Obituary of Capt. Robert Craig, February 8, 1834, Abingdon

Capt. ROBERT CRAIG departed this life in this County on the morning of the 4th last in the 90th year of his age.

The deceased had resided in this county about 46 years; whither he removed about the year ’87, from the state of Pennsylvania. In the various spheres in which he was called to move in life, he acted well his part. When in the prime of life he heard the tocain of his country’s danger; answered to its call: and in two several tours marched with that patriot band who followed the Father of his Country, to victory & liberty. Nor, should it be omitted, that, in those dark days which tried men’s souls, he was particularly active and successful in organizing patriotic societies, which exerted such a powerful influence, during the revolutionary war, in behalf of the rights of man. He also served his native State, some time, in the Legislative Department. To the Federal and State authorities he yielded that obedience which is the duty of the good citizen.

He had raised a family of fifteen children; five sons, and ten daughters–all of whom lived to be married and settled in life. Seven of his children finished their mortal course before their venerable and worthy parent–eight survive him: two sons and six daughters.

In all the relations of domestic and social life he was exemplary. A kind husband, an affectionate father, a humane master, a generous and constant friend.

The deceased was a sincere believer in the truth of Christianity; and was for about seventy years, in the communion of the Presbyterian Church. He was daily and regularly attentive to the duties of devotion, and lived a useful, and consistently pious life. Towards the close of life more especially, he appeared to be engaged almost incessantly in solemn prayer and other religious exercises.

A number of the last days of his life were spent, as he had opportunity, in giving his parting benedictions to his three daughters, who were privileged to wait around his dying bed; and in manifesting to them that particularly ardent parental affection, which he had ever cherished towards them.

He was calm and collected in view of his approaching end, which he had evidently anticipated, for a long time, must be just at hand. He rested his home of future happiness entirely upon the precious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. He felt, as does every truly enlightened christian, that in himself there was no good thing, and that he had been an unprofitable servant–and would then exclaim, “how wonderful, how precious that mercy which appointed that Jesus Christ should die to redeem such an unworthy sinner” as he felt himself to be.

H retained his es last, and when he was evidently struggling in death, was heard distinctly to say, “O Lord! into thy hands I commit my soul, my body, and my spirit, to be disposed of as pleaseth thee.” These were his last words.

He seemed not only to meet death without terror, but had, even in the presence of his (paper torn with age, a word gone) children, expressed his earnest desire, if consistent with the will of his Heavenly Father, to be received to his rest.

FAITH builds a bridge across the gulf of death,
To break the shock, blind nature cannot shun!
And lands thought smoothly on the further shore;
Death’s TERROR is the mountain FAITH removes;
That mountain barrier between man and peace.
‘Tis FAITH disarms destruction; and absolves
‘From every clamorous charge the guiltless tomb.’
‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord–
Yes, with the SPIRIT, that they may rest from
their labours; and their works do follow them.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright;
for the end of that man is peace.’
E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when grey hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne,
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his face;
That soul, tho’ all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never–no-never–no never foresake.’

Thank you to Jim Mitchell for the photocopy of the published obituary. Captain Robert Craig, son of David Craig and Margaret Patton, lived from Dec 28 1744 to Feb 4 1834, and married Jane Denny. His daughter Ann Middleton “Nancy” Craig Mitchell is in the line relevant to his blog.

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