Voices from the Edge of Eternity Compiled by John Myers
Last Hours On Earth Of The Noted French Infidel, Voltaire
Voltaire felt the stroke which he realized must terminate in death, he
was overpowered with remorse. He at once sent for the priest and wanted
to be 'reconciled to the church.' His infidel flatterers hastened to
his chamber to prevent his incantation, but it was only to witness his
ignominy and their own. He cursed them to their faces and, since his distress was increased by their presence, repeatedly and loudly exclaimed, 'Begone!
It is you that have brought me to my present condition. Leave me, I
say -- begone! What a wretched glory is this which you have produced
"Hoping to allay his anguish by a written recantation,
he had it prepared, signed it, and saw it witnessed. But it was all
unavailing. For two months he was tortured with such an agony as led
him at times to gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man.
At other times, in plaintive accents, he would plead, 'O Christ! O Lord
Jesus!' Then, turning his face he would cry out, 'I must die --
abandoned of God and of men!'
"As his end drew near his condition
became so frightful that his infidel associates were afraid to approach
his bedside. Still they guarded the door, that others might not know
how awfully an infidel was compelled to die. Even his nurse repeatedly
said that for all the wealth of Europe she would never see another infidel die. It was a scene of horror that lies beyond all exaggeration.
is the well-attested end of this man who had a natural sovereignty of
intellect, excellent education, great wealth and much earthly honor."
--The Contrast Between Infidelity and Christianity
"The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.
"The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
"The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.
"He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
"It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."