Harriet Atwood Newell.

Memoirs of Mrs. Harriet Newell, wife of the Rev. S. Newell, American missionary to India, who died at the Isle of France, Nov. 30, 1812, aged nineteen years; online

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Online LibraryHarriet Atwood NewellMemoirs of Mrs. Harriet Newell, wife of the Rev. S. Newell, American missionary to India, who died at the Isle of France, Nov. 30, 1812, aged nineteen years; → online text (page 6 of 15)
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tion of the followers of the Lamb. They must ex-
pect tribulations and crosses in their way to the
kingdom of heaven. But let us ever remember,
that if we are the believing children of God, a rest
awaits us in heaven, which will doubly compensate
us for all the troubles of this life.

When interceding at the mercy-seat, Oh forget
not C. to pray for the salvation of the benighted
Heathen, whose souls are as precious as our own.
With them, remember your friend

HARRIET.

Mty**/*****

1811.
June 30. Mr D. preached from this text, ' And



84? MEMOIRS OF

as he drew nigh to the city, he wept over it, saying*
&c. My whole soul was melted into compassion for
impenitent sinners. Can I ever again feel regard-
less and unconcerned for their immortal souls ?

' Did Christ for sinners weep,
And shall our cheeks be dry ?
Let floods of penitential grief,
Burst forth from every eye. '

Did Jesus say to sinners, c Oh that thou hadst
known in this thy day, the things that belong to thy
peace, 1 &c. and shall I smile upon them, while in
the road to ruin.

July 15. The long expected letter has at length
arrived. How can I wish for a friend, more worthy
of my love, more deserving of my heart ? But my
heart is already his. A friend, how rich the trea-
sure ! If an earthly friend is thus near to my heart,
how strong should be my attachment to a holy God,
whose friendship to his children is lasting as eter-
nity ! How can I love him sufficiently ? How can I
take too much delight in honouring him before the
world, and in promoting his cause ?

July 23. I have just read a little passage in
Thomson's Seasons, which I thought I could adopt
.as my own language ;

* Should fate command ine to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barb'rous climes,
Rivers unknown to song ; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames to the Atlantic Isles ; 'tis nought to me,
Since God is ever present ever felt,
In the void waste, as in the city full ;
And where he vital breathes, there must be jog.'



MRS NEWELL. 85



EXTRACTS FROM A LETTER TO HER SISTER M. AT
CHARLESTGWN.

August 1, 1811,

c SHOULD 1 tell you there is a prospect of
my spending the remaining part of this short life in
a land of strangers ; should I tell you I do seriously
think of leaving my native dwelling, my friends
.and companions for ever ; would you upbraid me ?
Could you attribute it to want of attachment to the
friends of my youth, or to entire ignorance of this
great undertaking ? You would not, you could not^
did you know the conflict which almost rends my
heart. Never before did my dear mamma, brothers,
and sisters, appear so dear to me. But God com-
mands me ! In his holy providence he now offers
me an opportunity of visiting the Heathen. While
many of my female friends, who are far more ade-
quate to the important employment, are permitted
to enjoy the society of their earthly relatives through
life, I am called to quit the scenes of my childhood,
and go to a far distant country. How can I ever
pray for the promotion of the Gospel among the
Heathen, if I am unwilling to offer my little aid
when such an opportunity is given ? I know what
to expect from a gay and thoughtless world. But
I have this consolation, that ridicule cannot injure
my soul. In the eternal world, how trifling will it
appear ! That some professing Christians oppose it,
will cause me many unhappy feelings. But I must
think, that were they to view the subject impartially,
divesting themselves of the love of worldly ease,
they would favour it. With my present feelings^ -I



86 MEMOIRS OF

would not oppose it for all this earth can afford ;
lest I should be found fighting against God, dis-
couraging Missions, and preventing the Gospel's
being spread among the Heathen.

I have this consolation, if the motives by which
I am actuated are sincere and good, God will accept
the inclination to glorify him, even though I should
not be made useful. But my dear sister, this is a
trying season ! It is from God alone that I derive
the least sensible comfort. This world has lost its
power to charm, and all its applause is a trifle, light
as air. My companions are perhaps accusing me
of superstition, and the love of novelty. But God
alone knows the motives by which I am actuated,
and he alone will be my final Judge. Let me but
form such a decision as he will approve, and I ask
no more. Willingly will I let go my eager grasp
of the things of time and sense, and flee to Jesus.
Oh that he would prepare me for the future eyents
of life, and glorify himself in the disposal of my
concerns !'



1811.

