Last Words

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oscar Wilde

Should we want to know what is truly in the hearts of men, then there is no better way than listening to their last words. Below are collected the last words of a few of those spirits who have departed this world, both the spirits of saints of the first millennium and those of secular people of the second millennium, some of whom at least strove to rise above the vanities of this world.

Glory be to God for all things.
St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, + 407.

Go and be kind to one another.
St. Goar, Hermit, + 575.

Have peace and love.
St. Columba, Abbot and Missionary, + 597.

Praying for those who were martyring him: Lord have mercy on their souls.
St. Oswald, King and Martyr, + 642.

With my Christ I was, and am, and shall be.
St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, + 690.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
Bede the Venerable, + 735.

Speaking on his martyrdom: I thank the Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God.
St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany and Martyr, + 754.

Jesus, Jesus.
St. Edmund, King and Martyr, + 869

I don't know! I don't know!
Peter Abelard, founder of Scholasticism, defender of the filioque, + 1142.

I desire to die and be with Christ.
Roger Ascham, scholar and lover of Saxon England, + 1568.

Oh, the depths of the riches and the goodness of the knowledge of God!
John Locke, philosopher, + 1704.

God's will be done.
Bishop Ken, lover of the Church Fathers, + 1711.

The great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Isaac Newton, philosopher and mathematician, + 1727.

The basis of Christianity is love: God is love. To attempt to establish any other creed will only, in the end, be folly.
Captain F. Marryat, writer, + 1848.

His banner over me was love.
Robert Hawker, priest and poet, + 1875.

Lord have mercy on my soul.
J. E. Flecker, poet, + 1915.

The issue now is clear: it is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side.
G. K. Chesterton, writer and lover of orthodoxy, + 1936.

I am going to the inevitable.
Philip Larkin, poet, + 1985.

We would conclude this short note with the dying words of an old Irish woman, who lived in a tiny earth-floored cottage on the west coast of Ireland at the beginning of this century:
'I live whitening my soul, for what after all is life - just a wee step from the door to the window'.

More details of the book "The Lighted Way" and where to buy it, can be found on The English Orthodox Trust page of this site.

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