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The Life and Death of Reverend John Ross

A first hand account by E C Moyer, who attended the death of Reverend John Ross as published in The Christian Index, a Baptist periodical, August 3, 1837

The Life and Death of John Ross


Departed this life, on the 17th inst, in the strength of life and usefulness, the Reverend John Ross, in the 51st year of his age. The death of the valuable and devoted servant of God was sudden, unexpected and in all who know him a most afflictive dispensation of Divine Providence. All admit, that for the last twenty-two or three years, he has borne the character of a meek and prudent Minister of the blessed Saviour. He was truly an example of the flock -- zealous in every good word and work. As a husband, a father, a master, and neighbor; our dear brother was all that might have been expected from one so devoted. In his death, his family have sustained an irreparable loss, and the church of God, with every benevolent institution, which has for its object the glory of God and good of man, a devoted, zealous and advocate and friend.

The circumstances of his death are as follows: Brother Ross left home the 8th inst. for Americus, Sumpter county, where he arrived on Lord’s day (9th inst.) and preached. At night, eat and felt as well as usual. On Monday morning, was violently attacked with diarrhea. Dr Hardwick visited and afforded him prompt relief. On Tuesday morning, Brother Ross started for home on horse-back, in opposition the advice of his physician. He rode only eight miles, when he was attacked with a most alarming choleru morbus. Dr Watts was called, who succeeded measurably in relieving the alarming symptoms. He expressed a belief that he would not recover, and felt deeply anxious to be conveyed to brother Joseph J Battle’s, in Marion county, 35 miles fro Talbotton. Brother Battle sent his carriage and had him conveyed in as comfortable a manner as possible to his house on Wednesday evening, 11th, at which Brother Ross expressed great joy. His family physician being ill, it fell to my lot to attend him in his last hours. His son arrived at Talbotton about 2 o’clock on Sabbath morning, desiring me to go as soon as possible to see his father; I made all possible haste and arrived at he scene of affliction at 1 o’clock, when to my utter astonishment, I found his arms cold and pulseless; every effort was made to produce re-action, but in vain; the most potent agents, both stimulants and tonics, were given, and cataplasms applied, with no other effect than to sustain him in the situation that I found him, for the term of 24 hours, when he began again to decline rapidly, and died 28 hours and 12 minutes after my arrival. I have never witnessed a death so interesting and instructive. The words of the poet were fulfilled to a tittle:

“Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillars are.”

There was not a struggle, murmur, nor expression of anxiety; all was composure and resignation. He retained his intellect and power of speech to the last moment. Be conversed with his wife, family and friends of death and heaven with pleasure and delight; and repeatedly said that he had done all he had to do and that all things were in readiness, so far as regarded himself and eternity.

Sometime before he died, he offered a most fervent and interesting prayer, praying for divine support and resignation. Being asked by me what I should tell his brethren in Talbotton, he replied, “tell them I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith; I have finished my course, with joy, and go to receive the righteous reward.” And further say, “I have done all I could do, as far as I was able, and knew how to do, for the glory of God, the good of man the interest of the cause of God on earth.” He then gave his son direction and requested to be carried to Talbot county, in the cool of night, and be buried the next day in a grave-yard pointed out by himself, and soon after committed his departing spirit into the arms of the blessed Saviour, and died triumphing over death, hell and the grave, in redeeming grace and dying love.

Yours in the bonds of the Gospel,
E C Moyer
Talbotton, July 19, 1837

Owner/SourceMary Yvonne Ross
Linked toThe Christian Index, Number 31, Volume 5, August 3, 1837; Personal Library and Photo Collection, Mary Yvonne Ross; ROSS John, Jr

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