Over the last few years of reading about the Reformation era, the manner in which Christians died has stood out to me. I’m referring to those who died in their older age or in prolonged sickness with their family and friends around them. The way in which the martyrs died is also of interest, but that’s another post. Often when a Christian was in the final moments of life, a friend or family member would ask them for a sign or statement affirming they were persevering to the end in faith. I’ll give two examples:
Steve Lawson writes of Martin Luther’s death:
In his last moments, Luther was asked by his friend Justus Jonas, “Do you want to die standing firm on Christ and the doctrine you have taught?” He answered emphatically, “Yes!” Luther’s last words were: “We are beggars. This is true.” (pg. 23)
John Murray wrote this of John Knox’s dying:
Richard Bannatyne desired him (Knox) to think upon those comfortable promises of our Saviour Jesus Christ which he had so often declared to others. Perceiving he was speechless, he asked him to give a sign that he had heard them and would die in peace. Upon this, he lifted up one of his hands, sighing twice, expired without a struggle. (pg. 100)
May God, in His grace, preserve us so that we persevere to the end.