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 3 of 15)
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For he has felt the same.'

I long, dear Miss W. to see you. I long to con-
verse with you on the great importance of being
really children of God. I long for your assistance
while wandering in this wilderness. I think, if I
know my heart, I can say, I do love God and his
children. If I do not love him, if I do not love his
image whenever I see it, I know not what I love.
Though Providence sees fit to separate us, yet let
us be active in our endeavours to assist each other
in our journey to the heavenly Canaan, by our
letters and our prayers

I have now opened to you my heart. Do write
to me ; do instruct me in the important doctrines of
the Gospel. May your journey in this vale of tears
be sweetened by the presence of the blessed Jesus !
May you go from strength to strength, and when
you are released from this burden of clay, appear in
the heavenly Jerusalem before God, and spend an
eternity at his right hand, where is fulness of joy !

I am yours, &c. HARRIET ATWOOD.

Aug. 13. AGAIN have I enjoyed Sabbath and


sanctuary privileges. But my heart alas ! how
can I live in such dreadful stupidity ! Awaken, O
God, my drowsy powers ! animate and warm these
cold and languid affections ! Why are not my pri-
vileges taken from me and given to the Heathen ?

Aug. 18. I have been this day in the company of
some of my young and gay companions. Oh ! why
did I neglect, faithfully, to warn them of their dan-
ger and entreat them to repent? How foolish*
how trifling is the conversation of the children of
this world ! Give me but my Bible, and my retire-
ment; and I would willingly surrender every thing
else on earth.

Aug. 26. How fleeting are the days appointed to
mortals ! Another week has glided away. It be-
comes me to ask myself, have I lived to the glory
of God ? What have I done in the service of Him,
who has done so much for me, even laid down his
precious life, to redeem my soul ? What answer does
conscience make ? Oh that I could be enabled to
come to that fountain which is open for Judah and
Jerusalem to wash in, and cleanse my soul from all
pollution ! The time, which ought to have been spent
in the service of a holy God, has been trifled away
in the vanities of a wicked world.

Aug. 27. Have again been indulged with Sabbath
and sanctuary privileges. The gospel trump has
again sounded in my ears. Christians have been
called to be more engaged in the cause of Jesus ;
and sinners have been affectionately urged to attend
to the concerns of their never-dying souls.

Mr D. addressed us from these words : ' Wicked-
ness proceedeth from the wicked.' Afternoon


4 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good
unto all men. 1 He explained the various duties in-
cumbent on Christians, whereby they might do good
unto their fellow-mortals. Let me examine my own
heart. Have I done good, according to the ability
with which God has blessed me, to the souls of my
friends and acquaintance ? How much reason have

1 to complain of my unfruitfulness ; of my little en-
gagedness in prayer ! Awaken in me, O thou that
nearest prayer ! a disposition to cry, in earnest, for
the salvation of souls. Oh, that I might realize the
greatness of the privilege, with which the blessed
Jehovah has indulged me, in giving me a throne of
grace through the mediation of Jesus.

Aug. 28. I awoke last night, and spent a most
delightful hour in contemplating divine truth. The
words of David flowed sweetly through my mind,
6 In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy
comforts delight my soul.' Most willingly would I
resign all earthly pleasures for one such hour in com-
munion with my God.

Sept. 29. Mr T. preached our preparatory lec-
ture this afternoon. Text, " Jesus answered and
said, My kingdom is not of this world. ' Examined
myself strictly by this question ; Am I indeed a
real member of Christ's kingdom ? If I am, why are
my affections so languid my heart so cold my
desires so few for the enlargement of Christ's king-
dom ? Why is my heart so prone to leave God ?
Why am I so interested in the concerns of time and
sense and why are the important concerns of my
soul so little regarded ? Decide, dearest Jesus, the
doubtful case ! If I never yet have tasted and seen


that thou art gracious, Oh, let me now, before it be
for ever too late !

Attended our conference this evening. I think
I enjoyed what the world could neither give, nor
take away.

Sept. #0. How inestimable the blessing of a sin-
cere, a pious friend ! Drank tea with Mrs M. In
the most friendly manner she spoke of my former
conduct, and tenderly reproved me for an incident
which occurred the past day. I acknowledged my
fault, confessed my obligations to her for her advice,
and sensibly felt the importance of watchfulness and
prayer, that I might be kept from entering into
temptation. May the review of my former life,
serve to humble me in the dust before God, and
make me more active than ever in his blessed service !

