Died in Faith.

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
IN September, 1870, there occurred one of the worst tragedies known in the history of mountaineering. A party of eleven—eight guides a Scotch clergyman, and two Americans—had set out from Chamonix to ascend Mount Blanc. They were watched from eleven thousand feet below through telescopes. They were observed to reach the summit in safety. And then began the descent. At the same time the weather suddenly changed, and a terrific snowstorm overtook the climbers. For eight days Mount Blanc was enveloped in cloud and whirling snow. When the storm had cleared a searching party set out from below to find the missing men. They found five corpses, frozen hard, a few hundred feet from the summit. The other bodies have not yet, to our knowledge, been discovered.
There is one bright gleam shining out of the darkness and gloom of this terrible disaster. In the note-book of one of the ill-fated party—Mr. McBean, a Bostonian—were found some entries made while he found himself freezing to death in the storm. One of them, addressed to his wife, began: “My DEAR HESSIE,—We have been on Mount Blanc for two days in a terrible snowstorm. We have lost our way at a height of fifteen thousand feet. I have no hope of descending. Perhaps this book may be found and forwarded ... . We have no food; my feet are already frozen, and I am exhausted. I have only strength to write a few words. I die in the faith of Jesus Christ, with affectionate thoughts of my family.”
How those eight words, "I die in the faith of Jesus Christ," stand out from the body of the memoranda before the Christian's eyes, as if inscribed in letters of living fire. How they gleam and glow with more than diamond brightness from out of their dark setting of the other entries. They flash with hope—that hope which maketh not ashamed. "I have no hope of descending," he pathetically wrote. No, in the body he despaired of ever reaching the bottom of the frigid mount; but out of it, "absent from the body," he had, "in the faith of Jesus Christ," "good hope through grace." He might riot descend; but ascend "to be with Christ" he should.
Reader, if called upon to die (and who can tell but what you may be very soon!), could you write, like this member of that lost party of climbers, freezing among the mountains, I die in the faith of Jesus Christ? "Precious, in the eyes of God, is the death of all His own. And He has caused it to be written of such, “These all died in faith." (Heb. 11:13.) Such high value does He place on a sinner's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that He calls it "precious faith.”
Again we ask you, reader, "Hast thou faith?" If "suddenly cut off," could it be said of you that you had "died in faith"? There is only one other way to die—to "die in your sins." And dying thus, you die without hope, for He who can neither lie nor err has said, “Ye... shall die in your sins whither I go ye cannot come." (John 8:21) Will you not, then, from this moment, exercise living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Read Gal. 2:1616Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16). There is no other way of justification, or entrance into life, but by “the faith of Jesus Christ." C. K.