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“ January 20. In consequence of the robbery committed a few days ago, the viceroy ordered seven thieves to be executed. It was dark when they arrived at the place of execution. They were tied up by the hands and feet, and then cut open and left with their bowels hanging out. They are to remain a spectacle to others for three days, and then to be buried. Their immortal souls en. tered the eternal world, without having ever heard of Him who was put to death as a malefactor to save the guilty.
“A native of respectability came into our house soon after the execution, and Mr. Judson asked him where the souls of the robbers were gone? He said he did noi know; and asked, if the souls of wicked men did not enter into other bodies, and live in the world again? Mr. J. told him no, but they were fixed immoveably in another state of existence.
January 22. To-day we have witnessed the Burman ceremonies of burying a person of rank and respectability. He was nephew to the present viceroy, and son of a neighbouring governor. He was killed in Rangoon accidentally by the discharge of his gun. The procession was formed by a number of Bur. mans armed with spears and bamboos to keep the croud in order. Some of the inferior members of government next, then all the articles of use and wearing apparel of the deceasedi, such as his beetle box, drinking cup, spitting cup, look. ing glass, &c. The father and train preceded; the wife, mother, and sisters fol. lowed the corpse in palankcens. The viceroy, wife, and family, on large clephants, concluded the procession. The croud followed promiscuously ; it was very great. All the petty governors and principal inhabitants of Rangoon were present; yet there was as perfect order and regularity as there could have been in a christian country. The corpse was carried some way out of town to a large pagoda, and burnt, when the bones were collected to be buried. At the place of burning, great quantities of fruit, cloth, and money, were distributed among the poor, by the parents of the youth who died.
* January 27. To-day we are informed of the assassination of the governor of the country the other side of the river. On the opposite side of the river there is a province of the Burman empire, governed by one who is not under the control of the viceroy of Rangoon. He was returning from the great fue neral above-mentioned, had nearly reached his house, when a man on a sudden started up, and with one stroke severed his head from bis body. In the bustle and confusion of his attendants the murderer escaped. The assassin, however, was found, and the plot discovered. It had its origin with the lead steward of the governor, who intended, after the execution of his master, to seize on his property, go up to the king, and buy the office which his master had lately sus. tained. He was put to the torture, and the above confession extorted from him. He was afterwards put to death in a most cruel manner, having most of his bones broken, and left to languish out his miserable existence in a prison in chains. He lived five, or six days, in this terrible condition. All who were concerned with him were punished in various ways. All the immense property of this governor goes to the king, as he left no children, though several wives remain,
"Sabbath-day, March 20. To-day, as usual, we came to our jouse out of town, that we might enjoy the Sabbath in a still, quiet way. We had but just arrived, when one of the servants informed us that there was a fire near the town. We hastened to the place whence the fire proceeded, and beheld several houses all in flames, in a range which led directly to the town ; and as we saw no exertions to extinguish it, we concluded the whole town would be destroyed. We set off immediately for our house in town, that we might remove our furniture and things that were there; but when we came to the town-gate it was shut. The poor people in their fright had shut the gate, ignorantly imagining they could shut the fire out, though the walls and gates were made entirely 3f wood. After waiting, however, for some time, the gate was opened, ar.d in a short time we removed in safety all our things into the mission house. The fire continued to rage all day, and swept away almost all the town, walls, gates, &c. We felt grateful to God that not a hair of our heads was injured; and that while thousands of families were deprived of a shelter from the burning sun, we had a comfortable house, and the necessaries of life. Thouglr we are here exposed to thieves and robbers, yet HE who has preserved us in every emergency, is still oar.
trust and confidence, and is still able to protect us. We feel that our privileges and enjoyments are so far superior to all around us, that instead of complaining of our privations in this heathen land, we ought to be very thankful for the many and great mercies we enjoy.
