Ann H. Judson was born at Bradford, [Massachusetts, United States], December 22, 1789. She was the daughter of John and Rebecca Hasseltine, worthy inhabitants of that pleasant village. Her childhood was passed within sight of the home which contained the friends, and around which clustered the employments and pursuits, of Harriet Newell. With only a narrow river rolling between them, these two devoted servants of God passed through the period of youth, little thinking how their names and fortunes were to be linked together in the holy cause of human good. Like her beloved associate, Miss Hasseltine was early in life a pupil at Bradford Academy, and made commendable progress in her studies. There she was beloved by all. The teachers regarded her as an industrious, dutiful, and talented scholar; her associates looked upon her as a sincere, openhearted, cheerful companion.
Unlike Mrs. Newell, who was sedate and grave, exhibiting a seriousness almost beyond her years, Miss Hasseltine was ardent, gay, and active. She loved amusement and pleasure, and was found seeking enjoyment in all the avenues of virtuous life. One of her schoolmates, speaking of her, says, "Where Ann is, no one can be gloomy or unhappy. Her cheerful countenance, her sweet smile, her happy disposition, her keen wit, her lively conduct, never rude nor boisterous, will dispel the shades of care and hang the smiles of summer upon the sorrows of the coldest heart." Her animation gave life to all around her, and made her, at school, an unusual favorite; at home, the joy of her father's dwelling. It was probably this cheerfulness of her natural disposition which in after years enabled her to endure such protracted sufferings, and, by the side of her missionary husband, smile amid clanking fetters and gloomy dungeons. She loved to look upon the bright side of every picture, and seldom spent an hour in tears over any imaginary sorrow. On the front of evils she generally discerned signs of good; and often, while others were in sorrow, her heart was glad. Her sedate parents looked upon these exhibitions of cheerful disposition with some feelings of regret, and often chided their child for what they deemed an uneasy and restless spirit, little thinking that this very cheerfulness was to sustain her under many a trial which would have bowed others to the earth with crushed and broken spirits. God seemed to have adapted her to the very position in which he designed to place her; and her whole after career gave evidence of the wisdom of the divine arrangement. Had she been of different mould, she would have sunk ere half her work was done, ere half her toils were over.
While at Bradford Academy, Miss Hasseltine became a subject of renewing grace. Her own account of her conversion, found in her published memoir and elsewhere, is of the deepest and most thrilling interest to every pious heart. During the first sixteen years of her life, she, according to her own statement, had few convictions. She had been taught that she must be moral and virtuous, and in this way avoid suffering and secure peace of conscience. The awful necessity of being "born again" did not press itself upon her attention. Light and vain amusements engrossed much of her time, and employed many hours which should have been given to God and the practice of holiness. The prayers which she learned in youth were now forgotten, her Bible neglected, and her mind given up to vain and sinful pleasure. She did not realize that she was immortal; that she was a traveller to a long and unknown eternity; but the present hour, the present moment, received all her care and engrossed all her attention. From this state she was aroused by seeing in a little volume which she took up to read on Sabbath morning, just before going to the house of God, this solemn sentence: "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." The words sunk deep into her thoughtless heart. In vain she strove to banish them; but they would return upon her memory, and linger there with tormenting obstinacy. Vain was it that she mingled in scenes of gayety and mirth; vainly did she become "the gayest of the gay." The conviction became stronger, as each week rolled away, that she was a lost sinner. Under the influence of divine truth she continued to become more deeply impressed with the importance of giving her heart to God and being a new creature. She herself says, "I lost all relish for amusements; felt melancholy and dejected; and the solemn truth that I must obtain a new heart, or perish forever, lay with weight upon my mind." At length her feelings-became so overpowering that she could not confine them within her own bosom. God had rolled such a weight of conviction on her mind that she was almost crushed to the earth. How God could forgive her sins, she could not see. How one so guilty, so rebellious, so hardened, could obtain mercy, she did not know. Instead, at this time, of giving her heart to God, she resorted to other means to find relief from sin. She gave up many of the comforts of life, locked herself into her room, and spent many weary hours in self-imposed penance. Against the holy claims of God her heart soon rebelled, and she longed to be taken out of her misery.
At length she attained a more scriptural view of the way of salvation; she saw Christ as a vicarious sacrifice, and felt that, if saved at all, it must be by his blood, and not by her own imperfect righteousness. This view of Jesus was sweet and precious. He had become, not the Savior of the world, but her own Savior; he had died, not merely for the sins of the race, but for her sins; and in this sacred contemplation her soul found sweet relief. The torturing load of fears was gone; one sight of Christ had changed the heart and taken away its grief and sin. Like a liberated slave she rejoiced in perfect freedom, and her happy soul went out in joyful thanks to Him who had wrought the work.
With a heart changed by God, she seemed to pass from rapture to rapture, from bliss to bliss. Beneath the operations of grace her mind and her heart seemed to be enlarged, and to a wonderful extent she drank in the truth of the inspired word. Doctrines which until now had been all shrouded in darkness were readily comprehended. The great plan of salvation by the cross excited her wonder and admiration, and she loved to dwell upon it as the way in which she herself had been saved. All the energy of her soul seemed to be aroused to action. She was in a new world, inspired by new hopes, living a new life, a new creature.
The character of Miss Hasseltine's mind may be inferred from the nature of the books which, at this period of her experience, she read with the greatest eagerness. Instead of resorting to works of a superficial cast for instruction, she selected the profound dissertations of our most learned theologians, and read with much interest, as we are informed by her biographer, "the works of Edwards, Hopkins, Bellamy, and Doddridge." In the investigation of the deep and awful things of God she spent much of her time, and, with a humble desire to know the truth and obey it, sought wisdom from on high.
On the 14th of September, 1806, Miss Hasseltine made a public profession of religion, and connected herself with the Congregational church in Bradford, and for the first time partook with the company of believers of the broken emblems of a Savior's infinite compassion. The observance of this ordinance was full of blessing; at the table, according to her own testimony, she renewed her covenant with her Maker, and more solemnly than ever gave herself to the holy work of God. She felt how needful the assistance of a higher power was to keep her from the snares into which young Christians are so liable to fall.
After leaving the academy, Miss H. engaged as a teacher, and with considerable success employed herself in her vocation, in Haverhill, Salem, and Newbury. Teaching with her was not an ordinary employment; she remembered that her pupils had souls as well as bodies; and while she was striving to expand the youthful mind, she also endeavored to improve the youthful heart, and impress upon the conscience those lessons of truth which time could never efface. It was at the same conference in which the acquaintance between Mr. and Mrs. Newell commenced that Mr. Judson was introduced to the subject of this sketch. He was then in need of a companion who would share his anxieties, his labors, and his sorrows; and he fixed upon Miss Hasseltine as the one whose tastes and feelings most accorded with his own. He was probably attracted by her ardent piety, her brilliant intellect, and her joyous spirit. Having duly considered the subject, he gave her an invitation to go out with him to distant India, and be his companion in the brightest hour of his prosperity and in the darkest moment of his adversity. To decide the question was not an easy matter. It was connected with obligations which she did not hastily assume, and hence it was several months ere she had resolved to go. She was at times fearful that her disposition for what was in itself romantic and strange would bias her judgment and lead her to pursue a course which she should regret when too late to turn back. Hence she brought all her feelings and motives to a severe test, and looked down deeply into the hidden mystery of her heart. Before God she laid herself completely open, and sought, by humble supplication, his divine direction. With no example but that of Harriet Newell, who had just consecrated herself to the work, she decided to make India her home, and suffering and privation her lot. Her letters upon this subject, about this time, abound with passages of thrilling interest, and give evidence that the subject of missions absorbed her whole attention and pervaded her whole nature.
