For One Who Feels That He Is Approaching The Borders of Another World
O most Merciful God! I rejoice that thou dost reign over the universe with a sovereign sway, so that thou dost according to thy will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. Thou art the Maker of my body and Father of my spirit, and thou hast a perfect right to dispose of me in that manner which will most effectually promote thy glory; and I know that whatsoever thou dost is right, and wise, and just, and good.
My only hope and confidence rest simply on the mediatorial work and prevailing intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ; in consequence of which the Holy Spirit is graciously sent to make application of Christ’s redemption, by working faith in us and repentance unto life, and rendering us meet for the heavenly inheritance by sanctifying us in the whole man—soul, body and spirit. Grant, gracious God, that the rich blessings of the new covenant may be freely bestowed on thy unworthy servant. I acknowledge that I have no claim to thy favor on account of any goodness in me by nature; for, alas! there dwelleth in me—that is, in my flesh—no good thing; nor on account of any works of righteousness done by me, for all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Whatever good thing I have ever done, or even thought, I ascribe entirely to thy grace, without which I can do nothing acceptable in thy sight. My best duties have fallen far short of the perfection of thy law, and have been so mingled with sin in the performance that I might justly be condemned for the most fervent prayer I ever made.
As, in the course of nature, I must be drawing near to my end, and as I know I must soon put off this tabernacle, I do humbly and earnestly beseech thee, O Father of mercies, to prepare me for this inevitable and solemn event. Fortify my mind against the terrors of death. Dissipate the dark clouds and mists which naturally hang over the grave, and lead me gently down into the valley. O kind Shepherd, who hast tasted the bitterness of death for me, and who knowest bow to sympathize, be thou present to guide, to support and to comfort me. Illumine with beams. of heavenly light the valley of the shadow of death, so that I may fear no evil. When heart and flesh fail, be thou the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. Permit not the great adversary to harass my soul in the last struggle, but make me a conqueror, and more than a conqueror, in this fearful conflict. I humbly ask that my reason may be continued to the last, and, if it be thy will that I may be so comforted and supported, that I may leave a testimony to thy faithfulness in fulfilling thy gracious promises: and that others of thy servants who may follow after may be encouraged to commit themselves boldly to the guidance and keeping of the Shepherd of Israel.
And when my spirit leaves this clay tenement, Lord Jesus, receive it. Send some of the blessed angels to convoy my inexperienced soul to the mansion which thy love has pre pared. And let me be so situated, though in the lowest rank, that I may behold thy glory. May I have an abundant entrance administered unto me into the kingdom of our Lord, for whose sake and in whose name I ask all these things. Amen.
( From Thoughts on Religious Experience by Archibald Alexander, D.D., 1844)