A Dying Man's Regrets

Adolphe Monod - Wikipedia
Posted at Grace Gems:

"I regret having regulated my life too much upon my own plans — I mean upon my plans of faithfulness and Christian sanctification — and not more simply upon the plan that the Lord unfolds before each of us..."

by Adolphe Monod (1802—1856)


1. The Secret of a Holy, Active, and Peaceful Life

2. The Use of Time

3. Prayer

4. Concern About Trifling Interests

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1. The Secret of a Holy, Active, and Peaceful Life

January 13, 1856

My dearly beloved in the well-beloved of the Father, I thank God who again allows me to address you in His name, for your encouragement and for my own consolation; but I have great need that you have with me the patience of God, "with whom we are accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not." My declining strength neither allows me to turn nor to raise myself, and it is only in this reclining position that I can speak to you. I hope to be able to do it so as to be heard by all.

A man is in a singular position who has been for a number of months, and may perhaps continue an indefinite time to come, constantly living under the impression that the bonds that held him to life are snapped — that God has struck him with an incurable and mortal disease, and he knows not how soon his Father's voice may call him home. He must, indeed, be insensible, and greatly lacking in reflection and Christian feeling, if he does not cast a retrospective look upon his past life. And at the same time, as thoughts of recovery ought and must rise in his mind — for, after all, he is in the hands of God, who can raise the dead, and who has raised many nearer death than he — he is disposed to ask himself, If I were restored to life, what use would I make of it?

And while he recollects that his whole life has proved the weakness and frailty of his resolutions, still he hopes that, by the goodness of God, such a visitation would not be lost for the second portion of his life and of his ministry.

And then he says, I would like to do such or such a thing; and certainly there is nothing that I would not wish to do differently and better than I have done it. This is a cause of beneficial humiliation for me; it may be a beneficial instruction for you to reflect upon the regrets of a man who is dying, or who believes himself to be dying, and who seeks to represent to himself the different use he would make of life if it were restored to him.

It is more particularly towards such thoughts as these that I wish to draw your attention upon these occasions; and in order to choose immediately an example, there are points upon which, if I were to begin life anew, I would make considerable changes — I mean in my spiritual life.

Of course, the private applications of the principle I have laid down belong to the Lord; but there are general applications of it that may be mentioned without inconvenience in a small meeting like this — for instance, prayer, the reading of the Bible, Christian liberty.

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