On the 5th of February, 1812, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were married at Bradford; on the 16th Mr. Judson and his associates were ordained in Salem, and on the 19th they sailed for Calcutta. While on the passage, a change occurred in the feelings and views of Mr. Judson which materially changed his whole course. He was aware that at Serampore the Baptists had established a mission station which was in successful operation. He knew that he should come in contact with the peculiar views of that denomination, and be under the necessity of replying to the objections which would be urged against his own sentiments. His own mind was at rest upon the subject; but he wished to be fully armed against all the arguments which he should meet on his arrival. To prepare himself for an encounter with Dr. Carey and his associates, he commenced the diligent study of the word of God and such works as he had in his possession. As he advanced in his investigation, doubts began to thicken around him; his mind, instead of being more fully convinced, began to waver; the arguments of Baptists he did not know how to overcome. Thus it continued for a while, until, a short time after their arrival, Mr. and Mrs. Judson threw aside their former views of baptism, and adopted the sentiments of another denomination. The particulars of this change are given by Mrs. Judson in a letter to her friends. By her we are informed that for a long time her husband's new notions did not correspond with her own. With woman's ingenuity and skill, she sought to dissuade him from any public statement, and even from an investigation of the subject. She well knew to what such a step would lead. The friends who had been so kind to her, who were then supporting her, who were willing still to support her, would be obliged to withdraw their aid. They could not, in conscience, support a missionary who was promulgating what they deemed an error, and consequently would recall her husband to America. Nor was this the worst. She had many personal friends who would be unable to appreciate her motives and understand her true position. They would be surprised, grieved, and perhaps offended. And to be encountered, was the odium of changing one's religious opinions, the charge of fickleness, and the consequent loss of reputation. Besides, the change, if made, would be a small one—simply a question of difference between the application to the body of a few drops of water and an entire immersion. This, to her mind, was a small change, which to her companion involved great consequences. Hence she endeavored to have him give up the subject and quiet his mind upon his previous opinions. Laughing, she told him, "if he became a Baptist, she would not." But the examination had been commenced, and could not be given up; and ere it was completed, she herself was a convert. That she was sincere, we have no room to doubt; by the change she had every thing to lose and nothing to gain. And it was made willingly, at last; when her judgment was convinced, she hesitated not.
The brethren at Serampore knew nothing of the change of views until they received a letter from Mr. Judson, asking baptism at their hands. That it was to them an occasion of gladness, we need not state. Weary with toil, they received this addition to their number as a gift of God, sent at this time to stay up their hands and encourage their hearts. It gave them new strength to meet the tide of opposition and bear up under the heavy load of missionary care and anxiety.
They were baptized on the 6th day of September, in the Baptist chapel at Calcutta, and shortly after Mr. Judson gave his reasons for the change in a sermon which has already passed through several editions, and which is regarded by his friends as a conclusive argument.
Whatever may be the opinion in regard to the correctness of Mr. J.'s new views,—whatever may be the views entertained of the denomination to which he united himself,—no godly man will regret the result to which it has led. His change aroused to action the slumbering energies of the whole Baptist section of our Zion, inspired that sect throughout the land with a new and holy impulse, and originated the convention, which now, under the name of the Missionary Union, is doing so much for a dying world. But for the change of Judson's sentiments upon the question of baptism, a denomination which is now contributing nearly two hundred thousand dollars annually for missionary purposes might have, stood aloof from the holy work for many years. The hand of God in this event is plainly seen—the hand of God, touching the heart of a mighty party, and animating it with a true, godlike missionary enthusiasm.
About the time of this change Mr. J. wrote a letter to Dr. Bolles, in which he threw himself upon the Baptists of America for support and sympathy. Previous to receiving a reply, he sailed with his companion for the Isle of France, at which place Mrs. Newell had been buried previous to their arrival. The desolate man met them on the shore, and with tearful eyes described to them the dying scene and the solitude of his own heart, Mr. Judson preached a while to the people and the soldiers who were stationed at the Isle of France, where he was the instrument of much good.
Providence did not favor his remaining at that place, and he left it for another field of labor, and at length, after many difficulties and hardships, arrived at Rangoon, in Burmah, in July, 1813. At this place several attempts had been made to establish a mission station, but all had failed; and the last missionary, a son of Dr. Carey, had departed a short time previous to the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Judson.
Our missionaries repaired to the house which Mr. C. had formerly occupied, about half a mile from the town. Mrs. Judson, being feeble, was borne upon the shoulders of the natives; and as she passed along, or as the bearers stopped to rest, a crowd of people gathered around her. Some came to her side and looked under her bonnet, and retired with boisterous merriment. But all their little annoyances she suffered with patience, knowing that here she was to find a home, and to these very people declare the word of God.
