-stained piece of my dress.’ The mother, wondering, did so. ‘Now,’ said the dying child, ‘Christ shed His blood for my sake, and I am going to take this to Jesus to show Him that I shed my blood for His sake.’ Thus she died, holding firmly the piece of her dress stained with her own blood. The testimony of that dear child was the means of leading both father and mother to Christ.”
John Cassidy and the Priest, by Solomon Benjamin Shaw.
Any one who has sailed past the new Mole into Gibraltar Bay will have noticed the long, yellow-washed building standing high upon the south front, and has been told it is the military naval hospital. In one of the wards of this hospital, about a year before the commencement of the Crimean War, there lay private of the Thirty-third Regiment, John Cassidy by name, who had been seized by a fatal attack of dysentery. He felt that death was near; and calling to him the hospital sergeant, he said, “Morris, I shan’t be long, and I want to make my peace before I go. Will you send for the priest?”
“There is no need to send for him,” replied Morris, who was an earnest Christian; “haven’t I told you that Jesus, the blessed Savior, is ready to receive you just now, and make you fit for heaven, if you’ll only ask Him?”
“But I’m so weak, I haven’t got any strength to pray,” said the poor fellow; “it’s far easier to let the priest do it; and he’ll only charge five shillings. You must go to the pay-master, Morris, to get the money, and give it to him as soon as he comes. And don’t be long about it; for I feel that I haven’t many hours before me. I’d like to die in my own religion; and you’ll see how comfortable I’ll be when the priest has performed the offices.”
The sergeant thought it best for John to prove for himself what a broken reed he was leaning on, and accordingly sent at once for the priest. He came, received the money, and directed four candles to be brought, which he lighted, and placed two at the head and two at the foot of the bed. He then took some “sacred oil” and put it on the brow and cheeks and lips of the dying man, and on various parts of his body. Afterwards he sprinkled him freely with “holy water” and then, waving a censor over the bed until the air was heavy with the perfume, he pronounced absolution and solemnly declared that John Cassidy was ready for death.
“But I don’t feel ready, sir,” said John, looking up piteously into his face. “I don’t feel a bit different after all you have done.”
“But you ought to feel different,” replied the priest angrily. “You must trust the church; and I tell you, in her name, that you are now a saved man.”
“Well, sir,” persisted John, “yet men that are saved, and are ready for heaven, feel happy, and I don’t. There was a man that Sergeant Morris talked to in this ward. He died the other day, and he was so happy! He said he saw angels coming to take him away, and he wasn’t afraid to die; and I thought you’d make me feel like that; but I’m quite frightened.”
Strange language for a priest to hear, and most unwelcome.
Straightening himself to his fullest height, he stood over the bed, and extending his hand in a threatening manner toward the dying man, he exclaimed, “I give you this warning, John Cassidy, that if you listen to that heretic sergeant you will be damned.”John quailed for a moment before the fearful words; and then as the weight of unforgiven sin pressed upon his heart, and he felt that the priest had no power — as he once believed — to cleanse it away, he cried out in the bitterness of his soul, “I can not be worse than I am, sir; that’s certain; so please go away, and let me take my chance!” And as the priest seemed still inclined to linger, and to remonstrate, he raised himself partly on his pillow, and with strange energy persisted, “Don’t stay any longer, sir! I haven’t many minutes left, and I can’t afford to lose any of them in arguing; so have pity on a dying man and go at once.”
The priest merely said on leaving the room, “John Cassidy, I warn you! You are forsaking your own mercy.”
John was almost exhausted by the agitation and disappointment of the interview; but as he lay quite still, too weak for words, the sergeant came and sat by his bedside, and read to him such passages as the following:
“There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” “By Him all that believe are freely justified from all things.” “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
The sergeant added no words of his own, but sat by the dying man, silently praying that the utterance of this Divine Word might give light to lighten the darkness of that departing soul. In a little while, a low murmur caused him to bead his ear close to the lips of his dying comrade; and he caught the words as they came in faint, gasping utterance, “No other name! It was a mistake — to think any priest could get me to heaven — but Jesus Christ can — and I think he will-I’m happy — I am not frightened now — good-bye, Morris — tell all the poor fellows — about — the blood, it cleanseth.” No more words, only a shiver and sigh, and then a look of calm on the tired, worn face; and Sergeant Morris gently closed the eyes of the dead soldier, murmuring as he did so, “Thanks be unto God, Who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”