Oct. 1. The vanities of time have engaged too
great a share of my affections The concerns of
my soul have been too much neglected. Oh, for
the invigorating influences of the Holy Spirit,- to
animate my drowsy faculties ! Time is short this
month, perhaps, may be my last. Have again been
permitted to sit down at the table of the Lord.
Oh, how unworthy am I of these precious privileges !
Why am I suffered to enjoy them ?

Have this day heard a most solemn discourse
preached by Mr D. from these words, ' Unto you,
Oh men, I call, and my voice is unto the sons of
men.' He mentioned the dying exercises of a Mr
B. whose remains were committed to the tomb the
Saturday preceding. His resignation to the Divine
will was remarkable. In his dying moments, he
.warned his young companions of their danger, while


cut of Christ. May this solemn stroke of Provi-
dence be sanctified to the young people in this
place ! Oh, that God, in infinite mercy, would be
pleased to bring it near my heart, and make it the
means of weaning me from this world, and prepar-
ing me for the enjoyment of his celestial kingdom !

Oct. 7. Another week has rolled away, and my
probationary existence is still lengthened out. But
to what purpose do I live ? Why am I supported
in this world of hope, when I am daily transgressing
the laws of a holy God and grieving his blessed
Spirit ? Astonishing grace ! wonderful compassion !
that still prolongs my days, after such rebellion !
Spare me, Oh my God, spare me yet a little
longer, and by thy grace enable me to do some little
work in thy vineyard.

Oct. 12. Attended another of our conferences.
But how stupid have I felt this evening ! It is per-
fectly just that I sjiould not have enjoyed the light
of God's countenance ; for I had no heart to ask
him, to make the evening profitable to my own soul,
or to the souls of others.

Prayer is the breath of the Christian ; when that
is omitted, farewell enjoyment.


Haverhill, Oct. 12, 1809.

THE pleasing sensations, dear Miss W. which
your letter excited, can better be conceived than de-
scribed. Your affectionate advice I sincerely thank
you for. And Oh ! that I might be enabled to
follow it. But what shall I write you ? Shall I tell


you I grow in grace and in conformity to God?
Alas ! I still have reason to lament my awful stu-
pidity, my distance from God, and in the language
of the publican, to cry, c God be merciful to me a
sinner. 1 ' Laden with guilt, a heavy load;' op-
pressed with the temptations of a subtle adversary,
the world ever ready to call my affections, how can
I be supported ? But here, my friend, I find there
is a way provided, whereby God can be just and yet
justify even me. In the redemption a Saviour has
purchased there is an infinite fulness, sufficient to
supply all our wants. On the precious mount of
Calvary hangs all my hope. In his atoning blood,
who suffered and died, my sins can be washed away ;
and however vile and loathsome in myself, in him I
can find cleansing. What wonderful compassion is
displayed in the plan of Salvation ! That the Maker
and Preserver of the universe, having all things
under his controul, should not spare even his own
Son, but deliver him up to die on the accursed tree,
for mortals who had transgressed his law, and de-
served eternal misery ! This mystery of mysteries
the angels desire to look into. That the just should
endure the agonies of a painful and ignominious
death for the unjust, is what we cannot comprehend.
But my friend, what must be our situation to all
eternity, if, after such wonderful compassion, we
should fall short of an interest in the death of Jesus ?
How awful must be the sentence that will be passed
upon us who sit under the Gospel's joyful sound, if
we slight the offers of salvation ? Oh, may this ne-
ver be our situation ! But by unfeigned repentance
find cordial submission to the blessed Redeemer