The manner in which they acquired a knowledge of the language is somewhat novel. They were unable to find any one who was acquainted with the English language, and were obliged to select an agreeable and pleasant Burman, who, to the best of his ability, instructed them in the principles of the language of his country. They would point to houses, and trees, and the various objects around them, and he would give their names in Burman. Thus after a while they were able to make themselves understood, and, being willing learners, they very soon made rapid progress—rapid, considering the discouragements under which they labored—being without both grammar and dictionary, or any other book which could materially assist them. Slow and discouraging indeed, compared with the labor of learning some other languages under different circumstances, was their advancement; but when the circumstances under which they commenced and prosecuted the task of learning the language of the Burman nation are considered, we should imagine that almost any progress was rapid.
On the 11th of September, 1815, their first child was born. They gave him the name of Roger Williams, in honor of one of the greatest advocates of human liberty which the world has ever raised. Eight months they loved him and watched over him, at the expiration of which he sickened and died. He was buried in the garden of the mission house; and the tears of the weeping parents, and a small company of kind-hearted but ignorant Burmans, watered the little grave, in the silence of which the infant had found repose.
For a few years after the arrival of Mr. Judson at Rangoon, the officers of government manifested towards the mission a friendly spirit. The missionaries were invited to visit the viceroy and vicereine at their royal residence, and received their visits in return. The mission was accomplishing the object of its establishment, and from time to time was reinforced. Even the bands of hostile robbers respected the property and persons of the men of God; and they fondly dreamed that it would thus continue.
In April, 1819, Mr. Judson commenced preaching the gospel in a building erected for the purpose, called a zayat. Until this time he had not attempted publicly to discourse after the manner of preaching in America. His audience consisted of twelve or fifteen adults, besides a large number of children. On the 27th of June, the first Burman convert was "buried with Christ by baptism." It was to the devoted Judson and his companions a day of pure and holy joy. The first fruits of their labors began to appear; and when Moung Nau went down into the water, a burst of gratitude went up from the deepest places of their hearts. The day was beautiful, the audience quiet and attentive, as there, beneath the very shadow of Gaudama, in the waters of a lake consecrated to the rites of heathenism, the new-born soul gave outward signs of the inward change. With what feelings of interest the missionary must have looked upon the first convert, we can only imagine. For that day he had waited and toiled for years; and as he pronounced the impressive formula, and in the name of the true God laid the dark son of India beneath the yielding waves, the feelings which rushed upon him must have been almost overpowering.
On the next Sabbath they sat down together at the communion table to celebrate the death of Christ—to commemorate the scene of Calvary. What a picture! The first offering of Burmah to the Lord; the first convert from that great empire, with his pale teacher, kneeling at the same altar, drinking of the same consecrated cup, and believing in "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." The second baptism was ministered on the same spot to two other converts. Amidst profound and holy stillness they descended into the water, where, a short time previous, Moung Nau had witnessed a good profession. The low and solemn tones of prayer were heard, the voice suppressed, in fear of arousing the ferocious enemy. There was no sermon, no address, no song; the record was on high, and angels looked down as spectators of the thrilling event. Around them, in earth's homes and in earth's hearts, there was no sympathy; but in heaven a chord was touched which will vibrate forever.
Shortly after the baptism of the two converts, opposition to the mission began to be manifested. Those who came to the mission house had evil in their hearts. To shield themselves from all harm, and secure the protection of the government, Mr. Judson and Mr. Colman, who had been sent out in company with Mr. Wheelock a short time previous, determined to visit Ava and see the king. They did so, and with some difficulty obtained a hearing. They took with them the Bible, which was in six large volumes, decorated with gold, and well calculated to attract the attention of a heathen monarch. They were introduced into the palace and seated among the nobles. When the king appeared, the whole heathen throng prostrated themselves with their faces to the earth; the missionaries alone remained erect. After some conversation they presented their petition, and a tract on the being of God. The proud monarch read the petition through, and coldly handed it back to his minister. His eye then glanced over the little book; he read a single sentence, and then dashed it to the ground. Without ceremony they were hurried away from the palace, and, after various annoyances, were allowed to return to the friendly shelter of their boat. Sadly did they go back to the field of their labors to relate the story of their failure, and to toil on again until some new interruption.
