In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.
John James Ingalls
Men fear death, as if unquestionably the greatest evil, and yet no man knows that it may not be the greatest good.
Death–the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.
Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.
Henry Van Dyke
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.
Men fear death as children fear to go into the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
It costs me never a stab nor squirm
To tread by chance upon a worm.
‘Aha, my little dear,’ I say,
‘Your clan will pay me back one day.’
The fundamental law of the social order [is] … the progressive control of life and death.
Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death
The first breath is the beginning of death.
The play is the tragedy “Man”
And its hero the conqueror, Worm.
Edgar Allen Poe
A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t to be there when it happens.
Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole
Made lock, stock, and barrel
Out of his bitter soul.
I know death has ten thousand several doors for men to take their exits
Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indeed,
But Death intenser – Death is Life’s high meed.
Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted.
Percy Blysshe Shelley
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
And come he slow or come he fast, it is but Death who comes at last.
Sir Walter Scott
Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.
To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not. For it is to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessings of human beings. And yet people fear it as if they knew for certain it is the greatest evil.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge, that myth is more potent that history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts – that hope always triumphs over experience – that laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death
From the movie The Crow
Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes
I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome
It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.
Death is nothing to us and no concern of ours . . . When we shall be no more, when the union of body and spirit that engenders us has been disrupted – to us, who shall then be nothing, nothing by any hazard will happen any more at all. Nothing will have power to stir our senses, not though earth be fused with sea and sea with sky . . . Rest assured that we have nothing to fear in death. One who no longer is cannot suffer, or differ in any way from one who has never been born.
Lucretius [De rerum natura, iii:828-840; 864-867]
If man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live
Martin Luther King
Some men are alive simply because it is against the law to kill them.
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.
Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death.
I am become Death, shatterer of worlds.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, upon witnessing the explosion of the first atomic bomb
Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, “Did you bring joy?” The second was, “Did you find joy?”
For life in the present there is no death. Death is not an event in life. It is not a fact in the world.
Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hand of the Angel of the Resurrection.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Our life is made by the death of others.
Leonardo da Vinci
To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.
A Lizard continues it’s life into the wilderness like a human into heaven. Our fate is entirely dependent on our life
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Chuck Palahniuk, “Invisible Monsters”
If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.
I hit him to get his attention. I shot him to calm him down. I killed him to reason with him.
We are afraid to live, but scared to die
Perhaps passing through the gates of death is like passing quietly through the gate in a pasture fence. On the other side, you keep walking, without the need to look back. No shock, no drama, just the lifting of a plank or two in a simple wooden gate in a clearing. Neither pain, nor floods of light, nor great voices, but just the silent crossing of a meadow.
Mark Helprin, “A Soldier of the Great War”
How this feels is I’m just another task in God’s daily planner: The Renaissance pencilled in for right after the Dark Ages. The Information Age is scheduled immediately after the Industrial Revolution. Then the Post-Modern Era, then The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Famine. Check. Pestilence. Check. War. Check. Death. Check. And between the big events, the earthquakes and tidal waves, God’s got me squeezed in for a cameo appearance. Then maybe in thirty years, or maybe next year, God’s daily planner has me finished.
Chuck Palahniuk, In Philosophy
Death is a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.
Death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down. The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you.
All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.
The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you
Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
R. W. Raymond
The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won’t let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they’re not punishing you, they’re freeing your soul. If you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth
Only those who have dared to let go can dare to reenter
Normally we do not like to think about death. We would rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life…now…and come to face the truth of your self. Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Mexico: where life is cheap, death is rich, and the buzzards are never unhappy
Edward Abbey, In Places/Mexico
Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial.
Edward Abbey, In Literature
Each soul enters with a mission. We all have a mission to perform
It is not all of life to live, nor yet all of death to die. For life and death are one, and only those who will consider the experience as one may come to understand or comprehend what peace indeed means
Only the destructive forces know death as lord. Only spiritual forces know life as the Lord. Know ye the Lord!”
