Having the opportunity in God’s providence, this writer made a recent trip to visit Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. Founded in 1775 (see the advertisement for the academy published in the October 7, 1775 issue of the Williamsburg Virginia Gazette at Founding President Samuel Stanhope Smith’s page here), this Presbyterian institution has contributed greatly to the church and to society at large in the centuries since. Archibald Alexander once served as president of the college from 1797 to 1806. I prepared for my visit by brushing up on some reading, including:
Walter Lee Lingle, Union Seminary Cemetery at Hampden-Sidney.
Thus prepared, after arriving at the beautiful campus, having passed through rain and seeing the clouds part and the sun shining again, we (my family and I) first visited the College Chapel and met the current pastor, who very kindly told us about the history and architecture of the building.
“To a man connected with Union Seminary the most sacred spot at Hampden-Sidney is the Seminary cemetery, where our beloved and distinguished dead are buried. This has also come to be the most beautiful spot in Hampden-Sidney.” — Walter L. Lingle
There is a cemetery adjacent to the chapel which we explored before driving past Venable Hall and the library to visit Union Theological Seminary Cemetery, where the mortal remains of some remarkable Christians were laid to rest, including:
“Remember his holy life, and happy death; and follow him as he followed his Redeemer. So shall your lives be useful and honorable, your deaths peaceful, and perhaps triumphant; and, beyond the grave, you shall be with him in Paradise; and, in the morning of the resurrection, you shall stand with him again there on the right hand of Jesus Christ, and receive the crown of life which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give at that day — to Paul — and to Rice — and not to them only — but to all them also who love his appearing. Amen!” — William Maxwell, An Oration Commemorative of the late Rev. John Holt Rice, D.D.