and by lives spent in his service, Oh, may we be
prepared to join the society of the redeemed above !
Yesterday afternoon I attended a Lecture in the
Academy at Bradford. The emotions which vi-
brated in my mind, while sitting in this seminary of
learning, I cannot describe. Imagination recalled
those scenes which I had witnessed in that place.
That season was a precious one to many souls, when
the Spirit of God moved among us, and compelled
sinners to tremble and earnestly inquire what they
should do to inherit eternal life. But those days
are past. No more do I hear my companions ex-
claiming, ' Who can dwell with devouring fire !
Who can inherit everlasting burnings ?' No more
do I hear souls, who for years have been under the
bondage of sin, exclaim, c Come and I will tell you
what God hath done for me. 1 He has, I hope,
; delivered me from the horrible pit and miry clay ;
has established my goings, and put a new song into
my mouth, even praise to his name. 1 But under
these general declensions from the truth of the Gos-
pel, still, ' the Lord doeth all things well.' He will
revive his work in his own time. He will repair
the waste places of Zion, and sinners will again flock
unto him as clouds, and as doves to their windows.
And blessed be his name, he makes his children the
honoured instruments in building up his kingdom.
Let us then, my dear Miss W. exert all our facul-
ties to promote his cause. Let us warn sinners of
their danger, and walk worthy of the vocation where-
with we are called. Wishing you the light of God's
countenance, I did you adieu.




Oct. 19. Drank tea with mamma, at Mrs C.'s.
A conference there in the evening. Mr D. para-
phrased the Lord's prayer ; and was enabled to
wrestle fervently with his divine Master, for the
revival of religion in this place. As for myself, I
felt stupid, could easily trace the cause of my
feelings : Had no opportunity, this day, of pouring
out my soul to God in prayer. My mother insisted
on my accompanying her to Mrs C.'s ; I did, though
with as great reluctance as I ever obeyed a command
of her*s.

I know by experience, that no opportunities for
improvement do me any good, unless the divine
blessing is previously requested.

* Restraining prayer, we cease to fight,
Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright ;
And Satan trembles, when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.'

Oct. 21. This day, God, in infinite mercy, has
seen fit to grant me near access to his mercy-seat.
I have been enabled to call upon his name, and to
plead with him, for his spiritual Jerusalem. Oh,
that he would hear and accept my feeble petitions,
and answer them for his own name's sake !

Oct. 23. Have just returned from our reading
society ; and feel condemned for my gaiety and
light conduct, before my companions. Have found
nothing this evening to satisfy the desires of my
soul. Greatly fear, that I have brought a wound
upon the cause of the blessed Immanuel. Oh that
I might be enabled to glorify God, by my future
devotedness to him.


Oct. 27. Two servants of Jesus Christ called
upon us this afternoon, Mr W. and Mr E. Their
conversation was very interesting and instructive.
Mr W. informed us of a serious intention that ap-
peared to be commencing in A. Oh, that Jehovah
would pour down his Spirit there ! Oh, that he would
ride from conquering to conquer, and make, not
only A. a place of his power, but Haverhill also !
Arise, blessed Jesus ! plead thine own cause, and
have mercy upon Zion. Now when men are mak-
ing void thy law, arise ! build up thy spiritual Jeru-
salem, and let her no longer mourn, " because so
few come to her solemn feasts. 1

Oct. SO. Have just returned from our reading
society. Have nothing to complain of this evening
but my gaiety and lightness. Ramsay's History of
Washington was introduced. The meeting very
regular and orderly. Sincerely wish it might be
the means of improving our minds in the know-
ledge of our own and other countries. And Oh,
that from a knowledge of the world which God has
made, our minds might be led to the Creator !

Oct. 31. Have spent this day prayerless and stu-
pid. Oh, that 1 were ' as in months past,' when
I felt a spirit of prayer, for the interest of Zion ; for,
the salvation of immortal souls !

Nov. 6. Our reading society met this evening;
Have just returned home, find little or no satis-
faction in the review.

Although the company were light and gay, I pitied
them, and in my heart commended them to God.
But I fear I countenanced them, and gave them
reason to say of me, ' what do you more than others ??


Possessed naturally of such a rude and ungovern-
able disposition, I sometimes find it difficult to keep
within proper bounds. Often does my heart condemn
me for my trifling conduct ; conscience reproaches ;
and frequently, I am led to the conclusion, that I
will no more leave the residence of my mother;
have no more to do with the world, but seclude
myself, and spend my few remaining days, entirety
devoted to the best of beings. But this will not be
following the example of the blessed Jesus. No,
while I am in the world, let it be my constant en-
deavour, to do all the good I can to my fellow mor-
tals ; to rise above its frowns and flatteries ; and
give no occasion for any reproach to be brought
upon the cause of religion.

