Monday, July 19, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: James Sherman Martin Writes Own Obituary

James Daniel Sherman Martin
June 27, 1864 - February 12, 1946

About Amanuensis Monday: John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

James S. Martin was the brother of my great great grandmother Ursula Ann Martin Davis Burnett. Their parents were James Monroe and Susannah Grabeel Martin. James was married to Sarah Elizabeth Testerman, daughter of John T. and Celia Bloomer Testerman. He and Sarah lived their entire lives in Pulaski Co., Kentucky. The obituary and poem below, written by James himself, was transcribed and copied for me by Kathy Martin, wife of my cousin Larry Martin, great great grandson of James. I have copied Kathy's transcription verbatim.

Obituary of James Sherman Martin

"Aug. 9, 1945 - Obituary of James Sherman Martin son of James M. and Susana Grabeel Martin. Born June 27 1864. Married to Elizzie Testerman March 20th, 1884. Born to the union were five children, two girls and three boys. Susan Ellen now Susan Ellen Lampe. Addie Lewis Oneal. Isaac Bradley, James Thomas, and Charles Ross. Four children living to date, with Isaac Martin departing this life Oct. 27, 1945. 21 grandchildren, 18 living and 3 dead. 27 great grandchildren all living. Met my Lord in full pardon of my sins on the second Monday in Aug. 1882, united with the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church near that date, and was baptised on Brush Creek the following Sunday after uniting with the church by the Rev. John Carmicle. My membership remaining at Mt. Pleasant Church until Dec. 1888, when I moved my membership to Pleasant Hill Church at Woodstock. Have tried to live a christian life for 63 years. Have met with temptations, trials and persecutions on the way. But all praise to my blessed Savior & Lord, by His grace & according to His mercy I have been able to overcome through Him that died for my sins, & arose for my justifications. He has blessed my soul many times with the presence & power of the Holy Spirit & then He has chastised me for my neglect of His work & service. But praise His name, when I like the prodical son, came back to Him, He like a loving Father met and blessed my soul again and now I can only say in my closing days like the Psalmist of old, let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord of my soul. My closing testimony to all. J. S. Martin"

A farewell poem for friends 
composed by James a short time after he wrote his obituary

"To my Christian friends anywhere - Aug. 25, 1945

My Christian friends in bond & love
Thru Him who lives & reigns above
Who came to earth His life to give
And shed His blood that we might live

My years to date is eighty one
My race on earth is almost run
My Christian life is sixty three
My wearied soul will soon be free

And then I'll sore to worlds on high
To meet my loved ones in the sky
For e'r I dwell in Heaven above
Where all is joy & peace & love

As promised by His saving grace
We'll see our Savior face to face
And in His love our souls shall rest
And we shall be forever blessed

His nail scarred hand & riven side
As on the cross He bled & died
He gave His life for you & me
And gave His blood to set us free

O, blessed thought O, glorious hope
As thru this world we sadly grope
That in His blood there's power to save
And give us life beyond the grave

And now I pray:
Dear Father hasten that glad day
and free our souls from this lump of clay
and our bodies rest till you bid us rise
to meet our Savior in the skies
When we can meet on Heaven's shore
to feel the sting of death no more
When in His presence there to dwell
to never say no more, farewel
Yours in Christ, J. S. Martin"


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