On this day in 1812, Adoniram Judson was married to Miss Ann Hasseltine, who was destined to become the heroic “Ann of Ava.”
In June of 1810, Judson and his three friends came to Bradford to attend the Massachusetts General Association of Congregational Churches. They were hoping to present themselves to the board as foreign missionaries and ask for the boards support. During the first few days of the convention, the young men were invited, with other delegates, to the home of Mr. Hasseltine, a lead deacon at the church, for dinner. During the night, Judson continually noticed a beautifully stunning young woman serving food. It was truly love at first sight. Judson’s son later recorded his parents first meeting:
“During the sessions the ministers gathered for a dinner beneath Mr. Hasseltine’s hospitable roof. His youngest daughter, Ann, was waiting on the table. Her attention was attracted to the young student whose bold missionary projects were making such a stir. But what was her surprise to observe, as she moved about the table, that he seemed completely absorbed in his plate! Little did she dream that she had already woven her spell about his young heart, and that he was, at that very time, composing a graceful stanza in her praise!”
Soon opportunity came for Ann and Adoniram to spend time together and they began to write often back and forth. In compliance with a hint from Miss Hasseltine, Judson wrote to her father asking his consent to the proposed union. His letter was direct, because it had to be. No one in America had ever gone out as a foreign missionary before. The future was dark, uncertain, and dangerous for any man. But for him to take a wife down such a road! So Judson, fully aware of this, writes to Ann’s father:
“I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you — for the sake of perishing immortal souls — for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory with a crown of righteousness, brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
Ann’s father, in his wisdom, turned to his daughter and told her, “This is your decision.” Her choice would create one of the most powerful missionary couples God has ever used.
Happy 200th Anniversary, Adoniram and Ann!
Memoir of Adoniram Judson: Being a Sketch of his Life and Missionary Labors
It was during his trip here that he was able to spend a lot of time with the people and he was able to develop a clear understanding of their culture and mindset. In his letter, he talks about the obsticle that hinders many of the Chinese to come to Christ:
The gospel is, emphatically, the only hope for this poor people. Yet, like the Jews, they are far, very far, from being to receive it. In the first place, they are too proud to give any earnest attention to anything that is not taught in their own sacred classics. These, in their estimation, contain all the truths and doctrines that man needs or can know. It is confidently believed by all that Confucius knew all that can be known from any source by man and to hint anything to the contrary to a literary man is a very grave offence. Preach repentance, Confucius taught the same and they take it for granted that he taught it much better than we red haired barbarians can. Preach morality, goodness, love, benevolence, holiness, the relative duties of life -the classics teach the same in language of surprising elegance and perfection…..
They are literally without hope and without God in the world! How sad their condition. How should the hearts of all those whose minds have been illumined by the light of life yearn over them! The church of Christ has intrusted to it that which alone can impart to them hope, can transform their character, and fit them for endless life! The atonement of Christ lays a foundation upon which, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, the superstructure of a holy and godlike character may be reared. The gospel, Christ and Him crucified, is that which alone is adapted to meet the exigencies of this people’s case!
This blog post was taken from austingardner.net. P. Gardner is the President of the OGTC.