Banner Photograph of BRAD CEMETERY - Highway 180 West of Palo Pinto. Taken by Judith Richards Shubert 2009.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Asleep in Jesus!" Lillian Copeland - Tombstone Tuesday in Veal Creek Cemetery


Lillian Copeland
Born Mar. 10, 1898
Died May 13, 1908

"Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep, From which none
ever wakes to weep"

This beautiful gravemarker is that of a 10-year old child. Notice the height of the familiar tree- or woodsmen of the world design. It is only one-half or one-third as tall as those placed at adults graves. Also, there is a lamb on the marker which usually was used on children's gravestones.

In 1917 The General Council Publication House in Philadelphia published Favorite Hymns by William Lee Hunton.1 It contains "stories of the origin, authorship, and use of hymns we love." A copy of this book was stamped May 11, 1918, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.

The author writes that hymns concerning death and burial soothes the grieving and the message in them comforts and reaches the soul. Mr. Hunton states that many hymns of Christian experience are especially helpful for the dying, and comforting to the living who mourn. But there are hymns which seem solely to be messages of comfort for those who mourn the departure of loved ones. Among these is one which was penned by a woman, Margaret Mackay.

It is the first two lines of this hymn which adorns the child's gravestone above.

A Woman's Hymn Concerning Death
Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep:
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes.

Asleep in Jesus! o how sweet,
To be for such a slumber meet;
With holy confidence to sing
That death has lost his venomed sting.

Asleep in Jesus! peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest:
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Saviour's power.

Asleep in Jesus! oh, for me
May such a blissful refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie,
And wait the summons from on high.

The hymn which appeared first in "The Amethyst; or, Christian Annual," for 1832, was occasioned by the author, Mrs. Mackay, of Hedgefield, England, reading an inscription on a tombstone in a rural burying-ground in Devonshire.

Later, in writing concerning her verses, the writer says, the burying-ground referred to is that of Pennycross Chapel. It is a few miles distant from a busy seaport, and is reached by a succession of lovely green lanes. The quiet aspect of the Pennycross "God's Acre" comes soothingly over the mind, suggesting at once the thought of "Sleeping in Jesus." Certainly the thought, which is the thought of Christ and strictly biblical, is beautifully emphasized for the comforting of countless mourning ones, as well as for the staying of the souls of many as they are about to fall into that sleep which knows no earthly awakening.

Sources:

1. Hunton, William Lee, "Favorite Hymns," Google Book Search, (Online: Books.Google.com) [Original published by The General Council Publication House, 1917; Original from Harvard University], page 225-226, <http://books.google.com/books?id=6VINAAAAYAAJ> accessed April 28, 2009.

Veal Creek Cemetery, Stephens County, Texas
Photograph by Judith Richards Shubert (c) 2009




7 comments:

  1. Judy, the child's beautiful little monument and your lovely post touched my heart.

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  2. Thank you so much, Janice. I intended to look around her burial site and see if her parents are there or if they have a Woodsmen of the World monument.

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  3. I was surprised to see the Tom Allen gravesite photo, but then it occurred to me that I had probably seen it on the "Bridges" site when I stumbled across it a few days ago.

    Did you take a look at my Flickr set? I'd like to point you to the Kissiah Miller stone, which grabbed my imagination. A lady born in 1794 who lived 98 years.......Can't you imagine the history she must have witnessed as our country was developing, and what were her experiences? There is so much to think about in that single biographical wording on that single stone. I wonder if you might have some of the same questions that I have about these stones in the shady portion of the Old Georgetown Cemetery?

    Willie C

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  4. I just got a hit from Charles Town, West Virgina that has your name all over it. So I'm a rambling old man? Well, I'm pretty sure that's what I am. Thanks for the publicity!

    Willie C

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  5. Hi Willie! Hope I didn't offend. I really appreciate your comments here on Cemeteries with Texas Ties! I think my Twitter followers saw my "tweet" about reading your blog. Glad it brought you a new visitor.

    I do feel like you do when I see the stones in the Old Georgetown Cemetery. And in others as well. I was pretty surprised when I saw the Round Rock Cemetery and some of the destruction of the old gravestones that has taken place there.

    You said you were surprised to see my post about Tom Allen's grave here. I probably did have it on my other "Bridges" blog, too. I will go and look at the other photos in your Flickr set. I noticed more tombstone pictures in the video on your front page. Have you read my post here about the Aston family and the Thomas West family buried in Tolar? I think they are two of my more interesting tales.

    Again, thanks for stopping and leaving your comments. And I'll look forward to reading more from you!

    Judy

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  6. I hate to be monopolizing this, Judy, but wanted to tell you that I did make it back up to the Citizens' Memorial Garden this morning, and took a few more shots, and, of all things, ran out of batteries! i had never before failed to take spares, but this time I thought would have no trouble making the few photos I intended.

    I have not yet begun to assemble my photo essay on this cemetery, but was able to find what i'm sure you've known about for years....a Williamson County, Texas Digital Cemetery Project. Someone has taken the trouble to record the text that I've been trying to painstakingly read from the photographs of the stones.

    I was amused to find that some of my suppositions about the eroded dates were quite wrong.

    I'll try to give you something to read soon. I appreciate your visits.

    Willie C

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  7. I absolutely love your comments, Willie! You're not monopolizing a thing. Yes, I find several places with transcriptions of the names and dates of gravestones, but it's rare to find the entire epitaph on-line. It's very interesting to read the entire thing, transports you back to their time, doesn't it?

    I have not seen the Williamson County site that you are referring to. I will see if I can find it. Looking forward to your photo essay.

    Judy

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