I, Absalom Graves, of Boone County, State of Kentucky, born in Culpepper, now Madison County, Virginia, on the 28th of November 1768, being now in the 58th year of my age, and laboring under a bodily infirmity which seems to indicate the approach of my dissolution, but calling to mind the amazing and unbounded goodness of my great Creator and gracious Redeemer, in calling me by His grace, in the twentieth year of my age, when a wild and thoughtless youth, from the paths of vanity and earthly pleasures, to see the folly of my pursuits, and that real pleasure and solid joy were only to be found in Christ, who was revealed to me in the hour of my deepest distress, as a Savior every way suited and qualified to relieve me from all my wretchedness and woe.
I feel myself, therefore, under the strongest obligations to love and adore Him; and those obligations are heightened by the consideration, that I hope He has committed to me a dispensation of the Gospel, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that I have been enabled, for the last fifteen years, (though a poor unprofitable servant,) to labor in the Lord's Vineyard. I now here solemnly commit myself, soul and body, to Him as my Judge, my Savior and my Friend, hoping I shall realize His faithful promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," but find, in a dying hour, strength equal to my day -- believing He is able to, and will keep what I have committed to Him.
I also surrender up to Him my stewardship, with all my ministerial labors, (and the fruits thereof, if any,) and all the Churches among whom I have labored, particularly Bullittsburg, Mud Lick and Salem. With the former of these I have lived as a member, and walked in fellowship and harmony, nearly 29 years I enjoyed many happy privileges, gracious revivals, and considerable additions. With the last two of these I have labored in my imperfect manner, and think I have long travailed in birth for them. All of these I hereby give up and resign into His gracious hand, to provide for and take care of them, and supply all their wants; to bless them with an evangelical and faithful ministry, and abundantly add to their numbers such as shall be saved. Also, the North-Bend Association, with all the Churches of it, I humbly recommend and commit to His divine hand, with my sincere prayer for their happiness and prosperity, and that no division or contention may ever be seen or felt among them; but that peace and love may abound more and more, until the great decisive day and final dissolution of all terrestrial things; when I hope this poor, frail, dying body of mine will rise with the righteous, at the sound of the trumpet, in the likeness of the Lord Jesus, and join the happy throng in praising Him to endless duration.
And as it has pleased a wise and gracious God to bless me with a bosom companion, children, grand-children and servants, and a deep concern for their welfare, soul and body, has devolved on me; and having served my generation, I now commit them all, with their companions and offspring, into the hands of my gracious Redeemer, to provide and take care of them here, to prepare them for, to and finally to bring them to His right hand in worlds of immortal bliss, where parting is no more.
With my own feeble hand I have written this, and in the presence of The One Great God, before whom I expect shortly to stand, I have subscribed hereto, this 25th day of April 1826.