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whom Dr. Graham had early taken under his patronage. The kindness of his patron had so far favoured him with a medical education, that he was enabled to succeed him as 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 honourable to the benefactor, 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: favourably 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 those around her, whose condition in the world was prosperous. 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,
that, as a proof of respect for the memory of their deceased friend, he and his brother officers had taken the liberty of defraying the expenses of her voyage.
Consequently, the bill he had given was for the full amount of her original deposit; and thus, like the brethren of Joseph, "she found all her money in the sack's mouth." Being a stranger in Ireland, without a friend to look out for a proper vessel in which to embark for Scotland, she and her children went passengers in a packet; on board of which, as she afterwards learned, there was not even a compass. A great storm arose, and they were tossed to and fro for nine hours in imminent danger. The rudder and the masts were carried away: every thing on deck thrown overboard, and at length the vessel struck in the night upon a rock, on the coast of Ayr, in Scotland. The greatest confusion pervaded the passengers and crew. Among a number of young students, going to the University at Edinburgh, some were swearing, some praying, and all were in despair. The widow only remained composed. With her babe in her arms, she hushed her weeping family, and told them, that, in a few minutes they should all go to join their father in a better world. The passengers wrote their names in their pocket-books, that their bodies might be recognised, and reported for the information of their friends. One young man came into the cabin, asking, 'Is there any peace here?' He was sur
prised to find a female so tranquil a short conversation soon evinced that religion was the source of comfort and hope to them both in this perilous hour. He prayed, and then read the 107th psalm. While repeating these words, "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still," the vessel swung off the rock, by the rising of the tide. She had been dashing against it for an hour and
a half, the sea making a breach over her, so that the hold was now nearly filled with water. Towards morning the storm subsided, and the vessel floated until she rested on a sandbank. Assistance was afforded from the shore; and the shipwrecked company took shelter in a small inn, where the men seemed anxious to drown the remembrance of danger in a bowl of punch. How faithful a monitor is conscience! This voice is listened to in extreme peril. But, oh, infatuated man, how anxious art thou to stifle the warnings of wisdom in the hour of prosperity! Thousands of our race, no doubt, delay their preparations for eternity, until, visited with sudden death, they have scarcely a moment left for the performance of this solemn work.
Mrs. Graham retired to a private room, to offer up thanksgiving to God for his goodness, and to commend herself, and her orphans, to his future care.
A gentleman from Ayr, hearing of the shipwreck, came down to offer assistance; and in him Mrs. Graham was happy enough to recognise an old friend. This gentleman paid her and her family much attention, carrying them to his own house, and treating them with kindness and hospitality.
In a day or two after this she reached Cartside, and entered her father's dwelling; not the large ancient mansion, in which she had left him, but a thatched cottage, consisting of three apartments. Possessed of a too easy temper, and unsuspecting disposition, Mr. Marshall had been induced to become security for some of his friends, whose failure in business had reduced him to poverty. He now acted as factor of a gentleman's estate in this neighbourhood, of whose father he had been the intimate friend, with a salary of twenty pounds sterling per annum, and the use of a small farm.
In a short time, however, his health failed him, and he was deprived of this scanty pittance, being incapable, as the proprietor was pleased to think, of fulfilling the duties of factor.
Alive to every call of duty, Mrs. Graham now considered her father as added, with her children, to the number of dependants on her industry. She proved, indeed, a good daughter; faithful, affectionate, and dutiful, she supported her father through his declining years; and he died at her house, during her residence in Edinburgh, surrounded by his daughter and her children, who tenderly watched him through his last illness.
From Cartside she removed to Paisley, where she taught a small school. The slender profits of such an establishment, with a widow's pension of sixteen pounds sterling, were the means of subsistence for herself and her family. When she first returned to Cartside, a few religious friends called to welcome her home. The gay and wealthy part of her former acquaintances, flutterers who, like the butterfly, spread their silken wings only to bask in the warmth of a summer sun, found not their way to the lonely cottage of an afflicted widow. Her worth, although in after-life rendered splendid by its own fruits, was at this time hidden, except to those whose reflection and wisdom had taught them to discern it more in the faith and submission of the soul, than in the selfish and extravagant exhibitions of the wealth bestowed by the bounty of Providence, but expended too often for the purposes of vanity and dissipation.
In such circumstances the Christian character of Mrs. Graham was strongly marked. Sensible that her heavenly Father saw it good, at this time, to depress her outward condition, full of filial tenderness, and like a
real child of God, resigned to whatever should appear to be his will, her conduct conformed to his dispensations. With a cheerful heart, and in the hope of faith, she set herself to walk down into the valley of humiliation, "leaning upon Jesus," as the Beloved of her soul. "I delight to do thy will, O my God! yea, thy law is within my heart," was the spontaneous effusion of her genuine faith. She received with affection the scriptural admonition, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
She laid aside her children's fine frocks, and clothed them in home-spun. At Cartside, she sold the butter she made, and her children were fed on the milk. It was her wish to eat her own bread, however coarse, and to owe no person any thing but love." At Paisley, for a season, her breakfast and supper was porridge, and her dinner potatoes and salt. Peace with God, and a contented mind, supplied the lack of earthly prosperity; and she adverted to this her humble fare, to comfort the hearts of suffering sisters, with whom she corresponded at a later period of life, when in comfortable circum
Meantime the Lord was not unmindful of his believing child; but was preparing the minds of her friends for introducing her to a more enlarged sphere of usefulness.
Her pious and attached friend, Mrs. Major Brown, had accompanied her husband to Scotland, and they now resided on their estate in Ayrshire. Mr. Peter Reid, a kind friend when in Antigua, was now a merchant in London. This gentleman advised her to invest the little money she had brought home, (and which she had still preserved,) in muslins, which she could work into finer