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Full text of "The African widow : being the history of a poor black woman : showing how she grieved for the death of her child, and the consequences of her doing so"

AFRICAN WIDOW; 

BEING THE 

HISTORY 

OF A 

POG31 







LONDON; 

Printed for 

.THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY; 
AND SOLD BY J. DAVIS, AT THE DEPOSITORY, 

BRNERS STKEET, OXFOIII) STREET; ' 

AT THE PEPOSITORY, MANCHESTER; 

AND OTHKK BOOKSELLERS. 



Price One Penny. 




/) H 



J CHILDREN'S BOOK 

COLLECTION 

1* 

LIBRARY OF THE 

^ UNIVEHSfTY OF CALIFORNIA 
LOS ANGELES 



TIIE 

AFRICAN WIDOW; 

BEING THE 

HISTORY 

OF A 
POOP*. BZ.AC3C 



5howing.Jiow.slie grieved for the Death of hci 
Child, and the consequences of her doing so. 




LONDON: 

Printed for 
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY ; 

AND SOLD BY J. DAVIS, AT THE DEPOSl'IOKV, 
XKBNEKS STRF.KT, OXFOttD STRF.BTj ' 

AT THE SOCIETY'S DKPOSJTOKY, 

MANCHESTEK ; .AND OTHCtl 
BOOKSELLERS 




THE 

AFRICAN WIDOW. 

ON lately reading the Report of a So- 
ciety instituted for the relief of the 
wants of the poor African and Asiatic 
strangers, whom various circumstances 
in r , 1 evidence have brought to England, 
was much struck with the very af- 
fecting Narrative of a Black woman, 
which is added to the Report. It oc- 
curred to me, that it might be well to 
state the circumstances of her life, in a 
few plain and simple rhymes. The at- 
tempt is here made, preserving the par- 
ticulars of the history as they are re- 
corded in the account above mentioned. 
L. II 




CURISTIANS, attend while I relate 

A new and simple story ; 
Twill teach your heart with thankful- 
ness 

To praise the Lord of Glory. 

In London city once there dwelt 

A poor, but honest pair, 
God bless'd them with an infant clukl, 

And she was all their care. 

From Africa's far distant shores, 
To this good land they came, 

Friendless and poor alike imknov-n 
T-> fortune and to fame. 



The times grew hard, and keen dis- 
tress 

Forc'd him from her to flee ; 
Mutual support in hopes to gain, 

The husband went to sea. 

Oft would the tender wife with tears 
Her absent husband mourn : 

Oft, as she view'd their darling child, 
She sigh'd for his return. 

Rut, oh ! my heart it bleeds to think 

What sorrows did betide, 
The parents' hope, this much-lov'd 
child, 

It sicken'd, droop'd, and died. 

And while she mourn'd her infant's 

loss, 

Sad tidings came from sea ; 
The ship was wreck'd, her husband 

drown'd, 
A helpless widow she. 




6 

What tongue can tell, what heart 
conceive, 

The horrors of her mind ? 
Her husband lost, her infant dead, 

And she was left behind ! 



Loudly she wept, and sigh'd, and 

groan 'd, 

With anguish almost wild ; 
And still she cried, " My husband's 

dead, 
And I have lost mv child !" 



Was there no holy hope divine, 
To calm her anxious care ? 

No consolation from above ? 
No remedy in prayer? 

Ah no ! her dark untutor'd mind 

A stranger was to truth : 
No God, no Christ, no hope she knew ; 

A heathen from her youth. 

Deepest despair possess 'd her soul, 
She spake in accents wild, 

.- .d still she cried, " Mv husband's 

dead, 
And I have lost mv child '." 



Oft to the infant's grave she went, 
Full many a tear to shed ; 

And as she wept, still ever cried, 
a Ah me ! my child is dead !" 




Each following week, when Sabbath- 
bells 

Proclaim'd the hour of pray'r, 
The open'd church-yard gate goon 

brought 
The weeping mother there. 

Full three long years in hopeless woe, 
She mourn 'd her wretched lot ; 

Comfort, like Rachel, she refus'd, 
Because her child was not.* 



How dark the sorrows of a mind 
With grief like this perplext ; 

In this world she no comfort knew, 
She sought none in the next. 

A moment pause, while thus I end 
The first part of my story ; 

And when you hear what's yet to 

come, 
Oh, give to God the glory I 

Christians, 'I'll tell you how the Lord 
Pity'd this widow's sorrow ; 

For oft the tear that's shed to-night, 
Ends in a smile to-morrow.* 




9 
From week to week, for three long 

years, 

With solemn pace and slow ; 
The widow trod the church-yard path 
In unavailing woe. 

Once as she went her custom'd way, 
Clos'd was the church-yard gate ; 

Far from the grave was she compell'd 
In pensive grief to wait. 

With streaming eyes she view'd the 
spot 

Where her dear babe was laid ; 
Deny'd access, she sat and cried, 

" Ah me ! my child is dead !" 

Within th' adjoining house of God 
Was heard the voice of pray'r, 

But all was vain to her, who knew 
No voice to soothe her care. 

