Suicide is a deep misery, impacting family and friends of the loved one who takes his/her life. But it is also a sin, a breaking of the 6th commandment. We may think of suicide as a modern/post-modern problem. But in 1805, Samuel Miller was confronted with a rash of suicides (nine in 3 months). He approached the crisis head-on, preaching and then publishing addresses inscribed to the young people of his congregation: The Guilt, Folly and Sources of Suicide (1805). To the one who thinks he would never be tempted to commit suicide, Miller speaks these words:
Brethren, be not deceived! Every individual who hears me has an interest in this subject. Who can foresee the situations in which he may hereafter be placed, or the temptations by which he may hereafter be assailed? Or who can tell how soon the conduct of a near relative, or of a valued friend, may bring the subject home, with the deepest interest, to his bosom? It is probable, that the most of those who have fallen into this deplorable sin, were once as ready as any of my present hearers can now be, to think and to say, What, is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing? In truth, it becomes depraved creatures with regard to every sin, to be humble and watchful; for there is no sin into which they may not fall, if forsaken by restraining grace. That we may, therefore, be armed against the hour of temptation ourselves, and that we may be able to convince and warn others, let me request you seriously to attend, while I endeavour, First, To lay before you the Guilt and Folly of the sin in question; and, Secondly, By tracing the evil to its Sources, to put you on your guard against such principles and habits as may lead to danger.
Have you been touched by suicide? Are you being tempted to take your own life? Read Miller.