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Miss SUSANNA ANTHONY,
Who died, in Newport, (R 1.) June 23, 1791, in the 65th year
CHIEFLY IN EXTRACTS FROM HER WRITINGS,
BY SAMUEL HOPKINS, D.D.
PUBLISHED BY LYMAN, HALL & CO.
J. M'Kown, Printer.-1810.
A general sketch of her life and character; as an introduction to a more particular account taken from her own writings.
MISS SUSANNA ANTHONY, was born at Newport, on Rhode-Island, on the 25th day of October, 1726. Mr. Isaac Anthony, her father, was a native of RhodeIsland. When he was young, he went to Boston to learn the trade of a goldsmith. There he became acquainted with Miss Mercy Chamberlin, whom he afterwards married, and settled in Newport, where they lived about sixty years together. They had seven daughters, five of whom survived their parents, but no son. Susanna, who was their youngest daughter except one, lived with her parents until they died, which was between forty and fifty years. She was never married. Her parents were of the denomination called Friends, or Quakers, in which way she was educated, until she was about fifteen years old, when she was the subject of a series of remarkable exercises, of which she has given a particular account; which will be inserted in the next section, together with her making a public profession of religion, and joining to the first Congregational church in Newport, of which the Rev. Nathaniel Clap was then pastor, where she continued a member, until her death, which was nearly fifty years; and was a distinguished and eminent instance of piety and strict religion, in every branch of the duties of Christianity, so far as they
could be exercised, acted out, and discovered, in her situation and circumstances in life. She appeared wholly, and in a distinguished degree, devoted to the cause of Christ and pure religion; and was a remarkable example of devotion, benevolence, and christian friendship; of self-denial, sobriety, modesty, humility, industry, and of a careful circumspection and conscientiousness in all her concerns and conduct. She being greatly attentive to her Bible, and all other means of instruction which she enjoyed, attained an eminent degree of discerning and knowledge of the distinguishing doctrines and duties of Christianity. And, as she was greatly attentive to practical religion, and constantly studied the Bible in this view, always exercising herself to have a conscience void of offense, both towards God and man, she was remarkably judicious, as a casuist, and greatly helpful to her friends, who applied to her in doubtful and difficult cases of conscience. All this will be better and more particularly exhibited by the extracts from her writings, which will be produced in the following sections but cannot, even in this way, be fully expressed, or set in that clear, affecting, and amiable light, before the public, in which she was seen, loved, and admired, by her particular and intimate friends.
Her bodily frame and constitution was so feeble and delicate, from her youth, that she was not equal to any business, which required a considerable degree of strength and exertion. She was, therefore, chiefly employed in the use of her needle, in which she was expert and skilful, and by which she was able to support herself, when she enjoyed her health, of which she was deprived for a number of years, from about the twentieth year of her age, and fell into very painful and distressing disorders of body; so that she appeared to herself and others, many times, to be dying, or near to death; and her physician and friends thought she could not survive her disorders, which attended her several years, excepting some short intervals of respite. This is mentioned here, as it may render some part of her diary, which will be transcribed, more intelligible to the reader. But she was, in a great measure, relieved from these distressing disorders, and enjoyed a degree of ease and
health in the latter part of her life; though she was always feeble, and subject to turns of painful maladies.
When the war, between Britain and America, commenced, she left Newport, and went into the country, where she spent great part of her time, until that war was nearly closed; part of which time she spent in teaching the children in the families in which she lived, and in keeping a small school; in which she appeared to be greatly serviceable, and obtained the approbation, gratitude, and esteem, of those who employed her.
After the war, she lived at Newport to the time of her decease, a comfort, and greatly useful to her friends, earnestly endeavoring, in her sphere, to promote the cause of truth and Christianity in the world, and more especially in the religious society with which she was connected; to whom her death is justly considered as an unspeakable loss. But, with respect to the people in general, the words of the prophet may be applied, in this instance : "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; the merciful are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."
In the month of June, 1791, her youngest sister was taken sick with a peripneumony; and as she had but one more sister then living, who was out of town, she went and attended her in her sickness, which proved mortal, and she died in about a week. On the day in which her sister died, she was seized with the same disorder, which put an end to her life also in one week. The disorder, with which she died, was violent from first to last, and uncommonly distressing; so that she was not able to say much in this her last sickness. She, however, said to her christian friends, that she desired to bless God, that she had nothing of those conflicts, which she had before sometimes feared; but her soul did, with a sweet calm and confidence, rest on Jesus Christ, without the least doubt of her union to him, and of her happiness in his kingdom for ever. Thus she died, on the 23d of June, 1791.
AFTER she had mad. a public profession of religion, she felt a strong desire to serve Christ, in an entire and