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 7 of 15)
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Longing to reach my weary space of life,
And to fulfil my task.'

Yes, my Redeemer ; I know by experience, that
this life is a tiresome round of vanities hourly re-
peated. All is empty. My thirsty soul longs for
the enjoyment of God in heaven, where the weary
and heavy laden find rest. How long, Oh my Fa-
ther, shall I wander in this dreary land ? When
shall I bid a final adieu to these scenes of guilt !

* Oh, haste the hour of joy, and sweet repose.'

How refreshing will heavenly rest be to my soul,
after a life of toil and hardship !

Sept. 7. ' Bless the Lord, O my soul, and for-
get not all his benefits.' Yes ; I will bless and
praise thy name, my God, my King, my everlasting
all. I will bless thee for temporal, I will bless thee
for spiritual favours. Thou hast ever been loading
me with thy benefits. The Lord is my light and


iny salvation ; whom shall I fear ? The Lord is
the strength of my life ; of whom shall I be afraid ?
Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain
to stand strong. I will extol thee, for thou hast
lifted me up ; and hast not made my foes to rejoice
over me. Thou hast brought up my soul from the
grave, thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go
down to the pit. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of
his ; and give thanks at the remembrance of his ho-
liness : for his anger endureth but for a moment ;
in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a
night, but joy come th in the morning.'

Sept. 10. Depressed with guilt, and tired with
the vanities of this world, I have retired to my
chamber, to seek pleasure within. When blest with
a sense of Immanuers love, I find satisfaction in
writing, conversing, and thinking on divine things ;
but when Jesus frowns, all is midnight darkness.
No duties no domestic employments no earthly
pleasures can charm or delight my mind.

Sept. 12. * The time is short, I soon shall rise,
And bid farewell to weeping eyes,
And reach the heavenly shore.'

I have attempted this morning, to bring India, with
the parting scenes between, near at hand. Surely,
nothing but the sovereign power of God could have
led me to contemplate, with serenity and composure,
the painful scenes of a Missionary life ; and nothing
but his grace will support me, when farewells are
sounding around me. Oh, how can I think of that
hour ! But it is a glorious work, for which I am
making these great sacrifices : it is nothing less
than to assist in spreading the triumphs of the cross,


m foreign lands. Oh, could I become the instru-
ment of bringing one degraded female to Jesus, how
should I be repaid for every tear and every pain !
To make a female Indian acquainted with the way
of life, Oh what a blessing ! my soul exults at the
thought !

Sept. 17. How sweet is this text, ' Be careful
for nothing ; but in every thing, by prayer and sup-
plication let your requests be made known unto God. 1
When the difficulties of my future life depress me,
how often am I insensibly relieved and comforted by
this and similar invitations. How precious, how
exceedingly valuable is the word of God !

Sept. 20. Life like an empty vapour flies. Soon
will my mortal state be ended. The objects which
now occupy so large a portion of my thoughts, will
shortly lose their importance, and vanish as though
I saw them not. Vanity is stamped on every
earthly enjoyment. But pleasure without the least
alloy will be found in heaven.


Haverhitty Sept. 18 1 1.

FORGIVE, my dear M. the liberty I take in ad-
dressing you in this manner. From my first
acquaintance with you, I have felt deeply interested
for your happiness. Nothing but an affectionate
regard for you, would induce me to write to you on
a subject which the world will undoubtedly ridicule,
but which engages the attention and constitutes the
felicity of the holy inhabitants of heaven. This
subject is the religion of the Gospel a subject


which is infinitely interesting to us both. You
have of late witnessed a scene, trying indeed, and
solemn as eternity. You have watched the sick-
bed, you have heard the expiring groans of your
beloved sister. You fondly hope that she was in-
terested in the covenant of redemption, and is now
perfectly happy in the enjoyment of her God in
heaven. When standing by the dying bed of this
dear sister, say, my friend, did you not ardently
wish for piety similar to her's ; for that faith which
could triumph over the horrors of a dying hour ?
Was the hope then cherished that you should meet
her in yonder world, when the trials of this short
life are over ? and did this hope support your sink-
ing spirits in the trying hour of separation ? She is
gone for ever; but we are still prisoners of hope.
Could we now draw back the covering of the tomb,
and listen to her language, how earnestly would she
beseech us to become reconciled to God, and devote
our lives wholly to his service. My dear M. these
Hre not idle dreams. If we reflect for a moment,
we feel conscious that there is an immortal principle
within, which will exist when time and nature dies.
This principle is corrupted by sin, and without the
sanctifying grace of God, we should be unhappy,
even though admitted to Heaven. Do but examine
the feelings of your heart one hour, and you cannot
for a moment doubt the truth of this assertion.
How important then that we should have this work
of grace begun in our hearts, before it is too late.
4 Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salva-
tion.' To-morrow our probation may be closed, and
we may be irrecoverably lost. M. my heart is full.