Aug. 7. I have just laid down Home on Mis-
sions. How did his pious heart glow with benevo-
lence to his fellow-creatures ! How ardently did he
wish for the promulgation of the Gospel among the
benighted Heathen ! I think, for a moment, I partake
of his ardour, and long to hear that the standard of
he cross is set up in the distant nations of the earth.

' Yes, Christian heroes ! go proclaim
Salvation through ImmanuePs name :
To India's clime the tidings bear,
And plant the rose of Sharon there.'



MRS NEWELL. 87

Willingly would I sacrifice the dearest earthly
friend to engage in this blessed service. Oh, that I
had a thousand pious relatives, well calculated for
the important station of Missionaries ; the tenderest
ties, that bind nie to them, should be rent. I would
say to them, go and let the destitute millions of
Asia and Africa know, there is compassion in the
hearts of Christians ; tell them of the love of Jesus,
and the road to bliss on high. Providence now
gives me an opportunity to go myself to the Heathen,
Shall I refuse the offer ? shall I love the glittering
toys of this dying world so well, that I cannot re-
linquish them for God ? Forbid it, Heaven ! Yes,
I will go however weak and unqualified I am,
there is an all-sufficient Saviour ready to support
me. In God alone is my hope. I will trust his
promises, and consider it one of the highest privi-
leges that would be conferred upon me, to be per-
mitted to engage in his glorious service, among the
wretched inhabitants of Hindostan.

Aug. 11. How reviving to my disconsolate mind,
has been the word of life this day ! Oh, this ador-
able plan of salvation ! Have I the least inclination
to alter one single part of it, if 1 could ? O no ! I
would not be less holy I would not wish God to
exact less perfect obedience from his creatures.

Mr R. drank tea with us. I felt the same back-
wardness in conversing upon the things of the L
dom, that I usually do. Whence this criminal dif-
fidence ? Oh, when will divine grace so absorb my
heart, that my stammering tongue shall be loosed,
and Jesus and his salvation be my theme ! If I
cannot unite in conversing to believers, in a land



88 MEMOIRS OF

where religion flourishes, how can I speak to the
benighted Heathen of India, whose minds are in-
volved in Pagan darkness ?



TO MISS M. S. OF BOSTON.

Haverhill, Sabbath, Aug. 11, 1811.

How great, my dear M. would be the pleasure,
could I retreat with you to some lonely corner, far
from the busy haunts of this vain world, and unbo-
som to you the secrets of my heart, instead of writ-
ing to you. But this dear privilege is denied me.
I must be content with expressing a few unconnected
thoughts on paper for the present, and will anticipate
a happy meeting with you on earth, and a still
happier one in those regions, where the friends of
Immanuel will never more be separated. What if
our intercourse on earth should cease ? If we are
the followers of the Lamb, our prayers will unitedly
ascend to the same blessed throne while we live;
and when our pilgrimage is ended, our friendship
will exist and flourish for ever. M. we are pilgrims,
we are strangers in a barren land. This world is not
our portion ; it is incapable of satisfying our desires.
The glittering toys of life are not calculated to afford
real enjoyment. There is nothing in heaven or
earth, but God, that can delight our hearts, and
ease us of the heavy load of sin. Let us not be
satisfied with the low and grovelling pursuits of
time ; but let us look to the unchangeable Jehovah,
for a supply of his soul-refreshing grace. How-
much has God done for us individually ? He has,
as we humbly trust, made us partakers of his grace.



MRS NEWELL. 89

and redeemed us from eternal death. What shall
we render to him for this abundant mercy ? Oh,
let our future lives evince our gratitude, and let our
praises unceasingly -flow to his throne ! Dear M.
I feel as though I had done nothing for God
Where are the last five years of my wretched life ?
Can they witness to my exertions in the cause of
the Lord ? < I think of the dayy of other years,
and my soul is sad. 1 All is a barren waste.. A few
heartless duties and cold formalities, will never carry
me to heaven.

Sabbath eve. This day, my dear M. I have been
highly privileged. I have heard three sermons
preached by the excellent Mr R. How sweet is
the gospel to the heart of the believer ! How does
the pure word of truth animate the desponding sin-
ner, and encourage him to apply to the Lamb of
God for pardon and sanctification ! But this glo-
rious gospel, which reveals to mortals the way of
salvation, the far greater part of the inhabitants of
the earth are deprived of. * Where there is no vi-
sion the people perish.' Thousands of immortal
souls are entering eternity, and peopling the dark
realms of woe. If our souls are of greater impor-
tance than this world, with all its boasted treasures,
how can we calculate the worth of those millions of
souls, which are equally as precious as our own?
We have had the Bible in our hands from our child-
hood ; we are instructed regularly from this precious
volume, every Sabbath. We have believing friends
to associate with ; we enjoy the stated ordinances of
the gospel. But the dear Heathen have no such
privileges. They are destitute of Bibles, Sabbaths,