“ April 16. Mr. Carey has lately returned from Calcutta, and much refreshi. ed our minds with letters and intelligence from our friends there. We are so much debarred from all social intercourse with the rest of the christian world, that the least intelligence we receive from our friends is a great luxury. We feel more and more convinced, that the gospel must be introduced into this country through many trials and difficulties, through much self-denial and earnest prayer. The strong prejudices of the Burmans; their foolish conceit of superiority over other nations; the wickedness of their lives, together with the plausibility of their own religious tenets, make a formidable appearance in the way of their receiving the strict requirements of the gospel of Jesus. But all things are possible with God, and he is our only hope and confidence. He can make mountains become vallies, and dried places streams of water.
" August 20. To-day Mr. Carey, wife, and family, left us for Ava, where they expect to live. We are now alone in this great house, and almost alone as it respects the whole world. We are daily expecting dear brother and sister when we hope our lonely hours will be more than repaid with their society. it were not that Burmah presents such an unbounded field for missionary exertions, we would not be contented to stay in this miserable land. But we are convinced that we are in the very situation in which our heavenly Father would have us to be: and if we were to leave it tor the sake of enjoying a few more temporal comforts, we should have no reason to expect his blessing on our ex ertions. We frequently receive letters from our christian friends in this part of the world, begging us to leave a field so entirely rough and uncultivated, the soil of which is so unpromising, and enter one which presents a more plentiful harvest. God grant that we may live and die among the Burmans, though we should never do any thing more than smooth the way for others.
“ September 3. Heard the dreadful intelligence of the loss of Mr. Carey's vessel, wife and children, and all his property! He barely escaped with his lite. How soon are all his hopes blasted! He set out to go to Ava in a brig which belonged to the Burman government, had got his furniture, medicine, wearing apparel, &c. on board. The brig had been in the river about ten days, when she upset, and immediately went down. Mrs. Carey, two childrer., all the women servants, and some of the men servants who could not swim, were lost. Mr. Carey endeavoured to save bis little boy (3 years old); but finding himself going down, was obliged to give up the child. Thus far from my journal.
" As it respects ourselves, we are busily employed all day long, and Ican assure you that we find much pleasure in our employment. Could you look into a large open joom, which we call a verandah, you would see Mr. Judson bent over his table covered with Burman books, with his teacher at his side ; a ve. nerable looking man in his sixtieth year, with a cloth wrapped round his mid. dle, and a handkerchief round his head. They talk and chatter all day long without hardly any cessation.
“My mornings are busily employed in giving directions to the servants, pro. viding food for the family, &c. At ten my teacher comes, when, were you present, you might see me in an inner room, at one side of my study table, and my teacher the other, reading Burman, writing, talking, &c. 'I have many more in. terruptions than Mi. Judson, as I have the entire management of the family. This I took on myself for the sake of Mr. Judson's attending more closely to the study of the language: yet I have found by a year's experience, that it was the most direct way I could have taken to acquire the language, as I am fre. quently obliged to talk Burman all day. I can talk and understand others better than Mr. Judson, though he know's really much more about the nature and construction of the language than I do.
“ A new viceroy has lately arrived, who is much beloved and respected by the people, le visited us soon after he arrived, and told us we must come to the government house very often. We have been once or twice since, and were treated with much inore familiarity and respect than Buismans are. After he
had moved into his new house, he gave an invitation to all the English and Frenchmen to dinner. We did not dare refuse, and went. The viceroy and wife did every thing in their power to amuse the company. Among other things were music and dancing. The wife of the viceroy asked me if I knew how to dance in the English way? I told her that it was not proper for the wives of priests to dance. She inmediately assented, and thought that a sufficient reason why I should not dance. She then asked what kind of a teacher Mr. Judson was. I told her, speaking in their idiom, that he was a sacred teacher ; that is, a teacher of the will of the true God, and that I was his wife.
