I visited Colne yesterday and examined the grounds of its ancient parish church. Unusually, there was half a dozen seventeenth century stones in the church yard. One of them, John Blakey, died in 1657. Oliver was the Lord Protector then, and evangelical congregations were enjoying their glory years. But what of John Blakey? He wasn't short of a bob or two, as he could afford a stone, though he sought no fancy adornment or ostentation. He will almost certainly have heard gospel preaching, living when he did. But did he respond to it? Did he accept it? We have no way of knowing. But God knows the heart.
I do not know if I shall meet Master Blakey in heaven. He may have lived in the golden age of puritan England, but the way to eternal life was as narrow then as it is now.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Wondering through a graveyard is a wonderfully sobering experience. Where we now walk, they once did. And their end shall be ours. Let us ever be mindful that one day, the lease we have on our bodies shall draw to an end, and we shall be called to judgement.