What inducements can I offer you to receive Jesus
into your heart, and willingly sacrifice your all for
him ? Oh ! think of the worth of the soul, the price
paid to redeem it, the love of Immanuel, your obli-
gations to live to him, the joys prepared for the
righteous ; and Oh, think of the torments in re-
serve for the finally impenitent, and be induced to
flee from the wrath to come. If nothing in Provi-
dence prevents, before the return of another autumn,
Harriet will be a stranger in a strange land. I go,
my friend, where Heathens dwell, far from the
companions of my playful years, far from the dear
land of my nativity. My contemplated residence
will be, not among the refined and cultivated, but
among females degraded and uncivilized, who have
never heard of the religion of Jesus. How would
it gladden my sad heart, in the trying hour of my
departure, could I but leave a dear circle of females
of my own age, engaged for God, and eminent for
their usefulness in Haverhill. Well, I hope to find
a circle of Hindoo sisters in India, interested in that
religion which many of my companions reject, though,
blest with innumerable privileges. But my friend
M. will not treat with indifference this, religion. O
no ! I will cherish the fond hope, that she will re-
nounce the world, become a follower of Immanuel,
and be unwearied in her exertions to spread the
triumphs of the cross through the world. I must
leave you my dear M. with God. May you be-
come a living witness for him ! When our journey
through this barren wilderness is ended, may we
meet in heaven !




Oct. 10. I have this day entered upon my nine-
teenth year. Oh, how great the goodness of God
which has followed me, through the last twelve
months ! And shall I be wholly destitute of grati-
tude ? O no ! let me this year, if my life should be
spared, become a living witness for the truth, as it
is in Jesus. How great a change has the last year
made in my views and prospects for life ! Another
year will probably affect, not merely my prospects,
but my situation. Should my expectations be rea-
lized, my dwelling will be far from the dear land of
my nativity, and from beloved friends, whose so-
ciety rendered the morning of my life cheerful and
serene. In distant India, every earthly prospect
will be dreary.

* But even there, content can spread a charm,
Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.'

Oct. 13. How important is it, that I should be
in a peculiar manner devoted to God, and dead to
the world. I shall need a large supply of the
graces of the Gospel, and of the consolations of re-
ligion, to support me amid the numberless trials of
a Missionary life. When dangers stand thick
around, and the world is utterly incapable of afford-
ing me the least solid comfort what will sustain
me, but entire confidence in God, as my shield, my
only sure defence ? Oh, my Father ! let a sense of
thy love to my soul, influence me to yield implicit
obedience to thy commands ; and while this love is
constraining me to walk in the path which thou hast
selected for me, may thy grace be sufficient for me-
as my day is, so may my strength be.


Oct. 20. Soon I hope I feel, and am assured,

That I shall lay my head my weary, aching head,

On its last rest ; and on my lowly bed,

The grass green sod will flourish sweetly/ -

The perusal of the life, letters and poems of
Henry Kirke White, has been productive of much
satisfaction. While I have respected him for his
learning and superior talents, I have ardently wished
for a share of that piety, which shone so conspicu-
ously in his life, and which rendered his character
so interesting and lovely. His fc weary aching
head," is now resting in the silent tomb. Henry
sleeps, to ~ake no more : but his spirit, uneonfined 5
is exploring the unseen world ! O that his example
may affect my heart !


Haverhitt, Oct. 20, 1811.

WILL my dear Miss H. pardon this seeming ne-
glect, when I assure her it has not been intentional ?
Did you but know how numerous have been my
engagements since I left Andover, I feel confident
that you would not indulge one hard thought. I
have thought much of you, and have often longed
to see you. The kindness you showed me, while
with you, greatly endeared you to my heart. I hope
I shall ever recollect with gratitude the unmerited
favours, which you, Mr and Mrs W. and my other
friends, conferred upon me while in Andover.

