These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them…
Behold here the secret of dying! "These all died in faith." Bad men die reluctantly; life is extorted from them as if by main force. The believer dies willingly; his will is sweetly submitted to his Father's will; he makes it a religious act to die. Just as Jesus Himself commended His human soul to His Father, saying, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46): so His believing disciple commends his soul to Jesus, and through Him to the Father. Here, I repeat, is the secret how to die happily. To those who know not that secret, it is a fearful thing to die. It is a serious matter for any. But to the worldly-minded and ungodly, if not past feeling, to die must be, as one of the heathen philosophers () confessed it, "of all formidable things the most formidable." Only mention a neighbour's death in a gay circle; lo, you have thrown a gloom over the whole assembly — all are evidently sorry that the topic was introduced. The ancient Romans would not mention death in plain words, if they could avoid it, but only by circumlocution and implication. Even serious Christians are often in bondage through fear of death. It is such a venture; a mistake may be so fatal; to go before God is so awful; judgment will bring to light such secrets, that many think, How can I die? Yet you all must. Be persuaded, give your soul to Jesus now; do it again from day to day: and then, when your dying day is come, again approach the Saviour, and say, "Lord, I hear Thee calling for my spirit; I see the waggons sent to fetch me home to Thee; in the hand of death I recognise Thy hand of love; Thou askest for my soul; take it, for it is Thine. Do with it what Thou wilt, I have given it to Thee to be washed in Thy blood, and sanctified by Thy Spirit; I am sure Thou wilt do it no harm!"
Parallel VersesKJV: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.