" The Burmans have a very great regard for their priests. They consider them a bigher order of beings than other men; this was the cause of the mark. ed attention we received from her laclyship. I wish I could write you something about the conversion of the Burmans, or their eagerness to hear the word of lite. Mr. Carey las never attempted to preach among the natives, so that we are hardly able to judge how the gospel would be received when publicly preached. Yet the firm belief of the Burmans of the divine origin of their religion, to human appearance renders it improbable that they would willingly receive the gospel. We often converse with our teachers and servants on the subject of our coming into this country, and tell them if they die in their present state they will surely be lost. But they say, our religion is good for us, theirs for themn. But we are far from being discouraged. We are sensible that the hearts of the heathen, as well as christians, are in the hands of God, and in his own time he will turn them unto him. Much wisdom and prudence are necessary in our present situation. A little departure from prudence might at once destroy the mission. We still feel happy and thankful that God has made it our duty to live among the beathen. Though we have met, and continue to meet with many trials and discouragements, yet we have never for a moment been sorry that we undertook this mission.
" This climate is one of the most healthy in the world. There are only two months in the year when it is severely hot. We doubt not but you pray much for us in this miserable land, deprived of all christian society. We need much, very much grace, that we may be faithful, and bear a faithful testimony to the religion of Jesus.
"Adieu, my sisters. May God be with you, and grant you much of his presence, is the sincere and ardent prayer of your still affectionate sister,
Extract of a letter from Mrs. Judson to Mr. Newell. [Mr. and Mrs. Newell went out to India in the same vessel with Mr. and Mrs. Judson. Mrs. N. died at the Isle of France; after which Mr. N. went to Ceylon, and has since gone to Bombay.]
“ Rangoon, April 23, 1814. “ MY DEAR BROTHER NEWELL,
" As Mr. Judson will not have time to write you by this opportunity, I will endeavour to give you some idea of our situation here, and of our plans and prospects. We have found the country as we expected, in a most deplorable state, full of darkness, idolatry, and cruelty,-full of commotion and uncertainty. We daily feel that the existence and perpetuity of this mission, still in an infant state, depend in a peculiar manner on the interposing hand of Providence ; and from this impression alone we are encouraged still to remain. As it respects our temporal privations, use has made them familiar, and easy to be borne : they are of short duration ; and when brought in competition with the worth of immortal souls, sink into nothing. We have no society, no dear christian friends, and with the exception of two or three sea-captains, who now and then call on us, we hever see a European face. But then we are still happy in each
other; still find that our own home is our best, our dearest friend. When we feel a disposition to sigh for the enjoyments of our native country, we turn our eyes on the miserable objects around. We behold some of them labouring hard for a scanty subsistence, oppressed by an avaricious government, which is ever ready to seize what industry had hardly earned ; we behold others sick and diseased, daily begging the few grains of rice, which, when obtained, are scarcely sufficient to protract their wretched existence; and with no other habitation to screen them from the burning sun, or chilly rains, than what a small piece of cloth raised on four bamboos under a tree can afford. While we behold these scenes, we feel that we have all the comforts, and, in comparison, even the luxuries of life. We feel that our temporal cup of blessings is full, and runneth over. But is our temporal lot so much superior to theirs ? O! how infinitely superi. or our spiritual blessings! While they vainly imagine to purchase promotion in another state of existence, by strictly worshiping their idols and building pagodas, our hopes of future happiness are fixed on the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. When we have a realizing sense of these things, my dear brother, we forget our native country and former enjoyments, feel contented and happy with our lot, with but one wish remaining,—that of being instrumental of leading these Burmans to partake of the same source of happiness with ourselves.
“ Respecting our plans, we have at present but one, that of applying ourselves closely to the acquirement of the language, and to have as little to do with government as possible. Brother Carey has never yet preached in Burman; but has made considerable progress towards the completion of a grammar, and dictionary, which are a great help to us. At present, however, his time is entirely taken up with government affairs. It is now almost a year since he was ordered up to Ava, which time has been wholly occupied in the king's busiress. He has just returned from Bengal, and is now making preparations for Ava, where he expects to found a new mission station. His family go with him, consequently we shall be alone until the arrival of brother Rice, who, we hope, will arrive in six or seven months.
