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Small, Susannah (1834–1906)

The late Mrs. John Small, whose maiden name was Susannah Bragg, was born at Prospect near Parramatta in 1835. Her parents had, through the attention that had been given to them by the Wesleyan minister of Parramatta in time of sickness, been led to join the Methodist Church, and their daughter was brought up in Methodism. In 1854 she was married to Mr. John Small. At the time of her marriage she was a stranger to the saving grace of God. Her husband, however, was at that time an earnest worker in the church, and used every opportunity to win his wife for Jesus. In this he was successful, and she decided to follow Christ. The peace of God, however, only came to her after much prayer, but, like Jacob of old, she wrestled all night and with the morning there came the light that gladdens the trusting heart. Her conversion was followed by her membership in the Church, which remained unbroken through the rest of her life, a period of over 50 years. The cares of her home and distance from the house of God prevented her from taking up church work, but she served in another way. Her husband was a busy local preacher, and by her self-sacrifice she made his work as easy for him as she possibly could. As he was often absent in distant parts of the Parramatta Circuit, the duty of the wife became much more onerous, but in the discharge of it she was forgetful of her self; and after getting the older children off to Sunday-school, she walked regularly twice a day, frequently carrying a baby, two miles and back to attend the public worship of God. She was the mother of eleven children, all of whom grew to maturity, and ten of whom, with her husband, survive her. Her self-sacrifice for her husband and children were most exemplary. She thought of everybody rather than of herself. Nor was her kindly ministry confined to the members of her own family, for in it her neighbours were made sharers and her presence in the home of sickness and trouble was well known in the locality in which she lived.

She was blessed with robust health, and knew nothing of serious illness till towards the close of her life. She and her husband were permitted to celebrate their golden wedding in 1904, and they had the pleasure of seeing gathered round them all the surviving members of their family, besides numerous grandchildren and friends. Her last illness came on somewhat gradually, and the seriousness of it did not appear till about six weeks before her death. She was mercifully preserved from great suffering, but the terrible sense of weakness, which often tries as much as pain, was borne with great patience and even cheerfulness. She had the best support that weakness can know, for she had the presence of Christ, and hence hers was the victory. She was wonderfully cheerful, and found in a very gracious measure the gladness of religion. The day before her death she said, in reply to a question asked by her husband, 'Yes, Jesus is precious, that's the best of all.' As the end came she was too weak to talk. But there was no need for speech to tell how it was with her — her life of devoted and unostentatious service, and her patience and confidence in her Saviour acknowledged as long as she retained the power of speech were sufficient testimony. Thus trusting she slept in Jesus on the morning of Sunday, March 25, and on the day of the week made glorious by the resurrection of her Lord, she was translated to His presence in the paradise of God.

On the 26th of March, amid a very large and representative gathering, we laid her body to rest in sure and certain hope of the resurrection unto life eternal.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Small, Susannah (1834–1906)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/small-susannah-26525/text34305, accessed 22 July 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bragg, Susannah
  • Bragge, Susannah
Birth

20 June 1834
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Death

25 March 1906
Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (liver)

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence