From time to time, you spot an epitaph that grabs your attention and you wish that you knew the rest of the story.
Nestled in the historic Old Tennent Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Tennent, New Jersey lies the grave of Gilbert Tennent, the third son, of the Reverend William Tennent, Jr., and Catherine Noble Tennent. Gilbert’s epitaph carved into the red granite ledger hints at the story that lies buried with him.
Here lies the mortal Part of GILBERT TENNENT In the practice of Physick he was Successful and beloved Young Gay and in the highest Bloom of life Death found him Hopefully in the Lord But O Reader had you heard his last Testimony you would have been convinced of the extreme Madness of delaying Repentance Natus April 1742 Obit March 6 1770
Wow. Somebody was a little bent about old Gilbert. Seems as though his family was well placed in this community and felt the need to make a REAL public statement about him with this epitaph. I am with you, I would love to Paul Harvey this one and get “the rest of the story.”
Gilbert Tennent was the son of William Tennent Jr, nephew of the famous Gilbert Tennent, a Gospel preacher during the Great Awakening. William was also a Gospel preacher, but his son Gilbert was wayward, showing little interest in salvation. However, he took ill when treating a patient (he was a doctor) and in his illness thought long and hard about life and death. His father prayed for him and spoke often to him about Christ and the way of salvation. Before he died, Gilbert trusted Christ. He summoned all his friends with whom he had gambled, partied, etc., and told them what had happened. He urged them not to make the mistake he had made of waiting so long before preparing for eternity. Hence the words on the tombstone. Hope this helps.