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relieve you ; if I had not been made selfish by suffering, I should have insisted upon it long ago."
He spoke so like himself, with the earnestness of health, and in a tone to which my ear had of late been a stranger, that for a moment I felt bewildered with sudden hope. He received my reply to what he had said, with a half pitying, half gratified smile, but in the meantime his expression had changed. the marks of excessive debility were again apparent, and as I looked at him I could not forbear adding, “ It is only a little while you know." "Only a little while," he repeated mournfully ; "this separation is a bitter thing, but it does not depress me now as it did : I am too weak." “ You have no reason to be depressed," I said, “ with such glorious prospects before you.
You have often told me, it is the one left alone who suffers --not the one who goes to be with Christ.”
He gave me a rapid, questioning glance ; then resume for several moments an attitude of deep thought ; finally he slowly unclosed his eyes, and, fixing them on me, said in a calın earnest tone, “I do not believe I am going to die. I think, I know why this illness was sent upon me; I needed it. I feel that it has done me good : and it is my impression that I shall now recover, and be a better, and a more useful man.” “Then it is your wish to recover ?” I inquired.
“ If it should be the will of God, yes. I should like to complete the Dictionary, on which I have bestowed so much labour, now that it is so nearly done : for, though it has not been a work that pleased my taste, or quite satisfied my feelings, I have never under-rated its importance. Then after that, came all the plans that we had formed. Oh I feel, as though but just beginning to be prepared for usefulness.”
“It is the opinion of inost of the Mission,” I remarked, “that you will not recover." " I know it is ” he replied ;” and I suppose they think me an old man, and imagine it is nothing for one like me to leave a world so full of trials ; but, I am not old, at least in that sense. You know I am not, Oh, no man ever left this world with more inviting prospects, with brighter hopes, or warmer feelings
-Warmer feelings,” he repeated, and burst into tears . His face was perfectly placid, even while the tears broke through his closed lids, and dropped one after another down to the pillow. There was no trace of agitation, or pain, in his manner of weeping ; but it was evidently the result of acute sensibilities, combined with physical weakness. To some suggestion, which I ventured to make, he replied, It is not that; I know all that, and feel it in my inmost heart ; lying here on my bed, when I could not talk, I have had such views of the loving condescension of Christ, and the glories of heaven, as I believe are seldoin granted to mortal man. It is not because I shrink from death, that I wish to live ; neither is it because the ties that bind me here, though some of them are very sweet, bear any comparison with the drawings I at times feel towards heaven; hut a few years would not be missed from my eternity of bliss, and I can well afford to spare them, both for your sake, and for the sake of the poor Burmans. I am not tired of my work, nor am I tired of the world. Everything is bright and pleasant about me. Yet when Christ calls me home, I shall go with the gladness of a boy hounding away from his school. Perhaps I feel something like the young bride, when she contemplates resigning the pleasant associations of her childhood for a yet dearer home ; thoughi only a very little like her, for there is no doubt resting on my future.” " Then death would not take you by surprise," I remarked, even if it should come before you could get on board-ship?” “No," he said, “ death will never take me by surprise ; do not be afraid of that. I feel too strong in Christ. He has not led me so tenderly thus far, to forsake me at the very gate of heaven. No, no ! I am willing to live a few years longer, if it should be so ordered ; and, if otherwise, I am willing, and glad to die now. I leave myself entirely in the hands of God, to be disposed of according to His holy will."
The next day some one mentioned in his presence, that the Native Christians were greatly opposed to the voyage, and that many other persons had a similar feeling with regard to it. I thought he seemed troubled : and, after the visitors had withdrawn, I enquired if he still felt as when he conversed with me the
night previous." Oh yes ; that was no evanescent feeling ; it has been with me to a greater or less degree for years, and will be with me I trust to the end. I am ready to go to-day--if it should be the will of God, this
but I am not anxious to die - at least when I am not beside myself with pain.” " Then why are you so anxious to go on board ?" I inquired, “ I
" I should think it would be a matter of indifference to you.” “ No,” he answered quietly, “my judgment tells me it would be wrong not to go ; the doctor says criminal. shall certainly die here ; if I go away, I may recover.