The last to be overcome is death, and the knowledge of life is the knowledge of death.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
When we attempt to imagine death, we perceive ourselves as spectators.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow
If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it, let him be anathema [excommunicated].
Decrees of the Fifth General Council
Never the spirit was born, the spirit shall cease to be never. Never was time it was not, end and beginning are dreams.
the Bhagavad Gita
The universal law of karma … is that of action and reaction, cause and effect, sowing and reaping. In the course of natural righteousness, man, by his thoughts and actions, becomes the arbiter of his destiny.
When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.
Tibetan Buddhist saying
When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found.
Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only when you set in the west can you rise in the east.
Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
I believe there are two sides to the phenomenon known as death, this side where we live, and the other side where we shall continue to live. Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.
Norman Vincent Peale
You live on earth only for a few short years which you call an incarnation, and then you leave your body as an outworn dress and go for refreshment to your true home in the spirit.
We are born with two incurable diseases, life, from which we die, and hope, which says maybe death isn’t the end.
We are ignorant of the Beyond because this ignorance is the condition of our own life. Just as ice cannot know fire except by melting and vanishing.
It is worth dying to find out what life is.
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
The boundaries between life and death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends and where the other begins?
Edgar Allen Poe
Of course you don’t die. Nobody dies. Death doesn’t exist. You only reach a new level of vision, a new realm of consciousness, a new unknown world.
A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.
You are all poets and I am on the side of death
I’m not afraid of death. It’s the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.
Jean Giraudoux, Amphitryon
To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
“Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.”
“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”
The Ride Down Mount Morgan
“I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn’t remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of the wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment. But I didn’t die…”
On The Road
“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.”
East of Eden
“Death commences too early–almost before you’re half-acquainted with life–you meet the other.”
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
“Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself. ”
War and Peace
“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”
The Diary of a Young Girl
“I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.”
“The point of your living is that if you die, who’s going to pay me three and a half thousand rupees a month? ”
The White Tiger
“I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.” William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying
“There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age.”
The Lost Continent
”What is history? Its beginning is that of the centuries of systematic work devoted to the solution of the enigma of death, so that death itself may eventually be overcome. That is why people write symphonies, and why they discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves.”
“For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin’; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.”
“I feel monotony and death to be almost the same.”
“How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.”
“Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once. Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!”
Crime and Punishment
“Death destroys a man: the idea of Death saves him.” E.M. Forster
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
Edgar Allan Poe
The Premature Burial
“Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
“Everyone wants to be foremost in this future-and yet death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future! How strange that this sole thing that is certain and common to all, exercises almost no influence on men, and that they are the furthest from regarding themselves as the brotherhood of death! It makes me happy to see that men do not want to think at all of the idea of death! I would fain do something to make the idea of life to us to be more than friends in the sense of that sublime possibility. And so we will believe in our even a hundred times more worthy of their attention.”
“I discovered to my joy, that it is life, not death, that has no limits.”
Gabriel García Márquez
Love in the Time of Cholera
“Here was a man who now for the first time found himself looking into the eyes of death–who was passing through one of those rare moments of experience when we feel the truth of a commonplace, which is as different from what we call knowing it, as the vision of waters upon the earth is different from the delirious vision of the water which cannot be had to cool the burning tongue. When the commonplace ‘We must all die’ transforms itself suddenly into the acute consciousness ‘I must die–and soon,’ then death grapples us, and his fingers are cruel; afterwards, he may come to fold us in his arms as our mother did, and our last moment of dim earthly discerning may be like the first.”
“A normal human being does not want the Kingdom of Heaven: he wants life on earth to continue. This is not solely because he is “weak,” “sinful” and anxious for a “good time.” Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise. Ultimately it is the Christian attitude which is self-interested and hedonistic, since the aim is always to get away from the painful struggle of earthly life and find eternal peace in some kind of Heaven or Nirvana. The humanist attitude is that the struggle must continue and that death is the price of life.”
“The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death”
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories
“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary.”
