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articles of dress; and he would ship them in a vessel of his own, freight free, to be sold in the West Indies. His object was partly to increase her little capital, and partly to divert her mind from meditating so deeply on the loss of her lamented husband; for she shed so many tears, while at Cartside, as to injure her eyesight, and to render the use of spectacles necessary. The plan so kindly proposed, was soon adopted; and the muslin dresses were, accordingly, shipped: but she soon afterwards learned that the ship was captured by the French. This was a severe blow to her temporal property, and more deeply felt, as it was received at the time when her father was deprived of his office.
Mrs. Brown, after consulting with the Rev. Mr. Randall, of Glasgow; the Rev. Mr. Ellis, of Paisley; Lady Glenorchy, and Mrs. Walker, of Edinburgh; proposed to Mrs. Graham to take charge of a boarding-school in the metropolis.
The friends of religion were of opinion, that such an establishment, under the direction of such a character as Mrs. Graham, would be of singular benefit to young ladies, destined for important stations in society. Her liberal education, her acquaintance with life, and her humble yet ardent piety, were considered peculiarly calculated to qualify her for so important a trust.
Another friend had suggested to Mrs. Graham the propriety of opening a boarding-house in Edinburgh, which he thought could, through his influence, be easily filled by students.
She saw obstacles to both; a boarding-house did not appear suitable, as her daughters would not be so likely to have the same advantages of education as in a boardingschool. To engage as an instructress of youth on so large
a scale, with so many competitors, appeared, for her, an arduous undertaking.
In this perplexity, as in former trials, she fled to her unerring Counsellor, the Lord, her covenant God. She set apart a day for fasting and prayer. She spread her case before the Lord, earnestly beseeching him to make his word "a light to her feet, and a lamp to her path; and to lead her in the way she should go;" especially, that she might be directed to choose the path in which she could best promote his glory, and the highest interests of herself and her children. On searching the Scriptures, her mind was fastened on these words, in John xxi. 15, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord! thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs."
Never, perhaps, was this commandment applied with more energy, nor accompanied with a richer blessing, since the days of the Apostle, than in the present instance. Her determination was accordingly made. She resolved to undertake the education of youth, trusting that her Lord would make her an humble instrument to feed his lambs. Here was exhibited an instance of simple, yet powerful, faith in a believer, surrounded by temporal perplexities; and of condescension and mercy on the part of a compassionate God. Light, unseen by mortal eyes, descended on her path.
How weak, perhaps enthusiastic, would this have appeared to the busy crowd, blind to the special providence exercised by the God of heaven towards all his creatures!
When the assembled universe shall, at the great day of judgment, be called around the throne of the Judge of the whole earth, such conduct will then appear to have been wise, judicious, and efficient: but to the eye of
carnal reason, absorbed in the devices and calculations of worldly wisdom, it now appears delusive and unavailing. There are some passages in Miss Hannah More's Practical Piety, on the sufferings of good men, peculiarly applicable to the faith, exercises, and conduct of Mrs. Graham, at this season of difficulty and deprivation. She felt the pressure of her affliction; but, like the Psalmist," she gave herself unto prayer," realizing in a measure, the poet's description:
'Prayer ardent opens heaven, lets down a stream
Of glory on the consecrated hour
Of man in audience with the Deity.'
Although her faith was strong, yet her mind was under such agitation from her total want of funds to carry her plan into effect, and from other conflicting exercises, as to throw her into a nervous fever, which kept her confined to her bed for some weeks. On her recovery, she felt it her duty to go forward, trusting that He, who had directed her path, would provide the means that were necessary to enable her to walk in it: she sold her heavy furniture, packed up all her remaining effects, and prepared to set out from Paisley for Edinburgh, on a Monday, some time in the year 1780.
On the previous Saturday, she sat by her fire musing and wondering in what manner the Lord would appear for her at this time; when a letter was brought to her from Mr. Peter Reid, enclosing a sum of money which he had recovered from the underwriters, on account of Mrs. Graham's muslins, captured on their passage to the West Indies. Mrs. Graham had considered them as totally lost, but her friend had taken the precaution to have them insured.
With this supply she was enabled to accomplish her
object, and arrived in Edinburgh with her family. Her friend, Mrs. Brown, met her there, and stayed with her a few days, to comfort and patronise her in her new undertaking. Mrs. Brown was her warm and constant friend until her death, which happened in Paisley, in 1782, when she was attending the communion. She bequeathed her daughter, Mary, to Mrs. Graham's care; but, in 1785, the daughter followed the mother, being cut off by a fever in the twelfth year of her age.
It may be proper here to introduce the name of Mr. George Anderson, a merchant in Glasgow, who had been an early and particular friend of Dr. Graham. He kindly offered his friendly services, and the use of his purse, to promote the welfare of the bereaved family of his friend.
Mrs. Graham occasionally drew upon both. The money she borrowed she had the satisfaction of repaying with interest.
A correspondence was carried on between them after Mrs. Graham's removal to America, until the death of Mr. Anderson in 1802. Such was the acknowledged integrity of this gentleman, that he was very generally known in Glasgow by the appellation of "Honest George Anderson."
During her residence in Edinburgh, she was honoured with the friendship and counsel of many persons of distinction and piety. The Viscountess Glenorchy; Lady Ross Baillie; Lady Jane Belches; Mrs. Walter Scott (mother of the poet); Mrs. Dr. Davidson; and Mrs. Baillie Walker, were among her warm personal friends. The Rev. Dr. Erskine, the Rev. Dr. Davidson, (formerly the Rev. Mr. Randall,) and many other respectable clergymen, were also her friends. She and her family attended
on the ministry of Dr. Davidson, an able, evangelical, useful pastor.
Her school soon became considerable in numbers and character. Her early and superior education now proved of essential service to her. She was indefatigable in her attention to the instruction of her pupils. While she was faithful in giving them those accomplishments, which were to qualify them for acting a distinguished part in this world, she was also zealous in directing their attention to that Gospel, by which they were instructed to obtain an inheritance in the eternal world. She felt a high responsibility, and took a deep interest, in their temporal and spiritual welfare. As a mother in Israel," she wished to train them up in the ways of the Lord.
She prayed with them morning and evening, and on the Sabbath, (which she was careful to devote to its proper use,) she took great pains to imbue their minds with the truths of religion. Nor did she labour in vain. Although she was often heard to lament that her life was unprofitable, compared with her opportunities of doing good; yet, when her children, Mr. and Mrs. B, visited Scotland in 1801, they heard of many characters, then pious and exemplary, who dated their first religious impressions from those seasons of early instruction which they enjoyed under Mrs. Graham, while in Edinburgh.
Mrs. Graham's manner, in the management of youth, was peculiarly happy. While she kept them diligent in their studies, and strictly obedient to the laws she had established, she was endeared to them by her tenderness; and the young ladies, instructed in her school, retained for her, in after-life, a degree of filial affection, whi was expressed on many affecting occasions. This was