There is no question with regard to duty in such a case ; and I do not like to see any hesitation, even though it should spring from affection.”
He several times spoke of a burial at sea, and always as though the prospect were agrecable. It brought, he said, a sense of freedom and expansion, far pleasanter than the confined, dark, narrow grave, to which he had committed so many, that he had loved ; and he added that although his burial place was a matter of no importance, yet he believed it was not in human nature to be altogether without a choice.
I have already given you an account of the embarkation, of my visits to him while the vessel remained in the river, and of our last sad, silent parting ; and Mr. Ranny has finished the picture.
You will find in this closing part, some dark shadows, that will give you pain : but you must remember that his present felicity is enhanced by those very sufferings; and we should regret nothing that seems to brighten his crown in glory. I ought also to add, that I have gained pleasanter impressions, in conversation with Mr. Ranny, than from his written account ; but it would be difficult to convey them to you ; and, as he, whom they concern, was accustomed to say of similar things, “ You will learn it all in heaven.' During the last hour of your sainted brother's life, Mr. Ranny bent over
and held his hand, while poor Pinapah stood at a little distance, weeping bitterly. The table had been spread in the cuddy as usual, and the officers did not know what was passing in the cabin, till summoned to dinner. Then they gathered about the door, and watched the closing scene with solemn reverence. Now, thanks to a merciful God, his pains had left him: not a momentary spasm disturbed his placid face, nor did the contraction of a muscle denote the least degree of suffering. The agony of deatb was past ; and his wearied spirit was turning to its rest, in the bosom of the Saviour. From time to time he pressed the hand in which his own was resting—his clasp losing in force at each successive pressure ; while his breath (though there was no struggle, no gasping, as if it came and went with difficulty) gradually grew fainter and softer, until it died upon the air, and he was gone. Mr. Ranny closed the eyes, and composed the passive limbs ; the ship's officers stole softly from the door ; and the neglected meal was left upon the board untasted They lowered him to his ocean grave without a prayer ; for his freed spirit soared above the reach of earthly intercession, and, to the foreigners who stood around, it would have been a senseless form. And there they left him in his unquiet sepulchre ; but it matters little : for while we know that the unconscious clay is drifting on the shifting currents of the restless main, nothing can disturb the hallowed rest of the immortal spirit ; neither could he have a more fitting monument than the blue waves, which visit every coast : for his warm sympathies went forth to the ends of the earth, and included the whole family of man. It is all as God would have it ; and our duty is but to bend meekly to His will, and wait in faith and patience, till we also shall be summoned home.
With prayers that, when that solemn hour shall come, we may be as well prepared, as was the Saint we mourn, and with feelings of deep sympathy for your share in this heavy affliction,
Belicve me, my dear Sister,
What striking traits of Judson's character come out in this beautiful account of his end ! “Let me die here;”-at his post, amid his small Church and flock, where he so long laboured, usefully, earnestly, faithfully ;-beneath the banner he had planted on the enemy's breach. I do not believe I am going to die !" How was it possible for bim-in whom the mere physical frame was a wholly subordinate constituent, and who was essentially spirit and intellect-how was it possible for such a man to feel that he could die ? He might feel that his unfinished labour could be brought to an untimely close; that a sphere of usefulness, widening upon his spiritual vision, might be veiled by the pall; that all tender ties might be rudely snapped by the touch of death; that he was ready “though no man ever left this world with more inviting prospects, with brighter hopes, or warmer feelings," joyously to obey such a summons, and enter into that future, upon which, for him, no doubts rested. But a spirit in such a frame, whatever the state of the body, feels no weak
It “ hath everlasting life," and, unconscious of any debility, or lack of energy, analogous to that taking place in the failure of the vital forces of the body, its natural expression must ever be, “I do not believe that I am going to die.” The two are not yet separate; and the one, still the organ (though the fainting organ) of the other, fails clearly to apprehend that the eternal is already asserting its superiority to the transitory; that the spirit, youthful in hope, in love, and in life, is pluming itself for its upward flight to everlasting joy and light, whilst the body, shattered, worn, and unstrung, being on the edge of dissolution, can no longer respond to its superior. Their connexion is almost at an end; and, though the spirit, in parting, unfurl, even for the body, hope's standard on the brink of the yawning grave, yet the union is fading, and the soul is about to wing its way to Heavenly mansions.