Heart of Darkness
“Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. But, once realise what the true object is in life — that it is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, ‘that last infirmity of noble minds’ — but that it is the development of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer standard, the building-up of the perfect Man — and then, so long as we feel that this is going on, and will (we trust) go on for evermore, death has for us no terror; it is not a shadow, but a light; not an end, but a beginning!”
Sylvie and Bruno
“Are not the thoughts of the dying often turned towards the practical, painful, obscure, visceral aspect, towards the “seamy side” of death which is, as it happens, the side that death actually presents to them and forces them to feel, and which far more closely resembles a crushing burden, a difficulty in breathing, a destroying thirst, than the abstract idea to which we are accustomed to give the name of Death?”
“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.”
The idea is to die young as late as possible.
No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.
Boy, when you are dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you are dead? Nobody.
While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
Leonardo Da Vinci
If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery. He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.
Charles Sanders Peirce
We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.
They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice… that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death of one’s own free choice, death at the proper time, with a clear head and with joyfulness, consummated in the midst of children and witnesses: so that an actual leave-taking is possible while he who is leaving is still there.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Expeditions of an Untimely Man
Embalm, v.: To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting more than a meagre crew. The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor’s lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility. We shall get him after awhile if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and the rose are languishing for a nibble at his glutaeus maximus.
When I die I shall be content to vanish into nothingness…. No show, however good, could conceivably be good forever…. I do not believe in immortality, and have no desire for it.
As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
I wouldn’t mind dying – it’s the business of having to stay dead that scares the shit out of me.
Either this man is dead
or my watch has stopped
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god
Assassination has never changed the history of the world
The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they’re going to be
when you kill them
It is better to die on your feet
than to live on your knees
Do not seek death.
Death will find you.
But seek the road which
makes death a fulfillment
“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind–and that of the midns of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilsts say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.” from As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Oh, death, rock me asleep! Bring me to quiet and rest
Let me pass my weary, guiltless life out of my careful breast.
Toll on the passing bell, ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my deatht ell; Death doth draw me,
Death doth draw me; There is no remedy. Anne Boleyn
Death, feared as the most awful of evils, is really nothing. For so long as we are, death has not come, and when it has come we are not. Epicurus
So many people tiptoe through life, so carefully, to arrive, safely, at death
It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice; there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia
The fear of death often proves mortal, and sets people on methods to save their lives, which infallibly destroy them
Until the day of his death, no man can be sure of his courage
Life without a friend is death without a witness
Death is life’s way of telling that you’ve been fired
Suicide would be my way of telling God that I quit
A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil assaulted by bears.
C is for Clair who wasted away, D is for Desmond thrown out of the sleigh.
E is for Ernest who choked on a peach, F is for Fanny, sucked dry by a leech.
G is for George, smothered under a rug, H is for Hector, done in by a thug.
I is for Ida who drowned in the lake, J is for James who took lye, by mistake.
K is for Kate who was struck with an axe, L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks.
M is for Maud who was swept out to sea, N is for Nevil who died of enui.
O is for Olive, run through with an awl, P is for Prue, trampled flat in a brawl
Q is for Quinton who sank in a mire, R is for Rhoda, consumed by a fire.
S is for Susan who perished of fits, T is for Titas who flew into bits.
U is for Una who slipped down a drain, V is for Victor, squashed under a train.
W is for Winie, embedded in ice, X is for Xerxes, devoured by mice.
Y is for Yoric whose head was bashed in, Z is for Zilla who drank too much gin.
Edward Gorey “The Gashlycrumb Tinies”
A friend of mine stopped smoking, drinking, overeating, and chasing women –all at the same time. It was a lovely funeral.
Birth, and copulation, and death,
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
T. S. Eliot
I had written to Aunt Maud,
Who was on a trip abroad,
When I heard she’d died of cramp
Just too late to save the stamp.
H. Graham, Ruthless Rhymes, Mr Jones
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
H. W. Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn, 3, The Theologian’s Tale
There are two bodies – the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death”, is but the painful metamorphosis.
