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bathing gown, and to pull her towards them. When they brought her ashore, she was much exhausted, and had swallowed a considerable quantity of water. It was some hours before she revived, when she addressed the company in a very serious and impressive manner, that affected them to tears. Her health during the following winter was much impaired by the shock it had received.
In the year 1811, some gentlemen of New-York established a Magdalen Society: they elected a Board of ladies, requesting their aid to superintend the internal management of the Magdalen House. This Board chose Mrs. Graham their presiding lady, which office she held until her decease; the duties attendant on it she discharged with fidelity and zeal. In 1812, the trustees of the Lancasterian School solicited the attendance of several pious ladies, to give catechetical instruction to their scholars, one afternoon in every week: Mrs. Graham was one of those who attended regularly to this duty.
During the last two years of her life, she found her strength inadequate to so extensive a course of visiting the poor, as formerly; there were some distressed families, however, that experienced her kind attention to the last. She would occasionally accompany the Rev. Mr. Stanford on his visits to the State Prison, Hospital, and to the Magdalen House. This gentleman is the stated preacher, employed by "the Society for the support of the Gospel among the poor." He devotes his time to preaching in the Alms House, Hospital, State Prison, Debtors' Prison, &c. with great assiduity and acceptance. Mrs. Graham now spent much of her time in her room, devoted to meditation, prayer, and reading the Scriptures; she seemed to be weaning from earth, and preparing for heaven. Prayer was that sweet breath of her soul which brought stability to her life. Genuine humility was obvious in all her sentiments and deportment. Religious friends prized her conversation, counsel, and friendship; sometimes they would venture on a compliment to her superior attainments, but always experienced a decided rebuke. To her friend Colonel L—, who expressed a wish to be such a character as she was, she
quickly replied, with an air of mingled pleasantry and censure, "Get thee behind me, Satan." To a female friend who said, "If I were only sure at last of being admitted to a place at your feet, I should feel happy." "Hush, hush," replied Mrs. Graham," there is ONE SAVIOUR." Thus she was always careful to give her Divine Redeemer the whole glory of her salvation.
This example of humility, self-denial, and sensibility to the imperfection of her conduct, is the more to be valued, as it is so difficult to be followed. Flattery is too commonly practised; and there is no sufficient guard against its dangerous consequences, except a constant and humbling recognition of the spirituality of the law of God; and our lamentable deficiency in fulfilling it. Pride was not made for man; I have seen an end of all perfection,' said the Psalmist, but thy commandment is exceeding broad.' It was by cherishing this sentiment, by studying her bible, by searching her heart and its motives, and, above all, by grace accorded of heaven in answer to her prayers, that Mrs. Graham was enabled to maintain such a meekness of spirit, such an uniformity of Christian character, throughout her life. May all who read her history, be directed to the same sources of true peace and genuine happiness!
In the spring of 1814 she was requested to unite with some ladies, in forming a Society for the promotion of Industry amongst the poor As this was the last act in which she appeared before the public, and because some acquaintance with the design of this Institution may prove useful in exciting others to similar exertions, the Petition sent to the Corporation of New-York will be given here at full length, as it appeared in the publications of the Society.
To the Honourable the Mayor and Common Council of the city of New-York.
"We, whose names are subscribed, beg leave respectfully to address you, on a subject which has engaged our attention. Notwithstanding the large amount of money expended by private benevolence for the relief of the indigent, it is a cause of regret that such relief is of so limited a character; cast as it were into a troubled sea, it sinks to rise no more. Could a fair proportion of the money indefinitely expended on the poor, be placed under the care of an Institution, which should use it to stimulate indus try, by providing work for the indigent, Daving them only for their labour;
that proportion would be directed to the most beneficent purpose. Such a course would encourage industrious habits, do away the necessity of begging, and foster self-respect, in the honest poor.
"Such an Institution, we trust, your Honourable Body will deem worthy of public patronage; we are willing and desirous to support it by our personal exertions, according to a plan which we now respectfully submit to your examination. A House of Industry forms a principal feature of this plan. Should your Honourable Body so far patronize us as to assign us a building for that purpose, we shall commence the work, trusting to the benevolence and discernment of our citizens.
"The admonition of holy writ, much food is in the tillage of the poor, but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment,' we feel as a strong incitement to render the industry of the poor useful to themselves and to the community. Without the aid now respectfully solicited, the attempt would on our part be hazardous and inefficient. Our zeal to promote an Institution, having this object in view, must be our excuse for addressing ourselves to the guardians and rulers of the city."
This Petition was signed by about thirty ladies.
