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 2 of 15)
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Sabbath succeeding, be engaged in the solemn trans-
action of giving yourself to God publicly in an ever-
lasting covenant. My sincere desire and earnest
prayer at the throne of grace shall ever be, that you
may adorn the profession which you have made, and
become an advocate for the religion of Jesus.

Let us obey the solemn admonitions we daily re-
ceive, and prepare to meet our God. May the
glorious and blessed Redeemer, who can reconcile
rebellious mortals to himself, make us both holy,
that we may be happy. , Write soon and often. I
am yours affectionately, HAEUIET ATWOOD.


Haver hill, Dec. 2, 180T.

MOST sincerely do I thank you, my dear Miss W.
for your kind and affectionate epistle, which you
last favoured me with. Are religion and the con-
cerns of futurity still the object of your attention ?
New scenes daily open to us, and there is the great-
est reason to fear that some of us will fall short at
last of an interest in Jesus Christ. A few more
rising and setting suns, and we shall be called to
give an account to our final Judge, of the manner
in which we have improved our probationary state ;


then, then, the religion which we profess, will it
stand the test ? Oh, let us with the greatest care,
examine ourselves, and see if our religion will cover
us from the storms of divine wrath ; whether our
chief desire is to glorify God, to honour his cause,
and to become entirely devoted to him. What a
word is ETERNITY ! Let us reflect upon it ; al-
though we cannot penetrate into its unsearchable
depths; yet, perhaps, it may have an impressive
weight upon our minds, and lead us to a constant
preparation for that hour, when we shall enter the
confines of that state, and be either happy or miser-
able through an endless duration.

Last evening I attended a conference at Mr H.'s.
Mr B. addressed us from these words, * I pray thee
have me excused.' His design was to shew what
excuses the unconverted person will make for not
attending to the calls of religion. It was the most
solemn conference I ever heard. Oh ! my friend,
of what infinite importance is it, that we be faithful
in the cause of our Master, and use all our endea-
vours to glorify him, the short space of time we
have to live on earth. Oh ! may we so live, that
when we are called to enter the eternal world, we
may with satisfaction give up our accounts, and go
where we can behold the King in his glory. We
have every thing to engage us in the concerns of
our immortal souls. If we will but accept of Christ
Jesus as he is freely offered to us in the gospel,
committing ourselves unreservedly into his hands,
all will be ours ; life and death, things present and
things to come. We should desire to be holy as
God is holy. And in some degree we must be holy,


even as he is, or we never can enter that holy habi-
tation where Jesus dwells.

Oh ! my dear Miss W. I cannot but hope that
you are now engaged for Christ, and are determined
not to let this world any longer engross your atten-
tion. Be constant in prayer. Pray that your friend
Harriet may no longer be so stupid, and inattentive
to the great concerns of religion. Pray that she
may be aroused from this lethargic state arid attend
to Christ's call. With reluctance I bid you adieu,
my dear Miss W. Do favour me with a long
epistle ; tell me your feelings ; how you view the
character of God in the atonement for sinners.
May we have a part in that purchase ! Remember
your friend, HARRIET,.


Haverhill, Feb. 13, 1808.

ACCEPT, my dear Miss W. my sincere thanks for
your last epistle Your ideas of the necessity of
religion in the last extremity of expiring nature,
perfectly coincide with mine. Yes, although we
may reject the Saviour, and become engaged in the
concerns of this vain and wicked world ; although
while in youth and health, we may live as though
this world were our home ; yet, when the hour of
dissolution shall draw near, when eternity shall be
unfolded to our view, what at that trying moment
will be our consolation, but an assurance of pardoned
guilt, and an interest in the merits of Christ the
Redeemer ? We are now probationers for a never-
ending state of existence, and are forming charac-
ters, upon which our future happiness or misery


depends. Oh, if we could only have a sense of
these all-important considerations ? How crimi-
nally stupid are we, when we know that these are
eternal realities ! Why are we not alive to God and
our duty, and dead to sin ? This world is a state of
trial, a vale of tears, it is not our home. But an
eternity of happiness or woe hangs on this inch of
time. Soon will our state be unalterably fixed.
Oh, let this solemn consideration have its proper
weight on our minds, and let us now be wise for

How little are we engaged to promote the interest
of religion ! At this day, when the love of many
waxeth cold, and 'iniquity increaseth, how ought
every faculty of our souls to be alive to God.

