Sept. 13, 1814 - 1871
|Maria Ruhl was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1814. Four years afterwards she became a resident of Philadelphia. There, under the ministry of Rev. Charles Pitman, she was converted and united with the Union Methodist Episcopal Church,’ before she was eighteen years old in 1832, For six years from this date she was a faithful Sabbath Schoo1 and was associated with Ehiza Cole, Samuel Monroe, Ellwood Stokes, Miss Morton, Hanna Bunting, Thomas K. Peterson, John. D. Curtis, Lucius.C. Matlack, and others, who constituted a corps of seventy-five Sabbath School teachers, and sustained five Sabbath Schools, auxiliary to the Union charge.
The last named (Lucius C. Matlack); and herself were for six years known to be betrothed, although the marriage was deferred until March 7th , 1839, in view of preparation for, and admission to, the itinerant ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Two years prior to their marriage, they both united with nine other church members to form. a Methodist Anti-Slavery Society. Among their associates were Charles Barret, T. T. Mason and C. Wilson, yet living members of the Church in Philadelphia.
For thirty-two years, without cessation, Mrs. Matlack was the constant companion of her
husband in his widely extended itinerant .career. For of a truth “they twain were one flesh.” Their home was successively Philadelphia, Pa. Lowell,_Boston, Haverhill and Holliston, Mass., New York City and Syracuse, N. Y., Wheaton, Ills., Elkton, Md., and New Orleans, La. Here they parted company for a time. But in all other places named. above, her name and memory will be as precious and enduring as in New Orleans.
Mrs. Matlack had even shared the hardships of military life with her husband riding with him at the head of his cavalry command days and nights together. She was as fearless among contagious diseases as she was brave in the camp, never shrinking from the bedside even of strangers, whose necessities appealed to her heart, -a1tbou~h prostrate with loathsome fever, considered contagious.
In September, 1871, her husband was prostrated with yellow fever, of a malignant type; but, calmly controlling the fears of others in the family by her dignified self-possession and Christian confidence, she faithfully watched over and ministered unto him; until recovery was no longer--a question, and then, alas, she fell at-her post of duty and. of love, with all her brightly shining armor on. Suddenly seized with dizziness, she sank helpless to the, floor, and was tender1y lifted by her enfeebled husband to the bed, where unconsciously she - lay only five brief hours, and died whispering in sweet accents, “rest in heaven!”
Thus “sweetly fell asleep in Jesus,” this noble Christian lady this model wife of an
itinerant Methodist preacher memory is precious, and her’s one of the immortal names that was not born to die, for God hath said of all such, “they shall be in everlasting remembrance.” Pure and spotless in. Christian character, and-with all her graces well matured and symmetrically developed, she was of a truth, a Christian heroin the heroic wife of a noble, heroic Methodist preacher. But she now rest from her labors, and her works do fo1low her.” Peace to her memory! We tender to he bereaved husband our Christian condolence and heartfelt sympathy in his bereavement, and pray for him a double portion of the Holy Spirit to sustain him in the great work in which he is engaged, until at last with her whom he so. fondly loved, he may find “rest in heaven.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, 1871, by Wm. M. Daily.|