“Friend, let me whisper in thine ear: expect to lose thy dear ones still, for death is not destroyed.
Look not upon any of thy friends as though they would be with thee tomorrow, for death is not destroyed yet. See thou the word ‘mortal’ written upon all our brows.
The most unlikely ones die first. When I heard during this week of several cases of dear friends who have gone to their reward, I could have sooner believed it had been others, but God has been pleased to take from us and from our connexion many whom we supposed to be what are called good lives, and they were good lives in the best sense, and that is why the Master took them; they were ripe, and he took them home; but we could not see that.
Now, remember that all your friends, your wife, your husband, your child, your kinsfolk, are all mortal.
That makes you sad. Well, it may prevent your being more sad when they are taken away.
Hold them with a loose hand; do not count that to be freehold which you have only received as a leasehold; do not call that yours which is only lent you, for if you get a thing lent you and it is asked for back, you give it back freely; but if you entertain the notion that it was given you, you do not like to yield it up.
Now, remember, the enemy is not destroyed, and that he will make inroads into our family circle still.
And then remember that you too must die.
Bring yourself frequently face to face with this truth, that you must die. Do not forget it, Christian friend.
No man knows whether his faith is good for anything or not if he does not frequently try that faith by bringing himself right to the edge of the grave.
Picture yourself dying, conceive yourself breathing out your last breath, and see whether then you can look at death without quaking, whether you can feel, “Yes, I have rested upon Jesus, I am saved, I will go through death’s tremendous vale with his presence as my stay, fearing no evil.”
If you have no good hope, may God give you grace at this moment to fly to Jesus, and to trust in Him, and when you have trusted in Him death will be to you a destroyed enemy.
May God grant his blessing for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Last Enemy Destroyed,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 12 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866), 12: 647–648.