(THIS OBITUARY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE IN THE FALL
Died, at his residence, "on the hill", near the Bethel Camp-ground,
Greenville Dist., S.C., July 27th, John Bramlett, aged 91 years. The
venerable patriarch has gone to his reward. The old christian who for more than 73 years "had the witness that he pleased God" - who was always ready to join the worshippers in the house of prayer, the very picture of an aged saint, now mingles with the angels and adores the Redeemer in Heaven.
Father Bramlett was born in Fauquier Co., VA., May 13, 1764 (Transcriber note: John's headstone reads May 15th). In his 18th year he joined the Methodist Church, and one year afterwards, while conducting family devotion at the house of his widowed mother, he was powerfully converted. From the hour of regeneration until the angels escorted him to Heaven, during a very long life of temptation and trial, he maintained his confidence in Christ and to use his own words, "never lost the witness."
All who knew John Bramlett believed in him. A more heavenly minded man, the writer never knew. Shortly after his conversion, he married and removed to S.C. where he passed 70 years of his life, universally respected. A generous, wholesouled and devoted follower of the Savior, he never disgraced the church by the exhibition of an unworthy spirit. Full of faith, he gave glory to God - full of love, he cared for his neighbor. God was his father, heaven his home - he knew that, and was happy.
What Methodist minister ever visited Greenville circuit, and did not admire and love Father Bramlett? Always at his place in church, until infirmities made it impossible, how hearty and sincere was his worship! O! it was refreshing to see the dear old man in his church. He entered into the services with his whole heart - tears of love and joy flowing from his dimmed eyes, and expressions of gratitude and rapture falling from his lips.
To see that white-haired disciple, blind and trembling with the weight of 90 years, so hopeful and so happy, was a privilege and a benefit. He was the founder of the church at Bethel - the class for many years meeting at his house for worship. Bishop Asbury (Transcriber note: reference is to Francis Asbury, disciple of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Religion). See Francis Asbury Journals for his references to John, brother Nathan and their mother the widow Bramlett) and the preachers of the olden times, who passed through this part of the state, preached and rested under his roof.
Father Bramlett brought up a family of 13 children, all of whom lived to become parents (except one - Susan never married) and all joined the church of their father and mother. One year before Father Bramlett's death, his aged consort was taken from his side. She too was 91 at the time of her death, having been for 70 years his faithful and pious companion. Permit me to tell you of the old patriarch's "bower of prayer" before concluding this imperfect sketch. He had a place, a sheltered and retired spot, where he used to pray. When he was blind and extremely feeble, it was most affecting to see him groping his way to his loved retreat. There he prayed and sang and rejoiced, communing with his God every day.
He waited for death as for the coming of his best friend, and he passed away at the very time he would have chosen to go, when the Camp-ground, a few hundred yards from his home, was filled with his neighbors and acquaintances praising God.
Dr. W. L. M. Austin
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