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the painful feelings of her heart could not immediately shake: but when the awful solemnities were over-earth to earth, dust to dust-and the spirit gone to God who gave it—when all was still, and she was a widow indeed—that tenderness of soul, and sympathy of friendship, for which Mrs. Graham was ever remarkable, were brought into severe and tumultuous exercise. Here husband, companion, protector, was gone: a man of superior mind, great taste, warm affection, and domestic habits. She was left with three daughters, the eldest of whom was not over five years of age; and with the prospect of having another child in a few months. Of temporal property, she possessed very little : she was at a distance from her father's house : the widow and the fatherless were in a foreign land. The change in her circumstances was as sudden as it was great.
She had no sympathizing heart, to receive and return the confidence of unbounded friendship ; and thus, by reciprocal communion, to alleviate the trials and enrich the enjoyments of life. All the pleasing plans, all the cherished prospects, of future settlement in life, were cut off in a moment. Whilst sinking into a softened indifference to the world, in the contemplation of her severe loss, she was, on the other hand, rcaised into exertion for the sustenance and support of her young family, whose earthly dependence was now necessarily
It pleased God, however, to preserve her life
Not satisfied with the custom of the island, in burying so soon after life is extinct, her uneasiness became so great, that her friends judged it prudent to have her husband's grave opened, to convince her that no symptoms of returning life had been exhibited there. The fidelity of her heart was now as strongly marked as her tenderness. She dressed herself in the habiliments of a widow, and surveying herself in a mirror, determined never to lay them aside. This she strictly adhered to, and rejected every overture, afterwards made to her, of again entering into the married state. She breathed the feelings of her heart in a little poem, in which she dedicated herself to her God as a widow indeed.
On examining into the state of her husband's affairs, she discovered that there remained not quite two hundred pounds sterling in his agent's hands.
These circumstances afforded an opportunity for the display of the purity of Mrs. Graham's principles, and her rigid adherence to the commandments of her God in
situation. It was proposed to her, and urged with much argument, to sell the two Indian girls, her late husband's property.
No considerations of interest, nor necessity, could prevail upon her to make merchandise of her fellow creatures, the works of her heavenly Father's hand, immortal beings. One of these girls accompanied her to Scotland, where she was
married; and the other died in Antigua, leaving an affectionate testimony to the kindness of her dear master and mistress.
The surgeon's mate of the regiment was a young man whom Dr. Graham had early taken under his patronage. The kindness of his patron had so far favored him with a medical education, that he was enabled to succeed him as a surgeon to the regiment.
Notwithstanding the slender finances of Mrs. Graham, feeling for the situation of Dr. H., she presented to him her husband's medical library, and his sword : a rare instance of disinterested regard for the welfare of another.
This was an effort towards observing the second table of the law, in doing which she was actuated likewise by that principle which flows from keeping the first table also. Nor was the friendship of Dr. and Mrs. Graham misplaced. The seeds of gratitude were sown in an upright heart. Dr. H., from year to year, manifested his sense of obligation, by remitting to the widow such sums of money as he could afford. This was a reciprocity of kind offices, equally honorable to the bene. factors, and to him who received the benefit : an instance, alas! too rarely met with in a selfish world.
It may here be remarked, in order to show how much temporal supplies are under the direction of a special providence, that Dr. H.'s remittances and friendly letters were occasionally received
by Mrs. Graham, until the year 1795; after this period her circumstances were so favorably altered, as to render such aid unnecessary; and from that time, she heard no more from Dr. H., neither could she hear what became of him, notwithstanding her frequent inquiries.
It may be profitable here, to look at Mrs. Graham, contrasted with the society in temporal prosperity around her. Many persons, then in Antigua, were busy and successful in the accumulation of wealth, to the exclusion of every thought, tending to holiness, to God, and to heaven. The portion which they desired, they possessed. What then? They are since gone to another world. The magic of the words, “My property," "an independent fortune,” has been dispelled; and that for which they toiled, and in which they gloried, has since passed into a bandred hands; the illusion is vanished, and unless they made their peace with God through the blood of the cross, they left this world, and alas ! found no heaven before them. But amidst apparent affliction and outward distress, God was preparing the heart of this wi. dow, by the discipline of his covenant, for future usefulness; to be a blessing, probably, to thousands of her race, and to enter, finally, on that rest which remaineth for the people of God.'
Her temporal support was not, in her esteem, “ an independent fortune," but a life of dependence on the care of her heavenly Father : she had more delight in suffering and doing his will,
than in all riches. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear him, and he will show them his covenant.' To those who walk with God, he will show the way in which they should go, and their experience will assure them that he directs their paths. 'Bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure.' She passed through many trials of a temporal nature, but she was comforted of her God through them all; and at last was put in possession of an eternal treasure in heaven, 'where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.' May this contrast be solemnly examined, and the example of this child of God made a blessing to many!
Previously to her confinement, and the birth her son, Mrs. Graham set her house in order, in the probable expectation of her decease. She wrote a letter to her father in Scotland, commending her young family to his protection; also a letter to her friend, Mrs. G., giving the charge of her affairs, and of her family, to her and her husband, Captain G., during their stay in Antigua.
In this letter, she expressed her full confidence in the friendship of Mrs. G. ; but at the same time declared her solicitude about her indifference to spiritual cor: erns; and dealt very faithfully with her conscience, as to the propriety and necessity of her being more engaged to seek the favor of God, through the mediation and atonement of the blessed Redeemer.