For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To some men to live is a man, for a man; they are content to merge their individuality in his; they do not care to be known if he is known; they always wish to be regarded as his friends; they live on his words; they immortalize themselves by recording them; to please him is their highest honour and felicity, and they leave a beautiful biography behind them in which they entomb and lose themselves, and rear a monument to the memory of their idol. Such was Boswell's "Life of Johnson" — "To me to live is Johnson!" Such was Lockhart's "Life of Scott" — "To me to live is Scott!" Such is the elegant tribute of Tacitus to Julius Agricola!" "To me to live is Agricola" Such is the, to me, sad and shocking life of Cicero, by Dr. Middleton — "To me to live is Cicero!" But Paul said, "To me to live is Christ!" To some men to live is a science. They are absorbed by it; the pursuit of it is the unconscious charm of their existence. All things and all bodies are regarded as through the lens supplied by it. To Lyell and Murchison — "To me to live is Geology!" To Rosse or Nicholl — "To me to live is Astronomy!" To Liebig or Davy, to Faraday or Matueccei — "To me to live is Chemistry or Electricity?" To Owen or Cuvier — "To me to live is Comparative Anatomy! "To Young — "To me to live is a Rosetta stone!" But Paul said, "To me to live is Christ!" And some men live for an idea. They live for it; in it; become martyrs to it. Bravely, but sometimes very foolishly, they identify the whole world with their one idea. If it expires all perishes. Hence Vane and Sidney would say, "To me to live is a Republic!" Hence Leibnitz and Kant and Descartes concentrated their life on an idea. But Paul said, "To me to live is Christ!" And to some men to live is self. "What shall I eat, and what shall I drink, and wherewithal shall I be clothed?"
Parallel VersesKJV: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.