Under the labors and sufferings incident to such a station, the health of Mrs. Judson began to fail rapidly, and it soon became evident that nothing but a visit to America would restore it. Consequently, in August, 1821, she started from Rangoon, and arrived in New York in September of the following year, spending some time in Calcutta and in England on her way. While in this country she accomplished a vast amount of good by her letters and conversation, and succeeded in inspiring the friends of missions with a deeper solicitude to see the heathen world converted to God.
In 1823, having regained her health, she returned to Burmah in company with Mr. and Mrs. Wade, who were sent out by the board to reinforce the mission. She arrived on the 5th of December, and found her husband in the midst of his toils and surrounded with disappointments and difficulties.
It soon become evident that Mrs. Judson had returned only to pass through scenes of unparalleled sufferings. On her arrival she found her husband about to leave for Ava, and immediately started with him. On the passage they encountered storms and dangers, and were, emphatically, in perils by sea and perils by land. While stopping at the town of Tsen-pyoo-kyon, about one hundred miles from the capital, they learned that the declaration of war had been made, and that the Burmans and English were at open hostilities. They reached Ava, and, without manifesting any fear or any interest in the hostile movements of the people, proceeded to build there a house and commence their operations. Soon the dreadful news came that the British had taken Rangoon. This catastrophe incensed the court at Ava, and Mr. Judson and Dr. Price were arrested as spies in the employ of England.
On the 8th of June, 1824, Mr. Judson was arrested at his own dinner table by a party of officers, led by an executioner whose power was absolute, and who held in his hand a black book, in which the names of his victims were recorded. With scarcely a moment's notice they threw him on the floor, and bound him with strong cords, and hurried him away. Mrs. Judson offered them money to release her husband; but they repulsed her with rudeness, and carried him, heedless of her tears and prayers, into the death prison, where he was loaded with three pairs of chains, and fastened to a long pole, to prevent the moving of his body.
In this trying situation Mrs. Judson returned, a lone, desolate woman, to her dwelling, and destroyed all her papers, journals, and writings of every description, lest they should be examined and found to contain something which would increase the sorrow of her husband. Her servants were taken from her and confined in stocks, and a guard placed about the house, who did their utmost to annoy and insult her. After some delay she procured permission to go abroad, and daily, at the prison gate, prayed that she might see the prisoners. Permission was at length given, and the fond wife sought her husband. She found his condition more deplorable than she had supposed. He was scarcely able to crawl to the door of his rude tenement; and while he stood in conference with the highminded and noble woman who had followed him beyond the seas, he was constantly annoyed by the suspicious and watchful keepers, who listened to their conversation and scrutinized every movement. So jealous were they, that, ere any arrangement could be made by which Mr. Judson's release might be effected, they were commanded to separate. In vain the wife urged her affection for her husband—in vain she appealed to manly feelings and love of home—in vain she exhibited the order of government by which she had been admitted—in vain she clung to the neck of her chained and suffering companion. No motive was strong enough to move the hard hearts of the cruel wretches, who seemed to take exquisite pleasure in the miseries of others. So completely does heathenism deaden the heart to all generous and elevated feelings that those strong men could witness unmoved, ay, with delight, the intense anguish of a feeble, weeping, broken-hearted woman. To every prayer she offered and every plea she made, they gave back words of cruelty and scorn; and when she entreated them, for the love of humanity, to allow her to converse with Mr. J. a few minutes longer, they refused; and as she hesitated, they cried, in angry tones, "Depart, or we will drag you out."
The admirable conduct of this heroic woman, under such trying circumstances, we cannot too much applaud. Ceaselessly she labored for the release of her husband. From one member of the royal family to another she went, with prayers that they would intercede in her behalf. Repulsed everywhere, she fainted not, but toiled night and day for the accomplishment of her purpose.
After about a month's confinement, Mr. J. was violently beset with fever, and the governor gave orders that he should be removed to a more comfortable situation. He was accordingly placed in a little bamboo hut, and his wife permitted to attend him. Here he remained three days, when the English advancing upon the capital, the order was given for the removal of the prisoners. They were hurried away without warning, and Mrs. Judson was left in a state bordering on distraction. She soon found, on inquiry, the direction which the prisoners had taken. With a single servant and two Burman children, she started, with her babe, three months old, in her arms, to find her companions in suffering. She overtook them at Oung-pen-la, and found their condition to be wretched beyond description. Their journey was over a rough, burning road, and, chained two by two, they were whipped along like cattle bound to the place of slaughter. Their backs were blistered by the sun, and their feet scorched by the ground, until every step they took drew forth a groan of anguish, which their drivers answered with yells of delight. One poor creature fell in the pathway, and was dragged along until he expired.
