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Stow, Elizabeth Randolph (1796–1867)

The Rev. C. W. Evan, pastor of the Stow Congregational Church, improved the death of the late Mrs. T. Q. Stow, on Sunday morning, July 14. He based his discourse upon the words in Ist Chronicles, 29th chapter 15th verse:—"For we are strangers before thee and sojourners, as were all our fathers; our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding." He spoke first of the confession contained in the text—its import and its truth, and, secondly, drew some lessons of practical importance which the subject presented. Towards the close of his sermon, he spoke as follows of the deceased lady, who had been removed during the week:— "Seldom has death come with less of gloom" or to one more fully prepared to meet it than in the case of our departed friend Mrs. Stow. She had lived her three-score years aud ten. During the greater part of that time she had lived for pious and noble purposes, and she had been waiting the days of her appointed time until the change came, and when the change came she fell asleep like wearied and exhausted nature at the end of a day of toil. My personal acquaintance with Mrs. Stow extends back for only a few years—years too, which were spent by her almost entirely in the seclusion of her house, but I have been able to learn a few particulars respecting the earlier period of her life — particulars which may not be uninteresting to many. I feel, in making this reference to such particulars, that I am departing somewhat from my usual practice, but I feel that the removal of such a one is an event that cannot frequently occur in the history of any church. Mrs. Stow was born in Newfoundland in the year 1796, and as a child she was taken to England. After an interval she returned to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, where a considerable portion of her youth was spent. About the age of 20 she returned to England. Up to this time she had no serious thoughts about religion, but now, while in London, she was led to attend the ministry of the Rev. Daniel Wilson, the late Bishop of Calcutta, and heard from him what she had never heard before, and what completely changed the character and scope of her life. She heard from him the gospel of Christ in its simplicity and clearness, and it became the gospel of the grace of God unto her. She received the truth with singleness and gladness of heart. Before this she had participated freely in the gaieties, pleasures, and amusements prevailing in the worldly circle in which she was living, but from the time she received the truth and heard the voice of God, 'Follow me,' she gave up all these without a moment's hesitation and never cast a lingering look behind. There were not wanting solicitations, and enticements, and reproaches, but she had made her choice, and she would not agree to any compromise. Nor was this all that she gave up for Christ. It was more painful to incur the displeasure of her near relatives whose opposition to evangelical religion was strong. But nothing could move her allegiance to Christ, and she may truly be held up as an example of earnest and thorough decision to young persons amongst us. Too many persons amongst us are halting between two opinions — between Christ and the world — too many who recognise the propriety and necessity of religion, but who also seek as much of the pleasures and amusements of the world as possible. There is a deplorable self-heartedness — a sad spirit of compromise which needs to be exorcised. If Christ is the Lord and Saviour, then follow him; but if your desires are for the pleasures and amusements and frivolities of the world, then do not say 'Lord, Lord,' for here after He shall say 'Depart from me, I never knew you.' The decision of our departed friend was complete and final. Shortly afterwards she removed to Southampton, and it is a striking indication of the difference between these times and her's that in Southampton at that time the Gospel, as we understand it, was not preached in the Church of England. The subject of our remarks attended the ministry of the Rev. Thomas Atkin, who, I believe, is still preaching the Gospel there, having for more than half a century faithfully served God. She then became a Congregationalist; she joined the Church, and engaged devotedly in labors of love. In the year 1828 she became united by marriage to Mr. Stow, and in seven or eight years after that they came out to this land, to establish the cause of Christ in connection with the Congregational body. Some of you know far better than I can state how devotedly she shared in the toils and privations of her partner in the early days; how, in so far as her domestic duties permitted, she assisted in visiting the sick and strangers, and in other works of love. A friend was telling me, as an instance of her activity, that after a busy day in Adelaide she walked to Port Adelaide to attend a friend and minister to the wants of the sick. In the year 1837, at the close of that year, nearly 30 years ago, the first Congregational Church was formed—the Church with which we are now connected. Eleven persons, including Mr. and Mrs. Stow, entered into the bonds of Church union. With the death of Mrs. Stow the last of that eleven in fellowship with us has gone hence. These facts strongly remind us how one generation passeth away and another generation cometh. Those who first ruled the affairs of religion in this province one by one are falling to the dust, and will soon disappear. Is our progress in proportion to our advantages? The generation coming ought to be in advance of the generation which has gone. Our advantages are increased and our responsibilities are in proportion. The last 10 years of Mrs. Stow's life were, as I have intimated, owing to growing infirmities, spent almost entirely in the retirement of home, and while there were bodily infirmities, there was no obscuration of mind, and no one could enter into conversation with her without being impressed with the vigor and clearness of her mental abilities. There is no doubt that her power of mind, her familiarity with the Scriptures, her clearness of view, her facility of forcible expression, were altogether remarkable. The prolonged and painful illness of Mr. Stow, far away from his home, and terminating in his death, notwithstanding her strength of mind, had no doubt affected her frame and hastened its decay. She was not, however, to be separated from him by any long interval. They rest together in the dust, and their spirits are with God. Oh ! that all who were associated with them in the Church and in the family may be associated with them at the resurrection of the just. Call to remembrance the former days; ponder the lessons of the present; and be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith have inherited the promises."

Original publication

Citation details

'Stow, Elizabeth Randolph (1796–1867)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/stow-elizabeth-randolph-14720/text25872, accessed 24 November 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Elizabeth Stow, c1835

Elizabeth Stow, c1835

State Library of South Australia, B 14660

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Eppes, Elizabeth Randolph
Birth

1796
Newfoundland, Canada

Death

8 July 1867
Felixstow, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Passenger Ship