This day has been spent in melancholy dejection
and sorrow of heart. The trials of a Missionary
life, united with my entire unfitness for the under-
taking, and the fear of being under the influence of


improper motives, have produced distress. But die
return of evening has dissipated the gloom, and I
have been led to rejoice in God, and willingly to
surrender my eternal all to him. O my friend ! is
there not a balm in Gilead? is there not an all-
powerful Physician there ? Who can doubt of the
abilities and willingness of Jesus, to lead his deal-
children along the green pastures, and beside the
still waters? His sacred presence will cause the
sinking heart to rejoice, and diffuse gladness around.
Rightly is he styled Immanuel. Let us fly imme-
diately to this hiding-place this covert from the
storm and tempest. In Jesus we are safe, though
earth and hell combine against us. What are the
trials, what the agonies attendant on this pilgrimage
state ! In Jesus there is a fulness sufficient to sup-
ply our every want, healing for every wound, and a
cordial for every fear.

With the deepest interest I have lately read Bu-
chanan's Researches. You have probably read it.
Has it not inspired you with an ardent Missionary
spirit? Can it be possible that Christians, after
perusing this invaluable book, can help feeling a
deep concern for the salvation of the Heathen, and
a strong desire for the promulgation of the Gospel
throughout the world ? How precious, how exceed-
ingly valuable is tjie word of God ! How consola-
tory to the believer, to hear those who were once
prostrating themselves before dumb idols, now ex-
claim with eagerness, ' We want not bread, we
want not money, we want the Word of God.' A
FAMINE FOR BIBLES how sweet, and yet how
painful the expression ! Surely this mil lead us to


Estimate our glorious privileges in this Christian
land. Possessed of every means of learning the
character of God, and the way of salvation by a
Redeemer, how can we complain ? If ever the re-
ligion of the cross has excited within us holy desires,
Oh let us not forget the destitute millions of Asia.
God will be inquired of by his people to do great
things for the Heathen world. How importunate
then should we be at the throne of grace ; and none
ever cried to God in vain.

Dear Miss H. I could write an hour longer, but
other engagements prevent. We long to see you ;
long to hear from you again. Do write us often.
Mamma sends much love; intends writing you
soon ; thanks you for your last letter. Remember
me affectionately to dear Mr and Mrs W. ; likewise
to Mr L. and Mr M. I am, dear Miss H. your
affectionate HARRIET.


Oct. 25. How strong are the ties of natural af-
fection ! Will distance or time ever conquer the
attachment which now unites my heart so closely to
my mother, the dear guardian of my youth ; and
to my beloved brothers and sisters ? Oh no ; though
confined to a foreign country, where a parent's voice
will no more gladden my melancholy heart, still
shall that love, which is stronger than death, dwell
within, and often waft a sincere prayer to Heaven
for blessings unnumbered upon her. Long shall
remembrance dwell on scenes past in the dear circle
of Haverhill friends.


Nov. 4. It is midnight. My wavering mind
would fain dwell on some mournful subject. I
weep ; then sing some melancholy air, to pass away
the lingering moments. What would my dear mo-
ther say, to see her Harriet thus involved in gloom ?
But why do I indulge these painful feelings ? Is it
because my Father is unkind, and will not hear a
suppliant's cries? Is he not willing to direct my
wandering steps ; to guide my feet in the paths of
peace ? Oh yes ; his ear is ever open to the prayer
of the fatherless. Let me then go to him ; tell him
all my griefs, and ask of him a calm and clear con-
viction of duty.

Why sinks my weak desponding mind,
Why heaves my soul, this heavy sigh V
Can Sovereign goodness be unkind,
Am I not safe, if God be nigh ?'

Nov. 10, The rising sun witnesses for my hea-
venly Father that he is good. Oh yes ! his cha-
racter is infinitely lovely his attributes are perfect.
I behold his goodness in the works of creation and
providence. But the beauty of his character shines
most conspicuously in the plan of salvation. In the
Redeemer, beauty and worth are combined ; and
shall my heart remain unaffected, amidst such an
endless variety of witnesses of the glory of God?
Shall / be silent, for whom the Son of God, on
Calvary, bled and died ?

