At eight o'clock Sabbath morning, the 4th inst., Mary, the beloved and faithful wife of Henry Clark, passed from the labors of earth into that heavenly rest, which "remaineth for the people of God," after a long and painful journey of nearly eighty-three years. She was born at Roanoak, Virginia, May 26th ??; married to Uncle Henry Clark, in Green County, Kentucky, April 20th , 1823; from there moved to Baker Prairie Menard county, Illinois, in 1826, where she and her husband have resided up to the time of her death.
She was a mother of seven children, forty-seven grandchildren, and fifty-two great-grand children. Her children are all living, and were converted to Christianity at an early age, not only professing religion, but taking it with them into their daily work and life, and showing by their upright, consistent conduct, by their many deeds of love and charity, and by their devotion to the cause of their Heavenly Master that they are Christians, not only in name but in reality. Most of her children are in this county, and are recognized amongst its most influential and respected citizens.
Immediately after coming to this state she embraced the religion of Jesus Christ and connected herself with the Old Salem Baptist Church, in which she retained her membership until the organization of the Baker's Prairie Baptist Church, in 1831, when she became one of the original thirteen members of that church, and the last one to leave the church on earth for the church of the redeemed in heaven.
She suffered constantly with asthma of an aggravated form for 14 years, and for the last ten years has been compelled to remain in a sitting position night and day. Her intense sufferings were borne with Christian fortitude and patience; and while she earnestly longed for the time when she would cease from her labors and go to her reward, she was never known to murmur nor complain at the dealings of God's providence with her.
Amid her darkest hours when her physical sufferings were most intense, she would rejoice in the blessed consolation of religion, fleeing for refuge to the "exceeding great and precious promises" of God, and speak with confidence and delight of the happiness and joy that waited for her in heaven.
She took a deep interest in the welfare of the church, and eagerly listened to the reports of the advancement of religious work all over the world, but more especially in her own neighborhood.
She had unbounded confidence in God's faithfulness to answer prayer, and would carry her grand-children one after another to the "throne of grace," until she had the satisfaction of seeing nearly all of them converted to Jesus Christ.
May years ago she selected Elder H. P. Curry to preach her funeral sermon, and requested that during the service the hymn should be sung which begins:
"Amazing grace - how sweet the sound;
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see."
On the following Monday morning her remains were taken to Baker's Prairie Baptist Church, and in the presence of a large audience of relatives and friends (among whom were thirty-eight of her grandchildren), Elder Curry preached an eloquent and impressive discourse from Romans, 8 chap. 18 verse: "For I rock on that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
At the close of the service the remains were carried to Rose Hill Cemetery, and laid in the family vault.
Thus passed away one of Menard county's oldest and most respected citizens, and of her it can truthfully be said "Though dead she yet speaketh."
Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.