john wesley, finishing well, and old men

I just finished reading John Wesley’s Journal for class, and I must say it was fantastic. Some of it was tedious, obviously, because it was a journal. But seeing the progression of his life, his heart for the gospel and how God used him was incredible. What got me the most, though, was the account of his dying days by an eyewitness at the end.

While reading it, I was reminded of the unfortunate fact that I don’t really know many old men. I would probably give a big toe to know some really godly old men and just be able to sit around and listen to them talk and tell stories. But God did let me do that through reading the end of Wesley’s journal, and it was remarkable to hear him describe his decaying body while it seemed that his passion for the Lord grew even stronger.

In the eyewitness account of his death, there is a story from the day before he died that almost brought me to tears. His friends and family are gathered around his deathbed and he keeps trying to work up the strength to speak, because he has something he wants to tell them. He struggles mightily to do so, and finally he cried out:

“The best of all is, God is with us;” and then, as if to assert the faithfulness of our promise-keeping Jehovah and comfort the hearts of his weeping friends, lifting up his dying arm in token of victory and raising his feeble voice with a holy triumph not to be expressed, again repeated the heart-reviving words, “The best of all is, God is with us!”

Oh for the grace to finish well.

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