Do write often, and perhaps, the blessing of an
all-wise God may attend your epistles. In your
earnest supplications at the throne of Almighty
grace, remember your affectionate, though unworthy
friend, HARRIET.

P. S. I long to see you, and unfold to you the
inmost recesses of my heart. Do make it conveni-
ent to visit H. this spring, and although it may be
unpleasing to you to hear the wickedness of your
friend Harriet's heart, yet perhaps you, my dear
Miss W. can say something which will now make
me resolve in earnest, that let others serve whom
they will, I will serve the Lord.


Haverhitt, April 20, 1808.

THIS morning, my beloved Miss W. your kind


epistle was handed me, in which you express a wish,
that it might find me engaged in the cause of God.
Oh, that your wish could be gratified ! But let me
tell you, I am still the same careless, inattentive
creature. What in this world can we find capable
of satisfying the desires of our immortal souls ?
Not one of the endowments, which are derived from
any thing short of God, will avail us in the solemn
and important hour of death. All the vanities, which
the world terms accomplishments, will then appear of
little value. Yes, my beloved companion, in that
moment we shall find that nothing will suffice to
hide the real nakedness of the natural mind, but
the furnished robe, in which the child of God
shines with purest lustre the Saviour's righteous-
ness. Oh, that we might, by the assistance of God,
deck our souls with the all-perfect rule ! Our souls
are of infinite importance, and an eternity of misery,
* where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not
quenched, 1 awaits us, if we do not attend to their
concerns. I should be happy, my amiable friend,
in visiting you this spring. But with reluctance I
must decline your generous offer. A dear and be-
loved parent is in a declining state of health ; and
we fear, if indulgent Heaven do not interpose, and
stop the course of his sickness, death will deprive us
of his society, and the grave open to receive him.
Oh, that his life might be spared, and his health
once more established, to cheer his family and
friends ! But in all these afflictive dispensations of
God's providence, may it ever be my prayer, * not
my will, O Lord ! but thine be done.'

I do not expect to attend Bradford Academy this


summer. We shall have a school in Haverhill.
which, with my parents' consent, I expect to attend.
Do visit me this spring, my dear Miss W. ; your
letters are always received with pleasure. My best
wishes for your present and eternal happiness at-
tend you. I am yours, &c.


Dear C. Haverhitt, Feb. 16, 180S.

SINCE you left us, death has entered our family,
and deprived us of an affectionate uncle. After
lingering two days after you returned to your
friends, he fell asleep, as we trust, in Jesus.

Oh, C. could you but have witnessed his dying
struggles ! Distress and anguish were his constant
companions, till about ten minutes before his spirit
winged its way to the eternal world ; then he was
deprived of speech ; he looked upon us, closed his
eyes, and expired. He would often say, ' Oh, how
I long for the happy hour's approach, when I shall
find a sweet release ; but ' not my will, but thine,
O God, be done f ' When we stood weeping around
his dying bed, he looked upon us and said, ' Mourn
not for me, my friends, but mourn for yourselves.'
Oh my C. let us now be persuaded to lay hold on
Jesus, as the only Saviour. If we trust in him for
protection, he will preserve us in all the trying scenes
of life, and when the hour of dissolution shall come,
we shall be enabled to give ourselves to him, and
consign our bodies to the tomb with pleasure.

What a world is this ! full of anxiety and trouble !



My dear father is very feeble ; a bad cough attends
him, which we fear will prove fatal. What a bless-
ing, my friend, are parents ! Let us attend to their
instructions and reproofs, while we possess them,
that when death shall separate us, we may have no
cause for regret that we were undutiful. While we
do every thing we can to make them happy, let us
remember, that it is God alone can compensate them
for their labours of love. Far distant be the hour
when either of us shall be called to mourn the loss
of our dear parents.

Do, my dear C. write to me ; tell me if this world
does not appear more and more trifling to you. May
the sweet influences of the Holy Spirit be shed
abroad in your heart ! Oh, may happiness attend
you in this vale of tears, and may you be conducted
to the haven of eternal rest Accept the wish of
your ever affectionate HARRIET.


