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 15 of 15)
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Jlev. Dr Worcester presented the right hand of fellow-
ship ; and the Rev. Dr Spring made the concluding

* The Council was composed of pastors and delegates from the
north congregational church in Newburyport, the congregational
church in Charlestown, and the tabernacle church in Salem ; also of
the Rev. Dr Griffin, pastor of Park Street church in Boston, and
the Rev. Dr Woods, Professor at Andover. The Rev. Professor
Stuart was ir.vited to attend, but was necessarily prevented,


It is confidently believed, that such impressions
were made on the crowded auditory by the solemnities
of the day, as will be lasting and salutary. Three of
the persons ordained, viz. Messrs Nott, Hall, and Rice,
set out on the same evening to go with all practicable
haste to Philadelphia*. The other two sailed with
their wives from Salem, in the brig Caravan, on the
morning of Wednesday, the 19th ultimo, commended
by the prayers of multitudes to the gracious protection
of God.

These transactions may justly be considered as
forming a new and important oera in the annals of the
American churches, the cera of foreign missions. It is
natural to indulge in pleasing anticipations of the
blessings which, with the Divine assistance, these
Missionaries may be the means of communicating to
Asia. But while we leave the issue of this benevolent
enterprise to the disposal of Infinite Wisdom, the good
effects of these missionary exertions among ourselves,
ought to be mentioned with devout gratitude. Chris-
tians feel more sensibly than ever the value of their
holy religion, while devoting their money and their
time to extend its blessings to the Heathen. Chris-
tians of different denominations, who Jove our Lord
Jesus Christ in sincerity, experience the blessedness
of uniting in this catholic labour of love.

A few additional particulars in regard to the Mis-
sions in America, are blended with the statement
contained in No. III.

* Mr Nott was married on his way to Philadelphia, and took
Mrs Nott with him ; the other two went single.

They went on board the Ship Harmony (in which they had taken
their passage) on the evening of the 18th ult. and left the American
coest on the 24th.


No. III.

Some further Particulars respecting Mr NEW ELI,
and his Companions in India.

.THE preceding Memoir has excited no small interest
in regard to the subsequent history of these Mission-
aries, and particularly that of Mr NEWELL. The
following statement is therefore subjoined to the pre-
sent Edition.

One month subsequent to the date of Mr Newell's
last letter, of 23d February 1813*, he left the Isle of
France, and after a residence of about ten months at
Columbo, in the Island of Ceylon, he embarked for
Goa. On his way, he visited the Jewish synagogues
at Cochin, and the Syrian church at Candenad. On
the 24?th Feb. 1814, he arrived at Goa, where he vi-
sited most of the Colleges, Churches and Monasteries,
saw the Vicar General of the Dominicans, dined with
the superior of the Augustinians, and called on father
Josephus a Doloribus, the late Inquisitor, mentioned
by Dr Buchanan. He then found that the Inquisition
had been lately abolished, by order of the Prince Re-
gent of Portugal : though it was said that the Arch-
bishop retained all the power which formerly lodged
in the Court of the Inquisition.

Mr Newell had been now more than two years se-
parated from his brethren, and he had been most
deeply afflicted ; but all of them had passed through
many trying scenes. At this period, Messrs Nott and
Hall were at Bombay, and Mr Newell, who had left
Ceylon, with the intention of joining them, arrived
See page 194.


there on the 2d of March. On Sabbath the 27th of
this month, they, for the first time in a Heathen land,
enjoyed the pleasure of uniting together in celebrating
their Redeemer's death. On this occasion, Mr Newell
says, ' There was a variety of circumstances attending
this transaction, which were peculiarly calculated to
affect our minds. We were naturally led to look back
on all the way in which the Lord had led us, since we
devoted ourselves to the Missionary cause, and parti-
cularly since we came to this land. Two of our bre-
thren* who came with us to this country, had been
separated from us, and had gone to different and dis-
tant countries, and we expected to see them no more
in this world. One of our little number had finished
her work, and received an early release from the pain
and toils of the Missionary pilgrimage : though, on
our own account, we could not but mourn her absence,
yet we had reason also to rejoice in the hope that she
had entered into her rest ; and although she could not
return to us, yet if we were the children of God, we
should go to her, and partake with her at the supper
of the Lamb.' Next month, (viz. April 1814-) Messrs
Hall and Nott addressed a letter to the Society in
America, in which they say, ' Our hopes are strong,
and we look on the prospect with great delight. We
have great reason to acknowledge the kind attention
paid to our circumstances and wishes by the Rev. Dr
Carey, the Rev. Mr Thomason and George Udny, Esq.
acting as your Committee in Calcutta. To their ef-
forts, under God, we are indebted for the hopes we
now enjoy.' During the remainder of 1814-, these
three brethren were diligently employed in the requi-
site preparations and arrangements for the establish-
ment of the Mission, and for the eventual extension
* Messrs Juclson and Rice, of whom some account will follow,