90 MEMOIBS OF



and churches. The inhabitants of Hinclostan, to
atone for their sins, will submit to the most cruel
tortures imaginable. Widows consent to be burned
with their deceased husbands ; parents sacrifice their
infant offspring to appease the anger of their idol
gods ; they cast them into the river Ganges, where
they perish. But this dreadful superstition vanishes
before the benignant ray& of the gospel, as the morn-
ing dew before the rising sun. We enjoy its meri-
dian splendours. Have we any benevolence ? Are
we susceptible of feeling for the distresses of our
fellow creatures ? As we value the salvation which
a Saviour offers ; as we value his tears, his labours,
and his death, let us now seriously ask what we
shall do for the salvation of the benighted Heathen ?
If we are not permitted to visit them themselves,
and declare to them the efficacy of a Saviour's blood, ,
yet we can ardently pray for them. And not only
pray for them, but by our vigorous exertions we can
awaken a missionary spirit in others, and excite
them also to feel for those who are perishing in
Pagan darkness. M. the subject is copious indeed.
I might easily write till the rising sun, and then
not give you a perfect delineation of the wretched-
ness of many of our fellow-creatures. But I must
leave these forlorn wretches. Suffice it to say, that
when the whole universe shall stand collected at the
bar of God, we shall meet them, and there render
a solemn account for the manner with which we
have conducted ourselves towards them in this
world. I hope, my dear M. you are living near to
God, and enjoying times of refreshing from his
presence. Oh pray often, and remember me in



.MRS NEWELL. 91

your prayers. Should stormy oceans roll between
us, yet I shall ever continue to love you. Farewell
my dear M. Your affectionate

HARRIET.



EXTRACTS FROM A LETTER TO HER SISTER M. AT
CHARLESTOWN.

Aug. 1811,

A FEW moments this morning shall be spent in
writing to my dear sister. Accept my hearty con-
gratulations for your returning health. I often
think of you,, and imagine you possessed of every
comfort which can render life desirable. I have
been contrasting your present delightful situation
with the trying one that is probably to be mine.
Although I could shed floods of tears at the idea of
bidding a final farewell to the dea? associates of my
youth, and the guardian and instructor of my early
years ; yet a consciousness that this is the path
marked out for me by my heavenly Father, and an
assurance that the cause I have engaged in is a
blessed one, impart at times an indescribable plea-
sure. If some unforeseen occurrence should prevent
my going to the East Indies, I shall still enjoy the
satisfaction of thing that this also is ordered by
God. Should I never go, Oh may I never forget
the wretched inhabitants of Hindostan, nor cease
to pray that they may enjoy the blessings of the
gospel. HARRIET AT WOOD.



1811.
Aug. 13. How consoling has been the beloved



92 MEMOIRS OF

promise, when sinking under the contemplated diffi-
culties of a missionary life, 4 My grace is sufficient
for thee.' Have I any thing but air unfaithful de-
praved heart, to discourage me, in this great under-
taking? Here the Almighty God, the Maker of
all worlds, the infinite Disposer of all events, has
pledged his word for the safety of his believing
children. Sooner will the universe sink into nothing,
than God fail of performing his promises. The
cause is good, the foundation is sure. If the Savi-
our has promised a sufficiency of his grace, what
have I to fear ? Oh that I had a stronger confidence
in God a heart to rely on him for grace to help in
every time of need ! When I reach my journey ''s
end, how trifling will earthly sorrows appear !
, Aug.I4i. This is indeed a wretched world. How
few the joys ! how many and various the sorrows of
life ! Well, if this world is unsatisfying, ' if cares
i and woes promiscuous grow,' how great the conso-
lation, that I shall soon leave it !

* Loose, then, from earth, the grasp of fond desire,
Weigh anchor, and the happier climes explore '

In the Paradise of God, every rising wish that
swells the heart of the celestial inhabitant, is imme-
diately gratified. Oh for a dismission from this
clayey tabernacle ! Oh for an entrance into those
lovely mansions ! My soul pants for the full enjoy-
ment of God. I cannot bear this little spirituality
this absurd indifference ; I long to be swallowed up
in endless fruition !

Aug. 15. A letter from my friend, Mr Newell.
He appears much impressed with eternal concerns.
May he enjoy the light of Immanuers countenance !



