09 May 2011

Haste Thee on From Grace to Glory (Today's Epitaph)

SACRED to the memory of
DR. THOMAS W. ALEXANDER
[who was born] July 2nd, 1790
and died Feby 26th, 1847

"Haste thee on from grace to glory
Arm'd by faith and wing'd by prayer
Heaven's eternal days before thee
God's own hand shall guide thee there"


Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum
The epitaph on the the good doctor's stone is from a hymn entitled, "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken," written by Henry F. Lyte in 1824. Those lines are actually the beginning of the final verse. Here is the rest:

Soon shall close thy earthly mission, Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.


Dr. Thomas Alexander was a son of Maj. John Alexander, who was written about in this space a few days ago.

As we well know, sometimes an epitaph is just a nice sentiment or catchy phrase, and does not really tie directly to the individual being memorialized. In the case of Dr. Alexander, however, the verse really does seemingly reflect he and his personality. I'll fill you in on that by posting his slightly lengthy obituary tomorrow.

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