Haverhill, April 24, 1808.

ACCEPT, my dear C. my kindest acknowledgments
for your last affectionate epistle ; in the perusal of
which, I had the most pleasing sensations. You
observed, your contemplations had frequently dwelt
on those hours we spent in each others' 1 society,
while at Bradford Academy ; and that you re-
gretted the mis-improvement of them. Alas ! how
many hours have we spent in trifling conversation,
which will avail us nothing. Let our imaginations
often wing their way back to those hours, which can
never be recalled.


4 ^Tis greatly wise, to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they've borne to heaven,
And how they might have borne more welcome news.*

Will the recollection of the moments that are now
speeding their flight, afford satisfaction at the last ?
Oh, that we might improve our time and talents to
the glory of God, that the review of them may be

You ask me to write to you, and to write some-
thing that will awaken you from stupidity. I would
my dear C. but I am still in the same careless state.

My father still remains in a critical situation.
Permit me to request an interest in your prayers
for him ; but be assured, there is none they will be
more serviceable to, than your dear friend,



After the death of her Father.

HaverhM, May 24, 1808.

IN the late trying and afflictive scenes of God's
providence, which I have been called to pass through,
I have flattered myself, that the tenderest sympathy
has been awakened in the heart of my beloved F.
Oh my companion ! this is a scene peculiarly trying
to me. How much do my circumstances require
every divine consolation and direction, to make this
death a salutary warning to me. The guardian of
my tender years, he who, under God, has been
made an instrument in giving me existence, my fa-
tiier, my nearest earthly friend, where is he ? The
eold clods of the valley cover him, and the worms


feed upon his cold and lifeless body. Can it be
that I am left fatherless? Heart rending reflection!
Oh my dear, dear Miss W. may you never be left
to mourn the loss which I now experience ! Oh,
that your parents may be spared to you, and you
ever honour them, and be a blessing to them, even
in their declining years.

Glance a thought on nine fatherless children, and
a widowed and afflicted mother. But if we are fa-
therless, Oh, may we never be friendless ! May He
who has promised to be the father of the fatherless,
and the widow's God, enable us to rely upon him,
and receive grace to help in this time of need ; and
although the present affliction is not joyous, but
grievous, Oh, that it may be instrumental in work-
ing out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of

Do come and see me I long once more to em-
brace my friend, and to tell her what I owe her for
all her favours. Adieu, my beloved Miss W. ; re-
ceive this as a token of renewed affection from your


Respects to your parents, and love to sister N.

FROM some passages in the foregoing papers, and
also from what follows, it appears, that during the
year 1 808, she was in a state of religious declension
and darkness. According to the statement of one
who was competent to testify ' She appeared gra-
dually to lose her fondness for retirement, and her
delight in the Scriptures, and associated more freely
with her former gay companions. But nothing was


manifested, which afforded any just ground for sus-
pecting her sincerity.' 1 What views she entertained
of that state of declension, and by what means she
was recovered to duty and comfort, will appear from
some of the following letters and from her diary.


My dear C. HavcrhM, Feb. 27, 1809.

WHAT have you been reading this winter ? I pre-
sume you have had sufficient time to improve your
mind in the study of history, &c. For my part, I
know not what to say. A constant round of worldly
engagements and occupations have, I fear, engrossed
far too much of my time.

I have of late been quite interested in reading
Miss Helen Maria Williams' Letters on the French
Revolution, and am now reading Rollings Ancient
History. In the morning of life, when no perplex-
ing cares interrupt or vex our minds, we should
spend every moment of our time in improving our
minds by reading, or attending to conversation that
is beneficial. Our time is short ! Perhaps we may
be cut off in the morning of our days. Oh that
we might improve each moment of our lives, ' And
make each day a critic on the last. 1

Adieu, I am, &c. HARRIET.

X X % X X XX-%. W


July 1. GOD has been pleased in his infinite
mercy again to call up my attention to eternal real-
ities. After spending more than a year in the


vanities of the world thoughtless and unconcerned
respecting my eternal welfare, he has, as I humbly
trust, showed me my awful backslidings from him,
and my dependence upon his grace for every blessing.

