Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Famous Last Words

Here are some recorded dying words of noted people:

St. John Chrysostom (347-407) was the most famous preacher of his day. He preached an Easter sermon read each year to this day in orthodox churches. His final sermon was also his last words. He took to the pulpit and said simply,
Glory to God for all things!
John Newton, former slave trader, turned minister who wrote Amazing Grace:
I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon.
Augustus Montague Toplady (1710-1778) wrote the hymn Roacks of Ages and died saying,
No mortal man can live after the glories which God has manifested to my soul.
Clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) said:
Now comes the mystery.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the great scientist said,
I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
The philosopher and economist Karl Marx (1818-1883) told his housekeeper as he lay dying,
Go on, get out - last words are for fools who haven't said enough.
The writer W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) said,
Dying is a very dull and dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
The Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (1878-1923) did not get his last wish as his final words were:
Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something…
The first martyr, Deacon Stephen, said as he was stoned to death,
Lord Jesus, receive my spirit....Lord, do not hold this sin against them.
Jesus last words in Luke's Gospel are,
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
Though maybe all this is beside the point as Maya Angelou put it:
I've Learned That People Will Forget What You Said, People Will Forget What You Did, but People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel.
Thankfully she us still with us and those are not her final words, as fitting as they are.



  • At 10/13/2009 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Some last words of others...

    "See in what peace a Christian can die". Joseph Addison

    "I have tried so hard to do the right". Grover Cleveland

    "Adieu, mes amis. Je vais la gloire". (Goodbye my friends, I go to glory). Isadora Duncan

    "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do". Oscar Wilde


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