and success of their labours. The latest intelligence,
received by way of America from Bombay, is dated
24-th May 1815. In their circular letter, the American
Board say, ' We cannot refrain from observing, that
the writings and the conduct of our Missionaries at
Bombay, prove them to be possessed of rare qualifica-
tions for the office which they sustain. The memorials
preferred to the Governor of that Presidency by
Messrs Nott and Hall, and the pious resignation,
mingled with the most delicate sensibility, exhibited
by Mr Newell, under the chastening hand of his Hea-
venly Father, have endeared these brethren to all who
feel an interest in the prosperity of the Mission*.'

We are sorry to add, that since the date of these
accounts from America, Mr Nott's declining state of
health has obliged him to withdraw from the Station,
and return to America. He came by way of England,
and has lately left it.

It now only remains to add a few particulars in re-
gard to Messrs Judson and Rice. These last, uniting
themselves with the Serampore Missionaries, Mr Jud-
son joined Mr Felix Carey at Rangoon in the Burman
Empire, and Mr Rice returned to America, with a
view to increase the zeal of the American Baptists in
the support of Missions.

Soon after it became known in America, that Messrs
J. and R. had adopted the views of the Baptists,
measures were taken by persons of that denomination
in the United States to support them in India as their
Missionaries; and before Mr Rice returned, in Sep-
tember 1813, several Societies were established. He
entered on a journey in the Southern States -Auxili-

* * It is hardly necessary to say, that we refer to the death of
Mrs Newell and her infant child. What this woman did for the
Gospel, is every where told for a memorial of her,'


ary Societies were formed in ail the states of ihe
Union, &c. These measures ultimate!} led to the
establishment of * the Baptist Missionary Convention
and Board of Foreign Missions.' Mr Rice will ere
long proceed again to India, and in the meanwhile Mr
and Mrs Judson are labouring at Rangoon. Between
the two latter and Mr and Mrs Newell, there evidently
existed a strong attachment ; and as the following
letter alludes with so much feeiing to the beloved
Harriet, it cannot fail to interest the reader.

Rangoon, April 23, 1814.
My dear Brother Newell,

A FEW days since, we received yours of December 18th, the
only one we have ever received since you left us at Port Louis. It
brought fresh to my mind a recollection of scenes formerly enjoyed
in our dear native country. Well do I remember our first interest-
ing conversations on Missions, and on the probable events which
awaited us in India. Well do I remember the dear parental habi-
tation, where you were pleased to favour me with your confidence
relative to a companion for life. And well do I remember the
tune, when I first carried your message to the mother of our dear
Harriet, when the excellent woman exclaimed, with tears in her
eyes, ' I dare not, I cannot speak against it.' Those were happy
days. Newell and Judson, Harriet and Nancy, then were united
in the strictest friendship ; then anticipated spending their lives to-
gether in sharing the trials and toils, the pleasures and enjoyments
of a Missionary life. But alas ! behold us now ! In the Isle of
France, solitary and alone, lies all that was once visible of the
lovely Harriet. A melancholy wanderer on the Island of Ceylon is
our brother Newell ; and the savage Heathen Empire of Burmah,
is destined to be the future residence of Judson and Nancy. But
is this separation to be for ever ? Shall we four never again enjoy
social, happy intercourse ? No, my dear brother, our separation is
of short duration. There is a rest, a peaceful happy rest, where
Jesus reigns, where we four soon shall meet to part no more.
Forgive my gloomy feelings, or rather forgive my communicating
them to you, whose memory, no doubt, is ever ready to furnish
more than enough for your peace.