I do now, in the strength of Jesus, resolve, that
I will no longer sacrifice my immortal soul, for
what I have hitherto deemed my temporal happiness.
Oh, that I might be enabled to come out from the
world, and to profess Christ as my Redeemer before
multitudes. I now see, that I have enjoyed no
happiness in my pursuit of worldly pleasure. Not
in the play-room, not in the vain and idle conversa-
tion of my companions, not in the bustle of crowded
life, have I found happiness. This heaven-born
guest is found only in the bosom of the child of
Jesus. How awfully aggravated will be my con-
demnation, if I do not, after this second call, awaken-
all my drowsy faculties and become earnestly en-
gaged for God.

July 10. How foolishly, how wickedly have I
spent this day ! What have I done for God ? No-
thing I fear. Oh how many mispent days shall I
have to answer for, at the tribunal of a holy Judge !
Then how does it become me, to set a watch upon
my behaviour ; as one that must shortly give an
account to God. Oh, thou blessed Jesus ! grant
thy assistance that I may live as I ought.

July 16, Sablatli morn. Solemnly impressed
with a sense of my duty to God, I entered his holy
courts this morning. What am I, that I should
be blessed with the gospel's joyful sound, while so
many are now perishing in heathen darkness for
lack of the knowledge of Christ.


Sabbath eve. I have now offered myself to the
Church of God, and have been assisted by him.
Perhaps they will not receive me; but, O God!
wilt tliou accept me through a Mediator ?

I have now let my companions see, I am not
ashamed of Jesus. Oh, that I might not dishonour
the cause I am about professing ! In Christ alone
will I put my trust, and rely entirely on his righteous-
ness for the pardon of my aggravated transgressions.

July 17. Have spent the day at home. I think
I have enjoyed something of God^s presence. Felt
a disposition frequently to call upon him by prayer
and supplication.

July 18. At this late hour, when no one behold-
eth me but God, how solemnly, how sincerely ought
I to be engaged for him !

The family are retired to rest. The darkness
and silence of the night, and the reflection, that the
night of death will soon overtake me, conspire to
solemnize my mind What have I done this day
for God ? Have I lived as a stranger and pilgrim
on the earth; as one that must soon leave this
world, and ' go the way from whence no traveller
returns ?'

Oh that I were more engaged for God more
engaged to promote his cause, in the midst of a
perverse generation !

July 20. This evening, I had a most solemn
meeting with one of my dear and most intimate
companions. I warned her in the most expressive
language of my heart to repent. She appeared af-
fected. I left her; and after returning home, I
trust, I was enabled to commend her to the God


of infinite mercy, and to wrestle with him for her
conviction and conversion.

July 22. Was informed that appeared

serious and unusually affected. Oh, that God might
work a work of grace in his heart, and enable him
to resign all earthly vanities, for an interest in the
great Redeemer. He has talents, which if abused,
will only add to his everlasting condemnation. Oh,
thou God of infinite mercy ! thou who hast had
pity on me, show him mercy, and awaken him to a
sense of his situation, before the things that concern
his peace are hid for ever from his eyes.

July 30, Sabbath day. Arose this morning, but
little impressed with a sense of the duties before me,
upon this holy day. My health obliged me to de-
cline going to the house of God in the morning.
But I think I could say, it was good for me to be
afflicted. God was graciously pleased to assist me
in calling upon his name, and permitted me to
wrestle with him in prayer for the prosperity of
Zion, and for the conversion of sinners. I felt a
desire that every one of my friends might be brought
to a knowledge of the truth. This afternoon I have
attended meeting, and heard a most excellent ser-
mon preached by Mr W. from Matt. xxvi. 6 13.
He passed the Sabbath with us, and gave us excel-
lent instructions. But of what use are advice and
religious conversation to me, if I do not improve
them as I ought ? These instructions will rise up
in judgment against me, and condemn me, if I am
not, indeed, a child of God. Oh, for a heart to
love God more, and live more to bis glory ! How
can I hope to enter that heavenly rest, prepared for


the people of Jesus, when I so often transgress his
laws !

Aug. 6. Lord's day morning". Upon this sacred
morning, Oh that the Holy Spirit of God would
enliven and animate my cold and stupid affections.
Oh, that I might this day enter his earthly courts,
worship him in an acceptable manner, profess his
name before a scoffing world, sit down at his table,
and partake in faith of the body and blood of Jesus.

