« ПретходнаНастави »
A BRIGDED EDITION.
The life of MRS. ISABELLA GRAHAM is too well known to the religious world to need aught of studied eulogy; exhibiting as it does the opinions and exemplary conduct of an eminently pious female, it has had an extensive circulation among the Christian community, with whom it is deservedly popular.
In Mrs. Graham it may be truly said, that all the Christian graces united; humble yet zealous, without pride or ostentation, she laid the foundation or assisted in the superstructure of many of the noblest charities of our city. To provide an asylum for the wanderer, the outcast, and the orphan, to train them for usefulness in this life, and for happiness in the world to come,-to do good to the souls and bodies of the poor, the afflicted, the widow and the fatherless, were the objects she pursued with unabated zeal to the very close of life; and her memorial may be seen in the success of many of our most flourishing institutions which are destined to be
Known in a future day, the pride of ours!"
The well grounded hope that the record of such a life may be beneficial to the young and rising generation, has induced a near relative of Mrs. Graham's to abridge the original memoir, and it is now offered to the Christian public in this form, as a volume well adapted for Sabbath School Libraries.
IN writing the volumes of biography, so frequently presented to the world, the motives of their authors have been various, and the subjects diversified.
Mankind take an interest in the history of those, who, like themselves, have encountered the trials, and discharged the duties, of life. Too often however, publicity is given to the lives of men, splendid in acts of mighty mischief, in whom the secret exercises of the heart would not bear a scrutiny. The memoirs are comparatively few of those engaged in the humble and useful walks of active benevolence, where the breathings of the soul would display a character, much to be admired, and more to be imitated.
As the celebrated Dr. Buchanan has observed, that if you were to ask certain persons, in Christian countries, if they had any acquaintance with the religious world, they would say, "they had never heard there was such a world." So, whilst
the external conduct of individuals is made the subject of much critical remark, the religion of the heart, the secret source of action, too frequently escapes unnoticed and unexplored.
It is only when the career of life is closed, that the character is completely established. On this account, memoirs of the living are, in few instances, read with much interest by others; or contemplated without the danger of self-deception, and too much complacency, by the living subjects themselves.
But when the soul has departed, and the body sleeps in dust, it may prove useful to survivors, to examine the principles which led their departed friend to a life of honorable benevolence, and to a peaceful end.
On this account, and at the urgent request of many respectable characters, it has been deemed advisable to publish some of the writings of Mrs. Isabella Graham, recently called away from us; whose character was so esteemed, and whose memory is so venerated in the city where she dwelt.
Self was so totally absent from all her motives of activity in deeds of benevolence, that she at once commanded love and respect; and, in her
case peculiarly, unalloyed with any risings of jealousy, envy, or distrust.
Blessed with a spirit of philanthropy, with an ardent and generous mind, a sound judgment, and an excess of that sensibility which moulds the soul for friendship;-of a cultivated mind, and rich experience, her company was eagerly sought, and highly valued by old and young. Though happily qualified to shine in the drawing-room, her time was seldom wasted there; for such a disposition of it would have been comparative waste, contrasted with her usual employments. Her steps were never seen ascending the hill of ambition, nor tracing the mazes of popular applause. Where the widow and the orphan wept, where the sick and the dying moaned, thither her footsteps has tened: and there, seen only by her heavenly Father, she administered to their temporal wants, breathed the voice of consolation on their ear, shed the tears of sympathy, exhibited the truths of the Gospel from the sacred volume, and poured out her soul for them in prayer to her Saviour and her God.
In a few such deeds she rested not; the knowledge of them was not obtruded upon others, nor recorded by herself. The recollection of past