As Mr Judson will not have time to write to you by this oppor-
tunity, I will endeavour to give you some idea of our situation here,.
and of our plans and prospects. We have found the country as we
expected, in a most deplorable state, full of darkness, idolatry, and
cruelty full of commotion and uncertainty. We daily feel, that
the existence and perpetuity of this mission, still in an infant state,
depend, in a peculiar manner, on the interposing hand of Provi-
dence, and from this impression alone, we are encouraged still to
remain. As it respects our temporal privations, use has made
them familiar and easy to be borne ; they are of short duration,
and when brought in competition with the worth of immortal souls,
sink into nothing. We have no society, no dear Christian friends,
and, with the exception of two or three sea captains who now and
then call on us, we never see an Kuropean face But then we are
still happy in each other, still find that our own home is our best,
our dearest friend. When we feel a disposition to sigh for the en-
joyments of our native country, we turn our eyes on the miserable
objects around. We behold some of them labouring hard for a
scanty subsistence, oppressed by an avaricious government, which
is ever ready to seize what industry had hardly earned ; we behold
others sick and diseased, daily begging the few grains of rice, which,
when obtained, are scarcely sufficient to protract their wretched ex-
istence, and with no other i^abitation to screen them om the
burning sun, or chilly rains, than what a email piece of cloth raised
on four bamboos, under the shade of a tree, can afford. While we
behold these scenes, we feel that we have all the comforts, and, in
comparison, even the luxuries of life. We feel that our temporal
cup of blessings is full, and runneth over. But is our temporal lot
so much superior to theirs ? O how infinitely superior our spiritual
blessings ! While they vainly imagine to purchase promotion in
another state of existence, by strictly worshipping their idols, and
building pagodas, our hopes of future happiness are fixed on the
Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. When we
have a realizing sense of these things, my dear brother, we forget
our native country and former enjoyments, feel contented and happy
with our lot, with but one wish remaining, that of being instru-
mental of leading these Burmans to partake of the same source of
happiness with ourselves.

Respecting our plans, we have at present but one, that of apply-
ing ourselves closely to the acquirement of the language, and to
have as little to do with government as possible. Mr Carey has?


jiever yet preached in Burman ; but has made considerable pro-
gress towards the completion of a grammar and dictionary, which
are a great help to us. At present, however, his time is entirely
taken up with goTernment affairs. It is now almost a year since
he was first ordered up to Ava, which time has been wholly occupied
in the king's business He is just returned from Bengal, is now
making preparations for Ava, where he expects to form a new mis-
sion station His family go with him, consequently we shall be
alone, until the arrival of Mr Rice, who, we hope, will be here ia
six or seven months.

Our progress in the language is slow, as it is peculiarly hard of
acquisition. We can, however, read, write, and converse with to-
lerable ease ; and frequently spend whole evenings very pleasantly
in conversing with our Burman friends. We have been very for-
tunate in procuring good teachers. Mr Judson's teacher is a very
learned man, was formerly a priest, and resided at court. He has
a thorough knowledge of the grammatical construction of the lan-
guage ; likewise of the Palee, the learned language of the Burmans.
We are very anxious to hear from our dear brethren, Nott and
Hall. We firmly believe they will yet be permitted to remain in
India, notwithstanding their repeated difficulties. They have in-
deed had a trying time ; but, perhaps, it is to prepare them for
greater usefulness. We have not yet received our letters from
America, or had the least intelligence what were the contents of
yours. Ours were sent to the Isle of France, about the tune we ar-
rived at Madras, and the vessel which carried them has not been
heard of since. You may easily judge of our feelings at this disap-
pointment Do write us, as soon as possible, the contents of yours,
whom they were from, what news, &c. and if convenient, copy a
few of the most interesting, and send them to us. Yon can hardly
form an idea with what eagerness we receive every scrap of intelli-
gence from any part of the Christian world. Write us long and
frequent letters. Any thing respecting yourself, or the other bre-
thren, will be interesting to us. I do not ask you to excuse this
long letter, for I doubt not your interest in our concerns. Pray for
us, and be assured you are constantly remembered by

Your still affectionate sister,

NANCY Jucsoy.

N. B. Mr Judson desires his love, and says you must receive
this letter as from both of us.


To strengthen the hands of Mr and Mrs Judsort,
Mr Hough with his wife and two children, and Mrs C.
W. White, sailed in December for Rangoon, on board
the Benjamin Rush. In reporting this intelligence, the
Editor of the Church Missionary Register has said,
' The Benjamin Rush belongs to Mr Edward Thomson
of Philadelphia, a Prince among the merchants of the
earth, whose praise is in all the churches- He has af-
forded Mr and Mrs H. and their two children, and
Mrs W. a passage to Calcutta, on their way to Ran-
goon, He has done more he has fitted up two rooms
for their accommodation, and supplied them with
every convenience of board during their passage ; for
all which he refuses to accept the least remuneration ;
and has generously offered the use of his vessels on
any future occasions. The names of such excellent
men as Ralston and Thomson should sound through
the world; not only because in the presence of the
nations, their works so delightfully praise them ; but
as examples, which all owners of the ships of Tarshish
will, it is hoped, before long, delight to emulate.'


ranted by Ogle, Allardice, & Thomson.



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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 15 of 15)