Sabbath eve. And now I have entered into the
most solemn engagement to be the Lord^s. I have
confessed Christ before the world I have renounced
my wicked companions I have solemnly promised,
that denying ungodliness and every worldly lust,
I will live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this
present world. If I should, after taking these so-
lemn vows and covenant engagements upon me,
dishonour the cause of my Redeemer ; if I should
give the enemies of religion reason to say, there is
nothing in religion ; if I should again return to my
former courses, Oh how dreadfully aggravated will
be my condemnation ! What excuse could I render
at the tribunal of a just Judge ? My mouth would
be stopped, and I should plead guilty before him.
How then does it become me to watch and pray, lest
the devices of Satan, the world, or my own remain-
ing corruptions, should lead me into temptation 1

In thee, O God, do I put my trust L from thee
do I hope to obtain mercy in the day of retribution !

Aug. 10. How stupid, how cold I grow ! Where
is that fervour, that zeal, that animation, I ought
to have, after professing to know and receive Jesus,
as my Redeemer ? How alluring are the vanities of


time ! How prone my heart to wander from God f
How ready to engage in the trifles of this wicked
world ! Descend thou Holy Spirit : breathe into
my soul a flame of ardent love ; let not my affections
wander from the one and only thing that is needful.


Ha-verhitty August, 1809 Sabbath morn.

A FEW moments this sacred morning shall be de-
Voted to my beloved Miss W. After discontinuing
for so long a time our correspondence, I again
address you. By the endearing title of a friend, I
again attempt to lay open my heart before you.
But what shall I say ? Shall I tell you, that since
I last saw you, I have made great progress in divine
grace ? To you, my ever dear friend, will I unbosom
my heart ; to you will I describe my feelings. Yes,
I will tell you what GOD has done for my soul.
About six weeks since he was pleased, in infinite
mercy, again to call my attention to the concerns
of my soul ; again to show me the evil of my ways.
I have now publicly confessed my faith in him. I
have taken the vows of the covenant upon me, and
solemnly surrendered myself to him, eternally. Oh !
Miss W. should I now be left to dishonour this holy
cause, what would be my eternal condemnation?
Oh ! pray for me. Entreat God to have mercy
upon me, and keep me from falling. After I left
you at the Academy, I by degrees grew more and
more neglectful of serious and eternal realities.
When I review the past year of my life ; when I
reflect on the wound I have brought upon the blessed


religion of Jesus, I am constrained to cry, why has
God extended his mercy to the vilest of the race of
Adam ? Why has he again showed favour to me,
after I have so wickedly abused his precious invita-
tions and grieved his Holy Spirit ? It is a God,
who is rich in mercy, abundant in goodness, and of
great compassion, that has done these great things,
as I trust for me. How can I be too much engaged
for him, too much conformed to his holy will, after
these abundant manifestations of his love and mercy ?
Oh, that I could spend my few remaining days as I
ought, even entirely devoted to the delightful ser-
vice of the dear Redeemer.

Sabbath eve. I have just returned from the house
of God, where I have heard two excellent sermons
preached by our beloved pastor. What unspeak-
able privileges we enjoy ! The Gospel trump is
sounding in our ears ; Jesus is proclaimed as ' ready
and willing to save all those that conie unto God by
him. 1 And why, my dear Miss W. are not these
privileges taken from us, and given to the Heathen,
who have never heard of a Saviour, and are perish-
ing for lack of knowledge? God is indulging us
with them for wise and holy ends. And if we do
not estimate them according to their real value,
and improve under the calls and invitations of the
Gospel, there will remain for us 4 no more sacrifice,
but a fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery in-
dignation. 1 When sitting beneath the GospePs
joyful sound, I think I can never again be careless
or inattentive to religions concerns. But how soon
does the world intervene between God and my soul !
How soon do the trifling vanities of time engross


my affections. Oh, my dear friend ! did you know
the temptations with which I am surrounded, I am
confident you would pity me, and intercede for me
at the throne of grace. But I have this consolation
Jesus was tempted while on earth ; he pities his
tempted saints, and will surely enable them to per-
severe unto the end.

* He knows what sore temptations mean,

2 4 5 6 7 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 2 of 15)