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The reader, on comparing the writings of Mrs. Newell, as now published, with the former editions of them, will find many alterations, and large additions. The alterations are, almost without exception, mere restorations of the original manuscript, to the state in which it was left by Mrs. Newell.
The narrative of her life, and other notices, interspersed among her writings, have been added by the compilers of this revised edition.
THE LIFE, &c.
MRS. HARRIET NEWELL.
Birth and parentage of Mrs. Newell—Her attend
ance upon Bradford Academy-ConversionExtracts from her letters and journal—Death of her father—Public profession of religion.
The highest excellence, exhibited in the life of a female, usually receives, after her death, no other tribute than the remembrance and the tears of the grateful circle, which she adorned and blessed. The poor may mourn their benefactor, relatives their affectionate mother, wife, or sister; and companions their counsellor, helper, and friend: but no memorial, except perhaps upon her tomb, publishes to others the virtues which made her thus beloved and thus lamented.
But Providence has called some females to more public duties, and connected their names with events of general interest. The history of the hearts and lives of such, is the just property of all.
And when an offering of precious value, and of rich perfume, has been publicly poured upon the Saviour's feet,—"wheresoever this gospel shall be preached, there shall also this that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”
HARRIET ATWOOD, afterwards Mrs. NEWELL, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, October 10, 1793. Her father, Mr. Moses Atwood, was a merchant, extensively and honourably known by his enterprize, benevolence, and inflexible integrity. Her mother still survives to forbid our praises.
Under the nurture of such parents, and in the society of beloved brothers and sisters, her childhood was happy. She was naturally cheerful in her disposition, and ardent in her feelings. In her first, as in her later years, she was always a warm and faithful friend, an affectionate sister, and a grateful and obedient daughter. She early manifested that love of books and of her pen, and that thirst for mental improvement, so conspicuous through her following life; as a proof of which, it may be mentioned that, when only about eleven years of age, she kept a regular diary, in which she wrote the events of the passing day, with frequent moral reflections, suggested by the incidents she recorded. About this time her heart was evidently visited with the strivings of God's spirit; and it is known, from
the recollection of her friends, as well as from her own subsequent testimony, that for a season, she daily attended to secret prayer, and to the study of the scriptures. These employments, however, soon became irksome; and, although she cheerfully complied with all the regulations of her father's household, in attendance upon the public ordinances of the gospel-in outward observance of the holy rest of the Sabbath, from its earliest dawn, until its closing hours assembled the family for religious instruction,--and in all external propriety of behaviour, she ceased to seek for a saving knowledge of Christ as for “a pearl of great price.”
In the summer of the year 1806, she attended Bradford Academy, an institution distant about half a mile from Haverhill, which has done much to improve and extend female education, and has been often and remarkably blessed by the spirit of God. Her instructor was the Rev. Mr. Burnham, whom she always afterwards regarded with peculiar gra. titude, as one whose counsel had been greatly blessed to her good. Among her companions were many of the friends of her subsequent life; and one of them, Miss Hasseltine, (afterwards Mrs. Judson) was an associate in her last great enterprise.
It was now, when numerous pupils were assembled from various parts of the country, that the attention of many was mercifully excited to the sub