Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Anniversary of David Lipscomb's Death

I stumbled across the following quote some time ago while doing some work on David Lipscomb. I was touched by it, being myself deeply influenced by the man, and thought it would be appropriate to share it here on the 94th anniversary of Lipscomb's death. It is an entry from the diary of Price Billingsley, a younger contemporary and great admirer of Lipscomb's. These are his thoughts the day after Lipscomb died upon seeing his body for the first time:

Not soon can I forget today. Early this morning I was called over the phone by Bro. Leo Boles and informed of the death of David Lipscomb, and asked whether I could be at the funeral...I then got my first sight of the dear old Brother Lipscomb dead. I was amazed to see how fine looking and tall he was when straightened out in the casket. I saw him when he was dying, and a more abject object of decaying senility I never before beheld - body and soul distraught in the parting! But did I pity him? I pitied myself for not being as ready to die as he! But today he rested in the composure and dignity of death and nobility sat upon his features as though stamped by birth, and he showed the youth and preservation he had lacked for twenty years. I could not doubt that there lay the form of a great man! - how great it will take us all some years yet to find out. And I found the relief which violent weeping gives that I have not known for years! Nashville has always seemed the city of David Lipscomb - I have never been there with that thought out of mind completely. This conception has colored all my varied relationships to that busy and hard to grasp melting pot and [kaleidescope] beehive of strange energies. And today the shock I suffered when this spell came from off me when I knew it to be no longer his city - that his body had now gone back to the dust and his white soul to heaven - - left in a state bordering collapse. I did not realize how much I had loved and leaned upon him! And tonight I am broken and sad.

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