Adoniram Judson, Bound for Burma
by Janet and Geoff Benge
– Began reading at three years old.
– Very intelligent young man, top of this class.
– Arrived to college at age 16. Finished college in three years instead of four – upon taking his entrance test, he was able to skip his freshman year because he was so intelligent.
– He had to drop out of school for a while to work and get money, but went back and made up the classes and still finished as valedictorian.
– Became a deist because of a rich friend. It saddened his parents but he thought he was so intelligent that he could explain everything.
– One day he went to his uncles house and met a young preacher and he said that the preacher did not have all the intellectual answers, but had something that he, Judson, did not have.
– He got his horse and started traveling west and when he came to a hotel, he stayed in a room with a young man that was dying on the other side of a hung-sheet that divided the room. He could not sleep that night because of the groans and began to wonder what was going to happen to that young man. He thought about death, eternity, ghosts, and dreamed about skeletons dancing on the grave. He thought how his dearest friend would mock him for just having those thoughts. He woke up the next morning and found out that the young man next to his room died. Come to find out it was that same deist friend that had let him astray. It shook him to his core.
– He got on track for the Lord and went to another college. God began to get a hold of his heart.
– He checked out a small booklet from the library that talked about the need around the world and he believed God was calling him to missions.
– The director of that seminary offered to him the position of assistant pastor at the largest church in all of New England. He rejected it because he said God wanted him to be a missionary.
– He along with four other men banded together to take the Gospel to those around the world. They did not have funds so him and another friend traveled to London to ask the London missionary Society if they would support the five Americans to go as missionaries.
– He met Ann, later to become his wife, at a church and began corresponding with her. She wanted Judson to talk to her dad, who was a deacon, and soon Judson wrote a letter to her parents telling them if she marries him, they may never see her again. They agreed and soon Judson married Ann.
– On their way to India, Judson was studying and became convinced that baptism was by immersion and not sprinkling. So he was baptized and became a Baptist.
– Multiple times the East India Company tried to not let Judson stay as a missionary, but he was persistent and got on the boat heading to Burma.
– Their first baby was born dead.
– At different times they found favor in the eyes of the government officials and we’re protected.
– When Britain fought against Burma, he was arrested and taken to jail as a spy. He was beaten, mistreated and for over a year every night they chained him up and his feet were lifted off the ground, only leaving his head and shoulders on the ground at night.
– His wife buried his translation of the Bible that he had been working on for years b/c she knew it would decay so she put it into a lumpy pillow and took it to Adoniram in jail.
– He stayed in jail for a long time until the war ended. The government needed to translate the British agreement to end the war and the only people that could translate was Judson and his friends that were in jail.
– After they were taken out of jail, Judson was nervous about his Bible translation, believing that he had lost it. Come to find out, the guards found his pillow and threw it out because it was so nasty. Judson’s first convert just happened to be passing by that prison and saw the old pillow thrown in the street. Knowing the pillow belonged to, he took it to him and the translation work was saved. God’s amazing sovereignty!
– His wife died and sometime after he married a missionary wife whose husband died a few years earlier. They had a couple of children together and then were to travel back to the United States for a time. She died, leaving Judson a widower once again.
– Judson became ill and was told to take a trip at sea to get better. As he was on the ship, he had nothing to read so a man on the ship gave him a book to read. Judson began to read it and said he very much liked the style of the author. Judson said he would like to meet her and the owner of the book laughed, saying that could be arranged since the author just happened to be staying at his house. Judson met her and after corresponding for a time, they married. She was 30 years old and Judson was 54 or 57 years old. They married and went back to Burma together.