Once more she came, the gate was 
clos'd, 

And she stood weeping there ; 
The only path-way which remained, 

Lay through the house of pray'r. 

She saw th' attendant at the door, 
And ask'd her leave to pass ; 

" Pray, let me go to yonder grave. 
My child's beneath the grass." 



10 
Thankful to gain her kind consent; 

Swift through the church she fled, 
And reach'd the grave, where still she 

cried, 
" Ah me ! my child is dead !" 

While in the church rejoicing saints 
Songs of thanksgiving shout, 

Low on the ground, in sad despair, 
The widow sat without. 

The hour of mercy then approach'd, 
And God beheld her case, 

The preacher now began t' unfold 
The mysteries of grace. 

She linger 'd long, but ere he clos'd. 
She rose to journey home : 

Re-passing through the church sl.e 

heard, 
" Flee from the wrath to come." * 

Struck with the alarming sound she 
stopp'd, 

Astonish'd and distress 'd ! 
The preacher cried, " Arise, depart, 

For this is not your rest." t 




Deep in her heart conviction sunk, 
Each word, each thought seem'd 
new; 

She long'd to ask, " Can I be sav'd? 
What must a sinner do ?" 



O'erwhelm'd with many a rising fear, 

She felt the weight of sin, 
She wish'd to seek salvation's path, 

But where must she begin ? 

Convinced how far from God she liv'd, 
Homeward she bent her way ; 

W 7 ith thoughts confus'd and fault'ring 

tongue, 
Trembling slie tried to pray 



12 

For mercy now she hourly sued, 
Dropping repentant tears ; 

The thoughts of judgment, death, and 

sin, 
Appall'd her soul with fears. 

Earnest she read the word of God, 

But could not find relief, 
As yet a vail was o'er her eyes, 

And she a prey to grief. 

A neighbour told her, whom she a~!-.M 
What course she must pursue, 

" A worthy lady lives hard by, 
Who'll kindly speak to you. 

" She is a lady rich and great, 
But she's a Christian true ; 

She lives a life of doing good, 
And she'll be good to you." 

Gladly she hasten'd to the house 
Where this kind lady dwelt, 

To her she open'd all her heart, 
And all she fear'd and felt. 

With sweet affection and regard, ' 

The lady heard her woes, 
Then kindly pointed out the w:iy 



J. lie laMy uceti 

Then kindly poi 
Foi souls to s 



to seek repose. 



13 
She spoke of sin, and spoke of Christ, 

His righteousness and blood ; 
Show'd how the sinner's only hope 

In Jesu's sufferings stood. 
f Fear not," said she, " but humbly 
come, 

With this thy only plea, 
A helpless sinner sure am I, 
. But Jesus died for me. 

." Be every trial sent of God, 

A med'cine to thy mind ; 
Thy husband and thy infant's loss 
Were both in love design 'd. 

" These were thy idols, these en- 

gross'd 

Thy soul's entirest care ; 
He took them both, that thou mighf st 

learn 
To seek thy God by pray'r. 

" That grave, where thou so oft has. 
heav'd 

The sigh of sad despair, 
A place of mercy prov'd to thee, 

A Saviour found thee there. 

" Freely resign thine all to him, 
Whose truth shall make thee free : 

Believe it, and be comforted, 
lie gave himself for thee." 



Thus holy counsel from her lips 

In tender accents fell ; 
Parting she took her hand and said, 

" Sister in Christ, farewell." 




* Sister !" she scarce believ'd the 
sound, 

" Sister !" can this be true ? 
Can such a lady own a wretch, 

And call her " sister " too ? 

The word it pierc'd her inmost so" 1 , 

The tear responsive fell ; 
What were the feelings c f her r.^art, 

No mortal tongue can. tell. 

She thought how lovely grace appears 
In those whom God makes his ; 

What must then be the love of Christ, 
Which brings forth fruit like this ? 



15 

Home she return'd, and prostrate fell 

At a Redeemer's feet, 
Pleaded his blood, his life, his death, 

Before the mercy-seat. 

Light, like a flood, burst o'er her soul, 

As Jesus seein'd to say, 
" I've blotted thy transgressions out,* 

I've wash'd thy sins away." 
Thus did the Holy Comforter 

His peaceful joys impart, 
And pour'd the oil of gladness out, 

To heal her wounded heart. 
" Blest be my Saviour God," she 
cried, 

" All glory be to Thee ; 
I know that 'tis in faithfulness, 

Thou hast afflicted me. f 
" Dark was my day of ignorance, 

And dark of sin my night, 
But now the shade of death is turn'd 

To morning's welcome light. J 

" Incline my soul to serve thee, Lord, 

My every power employ, 
For thou hast heal'd the widow's heart, 

And made it sing for joy. 



+ Ts. cxxix. 75 
S Job. xxi> i* 



16 
" Farewell, my babe; no more I'll 

weep, 

Nor at thy grave despair, 
But trust that God hath made my child 
His own eternal care. 

" That house of God, where oft I'll go, 
Shall still this thought afford, 

I went to mourn an infant dead, 
But found a living Lord." 

Christians, adieu ! I now have told 
My new and simple story, 

Ascribe the honour all to God, 
And praise the Lord of Glory. 




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