“A Tombstone Inscription”
First Published: July 24, 2001
I am very much looking forward to this coming Lord’s Day worship. Not only is it a “Baptism Sunday” – when we have the privilege of applying the covenant sign to the very youngest members of the covenant community, but also we have finally arrived at Romans 8:31-32 – one of my favorite passages in all of the Scriptures. I have been itching to proclaim it. Pray that God would open hearts to his Word and reveal the magnificence of his love.
While preparing for my new Wednesday evening series on “God and Things,” I came upon this quote in some old notes of mine. It comes from a tombstone in the Holyrood Abbey Church ruins, Edinburgh, Scotland. The inscription reads: “Here lies the body of THOMAS LOWES Esq., Late of Ridley Hall In the County of Northumberland.” It is followed by this poem:
One instance among thousands
Of the uncertainty of human life
And the instability of earthly possessions
Born to ample property
He for several years experienced
A distressing reverse of fortune
And no sooner was he restored to
His former affluence
Then it pleased Divine Providence
to withdraw this together with his life.
Be thou taught by this
To seek those riches which never can fail
And those pleasures
Which are at God's right hand
The gracious gift of God
And to be enjoyed through faith
In JESUS CHRIST our Saviour.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?