To add to Mrs. Judson's distress, her assistant was taken with the small pox the morning after she arrived at Oung-pen-la; and soon her daughter Maria was reduced to the point of death by the same disease, and she herself was afflicted with the malady in a modified form.
The prisoners had been sent to this place that they might be burned in the old prison, in which, from the time of their arrival, they were confined, being chained together in pairs. But God had otherwise ordained: Judson was to live on. Soon an order for his release and return to Ava came; the government hoping he might be of service to them in their difficulties with the British. He was employed as interpreter and translator, and, as such, treated with some degree of kindness.
Wearied with continued anxiety, Mrs. Judson was prostrated by sickness soon after her return to Ava. Reason fled away; insanity took the place of calm and deliberate action; and for seventeen days she was a raving maniac. Absent from her husband, and dependent on the cold mercy of heathen women, she was indeed an object of pity. But from the borders of the grave she was raised up when all around thought her beyond the reach of hope. The hand of God reached down to the borders of the grave and rescued her from death, and placed her upon earth again, a fruitful laborer in the vineyard of her Master.
Time and space will not permit us to follow these devoted missionaries through all the suffering caused by this distressing war. Mr. Judson acted as mediator between the English and the Burmans, and by his ingenuity and skill, his eloquence and experience, saved a vast amount of bloodshed and crime. He was the instrument in securing the release of all the English and American prisoners who were confined in the dungeons of Ava, and restoring some from hopeless servitude to the friends and companions of youth. He conferred immense advantage on England, while he saved the capital of the vast Burman empire from fire and sword. To him, more than to any other man, is to be traced the amicable adjustment of the existing difficulties, and the settlement of the trouble on terms so favorable to the English residents of Ava.
One of the articles of the treaty then entered into provided that all the foreigners at Ava should have permission to leave unmolested. Mr. and Mrs. Judson availed themselves of this permission, and, on a beautiful evening in March, left with their fellow-workers and fellow-sufferers, and sailed down the Irrawaddy, bidding farewell to the golden city within whose walls they had suffered so much and been sustained by God so long.
Nor was Mr. Judson the only one who won praise and glory during that awful period. The companion of his toils was not idle. Her kindness to the prisoners—her arduous labors to do them good—her appeals to the government—her visits to the nobles—her ceaseless efforts—won for her undissembled gratitude and immortal renown. Nor are the acts of Mrs. Judson recorded alone on the records of Christian missions. The secular press of our own and other lands ascribed to her the honor of materially assisting in the adjustment of the existing difficulties, and, by her appeals and persuasions, doing much to prevent bloodshed and crime.
She went where no person of the other sex would have dared to go, and where, to any woman of less devotion and tireless perseverance, all entrance would have been denied. Though her husband, at this trying time, was the object of her peculiar care, yet she found time to do good to all the other prisoners. Like a ministering angel she moved among them, giving drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and clothing to the destitute.
A statement was drawn up by an English prisoner, and published in Calcutta and in England, in which the thanks of the prisoners are given to this estimable woman. The writer dwells upon the theme with the interest of one who has experienced acts of kindness and is himself under obligation. He ascribes to her, a feeble woman, the honor of having, under God, prepared the Burman empire to seek terms of reconciliation and peace. From a full heart he utters the tribute of his gratitude to the frail child of humanity who forgot her own weariness, forgot her own sufferings, forgot her own privations, sickness, and want, and sought out the wants of the victims of imperial despotism.
Her daily walk was from the prison to the palace. To one place she went to whisper words of kindness, to wipe away the tears of sorrow, to wet the parched lips of the dying with cool water, to bathe the limbs bruised and chafed by heavy irons, and to apply healing balm to both body and spirit; the other place she visited to plead and argue with a proud court, and a haughty, tyrannical, and overbearing monarch. She risked her own life at every trial, but ceased not her perilous work until God crowned her labors with success—until the stubborn court of Ava relented—until she saw the fetters fall, and the prisoners again at liberty. The English nation owes her a debt of gratitude; for she has done more for it than many of its most illustrious warriors. Humanity is a debtor to her memory; for she was kind to man, and, in his want and suffering, surpassed humanity to do him good. Religion is her debtor; for she was one of its most devoted advocates, and presented in her life a sublime illustration of the power of faith. From Ava Mr. and Mrs. Judson removed to Amherst, a town which was founded at the close of the war in that territory, and which, by the treaty, was ceded to the English. It was at Amherst that Mrs. Judson was visited with the fatal fever which terminated her existence on the 24th of October, 1826.
