Smith, Sophia Elizabeth (1859-1905)
Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.H.
The Christian feeling regarding death is not one of sadness and gloom, but rather of cheerful courage and of joyous anticipation. This has been illustrated afresh in the experience of a sister in Christ Miss S.E. Smith, of Mexborough, daughter of the late Rev. George Smith. Born at Peel in the Isle of Man, May 29th, 1859, at fifteen years of age she gave her heart to God in the same place. This event occurred during a mission conducted by Sergeant Mason of Crimean fame. For thirty years she led the Christian life with exemplary fidelity and constancy.
Being of a kind and friendly disposition she made many friends in the various circuits in which she resided along with her family, all the younger branches of which were a credit and assistance to the cause their parents served. Miss Smith was warmly attached to Primitive Methodism, loved the means of grace and cheerfully co-operated in works of Christian piety and benevolence, such as the Sabbath school, missionary collecting, bazaars, the Whitechapel Mission, etc. There were many features in her character on which her friends’ memories will love to dwell, such as her kindness and affectionateness towards her familiar acquaintance, her practical sympathy with suffering ones, and particularly her love and devotion to her aged and widowed mother, who now awaits her own call, grieving for her loss but rejoicing in the hope of soon meeting her beloved ones on a brighter shore.
The period during which Sister Smith was laid aside from active duties was very brief, but she knew that her end was approaching, and did not fear. Her natural calmness and fortitude were transmuted into Christian hope and trust. Her last testimony in the class meeting was, “I desire to be faithful unto death.”
Four days before her decease she wrote to her sister and to a friend letters in which such expressions as these occur: “Thanks for the lovely flowers and grapes. I am in bed and expect that this is the last writing you will get from me. Two nights I have been nearly home. I am not afraid to die. I know in whom I have believed. I get weaker every day. Unless there is a change I shall soon be where many will welcome me. Don’t fret. God be with you till we meet again.”
She spoke of going to her good father in heaven, who died a few years ago at Tranent in Scotland, a man greatly beloved for his labours of love as pastor and preacher. It seemed sometimes as if to her the veil between this world and the other were partially withdrawn.
“Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister spirit, come away.”
The departed one was interred in Mexboro’ Cemetery, January 13th, 1905, the funeral service being conducted by Rev. J. Hodgson and Mr. J. Crossley.
“There’s another gem in the Saviour’s crown,
And another saint in heaven.”
Sophia was born to parents George Smith and Ann Green. Census returns identify the following occupations for Sophia.
- 1871 scholar
- 1881 teacher in private school
- 1891 no occupation stated – living with parents at Mexborough
- 1901 no occupation stated – living with widowed mother
Primitive Methodist Magazine1906/153
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers