I read a lot of obituaries. So far this one is my all time favorite!
Elizabeth Teel (1814-1833)
5th Great Aunt.
Departed this life, on the 23rd of September in the 19th year of her age, Miss Elizabeth, only daughter of Captain Lewis and Malinda Martin Teel, near Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia.
The writer of this notice is aware, that to bring to the mind of the reader all the happy feelings which the dying testimony of the deceased was calculated to produce, would prove a task utterly beyond his reach–because description from the ablest pen is faint when brought into comparison with the sweet and heart-cheering expressions of one whose soul was animated by the precious love of Jesus, giving praises to the dear Redeemer in a strain that could not fail to awaken the sensibility of the greatest infidel. She was taken with bilious fever; and from the first of her illness, she seemed to have a foreboding of her dissolution–though she murmured not under the afflicting dispensation; but cried earnestly to the great Physician of Souls to have mercy upon her. She felt she was a poor sinner and stood in need of the prayers of God’s people–believing that, in connection with her own, they would avail, and was not unmindful to call on all who professed religion that visited the house, to pray for her. Her prayers were not in vain; her humble fervent petitions, reached the friend of sinners; from the most heart-rending picture of anguish of soul, she was in the twinkling of an eye transformed by the renewing of her heart, into the lively and happy cloud of God. Joy illuminated her countenance–a new song issued from her lips, even praises to the Most High. She called on her dear parents, whose prayers had been poured out to God on her behalf, to help her praise her dear Redeemer, saying, “Oh, mama, this is my birthday by nature and by grace, and I thank the Lord for it–he has snatched me as a brand from the burning. Oh that I had known how good the Lord is, I would have tried to found him before this.” Prayer and praise seemed to fill her happy soul; praying for sinners; awfully warning the young, and all who visited her, to prepare to meet God; and for her much beloved uncle, her anxiety was intense. Indeed her happy soul knew no bounds nor limit for those whom she believed to be in their sins. The day on which she died, she seemed to have an increased degree of love and praise. As her mother passed, said she, “Oh, mama, come–I want you to help me talk about that good Jesus–O how precious is his name.” She took a formal leave of her dear brothers, beseeching them to serve the Lord in the days of their youth–then kissing her dear parents, bidding them a long farewell. She repeated the Lord’s Prayer: “Oh,” says she, “father view the angels; they are waiting for me’ I cannot stay long.” Then raising her hands towards heaven, shouting victory to the lamb who hath redeemed us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood , ___ and died. Reader, pause! You, like Elizabeth, may soon cease to anuate the gay and domestic circles becoming ___ diseased. Hear the admonition of the awful message; behold his approach, and repose under the cold clods of the grave! What a change! Are you young, graceful in your form, and amiable in your manners! She possessed these qualities in the bloom of youth, and the morning of her days. Are you in affluence and ease! So was she! She knew not privation! Are you surrounded by numerous friends, and a dear father and mother who bind you with a manifold cord to earth! It was once so with her. Do you look forward to a long life, usefulness and enjoyment! So did she. But are you willing to turn away from all these, as elusive vanities, and fly to that bourne from whence no traveiler hath returned, like she did! Without Christ you cannot do this; you cannot die in peace; you cannot die in triumph. But Elizabeth died in peace–in triumph–and she died in Christ. Reader! may our lot be like hers, that the precious name of Jesus my form the last accents that quiver on our pale and expiring lips, as on hers: even so let it be.