NEWELL. 9#

Have just heard of Mr J.'s arrival, and that he
expects soon to set out for India. This unexpected
news solemnized my mind. A consciousness of my
unpreparedness for this arduous undertaking makes
me tremble. But I will give myself to God ; ' 'tis
all that I can do.'

Aug. !.{}. Conscious that the riches and honours
of this world will not be mine, my deceitful heart
often promises happiness in the society of a dear
friend. But how vain this hope ! Oh, let me from
this hour cease from anticipating creature happiness.
Oh that I could look to God alone for permanent
satisfaction !

* Dear Saviour, let thy beauties be

My soul's eternal food ;
And grace command my heart away
From all created good.'

Aug. 20. How strong is Christian friendship !
He who enjoined it upon his followers, to love God,
has likewise commanded them to love one another.
If I am a stranger to the joys of pardoning mercy ;
if I am an enemy to holiness ; whence arises this
union with Christians ? What has produced this
love to those who resemble God ? Formerly I pre-
ferred the friendship and society of those, whose
hearts were at enmity with God ; who disliked the
sublime and /humbling doctrines of the gospel ; but
now I can say with Ruth, ' Thy people shall be my
people.' My soul is cemented to them ; arid if I
am not greatly deceived, my affection is the strongest
for those who live nearest to God, and are most
concerned for his glory. I love the most abject
creature in existence, however despised by the wise






94) MEMOIRS OP

men of this world, who bears the image of the
lowly Jesus. Yes ; how could I rejoice to give
the endearing appellation of brother or sister, to one
of the tawny natives of the East, whom grace had
subdued.

Aug. Q%. Sweet is the name of Immanuel to
believers. That name speaks peace and consolation
to their troubled minds. In him they find a balm
for every woe.

' Jesus to multitudes unknown,

Oh name divinely sweet 1
Jesus in thee, in thee alone,
Wealth, honour, pleasure meet*

Should both the Indies, at my call,

Their boasted stores resign ;
With joy, I would renounce them all,

For leave to call thee mine.

Should earth's vain treasures all depart,

Of this dear gift possess'd,
I'd clasp it to my joyful heart,

And be for ever bless'd.'

Is this the language of my heart ? Am / willing
to relinquish the pleasures, the honours, the riches,
and the applause of the world, for leave to call
Immanuel mine ? If so, I may enjoy exalted hap-
piness in a land of strangers.



TO MISS H. B. OF SALEM,

Haoerhitt* Avg. 23, 1811.

INDUCED by the repeated solicitations of your
sister S. I have retired to my chamber, determined
to devote a leisure hour, in renewing a correspond-



MRS NEWELL. 95

cuce, which has for a long time been entirely
relinquished. The attachments which I formed in
the earlier part of my life, have of late been greatly
strengthened. Those companions, in whose society
6 the longest summer days seemed too much in haste,'
have become exceedingly dear to my heart. You,
my H. were one of the choicest and most loved mem-
bers of the dear familiar circle. Did pensive me-
lancholy for a moment assume the place of mirth
and gaiety in my mind, you were immediately ac-
quainted with the cause. Did my youthful heart
beat with joy, if you were a partner, joy was
heightened. But particularly dear did the appel-
lation of friend appear, when we were unitedly
depressed with a sense of the divine displeasure,
and when our souls, as we then thought, were
irradiated with the light of truth, and washed in
the peace-speaking blood of Immanuel. Should
our lives be spared, very different will probably
be our future destinies. Blest with those beloved
friends, whose sympathy alleviates every grief, whose
society contributes so largely to your happiness,
and indulged, not only with a competency, but with
affluence and ease, you may glide , along through
this world, almost a stranger to the ills attendant
on mortals. But these joys remain not for me.
Destined to a far distant land, my affectionate
friends, my pleasant home, my much loved country,
J must leave for ever. Instead of the soft delights
and elegancies of life, self-denials, hardships, priva-
tions, and sorrows will be mine. Instead of the
improved and polished society of Haverhill asso-
ciates, will be substituted the society of the uncivi-



