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Athenean Society Address for George Eakin Naff upon his death February 3, 1862,
~ Transcription ~
Death of Rev. George E. Naff, President of Soule Female College,
We, as members of the Athenean Society offer the following address and resolutions as a token of the high esteem in which we held the departed, and the deep sympathy we entertain for the bereaved.
An angel came from the spirit land to cull a fragrant flower that bloomed in our pleasant valley; many others were around, but the chosen one was too pure for earth. Though the flower was taken from us in the freshness of life and withered as the shades of death drew near; yet brightest hopes comfort our hearts when we think that we shall see, transplanted in Heaven's sunny clime, the flower more beautiful than ever.
Death Is ever waiting at the door of life to claim his victims, seemingly, he selects from our midst those who are most dear and most useful to us; but we don't forget that "God doeth all things well" and that He sent an angel to take from us a beloved friend and teacher.
Mr Naff was indeed a friend to all; he was ever ready to attend the bedside of the sick or dying, to administer to the wants of the suffering, while his kind words will be missed in the cottage of the poor and halls of the wealthy.
As a teacher, both literary and religious he was unsurpassed, and his pupils were devoted to him, and though his form is veiled from our view forever, still his image in memory dwells, while his gentle admonitions and useful instructions taught us all to love him.
Soule Female College, your halls will never echo his voice again, but it shall float over the translucent lakes of bright elysium.
Pupils, you have lost a teacher whose place can never be filled by another as purely unselfish and as firm in performing his duty. He is dead. Yet, why should you weep for we must all soon follow. The light of earth is shut out from his sight; yet, do we not feel sure that his eyes will be made glad by the holy light of Heaven, and now we can only remember his fair examples, with pleasure we will often think of the excellent advice he has offered to us.
Mr. Naff''s death has cast a gloom over many homes, and none regret and mourn his departure more than we do and, our deepest sympathy is claimed by the bereaved family. God will take care of the widow and the orphan from whose fond embraces the husband and father has been taken Their hearts are filled with grief, yet may they find consolation in the assurance that when his spirit left their arms and took its upward flight that it was folded in the arms of Jesus, we hope that they may be comforted with the sweet thought of a reunion above.
Tennessee was Mr. Naff's native state; on her soil he flourished and faded. He entertained none but the purest Southern feelings, and like every true Tennessean, be was ready and anxious to defend our Southern homes; he would have placed his name with the first volunteers, had not friends interposed for they desired him to remain as tong as possible in the College but we knew that he cherished the hope of acting in defense of his country, and we have no doubt but that he would have made himself as useful on the field as in the pulpit; but his labors are over; God sent for him and gladly he went home.
On behalf of the committee, I offer the following resolutions expressing our sadness and our regret of the death of the REV. GEORGE E. NAFF.
WHEREAS, We know that man is doomed to die and as God has willed take from us the Rev. G. E Naff, a most excellent teacher and a zealous honorary member of this Society, it becomes us to be resigned. Therefore,
Resolved by the Athenean Society, Soule Female College, that in the death of MR. NAFF we have lost a most deeply interested member of our Society, the M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church an excellent preacher, the College a choice President, and society a bright ornament.
Resolved, That we can never forget this kindness to us, the Interest and untiring energy manifested in our behalf by one whose name is indellibly written on memory's sacred tablets. Resolved, That we will remember the grief stricken family in an acceptable manner as their interested friends. Resolved, That members of the Society shall wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days. Resolved, That we present our expressions to the editor of the Union and American for publication.
MARY F. HICKS, Chairman.
SALLIE M. LAWING}
HELEN O. DROMGOOLE}Commitee
Document Courtesy Jane Wallace, Worthington, OH, great great granddaughter of Jacob and Amanda (Broyles) Naff
Published and Copyrighted © by Betty Naff Mitchell
April 23, 2003