For the Christian Recorder
Portsmouth, Va., March 24, 1864
Christian Recorder: April 2, 1864
Turner writes on the death of Mrs. Elisha Weaver
Having had a Recorder sent to me by a lady friend of Washington City, the first one I have seen in seven weeks, and having there, to my great surprise seen recorded the death of that inestimable lady, known as the Rev. Mrs. Weaver, I felt it to be a duty indispensably due my brother in the gospel to testify my sympathy in your irreparable bereavement. Since you have been the worthy incumbent of our General Book Concern, and assumed the editorial chair of a paper expressive of no low degree of intelligence which have involved most arduous responsibilities, literary and financial, the name of your esteemed consort has often been mentioned as a co-laborer with you, in a manner which did honor to her industry and attainments, and to her sex, highly exemplary.
From all that I can learn and know of Mrs. Weaver, I am constrained to believe that had her life been spared with those progressive elements which ever prompted her and those excellent qualities which adorned her she would have been known throughout our connexion as a rare gem, embodying the necessary modesty of her sex and a sufficiency of invincible bravery, to battle for the good and elevation of her people.
Her loss, my brother, must have been a sore trial. Oh! how our affections cluster around one so near, so dear, and then so valuable as a wife, mother, advisor, and co-operator in literature, science, and religion. However bitter the expression may seem, yet, I regret to say that such wives are hard to find and but few men have them.
We have thus far taken a view of the gloomy side of the picture. Let us reverse the subject. Your wife died in the full triumph of a blessed resurrection. You are assured of her entrance into the kingdom of heaven. She that was recently your afflicted wife on earth, is now your sainted wife in the skies. She is still your wife, a sainted wife, a redeemed wife, a sin-conquering wife, a wife who stood fearless amid death’s cold waters as they heaved and rolled in angry billows while passing over the Jordan. It is true that you will feel her loss, but when you see others conversing with their wives on earth, you can with a joyful anticipation of meeting her, raise your hand and point to heaven and boast of a wife saved by grace and housed forever in God’s eternal favor. But I believe that our loved ones can do more for us when out of the body than in it. They become ministering spirits; they assist us in our earthly affliction; soothe us in our dying hour, and escort us, when dead, to the kingdom of heaven. This being the case, my brother in the gospel, give her up willingly, freely, cheerfully; and may God help you so to do.
H. M. Turner
Chaplain of the 1st U. S. Col’d Troops