Here the diary, from which the foregoing extracts
have been made, closes. But amid the various en-
gagements, which occupied the time of Mrs Newell,


and the many interesting subjects of her contempla-
tion, she continued a frequent correspondence with
her friends. The number of letters which she
wrote, from the age of thirteen to her death, was re-


ffaverhiU, Nov. 10, 1811.

How shall I sufficiently thank my dear Miss F
for her affectionate communication, received a short
time since by Mr Judson ? This was a favour which
I had long wished for, but which I had ever consi-
dered an unmerited one.

I have this day visited the sanctuary of the Most
High. While listening to the joyful sound of the
Gospel, my thoughts were insensibly led to the for*
lorn and destitute state of the Heathen, who are
unacquainted with Bibles, Churches, and Sabbaths*
I thought of the glorious privileges, which the in-
habitants of this my Christian country enjoy ; and
the thought afforded indescribable pleasure. I re-
flected on the many millions of Asia and Africa ;
and the reflection was full of anguish and sympathy*
Oh my friend, when will the day dawn, and the
day-star arise in Pagan lands, where Moloch reigns,
' besmeared with blood of human sacrifice, and pa-
rents'* tears.' Oh ! when will the religion of Jesus,
which has irradiated our benighted souls, be pro-
mulgated throughout the world ? When will Chris-
tians feel more concerned for the salvation of the
Heathen ; and when will the heralds of the Gospel
feel willing to sacrifice the soft delights and elegan-


cies of life, and visit the far distant shores, where
Heathen strangers dwell ? Oh ! when will those
who have an interest at the mercy-seat, intercede for
the wretched Heathen .'

But my dear Miss F. though I sometimes feel
deeply and tenderly interested for the Heathen, and
even feel willing to contribute my little aid in the
work of a mission ; yet the trials of such a life often
produce a melancholy dejection, which nothing but
divine grace can remove. Often does my imagina-
tion paint, in glowing colours, the last sad scene of
my departure from the land of my nativity. A wi-
dowed mother's heart with anguish wrung, the tears
of sorrow flowing from the eyes of brothers and sis-
ters dear, while the last farewell is pronounced
this is a scene affecting indeed. But this is only
the commencement of a life replete with trials.
Should my life be protracted, my future residence
will be far distant from my native country, in a land
of strangers, who are unacquainted with the feelings
of friendship and humanity,

But I will no longer dwell on these sad subjects.
I will look to God ; from him is all my aid. He
can support his children in the darkest hour, and
cause their sinking hearts to rejoice. He has
pledged his word, that his grace shall be sufficient
for them, and that as their day is, so shall their
strength be. How consoling the reflection, that we
are in the hands of God ! He can do nothing
wrong with us : but if we are members of his family,
all things will continually work for our good. Trials
will wean us from this alluring world, and prepare
us for that reet which is reserved for the righteous.


And how sweet will that rest be, after a life of toil
and suffering. Oh ! how does the anticipation of
future bliss, sweeten the bitter cup of life. My
friend, there is a world, beyond these rolling spheres,
where adieus and farewells are unknown. There I
hope to meet you with all the ransomed of Israel,
and never more experience a painful separation.

The thoughts of such amazing bliss,
Should constant joys create.'

H A.


Havcrhill, Dec. 13, 1811.

I HAVE long been wishing for a favourable oppor-
tunity to return my thanks to my dear Miss W. for
her affectionate letter received last June. A mul-
tiplicity of avocations, which could not possibly be
dispensed with, have deprived me of this pleasure
till now. But though my friends have been ne-
glected, they have not been forgotten. Oh no '
dear to my heart are the friends of Immanuel ; par-
ticularly those with whom I have walked to the
house of God in company, and with whom I have
taken sweet counsel about the things which imme-
diately concern Zion, the city of our God. These
dear Christian friends, will retain a lasting and af-
fectionate remembrance in my heart, even though
stormy oceans should separate me from them.
There is a world, my sister, beyond this mortal
state, where souls, cemented in one common union,
will dwell together, and never more be separated,
Does not your heart burn within you, when in



humble anticipation of future blessedness, you en-
gage in the delightful service of your covenant Re-
deemer ? When your spirit sinks within you, and
all terrestrial objects lose their power to please, can
you not say,

My journey here,

Though it be darksome, joyless and forlorn,
Is yet but short ; and soon my weary feet,
Shall greet the peaceful inn of lasting rest :
The toils of this short life will soon be over.