“ Our progress in the language is slow, as it is peculiarly hard of acquisition. We can, however, read, write, and converse with tolerable ease; and frequently spend whole evenings very pleasantly in conversing with our Burman friends. We have been very fortunate in procuring good teachers. Mr. Judson's teacher is a very learned man, was formerly a priest, and resided at court. He has a thorough knowledge of the grammatical construction of the language ; likewise of the Palee, the learned language of the Burmans.
“ We are very anxious to hear from our dear brethren Nott and Hall. We firmly believe they will yet be permitted to remain in India, notwithstanding their repeated difficulties. They have, indeed, had a trying time; but perhaps it is to prepare them for greater usefulness. We have not yet received our letters from America, or had the least intelligence what were the contents of yours. Ours were sent to the Isle of France, about the time we arrived at Madras, and the vessel Thich carried them Iras not been heard from since. You
may easily judge of our feelings at this disappaintment. Do write us, as soon as possible, the contents of yours, whom they were from, what news, &c.; and, if convenient, copy a few of the most interesting, and send them to us. You can hardly form an idea with what eagerness we receive every scrap of intelligence from any part of the christian world. Write us long and frequent letters. Any thing respecting yourself or the other brethren, will be interesting to us. I do not ask you to excuse this long letter, for I doubt not your interest in our concerns. Pray for us, and be assured you are constant. ly remembered by “ Your still affectionate sister,
6 NANCY JUDSON.”
[Some time in the course of the year it was deemed expedient for Mrs. Jud. son to go to Madras for the sake of medical assistance. She has since returned to Rangoon. During her absence Mr. Judson thus wrote, under date of March 17, 1815.]
“ There is not an individual in the country that I can pray with, and mot a single soul, with whom I can have the least religious communion. I keep my. self as busy as possible all day long from sunrise till late in the evening in reading Burman, and conversing with the natives. I have been here a year and a half; and so extremely difficult is the language, perhaps the most difficult to a foreigner of any on the face of the earth, next to the Chinese, that I find my. self very inadequate to communicate divine truth intelligibly. I have in some instances been so happy as to secure the attention, and in some degree to inte. rest the feelings of those who heard me; but I am not acquainted with a single instance in which any permanent impression has been produced. No Burman has, I believe, ever felt the grace of God; and what can a solitary, feeble indi. vidual or two expect to be the means of effecting in such a land as this, amid the triumphs of Satan, the darkness of death! The Lord is all-powerful, wise and good, and this consideration alone always affords me unfailing consolation and support. Adieu, &c.
“ A. JUDSON.”
From brother Judson has recently come to hand the following communication to
the Board, dated
“Rangoon, Sept. 5, 1815. “ Received a copy of the proceedings of the Baptist Convention in the United States, and letters from the Secretary of their Board of Foreign Missions, which inform me that I am considered their missionary.
“ These accounts from my dear native land, were so interesting, as to banish from my mind all thoughts of study. This general movement among the Baptist churches in America is particularly encouraging, as it affords an additional indication of God's merciful designs in favour of the poor heathen. It unites with all the Bible Societies in Europe and America, during the last twenty years, in furnishing abundant reason to hope that the dreadful darkness which has so long enveloped the earth, is about to flee away before the rising sun.-Do not the successes which have crowned some missionary exertions seein like the dawn of morning in the East? O, that this region of Egyptian darkness may ere long participate in the vivifying beams of light!
“None but one who has had the experience, can tell what feelings comfort the heart of a solitary missionary, when, though all the scene around him presents no friend, he remembers and has proofs that there are spots on this wide earth where Christian brethren feel that his cause is their own, and pray to the same God and Saviour, for his welfare and success. Thanks be to God, not only for "rivers of endless joys above,” but “ for rills of comfort here below."
“Sept. 6 and 7. Employed in writing letters in reply to the communications of yesterday, in which having been informed of the dissolution of my connexion with the American Board of Commissioners, 1 gratefully accept of this new ap.