The Corporation having returned a favourable answer, and provided a house, a meeting of the Society was held, and Mrs. Graham once more was called to the chair. was the last time she was to preside at the formation of a new Society. Her articulation, once strong and clear, was now observed to have become more feeble. The ladies present listened to her with affectionate attention; her voice broke upon the ear as a pleasant sound that was passing away. She consented to have her name inserted in the list of managers, to give what assistance her age would permit in forwarding so beneficent a work. Although it pleased God to make her cease from her labours, before the House of Industry was opened, yet the work was carried on by others, and prospered. Between four and five hundred women were employed and paid during the following winter. The Corporation declared in strong terms their approbation of the result, and enlarged their donation, with a view to promote the same undertaking for the succeeding winter.
In the month of May 1814, a Report was received from Mr. S. P-, of Bristol, in England, of the Society for establishing Adult Schools. Mrs. Graham was so delighted with a perusal of it, as immediately to undertake the formation of such a school in the village of Greenwich. She called on the young people who were at work in some neighbouring manufactories, and requested them to attend her for this purpose every Sabbath morning at eight o'clock This was kept up afte
her decease, as a Sunday School, and consisted of nearly eighty scholars. She was translated from this work of faith on earth, to engage in the sublimer work of praise in heaven.
For some weeks previous to her last illness, she was favoured with unusual health, and much enjoyment of religion: she appeared to have sweet exercises and communion in attending on all God's ordinances and appointed means of grace.
She was greatly refreshed in spirit by the success of Missionary and Bible Societies. She used to speak with much affection of Mr. Gordon, Mr. Lee, and Mr. May, with whom she had been acquainted when in New-York, on their way to missionary stations in India. For Mr. Robert Morrison, whom she had seen in 1807, on his way to China, she entertained a very high regard. She was much pleased with the solid talents, ardent piety, and persevering zeal which she discerned in his character.
Mrs. Graham was very partial to the works of Dr. John Owen, the Rev. William Romaine, and John Newton, and read them with pleasure and profit. One day she remarked to Mr. B-, that she preferred the ancient writers on Theology, to the modern, because they dealt more in Italics. "Dear mother," he replied, "what religion can there be in Italics ?" "You know," said she, "that old writers expected credit for the doctrines they taught, by proving them from the word of God, to be correct: they inserted the Scripture passages in Italics, and their works have been sometimes one half in Italics. Modern writers on Theology, on the contrary, give us a long train of reasoning, to persuade us to their opinions, but very little in Italics." This remark of her's has great force, and may be worthy of sober reflection by those who write, and those who read on Theological subjects.
On the two Sabbath days preceding her illness, she partook of the communion, and was consequently much engaged in religious exercises. The last meditation she ever wrote, was on Sabbath afternoon the 17th July, 1814; it closes with the following lines: "I ate the bread, and drank the wine, in the faith that I ate the flesh, and drank the blood of the Son of Man, and dwelt in him, and he in me; took a close view of my familiar friend
Death, accompanied with the presence of my Saviour; his sensible presence. I cannot look at it without this. It is my only petition concerning it. I have had desires and wishes of certain circumstances, but they are nearly gone. It is my sincere desire that God may be glorified; and He knows best how, and by what circumstances. I retain my one petition :
"Only to me thy count'nance show,
Thus she arose from her Master's table, was called to gird on her armour for a combat with the King of Terrors, and came off more than conqueror through Him who loved her.
On Tuesday, the 19th of July, she complained of not feeling well, and kept her room; on Thursday her disorder proved to be a cholera morbus, and her children sent for a physician. She said this attack was slighter than in former seasons. On Saturday, however, she requested that Mrs. Chrystie might be sent for; this alarmed Mrs. B—, knowing there existed an understanding between those two friends, that one should attend the dying-bed of the other: Mrs. Chrystie was a very dear friend of Mrs. Graham. For upwards of twenty-four years they had loved each other, feeling reciprocal sympathy in their joys and their sorrows : the hope of faith was the consolation of both, and oftentimes it had been their delightful employment to interchange their expressions of affection towards Him, 'whom having not seen, they loved, and in whom, - though they saw him not, yet believing on him, they rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory. On Mrs. Chrystie's entering the chamber of her friend, Mrs. Graham welcomed her with a sweet expressive smile, seeming to say, "I am going to get the start of you, I am called home before you; it will be your office to fulfil our engagement. When she sat by her bedside, Mrs. Graham said, "your face is very pleasant to me, my friend." During Saturday night a lethargy ap peared to be overpowering her frame. On Sabbath morning she was disposed to constant slumber; observing Mr. B-, looking at her with agitation, she was roused from her heaviness, and stretching her