Affection, when bereaved, yearns for a spot to which the heart can turn, either in reality or in contemplation, and say, “ There lies one I loved, not lost, but gone before ;” and therefore Judson's consolation, derived from Sarah Judson's sepulture on the rock of St. Helena, was as natural, as that his own elastic spirit should have preferred in contemplation for his body's rest the wide ocean to the narrow grave :-and, whether the solemn dirge of ocean's billows continue long to resound upon earth's shores, or that anthem's swell be doomed shortly to cease, whenever that hour, which no man knoweth, cometh, and the sea gives up her dead, there will rise from her abyss the body of no truer servant of Christ than that of Adoniram Judson.
We have made no allusion to the very important services, which he rendered to the British Indian Government, our attention being engaged by other and higher considerations; yet we should fuil to convey even a faint sketch of the character and qualities of the man, were we to omit all notice of the aid he afforded, first to Sir A. Campbell, afterwards to Mr. Crawford, and subsequently to every Commissioner on the Tenasserim coast, who had occasion to solicit either information or advice. To the last he clung to the hope, that, through the instrumentality of our influence and power, Burmah would, sooner later, be opened as a field for the exertion of Missionary labour; and to a Commissioner, who was leaving Moulmein, and was bidding farewell to Judson, his last words were, “In
case of difficulties, or of war arising between the British · Government and Burmah, I expect to see you again on this
field; and mind, if ever you are sent, and you think I can be ' of any use to your Mission to Ava, if alive, I shall be happy ' to join you, and to be of every assistance in my power.” That which had induced him to accompany Crawford, and to afford him invaluable aid--the hope of securing in the treaty concluded with Burmah a proviso favourable to religious toleration-would, to the close of his career, have led Judson again to come forward as a powerful auxiliary to a diplomatic Mission, and to devote his great abilities and thorough acquaintance with Burmah, its princes, and its people, to aid in the conduct of negotiations; which, if successful on the one point he had at heart, would, he felt assured, prove to the enduring advantage of Burmah, and therefore would richly recompense him for the sacrifices such a journey and occupation must inevitably entail. Other reward, it is needless to add, found no place in his thoughts. The sum of money, presented to him by the British Government after Crawford's embasssy, went every farthing into the American Baptist Mission Fund, but swollen in amount by the addition of what constituted the whole of Judson's private property. Altogether he appears in 1827 and 1828 to have been able in this manner to pay into the Funds of the Board upwards of ten thousand dollars; that too, at a time, when such a sum was more needed, and of more importance to the Mission, than far higher amounts would be in the present day, when America has bestowed her sympathy and liberality on the cause of Missions.
These services were by no means all for which the AngloIndian Government stands indebted to Judson. Though the Burmans were liis peculiar flock, and his Mission was specially to the heathen, the British Soldier shared his love and sympathy; and many an officer, and many a private, whom the course of duty quartered at Moulmein, found that they had been led, in the inscrutable will of Providence, to that distant and uncivilized region, in order to hear a teacher, who touched their hearts, awakened their consciences, and turned them to the truth. Many a soldier left Moulmein, feeling that, whatever his future career, he must ever look back to that spot as the birth-place of his spiritual life. An old Italian proverb says, that there is often as much religion under the soldier's cap, as under the Bishop's mitre; and, in many a scene of death, whether stretched on his hospital bed, or bleeding away life on the field of battle, the spirit of the soldier, as it passed in peace and hope to immortality, will have given a parting blessing to his father in Christ, Adoniram Judson.
Very inadequately we have adverted to the loss, which not alone America and Burmah, but the whole Christian world, must deplore
6 With the dead
Profession mocks performance.” How different the contemplation of such a life, as that we have very faintly scanned. May that life's history be written and given to the world by some one able to do the subject justice! The example of Judson will be salutary to all, but most so to the Missionaries, whose destination is the East. The writing of that life is a duty, which America owes to one of her noblest sons, and three of her noblest daughters. It is a duty, which America owes to the whole Christian Church ; and a duty, which, let us hope, will be religiously performed.