Edgar Allan Poe, Mesmeric Revelation
Death is the only event which we can predict with absolute certainty, and yet it is the event about which the majority of human beings refuse to think at all until faced with the imminent and personal issue. People face death in many different ways; some bring to the adventure a feeling of self-pity, and are so occupied with what they have to leave behind, what is about to end for them, and the relinquishing of all they have gathered in life, that the true significance of the inevitable future fails to arrest their attention. Others face it with courage, making the best of what may not be evaded, and look up into the face of death with a gallant gesture because there is nothing else they can do . . . Still others refuse altogether to consider the possibility; they hypnotize themselves into a condition wherein the thought of death is refused all lodgment in their consciousness, and they will not consider its possibility, so that when it comes, it catches them unawares; they are left helpless and unable to do more than simply die.
Alice A. Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary
For when the one Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks – not that you won or lost –
But how you played the game.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
Cowards die many times before their deaths:
The valiant never taste of death but once.
W. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas,
Ease after war, death after life does greatly please.
E. Spenser, The Fairie Queen, Book 1, Canto 9, 40
The days darken round me, and the years,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds.
Tennyson, 1st Baron, Idylls of the King, The Passing of Arthur,
Dead men tell no lies
You get what anyone gets – you get a lifetime
Death from the Neil Gaiman comic Sandman
A man acts according to the desires to which he clings. After death he goes to the next world bearing in his mind the subtle impressions of his deeds; and, after reaping there the harvest of those deeds, he returns again to this world of action. Thus he who has desire continues subject to rebirth.
He who lacks discrimination, whose mind is unsteady and whose heart is impure, never reaches the goal, but is born again and again. But he who has discrimination, whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure, reaches the goal and, having reached it, is born no more.
How do I know that loving life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death I am not like a man who, having left home in his youth, has forgotten the way back?
Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going–
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
Kozan Ichikyo, Zen teacher, written on the morning of his death
Either death is a state of nothingness and utter consciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night.
Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children, is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious meditations, there is sometimes mixture of vanity, and of superstition. You shall read, in some of the friars’ books of mortification, that a man should think with himself, what the pain is, if he have but his finger’s end pressed, or tortured, and thereby imagine, what the pains of death are, when the whole body is corrupted, and dissolved; when many times death passeth, with less pain than the torture of a limb; for the most vital parts, are not the quickest of sense. And by him that spake only as a philosopher, and natural man, it was well said, Pompa mortis magis terret, quam mors ipsa. Groans, and convulsions, and a discolored face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like, show death terrible. It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man, so weak, but it mates, and masters, the fear of death; and therefore, death is no such terrible enemy, when a man hath so many attendants about him, that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear preoccupateth it; nay, we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die, out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds niceness and satiety: Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; mori velle, non tantum fortis aut miser, sed etiam fastidiosus potest. A man would die, though he were neither valiant, nor miserable, only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft, over and over. It is no less worthy, to observe, how little alteration in good spirits, the approaches of death make; for they appear to be the same men, till the last instant. Augustus Caesar died in a compliment; Livia, conjugii nostri memor, vive et vale. Tiberius in dissimulation; as Tacitus saith of him, Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, deserebant. Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool; Ut puto deus fio. Galba with a sentence; Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani; holding forth his neck. Septimius Severus in despatch; Adeste si quid mihi restat agendum. And the like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon death, and by their great preparations, made it appear more fearful. Better saith he, qui finem vitae extremum inter munera ponat naturae. It is as natural to die, as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful, as the other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood; who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixed, and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert the dolors of death. But, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is’, Nunc dimittis; when a man hath obtained worthy ends, and expectations. Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy. – Extinctus amabitur idem.
Death in the Scriptures
The word death alone appears hundreds of times.in the Bible. This collection of quotes gives some idea of the intricate relationship bred between sin, death and redemption by the Judeo-Christian religions.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Each man’s life is but a breath.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed–
in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,
so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–
and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
1 John 3
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”