Yes, my friend, we soon shall bid an eternal fare-
well to this passing world, and if interested in the
covenant, we shall find the rest which remaineth for
the people of God. I thank you sincerely for the
affectionate interest you have taken in my future
prospect in life. I feel encouraged to hope that not
only your good wishes, but fervent prayers will
attend my contemplated undertaking, I know that
the earnest supplications of the faithful will avail
with God : plead then, my friend, with Jesus on
my behalf. The path of duty is the only way to
happiness. I love to tread the path which my Fa-
ther points out for me, though it is replete with
privations and hardships. Who, my dear Miss W.
that has felt of the love of Jesus, the worth of souls,
and the value of the gospel, would refuse to lend
their little aid in propagating the religion of the
Cross among the wretched Heathen, when presented
with a favourable opportunity ? However great the
discouragements attending a Missionary life, yet
Jesus has promised to be with those who enter upon
it with a right disposition, even to the end of the
world. When will the day dawn, and the day-star


arise in Heathen lands ? Oh ! when will the stand-
ard of the Cross be erected, and all nations hear of
the glad tidings of Salvation ? When will the mil-
lennial state commence, and the lands which have
long lain in darkness, be irradiated by the calm
sunshine of the Gospel ? When will the populous
regions of Asia and Africa, unite with this our
Christian country in one general song of praise to
God? Though darkness and error now prevail,
faith looks over these mountains, and beholds with
transport, the dawning of the Sun of Righteousness,
the reign of peace and love.

The clock strikes twelve ; I must leave you my
friend, for tired nature requires repose. Pray often
for me. Write me immediately upon receiving this
hasty letter. Affectionately yours,



Haverhill, Dec. 29, 1611.

AN hour this sacred evening, the commencement
of another Sabbath, shall be cordially devoted to my
dear Miss F. Alone and pensive, how can the
moments glide more pleasantly away, than in writ-
ing to a friend whose name excites many endearing
sensations, and whom, from my first introduction to
her, I have sincerely loved. Similarity of sentiment
will produce an indissoluble union of hearts. How
strong are the ties which unite the members of
Christ's family ? While dwelling in this the house
of their pilgrimage, they are subject to the same
trials and privations ; and the same hope encourages


them to look forward to the happy hour of their re-
lease, when their weary souls shall rest sweetly in
the bosom of their God. Such I would fondly hope,
is the nature of that union which so strongly ce-
ments ray heart to Miss F. Oh ! that when ' the
long Sabbath of the tomb is past,' our united souls
may be safely anchored in the fair haven of eternal
security, where friendship will be perfected.

I have thought much of you since the reception
of your kind letter. I hope that divine grace has
dissipated your doubts, and that you are now enjoy-
ing all holy consolation. May you be made emi-
nently holy and useful, live near to God, and be
favoured with those rich communications of his love,
which he often bestows upon his children.

I have been reading this afternoon, some account
of the superstitions of the wretched inhabitants of
Asia. How void of compassion must be that heart
which feels not for the woes of its fellow-mortals !
When, my friend, will the day dawn and the day-
star arise in those lands, where the prince of dark-
ness has so long dwelt ?

The hour is hastening, when I must bid an eter-
nal farewell to all that is dear in the land of my na-
tivity, cross the boisterous ocean, and become an
exile in a foreign land. I must relinquish for ever
the friends of my bosom, whose society has rendered
pleasant the morning of life, and select for my com-
panions the uncivilized Heathen of Hindostan. I
shall shortly enter upon a life of privations and
hardships. ' All the sad variety of grieF will pro-
bably be mine to share. Perhaps no cordial, sym-
pathizing friend will stand near my dying bed, to


administer consolation to my departing spirit, to
wipe the falling tear, the cold sweat away, to close
my eyes, or to shed a tear upon my worthless ashes.
But shall the contemplation of these adverse scenes,
tempt me to leave the path selected by my Heavenly
Father ? Oh no ! ' I can do all things through
Christ, who strengthened me.' This consideration
exhilarates my sinking soul, and diffuses an ardour
within, which I would not relinquish for all the

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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 7 of 15)