Nov. 8. My dear friend, and as I humbly trust
my spiritual father, Mr B. called upon us, a few
moments. He expects to preach for Mr D. next
Sabbath. On seeing him, I could not but recal the
many different scenes that passed while under his
instructions. But those scenes remain in remem-
brance only. No more I hear my companions ex-
claiming, What shall I do to inherit eternal life.'
No more, I hear them telling to all around them,
what the Redeemer has done for their souls. That
was indeed a precious season to many, and will be
remembered with joy to all eternity. But to some,
the privileges of that season will, I fear, be the
means of sinking them lower in eternal torments !
Dreadful thought !

Nov. 12. This has indeed been a blessed day to
my soul, though I have been afflicted with a severe
pain in my head. Attended public worship : heard


two solemn sermons from our dear friend Mr B.
What a striking instance is it, of the awful hardness
of the heart, that when the terrors of the Almighty
are set before mortals, and they are told by God's
faithful servants, their awful situation, while unre-
conciled to the divine character, it has so little effect
upon them.

Nov. 13. A severe headache still attends me;
but I desire to be submissive to the will of God, and
bear without murmuring whatever he sees fit to lay
upon me. His ways are best; and he has graciously
promised, ' that all things shall work together for
good to those that love him.' But do I love him ?
Have I that love to him, that will enable me to
keep all his commandments ? Do I love him with
all my heart, having no rival in my affections?
* Search me, O God, and know me ;' try me by thy
Spirit, and lead me in the way of eternal life.

Nov. 16. Have just returned from singing school.
Surrounded by my gay companions, I have found
that I could place no dependance on my own
strength ; without the assistance of Jesus, I shall
fall into temptation, and wound his cause.


HuverMH. Not dated.

PARDON, dearest C. the long silence of your friend
Harriet. Although I have omitted answering your
affectionate epistle, my heart has been often with
you. Yes, C. often have I fancied seeing you en-
gaged to promote the cause of the blessed Immanuel,
solemnly renouncing the vanities of an alluring


world, and taking the decided part of a child of God.
Oh, may you be enabled to follow on to know the
Lord, and constantly live as a disciple of the meek
and lowly Jesus ! I sincerely and ardently wish you
the aid of the Holy Spirit, and a heart habitually
conformed to the holy character of God. Great
and precious are the promises, an infinitely merciful
Jehovah has made in his word, to those who perse-
vere in well-doing. But how great the guilt, and
how aggravated must be the condemnation of those,
who are represented as being often reproved, and
yet harden their hearts against God !

While we hear the denunciations of God's wrath
to the finally impenitent, let us, my friend, be active
to secure an interest in his favour. Then, let what
will befal us in this life, our souls will rest safe on
the rock of ages ; Jesus will be our guide and friend
through earth's tedious pilgrimage ; he will be our
support through the valley of the shadow of death ;
and when released from this clayey tenement, will
admit us to the new and heavenly Jerusalem.

Upon reviewing the scenes of the past, I find but
little or no satisfaction. A hard, impenitent heart,
an engagedness in the concerns ef time and sense,
and an awful stupidity respecting eternity, I have
this day felt. Oh, C. I am astonished when I view
the feelings of my heart ! But still more am I as-
tonished, when I reflect upon the forbearance of
God, who still supports me in existence, still in-
dulges me with the day and means of grace.

Thursday morning. Yesterday I attended a fast
at the West parish. Heard one most excellent
sermon, and a number of interesting addresses.


The exercises were very solemn and instructive. 1
long to have you with us. Since I last saw you,
we have been highly favoured by God. Oh, that
he would hasten that happy period, when the whole
earth shall be brought to a knowledge of the truth
as it is in Jesus. Let us frequently and earnestly
intercede at the throne of grace, for the commence-
ment of the Millennium.

Wishing you the^ light of God's countenance, and
a heart to labour aright in his vineyard, I bid you,
my friend, an affectionate farewell. Yours, &c.



HaverMtt, Sallath eve, Nov. 26, 1809.

I HAVE this moment received, dear Miss W. your
inestimable letter ; in which you affectionately con-
gratulate me on the happiness of ' tasting that the
Lord is gracious.'

