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   Everyone dies.

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   But what have prominent atheists said as they lay dying?

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   Bill Bright, in his autobiography¹, as he himself approached his own demise, shares the (contrasting) dying words of

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   Voltair

     Thomas Hobbes

       Edward Gibbon

         Thomas Paine

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   Voltair  (famous French writer and unbeliever of the 18th century) —  [Earlier he'd said] “Curse the wretch.” He vowed, “In twenty years Christianity will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear.” [According to his physician, Trochim, his last words were-] “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life. Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me. O Christ. O Jesus Christ.”

   Thomas Hobbes (17th century English political philosopher) – “If I had the whole world, I would give it to live one day. I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world. About to take a leap into the dark.”

   Edward Gibbon (who wrote Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire) — “This day will be my last. I will agree that the immortality of the soul is at times a very comfortable doctrine. All this is now lost, finally, irrevocably lost. All is dark and doubtful.”

   Thomas Paine (prominent author during the American Revolution) — ["In his last hours he said-"] “I would give worlds, if I had them, that Age of Reason had not been published. O Lord help me. Christ help me. O God, what have I done to suffer so much? But there is no God. But if there should be, what will become of me hereafter? Stay with me for God’s sake. Send even a child to stay with me, for it is hell to be alone. If the devil had an agent, I have been that one.”

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   ¹All the information here is from The Journey Home by Bill Bright (Thomas Nelson, 2003, pp. 20-21). All information is from this volume, written in and about the last months of his life. He was married to his wife Vonette for 54 years. In 1951, they founded Campus Crusade for Christ which (acc. to James Dobson of Focus on the Family) is active in 190 countries with 26,000 staff members and an additional 553,000 trained volunteers (as of 2003).

Happy Birthday, Eli!