"Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." (Rev. 2:13.) This is the greatest epitaph of the Bible. In the days of his flesh, Christ promised eternal life and eternal reward to those who are faithful to him. If they confess his name before the world, he will confess their names before his father in heaven. But Christ, speaking to John on Patmos, singles out and names one man as having been faithful unto death, and that one man is Antipas, his faithful witness, who died for Christ at Pergamos.
In the First Baptist Church of Maiden, Massachusetts, is a bronze table to the memory of Adoniram Judson, which reads:
Rev. Adoniram Judson,
Bom August 9, 1788
Died April 12, 1850.
Maiden his birthplace,
The ocean his sepulchre,
Converted Burmans and
The Bunnan Bible
His record is on high.
On Tom Paine's tombstone: "I hope for happiness beyond the grave."
On Moody's tombstone: "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
HIS FATHER—"Well, my son?"
LITTLE CLARENCE—"I took a walk through the cemetery to-day and read the inscriptions on the tombstones."
HIS FATHER—"And what were your thoughts after you had done so?"
LITTLE CLARENCE—"Why, pa, I wondered where all the wicked people were buried."—Judge.
The widower had just taken his fourth wife and was showing her around the village. Among the places visited was the churchyard, and the bride paused before a very elaborate tombstone that had been erected by the bridegroom. Being a little nearsighted she asked him to read the inscription, and in reverent tones he read: "Here lies Susan, beloved wife of John Smith; also Jane, beloved wife of John Smith; also Mary, beloved wife of John Smith—"
He paused abruptly, and the bride, leaning forward to see the bottom line, read, to her horror:
"Be Ye Also Ready."
A man wished to have something original on his wife's headstone and hit upon, "Lord, she was Thine." He had his own ideas of the size of the letters and the space between words, and gave instructions to the stonemason. The latter carried them out all right, except that he could not get in the "E" in Thine.
In a cemetery at Middlebury, Vt., is a stone, erected by a widow to her loving husband, bearing this inscription: "Rest in peace—until we meet again."
An epitaph in an old Moravian cemetery reads thus:
Remember, friend, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now thus you must be,
So be prepared to follow me.
There had been written underneath in pencil, presumably by some wag:
To follow you I'm not content
Till I find out which way you went.
I expected it, but I didn't expect it quite so soon.—Life.
After Life's scarlet fever
I sleep well.
Here lies the body of Sarah Sexton,
Who never did aught to vex one.
(Not like the woman under the next stone.)
As a general thing, the writer of epitaphs is a monumental liar.—John E. Rosser.
Wife of Timothy Brown,
aged 80 years.
She lived with her husband fifty years, and died
in the confident hope of a better life.
Here lies the body of Enoch Holden, who died suddenly and unexpectedly by being kicked to death by a cow. Well done, good and faithful servant!
A bereaved husband feeling his loss very keenly found it desirable to divert his mind by traveling abroad. Before his departure, however, he left orders for a tombstone with the inscription:
"The light of my life has gone out."
Travel brought unexpected and speedy relief, and before the time for his return he had taken another wife. It was then that he remembered the inscription, and thinking it would not be pleasing to his new wife, he wrote to the stone-cutter, asking that he exercise his ingenuity in adapting it to the new conditions. After his return he took his new wife to see the tombstone and found that the inscription had been made to read:
"The light of my life has gone out,
But I have struck another match."
Here lies Bernard Lightfoot,
Who was accidentally killed in the forty-fifth year of his age.
This monument was erected by his grateful family.