For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. —Philippians 1:21
Edwards, preaching on this text–
If it be so that your death is your gain, be exhorted to wean your hearts more and more from the world. If your gain consists not in staying in the world but in going out of it, how important is it to set your hearts upon it as if it consisted in it.
Will you set your hearts upon the things of this life when your gain consists not in this life but in the next? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Is death gain to you?
Be entirely resigned to God’s will while living or dying: you are always safe in either of these conditions, for you to live is Christ and to die is gain. . . . And seeing it is so that you are got into such a happy estate and condition that either by life or death you obtain your great end, cast yourself upon God’s hands: let his will be your will, knowing that whether you are to die in youth or in old age, this year or next, today or tomorrow, whether a natural or violent death, by sickness or by accident, whether at home or abroad, whether an easy or a painful death; yet let it come when, how, and where it will, it will be your unspeakable gain.
–Jonathan Edwards, ‘Dying to Gain,’ in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10,Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723 (ed. Wilson Kimnach; Yale University Press, 1992), 590
(HT: Dane Ortlund)