MIGHTIER DEAD THAN ALIVE
T. DeWitt Talmage
Judges, I6: 30: " So the dead which he slew at his death
were more than they which he slew in his life."
Samson in the text was deified and became the
Hercules of Greece. He was a giant warrior, born to
be a leader, and Paul applauds him as a man who
"through faith subdued kingdoms." He was a friend
of God and an enemy of unrighteousness. But the
most memorable scene in his life was the death-scene.
The Philistines, his enemies, gathered round him in a
great building to mock him. With supernatural
strength he laid hold of the pillars and flung every-
thing into ruin, destroying the lives of the three thou-
sand scoffers, among them the lords of Philistia. He
had slain many of the enemies of God during his life;
but my text says his last achievement was the might-
iest. "So the dead which he slew at his death were
more than they which he slew in his life." It is some-
times the case that after a most industrious, useful, and
eminent life, the last hours are more potent than the
long years that preceded.
In the overshadowing event of this day we find
illustrations of my text. President Garfield, as many
orators will say, was all his life the enemy of sin, the
enemy of sectionalism, the enemy of everything small-
hearted; impure and debasing, and he made many a
crushing blow against those moral and political Philis-
tines, but in his death he made mightier conquest.
The eleven weeks of dying have made more illustrious
record than the fifty years of living. "So the dead
which he slew at his death were more than they, which
he slew in his life."
As a matter of inspiration and comfort, I propose
to show you that President Garfield's expiration is a
mightier good than a prolonged lifetime possibly
could be. Mind you, there was no time at which his
death-bed could have been so emphatic. If he had
died a few years before, his departure would not have
been so conspicuous. If he had died ...
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