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The following Memoirs of Mrs. NewELL are derived almost entirely from her own writings. Nothing has been added, but what seemed absolutely necessary, to give the reader a general view of her character, and to explain some particular occurrences in which she was concerned. These Memoirs contain only a part of her letters and journal; the whole would have made a large volume. The labour of the compiler has been to select, and occasonally, especially in her earlier writings, to abridge. The letters and journal of this unambitious, delicate female, would have been kept within the circle of her particular friends, had not the closing scenes of her life, and the missionary zeal which has recently been kindled in this country, excited in the public mind a lively interest in her character, and given the Christian community a kind of property in the productions of her pen. It was thought best to arrange her writings according to the order of time: so that, in a connected series of letters, and extracts from her diary, the reader might be under advantages to observe the progress of her mind, the developement of her moral worth, and some of the most important events of her life.
MRS. HARRIET NEWELL.
The subject of these Memoirs was a daughter of Mr. Moses ATWOOD, a merchant of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and was born October 10, 1793. She was naturally cheerful and unreserved; possessed a lively imagination and great sensibility ; and early discovered a retentive memory and a taste for reading. Long will she be remembered as a dutiful child, and an affectionate sister.
She manifested no peculiar and lasting seriousness before the year 1806. In the summer of that year, while at the academy at Bradford, a place highly favoured of the Lord, she first became the subject of those deep religious impressions which laid the foundation of her Christian life. With several of her companions in study, she was roused to attend to the one thing needful. They turned off their eyes from beholding vanity, and employed their leisure in searching the scriptures, and listening to the instructions of those who were able to direct them in the way of life. A few extracts from letters, which she wrote to Miss L. K. of Bradford, will in some measure shew the state of her mind att that time.
1806. Dear L. I NEED your kind instructions now as much as ever.
I should be willing to leave every thing for God; willing to be called by any name which tongue can utter, and to undergo any sufferings, if it would but make me humble, and be for his glory. Do advise me what I shall do for his glory. I care not for myself. Though he lay ever so much upon me, I would be content. Oh, could I but recal this summer !- But it is past, never to return. I have one constant companion, the Bible, from which I derive the greatest comfort. This I intend for the future shall guide me.
-Did you ever read Doddridge's Sermons to Young People? They are very beautiful sermons. It appears strange to me, why I am not more interested in the cause of Christ, when he has done so much for us! But I will form a resolution that I will give myself up entirely to him. Pray for me that my heart may be changed. I long for the happy hour when we shall be free from all sin, and enjoy God in heaven. But if it would be for his glory, I should be willing to live my threescore years and ten. My heart bleeds for our companions who are on the brink of destruction. In what manner shall I speak to them? But perhaps I am in the same way.
In another letter to the same friend, she says,What did Paul and Silas say to the jailor? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Let us do the same. Let us improve the accepted time, and make our peace with God. This day, my L. I have formed a resolution, that I will