Assailed by temptations, surrounded by the gay
and thoughtless, and with but few of the humble
followers of the Lamb to guide me in the path of
duty, or to instruct me in the great things of the
kingdom, what feelings do I experience, when re-
ceiving from my beloved friend, a letter, filled not
only with assurances of continued affection, but with
encomiums upon the character of the dear Imma-
nuel, as being ' the chief among ten thousands,
and altogether lovely.' Often does my heart glow
with gratitude to the Parent of mercies, for bestow-
ing on me such a favour, as one friend to whom I
can disclose the secret recesses of my heart, and


with whom I can converse upon the important doc-
trines of the gospel, and an eternal state of felicity
prepared for those, whose 6 robes have been washed
and made white in the blood of the Lamb.'

Have not you, my friend, often felt, when con-
versing upon these great truths, a flame of divine
love kindle in your heart; and have you not so-
lemnly resolved, that you would live nearer to the
blessed Jehovah ?

I have this day been permitted to worship God in
his earthly courts. How unspeakably great are the
privileges with which we are indulged, in this land
of gospel light ! The Sabbath before last, Mr B.
exchanged with Mr D. Oh, my beloved Miss W.
could you have heard the . important truths he
preached, the impressive manner in which he held
forth the terrors of God to the impenitent, and the
necessity of immediate repentance, surely it must to
you have been a blessed season. But it had no vi-
sible effect upon the minds of the people here. A
dreadful inattention to religion still prevails. The
youth are very thoughtless and gay ; ' iniquity
abounds, and the love of many waxes cold.' But
there are, as I humbly trust, a pious few, who are
daily making intercession at the throne of grace, for
the prosperity of Zion.

What encouragement have we, my dear friend, to
wrestle at the throne of mercy, for renewing and
sanctifying grace, for ourselves and the whole Israel
of God. Even in times of the greatest declension,
Jehovah hath promised that he will hear the pray-
ers of his children ; and that if offered up in since-


rity of heart, he will, in his own time, send gracious

Next Friday evening, it being the evening after
Thanksgiving, a ball is appointed in this place. I
think it probable that E. whom you once saw anxi-
ously inquiring what she should do to inherit eter-
nal life, will attend. Oh, my beloved friend, you
cannot know my feelings. It is dreadful to see
mortals bound to eternity, spending their lives with
no apparent concern about their never-dying souls.
But it is, if possible, more dreadful to see those,
who have 4 put their hands to the plough, look
back ; or being often reproved, harden their hearts
against God.'

How unsearchable are the ways of Jehovah !
When I look around me, and see so many of my
friends and companions, who are by nature endowed
with much greater talents than I am, and who would,
if partakers of the grace of God, be made the in-
struments of doing so much more good in the world,
left in a state of sin, I am constrained to say,

Why was / made to hear thy voice,

And enter while there's room ?
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come.'

I could, my dear Miss W. write you all night ;
but a violent head-ache has attended me this day,
and wearied nature requires repose.

I sincerely thank you, for the affectionate invita-
tion you have given me to visit you. I wish it
were possible for me to comply with your request ;
perhaps I may this winter ; but I shall not place
much dependance upon it, as every thing is so un-


certain. Do, my friend, visit Haverhill. -I long to
see you : but if Providence has determined we shall
never meet again in this world, Oh, may we meet in
our heavenly Father's kingdom, and never more en-
dure a separation, in haste. I am yours, SEC.



Dec. 1. This evening a ball is appointed at .

My clear will probably attend. I have re-
solved to devote some part of the evening in pray-
ing particularly for them. Oh that God would stop
them in the midst of their sinful career, and let
them no longer spend their precious moments in fol-
lowing the pleasures of this vain world !

Dec. 31. I have now come to the close of ano-
ther year. How various have been the scenes which
I have been called to pass through this year ! But
what have I done for God ? what for the interest
of religion ? and what for my own soul ? I have
passed through one of the most solemn scenes of my
life I have taken the sacramental covenant upon
me I have solemnly joined myself to the church of
the blessed Jesus.

Oh ! that I might now, as in the presence of the
great Jehovah, and his holy angels, with penitential
sorrow, confess my past ingratitude, and in humble
reliance on the strength of Jesus, resolve to devote
the ensuing year, and the remaining part of my
days, to his service. ,

Feb. 10. What great reason have I for thankful-


ness to God, that I am still in the land of the living*,
and have another opportunity of recording with my
pen, his tender mercy and loving kindness ! I have
been, for almost five weeks, unable to write ; and
for a week confined to my bed. But JESUS has un-

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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 3 of 15)