Waldron, Samuel E.
‘“Depend upon it, Sir”, said Dr Samuel Johnson, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Something similar may be said of a man who is diagnosed with an incurable disease which normally carries a prognosis of about six months.
‘But if that is true, what kind of self-delusion would lead him to the text that forms the title to this book: “I shall not die, but live …”? Not, certainly, any thought of dodging the arrow that has brought down every man since the fall of Adam. Rather, it is the thought that he must now focus on the things that really matter, together with the conviction that, in sober reality, he will not die till his work is done, till the things that God has intended he should accomplish are accomplished. Till then, “I shall not die, but live”; and what could be more worth doing than what the Psalmist speaks of next: “and declare
the works of the Lord”?
So wrote Douglas Taylor as he began his blog, ‘Works Worth Declaring’ on June 7, 2011. For the next three years, until his last and 651st post on May 8, 2014, he was enabled to testify to God’s saving and keeping grace.
In so doing his words had a profound impact on many around the world. ‘Thank you, Douglas for your wonderful blog. It has taught and encouraged me so much’, one lady wrote. Another noted, ‘I am so happy to have found your blog! I have a friend who is on her own journey with cancer … I sent the link to your blog to my friend.’ A reader from Louisville, Kentucky, wrote to Douglas to say, ‘I just found your blog and it brought tremendous encouragement to see your unwavering faith in the goodness of our God.’
This selection of about 245 blog posts is full of gospel comfort. It will minister fresh hope to those who, like Douglas Taylor, may have only a short time left on this earth. But it will also be very helpful to busy pastors who often inquire as to where they can point those who need fresh faith and hope in the midst of serious illness. Here is an excellent resource, the focus of which is not on a dying man but on the living Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has ‘abolished death’ and ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’ (2 Tim 1:10).
Douglas Taylor (1948–2014) was for fourteen years Assistant Editor at the Banner of Truth Trust in Edinburgh, until ill-health forced him to step down in 2011. From June 2011 until May 2014, he kept a blog to encourage those who knew that the remainder of their lives would be short. His vibrant faith in his saviour is shared with us in a selection of 245 short blog posts, full of gospel comfort and preserved in his book, I Shall Not Die But Live.
A native of Ayrshire in south-west Scotland, he was the loving husband of Di, with whom he had six children. The desire of his heart was fulfilled when he went home to his Saviour early in June 2014.
‘…a powerful testimony to the Lord’s grace through suffering.’
– Tim Challies
‘We warmly commend this book to comfort the hearts of those who have but a little while longer on this earth. Pastors, busy with visiting church members and others in difficulty, often inquire as to where they may point those who need fresh faith and hope in the midst of serious illness. Here is an excellent resource; within these blogs are hints of pastoral sources. [I Shall Not Die, But Live] is also suited to aid those in search of spiritual blessings, regardless of their circumstances in this life.’
– Walter J. Chantry
‘Some people have said “is this something to give to somebody who’s dying with cancer?” Well yes, you can do that, but you know, we’re all dying, aren’t we? It’s a book for everybody. It’s short chapters, it’s very devotional at times, it’s very doctrinal at times, and I think partly because of the focus that Douglas had in his last three years of life, he writes in a way that is sharp, but it’s brief, and he really gets across a message. As I’ve read it, there have been times where I’ve been extremely challenged; and there have been times where I’ve been brought to tears just from half a page of writing. It’s very helpful, and I would recommend it highly to you.’
- John Rawlinson