At the time of her death Mr. Judson was absent from home, in company with Mr. Crawford, the British commissioner. Her sickness was short and painful. During most of the time her reason was dethroned; but in her moments of calmness she gave evidence that all was peace. Without the hand of her kind companion to lift her aching head, or bathe her throbbing temples, she died.
Mr. Judson returned, not to hear her voice, not to gaze upon her form, but to weep over her grave, and with his motherless child to sit in sorrow on the spot where she breathed her last. Such was the violence of her fever that she said but little, and left her husband without many of those tokens of kindness which surviving friends esteem of so much value.
They buried her at Amherst, under the shadow of a lofty hopia tree; and in that lonely grave her form now reposes, heedless of what is passing on the earth. Her child, which died shortly after she was buried, is laid by her side; and on the sacred spot the traveller often pauses to think of one of the most devoted and self-sacrificing women whose names have been mentioned with gratitude by the virtuous and the good. A marble slab, presented by the ladies of America, marks the grave, and points it out to every stranger. On that slab is an inscription, a copy of which is:
|ERECTED TO THE MEMORY
ANN H. JUDSON,
Baptist General Convention in the United States
She was born at Bradford,
In the State of Massachusetts, North America,
December 22, 1789.
She arrived with her husband at Rangoon
In July, 1813,
And there commenced those
Which she sustained with such
Christian fortitude, decision, and perseverance,
Amid scenes of
Civil commotion and personal affliction,
As won for her
Universal respect and affection.
She died at
Amherst, October 24, 1826.
Here we pause. Such labors, such self-sacrifice, such sufferings need no tongue to speak their merits. The worth of Mrs. Judson is engraved upon the hearts of all who claim the Christian character. For her works' sake she is beloved; and as long as the church endures, she will be remembered by all its members. Like Mrs. Newell, her fame belongs not to one sect or party, but to all who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like her she went out when but few were ready to bid her "God speed" or bestow their money for her support.
On the record of American missions we find the name of no female who endured so much, who sacrificed so much, who accomplished so much. She fell not when the first notes of the great enterprise were ringing on her ears; but she made her grave amid the strife and confusion of the battle. She lived long enough to see the fruits of missions—to gaze upon the converts as they descended, one by one, into the baptismal wave—to see a door opened wide enough to admit laborers from every department of the Christian church. She mourned not, as did her sister martyr [Harriet Newell], that she was cut down ere she had labored for God and seen the happy result. They were born within sight of each other, in pleasant valleys, on the borders of the silvery stream. They met the companions of their missionary toils at the same time, and within a few days of each other decided to become the first heroines of the missionary church. Together they sailed—as precious a cargo as ever was tossed on the billowy sea. Together they landed on heathen soil, with high hopes of doing good. But, though united in their lives, they were divided in their deaths. Mrs. Judson lived on more than a half score of useful years beyond her companion; and if life is to be measured, not by the number of days and years, but by what is accomplished in it, or what is suffered during its lapse, then she lived ages—ay, ages of suffering, ages of labor, ages of virtue and piety—after Mrs. Newell had descended to her grave.
And where are they now? Go ask the angel throng, as they tune their harps to melodious songs on high, and they will point to two sister spirits, who day and night in company present themselves before God; and as one rank after another comes up from heathen lands to swell the chorus of the redeemed and ascribe their conversion to the efforts of the early missionary laborers who, under God, were made the humble instruments in the great work, meekly will be heard from the spirit lips of Harriet Newell and Ann H. Judson the reply, "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto the Lamb who was slain, but who liveth forever."
Copied for WholesomeWords.org from Daughters of the Cross: or, Woman's Mission by Daniel C. Eddy. New York: Dayton and Wentworth, 1855.
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