Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'A Puritan's Mind Updates' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Jul 18, 2015.
How do you deal with the sin of Suicide? Check out this new post by Samuel Miller (1769-1850) here.
"But perhaps it will be asked, “Can we entertain no hope of the final salvation of one who destroys his own life?” This is a question which it ill becomes a blind and erring mortal to decide. It is possible that a child of God may be so far under the power of mental derangement, as to rush unbidden into the presence of his Father. I believe that instances of this kind have sometimes occurred; and, if so, concerning the salvation of such persons no doubt can be entertained. But it may be questioned, on very solid ground, whether a real Christian, in the exercise of his reason, ever became his own executioner.
Let those inclined to adopt a more favorable opinion, ponder well that solemn declaration of the Spirit of God, “No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). How small, then, is the proportion of self-murderers for whom we can cherish the least hope beyond the grave! When men leave the world in an act of daring and deliberate rebellion against God, distrusting his providence, agitated by the worst of passions, and trampling upon all the obligations which bind them to their Creator and their fellow men, how can Charity herself avoid considering them as “strangers from the covenants of promise”(Eph. 2:12), and weeping over them as “children of perdition!” (cf. John 17:12).
This conclusion will be confirmed, if we look into the sacred history, and examine the characters of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas, the only instances of suicide which the pen of inspiration has recorded. Do we discover in the last moments of these wretched self-destroyers anything to warrant a hope concerning their state after death? Alas! no. We find them throughout manifesting that spirit of pride and enmity to God, and that hateful compound of malice and despair, which characterize the fiend, and which torture the bosoms of the accursed in their dark abodes."
Very balanced. I have heard on more than one occasion persons sound too loose on this issue.
It's not exactly true that those are the only instances of suicide we have in Scripture. One thinks also of Saul's armourbearer and of Abimelech.
Abimelech's was assisted and his death was probably imminent, so he may have been excluded for that reason.
30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died,
Though awkwardly constructed, I think it clearly meant new post by him from Samuel Miller
I ought to have expected you'd quickly run to the defense of your boy
People argue about whether Samson counts or not, which is why I didn't mention him. Zimri seems pretty unequivocal.
I'm inclined to keep Samson on the list because his death was not so much a by-product of war or defense of others as it was the result of a self-determined plan to end his own life with the lives of others. By most definitions, it is a type of suicide.
I incline that way myself, since Samson meant for his own life to end, but thought that Miller might not.