|Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), 1694-1778|
Voices from the Edge of Eternity
Compiled by John Myers
Last Hours On Earth Of The Noted French Infidel, Voltaire
"When 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 for me!'
"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.
"Such 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 Terror of Hell
The Death of President Lyndon Johnson
Watching Men Die