96 MEMOIRS OF

lized Hindoos. Instead of being enlivened by the
cheering voice of a believing friend, I shall behold
thousands prostrating themselves before dumb idols,
while the air will ring with the horrid sounds of
idol music. No churches will be found for the re-
freshment of weary pilgrims ; no joyful assemblies
where saints can resort to unite in the reviving
exercises of social worship. All will be dark, every
thing will be dreary, and not a hope of worldly hap-
piness will be for a moment indulged. The prime
of life will be spent in an unhealthy country, a
burning region, amongst a people of strange langu-
age, at a returnless distance from my native land,
where I shall never more behold the friends of my
youth. Amid these discouragements, I often find
my sinking heart desponding. But this is not all.
Even while blest with a habitation in my own
country, I hear some of those friends, whom I
fondly love, accusing me of the love of novelty, of
an invincible attachment to a fellow-creature, of su-
perstition, and of wanting a great name. Wretched,
indeed, will be my future lot, if these motives bear
sway in my determination. Surrounded by so many
discouragements, I find consolation only in God !
6 None of these things move me, neither count I
my life dear unto me. 1 A consciousness that this
is the path, which my Heavenly Father hath se-
lected for me, and an ardent desire for the salvation
of the benighted Heathen, constrains me to cry.
Here am I, Lord, send me where thou wilt. Daily
experience convinces me that the glittering toys of
life are not capable of conferring real happiness.
With my present feelings, I may enjoy as -much



MRS NEWELL* 97

happiness in India as in America. But my great
consolation is that life is short. However great
may be my trials, they will be soon over. H. I
feel that this is a wretched world. It is nearly six
years since, I humbly trust, I committed my all to
God, willing that he should dispose of me, as he saw
best. He has given me friends ; he has given me
many earthly comforts ; but he is now appointing
me trials, greater than I yet have known. But I
think I can say, * It is wett? Give me but humble
resignation to thy will, Oh my God, and I ask no
more. The presence of Immanuel will make a
mud-walled cottage, a foreign land, and savage as-
sociates, desirable. What but the light of the Re-
deemer's countenance can make me happy here ?
and what but that can delight my soul, in a far dis-
tant country ?

For me remains nor time, nor space,

My country is in every place ;

I can be calm and free from care

On any shore, since God is there.'

It seems a long time since we had the pleasure of
seeing you at Haverhill. Your time, undoubtedly,
passes away very pleasantly in Salem. May your
happiness be constantly increasing at the return of
each succeeding year. May you have that peace
of mind, that heart-felt joy, which is known only by
the decided followers of Jesus. This is pleasure
that knows no alloy, and which death can never de-
prive you of. May I meet you with all my dear
friends, in that world, where a wide sea can never
separate us. I hope to spend many happy hours
with you before I bid you a final farewell. I am
affectionately yours, HARRIET.

i



98 MEMOIRS OF'



1811.

Aug. 25. Wijth the light of this holy morning,
I desire to make a solemn surrender of myself to
God, humbly requesting him, to accept the worth-
less offering. I think I can say with Mr Newton,

Day of all the week the best,
Emblem of eternal rest.'

Aug. 26. What word can be more impressive
and weighty than ETERNITY ? How replete with
events, that deeply interest every intelligent crea-
ture ! How full of ideas too big for utterance ! And
can ETERNITY be mine ? If the word of Jehovah
be true, I shall surely inhabit Eternity, when this
short life is ended. Yes ; I feel that I have an im-
mortal part, which will continue the same when
time and nature fail. And shall it exist in glory ?
Oh, let me fly to Jesus, and make his arms my rest-
ing place. Then shall I rest securely, when the
heavens are rolled together .as a scroll, and the ele-
ments melt with fervent heat.

Sept. 1. Again have I been favoured with the
blessed privilege of communing with God at his
table. How sweetly calculated are these Gospel
ordinances to enliven the cold hearts of believers,
and to prepare them for the marriage supper of the
Lamb. I have renewedly given myself away to
God, in the presence of the holy angels, of the as-
sembly which convened at the house of prayer, .and
of that Being whose presence fills immensity ; whose
smile gives hope, whose frown, despair. How
solemn the transaction ! Far from the happy land,
where salvation is proclaimed, my thoughts have



MRS NEWELL. 99

wandered over stormy seas, to regions whose inha-
bitants are sitting in the shadow of death. No light
of divine revelation beams on them. No sanctuaries
no communion tables no bread and wine to re-
mind them that a Saviour shed his blood on Calvary
for them ! Weep, O my soul, for the forlorn Hea-
then. Be astonished at the stupidity of Christians,
be astonished at thine own. Oh, thou blessed Re-
deemer, thou who didst commission thy disciples of
old to preach the Gospel to every creature, wilt
thou send forth labourers, make the wilderness a
fruitful field, and cause the desert to blossom like
the rose !

Seft. 3. I'm but a stranger and a pilgrim here,

In these wild regions, wandering and forlorn,
Restless and sighing for my native home,


1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryHarriet Atwood NewellMemoirs of Mrs. Harriet Newell, wife of the Rev. S. Newell, American missionary to India, who died at the Isle of France, Nov. 30, 1812, aged nineteen years; → online text (page 6 of 15)