October, 1764. - This night I confess before you, who alone has immortality—that I believe myself mortal. Soon the eye which guides, and the hand that holds this pen—shall crumble into dust in the cold grave—and my soul shall go to dwell in the eternal world! Sober removal! Solemn change! Eternal state! Is there not a friend to attend and comfort me through all? Ah! no! My friends, the nearest and the dearest, are at best but compassionate spectators; they may weep at my bedside, but cannot take one blow for me in the hottest battle. Yes, the angels may minister to me on this side the river, and on that side the river—but not one of them can descend with me into the swellings of Jordan. But, O merciful High-Priest! who in my nature has tasted of death to soften mine—you shall go down with me into the flowing stream, and at your presence the raging torrent shall divide. And then, instead of being carried down the stream of destruction—I shall have a pleasant entrance into Immanuel's land! Woe to him who is alone in the hour of death! When I fight my last enemy—be my shield; when I walk in death's dark valley be my sun. And then foes and fears shall distress me no more.
One may beat a snappish dog with a stick—but to fight an enraged lion, requires other weapons. It is a small thing to lie a few days under a disease—but another thing to die. A cold shiver or two shall enter me among the inhabitants of the unseen world. I start back, and recoil—but the tender thread breaks—and in a moment I die! I see, I feel—that it is not an easy thing to die. Nature startles at death, and the unprepared soul is overwhelmed with a horrible gloom, that increases through eternity itself. Where then, O where shall I find comforts for my last moments? They must come from above, for the world will avail me nothing in that day. I will therefore have recourse to God's promises, which are exceeding great, exceeding precious, and exceeding proper to every case a child of God can be in; more precious than mountains of gold, and great above conception and thought.
James Meikle - 'King of terrors'