Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2003 Issue

Two obituaries of Tracy Beadle

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Affectionate ones had not been neglectful of those graceful offices, which while being the last tokens of love and respect, we may pay to the dead, are at the same time symbols of the life which is to come. Beautiful flowers delightful to the eye and grateful to every sense were in profusion, some left as nature fashioned them in their own forms, others woven to represent figures that are typical of Christian sentiments, anchors, crosses, crowns, pillars and stars.

The services were brief and simple, but dignified and touching. Rev. Dr. A. W. Cowles read portions of the Scripture, well chosen and apt for the occasion, and was followed by Rev. Dr. W. E. Knox, who made some remarks of a suitable character.

A choir composed of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Perry, Mrs. A. F. Gibeon and R. N. Parmenter, then sang very sweetly that hymn, which can never grow old, the words of which seemed to acquire a new meaning and force in this instance, “Nearer my God to Thee.”

A prayer was then offered by Rev. Dr. Elias R. Beadle, the only brother of the deceased, Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. It is seldom that such an extraordinarily beautiful and impressive petition is laid at the foot of the Throne of Grace. The circumstances were peculiar. One officiating at the funeral of an only and much loved brother. His belief teaching him that he who had only gone before was already entered into the reward of a well-spent life, yet his natural grief for his loss, weakening and softening him. It was an effort that only the strongest in will, the one with the deepest love, the most fervent in devotion and the most earnest in belief would have undertaken. A number of times the voice faltered and the words ceased, but the spirit, strong in purpose, held the delicate physical frame up to its wish, and while he himself was nearly overcome, so all who heard were affected so deeply that tears were apparent in all eyes. It was a moment and a prayer will linger long in the memory.

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