|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|Picture of the Death-Bed of a Sinner|
|By Jean-Baptiste Massillon (16631742)|
Translation of Joel Foote Bingham
|THEN the dying sinner, finding no longer in the remembrance of the past, anything but regrets which overwhelm him; in all which is passing from his sight, but images which afflict him; in the thought of the future, but horrors which affright him;knowing no longer to whom he should have recourse: neither to the creatures, which are escaping from him, nor to the world, which is vanishing; nor to men, who do not know how to deliver him from death; nor to the just God, whom he regards as his declared enemy, whose indulgence he must no longer expect;he revolves his horrors in his soul; he torments himself, he tosses himself hither and thither, to flee from death which is seizing him, or at least to flee from himself; from his dying eyes issues a gloomy wildness which bespeaks the furiousness of his soul; from the depths of his dejection he throws out words broken by sobs, which one but half understands, and knows not whether it is despair or repentance which has given them form; he casts on the crucifix affrighted looks, and such as leave us to doubt whether it is fear or hope, hatred or love, which they mean; he goes into convulsions in which one is ignorant whether it is the body dissolving, or the soul perceiving the approach of her judge; he sighs deeply, and one cannot tell whether it is the memory of his crimes which is tearing these sighs from him, or his despair at relinquishing life. Finally, in the midst of his mournful struggles, his eyes become fixed, his features change, his countenance is distorted, his livid mouth falls open; his whole body trembles, and with this last struggle his wretched soul is sorrowfully torn from this body of clay, falls into the hands of God, and finds itself at the foot of the awful tribunal.|| 1|